Friday, November 29, 2013

NaNoWriMo Feature - Kristen S. Walker

Hi everyone!

I haven't been able to update the blog recently due to my total immersion in NaNoWriMo! On top of that, I had (as usual) tons of work to do, and... my wisdom tooth started giving me serious (painful) troubles. So I apologize for my tardiness.

Without further ado, I would like to present Kristen S. Walker, also known as sarasvati.river on the NaNo website.

Welcome, Kristen! Is this your first time participating in NaNoWriMo? If so, what made you take the plunge? If you're a vet, how do you feel about tackling it yet again this year?

This is my seventh time doing NaNo, and I'm excited to be participating again. Even if I don't make my word goal for the month, I always enjoy the community support, and I'm happy to have more words than when I started!

What's your project? Include name (if any), genre, brief synopsis... whatever you'd like to share!

I'm writing WITCH HUNT, the sequel to the YA Urban Fantasy novel, Small Town Witch, that I wrote for NaNo 2011 (and subsequently self-published). In the first book, the teen witch Rosa found out her mother was using magic to control her whole family, and when she broke the spell, Mom ran away and kidnapped her younger sister. So now Rosa is hunting for her mom to finally confront her about the spell and to save her sister. It's complicated by Mom being hidden by Unseelie Faeries, and Rosa will have to gain their trust to find out where Mom is.

How are you approaching NaNo? Are you in the midst of a writing frenzy, or do you have a carefully thought-out plan?

I had a head start on planning because I am doing a sequel, and I also spent the month of October planning my outline, so I have a pretty good idea of where I'm going. However, I often end up changing course partway through NaNo, so I'm sure I'll surprise myself before November is through. That said, I am also trying something scary and new by sharing my story with others while I'm writing it!

Have you learned anything from this experience so far? Is there any advice you would like to share with other NaNoWriMoers?

I've learned that I have to look at each day as a fresh chance to write. If I get too caught up in the numbers, especially if I start to fall behind, then I tend to guilt-trip myself and I've ended up quitting before because I was frustrated by my lack of progress. Instead of falling into that downward spiral, I am trying to stay excited about my story and be positive. The only thing that's standing between me and a completed first draft is my own self-doubt, so I just have to turn off that part of my brain for the month.

Send a short excerpt from your project! I'd love to share what you're working on!

The following excerpt is from a scene where the main character, Rosa, has an uncomfortable conversation with her boyfriend's mother:

Yumi ran water over the bowls in the sink, then turned and gestured to the small table on one side. “Please, sit down, and do not be frightened. What I have to say is for your benefit. I only want you to understand my son’s . . . idiosyncrasies.”

I sat down, but I stiffened defensively. “You know that Kai and I have been in the same class since we were twelve. I know him pretty well by now.”

She sat down across from me and folded her hands neatly in her lap. “Yes, I am aware that you’ve been acquainted for several years, and at your age this must seem like a long time to you. But I don’t think you can appreciate what that means in the scale of a kitsune’s lifetime.”

I resisted the urge to roll my eyes at her lecturing tone. She came from a completely different time and culture, and she still managed to sound just like my mom. “I know he’s going to outlive me, but that doesn’t matter right now. I’m not expecting him to swear to love only me until the end of time. And we’re the same age, so I think four years is still a long time in his mind, too.” I bit back a remark about how a woman in her third century might not remember what it was like to be sixteen.

“That is actually the problem,” Yumi said with a little shake of her head. “Kitsune do not mature at the same rate as humans. It used to be tradition that we would raise our young as foxes, and they were not permitted to transform and enter human society until they were fifty or even a hundred years old. Because I found a human partner, I chose to raise Kai this way, but now I wonder if I made the right choice.”

Her tails swished along the floor behind her in agitation. “You see, Kai may seem like a teen your age to you, but his mind is more like a child. And he will have the immaturity of a child for many decades to come.” Her ears folded back, then swiveled forward to point straight at me. “You will probably get tired of his antics before long.”

Thank you, Kristen! I hope your NaNoWriMo went well!

You can connect with Kristen here:


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