DreadCentral is currently running an interview with David Niall Wilson, writer of such novels as Deep Blue and publisher of Crossroads Press which distributes ebooks and audiobooks.
Asked about his NaNoWriMo experience, Wilson says, “I have a lot of affection for NaNoWriMo. When I first decided to sign on and do it, I was at a very down point in my career. I’d just left an agent who kept asking me to come up with new versions of The Da Vinci Code. I must have written five or six extensive outlines with fifty pages of sample chapters for her. She didn’t like any of them. It was always something she ‘couldn’t be enthusiastic’ about. I had recently gotten divorced, and my life was in upheaval … in short, it sucked to be me.
“Then I got an e-mail out of the blue from author Janet Berliner, who’d read something of mine (don’t recall what) and wanted to know about who was representing me. You may recognize Janet’s name – she is also a past president of the HWA, a Bram Stoker Award-winning author, and, back in the day, she had her own agency. Janet wasn’t actively agenting at the time, but her partner and protégé Robert Fleck was. Bob and I hit it off, and I kicked off from the old agent like I was leaving a springboard.
“About that time, I sold my novel Deep Blue. This (as you might suspect) eased my angst a bit. That left me with a new agent and nothing new to be agented, so I decided to hit the NaNoWriMo challenge running. My family had just gone through Hurricane Isabel, which was a very sobering experience. I had a proposal for a novel that the previous agent had determined was no good, but I still liked it. I sat down, and I began to write. In 30 days (29 actually) I wrote The Mote In Andrea’s Eye, a sci-fi-ish romantic thriller that is sort of Forever Young meets Twister. It was nearly 80k words, and I’d done it in a month. I sold that book to the same publisher that had taken Deep Blue exactly one month after I finished writing the rough draft, and I never looked back. I started finishing the novels that I’d started for the previous agent, and revising older ones that were taking up space on my hard drive. I finished The Orffyreus Wheel one year, Gideon’s Curse (still not quite done, but more than 50,000 words one November) and the first of my urban fantasy series The Dechance Chronicles, all during consecutive years of NaNoWriMo.
“Last year I wrote a book with bestselling author Steven Savile, a sort of dark fantasy western, Buffy The Vampire Slayer meets Carnivale meets Deadwood – with angels. That is with several publishers now … this year I wrote a science fiction novel – The Second Veil: Tales Of The Scattered Earth – which, along with some partners who have also written licensed fiction over the years, I hope to turn into a large franchise.
“In other words? NaNoWriMo has been good to me. Let me state as I usually do, writing 50k words in a month is just not the big deal it seems to be. It’s only 1,667 a day – most working writers claim to write 2k or more, so they do this all the time. I certainly write that much on a monthly basis … but NaNoWriMo allows me to create one new thing that is just mine each year, and I remain positive and grateful for it – regardless of what anyone else things. My son Zach finished the challenge this year’s as well (he’s 17). He wrote the first 51k of Captain Shi And The Search For Eternal Youth Book I and I could not be more proud.”
You can read the interview in its entirety here: David Niall Wilson