As part of the September, 2012 Hydra Blog Hop, I’m hosting Hydra Publications author Lyndi Alexander. First things first: here’s a quick word about Lyndi. You can find out more on her writer’s blog.
Lyndi Alexander dreamed for many years of being a spaceship captain, but settled for sharing stories with others who live on lofty imaginations. She has been a published writer for over 35 years, including seven years as a reporter and editor at the South Dade News Leader in Homestead, Florida. Her list of publications includes the non-fiction book 101 Little Instructions for Surviving Your Divorce, published by Impact Publishers in 1999, stories in A Cup of Comfort for Divorced Women, in December 2008, and A Cup of Comfort for Adoptive Parents, in June 2009. Her Clan Elves of the Bitterroot series (as Lyndi Alexander) is available from Dragonfly Publishing; THE ELF QUEEN in 2010 and THE ELF CHILD in March 2011, with THE ELF MAGE in 2012; her sci-fi space opera TRIAD, also released in 2012, and now LOVE ME, KISS ME, KILL ME, from Hydra Publications. She lives with her absent-minded geek husband, eleven computers and seven children between them, in northwestern Pennsylvania.
Now that we’ve gotten to know Lyndi, here’s her article on the website NaNoWriMo and how it propelled her to improve her writing.
How NaNoWrimo created a future bestseller
I discovered NaNoWriMo (www.nanowrimo.org) about five years ago, and it took my writing to a whole new, jazzed-up level. Taking thirty days to compose 50,000 words, writing a novel in a month, was an amazing feeling. I succeeded that first year, 2007, and also in 2008, 2011, and in 2009, I wrote the story that would eventually be published in 2012 as Love Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me.
I highly recommend the experience for any writer who truly believes they have a novel inside them, but can’t seem to find the time to write it down. It’s a frothy, chaotic plunge into an ocean of literary cold water, making you, the writer, accountable for your own success. No one double checks you, except at the conclusion, if you want to enter your document and have your words officially counted (not recorded). It’s you against your plot and characters.
The advantage of NaNoWriMo is that this commitment is only for thirty days. Sometimes when you try to picture yourself taking on something with the enormity of creating a novel, you might think, “Wow, that will take months or even years,” and it’s too overwhelming to even contemplate.
But thirty days is eminently do-able. It fits on one page of the calendar. It’s the kind of countdown you do for Halloween or Christmas, or even a dreaded birthday. No question, it will be a labor-intensive thirty days! But it only takes a small chunk out of your foreseeable future. Isn’t it worth a try?
Now is the time to begin thinking about writing your November novel. While you want to wait till November 1 to actually start penning your masterpiece, you are certainly free to go ahead and create your profile on the NaNoWriMo site, so you’re ready to go. Many of the global areas represented on the website have Municipal Liaisons, or local cheerleaders that set up write-in events and prep sessions so you can meet other participating writers who can support you when the crunch comes.
The other thing you can do ahead of time is to sketch out an outline, create character profiles, be as prepared as possible so you hit the keyboard running come October 31 at midnight.
And if you’re lucky, you’ll put your imagination and your determination to work to create something very special. I hope you do.
Great advice to anyone who wants to jump start their writing career. Now that you’ve met Lyndi and she’s shared a way to get you motivated, how about a quick synopsis of Love Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me, her latest novel:
Running away isn’t necessarily the answer.
In her mad rush to escape a failed marriage, Sara Woods takes the first job available and lands in the middle of a mystery. Her first assignment as a news reporter for the Ralston Courier is the investigation of a string of deaths, all young women, all her age.
She becomes a patient at the Goldstone Clinic, a local mecca of healing, to deal with chronic pain from her past. But all is not as it seems at the Goldstone, its doctors and nurses are all the picture of perfect beauty and health. Patients at the clinic first seem to get better, then they deteriorate. Sara enlists the help of Dr. Rick Paulsen, who teaches her how to access her internal power, skills she never knew she had, revealing secrets from her past. Police officer Brendon Zale also takes an interest in Sara, but he acts like a stalker, watching her every move, and he won’t leave her alone.
As she digs deeper into the story, and more young women die without explanation, she tries to choose allies wisely, but not till the last confrontation does she discover the identity of her true enemy.
By then, it’s too late.
Want more? I knew you would! Here’s an excerpt from Love Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me. Enjoy!
I watched Dr. Paulsen, totally disbelieving. “You’re talking crazy, you know. What do you think I am? A battery, charged or not charged or something? That’s not possible. Is it?”
“It would explain what happened. Dedra’s life force was ebbing and you replenished it.”
“Life force. Okay, so we’re in X-Files territory. Next you’ll be talking vampires.”
He twitched as if I’d slapped him.
That raised my eyebrow. “No way.” I thought about Talman and his charisma.
He walked behind his desk, as if putting the solid wood between us would insulate him. Or was it me he was trying to protect? He studied me, clearly torn about something. Still on the issue of trust?
“What does that have to do with the clinic?” I asked, as the silence went on.
He didn’t answer.
“Why did Dr. Ruprei show up so quickly?”
He shook himself and leaned forward, elbows on the desk. He looked so much more tired than he had the first day we’d met. “I don’t know why Ruprei was here. I didn’t send for her. She didn’t hurt you, did she? Or Dedra?”
I shook my head.
“What was it you said? A battery? That’s a good analogy. You’ve been at the clinic recently, haven’t you? Within the last 24 hours? Within the last week?” He poured another glass of juice for me, disapproval in his voice. As I started to argue with him, he held up a finger. “I know you have. Let’s just work this through, all right? Please work with me on this. It’s very close to Lily’s story. It may be the key.”
“All right, fine. I did go, five days ago. But my life force was just fine. In fact, I felt terrific. Better than I had in years.”
He rubbed his forehead, lost in thought a moment. “I hadn’t thought she would move so soon. Drink the juice.”
What use was there arguing at this point? I drank the juice. I had to admit, it seemed to be having a positive effect. “Who’s she? Dedra was seeing Chal Talman. But he wasn’t doing anything wrong. I told you. I felt great.”
“Of course you did. You might have had all your own energy and some of his besides.” He leaned back, arms crossed.
“What are you saying, that they put it into me?”
“I’m not sure. It’s not easily done. Have you ever done any energy work? Studied chakras, tuning meridians, that sort of thing?”
“Speakee English?” I passed an arch look. Had Lily understood any of this, been a willing partner? “I never studied anything like that.”
“Amazing,” Rick said. “You’re a natural. I had to study four years with a healer in California to even begin.” He blew air through pursed lips. “Tell me about your treatments again, both yours and Dedra’s. Whatever you know, even if you don’t think it’s important.”
Thinking of the dead woman, and the near-dead one down the hall, I settled in and told him what he wanted to know, all of it, holding back only the deep smoky attraction I’d felt for Chal. Rick seemed most interested in the first, where we had both felt drained, and the last, when I’d been so charged. When I finished, he read over his notes, then looked at me, speculation written on his face.
“Can I try something?” he asked. Uncertainty must have showed in my face, because he actually laughed. “Nothing bad! It’s an experiment. Not dangerous, I promise. I just want to get a feel for your energy field.”
“You mean those areas governed by the chakras, the alignment and so on. But you just said I’d given Dedra any power I had.” Not that I was buying that. I was guessing if that’s really what had happened, that it was one of those miracle emergency adrenaline bursts, like the guy who could lift a car off his child in crisis mode. That made sense. Such events had been documented in the past.
Rick persisted. “I’m not looking for what you’ve got, just testing your usual state.”
“Then will you tell me about Lily and the others? And what this has to do with vampires?”
“Yes. Then I’ll share what I know.”
Quid pro quo, Clarice… The dark words echoed in my brain. I eyed Dr. Paulsen. But which of us was Hannibal Lecter?
And since I know you’re dying to buy a copy, let me provide a link to Amazon so you can pick up the Kindle version for just $3.99.