Tag Archives: NaNoWriMo

Author Sarah Jayne Carr in the Hypothetical Hotspot™

I got the chance to get a little crazy with author Sarah Jayne Carr and this is what happens when we’re both lacking caffeine or sleep… or both.  She’s an awesome chick, a fantastic author, and a good friend of mine. Give it up for the sensational Sarah!

Sarah Jayne Carr is a novelist who can be found most evenings with a cup of tea in-hand and her imagination racing from plot to plot. When away from her work, part of her mind is constantly brainstorming her next story and she always has writing paraphernalia within reach. 

She wrote stories as a child, but became more serious about her passion during her twenties. In her spare time, she likes to read, splash in mud puddles, smell bookstores and eat Honeycrisp apples. Yearly, she participates in NaNoWriMo and has mentored others through the program. Due to her dedication to National Novel Writing Month, she is part of an amazing writing group. 

Born and raised in Washington State, Sarah still resides in the area. Her life is richly filled with her supportive, yet swashbuckling husband and their golden Nugget.

Sarah Jayne Carr

Sarah Jayne Carr

Tell me something you want people to know about you:
I have an abnormally long tongue. Oh? Not a fact that random? I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo and I’m a six-time champion. My muse wears the diamond-crusted medals to prove it. It’s too bad she lives inside my imagination; the value decreases drastically when compared to tangible diamond-crusted medals. 😉 My NaNo stories from 2005 and 2009 have been published: Revealing Hamilton and Embracing Hamilton.

Tell us how you live or walk us through a normal day for you:
How do I live? Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. 😉

A day only feels “normal” to me if I’m able to squeeze in time to write. If I don’t write, I feel “off”. My schedule differs each day, so it includes juggling…chainsaws. A lot of chainsaws.

Are you a full-time writer? If not, tell us about your day job:
Oh, to dream! By day, I work in radiology billing. By night, I’m a novelist (that’s when I put on the spandex and the cape). Watch out, Washington. Kidding. My day job is very number-oriented–much different from the writing world. In a sense, I achieve a balance this way and that allows the world to remain on its axis. You’re welcome.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
The “theme” of my stories doesn’t manifest until after I’ve written them. I don’t go into a story with an elaborately mapped out plan for what the reader should come away with. I go into a story thinking about how I can punish Amelia. Then, I think about what can make her life ten times worse. It’s sad, but true. In all honesty, reading is a personal experience and everyone interprets messages and envisions characters/scenery within stories in their own way. If I asked you to imagine a fire-eating clown juggling miniature unicorns while singing Spanish opera, I’ll bet they’d all appear differently. (When I’m sleepy, I become random. Yes, I’m tired. How could you tell?) Readers have all led different lives with different experiences. With that said, they may pull different “messages” from my stories so I don’t aim to pinpoint a certain one as I’m writing.

How much of the book is based off personal experiences?
Within my stories, there are many real-life experiences woven throughout the pages. I’m usually pretty quiet regarding which parts are reality and which parts are pure fiction. One instance of a personal experience? Within the pages of Embracing Hamilton, there’s a morgue scene. For the sake of research, I visited a morgue. I needed to see/smell/hear/touch (not taste, that would just be wrong) everything to write the scene accurately. From the metallic sound of the garbage disposal to the salty smell of the body cooler (yes, there were bodies within), I was able to put Amelia in the necessary situation.

What are your current projects?
I’m working on the third full-length novel in the JackRabbit7 series. It’s called Hunting Hamilton. Additionally, I’m working on the third JackRabbit7 prequel. It’s called Concealing Torres. I have a few other stories marinating inside my head—not JackRabbit7-related. Whenever those characters try to emerge, Amelia puts them in a headlock and knees them in the face. Right now, she’s still in the spotlight and isn’t ready to give it up yet.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
My cousins and I used to write short stories when we were kids. Throughout my teenage years, I didn’t give writing a second thought (outside of school). When I hit my mid-twenties, I was wandering around a local bookstore. Unable to find the book I wanted to read, I realized it hadn’t been written yet. However, I wasn’t sure where to begin. Shortly thereafter, I learned of a program called National Novel Writing Month. I heard marvelous stories of people who wrote 50,000-words in a month. I wanted to be one of those people and I made it happen. The rest is history.

Do you ever experience writer’s block and how do you overcome it?
Pffft. I eat writer’s block for breakfast. Two lumps of sugar and cream, please. Okay, the real answer is…<pause for dramatic effect> I don’t believe in writer’s block. If there’s a block, something is wrong with the story. In these times, I treat these “hurdles” like a “Choose Your Own Adventure” story. If there’s a stumbling block in front of Amelia that I can’t figure out, I try to take a detour with the scene. It works. In the past, I’ve also tried writing the scene from the perspective of a supporting character. It’s helped too. To date, I haven’t had to use my flare gun to signal for help so I must be doing something right for my muse.

What project are you working on now?
Is this déjà vu from three questions ago? You know I’m going to be snarky. Right now? I’m working on this interview. What are you working on right now? 😉
Coey: Nothing… 🙁

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Write. Everyday. If you wait for inspiration to strike, you’ll be waiting a long time. The more you practice the craft, the deeper you’ll be involved with your characters.

 

Before we get to the crazy questions, check out the trailer for Revealing Hamilton by Sarah Jayne Carr.

 

Hypothetical Hotspot™

Sarah, The Zombie Apocalypse is a scientific possibility. What’s your plan when it happens?
I’m headed to the cemetery with mallet to play Whack-A-Mole.

If you wrong someone, how do you apologize?
With a singing telegram, of course. By the way, Coey? I’m sorry I stole your unicorn. Make sure you’re home tomorrow between 11 and 2. A man in a lobster suit is going to stop by and sing a rousing rendition of Crossfade’s “Cold” to you. Creepy, isn’t it?
Coey: You always know exactly the right thing to give a person. 🙂

If you get cheated by the Better Business Bureau, who do you complain to?
There’s no need to work my way any higher up the chain. Instead, I’ll just write them into my next novel. Then, there aren’t any repercussions for my actions. <insert maniacal laugh here>
Coey: If you insist…

If a word is misspelled in the dictionary, how will anyone ever know?
No one will…except for Merriam-Webster. As I hop in my time machine, I envision Noah Webster, George Merriam, and Charles Merriam sitting back in leather armchairs. The setting is an office with oak furniture and crushed red velvet curtains. It’s late in the evening. They’re smoking cigars and laughing as they screw with the population by altering snippets of dictionary. Did I mention they’ve had too much to drink? I can’t see this ending well…

If you were stranded in the remote wilderness would you eat one of your dead traveling companions to survive?
Is one of my dead traveling companions a cow livestock? If so, bring it on.

Would you volunteer to be one of the first colonists on Mars if it meant you could never return to earth?
I need clarification here. Are we talking about Mars (the planet) or Mars (the candy bar)? Right now, I’m distracted as I think about chocolate so I’m willing to take you up on your offer of caramel and nougat.

If it is after midnight and you do not want to go home yet, where do you go?
Coey, you’re so funny! I have a two-year old. I turn into a pumpkin at midnight. Then, I can’t fit through the door, I spend the night out in the cold, and I get cranky. No one likes a cranky Sarah.

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
I understand you’re an author, so I’m going to forgive your Internet browser history.

I swallowed and shook my head as tears slid down my cheeks. “Dane, don’t.” I gulped. “Gasoline. He has a gun. Matches.” —Engaging Kennewick

Molly Kennewick is involved in a long-distance relationship with a secretive IA employee named Dane Pascall. A prior breakup gone wrong with a resident bad boy leaves a bad taste in Molly’s mouth and also leaves her on edge. A significant amount of time has passed since Axel vanished from her life, but he’s been reminding her of his presence in peculiar ways. A weekend getaway is what Molly believes she needs to clear her head, but history is waiting with bated breath to repeat itself. Can Molly resolve her past and present before her future goes up in flames?

How to Stalk Sarah Jayne Carr:
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It’s only $.99! Feed the burn.
Purchase Engaging Kennewick on Amazon: USA, United Kingdom, and Canada.


If you’re an indie author and you would like to be interviewed by Coey Cain, you can send your request to coeycain@hotmail.com or
send a message on Facebook.

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NaNoWriMo Is Almost Over!

How are you my sprinting little writers? Are you on track to make your 50k words for NaNoWriMo? Have you (gasp) finished already?

There’s only a few days left in the month and these are going to be the hardest. The holidays are now in full swing and you’re really starting to feel the pressure, from the goal, from the holidays, from family and friends, and of course from the ever present day job that you’ve got to juggle with everything else.

It’s distracting, heart wrenching at times and at this point in the marathon writing session that is NaNoWriMo you’re probably starting to feel every bit as exhausted as if you’d actually been running all month long. The good news is the goal line is in sight! This is the point where runners pull out their last bit of reserves, or dig past the place where they think they’ve already run out of resources.

Yup it’s time to sprint those last few yards.

Put your all into it, find that extra minute and just plow through those last few pages like your life depends on it. You can do it! And when you reach the finish line and that surge of accomplishment washes over you, you’ll know in every fiber of your writers heart that the effort was worth it.

Good luck NaNoWriMo’ers, I’ll see you at the finish line!

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NaNoWriMo

NaNo 2011It’s November therefore it’s NaNo, or NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month. Well, it is for me and for a few other members here and for thousands of writers around the world. So it really should be International now.

But what is it?

It’s a challenge. You’re asked to write 50,000 words in 30 days. If you succeed you get no prizes, just the glow of your own novel. Oh, there’s a certificate you can print and fill in yourself, and a coupon for a free copy of your book in print from Createspace – but you still have to pay shipping. There’s a shop, where you can buy yourself a prize if you want – there are mugs, pens, t-shirts, all sorts of stuff.

But that’s not what it’s all about. It’s about chaining up your inner editor who makes you agonise over the words you choose. Wrap duct tape round their face and refuse to listen to their griping about apostrophes and adverbs.

It’s about running round to get errands done in super fast time so you can skid into your chair and write a few hundred words before it’s time to fetch the kids from school. It’s about trying to stay ahead of your best friend and cross that 50,000 word line before she does. I haven’t actually achieved that part yet, and it’s my seventh year of taking part, alongside the same writing buddy.

It’s a way of increasing pace and just vomiting forth those 50,000 words, or more, into a document and cracking the back of that novel you just know is lurking inside you. By the first of December you could have the core of that novel, the bones of something wonderful.

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It's Knocking On Your Door – NaNoWriMo

It’s that time of year again. Just as you’re feeling hung over, double stuffed with all the chocolatey loot you swore was for the neighborhood kids and are dreading the prospects of cleaning up from your Halloween party – it’s time for NaNoWriMo! That time of year when writing veterans and noobies a like all sit down and agree to attempt to write 50,000 words in a single month.

Awesomeness ensues.

Alright, probably not awesomeness. More likely at this point you’re either ready (outline prepared, story idea ready, title just itching for you to put it down on paper) or you’re not (empty cobwebs fill your mind, you’ve never even heard of NaNoWriMo before, you know about it but still aren’t even sure you’ll be participating this year). Even if you’re one of the lucky prepared ones, actually sitting down and writing your 50k is likely to throw some serious curve balls into your life.

The good news is, even if you’re not lucky enough to be prepared to up to your eyeteeth for this marathon writing month, it’s still possible to start out on November first and have a great time. Here’s a few tips tricks and good to knows for both the prepared and the clueless:

For the Clueless

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, which starts on the first of November and lasts the month through. The goal for all participants is to reach a mutual writing goal of 50k words in that time period. Some people write much more than that in that time period, some people write much less but everyone can participate at the website and enjoy the experience regardless.

Simply go to the NaNoWriMo website and sign up for a spot (be wary the website tends to load slowly as it’s often swamped with participants the world over). Finally even though “national” is in the title NaNoWriMo is open to anyone in the world, with a computer and an internet connection (or even without those two things). The rules are fully explained on the site but the short of it is, write 50k words for a single novel by the end of the month. You’re allowed, even encouraged to create your outline prior to that point but there’s no rules against taking time out of the month to create one if you prefer a plan to flying by the seat of your pants.

For the Prepared

Congratulations! You’ve already signed up for NaNoWriMo and you know the drill, you’ve even gotten your outline prepared if you’re a plotter not a pantser and you’re champing at the bit to get going. You’re already amazing and the month hasn’t even started yet!

For you, I’d encourage you to take NaNoWriMo as a controlled ‘test’ run. It’s a great way to figure out how much it’ll take out of your daily life to become a professional novelist. How you’ll fit your daily writing into your schedule around things like family, social obligations (NaNoWriMo is situated smack dab in the middle of the holiday season for Americans at least) work and of course the occasional play session that doesn’t involve writing. There’s nothing like sitting down and just doing it, even if you’re not sure how far you want to go with this whole writing thing to help you realize just how capable you are of handling it and if there’s anything in your life truly obstructing you from your final goals of becoming a Writer.

Good luck to everyone! Feel free to come back and post here about your progress throughout NaNoWriMo, I’d love to follow your works.

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