NANOWRIMO…The Making of a Novel

If you’re an author or up coming writer who has never participated in NANOWRIMO, you may be asking yourself–what’s the point? I wanted to share with you my experience and get you excited about this opportunity to come up with a new plot and push yourself to write, write, write.

Admittedly, I didn’t participate in 2011, however, I jumped in feet first in 2010.  On Halloween day, and i still had no idea what I was going to write about.  Earlier in the day, I had skimmed over the news and seen something about a kidnapping that sparked my interest.  I generally write Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance, so I knew I’d have to give a kidnapping story a spin that would blow readers away in order to make the thirty days work for me.

I did some quick research and found information about a playground in Alabama.  Several children had been abducted and subsequently, their bodies were all found in this playground.  Morbid–I know! However, it gave me the idea for a novel that was eventually released in September 2012 called Becoming Jolie.  I’m not a plotter by any stretch of the imagination, so I made a few quick notes and decided I had nothing to lose by giving it a shot.

Before you start making excuses, hear me out.  I was working a full-time job, taking care of my children and husband, dealing with constant migraines and doing all of the things that we all do just to keep things going.  The only thing I required of myself is that I would write at least thirty minutes a day, even if that meant staying up until everyone else was in bed.  This wasn’t difficult for me, because that’s pretty much the best time for me to write anyway.

Here is the great part–I almost psyched myself out in the beginning.  I kept thinking there was no way I could write 50,000 in 30 days, especially with all the balls I had in the air.  I had to keep reminding myself that nothing horrible would happen if I didn’t make it.  A wonderful thing happened though, the more I wrote, the more the words flowed.  I finished Becoming Jolie and met my Nanowrimo goal in 18 days!

That book has turned out to be a fan favorite.  Of course, it went through changes and edits.  In fact, the finished product after Nanowrimo had some major point of view issues, as I was quite green when I set out to finish it.  My point is, you never know what will happen if you challenge yourself to participate.  Have fun with it and relax–no one will beat you if you don’t finish!

So I know you’re going to ask…am I going to do it this year? I am currently working on a novel and a short story.  What better way to push myself to get them completed?

Ready! Set! Go!  Here is the link to the site –Go ahead–Sign up – http://www.nanowrimo.org/

Interested in the novel created during Nanowrimo 2010?  Here’s a link, blurb and the cover just for you:

   Blurb:

Jolie Bourque is trying to finish her thesis on mass hysteria and get on with her life. Enter Follette, Louisiana. The small town has been plagued by ghost sightings and a rash of missing children. She is convinced everyone in town is crazy — except Hutch Landry and his brother Tucker.

The brothers seem to be the only people willing to help when she starts asking questions. Just when
she thinks things can’t get any crazier, she begins to have dreams and visions of her own. Uncovering the town’s ties to her own life throws Jolie into a tailspin.

Can she survive the madness that is Follette, Louisiana? Who is preying on the town’s children? Can Jolie afford to fall in love while drowning in madness? If she does — how on earth will she choose between brothers?

It’s all just part of the journey to Becoming Jolie.

http://www.amazon.com/Becoming-Jolie-ebook/dp/B009DHBW26/ref=pd_rhf_se_p_t_3

Comment and let me know if you plan to participate and are reaching your goals!

Cheers,

Monique O’Connor James

Author of  The Keepers, The Watchers, Jamais Vu, Deja Vu, The Mulligan Man, Magia Rising & Becoming Jolie

Coming soon:  Muscial Scares & Black Water Bayou

 

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Becoming Jolie Huge Giveaway!

Becoming Jolie is going to be FREE for download on Amazon from October 8-10.  We have set up giveaway so that you can win lots of free stuff by helping us spread the word!  Just click on the rafflecopter link below and follow directions.  Hope you enjoy!!!!

Prizes – Original cover – signed copy of Becoming Jolie – (The one with the swing set on it), PDFS of Magia Rising, Becoming Jolie and The Watchers and a $10 Amazon Gift card are all up for grabs!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Huge Giveaway – Magia Rising Launch!!!!

Come help me celebrate the debut of Magia Rising by clicking on the giveaway link below!!! You have a chance to win A $25 Amazon Gift Card, Mardi Gras Beads, and PDF Copies of Magia Rising!!!!

Have fun!!!!

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a Rafflecopter giveaway


The Book Demolition Derby!!! Scavenger Hunt! May 5-May 20th 2012

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 A fabulous group of authors has gotten together to offer readers the chance to win lots of signed books and PDFs for their collection!  This is amazing!  We hope you enjoy!

Here’s the scoop!  Below is a list of web addresses for each author and a question from their website.  Most of the questions come from the first page. (If a question comes from another page we will tell you where to look).

We made the questions as simple as possible.  The idea is just to visit each website.  Once you have answered all the questions email your list of answers to nique313@yahoo.com.  On May 20th, we will do a random drawing from the correct answers and you can win signed books or pdfs from these authors.  (See prizes below.)

Questions and websites:

1. http://www.moniqueoconnorjames.com/ – In what state does Monique live?

2.  http://www.kristinecheney.com/ – click on bio- what is the name of Kristine’s labra-doodle?

3. http://www.ginikoch.com/ – Making the world safer one _______ at a time.

4.  http://sellery.weebly.com/– What is the name of the anthology Miller’s Daughter was published in?

5. http://jfjenkinswrites.wordpress.com – Click graveyard – what does Jillian keep track of here?

6.  www.elainecantrell.com – Hope. Dreams.

7.  www.frederickjarceneaux.webs.com – Where is the setting of Mirrored?

8. http://eawest.mcphitty.com – What are her unusual pets?

9. http://www.lisakumar.com/ – Escape into fantasy and _______.

10. http://www.breaessex.com/ – Shadows and ________.

11. http://www.briclarkthebelleofboise.blogspot.com/oise.blogspot.com – _____ from the life of an author and speaker.

12. http://www.thesupernovasaga.com/– Who is the publisher of Supernova?

13. http://murdersandmysteries.wordpress.com/ – What kind of dog is that on Lindsay’s blog? (hint – Lassie)

14. http://www.iris-b.blogspot.com/ – Dare to live your _______.

15. http://feliciarogersauthor.webs.com/ Click on about me. For what is love without _______.

16. http://www.lisaorchard.com/ click on bio – Where did Lisa grow up?

17. http://www.nancygideon.com/ Romance by any other _____.

18. http://www.loraleelillibridge.com/ – Ordinary People….Extra-ordinary ______.

19. http://www.sherrygloag.com/ – The ______ of romance.

20. http://joselynvaughn.wordpress.com/books-sucker2.htm – The things that give me joy (and _______).

21. http://www.patriciakiyono.com/ – Escape into a great ______ _______.

PRIZES:

FIRST PLACE: 7 Signed Print Books & 3 PDFS

SECOND PLACE: 5 Signed Print Books & 3 PDFS

THIRD PLACE: 2 Signed Print Books & 3 PDFS

FOURTH PLACE: 10 PDFS

FIFTH PLACE: 7 PDFS

SIXTH PLACE: 3 PDFS

Cheers and Enjoy The giveaway!

*** PS:   I did everything I could to get the covers of the books to pull into this post and for some reason the preview button wasn’t working in wordpress!  So here is a list of the books that are being offered just in case it doesn’t work!

Print:  The Keepers, Jamais Vu, Spartan Heart, Secret Santa, Alien in the Family, Her Kind of Man, A New Dream, Mirrored, Sucker for a Hot Rod, Foreshadow, Eternal Witch, Supernova, Seeker of Shadows and All that Matters

PDFS:  His Chosen Bride, Aegean Intrigue, The Legacy, The Keepers, Jamais Vu, Deja Vu, The Mulligan Man, Spartan Heart Part One, Spartan Heart Part Two, Spartan Surrender,  Secret Santa, Unfiltered, Legend of The Oceina Dragon, Legend of the Inero Dragon, Vala Agenda, Vala Heritage, Battlefield, The Sentence, Imperfect Beauty, Through the Rabbit Hole, Foreshadow, Eternal Witch, A Body In the Attic, Emily Dahill CID, A Dog Gone Christmas, Journey to Her Dreams, Painted Lady, Love Octagon,The Super Spies – Cat & Lady Killer.

Monique O’Connor James

Author of The Keepers, Jamais Vu, Deja Vu, The Mulligan Man

& Coming Soon:  Becoming Jolie and The Watchers!!!

Ghost Stories #8 Haunted Baton Rouge (My Home Town!!!)

Highland Road Near Lee Drive –  As a resident of Baton Rouge, I can tell you that Highland Road is beautiful.  Some wealthy residents make their homes on the bluffs and golf courses along this stretch of road.  In the months of September and October, our police stations are inundated with calls about ghostly sightings here.  Injured confederate soldiers hobble along the street during the fall months drawing much attention.  Reports say their injuries are horrific and most have missing limbs and are covered in blood.  (Nope never witnessed it!)

The Spanish Moon – At this nightclub patrons have witnessed beer taps turning on by themselves and plates and glasses flying through the air (and it wasn’t a bar fight).  In the 1920’s the building was used as a makeshift morgue, but it was just over thirty years ago that the place was used as a wino flop-house, and this is the era from which most believe the spirits originated.

The Old State Capitol – Our Old State Capitol Building looks like a castle and is one of my favorite places in the city.  The ghost of “Pierre”, a senator from a by-gone time who died of a heart attack during the discussion of a hot political issue.  Motion sensors set off the alarms in the building and nothing can be found on the security cameras.  He has also been seen in the room where the Senate once met.  Perhaps, he’s only waiting to finish his argument?

 

Old State Penitentiary – This building now houses the headquarters of the Louisiana State Police. What was at one time the execution chamber and morgue is now offices.  Here radios turn on and off and prisoners from the past roam the hallways. (Guess their just happy to get out of their cells.)

 

 

Guaranty Income Life & Broadcasting- The morgue of Baton Rouge General Hospital was once located on the bottom floor of this building.  Now the morgue freezer serves as file storage.  It is said that at night the temperature of the first floor drops several degrees and that the elevators run unmanned.  Security guards refuse to visit the first floor because of the strange noises that can be heard at all hours of the night.

Hope you enjoyed!

Cheers!

Monique O’Connor James

Author of The Keepers – http://www.amazon.com/The-Keepers-ebook/dp/B0054LO9E8/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1331129226&sr=8-6

Jamais Vu – http://www.amazon.com/Jamais-Vu-ebook/dp/B005SG02FE/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2

Deja Vu – http://www.amazon.com/Deja-Vu-ebook/dp/B006X3133G/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2

The Mulligan Man – http://www.amazon.com/The-Mulligan-Man-ebook/dp/B005ES06M0/ref=pd_sim_kstore_3?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2

Coming May 2012 – Becoming Jolie from Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing.

Free Read! The Awakening Chapters 5 & 6

I abandoned my blog for a few days, but I remember to post the next couple of chapters of the Awakening for you guys!  Hope you are enjoying!

Chp 5 & 6

 

Cheers,

Monique O’Connor James

Author of The Keepers – http://www.amazon.com/The-Keepers-ebook/dp/B0054LO9E8/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1331129226&sr=8-6

Jamais Vu – http://www.amazon.com/Jamais-Vu-ebook/dp/B005SG02FE/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2

Deja Vu – http://www.amazon.com/Deja-Vu-ebook/dp/B006X3133G/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2

The Mulligan Man – http://www.amazon.com/The-Mulligan-Man-ebook/dp/B005ES06M0/ref=pd_sim_kstore_3?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2

Coming May 2012 – Becoming Jolie from Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing.

 

Ghost Stories #6 – Haunted Schools!

I get a ton of hits on my ghost stories, so ya’ll must be enjoying them!  This week we are talking about haunted schools.  This is just a sampling as there are a ton of haunted campuses across America!  Makes you wonder if high school sucked because of adolescence or if it was the ghosts!

Pleasant Hall – LSU – Louisiana – There have been numerous murders and suicides or at least rumors of such in this formers women’s dorm.  These deaths have spurred ghost sightings and plenty of strange happenings over the years.  The most famous story is of room 312.  The story goes that a young woman shot her boyfriend in the face after an argument, thinking he was dead she ran up to her dorm and killed herself.  According to people who frequent this building, the woman still hangs out in the halls and particularly this room!

Lambertville High School – New Jersey – The school is now abandoned, but was first established in 1854.  It closed in the 1950’s after a fire.  Many brave souls have wandered the halls since the place closed and returned with frightening tales of the supernatural.  Creepy chalkboard art appears in one of the abandoned class rooms.  The screams of a little girl has driven people out of the building along with the sounds of moving furniture and footsteps.  It is said that at exactly midnight, you can hear the laughter of children through-out the school.  Some believe these are the ghosts of the children who were killed in a fire.

Nixon High School – Maryland – The school was built in 1965 and sometime during the 1980’s a teacher who was there preparing for the new school year was repeatedly stabbed to death.  She was later found in the bathroom down the hall.  Students report a presence in the bathroom and slamming doors.  Teachers have said they see the teacher walking the halls in the afternoons after the kids have left for the day.

Northside High School – Indiana – In 1927, despite the warnings of a local indian chief, the  school was built atop an indian burial ground.  People claim this chief still haunts the place warning people of the sacrilege that was committed there.  The apparition of a teenage girl is seen in the gym by dozens of students every year.  A janitor who died in the basement will working is still heard and seen there, and a construction worker who was killed during the collapse of the stage haunts the auditorium.

Nixon High School – Texas – IN the 1970’s a jealous boyfriend decapitated his girlfriend who was on the school’s dance team.  Witnesses have seen her headless spirit wandering the school and hear the sounds of the spurs on her boots.

With all of this activity on our school campuses, it’s a wonder we ever get anything done!  My high school wasn’t haunted that i know of, and I’m pretty grateful because being a teenager was hard enough!

Cheers,

Monique O’Connor James

Author of The Keepers, Jamais Vu, Deja Vu and The Mulligan Man published by Astraea Press

Coming May 2012 – Becoming Jolie from Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing

Free Read! The Awakening Chapters 1 And 2

Okay so honestly my hope for my blog is to give something to my readers.  I want there to be a reason that you stop by to hear me talk about my crazy cat or the kids or some ghost story I want you to hear.

I wanted to create a gift for the people who read my stories and love them. So here’s the dealio – I have several works in progress!  I need to work on all of them eventually and this is a great way to get going on this one while I work on some of my other ones, so I’m trying something new!

One of the manuscripts that is sitting on my laptop waiting to be worked over is  a stand-alone, paranormal fiction novel called The Awakening.  I’d like to post FREE chapters once a week and let you follow along as I do the first of many edits on it!

Here are my requests (You knew there was catch right?)

1.  Don’t be too critical it has not been truly edited.

2.  Don’t hate me if I change the name and feel free to make suggestions as we get further into the story.

3.  Share my blog with your friends so they can read along and comment too!

4.  Follow me so you know when I post new chapters!

That’s it!   That’s all I’m asking!  At the end of this little experiment, I will edit the heck out of it and publish it on Amazon and Create Space.  In between chapter posts I plan to entertain you with my nonsense!

Hear are Chapters 1 & 2:  Chapters 1 and 2

I really hope you enjoy!

Cheers,

Monique O’Connor James

Author of The Keepers, Jamais Vu, Deja Vu, The Mulligan Man published by Astraea Press

Coming May 2012 – Becoming Jolie – from Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing

Demons and Fiction

In The Keepers, the villain is a fallen angel turned demon. He actually had human qualities and although he was evil, there was something about him that made readers pity him. Despite the fact the he was clearly on the wrong side, he wasn’t hard to look at and for a moment Jess was pulled in by his appearance and charm. In a lot of movies, the demons are monstrous creatures with no human qualities what so ever.  Even the demons I later wrote about in Jamais Vu, were horrible creatures made up of  decomposing mounds of flesh and bone.

So what exactly are they, and why do we find them so intriguing?

Demons have been defined as everything from fallen angels to evil spirits capable of possessing their human counterparts.  We even use the word to describe those with a great passion for something, such as speed demons.  Some people even believe that demons are just the manifestation of the evil nature that bubbles just beneath the surface of every human and that, that is why we find them so fascinating.

The original greek word “Daimon” didn’t even carry a negative connotation.  It simply meant a spiritual being.  It wasn’t until the Hebrew Bible that the word became something more malevolent.

Throughout history there have been many definitions of the word demon.  Here is a peek:

1.  Mesopotamia – There were 7 evil entities knows as storm demons.  They appeared as winged bulls and were considered to be God’s divine wrath.

2.  Ancient Arabs – The jinn were lower divinities with human attributes.  They liked humans and were peaceable by nature.

3.  Judaism – Demons were believed to do the bidding of the Angel of Death.

4.  Christianity – Christians have had a wide variety of definitions for the word demon.  They can be spirits that inhabit a person or place, fallen angels, unclean spirits or the followers of Satan.

5.  Isalm – Jinn coexist with humans and are not evil.

Demons can be painted in many ways and have throughout the ages, but one thing is for sure.  They always make great fictional fodder.

Cheers,

Monique O’Connor James

Author of The Keepers, Jamais Vu, The Mulligan Man, Deja Vu published by Astraea Press

Coming Summer 2012 – Becoming Jolie published by Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing

Deja Vu Debut 1/12/12 Giveaways!!!!!

You probably know by now that Jamais Vu’s follow-up, Deja Vu, will be coming out tomorrow 1/12/12.  I have lots of giveaways going on right now and just wanted to do a little run down so you don’t miss anything.

Okay first,  if you purchase Deja Vu on 1/12/12, email the receipt to nique313@yahoo.com and I will give you the choice of a PDF of The Keepers , Jamais Vu or The Mulligan Man!  Two for One!!!!  This is for 1/12/12 only.

Next, Rachel Van Dyken had a fabulous write-up about the books on her blog.  If you comment on her blog, I will draw someone on 1/12/12 o receive a PDF copy of Jamais Vu or Deja Vu (Your choice).

Okay last one for now.  We are playing throw me something mister on my facebook page.  Change your profile picture to the cover of Deja Vu above and yell “Throw Me Something Mister” on my page!  On Saturday, 1/14/12 I’ll draw for several winners and the prizes are the collectors beads below and maybe even a couple of PDFs!

Have Fun! Thank you all for always supporting me!

Cheers,

Monique O’Connor James

Author of The Keepers, The Mulligan Man, Jamais Vu and Deja Vu published by Astraea Press

Coming Summer 2012 – Becoming Jolie published by Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing