First of all, tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Axel Kohagen. I’m 37, and I’ve spent my life in professions where I communicate and form connections with people. At the same time, on my own, I’ve written stories to communicate the things inside my head I couldn’t share otherwise. Collaborating with author Roy C. Booth for the past few years has helped to write better and share my thoughts more clearly.
How many times have you attempted NaNoWriMo? Have you succeeded in the past?
I’ve completed NaNoWriMo three times in four attempts. The most recent time stalled in mid-November, but I am proud to say I returned to it when my life returned to normal and I finished the novel at around 66,000 words. Usually, I prefer to finish on November 25th.
What can you tell us about your current work in progress for this year’s NaNoWriMo?
I’m taking a year off from NaNoWriMo to promote Orphans, a work that started as my first completed NaNoWriMo novel. I really liked what I wrote, but I knew it needed more to reach an audience. Roy C. Booth and I collaborated to flesh out several storylines and clean up the plot. This July, Orphans was released by Dark Fantasy Press and can be found on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle editions.
How are you keeping yourself focused and on track for NaNoWriMo? What advice would you offer to someone else who wanted to attempt it?
I’m a strong believer in pacing. Do the math early on, set a word count per day, and then don’t deviate from it unless you’re left with no other choice due to an emergency. You can write alone or in company, in the dark or in the light, with or without music… You just have to keep your fingers on the keyboard until you hit the magic number. Once in a while, treat yourself to a snack, game, or trip to the local bar. It keeps your brain from rebelling.
If our readers wanted to follow you and your work, what would be the best way to do that?
I’m easy to find on Facebook, or you can check out my website. You can find stories and novels from Roy. C Booth and myself on Amazon.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
The greatest gift NaNoWriMo can give you is freedom from second-guessing. Time is short, so you owe it to yourself to write it just like it comes to your head. Some of Orphans most frightening moments, particularly in the book’s climax, benefited from seeing the deadline approach so quickly I had to go with my first instinct. The whole book is better because of this forced courage.