Reader’s Edyn

I always felt like I could do something more than just read. Finally, I have found both a creative outlet and a chance to do something meaningful with my reading. This blog was created in appreciation of and tribute to all of the authors who have brought me joy through their books. These reviews are my way of giving back to authors and providing recognition for the hard work that each one completes every day!

Monday, November 21, 2011

NaNoWriMo! The Latest Developments ...

Welcome to NaNoWriMo: The Journey of Four Authors
Week 3

Last week LaurieLu of BonaFideReflections and I changed things up a bit. For those of you who are just joining us, this is how it works. In order for LaurieLu and I to share the responsibility of maintaining this blog, we have split everything in half. This way no one will be inundated with too much info (we hope). Both blogs will have different content, but you can visit them separately, or back-to-back. Whichever is more convenient for you. At the end of this post, I will link to LaurieLu’s contribution.

If you are new to out blog journey, you can view the previous entries by clicking below:
Week 2 – Reader’s Edyn

And for my moment of *FAN SQUEEEEE* My guest author today is the fantastic Theresa Romain! Yes, you read that right, THERESA ROMAIN!


And guess what, Yo, LaurieLu has a different guest author. Nope! My lips are zipped. You will have to hop your happy booties over there to discover this awesome lady for yourself! That’s the only clue you are getting’ – “her”. So without any further adieu, I give you:

NaNoWriMo, Week 3!


I’d like to begin this week with our brand spankin’ new logo created by the fabulous Kyla of Kyla Novelista.

Yes, I introduced the logo last week, but I love it so much that you will likely see my giving her props every week! Hey, I’m all about rewarding a job well done and giving credit where credit is due. Otherwise, this blog would never have been created. So why not give her some love? She deserves it! *fist pump* If you don’t mind being stalked by a Zombabe *rawr* follow her on Twitter @Kyla_Holt Dew eet! Follow her!

Onto Our NaNo Ladies

 **Sara Grayson**

It is with my deepest regret that I must inform you that Sara has dropped out of NaNo. She had a ton of other commitments – those we refer to as “real life” and felt that in her best interest, she should hold off on writing … for now. Have no fear, Sara has in no way given up. She will prevail when she has a bit more time to dedicate to her writing. And she is the perfect example of tough choices that sometimes have to be made when writing. Sara did not make this decision easily. But in the end, we all have to do what is best for us. So Sara, we are all pulling for you. When you jump back on the writing wagon, we will all be there to cheer you on! Do not despair. Your cheering team is waiting patiently to bring those cheers back around to you. Best of luck! We can’t wait to see you writing again.

So this brings us to our lovely, Gigi! Gigi, my lovely, take it away! 

 **Gigi Pryce**

Is the story you are writing turning out to be a lot different from when you first started this process?
Yes completely. My characters are going in a completely going in a strange direction but I like it.Is this a good or bad  thing? it’s a good thing its leading me to be more creative and try different angles.
What or who has been the biggest inspiration for you?
I use music, I love love love writing to music.
Do you have any particular habits or quirks you MUST do when writing?
No not particularly.
How do your friends and/or family feel about your decision to participate in NaNoWriMo?
They have been really, really understanding and tolerant of my writing time.
Have you had to adjust any of your goals to meet the challenges “real life” throws your way? If so, can you share an example?
Yes, I got very sick and had to take some time off from writing but luckily I was able to catch up.
Name one thing you have learned so far that you feel is very important.
Oh this is a tough one. I’ve learned that outlining is key, you can change the outline but having an outline is key.
Name one thing you have learned so far that really has no benefit.
I have learned that I can write, and have a story to tell and honestly I love it. I will be writing more stuff in the future and for that I’m glad.
At this point, how is your sanity?
Totally in tact. I have had lots of friends support me and its been great.
Random thought:


**And now we have a real treat for you all! I recently talked to a Twitter peep and** **explained to her about Sara’s circumstances. And guess what? She is doing Nano** **also and has graciously offered to allow us to follow her NaNo writing journey!** **Weeeee! I know! You are crazy excited!**

Please allow me to introduce:

Amanda Nelson

Pen Name: Amanda Nelson
NaNo User Name: BookBender
Your NaNo Goals:
1)      To reach 50K.
2)      To finish a story
3)      To practice writing
Blog: On A Book Bender
Twitter: @BookBender

Story Synopsis:
Currently Untitled - MC (main character) thinks that teaching shifters proper classroom manners and the increasing unrest over shifters being allowed on campus are her biggest obstacles in life.  She's wrong.

So let’s jump straight into how you are doing with NaNo, Amanda

Is the story you are writing turning out to be a lot different from when you first started this process? Is this a good or bad  thing?

Ha!  Well, before November began, I had a story planned out – a mystery – and it only took me a few days of real writing before I realized it wasn’t going anywhere.  I scrapped the idea, and decided freshen up an old story idea with some supernatural creatures.  At that point, I wasn’t really sure where I wanted to go with the story, so I just started writing.  When I changed my story, I decided that this month had to be more about practice and identifying my strengths and weaknesses as a writer.  It was a good thing.

What or who has been the biggest inspiration for you?

Kelly (Psst: that would be the one and only Kelly featured on BonaFide *nods*) has been my biggest inspiration simply because she keeps me motivated with our competitions to have the highest word count.  Attempting to dethrone her makes me push myself harder than if I was doing this on my own.  I have also been inspired by some really odd dreams, one of which involved being chased and being forced to eat sugary foods.  There were also hard boiled eggs and hills.

Do you have any particular habits or quirks you MUST do when writing?

I usually need to listen to music with headphones on.  I have found it doesn’t matter what kind of music it is, just so long as I can put my headphones on and get lost in writing.  Whenever I try to write without headphones, I get distracted much more easily.

How do your friends and/or family feel about your decision to participate in NaNoWriMo?

Well, I was originally urged by one of my friends to try NaNo, so she was excited.  I’ve told my mom and boyfriend, but they just kind of shrug and leave me alone to write.  My Twitter friends have been extremely encouraging and supportive.  It’s a good balance, actually, because I can disconnect myself from the Internet when I need to force myself to write, and that’s a lot easier to do than kicking someone out of my space.

Have you had to adjust any of your goals to meet the challenges “real life” throws your way? If so, can you share an example?

Real life really kicked me in the pants this past week.  I found that NaNo was attempting to take over my personal life, and I nearly gave up on NaNo, even though I was ahead of the word count.  In the end, it came down to better time management skills and seeing things through to the end, though I am dreadfully close to losing the buffer I had built up.  

Name one thing you have learned so far that you feel is very important.

The person that holds me back the most is me.  A big part of my struggle to write is learning how to shut off my critical side and just get write.  At this point, I need to finish a story, not write a masterpiece.

I also think that Kelly’s difficulties with her computer this week drive home the importance of always backing up your work.  My flash drive died on me in January, and I lost the bulk of my grad school career.  I have been incredibly careful about my work since then, but Kelly’s STD infected computer was a good reminder.

Name one thing you have learned so far that really has no benefit.

Word counts vary a lot between word processing programs.  I think they already tell you this on the NaNo site, so I should have known.  But this week I noticed a difference of roughly 350 words between my Word document and my Google doc.  It makes me wonder how they count words.  You would think it would be the same or similar. Words are words are words.  Right?

At this point, how is your sanity?

I lost any remaining sanity that I may have had during my year of Master thesis hell.  Though I’ve had a low point or two this month, it’s nothing compared to thesis agony.

Random thought:

According to my boyfriend, who watched a show on the Amish, if you dance to music that has a drum beat, you will end up in Amish hell.  GUESS WHAT!  I’m going to Amish hell!  *dances to the beat of a drum*

Ladies, may I just say, I am in awe of you. Despite your own reservations, I could not do this! You inspire me! Keep up the fantastic work! Need a cheer? *\o/* Ready … okay! *\o/* Let’s go Gigi, let’s go! *clap, clap* Let’s go Amanda, let’s go! *shakes pom poms* You can do it Gigi, way to go! *clap, clap* You can do it Amanda, way to go! *spirit fingers* *\o/* *high kick* Whooooooo! *\o/* Okay, I am out of breath! Keep it up girls, you are doing awesome!

Now I’d like to take a moment for:

 NaNoWriMo Tips

Brought to you by the lovely Kyla at Kyla Novelista. Chick has mad stalking skillz on Twitter, Yo! Today Kyla has brought to us, four quotes from some very talented and wise sources. (Hint: if you look at the Twitter handles, you will know exactly how to find these geniuses should you want to follow them.) Ready for some excellent snippets of wisdom? Are you sure? Okay, here you go …

Was I right or was I right? Sha! I know. *buffs nails* What can I say, it’s a gift! For serious!

And now, we have reached my moment of glory for this week! Trust me y’all, I am in need of a moment of glory this week! *nods*

*shouts, whoops, hollas, applause*

 Theresa Romain holds degrees in psychology, English literature, and history, an impractical education that allowed her to read everything she could get her hands on.  She has worked, interned, and translated for libraries and universities, all of which fed her love of books and her fascination with the past.  She lives with her family in the Midwest and lives online at You can also find her on FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.

Theresa’s novel. SEASON FOR TEMPTATION just released October 1. I absolutely love the description and can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of this book! Want to know what I am speaking of? Here is the blurb:

Two Sisters. . .

Julia Herington is overjoyed when her stepsister, Louisa, becomes engaged--to a viscount, no less. Louisa's only hesitation is living a life under the ton's critical gaze. But with his wry wit and unconventional ideas, Julia feels James is perfect for Louisa. She can only hope to find a man like him for herself. Exactly like him, in fact. . .

One Choice. . .       

As the new Viscount Matheson, James wished to marry quickly and secure his title. Kind, intelligent Louisa seemed a suitable bride. . .until he met her stepsister. Julia is impetuous--and irresistible. Pledged to one sister, yet captivated by another, what is he to do? As Christmas and the whirl of the London season approach, James may be caught in a most scandalous conundrum, one that only true love, a bit of spiritous punch--and a twist of fate--will solve. . .

Fabulous, yes? I know it! You can get your own copy by clicking on the book cover below! Add it to your wish list for Christmas, e-mail the link to a friend or family member who will buy it for you, buy it now … just get a copy!

  You can purchase this book via    Amazon    Barnes & Noble    Indie Bound    Powell's

Sooooo Theresa … Why are you participating in NaNoWriMo?

I’m participating informally—that is, I’m not enrolled on the NaNoWriMo site, but I’m shooting for a 50K month—because I have a book deadline. I want to give myself time to polish the book to a beautiful glossy sheen before it’s due, and that means finishing the rough draft right around the end of November.

What is your writing goal during NaNoWriMo?

First, to finish a rough draft of my current book (it’ll be published by Kensington in October 2012 as SEASON FOR SURRENDER). Second, to push myself. I’ve found if I set a goal of writing 1,000 words a day, I meet that. But if I raise my goal to 2,000 words a day, I meet that too.

In your opinion, what is the greatest advantage of NaNoWriMo?

I think the greatest advantage is that it can help a writer develop discipline. 50K in one month is, um, a LOT of writing. 50K in one month is intense enough, over a long enough span of time, that it won’t happen unless the writer sits at the keyboard pretty much every day.

And that’s what the writing life is like. Writing is immensely satisfying; it’s what makes me feel like I’ve done something worthwhile with my day. But it’s not always fun. Everyone has off days, even writers. NaNoWriMo gives writers a taste of what a writing career is like, and what it takes to sustain it.

Note: I’m not saying you have to write 50K a month, every month, although there are definitely writers who do. The important part is the discipline: sitting at the keyboard even when you’re tired, or you think you’re out of ideas, or it just doesn’t sound fun. Believe me, I’ve felt all those things! But the fantastic thing about writing—ok, two fantastic things—is that 1) you can always write SOMETHING. And 2) even if it’s horrible, you can fix it later.

Is there a disadvantage of NaNoWriMo? If so, what?

It depends on the writer. Some people like to draft straight through; others prefer to edit as they go along. The first type is going to have a much easier time reaching 50K words, but those words won’t be ready for querying to agents or submitting to publishers.

If there’s any disadvantage, then, it might be that the sense of achievement at meeting the word goal leads people to think that the work is done. Ready to submit. Ready for publication. But no first draft is ready for publication! Revision is what separates “ok” from “good” and “good” from “zomgbooklove.”

Does it help to have writing buddies when participating in NaNoWriMo? Why or why not?

Ohhhhhh yes. Actually, I think it help to have writing buddies all the time. It’s sort of like having a workout buddy: if we make a pact to meet at the gym at 6 am one morning, I can’t let you down by oversleeping. I’ll go whether I feel like it or not, and once the workout’s over, we’ll be so glad we did it.

Similarly, if we promise each other we’ll write 2k a day, and we report in every day, then we’re accountable to each other.  We can’t let each other down. We’re supporting each other. There’s someone who cares whether we write every day. That can really help when the laundry piles up or the kids get sick or we’re tempted to watch Food Network all evening (uh, that last one’s purely hypothetical, I swear).

What advice would you like to provide for NaNoWriMo participants who have never published?

First: congratulations! Writing 50,000 words in one month is something to be really proud of. Most people with the intention of writing never get so far. So, pour yourself a giant glass of champagne.

For those writers who want to pursue publication, I’d suggest finding another writer who can serve as a critique partner. Getting honest opinions about your work can help you make it better. Revision is essential! Rarely does a story come out perfectly in the first draft.

Also, read widely in your genre. If you write, say, historical romance, read everything from your favorite authors, and try new ones, too. This will give you an idea of story pacing as well as what the market is looking for.

When you get to the point of looking for an agent (after you’ve revised your new novel until it’s as shiny as a mirror), there are lots of wonderful resources online to guide you. I did an overview on my blog once ( with links to sites that I found very helpful.

How can readers keep in touch with you?

Lots of ways! My website’s at, and my email address is posted on the Contact page. I’m also on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

She’s not kidding, Yo! She really responds when you tweet her! *nods* How fabulous is that? I’ll tell you! It is frickin fantastic. There is nothing like having an ability to communicate with our favorite authors. It’s a thrill! It’s excitement! It’s a rush! Don’t believe me? Follow Theresa and find out for yourself. She is a fantastic individual! Thank you so much for your contribution to this blog, Theresa. You have provided some excellent advice. *nods*

And now we have reached the conclusion of NaNoWriMo week 3. I hope you have all enjoyed your time here. If you like, please follow my blog and check out my previous reviews. And please leave your comments. We would love to hear your feedback. What do you think of NaNo? Are you participating? How do you like Theresa’s book? Anything! Don’t forget to check out LaurieLu with her NaNo contribution too. Click on her picture below to join the rest of the fun with another fabulous author and our 2 other aspiring author: Kelly and Liza. Until next week …


  1. Kendra--thanks so much for inviting me to blog with you. I love this series you and LaurieLu are running. Best of luck to the NaNo-ers!

    If anyone has questions for me, I'll try to give intelligent replies. And if I can't, I'll write you a haiku. :)

  2. Hi Theresa, Do you find it easier to write in the morning or the evening? Or do you write all day?

  3. ((hugs)) Sara. We've talked and I've threatened, so I KNOW you're not giving up on writing. And, when you're ready, we'll be here to crack the whip, do a cheer and get you moving.

    I see between here and Bona Fide, that our NaNoers are all having a rough time. I know that they've found support and I, for one, have tried to be there for people. You are all welcome to DM or @ me on Twitter, eMail or gChat me for advice, help, brainstorming or bitching. =)

    I am SUPER excited that Amanda joined in the fun and is allowing the stalking to shift to her. *nods* Totes approve. Keep up the good work, listen to Theresa and get the words down on paper. And, if you find you're short a couple words...


    That should help get you through.

    Nothing but love and support for you all!

  4. GayleC--it's 6:30 am here, so I guess I'd better say "morning." I like to get a start early, because then it's easier to go back and add more throughout the day.

    Since I work (day job) from home, I tend to alternate writing and workwork. Sometimes that helps me stay less tired; sometimes it makes me more tired. Still trying to find that perfect balance. :)

  5. Kyla, you're so encouraging! This is the great part of NaNo: for a month, every writer has a guaranteed support system.

    NaNo-ers: if you're not where you wanted to be, look back instead. How much have you accomplished since the beginning of the month? It's all progress, and all progress is good. :)
    Best wishes!

  6. Theresa,

    You are most welcome! I am absolutely thrilled to have you! You provided some excellent advice for our readers and writers. And congratulations on Season for Temptation! I'm serious when I say I can't wait to read it. It is just that ever-growing flipping to-read list ... but I WILL prevail! It shall be read! Thanks again! You have been a pleasure to work with and hope to collaborate again sometime in the future. :)


  7. Excellent question Gayle! And thanks so much for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed the interview. :)

  8. Kyla,
    You'd better be careful. You are about to surpass me as best cheerleader. *winks* But you said it - we are here for encouragement and support for all of our writers NaNo or not. Writing is hard work and our writers need encouragement - even the NYT Bestselling Authors need encouragement. It is an ongoing process and having a cheering section is valuable indeed! ~~~ And, yes, the week was a tough one, but our team prevailed. I am crazy proud of them all! *nods* ~~~ Amanda is a wonderful edition to the team! I am thrilled to have her! ~~~

    And Theresa is sooooo right - and progress is PROGRESS - do not get discouraged if you fall behind or feel like you aren't where you wanted to be. Every little bit you write is progress. You can all do it! I know you can! :)


  9. Wow! Great presentation! *claps* I am so proud to be a part of this! Thank you. If it were not for you, this would not have happened.

    Happy Reading,

  10. Thanks Laurie! It may have been my idea, but you have definitely done your part in keeping me motivated. Without you I would have been overwhelmed! Thanks so much for being my "wing-man" on this project! I can't wait to see where we are at the conclusion of NaNo! :) Weeeee!



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