#NaNoWriMo #Interview: Mandy Eve-Barnett

*This year I wanted to provide a spotlight for a few writers who have decided to participate in National Novel Writing Month. Enjoy getting to know them and learn from their insights!

Tell us why you participate in National Novel Writing Month

I find it a superb way to practice writing to a deadline, write without the worry of editing and letting my creativity flow with no constraints.

How/When did you first learn about NaNoWriMo?

My first NaNo was 2009 when I was persuaded by a new writing friend from my writing group to participate. At the time I’d only written very short stories (and I mean short). The idea of fifty thousand words made me refuse point blank but gradually she convinced me I could do it. That first NaNo’s project was edited and revised almost every year until I finally published it 2018.

How many years have you participated in NaNoWriMo?

This will be my tenth NaNo – I only missed 2017 when I was working on two manuscripts that were published that year.

What is your NaNoWriMo project for this year?

The idea came late in October (almost November) it just popped into my head to write a young romance set with a university campus. The two main protagonists have evolved into fully rounded characters now.

If you were to introduce yourself to a group of strangers, what would you say?

I indulge my creativity in writing whether writing fiction or aiding clients within my freelance business and am a writing community advocate.

Do dreams inspire your writing ideas?

I have used several dream sequences within my works of fiction, they are always vivid and I quickly write them down. I always have a notebook on the bedside table.

Who is your favorite author? Why?

Stephen King is my literary hero. He is the greatest story teller, creating characters with minimal description, grips your interest from the first page and never disappoints. My greatest possession is a personal letter I received from him. It is framed about my writing desk.

What is your preferred genre to write in?

I do not write to genre, I write the story an it chooses which genre it is as it unfolds.

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

I use my blog to interact with writers across the globe: http://www.mandyevebarnett.com

You can find me across social media –

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Mandyevebarnettcom/

Twitter https://twitter.com/mandyevebarnett

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/mandyevebarnett/

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6477059.Mandy_Eve_Barnett

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B01MDUAS0V

On NaNoWriMo site I am MandyB

 

Mandy’s Writing Desk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thank you so much, Mandy for taking the time to share with us a little bit about yourself and your writing experiences.  Best of luck for your NaNoWriMo! If anyone has any questions or comments for her please leave them in the Comment section.

 

#NaNoWriMo #Interview: Miranda Kate

*This year I wanted to provide a spotlight for a few writers who have decided to participate in National Novel Writing Month. Enjoy getting to know them and learn from their insights!

Tell us why do you participate in National Novel Writing Month

To get the bulk of my novels written – at least that is why I participate now. In the beginning it was to learn to write forward without editing as I go. I found that a revelation in terms of how much I could produce. And now I look forward to the word sprints and the community of it: all of us writing together – remotely.

I am a Brit living in the Netherlands, and I live in a small village where I haven’t managed to fully integrate, so this is one of the few ways to connect with others. I love opening the door to all the new writers and stepping into that world for the month – it’s like I’m where I belong for a while.

How/When did you first learn about NaNoWriMo?

Back in 2011, I arrived on Twitter at the end of July. I joined to follow a couple of friends, and then found lots of writers and flash fiction contests, and then as November approached I heard about the challenge and decided to give it a go, connecting to everyone through the hashtag. It was like stepping into a whole other universe.

How many years have you participated in NaNoWriMo?

This is my seventh time. My first time was 2011. I was working for a company then and wasn’t able to complete 50K, but in more recent years I have succeeded. I try not to put too much pressure on. If I only get 25K or 30K that is still a lot for me to write in one go. I also tend to flag a bit a couple of weeks in, so this year I am taking it easy.

What is your NaNoWriMo project for this year?

I am finishing the sequel to a novella of mine called, The Game (currently published in my collection called Slipping Through). It’s a dark sci-fi time travel story. I began it last year for NaNoWriMo, so I am planning to complete it. I have sort of let it lie over the year as I have been busy publishing my first full novel, Sleep, which was released on the 1st of September.

Do you listen to music while you write?  If so, what kind of music?

I need complete silence to write. Although I did enter a weekly flash contest which had a song prompt for a couple of years. That was interesting and produced some great stories, but it was difficult. I had to have the song on repeat to keep whatever story had popped into my head going. I can, however, write with a lot of people around me, as I started writing when I used to work in an office and I am used to that.

Do dreams inspire your writing ideas?

Often I will wake up with complete ideas or answers to things I am trying to solve in a story. I had to write an epilogue to my novel, Sleep, and I wasn’t sure what to write, but one morning I literally woke up with it mapped out in my head. It’s fabulous when that happens – although it is rare.

Who is your favorite author? Why?

Stephen King. He covers all the genres I love: Horror, Fantasy, and sometimes surreal stuff. I love how he writes. Whenever I return to his books I sort of sigh to myself as it feels like I’ve come home; it easy to read with such great flow and pace.

How do you get into the minds of your characters?

I think about how they speak to other people. I imagine dialogue first, and listen to that dialogue and sort of see them speaking in my mind’s eye.

Please tell us about your celebrity crush.

Just one? Not sure I can do that!

Actors: Tom Hardy is my biggest, I love his on-screen intensity. Others are Idris Elba, Johnny Miller, Cillian Murphy.

Music: I am a massive Prince fan, since I was 15, so that’s been a permanent crush. And despite his death, which devastated me, I still listen to his music daily.

Also Theo Hutchcraft, from a band called Hurts. He seems to be taking a break from social media and it’s killing me! He has such a great voice, and is wonderful eye candy.

What is your preferred genre to write in?

I like to write dark stuff mostly, can be horror, can be sci-fi, can be general fiction, but I like it to be dark and have an edge to it. I can do fantasy and surreal mixed in too. My novel, Sleep, is a psychological thriller, which was different for me, but was a story that had begun 28 years ago. I tend not to define genres in my writing, I write what comes.

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

I am also a freelance editor, and I see a lot of people worrying about what they could possibly produce in just a month and whether it would be any good. I have worked with several authors first drafts in December, helping them pull it into shape, and having something to work with is the key. It doesn’t matter how you get it down. Just keep writing forward through November, leave the rest for after.

Twitter: @PurpleQueenNL
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Thank you so much, Miranda for taking the time to share with us a little bit about yourself and your writing experiences.  Best of luck for your NaNoWriMo! If anyone has any questions or comments for her please leave them in the Comment section.

#NaNoWriMo #Interview: David Joel Miller

*This year I wanted to provide a spotlight for a few writers who have decided to participate in National Novel Writing Month. Enjoy getting to know them and learn from their insights!  If you’re doing NaNoWriMo and would like to be interviewed, go to the Contact page and drop me a message!

 

Tell us why do you participate in National Novel Writing Month.

Committing to finish something in one month gives me an extra incentive to write a few more words each day and to write something every day even if I only have a few minutes to write. Announcing my book commits me to keep writing even when the words don’t come.

How/When did you first learn about NaNoWriMo?

Back in 2011, I read about NaNoWriMo in one of the writing blogs. I don’t remember which blog it was now. I decided to give it a try. Even though I didn’t finish that first book, the experience made me a more productive writer. In 2016 I tried it again, and now, better prepared and was able to complete the first draft of a novel.

How many years have you participated in NaNoWriMo?

A total of five times now.

What is your NaNoWriMo project for this year?

The Story Bureau. Greatness through truer news. Not propaganda – progress through better stories.

A deep recession and a prolonged war have left most people struggling for survival. Baldwin Ferapont wants to help his country. Once he is turned down by the military, Baldwin takes a job as an editor at the government-run Story Bureau.  Very quickly he comes to question whether the “True News” the government is dispensing is fabrications.

If you were to introduce yourself to a group of strangers, what would you say?

David Joel Miller is a 71-year young man who has had a great many life experiences and currently divides his time between being a writer and blogger, a licensed counselor, and therapist, and teaching at the local college.

Do you listen to music while you write?  If so, what kind of music?

Absolutely, I listen to music. When writing, or which for me means dictating, I wear headphones and primarily listen to relaxing instrumental music. The music helps keep me from being distracted by voices and sounds in my environment.

Do dreams inspire your writing ideas?

Not really. I think of my inspiration as a large barrel that needs to be filled. I read widely, both fiction and nonfiction, and once the barrel of thoughts gets full and begins to overflow, my muse yells at me to “quick get it all down.” My muse does not like to repeat herself, and if I don’t write it when the thought is in my head it’s likely to escape.

Who is your favorite author? Why?

There are several I can’t say any one of them is my absolute favorite author. I enjoy Jody Picoult, Aldus Huxley, Sinclair Lewis, and a great many other authors.

Favorite time of year?

I love spring, enjoy summer, look forward to the fall, my favorite season is any season except winter. Here in the central part of California, the seasons are more aptly referred to as wet and dry, and I like them both so long as there is no snowfall.

What’s your favorite television show?

I rarely watch television, or movies. Currently, the only TV show I watch on a regular basis is Big Bang Theory.

How do you get into the minds of your characters?

I’m not sure I do. I think my characters get into my mind. I try to get to know the character by wondering what they would do in a variety of situations.

Please tell us about your celebrity crush.

What’s a celebrity?

What is your preferred genre to write in?

When it comes to genre, I am incurably promiscuous. I suppose my preferred genre would be an internal family story-mystery-action-adventure-dystopian-romance.

How much does music/movies/TV shows influence your stories?

I try to keep that sort of thing from seeping into my subconscious.

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

During my lifetime I’ve met a lot of people who said that they wanted to write a book. To the best of my knowledge, none of them ever did. In 2017, just before my 70th birthday, a friend asked me when I was going to finish “my book.” I told her I wasn’t sure. I was still working on it. She badgered me to promise I would finish that book by the end of 2017. I made her that promise, and as a result, I finished and published my first two books before my 70th birthday in 2018. Since then I’ve completed and self-published six books, one nonfiction self-help, and five novels. Don’t let that book you have in your go unwritten.

 

NaNoWriMo profile: https://nanowrimo.org/participants/david-joel-miller

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Thank you so much, David for taking the time to share with us a little bit about yourself and your writing experiences.  Best of luck for your NaNoWriMo! If anyone has any questions or comments for him please leave them in the Comment section.

#NaNoWriMo #IWSG: Finding Inspiration

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NaNoWriMo Time!

It’s November and many of you are probably participating in the NaNoWriMo. I am as well. And so far, I’m not off to a very good start sitting at just a little over 3,000 words. Granted, my actual goal for this project isn’t to write 50k but 12k words so if I take that into consideration I’m actually right on par.

I’ve been doing NaNo on and off since 2008, and with each of them I tend to run out of steam in the next week or so.

The dreaded “muddle middle.”

Finding Inspiration To Keep It Going

The key is not to give up on the story, but find inspiration to jump start the writing process. Here are a few that I’ve used:

!. Create a playlist or soundtrack of your novel.  This works for me nearly every time. You can use You Tube or Apple Music to set up a playlist.  Pandora is another good one.  I use mainly You Tube. What about you?

2. If your story was to be made into a movie, which actors/actresses would you want to play the parts of your main characters? I am in the process of doing this for my NaNo project.  I will post on this later.

3. Pick one or more characters and interview them.  Sometime it’s just a matter of getting to know your main characters better that will jump start the creative juice.

4. Create a trailer for your project.  I love doing this!  I use Kizoa to create trailers for various projects.  This can help you flesh out the major plot/character arcs of your story.

 

Now, what about you? What methods do you use for inspiration?

 

#NaNoWriMo #Interview: Renee Scattergood

*This year I wanted to provide a spotlight for a few writers who have decided to participate in National Novel Writing Month. Enjoy getting to know them and learn from their insights!  If you’re doing NaNoWriMo and would like to be interviewed, go to the Contact page and drop me a message!

 

Tell us why do you participate in National Novel Writing Month

Well, the biggest reason for me is the community. I don’t need inspiration to write because I write every week (unless something comes up that prevents me). I love having a common goal with other writers and being able to cheer each other on. And I love meeting other writers. It’s just a fun event for me. I don’t care if I even win. I just do it for the experience.

How/When did you first learn about NaNoWriMo?

The first year I heard of NaNoWriMo was back in 2009. I can’t even remember how I heard about it. I probably read about it on someone’s blog. I participated that year and won, but it was under a pen name I no longer use.

How many years have you participated in NaNoWriMo?

Including this year, it’s a total of 5 years: 2009(W), 2014(W), 2016, 2017, 2019

I’ve participated in the camps every year since 2014.

What is your NaNoWriMo project for this year?

I’m going to be working on my dark fantasy novel series, A God’s Deception.

Do dreams inspire your writing ideas?

They do on occasion. I have some pretty crazy dreams sometimes, but most often I don’t even remember them.

What’s your favorite television show?

Right now it’s Big Bang Theory. It cracks me up. I’ve been binge-watching it on Netflix.

How do you get into the minds of your characters?

I close my eyes and visualize the scene I’m writing. I try to feel and experience everything they’re feeling and experiencing, then I write it down.

What is your preferred genre to write in?

Fantasy, most definitely. I love creating new worlds.

Here’s the link to my NaNo profilehttps://nanowrimo.org/participants/rscatts

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Thank you so much, Renee for taking the time to share with us a little bit about yourself and your writing experiences.  Best of luck for your NaNoWriMo! If anyone has any questions or comments for her please leave them in the Comment section.

#NaNoWriMo #Interview: Ian Healy

*This year I wanted to provide a spotlight for a few writers who have decided to participate in National Novel Writing Month. Enjoy getting to know them and learn from their insights!  If you’re doing NaNoWriMo and would like to be interviewed, go to the Contact page and drop me a message!

Tell us why do you participate in National Novel Writing Month

Originally, I did because I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. That was more years ago than I care to count. Now I do it simply to get a jump start on a particular project. I try to release 2-3 books of my own every year, and getting a 50k boost in one month always helps me reach that.

How/When did you first learn about NaNoWriMo?

It was on a forum. Someone mentioned it and I asked what it was. The rest, as they say, is history.

How many years have you participated in NaNoWriMo?

I’ve skipped a couple years here and there, but I am about to embark upon my 15th NaNo. I have never failed to reach the goal, but I suppose there’s a first time for everything!

Being a NaNo veteran, are there any advice you might offer for a newbie?

Sometimes it feels like you don’t have time to write. Don’t always feel like you have to carve out a 2-3 hour block of time to try to reach your goal. If you can write on your phone or tablet, knock out a paragraph or two at various times during the day. Handwrite a page that you can transfer into your manuscript later. Email yourself. Writing a couple thousand words can be a daunting task sometimes, but almost anyone can write a couple paragraphs without much effort. Do that a few times over the course of the day and suddenly you’ll be at your target without realizing it. Writing a NaNo book is like writing anything else: you do it one word at a time.

Also, give yourself permission to write shitty stuff. It’s okay if it sucks. It’s okay if it’s so bad you’re ashamed to ever show it to anyone. It’s okay if it doesn’t even make sense. That’s what rewrites are for. Spend November getting your word mileage down. Don’t go back and rewrite anything until December, or even later. Worried you might forget? Leave yourself a note in the manuscript, but then keep going.

What is your NaNoWriMo project for this year?

It’s a fantasy novel called Roast Wyvern and Other Recipes. Think Anthony Bourdain meets Lord of the Rings.

If you were to introduce yourself to a group of strangers, what would you say?

“Hi, I’m Ian Thomas Healy, president, publisher, and chief bottle washer of Local Hero Press.” That’s actually my standard introduction at panels when I’m doing them at cons.

Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what kind of music?

I tend to create playlists for specific books. My Soldiers of Fortune WIP, for example, is set in the early 90s and is an homage to the hyperviolent comic books of the time. I’m listening to a list with lots of grunge in it right now (Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Paw, Screaming Trees, etc.).

Do dreams inspire your writing ideas?

Unfortunately, I almost never remember my dreams.

Who is your favorite author? Why?

My current favorite author is Becky Chambers. Her Wayfarers series is truly amazing.

Favorite time of year?

Summer. I’m a delicate flower and I hate being cold.

What’s your favorite television show?

Right now, I’d have to go with The Expanse. It’s just so good and written so well.

How do you get into the minds of your characters?

With a bone saw, hammer, and chisel.

Please tell us about your celebrity crush.

Hmmm. I’m so bad at knowing celebrities. Pass.

What is your preferred genre to write in?

It’s pretty self-evident from my catalog that superheroes are my butter zone.

How much does music/movies/TV shows influence your stories?

Movies/shows with amazing set pieces, gorgeous visuals, etc. are always inspiring to me. Music of nearly all kinds is also inspirational. Although I prefer music without lyrics for writing, sometimes I still get lost in it and my fingers stop typing as I enjoy it.

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

I’m a sucker for giving away free ebooks and audiobooks to people who want to review them. Anyone who wants one can reach out to me anytime via my website, facebook pages, or on the twitters.

 

NaNoWriMo link: https://nanowrimo.org/participants/ian-thomas-healy/projects/the-queen-s-feast

Facebook: www.facebook.com/localheropress, www.facebook.com/authorianthomashealy

Twitter: twitter.com/localheropress, twitter.com/ianthealy

Website: www.localheropress.com, www.ianthealy.com

 

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Thank you so much, Ian for taking the time to share with us a little bit about yourself and your writing experiences.  Best of luck for your NaNoWriMo! If anyone has any questions or comments for him please leave them in the Comment section.

#NaNoWriMo #Interview: E.S. Barrison

*This year I wanted to provide a spotlight for a few writers who have decided to participate in National Novel Writing Month. Enjoy getting to know them and learn from their insights!  If you’re doing NaNoWriMo and would like to be interviewed, go to the Contact page and drop me a message!

 

 

Tell us why do you participate in National Novel Writing Month?

The challenge! I’m already motivated to write, so this month gives me added motivation with a firm deadline to at least hit 50,000 words (although last year I surpassed that, and hope to do so again this year).

It also has been a great way to make friends. Last year I built a close relationship with a few writers I met online…and honestly I can say, though we’ve never met, they’ve become some of my best friends. We help motivate each other and inspire, and without them I don’t think I’d be where I am in my projects now.

How/When did you first learn about NaNoWriMo?

I first learned about it in 2011. I was finishing high school at the time, and the school library was issuing a challenge for anyone who wanted to participate in NaNoWriMo. I’m not sure what came out of it as I might have been one of the only ones to join, but I remember joining and winning NaNo! I still have that idea on standby to revisit one day.

How many years have you participated in NaNoWriMo?

Let’s see…I participated in 2011, 2012, 2013, and then took a break for a couple years, only to pick it up again in 2017 and 2018. So this will be my sixth year participating!

Of the five previous years, I won three of them.

What is your NaNoWriMo project for this year?

This year I am working on Book 3 in my series, The Life & Death Cycle, titled The Towers of Knoll.

If all goes according to plan, I will be publishing the first book, The Mist Keeper’s Apprentice, next year. Last year for NaNo I worked on the backbone to Book 2, A Pool of Peony, which helped with rounding out the rough edges of the first book.

I’m hoping NaNo this year will help me the same way it did last year.  

Do dreams inspire your writing ideas?

This question is EXTREMELY relevant to my NaNoWriMo idea. Yes! They do!

Often they are little snippets. For instance, I had a dream that involved towers that moved in the water. It sounds weird, but since when aren’t dreams weird? Well, I’ve added an element like that to my story! I won’t go into details…but I think it’s an interesting addition.

How do you get into the minds of your characters?

There are a few ways I get into the mind of my characters: driving, exercising, and brainstorming.

I have a 40 minute commute and often during that time I put myself in the mind of my characters and plot, daydream, etcetera. Usually this is when I work out my worst plot holes and define little things about my characters. I ask myself, oh hey, how would the protagonist react to this situation? Of course, it would help if I could write this down while driving!

Now, I know sometimes it’s hard to focus on anything but your lungs dying when you exercise, but for me it’s when I work out the biggest plot problems and really explore my characters! When I come back from a run, or from the gym, or from a swim I feel reenergized! It’s a good way to clear my head and refocus, since when I’m running…it’s just my characters and me.

Finally, by brainstorming, I don’t mean alone. I mean with others. With my writing buddies, I often toss ideas around or we ask questions like “oh hey, what would your main character do in this scenario?” or “how would they react to this?” and so forth. By working with them, I think I’ve fleshed out my characters…and helped them develop theirs as well!

What is your preferred genre to write in?

Fantasy, without a doubt! I love creating worlds and testing the limits of my imagination!

Anything else you’d like to share with us? 

As I mentioned, I plan to launch my first book, The Mist Keeper’s Apprentice, in 2020. For more information you can check out my website esbarrison-author.com.

If you’d like to add me on NaNoWriMo, you can here: https://nanowrimo.org/participants/elaynabwriting

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Thank you so much, E.S. for taking the time to share with us a little bit about yourself and your writing experiences.  Best of luck for your NaNoWriMo! If anyone has any questions or comments for her please leave them in the Comment section.

 

 

 

 

It Is Finished #IWSG #Writing

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As a writer, it is a good feeling when you can declare a draft of your book finished.  At least until it’s time to begin the edit and revision process.

How many times are you able to do this?

A dozen of times? More?

For me, I was able to do this once.

One time.

It was a book I wrote back in 2008 for the National Novel Writing Month. It was titled Hope Falls.  It was a science fiction-horror story.

I still have this draft although I am not sure if it will ever be published.

The story and the characters remain in my head. They want their story to be told.

But there are so many plot holes and changes that must be made.

So much…

Yeah, I’m intimidated as heck.

So, it continues to sit.  I may get to it. Then again, I may not.

Wait, my muse is telling that I did complete one other book.

I wouldn’t call it a book; it was more of a novelette sized story. A romance one that I wrote specifically for Wattpad. Okay, okay I finished two books.

Drafts.

This newest story may have more hope to see publication of some form. And since it was so short, I don’t feel quite so intimidated to go back and start revising.

Does size really matters? Does this means that the bigger the project the more intimidating it appears when you begin the editing phase?

Hmm..it is true that I tend to focus the majority of my time on the short stories, and more often than not, they are released into the world for others to read. And in fact, just about every book I’ve attempted have been abandoned before I even get to the middle part.

What does this mean for me?

Perhaps I’m not cut out (or destined) to be that prolific writer who could churn out more than two books each year (Nora Roberts is the first to come to mind), and I’m really okay with that. After writing for as long as I have, I have learned to take the middle ground in that I really enjoy (and prefer) to write the shorter stories, and that there is absolutely nothing wrong with that!

What about you? Do you find it challenging to complete a long story (or a book)?

 

Q&A with Beth and Ezra Barany about PLAN YOUR NOVEL LIKE A PRO

 

 

*Today we have two very special and amazing guests with us! Let’s give Beth and Ezra Barany, both award-winning authors, a warm welcome! 

 

  1. Tell us a little bit about each of you, and why you both decided to work together as teachers and mentors.  When you’re not helping other writers, you both also write fiction. Tell us about them.

 

Beth here. Our collaboration didn’t happen overnight. When Ezra and I first met we were both writers, but not yet teachers. Pretty soon after getting married we decided to teach overseas. So we both got training in teaching English to foreigners. Then we went to Paris to teach English for two years.

When we got back home, Ezra got his credential to be a high school physics teacher and I went to work in a bookstore and then an office.

Fast forward 3 years, I decided to start a business helping writers as a creativity coach. Pretty soon when I started doing presentations, Ezra helped me with some of them. Then he had a break from teaching high school and started to teach more actively with me. He approaches writing differently than I do, so I really wanted to include his perspective so that the writers could benefit.

Over the years I’ve been asking him to teach various aspects that he knows well so that we have a more robust group of courses for writers.

I write young adult fantasy, paranormal romance, and science fiction mystery, and have series published in the first two. Many of my interests have been very different than Ezra’s and that’s been great. When I met him he was writing short stories in horror, mystery, and surrealistic fiction. Ezra has published 3 books in his Torah Codes series.

 

Presto! Ezra speaking! As Beth said, it took some time before we worked together as teachers. But uniting our teaching superpowers was inevitable by the way we both loved the craft and business of writing and wanted the world to see how fun it could be.

We toyed with the idea of cowriting a story, but our genres are so different, that we find it’s best if we stick to editing each other’s work.

 

  1. In what ways are your creative process different from one another, and how did you manage to weave them together as you teach and mentor other writers?

 

Beth here: I am much more of an organic writer than Ezra. I start with character and evolve the plot from there. I also start with a clear idea of my genre, and I think this is where he and I are similar.

And because I have an organic approach to the writing process I would notice where there were holes and ask to see if Ezra could fill them. Since he has a more linear approach to planning his novels I knew that would be helpful to some people, and I learned from it too.

 

Abracadabra! This is Ezra! I’m a plotter. A severe plotter. We’re talking write-every-detail-of-each-scene-on-index-cards plotter.

I tend to start with the “Holy crap! I didn’t see that coming!” idea of what happens in the thriller, and how it will make the reader want to share the thriller with all her friends.

From there, I think of the main moments that fit a standard hero’s journey or Act I II and III model, those moments that lead up to the climax I already have in mind. I usually do so by using a problem-solution tool, such as Problem: Jacob gets attacked by lobsters at the restaurant; Solution: Jennifer, chef extraordinaire, fends off the lobsters with a hatchet. I scribble the problem-solution scenes down on index cards and then I fill in missing scenes on more index cards.

My biggest issue is character development, and that’s where Beth saves the day. She asks me questions about the characters that make me discover there’s more to the story than I originally intended.

Overall, I’d say Beth’s strengths are my weaknesses in writing and vice-versa, so our skills complement each other in helping round out the skills of other writers.

 

  1. You both just published a book, Plan Your Novel Like a Pro: And Have Fun Doing It! Tell us about it, and about how you both put this together.

 

Beth here:This book is based on a course we have been teaching for over five years. The material just evolved out of mostly my process and then adding in Ezra’s process where it made sense.

I was the main driver in producing an editing the book and Ezra looked at everything, added editorial comments, and created the awesome cover with my input.

 

Ezra here: What she said.

 

  1. Where can we find this book?

 

You can find this book at all these vendors:

Amazon

Nook

Kobo

iBooks

Other vendors

 

  1. Where is your favorite place to write?  Why?

 

Beth here: I love to plan and write my first draft at cafés. I love the ambient noise, the fact that even though I am alone in the project I am surrounded by other people doing their thing, and it gets me out of my house, so I have a change of pace.

 

Voila! Ezra at the post now! I love to dig holes in the ground and find chests of gold bullion and non-sequiturs.

As for places to write, I, too, like writing my first drafts at cafés. I like the possibility of someone coming up to me and saying, “You’re writing a thriller? No way! You’re the most amazing person in the world!”

It hasn’t happened yet, but yeah. That would be cool.

 

  1. In each of your opinion, what are some of the biggest obstacles facing writers today?

 

Beth here: One of the biggest obstacles facing writers today is just starting the process. Often writers don’t know where to begin and that can be overwhelming and confusing. Another huge obstacle is that they feel that there might be something wrong with them because their ideas don’t fit the mainstream. Lastly I see writers not even starting because they don’t think they can do it even though they really want to write a novel.

 

Ezra’s mouth talking now: I agree. B.I.C. is one of the toughest tasks writers have to overcome. B.I.C. stands for Butt In Chair. Getting started is hard for me and, I believe, for other writers. But there’s the five-minute solution. As soon as a writer sits down, tells herself, “I’m going to write for five minutes,” and starts writing, those five minutes typically end up being a half hour.

Another tough obstacle is the desire to get it right the first time. Analysis paralysis. I tell myself that my goal is to write crap and have fun doing it. Often, if I’m having fun writing the story, readers will enjoy reading it. Also, giving myself permission to write crap takes the pressure off to be perfect.

 

  1. Any additional comments or advice you’d like to add for our readers?

 

Beth here: If you have the dream and the desire to write a novel but don’t know where to begin, then I recommend you start by setting the timer for five minutes and just write. Nonstop. Not caring about typos or anything. Not caring if you repeat yourself or write nonsense. Writing is a practice, writing is something you can get better at. And if you want to write a novel, you absolutely can. I believe in you.

 

Ezra here: *hug*

 

********

 

 

ABOUT THE BOOK

“I can honestly say this book saved a manuscript that was headed for the shredder!” — Ann W. Shannon

This book will help you get excited to plan your novel. The tools shared here are designed to spark your muse and give you confidence when you sit down to write your story. Plan Your Novel Like A Pro: And Have Fun Doing It! is for organic writers and pansters who want a roadmap to follow, so that they can let their creativity loose.

This 168-book comes with 20 chapters, lots of exercises, and a free bonus workbook.

 

About Beth Barany

Beth Barany is an award-winning novelist, master neuro-linguistic programming practitioner, and certified creativity coach for writers. She specializes in helping writers experience clarity, so they can write, revise, and proudly publish their novels to the delight of their readers. Her courses are packed with useful hands-on information that you can implement right away. She runs an online school for fiction writers and a 12-month group coaching program to help them get published. More resources on publishing, book marketing, and novel writing are on her blog, Writer’s Fun Zone. When she’s not helping writers, Beth writes magical tales of romance, mystery, and adventure that empower women and girls to be the heroes of their own lives.

About Ezra Barany

Ezra Barany loves riveting readers with thrillers, but by order of the Department of Motor Vehicles he must place a warning on every book cover, “Do not read while driving.” His first two books in The Torah Codes series were award-winning international bestsellers. In his free time, he has eye-opening discussions on the art of writing novels with his wife and book coach Beth Barany. A high school physics teacher, Ezra lives in Oakland with his beloved wife and two cats working on the next book in The Torah Codes series. Ezra, not the cats. For a free short story in The Torah Codes series, “Mourner’s Kaddish,” go to http://www.thetorahcodes.com/.

 

 

 

 

#Writerslife How Does A Writer Survive Now-A-Days?

by rawpixel via Unsplash

 

You’d think with all the technology we have on hand, as writers, we’d find a way to make a living. But the truth is, technology has made it so that anyone can publish therefore flooding the digital world with stories, poetry, how-tos, comics, etc. it has become nearly impossible to make any kind of a living.

So, how does a writer survive now-a-days?

  1. Community. Being a part of a community of writers and authors (guilds, groups, tribes, followers, link-ups, etc.) helps you through times when you’re feeling alone and overwhelmed. Plus, through a community, you’ll have access to opportunities to further your career/dream (a community tends to be filled with people from various creative/professional backgrounds).
  2. Diversify. I’ve noticed that many successful authors these days are also teachers, coaches and mentors, working with those just beginning their journey as writers. Others speak at various conferences, summits, and events spreading their knowledge as well as promoting their published works. For those who dislike public speaking of any kind, there are other opportunities such as writing guest posts for blogs, journals, and magazines with large subscribers, or content writing/freelance writing, etc.
  3. Exposure.  With so many ebooks or print books in the market these days, it’s nearly impossible for any potential reader to find your published novel.  You need to find ways to get your name/brand/written work before as many eyes as you can. A few ways to do this: publish shorter works in ezines, journals, and magazines; set up a blog and write regular posts; guest posts on other blogs that have a high number of subscribers; set up interviews with various media outlets (popular blogs, podcasts, book reviewers with their own websites/blogs, etc..)

What about you? Can you think of other ways for a writer to survive in this highly competitive creative industry?