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!

Friday, November 11, 2011

NaNoWriMo, Yo!

Welcome to NaNoWriMo: The Journey of Four Authors
Week 2

Last week LaurieLu of BonaFideReflections and I introduced a lot to you, our audience. We began with an explanation of what NaNoWriMo is. Let’s face it, I had zero clue and so did a lot of people. Wanting to satisfy my curiosity, we embarked on this fascinating and informative journey in all things NaNoWriMo.

We also introduced you to 4 aspiring writers who have singed on for the NaNoWriMo journey. We will be monitoring their progress weekly and providing insights such as their developments, their frustrations and successes, and their current state of sanity. J

This week we are going to change things up a little. 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.

And for my moment of *FAN SQUEEEEE* My guest author today is the fantastic Sierra Dean! Yes, you read that right, SIERRA DEAN!


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 2!


We begin this week with our brand spankin’ new logo created by the fabulous Kyla of Kyla Novelista.

*whoop and holla catcalls* No really, she loves it! C’mon y’all! Make a construction worker proud! This logo rocks my socks and deserves recognition! Que Fabuloso! If you want to check out Kyla, drop by her blog *here*! Or, 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

Sara dahling … How did you find out about NaNoWriMo?

All my tweeps using the darn Hash tage # NaNoWriMo and then going to the site. It only inspired me to try my hand at it.

What appeals to you about NaNoWriMo?

It s chance for anyone to give a try at writing.  From your professionals to the HS student looking for an outlet. It’s for everyone.

How has the writing process been going for you? 

It has been rather slow as things at home and other commitments have reared their heads making sure I don’t neglect anything I’ve already told others I would do.

What has been your biggest challenge so far?

Getting any writing done, I do have a FT career as well as a young 7 year old son who needs me in the evening hours.

If you had a challenge, what did you do to overcome it?

I’m still trying to overcome mine and find time to put my fingers all over my keyboard and just let my characters have me tell their story.

What are your strengths when it comes to writing?

Not sure about that, ask in a week or so.

What are your weaknesses when it comes to writing?

Not getting the details right or not having strong story development, but I’m hoping my characters will help me get it right.

Have you been staying true to NaNo and writing for quantity rather than quality?

I’m trying to, but this is really a matter of personal taste.

At this point, how is your sanity?

Never had it to begin with.

Have you taken advantage of the support system by buddying with other NaNoWriMo authors? Has it been helpful? Please explain.

I’m buddies with my twitter friends and one author and having their encouragement is helpful, but getting the time needed to get to the daily goal is harder than I had anticipated. Even if I don’t reach the total goal, I’m at least finding a way to get their words out. Which is better since they found out about NaNo. *grins*

Where did you get the idea for your story?

Ebony’s story stared off as a side thought to another story idea I had truly hoped to run with, but the MC for that story is AWOL right now. So Ebony came forward and started her story and it’s coming from her.

Random thought:

My new Quote for NaNoWriMo:
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
-Ernest Hemingway

BAM! Can I just say how much I love that quote? Well, I do! Truly! *drum roll* And next we have the lovely Gigi!

 Gigi Pryce

How did you find out about NaNoWriMo?

I was actually told by Ren on Twitter and I had been seeing it all around Twitter but I have to be 100 percent honest. Ren encouraged me to do it and she kept saying you should do it you should do it, so in the end I just bowed to peer pressure. I also saw that a lot of my favorite authors were doing it which spured me on. Nichole Peeler in particular. She tweets about her word count and other stuff daily and when you see an author who has made it in the publishing industry doing something like this it spurrs you on. 

What appeals to you about NaNoWriMo?

I have always wanted to write a story and have always been creative and I like the fact that this forces you to kind of organize yourself and just get it done.  I have been talking with some of my nearest and dearest about writing a novella but because of this project or that project its always gotten side tracked and now that I’ve been made aware of this I’ve just decided to make this my priority and I’m so glad that I did. 

How has the writing process been going for you?

I won’t lie. I have good days and I have bad days. I know where my story is going I saw the starting line and I see the finish line it’s the getting there, however I have every confidence that I will get there eventually. 

What has been your biggest challenge so far? 

My Biggest Challenge is my spelling and grammar. I’m not a speller or an English person by any stretch of the imagination. I have a great idea, I know what I want to say, and honestly there are days that I say thank goodness for spell check because I would never get anything done. I’m just a more scientific person and English and Spelling just don’t come natural to me, so that has been my biggest challenge. 

If you had a challenge, what did you do to overcome it?

I was writing way too formally. WAY too formally. My roommate and best friend wanted to read what I was writing and said to me “You have got to write this less formal or its going to be boring but I do have to say the Queen would be proud”-meaning I was using the Queens proper English. I went back, made a few tweaks, and it just flowed better and now for the rest of the story I know how to write. 

What are your strengths when it comes to writing?

My creativity. I make video games for a living so I have to come up with stories all the time, but it’s just in a different context. I think using my creativity in this way to expand the story in a way that I’ve never done before has been a lot of fun. 

What are your weaknesses when it comes to writing?

Once again my Spelling and Grammar. I think that when this all shakes out, I’m going to look back at this manuscript and say, “Wow did I really write that?”

Have you been staying true to NaNo and writing for quantity rather than quality?

Yes. I have not been doing what I know some people are doing which is over editing. I just write, write, write. 

At this point, how is your sanity?

Totally in tact. I think that I have a good support system and honestly people have been amazing when you tell them your doing NaNoWriMo. They always have positive things to say and that makes it all worth while. 

Have you taken advantage of the support system by buddying with other NaNoWriMo authors? Has it been helpful? Please explain.

I don’t think it’s helpful at all. If anything I think it’s counterproductive. If your writing slower than someone else or you’re having problems, it almost highlights that. I don’t see any positive things about the buddy system in NaNo at all. 

Where did you get the idea for your story?

I have always been a huge fan of the Fae and honesty, a huge fan of Sea Fae in particular. I just thought, “Hell why not.” I was either going to a Shifter story (I love werewolves) or a Fae story. It ended up being Sea Fae and I just started outlining and my story was born. 

Random thought:

Pepsi Maxx is the Drink of the Gods.

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 Sara, let’s go! *clap, clap* Let’s go Gigi, let’s go! *shakes pom poms* You can do it Sara, way to go! *clap, clap* You can do it Gigi, 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, two quotes from the awesomesauce Editor *drum roll* Sasha Knight – Samhain Senior Editor. Yes, I know, You are bowing down before her excellence! She rocks me so hard core cruster! (Psst! You can follow her on Twitter @sknighteditior *nods*) Ready for the sheer genius? 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! Author of the Secret McQueen novels:

*shouts, whoops, hollas, applause*

Sierra has a new book releasing November 29th – Can I get a whoot whoot? SECRET SANTA is the next installment of the Secret McQueen series. If you haven’t checked this story out, dude, you are so missing out! Get on it! And guess what? SECRET SANTA is available for pre-order NOW! Click on the book below to order your copy! NOW! It is currently only $2.45! BUY IT!

So Sierra … Why are you participating in NaNoWriMo?

I’ve always wanted to challenge myself to write a full novel in a month. Earlier this year I decided I would use NaNo as an excuse to tackle a non-series project. Most of my writing time in the year is devoted to writing and editing my Secret McQueen series, and I’ve been itching to write a contemporary. This was the perfect opportunity.

What is your writing goal during NaNoWriMo?

Ideally I’d like to finish a 60k novel that I can subsequently edit, revise and submit to my publishers.

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

It really forces you to get your butt in gear and write write WRITE. I’m already behind, so this coming weekend will be a 15k weekend for me if all goes well, just to get caught up so I don’t look bad for my writing group.

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

There’s a lot of time pressure. I know I tend to write upwards of 30k a month, but it’s astonishing how much work it is to make yourself write 1667 words a day (the suggested daily goal for NaNoers.) In the long run though, it holds you accountable and really forces you to make your goals.

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

Absolutely! It’s the same as with any hard target, having someone to cheer you on is an amazing support system. One of my best friends has never written anything longer than a short story and she decided to tackle NaNo, and seeing her do so much better than me at her word counts is really keeping me going.

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

Remember that the piece you finish with at the end of November will NOT be something you can submit to a publisher. The big thing about NaNo is that you’re just trying to get the story out. Take some time after the month is over and review, reimagine, rewrite. What you’re doing in this month is just laying the foundation. But the sense of accomplishment you will get when you hit that “The End” will be phenomenal. Use this month just to prove to yourself you CAN write a novel.

How can readers keep in touch with you?

My website is and my e-mail is For the social networking types, my Twitter is @sierradean and my NaNoWriMo username is also sierradean. I love to hear from people, so don’t hesitate to shoot me a Tweet or an e-mail any time.

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 Sierra and find out for yourself. She is made of WIN! Thank you so much for your contribution to this blog, Sierra. You have provided some excellent advice. And look y’all. She is published and still hits difficult times. Writing is difficult. Authors deserve recognition. Especially those making a go of it for the first time during NaNo! *nods*

And now we have reached the conclusion of NaNoWriMo week 2. I hope you have all enjoyed your time here. If you like, please follow my blog and check out my previous reviews. I might even have a giveaway going this week. *wink* 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 Sierra’s books? 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.

If you missed last week, click here 



  1. I am so proud of my NaNo-ing friends! I don't care if you've written one word, one thousand or one million. You are there. You are doing it. It takes a lot to put yourself out there, to put those ideas down on paper (or I supposed computer screen is a better description). I believe the quote is correct "bleed". Authors tends to put so much soul into their writing. I do...without even realizing it.

    No matter how discouraged you get. No matter how much you feel behind. No matter how much you want to quit. Remember: You are doing this for you, for the voices in your head, for the characters whose story needs told. Sierra is right, there's nothing more exhilarating than typing THE END...well, except, perhaps getting published. *wink*

    I haven't done NaNo and am not participating due to life demands, but I wrote my Novella (30K) in two weeks. It was the first time I ever got to type THE END on a story. It's totally worth the pain.

    *hands NaNo-ers bandaids* Might need these, but it'll be worth it.


  2. Ah Kyla! How I do love thee! We make an awesome cheering section, no?


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