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NaNoWriMo Resources: Helping You Complete the 50K Challenge

#NaNoWriMo Resources: Helping You Complete the 50K Challenge #NaNoWriMoTips

With NaNoWriMo just days away I thought some of you might appreciate a killer resource post to help you pound out that word count and pick up your winner certificates. Today's post is therefore dedicated to NaNo prep.

Undecided if the NaNoWriMo challenge is for you? Check out this post at http://www.aliventures.com/4-reasons-nanowrimo-or-not/ to help you make up your mind.

General NaNo Prep

The Official NaNoWriMo website is a huge resource, and I highly recommend jumping into the forums and joining in some of the discussions that take place there. On site you'll also find a whole section about NaNo prep at http://nanowrimo.org/nano-prep. Not only does it list live events like Tweet chats that you can join in, it also includes links to the whole NaNo Prep library. 

Steve Shepard gives some great advice and ideas in this post at http://storyist.com/support/howto/get-ready-for-nanowrimo/.

This post at http://www.adweek.com/galleycat/nanowrimo-writing-tips-in-a-single-post/61045 offers links to 60 articles with NaNoWriMo Tips.

Need help to get you started? This post has some suggestions for finding ideas http://www.writersandauthors.info/2013/10/finding-ideas-for-nanowrimo.html

https://writeitsideways.com/nanowrimo-quick-preparation-tips-and-resources/ is another post packed with useful links about preparing for the challenge.

Whether you're a Plotter or Pantser this post at http://www.nownovel.com/blog/how-to-write-a-book-with-nanowrimo/ has some tips for you.

In this post past NaNoWriMo winners shared some of their tips for success http://www.writersandauthors.info/2016/10/nanowrimo-preparing-to-hit-50k.html

#NaNoWriMo Resources: Helping You Complete the 50K Challenge #NaNoWriMoTips

Surviving NaNoWriMo

Check out this post from last year with proven strategies on how to finish your NaNoWriMo novel, based on a research study by Stop Procastinating of 2000 NaNoWriMo writers http://www.writersandauthors.info/2015/10/nanowrimo-proven-strategies-on-how-to.html

This article http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2011/10/04/25-things-you-should-know-about-nanowrimo/ has some colourful language but it also does a good job of summarising the before, during, and after of what to expect when doing the NaNoWriMo challenge. 

This post at http://mashable.com/2014/11/03/national-novel-writing-month-tips/#y.z5vYhNukqy has a collection of tweets from NaNoWriMo participants that cover everything from what writing apps to use to tips about food prep, and the importance of caffeine. 

Take a look at some of the pitfalls and how to avoid them at http://writerunboxed.com/2012/10/11/four-reasons-to-rethink-nanowrimo/

This article at https://www.bustle.com/articles/121310-6-tips-every-writer-trying-to-win-nanowrimo-needs-to-hear offers sound advice to help you keep going during the challenge.

These 5 tips for reaching your NaNoWriMo goal make it sound easy http://thewritepractice.com/nanowrimo-goal/

Find a selection of hashtags for word sprints at http://www.writersandauthors.info/2015/11/word-sprints-writing-novel-10-minutes.html

#NaNoWriMo Resources: Helping You Complete the 50K Challenge #NaNoWriMoTips


Reading can be a great way to prepare for the challenge. Author, and past NaNoWriMo winner Ann Harrison () suggests reading books in the genre you want to write to help spark inspiration.

There are plenty of books out there that offer great advice, and tips to help you keep your creative juices flowing. Here's a few you might want to consider:

- No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty (http://amzn.to/2emMOpV). Who better than the founder of the event to help you through it ;) I personally have a paper back copy of this book and it really is worth it.

- Author Kendra Temples (@kendra_temples) suggests Take Off Your Pants by Libbie Hawker for outlining http://amzn.to/2dsO2P3

- Author Danny Knestaut (@dknestaut) suggests Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success by KM Weiland http://amzn.to/2eeqNd8

And don't forget...

5 minutes agoWhat genre are you planning to write in? Choose books in that genre to read for inspiration.
#NaNoWriMo Resources: Helping You Complete the 50K Challenge #NaNoWriMoTips

Interview with Cory Clement

Interview with Cory Clement

Tell us about your latest book. 
The latest, is infact my debut novel titled Farewell Keystone. It deals with Owen Reilly, a lost and worried soul struggling with sobriety, depression, financial grief and a dwindling relationship. He always daydreamed of getting away from his hometown of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and he gets a chance to infact make that a reality in the form of a stranger named Sonya, whom is headed to Ohio to perform at a small pro wrestling show. The two head out on the road and as miles stack up, Owen begins finding himself and figuring things out more and more, not without some bumps in the road though of course.

Who are your favourite authors? 
Henry Rollins, Bret Easton Ellis, Chuck Palahniuk and Haruki Murakami. Jay McInerney too.

What advice do you have for other writers? 
Interview with Cory ClementJust make it happen, go for it. Don't stress about every little thing, don't lose your cool if you find a typo or two in your book after its out. Don't worry of what others will think or say. Don't be set on making millions. Just make the dream merge with reality. Don't look back and regret never having done it.

What's your favourite quote about writing/for writers? 
“All writing is an antisocial act, since the writer is a man who can speak freely only when alone; to be himself he must lock himself up, to communicate he must cut himself off from all communication; and in this there is something always a little mad." - Kenneth Tynan

Who is you favorite character in your book and why? 
I hope this doesn't come off too arrogant, but I got so connected with all of them, even the bad and villainous ones. Maybe its just because it was my first novel, I guess I won't know that for sure until I put out the next novel. But I got and feel so connected to them all, and they all spoke or expressed things regarding me in reality. Not sure how other writers feel or view their characters, but I kind of agree with the idea of all the characters being some sort of expression of the writer doing the story.

How long did it take you to write your book? 
I tried writing it many times over the years, and would always just feel unhappy with the result and trash the attempts. This go around where it finally clicked and felt like the story it was intended to be, it took about two and a half to three months, not including the editing.

Who designed the cover? 
Jenny Laatsch, and she is incredible. Couldn't be happier with the end result. She was super easy to work with and talk to, and affordable. I have a very odd and weird way of explaining things and she got it right away. I highly recommend her services if you are looking for a cover design. Seeing the first rough sketches from her still remains such an amazing moment for me. I was so giddy and ecstatic when I received them. And just seeing them little by little getting finished was just such a blast. Thats when you know you're doing what you love, when you are capable of feeling like a little kid on christmas morning again somehow over something like rough sketches and such.

Did you learn anything from writing your book that was unexpected? 
Thats a great question and I'm actually kind of stumped with that one. I think the biggest thing I learned was more of a assurance, a kind of pat on the back from life letting me know "yeah, you're right. this is what you love to do, this is what you're meant to be doing. this is what you need to keep doing". I always knew I wanted to write, but getting it done little by little and releasing it, the assurance was a bit more overwhelming in a good way then expected. So if anything, thats the closest answer I have for this question.

Interview with Cory Clement

Where can a reader purchase your book? 

Who inspires you? 
There are too many people to mention...so many writers of film and literature. Composers of great instrumental music that sort of paint scenes out in my mind while listening. 

How do you research your books? 
I don't do much research unless its to solidify a fact in terms of travel and such. Like, I looked up how long it would take to drive from Philadelphia to Ohio roughly, to help map out things realistically in Farewell Keystone. I also did a lot of research for the dream scene in the book, which I feel will get overlooked, but I hope and urge anyone who reads Farewell Keystone to look more into that dream scene. Its not just a random time passer type deal. Theres much being said and noted in that scene. I was having lots of wild dreams at the time of early sobriety, and even more-so when I was detoxing and taking certain medications. So I got a little interested in dream interpretation, and that dream scene in the book is a big signal of such.

What is your work in progress? Tell us about it. 
Its called Clean Slates, and I've mapped out and laid out enough of the story, as well as did my mental casting to the point where its 'go time'. Just been super busy with non-writing commitments like working, paying bills and saving up to make an out of state move to finally get out of Philly myself to live out my own personal little Farewell Keystone. I'm super excited, and I think I've learned a lot from this debut release of Farewell Keystone to where it will help make this next effort even more solid and legit. Its sort of a reverse telling of Farewell Keystone. All new characters but deals with having to come back to a place you can't stand and despise, rather than leaving it. And it will showcase caving in to temptations of addiction rather than putting up a fight. Will be a lot more brutal and dark.

What are your thoughts on self-publishing verses traditional publishing? 
I want to write and put out books, so I do. I make it happen. I get help from cover designers, editors or proofreaders and some others, but I'm not sitting around waiting forever to get someone to tell me my books worthy. I'm also not looking to have someone tell me what to erase or get rid of, or focus more on. I want my stories done the way I see them, and then I want them out and about. End of story. From there I want to focus on trying to get film adaptations done of my stories. If some publisher offered me something or came my way, or met me in the middle half-way, of course I'd be ecstatic and open to the opportunity. But bottom line is I want my stuff written, then out. And self-publishing makes that happen. If my style or structure doesn't qualify in your views, or some big firm or company, I can't say I care.

Who or what inspired you to become a writer? 
Horror movies specifically were the biggest influence. Low-budget, cheesy 80's horror movies...the slashers, the creature features. It lit up my imagination and for some reason or another I ended up trying to write little stories as a first grader with me and my brother or father fighting off monsters or masked maniacs of movies I watched. As years passed, it wasn't just fun but an outlet, a therapy for me. It became and is the purest and top way for me to express myself and explain things. I feel much more comfortable writing than talking. So those two avenues collided and turned into me enjoying writing, as far as coming up and creating things, but also feeling like I need to write or should to explain and release emotions and feelings within, or things I've done in the past. Enjoyment and necessity are one in the same for me when writing.

Does your family support you in your writing career? 
Yeah, my mom expresses how proud she is of me quite often and even offered to help proofread my next book as she did that for a living in the past. It feels refreshing and solid to have her be proud instead of disappointed that I did something dumb in relation to alcoholism and addiction. My little step-brother did a huge amount of work for me with banners and advertising related aspects. We lost touch for a while so it was neat to sort of connect again over the writing passions, he got to show off his awesome graphic design work in return. I also got to show my grandfather whom is in a home for veterans and not in the best of health my book and hear him tell me he was proud which I cherish. In the end I have the mentally of doing this for me and nobody else, if someone or a bunch of someones wants to tag along on the ride and support or encourage or collaborate, great. If not, so be it. But I absolutely am thankful for the support I have gotten from family and friends alike.

What are you currently reading? 
I can't say I'm reading anything honestly. I'm not a huge reader actually. I write in novel form because it feels right and best, but I write with the outlook and intention of screenplays and film in mind. I write my stories as if they are movies, I cast characters out in my mind and keep them saved in folders too. I just like and write better in novel-form as opposed to screenplay formatting. Theres a handful of books I love, but I'm not an avid reader to be honest.

What books or authors have most influenced your life? 
Henry Rollins and Bret Easton Ellis are the top ones, for sure.

When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time? 
Unfortunately, working the full-time job to pay bills. If not that, listening to music, watching movies, watching wrestling and or hanging with my cat.

Excerpt: Circle of Time by Debra Shively Welch

Excerpt: Circle of Time by Debra Shively Welch

Title: Circle of Time

Author: Debra Shively Welch

Genre: Time Travel, Historical

About the Book

Excerpt: Circle of Time by Debra Shively Welch
When 21-year-old Bridget Littleton decides to borrow her father's yacht and sail off of the tip of Florida toward Bermuda, she discovers that the legends about the Bermuda Triangle are very true.
After seeing a face in the ocean waves, her next memory is of spinning water and blackness. She awakens in the town of Bristol England in the year 1532.

Rumors of her beauty reach the court, and soon Bridget, known as Bridge, finds herself in the court of Henry VIII and Lady in Waiting to none other than Anne Boleyn.

Will she get out alive? Will she accidentally change the course of history, or is she indeed a part of the history she has studied since she was a little girl?


Bridget Littleton raised her face to the darkening sky. Stars sparkled and shone, accentuating the soft feel of the salt-scented air. Leaning against the rail of her father’s luxurious yacht, she gave herself up to the gentle listing of the ship, enjoying the sound of the slap of the waves against the yacht’s steel hull. To her left, a seagull flew – just at eye level, so close that she could hear it pull the wind beneath its snowy wings. Intermittently, the maritime bird would glide and soundlessly ride the air currents, like a silent phantom above the blue-green waves of the sea. Flap, glide, dip and climb, her airborne companion followed the yacht for a short time, then soared off in the quest of an aquatic snack. 
She’d brought an opened bottle of red wine to the aft deck of the yacht. There comfortable chairs and couches were placed for the ease of her father’s friends and clients. She still wasn’t sure as to how she was able to convince her father to let her use his yacht, but she was grateful. The Bridget, so named by her late mother, was a large, well-appointed vessel, its primary use being for the entertainment of her father’s business associates. Somehow she persuaded him to lend it. 
She preferred this part of the large, luxurious yacht, preferred to see where she had been rather than where she was going. She’d always felt that way, felt the pull of a past she couldn’t quite bring into focus. 
Lifting a crystal goblet to her lips, she drank of the Bordeaux she preferred, savoring the taste of black cherry on her tongue. She held the wine there for a few seconds, 
savoring the taste, then let it slip down her throat, enjoying the chocolate finish of the wine. 
The evening was a little cool, pleasantly so, and there was a slight wind carrying the scent of salt, a briny perfume she found enticing, seducing. She loved the smell of the sea. To her, it was a fragrance that called up phantoms of memories she could not quite grasp. 
The wind began to pick up, and as her hair lifted in response to its urging, she shook her head, reveling in the feel of soft hair moving against her neck and shoulders. She delighted in the wind in her hair – enjoyed the pull of it, the slight tug as hair and wind became playmates, dancing around her neck and cheeks, then billowing upward creating a silky parachute of silver and gold. Leaning her head back, she again looked up into the vast dome of sky above her. She loved to be at sea. She felt as if someone were calling to her; the pull of the sea was as strong and as insistent as a lover. 
Footsteps caused her to turn from the rail. “Ah, Liam, good evening.” She smiled in greeting as one of her guests approached her – a second bottle of wine in one hand and a shawl in the other. 
“I was afraid that you may catch a chill, Bridget. The wind is picking up.” 
“Please, call me Bridge. Thank you, Liam. That was kind.” Both turned to the rail and observed the wake of the boat as it made its progress. 
“Aren’t we in the Bermuda Triangle?” Liam asked. 
“Yes, we are. Not afraid are you?” Bridge teased. 
“Nah – not really.” Liam chuckled but finally admitted, “Well, not too nervous anyway. 
“Say, this is some yacht your dad has here. Who named it The Bridget?” 
“My mother did when I was born.” 
“I see. Not bad to have a whole luxury yacht named after you.” They fell silent as both gave in to the beauty of the night and the softness of the breeze. Bridge lifted her glass for another sip and Liam noticed a ring on the middle finger of her left hand as she raised it to her lips. The kiss of the moon’s ethereal rays made the stones dance with light as if it were enchanted. 
“Wow, Bridge, beautiful ring.” 
“Thank you. It was my mother’s. By tradition, it is given to the eldest daughter of the eldest son. There is some kind of mystery to it. My ancestress through my mother, Bridget Lyttleton, supposedly owned it. That is why I’m named Bridget, by the way. My father’s name is John, and he is also a Littleton, but my parents are something like seventh cousins. Anyway Bridget’s father-in-law was named John, as was her husband, Sir John, actually, and my mother thought it would be nice to honor her, especially since the ring originated with her. So Bridget I am, but of course it got shortened to Bridge.” 
“Well, it certainly is a beautiful ring. The gold is exquisite and, those are rubies, right?” 
“Yes. Actually, it’s a Tudor Rose.” 
For the second time that evening she held up her hand. The moonlight again caressed the stones and they seemed to come alive. Set in heavy gold, the center gem was a perfect four grain (equivalent to a karat) pearl surrounded by five slightly smaller rubies which shimmered in the moonlight. It was stunning, but Bridget measured its value by the previous owner, her mother, who wore it on the same finger until she died of cancer when Bridge was three. 
“Tudor Rose?” 
“Yes, it’s a rather long story, but basically, a rose bush bloomed with both red and white petals signifying the union of two royal houses. Don’t get me started or I’ll talk for hours about it. My hobby is Tudor history,” she laughed. 
“Oh, this may interest you,” Bridge said. Lifting the shawl she now wore and showing him an unusual brooch which was pinned to her gown. 
“Hey, that’s an interesting piece of jewelry you have there.” 
Bridget glanced down at the pin and smiled. 
“Yes. Actually, it has an amusing story behind it. 
“Upon hearing that I was intending a cruise which necessitated my basically staying within the Bermuda Triangle, my friend Cynthia became frightened. It is superstitious nonsense, of course, but what can you do? 
“So, she went to Tiffany’s and had it made for me as a good luck talisman.” 
“What is it? I can’t quite see.” 
“It’s a sixteenth-century ship. She knows of my love of Tudor history and this is a replica of one of Henry VIII ships named the Mary Rose, after his favorite sister. Here, dangling from the figurehead is a diamond. Supposedly representing the North Star. Here on the back of the ship, on the quarter-deck, is a woman. I guess that’s supposed to be me. 
“These scrolls along the water line are waves and represent that the ship is in a storm, but the woman will be safe because she has the North Star to guide her. She calls it the ‘Storm Tossed Ship’. 
“Oh!” Bridge exclaimed as the yacht lurched. The wind, heretofore a gentle breeze, was picking up, and the sea was becoming choppy. The shawl which Liam brought to Bridge rose into the air. She made an attempt to catch it, slipped and almost fell into the sea, the goblet of wine crashing to the deck with a splintering sound of shattering glass as red wine coursed down the planks in blood red streams. 
The wind increased and began to howl. 
“Bridge!” Liam yelled. Grabbing her arm, he attempted to keep her from sliding over the rail as the yacht tossed and pitched as if it were deliberately trying to throw her overboard. Below her, Liam watched in horror as a whirlpool appeared starboard, and like a tornado, began to draw Bridge into its depths. He held on frantically, his eyes stretched wide as he looked into Bridge’s fear-filled face. Slowly her arm began to slip from his hands until .............

Purchase the book on Amazon to find out what happened to Bridge!!!

Excerpt: Circle of Time by Debra Shively Welch

About the Author

Excerpt: Circle of Time by Debra Shively Welch
Born in Columbus, Ohio, Commissioned Kentucky Colonel, Honorable Debra Shiveley Welch, resides in Central Ohio with her husband Mark and son Christopher, an author and photographer. 
Author of seven books and a bevy of short stories and poems, Debra is the winner of Books and Authors best Native American Fiction, AllBooks Review Editor's Choice, Faithwriters Gold Seal of Approval - Outstanding Read, Books and Authors Best Non-Fiction Book and Excellence in Literature awards and is a medalist in the New Apple Award for Excellence.
Debra is now working on "Brave Heart Woman," third in the "Cedar Woman" series, "Memories of an Old Farm House," a micro memoir about her memories of her family's ancestral farmhouse situated on a hill across from Serpent Mound in Southern, Ohio and "Christopher's Family Table," a cookbook featuring recipes from Chopped Champion Christopher Thames and Chopped Champion Junior, Daniel Kligmann.


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NaNoWriMo: Preparing To Hit 50K

#NaNoWriMo: Preparing To Hit 50K #NaNoPrep #NaNoWriMo2016

NaNoWriMo is fast approaching, and that means it's time for some NaNo prep.

I know there are some of you that have already been working on preparations for the challenge for weeks (or even months), but I also know that there are many of you that haven't even started thinking about it yet, or that prefer to do minimal, or no planning at all. The good news is neither is wrong. You can in fact win the challenge without doing any planning in advance.

Today I'm joined by NaNoWriMo veterans Amanda Gernentz Hanson, and Vas Littlecrow Wojtanowicz to share some tips to help you win the November writing challenge. 

#NaNoWriMo: Preparing To Hit 50K #NaNoPrep #NaNoWriMo2016

Amanda Gernentz Hanson won in 2011 and 2012, and Vas Littlecrow Wojtanowicz won in 2005 and 2015. So how did they go about it? Did they prepare or did they just see what happened?

Amanda does a little of both. She explains "In 2011, I just saw what happened, but I plotted a little bit in 2012". When asked why she had this to say "I took a novel-length creative writing class in college, and we were taught to not plot ahead at all. But since then, as I’ve written more full-length stories, I’ve found that knowing where the plot is going at least a little bit helps guide you to your destination. Otherwise the stories get a bit off-track, and it’s sometimes hard to bring them back.

I've taken part in the challenge numerous times, and picked up my winner certificates several times. I personally found that I did better when I had just a vague idea about the main characters and general story I wanted to tell. Once I spent a lot of time planning before hand only to find that my characters took over and the story went in a different direction. 

Vas doesn't work much on plot ahead of time either. "I don't plot ahead of time because coherence isn't my main goal. I simply want to win the word race. My characters often develop in unpredictable ways, so I allow them the freedom to grow into their most authentic selves" she says. She prefers a more visual way of preparing. This is how she described it "I usually start preparing for the challenge one week beforehand. I'm a visual person, so I like to make doodles of what I would like to see in the story. I also spend many quiet moments letting my imagination wander. Just allowing my thoughts go where they will, really helps me connect with the world I'm about to create."

Top tips for winning

Amanda says "Keep writing, even if you NaNo graph shows that you’re behind! That’s the most discouraging thing, but the key to the whole thing is to just keep writing. You can do it!"

#NaNoWriMo: Preparing To Hit 50K #NaNoPrep #NaNoWriMo2016

Vas suggests "Scheduling your writing time and doing your best to avoid interruptions. I tried other techniques, but this one seems to be the most effective."

#NaNoWriMo: Preparing To Hit 50K #NaNoPrep #NaNoWriMo2016

So don't panic if you haven't prepared character charts, notes about locations, or even a basic plot outline. You can still win NaNoWriMo. The real trick to winning the challenge is to just keep writing. 

You can connect with Amanda Gernentz Hanson at http://www.browneyedtwentysomething.com/ and Vas Littlecrow Wojtanowicz at vaslittlecrow.com and velvetrasput.info

Interview with Christina Hoag

Interview with Christina Hoag

Tell us about your latest book.
It’s called “Skin of Tattoos.” It’s sort of genre-defying – a noir-crime thriller written in a literary style. The setting is the gang underworld of Los Angeles, the U.S. capital of gangs, and the main character, Mags, is a gang member. We meet him as he comes out of prison wanting, as most parolees do, to go straight and never return “behind the wall.” To do that, he has to get away from his gang, the Cyco Lokos, but the “clica” has undergone some changes since he’s been locked up, namely his rival Rico, who set him up on the charge that got him imprisoned, is now the “shotcaller” or leader. It’s a story of revenge and rivalry, but there are also other layers: Mags’s quest for his father’s approval, the hardships faced by a poor immigrant family, as well as the larger picture of the socioeconomic factors that drive gangs in our society in general. 

Interview with Christina Hoag
Who are your favourite authors?
Probably my all time favourite is Graham Greene. Many of his books are about the concept of being a foreigner, an outsider/observer, which I relate to on a personal level since I’ve lived in many countries both as a child and as an adult. That influence comes through in “Skin of Tattoos,” where Mags was born in El Salvador but left with his family fleeing the civil war when he was a child so he doesn't really feel Salvadoran, doesn't remember anything about the place, yet that is his identity. He’s an outsider to El Salvador, yet as an immigrant he’s an outsider to mainstream American society, as well. He finds his home in a gang with others from similar backgrounds.
What advice do you have for other writers?
Believe in yourself and that you have something worthwhile to say. Don’t let anyone steer you from your path. Use adversity to develop strength. And just don’t give up!
Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
Probably my website www.christinahoag,com has the most complete bio and portfolio of my work. I’ve also got author pages up on Amazon and Goodreads, while LinkedIn is a bit more of a professional CV. Facebook.com/ChristinaHoagAuthor is where I post news and updates.

Who is you favorite character in your book and why?

I have to say it is Magdaleno. He really struggles to do the right thing, but his pride and ego get in the way. He’s just so humanly flawed. But I also love the antagonist, Rico, even though he’s a bit mental. He’s like that because of his childhood, therefore I have a great deal of sympathy for him.

Why do you think readers are going to enjoy your book?

It’s got a bit of everything. There’s a mystery that Mags has to puzzle out, a romance, action/adventure, as well as a thriller-style game between Mags and Rico where the stakes really amp up toward the end. It takes place in a setting that is unknown to most readers so that’s a new world for people to learn a bit about. Readers have also told me they like the secondary characters a lot – the other homeboys and Mags’ family.

Interview with Christina Hoag
How long did it take you to write your book?

Years! I wrote an outline for it in 2006, and started working on it in earnest in 2008. I originally wrote it as a YA, then after some feedback, changed it to an adult novel, which gave me a lot more leeway as far as plot and character and tone. It’s gone through countless revisions and wholesale rewrites. I’m still pinching myself that it’s finally published.

What is your work in progress? Tell us about it.

I’ve got two novels both in the final stages. One is called “The Revolutionaries,” a literary political thriller based on the 2002 coup attempt in Venezuela, where I was living at the time and working as a freelance journalist. An expat couple are the protagonists and they get wrapped up in opposite sides of the political debate, which drives a wedge in their marriage. The other is called “Angel’s Lust,” a detective mystery set in Los Angeles with a Latin American twist to the mystery. I’ll say no more!

What are your thoughts on self-publishing verses traditional publishing?

I prefer to go with a publisher because it’s third-party validation of your work. Somebody has read your book and deemed it worthy of publication. On the other hand, anyone can self-publish anything, which means there’s a lot of subpar stuff out there. However, if I were a big bestselling author, I think self-publishing is a very attractive option. You keep all your profits, all your rights and all your control!

Who or what inspired you to become a writer?

I won a prize for “writing interesting stories” when I was six years old so I guess writing was always there. It came out as soon as I literally learned how to put pen to paper. I discovered journalism in high school so I knew that’s what I wanted to do as a career. I’ve written fiction on and off my whole life.

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