Ready or not, here it is. Sunday begins what is called National Novel Writing Month, or Nanowrimo for short. I've participated and won at least nine years (I missed a few the years my children were born, for some reason). I had a few years early on when I didn't quite make it 50,000, the goal of the month. But the last few years, I've surpassed 75,000 words. It's a huge accomplishment.
And, it must be working, because of those nine Nanowrimo stories, three have been published, and two more will be next year! Wow!
When I decided my word for 2020 was stretch, I had no idea how fitting that word would truly be. Sure, I meant to stretch myself to new things, to learn and grow and expand. But I had no idea when I started this year that I'd end up doubling how many stories I had published by the end of 2021!
I just signed two more contracts for books to release next year. That means that at the end of 2021, I'll have six books published, twice as many as I have right now.
To say I'm slightly shocked and blown away is an understatement.
When Heather Greer, Erin Howard, and I started talking about how/when we were going to get together to shoot more videos for our YouTube channel in October, we decided to try our hand at another retreat. The one we did for just us in March was great, but this time, we opened it up to others, too. And let me tell you, even though our first official retreat was small, it was powerful.
What do I mean by powerful? Were there earth-shattering moments or majestic instances of insight? Probably not.
When Erin Howard and Heather Greer and I started talking about doing a YouTube channel a year ago, I wondered what on earth we'd find to talk about. Since then, we've posted almost every Saturday. And grown closer to each other. And had so much fun.
Who knew? YouTube wasn't something I'd ever considered being on. I mean, I'm not a star or anyone, so why make videos that no one would watch? But you guys! At least a few people have watched our videos. And by doing this together, we've all grown and stretched outside the comfort zones we had set for ourselves.
Did you know that Laura Ingalls Wilder was sixty-five years old before her first book was published? Sixty-five!
Let me tell you, I am nowhere near sixty-five. And that makes the fact that my third book released this week even sweeter. Just look at that beautiful picture. THREE books with my name on them. :-)
Sometimes, I can't even believe how all of this has worked out. To go from having stories in my head, to writing them down, to EDITING, to finding other people who saw the potential in the stories, too, and were willing to give them a shot. Wow. It's a lot. But to be able to hold these books in my hands and see my name on the covers ... and have other people tell me they loved them? Wow. Just wow.
Today, I'm interviewing fellow Anaiah Press author, Sally Ling. The more I learn about this lady, the more fascinated I am. Read on and see if you feel the same.
What started you down the road of writing books about Florida history?
I was a special correspondent for the Sun Sentinel newspaper and my editor assigned me a story about some old World War II buildings on the campus of Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida that used to be part of the Boca Raton Army Air Field (1942-1947). After I wrote my article, I realized this was a much bigger story than the 700 words I was assigned. I wrote a second article for a local magazine (2000 words), yet the story still wasn’t given adequate space. My first book on Florida history turned out to be the amazing story of how the Boca Raton Army Air Field played a pivotal role in winning WWII. The story was made into a feature documentary by our local PBS station.
What is your favorite part of living in Florida?
The weather. Although it’s hot in Florida in the summer, so is the rest of the country. Where I live (southeast coast), there is always a breeze, and the winter is beautiful. Typically, I go to North Carolina for the summer.
I know you write both fiction and nonfiction. Do you have a preference or like each for different reasons?
I typically alternate my writing between nonfiction and fiction. Nonfiction involves a copious amount of research, so it typically takes me longer to write. I must say, however, that my fiction books also require lots of research as you’ll note in Women of the Ring. Regarding fiction, I’ve always had a vivid imagination, and for that reason I love writing fiction. The challenge of weaving a story together and not really knowing where I’m going until I get there is exciting to me. I’m a pantster writer (I write by the seat of my pants).
This book baby is releasing October 6th. But just to whet your appetite, here's a sneak peek of the first chapter. I can't wait to hear what you think.
Don't forget to join me on Facebook on the evening of the 6th to party and celebrate ... and maybe win a door prize. Click here to find out more.
This is a place for me to tell you about what I'm writing, talk about the process or where some of my ideas came from, or even have other authors come in and talk about their books.
Authors I Love to Read (in no particular order)