Have you heard of NaNoWriMo? If not, you should have, so let me fix that error. NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month is an arts initiative, the sole aim of which is to get writers to write. Or, more importantly, to get would-be writers to write. Their website can explain it better than I can: "National Novel Writing Month is a a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 p.m. on November 30. Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought fleetingly about writing a novel." The program was established in 1999, and since then has had more than 1,410,000 participants, not including 2013. they boast that over 250 of their novels have been traditionally published, including Sara Gruen's Water for Elephants, which was later made into the film starring Robert Pattinson, Reese Witherspoon, and Christoph Waltz.
Personally, I think that one of the best things about NaNoWriMo is the community of support and encouragement that it fosters for new writers. Many established authors participate, and even give motivational talks for the lesser-known participants. If you have a dream to write, but never had the get-up-and-go, NaNoWriMo is for you. If you are still unsure, then check this out: A friend of mine, Nick Durbridge, happens to be participating this year and, as an added bonus, is blogging about his experience as he goes. It's a daily journal of what it's like to write a short novel with a deadline, and it gives you a wonderful and entertaining look at the inner workings of the actual production of a book. You can find his blog here to read along with his adventures, and support beginning authors! After all, everyone starts somewhere.
I was fortunate enough to be able to attend one of the lectures offered during the Melbourne Writer's Festival recently, where one of the speakers (Chandrahas Choudhury: see his blog here) made a very interesting argument. The idea he put forward was that literature, and fiction specifically, amounts to a sixth sense, in that it allows humanity to experience the world in a different way. Sight, sound, touch, smell, hearing all provide unique and distinct ways of understanding the world around us and the inhabitants thereof, and Chandrahas postulated that fiction is the only way that we as humans have discovered (as of yet) to allow ourselves to see what someone else is thinking, thereby expanding our comprehension through not only a perspective distinct from our other senses, but one that is separated from our own mind. In essence, we have created a false sense to give us a more real understanding of the world. An interesting idea.
What do you think? Is fiction a sixth sense? Or are we simply over-justifying our love of reading?
I wanted to share this picture with you, as a bit of a teaser! The subject of this photograph lives in a park near my home in Melbourne, Australia, and kindly served as the botanical inspiration for a rather important bit of my upcoming novel: The Keeper Chronicles: Playing with Fire. Any guesses as to what? Don't worry, you'll find out the answer soon enough; Playing with Fire will be released in September, 2013! Keep checking back for more updates and sneak peeks, and you'll be rewarded!
Please enjoy this hilarious video regarding the impetus to write and the not-so-secret ambition so many writers have of immediate success. The arguments certainly sound familiar to me, my brain has them with itself at least once a day...
Now that we've released the title for book one in The Keeper Chronicles, I thought I'd jot down a little note on the process of how I go about naming a work of fiction. It may seem strange, but often-times the title is the first thing to come to me. This was the case with my last novel, The Lazy Postman. I thought of the title and wondered what that book would be about, and then curiosity got the best of me, so I wrote it. Other times the title comes later, but is easy to pick; it just seems to work. Sometimes, however, the title can be tricky. That is the way it was with Playing with Fire. It took ages to come up with a title that was factually and thematically relevant to the story, the characters, and the series as a whole. In the end, it was a suggestion from a friend that finally broke through, and I'm very excited to announce the title once and for all!
In my upcoming short story collection, Fictions of Questionable Length, there is a final chapter that discusses the history of each of the stories; how they were inspired, why they were written, how they were titled, etc., so if you enjoy "Behind the Scenes" insights into the creation of what you read, be sure to watch out for it in early 2014!
Playing with Fire will be released in September, 2013.
We're up and running! It's very exciting for us to have this new way of connecting with you all. Make sure to keep an eye on what's new and upcoming on our "News" page, where we'll be making all sorts of great announcements over the next few months! (See what's there now for a taste!) If you're interested in finding out more about J.R. Vikse and his work, take a look at the "About the Author" page, or get in touch with us via "Contact." You can also find his Facebook author page and Twitter account using the links above, and of course, we'll provide you with easy access to reviews on Jason's work, and shopping, in case you need an extra copy or two! In "Links," you'll find lists of some of Jason's favourite authors and books, as well as some helpful sites if you're considering taking the leap and publishing yourself! Here in "Notes From the Author," we'll be sending on some thoughts and updates from Jason, as well as some Behind the Scenes features and interviews, so keep checking, and keep reading!