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Guest Blogger: Stacey Voss Author of Thunder and Blood Talks About Nanowrimo

October 22, 2009

Where is Stacey Voss?

I’ll give you a hint: It is the day you all have been waiting for.

She’s HERE! She’s HERE!

Yup, that’s right today is Stacey’s sixth stop on her whirlwind Thunder and Blood virtual tour!

Thunderandblood


Stacey Voss is here live and in virtual person, as my very first Guest Blogger and the first ever author to stop by my little virtual club house for a Book Blog Tour! In honor of her visit today I will be giving away a signed copy of Thunder and Blood with a signed Thunder and Blood bookmark! (This giveaway is in addition to the Thunder and Blood Game Contest. So this is an extra chance to win!) Details at the bottom.

Thunder and Blood Back Cover:

When Sarah Ingram and her sister Christine left Thunder Bay on a chilly November afternoon, they thought that they were going on a weekend getaway, leaving their problems behind. What they didn’t realize was that they would end up in a world that was, in many ways, very different from their own, but at the same time eerily familiar. Separated almost at once, the two women found themselves struggling to come to terms with the reality of their situation. How did this world become so different from the one they knew? What secrets were their new ‘friends’ hiding from them? Was it possible that there could be more to the vampire stories from their own world than simple myth?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Stacey’s Guest post is about Nanowrimo, how she ended up writing Thunder and Blood and the journey she took to publishing it. She will be here all day (8AM – 4PM EST) answering questions and chatting. I am particularly excited about this post because This year I will be participating in Nanowrimo for the very first time! If you are joining in the crazy fun of Nanowrimo add me as a buddy! Stacey’s profile link is available at the bottom also.

nano_09_blk_participant_120x240.png

If you are new here today,then welcome I hope you enjoy Stacey’s post, take a few minutes to say hello and look around my humble little virtual corner. πŸ™‚

With that, Let the Games Begin!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

One Month, 50K Words, Inspiration and a Creepy Fog – by Stacey Voss

A lot of people have asked me about how I wrote Thunder and Blood during Nanowrimo 2007. When Heather asked me to do a guest blog, I suggested writing about Nanowrimo because it’s one of the most fantastic under-publicized events for writers held around the world.

Nanowrimo stands for National Novel Writing Month. While it started out as a national USA event, it has grown over the last eleven years into a global event. The first time I ever heard of it was during the last week of October in 2007. A friend of mine posted a status update on Facebook that said “Lock up your inner editor” along with a link to the Nanowrimo site (www.nanowrimo.org). Intrigued, I clicked on the link and discovered the challenge: write 50,000 words in 30 days.

I’d always wanted to write a novel, but had issues getting past the first few chapters. I was always caught by that “inner editor” that my friend had mentioned. I’d get a few thousand words into the story and then be distracted and go back to the beginning and start editing what I’d already written. It was far easier to keep editing what I’d already written than to progress and continue the story.

This time I was in a place in my life where I was ready for the challenge. I had recently remarried that summer and my husband was extremely supportive of my wanting to participate in Nanowrimo. All I needed was an idea. Many participants plan for a month or more ahead of time, doing character sketches and building their world. The main rule for the challenge is that you can’t write a word of the story until November 1st, but planning is allowed. I didn’t have time for much planning or for coming up with a new idea.

There was a story that had been running around in my brain for the last ten years. In fact, the inspiration for the story had first come to me around 15 years before when I had been a teenager. I was driving around the countryside late at night, probably thinking about boys, and suddenly drove into an extremely thick fog. The fog was exactly as I described it in my novel. It slid over my windshield like layers of silk and I couldn’t see either side of the road, let alone any oncoming traffic. At the time I was terrified, but when I finally drove out of the fog and made it home I thought ‘what an amazing idea for a story.’

It remained an idea until I was 24, when I started posting my writing on a website called Themestream. After submitting all of my short stories and a few of my poems, I decided to start a serial novel. Basically I wrote a short chapter every week. The website was taken down (just as I had earned my first cheque) and although I had printed out the chapters that I wrote they were put in a box somewhere. I’m sure I came across those pages a few times over the years, but they were finally lost when my daughter and I sold everything that we owned and moved to Germany in 2005.

Two years later I took that idea and did two days of planning before starting writing at just after midnight on November 1st, 2007. I wrote my first 1,667 words in just under two hours. I kept up that pace as long as I could. I had about 15,000 words when my husband and I left for our honeymoon to the Canary Islands for two weeks. During my honeymoon I managed to write about another 10,000 words. I was under the gun at the end, but managed to finish those last 25,000 words during the last week, completing the challenge and earning my certificate at around 11:30 pm on November 30th.

I was so happy to be done that I just put the novel aside and left it alone. I picked it up again in March for Nanowrimo (National Novel Editing Month) but didn’t manage to put in my 50 hours of editing time for the month. I finally started editing again in October and that finally lead to me finishing and sending the novel in for publication at the end of April 2009.

Nanowrimo starts up again in ten more days. If you feel inspired and ready to take on a new life challenge, feel free to add me as a friend – http://www.nanowrimo.org/eng/user/214979 – we can help each other get to that 50,000 word finish line.

Giveaway Rules:

To enter the giveaway all you have to do is follow my blog or subscribe to the RSS feed and ask Stacey a question or leave her comment.

For additional entries Tweet about it and include @bookobsessedGrl in the tweet so I receive it, or blog about it & provide me with a link. Every time you tweet it or link back to it will count as an additional entry. (You must leave a comment with the links in order for them to count)

Include you First Name & initial, along with a contact email address or your entry will not be counted.

This giveaway is ONE DAY ONLY!!! I will announce the winner tomorrow morning (10/23/09).

Open internationally!

Thunder and Blood Trailers:

Find Stacey and more info about Thunder and Blood:

Twitter

Facebook

Goodreads

Shelfari

Thunder and Blood Cafe Press Store

At Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers you can read an INTERVIEW of theΒ CHARACTER Adelaide.

Stacey’s Nanowrimo Profile

But wait there’s more… (isn’t it exciting when there is more?)

If you are not the lucky winner of todays fabulous giveaway don’t fret you can still get your own copy of the book, at a discount price! Stacey has set up a special deal good for this tour only! Head over to CreateSpace and use code 3Z8WYLY2 at check out and you will get 25% off the normal price! You’ll have to hurry though as the code is only good until November 30th!

Thanks for stopping by and don’t forget to join in the fun today by chatting with me and Stacey! Who knows you just might win!

Cheers,

Heather

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40 Comments leave one →
  1. October 22, 2009 01:57

    How are you feeling about the whole process? Are there things you would have done different? Will you be doing your next book the same manner ?

  2. October 22, 2009 01:57

    Hi Kimberly,

    I debate back and forth with myself how I feel about the process. I start to think that I wished that I had a big publisher, then I talk to someone who had one and realize the only difference between my experience and theirs is the distribution factor (and a bit of credibility, but even that’s changing these days). Of course it’s easier to get in with the big reviewers if you have a big publisher, but I’m not 100% sure that that’s even all that necessary. I’ve never read a review from a big publisher in my life, but I have read blogger reviews. I can relate more with the book bloggers so I guess I find their input more valuable, personally.

    I’m not sure if I would have done anything differently. It’s been one great big learning process. If anything, I would have hired a professional editor, but I’m not sure I could convince my husband that the cost is worth it. I’m working on it for the second book. I think that’s going to be the main change with the second book. Since people are actually reading my book, I think I’m going to be agonizing over the editing process.

  3. October 22, 2009 01:57

    Hi Stacey!

    This will be my fourth or fifth year doing NaNoWriMo. I am so excited because this is the first year that I won’t have a zillion things going on. I have a hard time finishing things that I start, so this year my mission is to not only get to 50k, but also to finish the book so that I can move on to editing it next month. My goal is to get it published.

    So I guess my question for you is, how did you go about publishing your book?

    • October 22, 2009 01:57

      Hi Elizabeth,

      What really did it for me was when I received an email from Chris Baty in October 2008 that CreateSpace would print a copy of my book for me for free. I looked into the business model behind CreateSpace more and talked it over with a student I had at the time who is heavily involved in the book industry in Europe. I decided to try going the print-on-demand route (since CreateSpace is part of the Amazon group) and have my book available on Amazon and on my own website. Since I live in Canada, ISBNs are free, so I started up a publishing company. I’ve been in business for myself a lot in the past so this was just a natural process for me. I also have a great love of marketing, so I’ve had no problem with that aspect of things.

      What I’ve found to be most difficult is keeping up with everything I need to get done and still have time to write. Hopefully I’ll work myself into some kind of organized status soon. πŸ˜›

      • November 2, 2009 01:57

        I’m a do it myself kind of gal, too, so I can totally see myself taking a similar path! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my question. I wish you the best of luck and can’t wait to read Thunder and Blood!

  4. October 22, 2009 01:57

    Will you be developing more of the character’s backstories in the next book Thunder and Ice?

  5. October 22, 2009 01:57

    I’ll be developing the characters more altogether. I think it really depends on who ends up being the focus of the next book. Of course, Sarah, Christine and Hillard will have major roles, but I think that one or two other characters may come to the forefront. Not sure yet. Guess even I won’t know until next month.

    • October 22, 2009 01:57

      My question was going to be if you were going to work on a novel within the Thunder and Blood Universe or do something completely different for Nanowrimo this year. I think you just answered it above.

      Are you still planning to do prequels or are you going to concentrate on going forward?

      • October 22, 2009 01:57

        For Nanowrimo this year, I’m going to do a sequel, Thunder and Ice. After that I’m going to start working on the two prequels. I’m not sure what the timelines are going to be for those, since I’ve got a lot going on in my life next year.

      • October 22, 2009 01:57

        Stacey, You will definitely have a lot going on next year! It’s going to be a very busy time for you! πŸ˜‰

  6. October 22, 2009 01:57

    hi Stacey~
    Hope all is going well !!!
    My questions today would be:
    What was your favorite part of participating in Nanowrimo?
    What was the worst/hardest part of participating in Nanowrimo?
    Would/will you do it again?

    The tour looks like its is going well for you!! Good luck and have fun !!!!
    Thanks,
    JoJo

    Of course i follow the awesome Heather bookobsessedgrl !!!

    Blog post:
    http://jojosbookcorner.blogspot.com/2009/10/thunder-and-blood-game-contest.html

    jojosbookcorner (at) gmail.com

    • October 22, 2009 01:57

      Hi Jojo,

      My favourite part of participating in Nanowrimo was the process of developing the story without stopping. It was an insane process, but it really worked to help me past all of the obstacles that I would normally set up for myself. I think the hardest part for me was the fact that I was in Germany and didn’t have anyone to do write-ins with. I know that there’s some great groups here in Thunder Bay, so I’m planning to get together with other people this year, which should be a lot of fun. I’m definitely in for this year and plan to do it as many times as I can in the future.

    • October 22, 2009 01:57

      Thank you Jodie! For stopping by & for the awesome shout out! πŸ™‚

  7. October 22, 2009 01:57

    This whole NaNoWriMo totally passed me. Sometimes I feel like I live behind the moon. LOL Sounds really interesting but I don’t think it would work for me. I don’t even find enough time to make one blogpost a week and than to try to write 50k in one month? And we will ignore the fact that my English is really not that good. LOL
    I find it always admirable when people are able to form so many coherent sentences to put them together for a novel. Perhaps I will try some day.

    So a question for Stacey: You live in Germany? That’s so cool. Any signings in the near future? First time I could really meat a writer.LOL

    Heather, the new template is great! Love it!

    Oh and I tweeted this contests a few times…

    • October 23, 2009 01:57

      Susi,
      You can be part of our cheerleaders! There are a bunch of us doing it that we chat with everyday & we’ll need all the cheering we can get! πŸ™‚

      • October 23, 2009 01:57

        Sure can do that! Where do I have to sign up? LOL
        I master in cheering!!!

    • October 23, 2009 01:57

      Hi Susie,

      I used to live in Germany, but I moved back to Canada in January with my family. We still have friends and family in the Wuppertal and Cologne area so we’ll be visiting in the future, so you never know, we might meet up sometime in the future.

    • October 23, 2009 01:57

      Thanks for the new template lovin! I didn’t see that when I first looked. Double thanks for tweeting & retweeting about Stacey’s guest blog & the contest.

      You are a darling!

      Big Hugs,
      Heather

  8. October 23, 2009 01:57

    Oh my, *blush* I meant meet a writer! I don’t even meat, I’m strictly vegetarian, so don’t worry Stacey.LOL

    Just thought about something:
    Why do you choose this genre? Is it also the one you prefer to read?
    Always find it interesting to know if author like the genre they write in the most for their own reading pleasure.

    • October 23, 2009 01:57

      I’ve read vampire books since I was a teenager. I also like to read all kinds of other things including crime fiction, horrors and thrillers. I also love science fiction and fantasy.

  9. October 23, 2009 01:57

    It’s going to be my second year doing Nanowrimo. Because I did it last year, it jumped started my writing for 2009. Can’t wait for the fun to begin!

  10. October 23, 2009 01:57

    I can’t think of a question to ask, but just wanted to say that I am going to have to read this book. It sounds really good!!

  11. October 23, 2009 01:57

    Hi,

    I know that there are more books to come in thie series, but I would like to know if you plan on having a spin-off book for any of the characters in the firt book?
    Thanks
    Ivy

    • October 23, 2009 01:57

      Hi Ivy! Thanks for stopping by my humble abode! I obviously don’t have the answer to your question but I just couldn’t resist saying hello & thanking you!

    • October 23, 2009 01:57

      Hi Ivy,

      I’m not sure. I don’t have a spin-off book planned, but anything is possible.

  12. October 23, 2009 01:57

    *waves* Hi Stacey, Hi Heather

    Great guest blog! I didn’t know much about Nanowrimo, to be honest i didn’t know it even existed until a few months ago. I think it is a great ‘event’ but i don’t think it would work for me, since i finished college i’ve been strugling to get any words out. But i’m seeing how every one is getting ready for this and i’m envious, i’d love to be able to write again too, maybe one day πŸ˜‰

    I like the trailers for Thunder and Blood! and i’ve been hearing so much about this book *cough*fromHeather*cough* i am really looking toward reading it! =)

    (Heather i like the new templates!!!)

  13. Breiab permalink
    October 23, 2009 01:57

    I signed up for NaNo this year but the only problem is I have no clue what I want to write about. I go back and forth from romance to something paranormal. I wish I could think of some great worldbuilding to get me started . If anyone knows of some good character sheets please let me know, otherwise I will just be winging it.

    Stacy, where do you get your best ideas?

    Breia B( NaNo name is Breezie)

    • October 23, 2009 01:57

      Hi Breia!

      I have some links I can post here for your or email to you (after 4PM) that might help. Reading your comment though it sounds like you have a great jumping off point and don’t even realize it. Paranormal Romance is a hugely popular genre (which you probably know), so you do not have to pick between them. Just take the Paranormal aspects you have been considering and weave them into the Romance ideas you have and run with it!

      At least that is what I would do. I know the question was for Stacey but I can almost never keep my mouth shut. I will post a reply here later with the links I mentioned & hopefully they will help.

      Thanks for stopping by & joining in on the conversation!
      ~Heather

    • October 23, 2009 01:57

      Breia that is a TOUGH question! I’ve explained the fog a lot, but my other ideas come from a whole variety of places. When I get stuck in the middle of a story, I just lay in a tub (hopefully my landlord will fix my tub soon so I’ll be good for November) and meditate a bit. I’ve gotten ideas from dreams (I dream REALLY vividly) and from random thoughts that just come to me throughout my normal day. Sometimes my husband, Heiko, helps me to flush out the science behind things. He’s a physics guy and a programmer so he knows stuff about almost any subject you can toss at him. If he doesn’t know, you can bet that he will within a short time.

  14. Kathryn20000 permalink
    October 23, 2009 01:57

    Hi~ I just wanted to pop in and say hi to you πŸ™‚ I came across a twitter and it caught my eye. It brought me here and now I can honestly say:Sooo very glad I did click it! I love Vampire/shapeshifters since I can remember(just celebrated 43rd bday). I cant get enough of them.Now I have a new author on my favorite list~must have been fate that directed me here πŸ™‚ I wish you the very best with your books/series~may they always gather you more followers and bring you success!
    Kathryn of Vermont

  15. October 23, 2009 01:57

    Stacey,

    Thank you so much for the wonderful guest post and for taking the time to hang out here in my little universe for the day. It has been a great time! We’ve had some excellent questions and comments, as well as met some cool new people. How much more could we ask for? That’s not even taking into account the number of requests you have had for .pdf copies of Thunder and Blood – which I am truly amazed by.

    Maybe we can lure you back after the tour is over to give us a brake-down of your experiences doing your first virtual book tour. Especially since part of it will be coinciding with Nanowrimo!

    Thank you! Thank you!!!

  16. October 23, 2009 01:57

    Thank you for having me here today, Heather! Today was a lot of fun and so busy! I would love to come back and give you an overview of my Virtual Tour experiences. Thank you to everyone who had questions or comments! Hope to see you all at the next stop on Tuesday!

  17. October 23, 2009 01:57

    I should have posted this before – along with my Thank you note!

    Here is a link to Stacey’s Entire Virtual Tour, there is something different at each stop: http://www.thunderandblood.com/content/My_Blog/

    The next stop on her Thunder and Blood Virtual Book Tour is on Tuesday 10/27 at Jenn’s Bookshelves mark you calendar! There’s no reason not to stop by now & check her site out: http://www.jennsbookshelves.com/

    One More note: I will be announcing the winner tomorrow & will notify them via post here and an email.
    Cheers,
    Heather

  18. October 23, 2009 01:57

    What an awesome guest post, Stacey! I am very excited for NaNo this year since it will be my first!!
    Thunder and Blood is such an awesome book and I am so excited for you and your tour!!

    • October 24, 2009 01:57

      This will be my first NaNo also! Yay for us!!! I will let Stacey know you left her a comment here in case she hasn’t check back today.

      Thanks for dropping by and commenting!
      Heather

  19. October 24, 2009 01:57

    I enjoyed this – decided to follow your blog. I wish NaNo wasn’t in November – too many visitors and meals and plans for Christmas going on for me to join in, but our little local group’s doing a mini wrimo in Feb so I’ll have a go at that. It was interesting to see how it worked for you Stacey.

    • October 24, 2009 01:57

      Hi Sheila,

      Thanks for following! I wish it wasn’t in November also, but I have been telling myself I was going to try it for years and this year I finally signed up. Hopefully I can make the 1600 words a day I’d need to reach the 50k goal and have it end up resembling a story! Your local groups mini-wrimo in Feb sounds like a good idea. Feb is a nice slow (albeit short) month & having an event going on like that can help with the ‘holidays are over blues.’

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!
      Heather

  20. October 24, 2009 01:57

    OH NO!… I’d managed to put my desire to do NaNo in my back pocket till next year! Now it’s tickling my behind, itching to get out of that pocket again. I’ve got a killer month coming up but you, Stacey, managed to do it while getting married and away on your honeymoon! *groan*

    In the face of such fortitude perhaps I should make the time (as you did) and not try and find the time.

    Thanks Stacey and thanks Heather.

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