NaNoWriMo Challenge (Part One)

To reach the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) goal of 50,000 words, the organization suggests writing 1,667 words a day. Writing 1,667 isn’t tough; it only involves about an hour or two of time to write that much. Despite the ease of that daily word count, however, I find myself struggling with the challenge. My problem with keeping up with the NaNoWriMo challenge is not the word count itself, but that 30 days is not a realistic time period for that goal. Simply put, I do not have time to write every day…and so I fall behind. Continue reading “NaNoWriMo Challenge (Part One)”

30 Years of The Princess Bride

My first copy of The Princess Bride was a VHS tape that my grandmother recorded from the TV. There was a blip on the tape during the rhyming game between Fezzik and Inigo Montoya. It cut to static for a few seconds, then picked up again once the ship is out to sea. Because of this, I spent a good ten years playing and replaying the tape, able to quote the movie from start to finish except for the rhyming game. Imagine how thrilled I was to get the movie on DVD years later and finally see that scene in full!

2017 marks the 30th anniversary for this beloved movie. A handful of theaters nationwide held screenings during the month of October, which I was unfortunately unable to attend. I did, however, make an effort to rewatch the movie and reread the book that inspired it.

Book Cover for William Goldman's The Princess Bride Continue reading “30 Years of The Princess Bride”

Staff Recommendation: Leia, Princess of Alderaan

I’m back with another Star Wars review! As we seem to be ending every year on a new Star Wars movie–a trend I’m very much in favor of, by the way–we are also getting new accompanying novels to lead up to the latest film. This year’s crop of stories is subtitled “Journey to The Last Jedi,” in anticipation of Episode VIII coming out this December.

The first I read is Claudia Gray’s Leia, Princess of Alderaan. Gray is the same author who wrote Lost Stars, which may be my favorite Star Wars book to date. I’m happy to say she has more than fulfilled the high expectations I have for her work.

Book cover for "Star Wars: Leia, Princess of Alderaan" by Claudia Gray

Continue reading “Staff Recommendation: Leia, Princess of Alderaan”

Read Local: Focus on Alanea Alder

Leading up to Read Local, which will be held at Central Library on Saturday, November 4th from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, I will be spotlighting different authors who will be attending the event. Take a peek at my question and answer session with Alanea…

1) Do you write your first draft by hand or type? I outline by hand, but I type my first draft.

2) Pantser or Plotter? I plot to give myself guide posts to ‘pants’ between.

3) Research- before or during? Both. I usually forget to look up something.

4) Favorite genre to write? Paranormal.

5) What inspired you to write? I have always been an avid reader, so the multitude of books I’ve read.

6) Is there a genre that you haven’t written in yet, but is something that interests you? Paranormal mystery. I love cozy mysteries.

7) Who is the author who has influence you the most? Tamora Pierce and Anne McCaffrey because they write/wrote such strong females.

8) Best piece of advice someone has given you? Write the book you want to read.

9) Who is your favorite author? Tamora Pierce.

10) What is your favorite book on writing/reference source? BehindTheName.com. It helps me choose character names.

Bonus Question: if you could go anywhere for a writer’s retreat, where would it be? A log cabin in the North Carolina mountains.

Thank you, Alanea! If you’d like to hear more, come to our Read Local 3 breakout session at 11:30 am where she will share her perspective on self-publishing. See you there!

Read Local: Focus on Laura Kitchell

Leading up to Read Local, which will be held at Central Library on Saturday, November 4th from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, I will be spotlighting different authors who will be attending the event. The first is my good friend and fellow Chesapeake Romance Writers’ Member, Laura Kitchell. Take a peek at my question and answer session with Laura…

1) Do you write your first draft by hand or type? I handwrite my first draft.

2) Pantser or Plotter? I’m a plotser. I plot the main points of conflict my character will need to overcome and the story’s ending. Each scene, however, is driven by character and can surprise and delight me as much as the reader.

3) Research- before or during? For my historical romance, I spend nearly a full year in research before beginning the writing, and I will research aspects of lifestyle and/or placement of key historical figures during the writing. For my contemporary romance, research takes place during the writing.

4) Favorite genre to write? My first love in genre is historical. I also adore fantasy but haven’t done more than dabble. I have a major fantasy project planned, though I may not be able to write it until 2019 as I face a year of research before I can put pen to paper.

5) What inspired you to write? I have been writing since high school. I wrote my first novel in 1993 but didn’t begin earnest effort and growth toward publishing until 2004.

6) Is there a genre that you haven’t written in yet, but is something that interests you? I enjoy sci-fi. I haven’t written in this genre, but it interests me.

7) Who is the author who has influence you the most? I don’t know that I necessarily have an author I’ve read who has influenced me in my writing, but I’ve had a mentor in Judi McCoy (may she rest in peace). Judi taught me about the business of writing and dealing with industry professionals in a way that’s both effective and respectful.

8) Best piece of advice someone has given you? The best advice I have received is to view my books as products. As authors, we pour a piece of ourselves into our work, which makes our books personal to us. Many of us view our work as our children. From a professional standpoint, this can be detrimental. We’re more open to suggested improvements from editors and critique partners if we consider our writing a product that’s intended to be marketed and sold.

9) Who is your favorite author? I have a number of authors I enjoy reading. Cheryl Brooks, Madeline Hunter, and Olivia Cunning are only a few.

10) What is your favorite book on writing/reference source? Although many authors find them useful, books that offer tips on writing aren’t part of my library. I do, however, use a number of reference sources. I have a growing library of historical books and books on mythology/legend. My most used sources, though, are Roget’s Thesaurus and Merriam Webster’s Dictionary.

Thank you, Laura!