Have you entered my signed book giveaways this week? The first was via my Facebook group 'Erin Green Readers' group and the second, is still open via Twitter @ErinGreenAuthor - closing tonight at 6pm. I'm giving away a signed copy of my latest book, 'The Shetland Christmas Carol' and fingers crossed, it'll arrive with the lucky winner just in time for December.
I don't tend to do many 'giveaways' as I donate paperbacks to libraries ensuring that their readers can enjoy a new release as soon as they are published. Now it's your chance to win a signed copy for your own enjoyment!
For those following my NaNoWriMo progress, I hit a milestone today - 60,967 words written since the 1st November! It is quite staggering to know that I have reached my initial goal of 50,000 words but now have reached a new limit. I will continue until the end of the month as the whole of November counts as NaNoWriMo for me. Already I've decided that I will continue this NaNo streak into December to see how much of this book I can complete before my Christmas holidays begin. I hope I'm not tempting fate by typing that ... but we'll see what December brings.
1.What’s the quickest time you’ve written a book?
Sixty-one days. The longest time was six years (my first attempt at a book which has never been published!)
2. Do you ever include real people in your books?
I include memories in my books by referring to or including peoples’ names. I’ve used relatives’ names of two great-grandmothers, grandmother, both grandfathers, a cousin, friends’ children, my favourite uncles and five named gravestones relating to people I knew and wished to honour. My books are like photograph albums to me – reading between the lines I can see my life entwined in certain plots.
3.Would you ever include covid or refer to it?
Never. I made a conscious decision about this topic back in 2020. I stayed at home and followed every rule I was instructed to and saw many TV clips of families distraught by the enforced separation and the death of loved ones. When I write, I want my readers to be lost inside a different world. I would hate to bring up a subject that pulls them from that safe, fictional world to remind them of the pain and suffering they encountered during covid. I used hand washing as a trait for OCD for one character but nothing more.
4.How do choose character names?
From an early age, names have always fascinated me. There was only one Erin in my school, so no one used my surname – which was nice in some respects. From a young age, I pondered how different a Thomas, Tom or Tommy responded when called and how interaction or their reputation varied. Likewise, there are names that I dislike because of their connotations, historical events or simply phonics. I kid you not there is a letter of the alphabet for which I have never found a name I like beginning with that letter! Ridiculous I know, but that’s my creative brain for you. I am always listening out for names be it in public places, TV/film credits, gravestones, patron saints or class registers, when I was a teacher. I note down any that I find interesting or different for future use. I do have several baby naming books which I regularly trawl through as I also like the meanings of names. It is not uncommon whilst planning a book, for me to sit for several hours trawling through my lists and creating a short-list of possible names and their meanings. In some of my books the origins or meaning of a name has fitted the character perfectly for their role in the plot. I do have a list of names I will never use - real life people who may misinterpret my writing to be about them, when it is purely fictional. I’ve currently got a self-imposed ban on using the name ‘Nina’ as I’ve used it three times in my early books – I didn’t realise I was partial to the name, again I blame my creative brain.
5. Will you ever retire from writing?
Never. I sometimes panic as I near the end of writing a book that something disastrous may happen and I end up doing a Jane Austen! I never discuss my story lines prior to finishing so it would be a pickle if a third party had to complete the final chapters.
I've made a concerted effort this week to balance my NaNoWriMo with other creative activities as I always find week three the hardest of the NaNo month. As you can see, it worked! Today, I crossed the 50,000 marker on day 19. I'm dead chuffed but will continue for the rest of the month, as I always do.
Week 3 of NaNo begins tomorrow, which in previous year's has proven to be my toughest week. For me, weeks 1 & 2 are filled with motivation and enthusiasm for a new project and the start of the challenge. Week 4 is a cinch because I'm usually past the 50,000 word winning post and cruising towards my final word count. This year, I'm making a concerted effort for week 3 to be a Nano delight! I'm going to change my writing routine to freshen up my creative muse and simply enjoy getting to the 50,000 word marker by day 20!
I know my regular writing routine works, but this week I intend to include other creative tasks to combat the 'NaNo slump'. These additional activities will give me a little extra downtime whilst supporting my writing. Think of it as a treat week before the big finale week!
I realised today that I had a chapter in the wrong place, though it hadn't felt wrong when I was planning and writing it. Having moved on several days since writing it my mind kept flicking back to the specific chapter knowing/sensing something was wrong. Today, I changed it - which is unusual for me during NaNoWriMo I rarely change anything but I think my brain was bothered by it so tackled the issue. If you aren't a creative type that probably sounds most weird, but hey, that's what my brain does - it niggles at me constantly and this body simply follows orders. The upside was I had to fill the previous gap with a new chapter, so I achieved a great word count of 3694 for today. Win:win!
I've put the weekend word counts together mainly for ease and convenience. I spent less time on NaNo this weekend as I chose to dedicate time on other interests and hobbies, which allows my brain to recharge after a busy writing week. I watched a few films, attended bell ringing, walked my dog in the countryside and generally, had time mulling over my story so far. A couple of new ideas came to mind, which I've noted down and may try to incorporate in this week's writing. All in all, nearly 18,000 words is not a bad start to my NaNo month - here's hoping my second week flows just as well!
A bumper day of words today! A grand total of 4,012 words joined the project which means I've had one of the best starts ever to my NaNoWriMo month. My plot planning went a little astray, but it worked out for the best, as an unexpected plot point magically appeared and was worked in accordingly. All in all, a fab day of writing and an early finish for me given that it's Friday!
As a creature of habit, I stick to my routine and produced a word count of 3,352! Today seemed to be one of descriptions and colour - which is strange as yesterday seemed to be mainly sections of dialogue! Who knows what tomorrow will bring, but my character are starting to do their own thing and I can hear their voices in my head, so all is good in my fictional world.