#JuNoWriMo Featured Author: Alathia Paris Morgan

Meet some of your fellow JuNo WriMos in our Featured Author series each Wednesday and Friday in June.

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alathiaI am an author who writes mysteries. I started really writing last April for the CampNaNo and was able to get my first book started with 25k words. Then, in July, I was ready to start camp again and picked up the manuscript where I had left it in April. I continued into August to finish my first book, Ding Dong is She Dead? It was self­-published in September. I have finished my second novel, Death By Poison, and it came out on June 1, 2015. It has been amazing year, and I find myself writing more when I have a group that cheers me on and writes with me.

I’m an Avon Lady which is what my first two novels are based on. I am also a mom to three daughters, a wife, and advocate for Domestic Violence Awareness. I am an avid reader and own over 6000 paper/hardbacks, and several hundred kindle books. My Goodreads goal is 200 books for the year, but now that I am writing, I don’t read as much.

For JuNoWriMo this year, I’ll be working on a story I started back in high school and left it in the notebook until now. I have 100 handwritten pages that I plan to rewrite and update (cassette tapes are so dated) and publish this novel as the first in a new series called The Agent Series.

I love a good mystery with a twist that no one expects.

Book # 1 in The Agent Series

Mac is kidnapped and taken to Scotland to marry the person who bought her on the black  market. Nathan works for Interpol and is home on vacation for his brother’s wedding. Sensing something is not right with the bride, he uses his contacts within Interpol discover Mac is being held against her will. The castle she is held in holds ways to aid in their escape, but can she trust Nathan even though his brother kidnapped her?

Find Alathia Morgan online:

Twitter | Facebook | Blog | Goodreads | Amazon


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#JuNoWriMo Featured Author: Ann Shannon

Meet some of your fellow JuNo WriMos in our Featured Author series each Monday and Wednesday in June.

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Ann ShannonI am the Manic Writer. I’m a voracious reader and author. I read an average of 2­3 books a week and write roughly 3000 words a day. I’ve written 4 novels which are all in various stages of revision and editing, not bad since I started writing fiction in February. I also blog about PTSD, working to educate others and help to end the stigma that comes with it by teaching people what it is, how they can heal from it, and live again. And I have a not so secret love for Anime, which I watch obsessively whenever I can.

My writing journey began when I was in college, and I fell in love with romantic fiction the moment I started writing it. My destiny as a romance writer became clear to me with my first fanfiction, but I quickly figured out that I should be writing my own original work.

I discovered CampWriMo by accident through a friend of mine. She “sort of” bullied me into joining her cabin this past April, and now I’m addicted!

My JuNoWriMo project, however, is a departure from my usual work. I am planning an anthology of short stories that will give my readers a glimpse into my writing style. My goals for it will be 50K words, of course, and to finish the anthology. I’ve already been hard at work outlining it and developing characters. To do this, I will have to write a little more than one story a week, but I think I’m up to the challenge, and I know I will get lots of support from my fellow JunoWriMos when I need to catch my breath.

My inspiration for this project came from a few different directions. I had the idea for a short story called, The Table of Misfit Donors. Chelsea Price is a successful graphic artist who owns her own business, so why is she stuck overseeing a table of misfits at the annual fundraiser for the Winston Pemberton Burn Center? Between Louise the gossip, who is doing everything she can to distract the rest of the table from the fundraiser; Samuel the retired Marine, who wears glasses that might double as telescope lenses and is so deaf you have to tell him everything twice; and the distracting young pilot, Randy, sitting next to her, Chelsea has her hands full trying to keep her table on track and focused on the fundraiser.

This is just one of the short stories I will be crafting next month for my anthology, which will cover a wide range of human emotions including humor, love, and despair. I’ve been hard at work crafting plots and creating characters for my readers that they will love, hate, applaud, and wish they could drown.

Find Ann Shannon online:

Twitter | Facebook | Blog


Enjoying JuNoWriMo? Help us make it bigger and better for next year! Donate, and you’ll receive personal fanfare from our Facebook page.

 

#JuNoWriMo Featured Author: Neal Abbot

Meet some of your fellow JuNo WriMos in our Featured Author series each Monday and Wednesday in June.

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Neal AbbotMy JuNoWriMo project will be a literary fiction work entitled Entanglement. It will be my sixth novel and my eleventh book.

Entanglement is the story of Rex Monday. It is set in St Petersburg, FL and Havana, Cuba. Rex is based upon the the 19th century character-type common in Russian literature known as the Superfluous Man.  This type of character is usually a part of the nobility or at least  one of the upper-crust. The Superfluous Man is one of the idly rich who lives without concern for others. He wastes his life with chasing women, gambling, and quite often ends up in duels.

This is pretty much the life of Rex. His story is a cautionary tale and demonstrates how his own life falls apart when he lives wantonly and selfishly.

Find Neal Abbot online:

Facebook | Blog | Amazon


Enjoying JuNoWriMo? Help us make it bigger and better for next year! Donate, and you’ll receive personal fanfare from our Facebook page.

 

 

#JuNoWriMo Featured Author: Elizabeth Conrad

Meet some of your fellow JuNoWriMos in our Featured Author series each Wednesday and Friday in June.

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Elizabeth ConradI’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a little girl. By age six, I was typing little stories on my mother’s typewriter and illustrating them. This fascination with storytelling grew with me and has culminated in two novels which I am preparing for self publication over the next couple of years. I don’t have one specific genre, but my first two novel length works are sci-­fi and romance.

My still­-untitled novel for June, however, will be a more of a mystery about two sisters who deepen their relationship while solving a cold case murder on an island in south Texas.

Mia is twenty-five years old and is an accomplished writer who has chosen to live on a rather remote island in the Gulf of Mexico. When her sister, Isabel joins her to attend the local university far from their home state of Iowa, the differences between them are highlighted even more. Yet the unique 0pportunities of living together as adults draw them closer together. They begin collaborating on the death of a jazz singer from the 1950s and uncover secrets that will astound everyone on the island.

I have loved south Texas since vacationing there when I was twelve. The setting seemed a natural fit, because I loved the idea of someone living there year round and discovering what might happen when the summer is over. I am a singer myself and have been a jazz fan since I was eighteen and love writing about singers from that wonderful era.

I’ve not started on my novel yet, but I am outlining and getting my ideas together! I hope to reach around halfway during JuNoWriMo. It’s such a wonderful opportunity and I very much look forward to it!

I’m active on social media with several accounts

Find Elizabeth  Conrad online at:

Twitter | Facebook | Blog


Enjoying JuNoWriMo? Help us make it bigger and better for next year! Donate, and you’ll receive personal fanfare from our Facebook page.

 

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”

Be a Featured Author

JuNoWriMo Featured Authors
JuNoWriMo is an amazing experience, and each year we like to highlight a few of our authors to help everyone get to know one another.

You don’t have to be published or even have a finished work to become a JuNoWriMo featured author. Just share a little about yourself and the project you’ll be working on in June.

We have eight spots available, and it’s first-come, first-served. We will open for submissions starting Friday, May 15th at 2pm Eastern Time. (Why 2pm? It’s to be friendly to the time zones of our participants across the globe.) When we receive 8 qualifying posts, we will close to submissions.

How to Submit

Write up a simple post about your planned project for June and send it to info.junowrimo@gmail.com. Here’s some things your post could include:

  • Some background info on yourself as a writer
  • Name, genre, and any other basic info on your JuNo novel (ie: related books, etc.)
  • Synopsis
  • Back story—your inspiration for the story, how you came up with the idea, or why the topic interests you.
  • Your Twitter name, Facebook profile, blog URL, or Goodreads author page (if applicable)
  • Whether or not you’ve started working on your book yet and if you have, your progress. Also, the progress you hope to make on it during JuNoWriMo. (Obviously 50K words, but are you going to finish it, get it to the halfway point, etc.?)
  • Photo(s) (if you have an image that goes with the book or if you’d like us to include a headshot, or both)

Don’t get caught up on the details, just think of it as a casual introduction about yourself as a writer and the project you plan on working on this June. If you don’t have a name for your book yet, that’s fine. If you’re a pantser and don’t actually know the synopsis until you start writing–no worries! Just talk about what sparked the idea and where you think you’ll begin.

The post should be approximately 500 words. Include any social media links you want us to share.

This is open to anyone who has not been previously featured on JuNoWriMo.com. Submit your final post on or after Friday, May 15th at 2pm Eastern Time. (Early submissions will not count!) This is to be fair and give everyone who is interested time to put a post together.

Pep Talk Week 3: Bribe and Bludgeon Yourself into Winning

This week’s pep talk is by JuNoWriMo co-founder Becca Campbell.

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Chocolate fondueHowdy, hard-working overachievers and unmotivated procrastinators! Whichever of the two you are, you are awesome—did you know that? You’re writing a book, and that’s no small thing! Whether you’re ahead or behind on word count, the point is, you are out there getting it done—something that many will never even attempt, let alone try to do in thirty days. Give yourself a pat on the back: you deserve it.

Plan a Sweet Reward

Right now I want you to stop worrying about schedules and whether or not you’ll be able to hit 50K by the end of the month. Put that out of your mind and instead dwell on something more pleasant for a moment: how will you reward yourself when you do win?

Not if, but when. Continue reading “Pep Talk Week 3: Bribe and Bludgeon Yourself into Winning”

#JuNoWriMo Featured Author: Don Beard @drb1227

Meet some of your fellow JuNo WriMos in our Featured Author series each Monday and Wednesday starting June 4. ~

Background

unnamedMy name is Don Beard, and I started writing in college. In fact, I finished my first short story then, a horror story set on my university’s campus. Anyway, once I graduated and had to really start working for a living, I put the pen and words away for awhile. Too long in fact, but that’s okay.

About three years ago, I started writing again, and took about a year to finish my first full length novel. It ended up being nearly 150,000 words, and it was a joy to write. However, I felt that it needed some sort of story to take place before it to set the stage for it. So, that story, entitled Seven Days,was born in NaNo of ’12. After several edits and revisions, I’m proud to say that it has been published by WestBow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson.

JuNoWriMo Plans

The book I plan on working on for JuNo is the fourth book in the series, and it’s called The Final Days of August MacLayne. It’s already started, and my plan is to finish it in June. Once that’s done, I can go back and pick up the third book in the series which is also underway. It’s called The Greatest Gift. I also have an idea and working titles for a young adult trilogy that springs from this series but that’s all they are at this point. They’re all Christian fiction, something I hold dear and have thoroughly enjoyed writing!

Final Days is about a father who finds out he has a limited amount of time left and sets out to find his only child, a red-headed daughter named Anna Margaret MacLayne. She is a character that we first meet in Seven Days, and we find that she has a rough history and was essentially wrongly disowned by her father. She leaves and changes her name and he has had no contact with her for several years. In the process of searching for her, terrible things happen to him and those around him. I know how the story is going to end, but I’m not sure exactly how it’s gonna get there.

Find Don:

My twitter handle is @drb1227, and you can find me on facebook at www.facebook.com/don.beard1. I have a blog at blooger.com called The Freshening Breeze, but honestly, I haven’t been very good at keeping it updated. Between two jobs, raising my kids, and writing I run out of time.

 

#JuNoWriMo Featured Author: Debra Mauldin @dmauldin3

Meet some of your fellow JuNo WriMos in our Featured Author series each Monday and Wednesday starting June 4. ~

Background

DebraMy name is Debra Mauldin and this is my first JuNoWriMo. I started making up stories and writing them down, by age ten. I served as Editor of my high school newspaper for two years. I took creative writing classes throughout college.

JuNoWriMo Plans

My project for JuNoWriMo is a novel I started writing after the passing of my maternal grandmother. I wanted to show the twists and turns of her life; some fictional and some non-fiction. It was a time in my life when I became interested in the menstrual cycles of women and life.

I have begun writing this novel several times, but it didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to. During JuNoWriMo, I hope to finish this book. I have experienced twenty-plus years since the passing of my beloved grandmother. I feel ready to finish the book.

Find Debra:

Blog | Facebook | LinkedIn | Stumble Upon | Twitter

Writing a Premise

At some point, someone is going to ask you, “What’s your novel about?” If not in those exact words, you’re sure to field the question in some form. Do you have an answer? Sure, your novel is complex, full of characters, intricacies, histories, motivations, breakups, and makeups, but what would you write on the back cover of your published novel? What could you say in under 60 seconds to sell your story?

You need a premise. It’s key to staying on task, reminding yourself what you’re doing all month long, and letting others know what’s got you so focused/frazzled/frenzied.

What is a premise?

A premise is a one or two sentence (25-35 word) introduction to your character, his/her conflict, and the hook. It’s the foundation of your story. It works double time. You can use it to keep you on track, or as an elevator pitch to sell your completed novel.

Two ways to write your premise:

1. A present-tense statement. <— Best for planners

2. A “what-if”question. <— Best for pantsers

Whether you use the first or the second is completely up to you. The first option gives a much clearer guideline to follow while the second raises a question, but offers no answers. How open-ended would you like it to be? How much wiggle room would you like to have as you work on your novel? That will determine the best premise style for you.

What are the benefits of writing a premise?

1. A clear idea of what your novel is about. It forces you to break your idea down to its basic components, and ensures that you have the ever-important element that sets your novel apart from any other – the hook.
2. A guideline to refer to at any time during your novel writing process. As you write, many scenes will come to mind, and you will probably fall in love with most of them. Are they all relevant? Probably not. How will you know which ones are worth using? Your premise will make it painfully (or delightfully) obvious which scenes are necessary and which scenes can hit the road.
3. Takes less time and knowledge of the details than writing a summary. To write a summary, you need to know exactly what happens in your story. For a premise, you only need the bones. No meat necessary.
4. Less strict than a summary, leaving lots of room to move around. If you write your novel based on a summary, you will probably feel locked into some ideas and scenes that are present in the summary. There are specific occurrences that you’ll allude to in a summary. In a premise, again, it’s just the bones. You can dress it up however you want.
5. Having an elevator pitch ready. There’s no faster way to say what your novel is about. This is what agents, publishers, and readers are interested in. What is the purpose of your story?

Here are examples of premises using The Hunger Games:

1. Katniss takes her younger sister’s place as tribute in a fight-to-the-death reality television show. She not only fights her competitors, but herself, to win sponsor support, and stay alive.

2. What if 24 children are forced to leave their families to participate in a fight-to-the-death reality television show, only one coming out alive, to entertain the people of their world?

With a few planning days left before the 30 days of writing begin, it’s a great time to write your premise. Remember, you only need to know three things to do it. They are:
1. Your main character
2. Your character’s conflict.
3. The hook – What makes it different.

If you’re not quite ready to write your own premise, I highly recommend writing premises for your favourite books and movies. This will give you great practice in breaking hundred of pages or 2 hours down to their bare bones. For each premise your write, include the character, conflict, and hook, and stay between 25 and 35 words. Once you’ve done this for four or five books/movies, you should be ready to do it for your JuNoWriMo novel.

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You might also be interested in:

Be a JuNoWriMo 2014 Featured Author
Be a JuNoWriMo 2014 Featured Author
Pre-JuNoWriMo Checklist
Pre-JuNoWriMo Checklist
Prewriting for JuNoWriMo
Prewriting for JuNoWriMo