Today’s author has written pretty much anything you can imagine writing and won Nanowrimo multiple times. She’s also self published a textbook with her husband and multiple Nanowrimo novels, but you’ll find out more about that in the interview.
Please give author Devorah Fox a warm welcome.
1. Can you tell us a bit about your books?
I have National Novel Writing Month to thank for launching my novelist career. The Lost King, Book One of The Bewildering Adventures of King Bewilliam high fantasy series was my NaNoWriMo 2010 project. The createspace coupon that I got for winning that challenge spurred me on to put the book between covers. The Lost King was received with enthusiasm and fans asked “when’s the next book coming out?” Gee, I hadn’t planned on series but since they mentioned it, there was more story to tell. Book Two, The King’s Ransom, was my NaNoWriMo 2012 project and Book Three, The King’s Redress, was my NaNoWriMo 2013 project. For Camp NaNoWriMo in 2012 I worked on my contemporary thriller, Naked Came the Sharks.
2. When did you first decide you wanted to become a published author?
I first became published in 1988 when my late husband, Mike Byrnes, and I released our textbook, Bumper to Bumper, The Complete Guide to Tractor-Trailer Operations. We were self-publishers before self-publishing was cool. Continually updated, that book has been in print ever since.
3. How did you find out about Nanowrimo?
A fellow member of the Rockport Writers Group sent me an email about it. I had never heard of it. I can’t say what it was about trying to write 50,000 words in 30 days that sounded like fun but I decided to give it a whirl.
4. How much planning did you do before starting Nanowrimo?
I don’t recall doing any planning the first time. I had had the story in my head for years and pretty much knew where I was going with it, or thought I did.
5. What was your first Nanowrimo experience like?
It was a lot of work and it continues to be a lot of work. There were days when it took nearly the entire day to write those 1667 words and that’s still true. Perhaps I don’t write very fast or maybe it’s that I keep stopping to do research. At some point during every marathon I find myself despairing, “This time I’m just not going to reach the goal.” However, I do find the process of stifling the inner editor and just letting the words fly to be liberating.
6. What advice would you give people attempting Nanowrimo this year?
- Take advantage of the fellowship opportunities. A local writer group that still meets today got its start to support NaNoWriMo 2010 and the woman who served as Municipal Leader then continues to facilitate the group year ‘round in addition to her ML duties. I often think that I should take a pass on the November meet-ups and stay home and write instead. However, the meet-ups always prove to be worthwhile. Sometimes I come away with an idea to advance my project, other times I simply get revved up about writing and go home recharged.
- Give write-ins and sprints a try. Our local ML hosts both in-person and online events. I’m a morning-energy person and rarely write at night, but during NaNoWriMo I surprise myself by getting hundreds of words written during evening online sprint sessions.
- Remember, this is supposed to be fun. Throw writing caution to the wind and let your imagination run wild. Write something, write anything. It doesn’t have to make sense. You can go back and change it later, even throw it out entirely. A scene that represented an entire day’s work on The King’s Ransom never made it into the final version because the story took a different direction.
I should take my own advice about having fun. I tend to get obsessive compulsive about the whole thing. The month-long marathon is about the only time that I get to work on novels so I feel that I have to make the most of it. I steal time from my day job and other writing responsibilities such as my blogs and my Island Moon newspaper column. For 30 days I make writing 1667 words on my NaNoWriMo project Priority Number One. I must say I am really looking forward to cutting loose during NaNoWriMo 2014. I find the steampunk-inspired graphics for this year’s marathon to be especially energizing.
7. What are your plans this coming November?
To my surprise I’ll be working on Book Four in my King Bewilliam trilogy (a little writer humor there). “Book Four” is likely to be Book One of a “King Bewilliam’s Continuing Adventures” series. When I wrote The Lost King I never imagined that it would go on to become a series but the King’s fans want more and frankly, I miss the guy and his knights. I’m looking forward to seeing what trouble they’ll get into next. I already know there will be castles and dragons and battles fought not only against mythical monsters but also personal demons.
I will be taking time out for the Fifth Annual Great Turkey Fry. The day before Thanksgiving I gather with friends and we deep-fry about eight birds. Each takes about half an hour and while we’re getting everyone’s Thanksgiving Day dinner cooked, we sit around talking, snacking and drinking. I wrote about the first Great Turkey Fry on my blog at http://devorahfox.com/index.php/festivals/fried-turkey.
Winner of multiple National Novel Writing Month marathons, Devorah Fox has written for television, radio, magazines, newspapers, and the Internet. Publisher and editor of the BUMPERTOBUMPER® books for commercial motor vehicle drivers, she is also developer of the Easy CDL apps for the iPhone and iPad and has written test preparation guides for Barron’s Educational Series, Inc. Born in Brooklyn, New York, she has lived in Port Aransas, Texas, since 2005. Secretary of the Rockport Writers Group, Fox writes the “Dee-Scoveries” blog at http://devorahfox.com and column of the same name for The Island Moon newspaper. She wrote her first novel in the third grade and has written several more since including The Lost King, The King’s Ransom, and The King’s Redress of the acclaimed literary fantasy series The Bewildering Adventures of King Bewilliam, and Naked Came the Sharks, a contemporary thriller set in the Texas Coastal Bend.
Visit her at http://devorahfox.com