Today we have Sherrie Henry joining us to talk about their NaNoWriMo experience and how it’s affected her writing career.
1) How many years have you done NaNoWriMo?
This is my second year tackling NaNoWriMo.
2) Can you tell us a little bit about this year’s project?
It’s a sequel to last year’s NaNoWriMo – my novel ‘Last of the Summer Tomatoes.’ While LOTST was a young adult LGBT, the sequel will be a ‘New Adult’ LGBT, following the two main characters (Sam and Kyle) through college.
3) Has Nano lead you to getting something published, either self-published or traditional/small press?
Yep. Last year’s novel was picked up by Harmony Ink and published this past July.
4) How did you get started with Nano?
My mentor, Allison Cassatta, told me about it. Thought I would try it out and reached the 50k word count by the end of the month, then added about 10k more before submitting it for publication.
5) Have you ‘won’ NaNo every year you’ve participated?
So far, yes.
6) If you haven’t won every year, can you tell us why you think it failed? If you won every year, will you tell us your strategy?
I think I can do it this year; I’m a little behind right now, but the week of Thanksgiving (up to that Friday) I have absolutely nothing to do, so I feel I can get caught up before the 30th.
7) What’s your advice for aspiring authors who participate in NaNo?
Don’t give up, but don’t drive yourself nuts trying to get the 50k. If you force it, it will show in your work. So what if you don’t make 50k … just keep writing.
8) What advice do you have for those who struggle towards the 50k mark?
Don’t keep looking at the word count. Write what’s in your heart and don’t add stuff just to try to reach the goal. I’ve read so many good short stories and novellas … if that’s what you end up with and not a novel, don’t feel like a failure. I published three short stories before I even considered doing something longer. I got two novellas done and then the big novel. I still write anything, short stories, novellas, novels, heck, even some poetry. Write the story that’s in you and don’t add fluff to make a word count.
Now that we’ve got the NaNo questions out of the way, let’s get to know you a little more.
9) Tell us a little bit about yourself
Not much to tell. Still trying to find my niche in life. I moved to the suburbs of Chicago about 15 years ago. I love teaching and writing and hope I can make a living doing a little bit of both.
10) What is your upcoming work?
I just released a novella, a werewolf romance called ‘A Wolf’s Bane.’ Also have a sequel to one of my short stories (Twenty-Four Hours) that’s called ‘Michael’s Journey.’ No timetable for it, but hopefully the first quarter of 2014. As I said with my advice, I write the story and don’t worry about the word count.
11) Where do you see yourself as an author in the next 5 years?
I hope to have a few more novels underneath my belt. I’ve got a WIP in progress (dealing with the hot topic of the day, vampires) that I’m hoping to send to one of the ‘big boys’, probably Penguin. I’d love for my writing to take off and give me a consistent source of income so I can quit one of my part-time jobs.
12) Please, tell us where we can learn more about you!
Lazy Beagle Entertainment