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Author Merita King
Nano Wrimo Word War group. It's a group we started to help us with our daily word counts. It's great fun competing with Authors and Merita won our weekend word war so I decided it would be fun to interview her. Nano Wrimo is a contest that's held in November where authors try to win a contest by writing 50 thousand in a month.
Merita tell us how did you learn about Nano Wrimo
Hi, I first heard about Nano on facebook. Someone posted a question in a group I used to belong to, asking who was planning to do it in November 2012. I’d never heard of it before so I commented, asking what it was. When they told me, I was intrigued enough to go to the Nano site and take a look. I write fairly quickly, about 5k words a day is average so I was pretty confident I’d manage the required 50k. I didn’t hesitate to sign up.
How many years have you participated in nano and how does the group help with your word counts.
My first one was November 2012 and I found the Nano group during the event. When the event was going on, I found the daily word wars really helpful and fun to do. Even now, in between Nano’s I enjoy the weekend-long word wars as I’m actively writing a new novel at the moment.
When did you start writing and why?
I began my first novel in June 2011. I’ve wanted to write a book since I was a teenager but I never had the ability to make my writing full enough for a book. I have a very vivid imagination and often got plots and story ideas pop into my head. The reason I began writing was because of Vin Diesel, he got me started. He was always encouraging his fans to be creative and would often comment on our efforts, which was a huge inspiration. It started as fan fiction but as it grew and grew, I realised it could be a book. That first night, I wrote for 8 hours solid and finally dragged myself off the pc at 4am. After that, I had a dilemma; it was still a piece of Riddick fan fiction and if I continued with it and wrote a Riddick book, I’d probably end up in trouble with copyright and trademark laws and as I had no idea how to go about getting the appropriate permissions, I started again and used the same plot and peripheral characters, but changed my protagonist completely. Vincent Domenico was born.
My latest novel is called Floxham Island ~ Sinclair V-Log AZ267/M and it’s the first in a new series. The main character, Sam Sinclair is a Freelance Law Enforcer with the Inter Galactic Law Enforcement Agency and his job is to find, capture and deliver a specific target into the hands of the relevant authorities. Sam decided, after 20 years of being a Freelance Law Enforcer, to make his own video logs where he recounts the more memorable of his experiences and uplink them to the galactic web so others can enjoy them. In Floxham Island, Sam recounts the nightmare than befell him when he was sent to capture Professor Kluvak Nembier, who was suspected of murdering 9 of his colleagues on an archeological dig on Agrillia 3. Sam and his colleagues, find themselves stranded on the strangely deserted prison planet, Floxham 4, where they soon realise a new killer is amongst them. Whilst having to avoid the indigenous terrors on Floxham Island, Sam has to identify the real killer before too many more of them die.
How did you get into Self Publishing?
I started out by sending off my first manuscript to various agents but found most of them refused to accept science fiction and those that did, rejected it. After a dozen rejections I researched self publishing and decided to go ahead on my own. For my first two books I found a little old guy who did formatting for very little money but after that, I really wanted to know how to do it myself so I had a go and found it reasonably simple and now I do the whole process myself, apart from cover art. I was lucky enough to find a very talented cover artist who offered to work with me and he now does all my book covers.
Did you learn anything along the way as you wrote the book?
Now this is a great question and one I’ve never been asked before. Yes I did learn something extremely valuable. I learned that I am good at something, that I have an inner voice that is worthy of being heard and that I finally have something that I can be proud of. I’m autistic so communication is hard for me. I always felt I had something to say but have never been able to allow that inner voice to speak before. Now, through my writing, it can finally speak.
From start to finish, how long does it generally take you to write a book?
Usually a couple of months to finish to first draft. I write quickly and usually do around 5 thousand words a day, which is a chapter for me and the book tends to grow at around 3 or 4 chapters a week. I then put it away for a few weeks before I begin the process of proof reading and editing.
What advice would you give aspiring writers?
Get the story out. Just get it out of your head and onto the page. You can tidy it up later but if you don’t get it out of your head, it’ll never see the light of day. Don’t worry about spelling or grammar at first; all that can be seen to when you proof read it. The most important thing is to get it out of your head.
For you personally, what is the best thing about being a writer?
For me, the best part is being able to say what I want to say, the way I want to say it. To give full control over to the creative side of my mind and bring my fantasies into physical form is so totally cool that I can’t really describe it. To see those words, to read them later and still be moved by them, to cry and laugh at those words and know that they came from me, my abused and damaged self, is just awesome.
Are you learning anything new even in this stage of your craft?
Oh yes, I’m learning new things all the time. I can now format a complete novel for kindle in less than an hour. I’m learning all the stuff we were never taught at school, such as what a dangling modifier is and little tricks to make your writing a little more sophisticated. I’m still stretching my creativity all the time. For instance, Floxham Island is the first of my novels to be written in first person POV. It’s most natural for me to write in third person omnipresent so first person was a huge challenge and I found it hard but a fantastic learning experience. I struggled to get Floxham Island past 50 thousand words because I found first person a little constricting but because of that experience, the second in the Sinclair V-Log series, which I’m in the middle of writing now, will be much longer as I’m now far more comfortable with first person. Having researched the accepted rules of ‘good writing’ with regard to first person, the second one in the series will be around 80 thousand or so.
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