[Who are you?]
Big question. My name is Renée, and by day, I’m a Writer and Creative Consultant for my company, Roseway Creative LLC. When I’m not working, I take care of my family, read voraciously, cook pretty well, and make a little music. In my spare time, I write unfinished novels, love songs about cowboys, and random musings about life around and about the Pacific Northwest on my blogs “What’s for Dinner, Mama?” and “Sock Monkey.”
[Have you written anything before?]
Lots. Tons. I’ve been a freelancer for many years, but most of my published work is of the corporate nature, and newspaper, magazine and online articles. Still looking for that first book contract. Of course, that would require that I actually finish a novel, which is my goal this year.
[What are you writing for NaNo?]
My NaNo project, Bicycle Boy [working title], is a YA historical fiction novel that is loosely based on my father’s experiences as a telegram delivery boy in Portland, Oregon in the early days of World War II. Barely fifteen at the time that the story begins, he was estranged from his family, living in Portland’s downtown YMCA, and dealing with profound guilt over the death of his favorite sister, for which he blamed himself. A key point of the story centers around one of his major duties – delivering “Black Star” telegrams: official government messages notifying families that their loved ones – fathers, brothers, husbands – had been killed in the war.
[Is this your first NaNo?]
No, this isn’t my first rodeo. I’ve participated and won twice before.
[What have you done to prepare?]
I always try to put together a moderately detailed outline, although I find that everything changes once I start writing and my characters start developing voices of their own. Also, whenever my work is historically based, I like to spend some time in Portland’s main library in the archives, getting inspiration and a feel for the time period. I listen to the music of the era while I’m writing, and if I can, I go to relevant locations and spend some time writing there.
[What is the best advice you could give to other WriMos?]
One important piece of advice I would offer to new NaNos is to do your best to get out of your own head and into your characters’ – let them say what they need to say. I’ve wasted so much writing time in the past trying to make my characters say what I want them to say instead of just writing what they need to say.
[What do you hope to gain out of NaNo?]
Like many of us, I’ve had this particular story knocking around inside my head for a long time now, and I hope to use NaNo to get it out. The pressure of works for me.