Saturday, October 31, 2009

NaNoWeen

For the last few years, Halloween has become 'NaNoWeen' for me. There is still dressing up and giving out candy, but at the stroke of midnight, it is officially November and the writing begins.

My Co-Ml and I hosted the annual Kick-off party in our region today. We gave out cool (or at least, I thought they were cool) goody-bags and we played several 'games' like draw your inner editor in jail
(or in some way locked away where he/she can't bother you) and sealed plot ninja gifts (where everyone wrote a plot twist and sealed it in an envelope which were then randomly distributed for Wrimos in their darkest hour of writer's block.) We had a great turn out and a lot of fun. As you can see in the pictures, fellow Tri Mu Tori and NL Berger dressed up with me, but luckily we weren't the only ones (though we did get some interesting looks walking into B&N.)

Well, midnight is almost here. I can hardly wait! Are all of you out there participating in the challenge with me ready? Get your thinking hats and writing, uh, gloves(?) on. The madness is about to begin!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A novel writing challenge: NaNoWriMo and the madness, plus PRIZES

Every year around this time I start blogging about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), and while I am obviously once again blogging about NaNo, I've decided to do something a little different this year. This year, instead of just blogging about how I am doing in the challenge (and it will be a challenging year as I am expecting revision notes for two different books any week now) I want to know how YOU are doing. Oh yeah, and there will be prizes(so read on!)

For those of you who don't know, NaNoWriMo is a month long challenge where people all over the world attempt to write 50k words during the month of November. If you have ever wanted to write a book, this is a great time and a great challenge to get you noveling. I wrote THE END on my very first novel during NaNo 2005. That novel was ONCE BITTEN, which was released this past January. So, as you can guess, NaNo is a challenge I really believe in.

Officially, the 'prize' for participating in NaNo is typically a certificate and the satisfaction of reaching the goal. While writing 'THE END' for the first time (or the second, fifth, sixtieth time) is definitely a thrilling reward, I want to sweeten the pot a little for my blog readers.

Here is what I'm proposing:
-Everyone who participates on the blog and completes the 50k word challenge during NaNo will be listed in the acknowledgments page of my February release, TWICE DEAD.
-Of those people, I will pick a randomly generated 'grand prize winner' who will receive Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King as well as a copy of my up coming release.
-Also, everyone who participates on the blog, regardless of whether they complete the challenge, will be entered to win a copy of TWICE DEAD.
(I'll decide how many I'm giving away once I see how many people participate.)

Sound good?

Here is how you participate:
I will post a blog entry every day during November. In the comments section of that post, leave a quick message telling how your writing is coming and your current word count. (**Note: if you are reading this anywhere but my Facebook page or my blogspot blog, please bookmark www.kalayna.blogspot.com as only responses in these locations will be counted toward the contest.**) Feel free to talk about the triumphs and struggles as we all pound through this challenge, and I would encourage you to cheer each other on. I will comment as often as time allows, but I would love to see an active community grow through this challenge. Also, try to stop by and comment several times a week. Every new day's word count will give you another entry in drawings.

Easy enough, right? So who will be noveling along side me this NaNo season? I'd love for you to go ahead and introduce yourself in the comments here. The madness is coming, so good luck to everyone who plans to pound out some words!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Pictures from Moonlight and Magnolias

This post is late (story of my life) as I returned from Moonlight and Magnolias over a week ago, but hey, better late than never, right?

Tori Pryer, NL Berger, Cera Daniels, and I attended M&M this year and among the four of us, brought home four requests for partials. As I sold a three book deal (on top of the 5 book deal I already have) a week before the conference, and I am neither suicidal nor a writing machine, I did not pitch. Now, if you're doing the math, that means one of my critique partners brought home multiple requests! (Congrats Cera!)

We had an absolutely fabulous time at the conference. There were workshops to attend, authors and industry professional's to chat with, a book signing (more on that in a moment), and, of course, the Maggies Award dinner and dance. As you can tell from the photos, I toted my hoop out onto the dance floor and introduced a whole gaggle of romance writers to hoop dancing. A hoop on the dance floor was clearly a first for a lot of people, but it was tons of fun, and several women tried it out. I have to say one thing though, while I am getting better at hooping in strapy heels, I do not recommend hooping in a strapless dress! That was almost a disaster.

Speaking of firsts, as I briefly mentioned above, I took part in the book signing this year at M&M. Aside from a signing for my college friends, I haven't actually had any signings to date. Talk about being nervous! The room was full of strangers, and there was my name on the wall with a stack of my books on the table. There must have been twenty five authors signing in the room, and Sherrilyn Kenyon's line lasted a full two hours!
(By the way, on top of being an amazing writer, Sherrilyn is an inspiring speaker. If you ever get a chance to hear her talk, jump on it.) I signed a couple books for people who had already read ONCE BITTEN, which was way cool, and several other people walked by, looked at the cover, flipped it over, and then ended up buying and having me sign it. I think I manged not to shake too much, and I probably owe that to the amazing women who sat on either side of me. It was fun, if nerve wreaking. Someone tell me it gets easier with time? ^_^ (Btw, any one out there have a picture of me from the signing? I didn't think to ask anyone to snap one, but I know several were taken.)

All and all, my adventures at Moonlight and Magnolia were amazing. It is wonderful little conference that I highly recommend to anyone in the south east. With M&M over, my Convention and Conference circuit for this year is now at an end, but I am already making plans for 2010. I have been asked to be a guest at RavenCon, so I will definitely be there and at Dragon*Con next year. I hope to get a chance to go to more places and meet more people next year, so stay tuned for where I'll be in 2010!

What are your upcoming con plans?

Friday, October 09, 2009

Wish I could blame this on the pain meds, but all they gave me was Novocaine . . .

Dear Novel,

I appreciate your wish to remain lodged deeply in my mind and not be torn away, pressed into a manuscript, and then sent out into the world. It warms my heart that you like me so much, you are clinging to the shadows of my subconscious and refuse to be parted from me. That said, you need to take a deep breath, jump into words, and become a book.

I love you dearly, and because I think you are so 'wonderful', I wish to share you with others. Know that being read by other people will not tarnish you nor will it diminish you in any way. In fact, it is likely to do the opposite. It is my greatest wish that you to grow up to be a bound book people can buy and enjoy.

So, this is an official letter to inform you that you are being evicted. Understand that it is with greatest love I have made this decision. Now, please proceed in an orderly and climatic fashion down to my fingertips, into the keyboard, and onto the screen. Thank you.

With love,
your novelist.