#JuNoWriMo Featured Author: Rebecca Odum

Meet some of your fellow June WriMo’s in our Featured Author series each Saturday and Thursday through June.

Hello all!

Rebecca OdumRebecca here or, if you prefer, you can call me by my pen name, RA Odum. Let’s start with the basics, shall we? I grew up and still reside in a small town in Georgia. I was born at 24 weeks and was the smallest of triplets. I have what’s called Retinopathy of Prematurity. I have no vision in my right eye and some in my left, but I haven’t let that stop me from living life.  Yes, I can’t drive, and school was very difficult,. But these challenges have made me the person that I am, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

I like to say that my writing career started in my grandma’s attic at age five. I would spend the night with her, and she would tell me stories (but I was always the boss of these stories). I’ve always loved watching movies and TV  with characters that I connected with.  In fact, my current book, titled, Lightning Proof, was inspired by the movie Frozen. When I was younger, I read everything from Sweet Valley High to Christy and Nancy Drew. But as I got older, I started looking for books with characters that I relate to—characters that overcome challenges. I also read books that inspire me and make me see the world in a way that I never have before. These are the books that I strive to write.

I recently fell in love with urban fantasy and Lightening Proof mixes fantasy, futuristic and real world elements together. I love the idea of putting fantasy in an ordinary world.

Lightning Proof is  set in the fictional country of Caldwell. There two groups with magical abilities fight for acceptance against fear and hatred.  Victoria Thompson and Lindsey Cooper have been friends since they were twelve.  Then laws against their people started being passed. Victoria is a Lighter. She can shoot lightning from her fingers and can communicate via telepathy. Lindsey is an Invisible. Invisibles can teleport and can also communicate telepathically. They can also control minds but most Invisibles aren’t taught that skill. For ten years, they’ve watched the laws strip away their rights, and now, as teachers of the next generation of Lighters and Invisibles, Victoria and Lindsey must fight to keep their hope alive as they fight to save their people.

This book is the first in a series. I am very much excited to introduce my characters to the world.

Social media links:

Twitter| Facebook

Pep Talk Week 2: 4 Tips to Succeed this June

Robert Chazz Chute offers his tips on how to succeed this June!

So, you’ve decided to commit to writing 50,000 words or more this month. Blood oaths have been sworn. You promised yourself, as God is your witness, you shall be a novelist! Heroes will sing your praises in Valhalla this night. As it was foretold in the prophecy, you shall write and you will finish to great acclaim. Beer, Cherry Cokes and champagne for everybody!

Good. Now that we’ve got the drama, grand pronouncements and the first flush of enthusiasm out of the way, let’s settle some priorities and expectations so you, too, can win JuNoWriMo and the love of your cold, aloof parents.

  1. You have made your writing a high priority this month. You matter and what you want is of value. We’re talking hopes and dreams here! No shame in such selfishness.

That affirmed, know that you will have to tell someone no this month. You’ll probably have to defend your writing time against the onslaught of several someones repeatedly. Fine. Do so. Your family, friends and enemies will still be around to suck the life out of you when you’re done your word count for the day. Put your writing session on your calendar just like you would an appointment for a colonoscopy. You probably wouldn’t look forward to a such a procedure, but you definitely would not miss such an important appointment.

Yes, your writing is just as important as meeting a doctor with a startlingly long air hose, a camera and a penchant for proctology.

  1. You are here for the writing and this will be fun. Not always, of course. If scratching out words were an easy  and endless gigglefest, everyone would be a novelist. There is a trick that will help you through the rough spots: just as with a bad movie, you can always fix your manuscript in post.

Write confidently. Write swiftly. Don’t look back. Push through to the end. Editing and worry is for later. The key to a great book is to start with a crappy one. There will be plot holes. You can fill those in another time. Too often, writers compare the wretchedness of their first draft to some genius’s finished work. Trust me, that so-called genius looks like half an idiot in his or her first draft, just like you and me. Relax into the inevitability of disappointment with your first attempt.

This isn’t baseball. In writing, you can take as many swings as you like until you hit a home run. Writing is a sport for cheaters. We keep our lousy attempts in locked drawers and the fans only see our triumphs in highlight reels.

  1. I guarantee you will have a ton of fun with this challenge if you resolve to stop being so precious about writing. We fetishize the act like some dudes dig the smell of leather when they’re naked. We talk instead of write. We develop elaborate rituals, light candles and demand everything be perfect before we can begin. We think too much about how hard writing can be. But wait! Remember physical labor? Remember that sunburnt summer you got a job as a roofer pouring hot tar and day after airless day was a heatwave full shimmering punishment? Or what about that summer retail job that was so bad you studied harder in September so you would never have to work that counter at the mall again?

The quiet solitude of writing combined with the social support of JuNoWriMo is heaven compared to those mundane horrors. Writing is play. Look around. Writing is everywhere. You can already write so don’t make too big deal of it. If you want to be a novelist, be a novelist and be grateful. Storytelling looks just like typing at first. After we learn more craft, we call it writing. Eventually, we call ourselves writers and it doesn’t even sound weird when spoken aloud. Your parents will remain fretful and unsupportive, sure. But hey, you knew Mom and Dad weren’t going to change.

  1. I know you probably think writing should be hard. I had a lot of false starts thinking that way. When I got into traditional publishing, I had a romantic view of the profession. Then I drove authors to signings where no customers showed up and the author blamed me. I attended literary parties hoping for witty repartee with great minds. Sadly, the number of geniuses in the publishing industry is no more nor less than what you’ll find among any random clutch of accountants, plumbers or dentists. Elite publishing parties are more about bon bons than bon mots. You’ll find ego, avarice and envy at those cocktail soirees, but surprisingly little material for your next book.

Freedom came when I let go of all those trappings and got to the core of what you and I do. We write. Creative writing is a meditative, hopeful act of faith. When the words are coming fast, a neural engine chugs along that changes the way you think and feel. You won’t know where the ideas are coming from but it feels magical. Writing is the only magic I believe in.

This is a great thing you are attempting. If you hold on to that, you’ll persevere. Congratulations on getting started. I hope you discover a great story along the way and end up with something you’ll love. Remember, you don’t have to love it all the time. Sometimes the only virtue in the exercise is that you made your daily word count so you don’t have to write more today. Fix it in post. Tomorrow, find the fun again. Repeat until complete. Write so much and so freely that you stumble upon the magic.

Throwing down words to build stories is addictive. Let’s get high on this wonderful drug. Once you crush this goal, you’ll probably find that 50,000 words was a great start. Most serious writers I know write at least 50,000 words every month. That’s how you know you must be victorious in JuNoWriMo. If mere mortals can complete this task or something like it twelve times a year, surely you can do it once. As your confidence grows, what once seemed difficult will become easier. This might even turn out to be your new day job.

But you don’t have time to read this. Write now right now.

Robert Chazz ChuteA former journalist full of self-loathing, Robert Chazz Chute is now an award winning suspense novelist (still full of self-loathing.) He writes assorted apocalyptic epics, SFF and crime thrillers that would make your momma pee the bed. Learn more at AllThatChazz.com and love him, dammit! Since you’re climbing JuNoWriMo, you might especially like Crack the Indie Author Code.

#JuNoWriMo Featured Author: RF Kacy

Meet some of your fellow June WriMo’s in our Featured Author series each Saturday and Thursday through June.

I have a confession to make. I am a creative writer.

There, I said it. It isn’t an easy thing for me to do. We of Eastern European descent don’t Art, we Work. When I was younger there was a cousin who was a musician, but he earned a pass because he played at family weddings for free.

Now, decades later and post retirement, I haunt corners of our modern-day salons, pen in hand, steeped in caffeine and sugary confections. I create worlds from dreams, solve problems of my own making, and spark the most unlikely of romances. I don’t consider what the market will support, nor what readers want to consume. Though I spent many years as a professional economist, now I write what I like and pass it on to whoever wants to share in my joy.

I have too many tales that I want to tell, and they rarely fit into any recognizable category. So, I try to amuse myself and the small circle of friends who stumble across my work. As a journeyman writer I write every day because the doing of the thing is what is important. But, I will try to explain my plans if you don’t expect too much.  Once I embark on a writing journey I refuse to follow even the most basic of navigational charts. In short, I pants for as long as I can get away with it.

So what connection do my ramblings have with JuNoWriMo?

This—my project for June:  Fatal Bequest is the second book in “The Megan Lark Mysteries” series where Megan and her maybe-could-be-sometimes-boyfriend, Neal Parker, pursue truth, beauty, and justice on a college campus. Oh yes, and they solve murders, or at least find themselves in the thick of the action. Think Nancy Drew meets Alfred Hitchcock at a party thrown by David Lynch, and you won’t be too far off… well, perhaps except for the David Lynch part. I put that in for you art film lovers.

Where did the inspiration for the stories come from? Maybe from decades of observing the study habits and mating rituals of college students. Maybe from forgetting to put on my tinfoil hat in the morning. Both the NSA and aliens have some explaining to do.

This will be my first JuNoWriMo, and I look forward to contributing to the group and helping to encourage others. Or I might decide to lob grenades filled with brownies and red wine, which I guess is encouragement for some, although my internist would disagree. Regardless, I plan to hold my head high and claim victory by the end of the month, even if I have to lie about my progress. Did I mention I am now a full-time creative? Or perhaps a full-time liar. It depends on your perspective.KacyCedarKey

I’m often found at RF Kacy (include the space) on the Book of Face and @RFKacy on the Chirping Bird platform. I pop up here and there in all kinds of forums, so say hello if you see me. Be sure to do it before the moderators realize I am there.

Good luck on all your projects, and until we meet at the great gathering (you know, in a real physical place), peace out!

  • Author email — Kacy@KazDigital.com
  • Facebook — RF Kacy
  • Twitter— RFKacy

How to Have a Successful JuNoWriMo, No Matter What!

Honorée Corder, author of twenty books (and counting!) kicks off our series of JuNoWriMo 2016 pep talks with a plan to make this month a successful one.

HonoreeCorderHeadshotCongratulations on your decision to embark on JuNoWriMo! Right now I am sure you are filled with the excitement that can only come with a shiny new project. Executed well, in 30 days you will be the proud owner of a completed manuscript. And right now, you might be feeling invincible… as though not a thing or person could possibly stand in your way or take you off course.

I do hope that is the case, but I know better than almost anyone that just about the moment I 100% commit to something, at almost exactly that same moment the universe conspires to test me. (How rude!)

I want to help you get from June 1 to June 30 with finesse, style, and ease. Let’s go ahead and set you up for super success so that no matter what happens you will crush it!

Number one: the goal. If you’re like me the goal isn’t just 50,000 words, you have a story or outline already percolating in the back of your mind that comes with a title or even an ending. But on the off-chance you don’t have a specific goal, go ahead and set one. Something like: Complete 50,000 words toward my manuscript by June 30th, or, Finish Game On! The Ultimate Guide to Getting All You Want from Your Life and Your Work (my current WIP).

Write your goal on a 3×5 card and look at it twice a day: right when you wake up, and right before you go to sleep.

#JuNoWriMo Featured Author: DJ Morand

Meet some of your fellow June WriMo’s in our Featured Author series each Saturday and Thursday through June.

My name is DJ Morand. I’ve been writing Fantasy short stories for going on 21 years now. I took my first stab at Science Fiction in 2014 for NaNoWriMo and published my first novel in November of 2015. After NaNoWriMo, I began writing a short story series titled The Legends of Vandor building up to my debut Fantasy novel sometime later this year.

For JuNoWriMo, I am heading back to my science fiction series, a Trilogy titled Infinity Verge. I am finishing book number 3 this June while putting book 2 out for publication. Busy busy busy! Ursidae: Infinity Verge 3 is the final book in my trilogy and the end to a harrowing journey for my characters.

A Secret Kept.

An Alien Threat.

A Daring Rescue.

As a captive of the Vald, Captain Abel Cain is being forced to attack his former allies. Controlled by his nanites and a sinister ship designed by the Vald, Abel must find a way to escape or watch everyone he loves die. The Vald are close to getting the information they want from Abel, and their murderous machines still roam the galaxy.

Meanwhile, Echo Shade fights to circumvent the Automated Defense Matrix aboard the Atlas. If she can break the code, she can find Abel and bring him home. But what kind of home will he be coming back to? The newly formed Eden Defense Force is building a fleet to contend with the Vald and their EXOs.

Fleet Admiral, Andromeda Clark, feels that she has been betrayed and sets out to destroy the EDF. Caught up in the politics and perceived betrayals, Andromeda forgets that other threats in the galaxy still exist.

DJMA_logo_2My ideas for the Infinity Verge trilogy came from a number of sources, namely my love of science fiction shows like Firefly, Star Trek, Star Wars, and Battlestar Galactica. There is such an eclectic mix of ideas in these shows. The roguishness of Captain Mal in Firefly, the logical and yet emotional Spock, Luke Skywalker’s journey from farm boy to Jedi, and the overall galactic stage in BSG, are just some of the inspirations that birthed Infinity Verge.

I came up with the idea of Abel Cain, a roguish starship pilot who was at odds with himself, hence the name. Kodiak, the first book was an adventure from start to finish. By the time I finished Atlas (book 2), I knew just where I wanted to go with Ursidae (Book 3). This last book is something I want to get just write (pun intended), so I’ve been taking my time plotting it out and working on it a little at a time. I plan to have about 25k when I start JuNoWriMo and around 75-80k by the time I finish. 

Connect with DJ:

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon | Website

#JuNoWriMo Featured Author: Shawn Contant

Meet some of your fellow June WriMos in our Featured Author series each Saturday and Thursday through June. 

Hey there, everyone.  I’m Shawn.

I’ve been writing on and off since I was twelve. My first story ideas came from dreams I had. As I got older, books I read and things I learned became my inspirations. I typically write in the Christian, sci-fi, and young adult genres, sometimes mixing them together where I can.

I’m a life-long Trekkie so it’s probably no surprise my most major inspiration was Star Trek. The episode “MirI”, from the 1960s series, has fueled my imagination and muse for almost a decade. The episode features a world where adults have died off, leaving teens and children behind. I wondered what might happen if that happened in our world. That thought has led to what I call the After Adults series, which follows the lives of several young men and women after the death of all adults, and how their actions affect the reconstruction effort.

I use writing as a way to explore dilemmas of the heart and mind. To paraphrase William Faulkner, “The only thing worth writing about is the human heart in conflict with itself.” I’m also a fan of taking tropes and pushing them to their logical ends. Writing is a fun challenge and a personal journey. Words are really neat, not just in matters of etymology, but also the images and feelings they can evoke in the reader’s mind. Orson Scott Card is an inspiration because of his powerful characters and compelling plot in Ender’s Game. Another favorite of mine is George R.R. Martin because of the sheer detail and scope in the A Song of Ice and Fire series and the conflicted, morally grey characters he writes.

JuNoWriMo 2016

Tentatively titled A New Hero, my JuNoWriMo 2016 story is set in the same universe as my two NaNoWriMo novels The Red Eye Effect and The Ragged Platoon. However, it is set much earlier, just after the pandemic that wiped out everyone over the age of 18. Alex Caffey hides in the outskirts of his hometown as gang violence spikes. A group calling itself the Order of Friendship moves in, claiming to be interested in restoring order to the world. He agrees to work with them, first as a mechanic, then as a soldier in the Knights of Friends. For the next year, Alex travels with his fellow fighters defending those who can’t defend themselves, falling in love, and trying to figure out where he stands in the world. It’s an adventure for him externally and internally, one he never imagined taking.

I already have some of the story written, but much of it remains to be developed. I am dedicating this June to completing the novel, then moving on to others in the same world that help tell the larger story of survival, power, and social order.

Connect with Shawn:

Facebook | Twitter | Website

 

Pep Talk Week 3: Breeze Through the Middle of Your Novel

Ruth Long addresses how to work through the middle of your book and how to tackle the rest of this challenge. 

My first attempts at novel length stories were exhilarating and demoralizing.

Exhilarating because I could so clearly envision the beginning and end of the story.

Demoralizing because I could never quite manage to bridge the gap between the two.

Why is it that middles so often become baffling, exhausting, and tedious to get through?

I’ve been actively seeking the answer to that question and here’s what I’ve come up with so far.

There are no hard and fast rules for writing a novel.

There are, however, a handful of techniques that make the process easier.

The first technique we’re going to reference is the Three Act Plot.

The general breakdown of the Three Act Plot looks like this:

Setup = 25% of story

Middle = 50% of story

Resolution = 25% of story

Whoa! No wonder the middle seems like a monkey on our backs. It’s half the story.

We need to cut that sucker down to size but where do we start?

By employing a middle-of-the-novel-tedium-busting technique I like to call “Lemony Snickett’s ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events.’”

This is the technique we’re going to focus on. Continue reading “Pep Talk Week 3: Breeze Through the Middle of Your Novel”

Pep Talk Week 2: Seven Things to Do When Your WIP is a Hot Mess

This week, Katharine Grubb offers advice on how to rescue your work in progress (WIP). Katharine’s blog is about the “Confessions of a Busy Mom Who Became an Independent Novelist.”

So it’s JuNoWriMo and you’ve hit the second week!

You’re like um, I have how many words to go?

You thought you could do this. You had ideas! You had characters! You had a plot! I mean you kind of have a plot but now it kind of feels like a plod. You had a vision for the perfect story in this genre! But then you realize that maybe this contemporary romance might do better on Mars? Maybe your heroine needs fangs? Maybe you could kill everyone off, call it a dystopian and be done with it?

What do you do?

1. Take a deep breath. Deep breathing can calm you down. They don’t tell you this in writing classes but breathing when you write is as important as the kind of mug you use for your hot beverage. Take another deep breath. No one ever died from JuNoWriMo. Continue reading “Pep Talk Week 2: Seven Things to Do When Your WIP is a Hot Mess”

Pep Talk Week 1: The Dancer and the Nag

Mat Morris comes to us as a veteran of the 30-day novel challenge–and not only a veteran, but a wizard, having completed 50,000 words in 24 hours. Enjoy his Pep Talk; we know it’ll fire you up for the challenge ahead!

 

Greetings, fellow Dream Warriors. Welcome to the beginning of the end.

Most of you don’t know me, and that’s fine. This isn’t about me. It’s about you.

You see, you’re about to embark on a journey that will change your life. You’re about to do something that most only fantasize about. You’re going to take that little voice whispering in your ear, and you’re going to set it free. And I’m going to share with you a dirty little secret that will let you do it.

Everyone has a story to tell.

Now, you might be wondering why I called you a Dream Warrior. And we’ll come back to that. Promise.

More importantly, you might be wondering why someone you’ve never heard of was asked to impress upon you some words of inspiration. Honestly, as I sit here on the night of my deadline, writing what amounts to my third attempt at arranging my thoughts into something coherent, I’m wondering the very same thing.

So, a short bit about me—the current voice in your head.

You see, I was asked to write this because of my past successes in completing these little word challenges. Technically, I’ve completed the challenge of writing 50,000 words in a single month on more occasions than I’ve actually counted. But what seems to impress (read: stupefy) people the most is that, on four occasions, I’ve completed it within a 24 hour period.

Yes. You read that correctly. Continue reading “Pep Talk Week 1: The Dancer and the Nag”

Another #JuNoWriMo Giveaway! #amwriting

JuNoWriMo Twitter BannerIt’s the middle of May. THE MIDDLE OF MAY! That gives us just over two weeks to finish our pre-writing (if we are the pre-writing sort), stock up on our favorite snacks, and enjoy a lazy evening or two before all our spare moments are full of words. To make the preparations even better we are having another giveaway!

Before you go check out the awesome prizes I want to remind you that there is still time to join the blog hop. It’s a great way to spread the word about JuNoWriMo and earn more entries for the giveaway.

Joining is easy.

1. Write a post.

You can copy and paste what you need to from this post, create your own unique post, or do a combo of the two. If you choose to write your own, have fun with it! Share a little bit about what you will be working on this June, talk about your favorite part of JuNoWriMo, share your favorite recipe for a late night snack on those nights when you need to stay up and write all the words, the sky is the limit. The only must is please include a link to the JuNoWriMo website.

2.  Join the linky list.
Once your post is live, join the linky list. That way everyone else participating can visit and help promote your post.

3. Hop!
Visit a few of the other participant’s blogs. It’s a great way to meet some of the other writers before the event.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with JuNoWriMo, it’s a month long writing adventure in the style of NaNoWriMo, complete with word sprints and plenty of other writers to cheer you on. The goal is to write 50,000 in one month (1,667 words a day). You can write whatever you want. Fiction, non-fiction, the final 50k to something you started five years ago. Anything. We’d love to have you write with us!

You can learn more and sign up here.

Our Facebook group is here.

Now for the prizes!!!

First prize – writer care package  including chocolate, coffee, assorted teas, and a JuNoWriMo mug.

Robot mug
Cute, right? Perfect for long writing sessions!

Second prizeJuNoWriMo swag pack including a JuNoWriMo button, JuNoWriMo sticker, and a hand-painted JuNoWriMo bookmark.

junowrimo rocket button
These buttons are a great way to show what you’re doing this June.
Robot sticker
What’s more fun than a sticker? Especially an adorable, writing robot sticker?
JuNo bookmarks
Now you can show your JuNoWriMo spirit even while relaxing with a book!

What are you waiting for? Enter the giveaway now:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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