[Who are you?]
My name is Travis Sullivan. I’m from Mobile, Alabama and graduated from The University of Alabama, Roll Tide. I currently live in Tokyo, Japan and have lived here for the past six years.
[Have you written anything before?]
I have currently written four novels and one novella. I’m preparing them to be self-published save for the most recent novel, which I’m cleaning up to send to agents.
[What are you writing for NaNo?]
I’m writing an urban fantasy. It’ll be a villain turn. This is my pre-draft synopsis.
In modern day Japan, John Stockton is an English teacher trying to get out of the English teaching business. He is very skilled at martial arts and speaks Japanese fluently, but has no other relative skills that companies are looking for. One day, a villain named Hyuga pulls John into a security firm, using a special power. Hyuga forces John to steal gold and leaves him to take the fall for the crime.
While John rests in his prison cell, Hyuga breaks in using the same power and offers John a chance to escape and learn how to use these powers himself. John accepts and follows Hyuga into a Yakuza headquarters. During a large scale fight with the crime organization, Hyuga to deal with the crime bosses. John finds himself alone and on the wrong side of a gun. Just before the Yakuza man shoots him, Ami and Keisuke—two of his friends that he didn’t realize were power-users—show up to rescue him. John escapes in the confusion of their arrival and goes back home.
After being absent for a week, he returns to work only to get fired on the spot and sent walking home in a spiraling depression. During his walk home, the police spot him and begin to chase him through the streets. They force him to use his powers against them. One of them happens to be his best friend, and John accidentally kills him. John’s depression worsens and rage towards Hyuga intermixes with it.
John searches out Hyuga and confronts him. Hyuga easily outmatches him, and John is lucky that Ami and Keisuke show up to save him again. The three fight against Hyuga, and the leader of the power-users’ organization soon joins them. They start to win until Hyuga uses an illegal power to kill the leader of the power-users’ organization. John retreats in fear and sadness, unable to avenge the death of his friend which he had laid at Hyuga’s feet.
The death of their leader causes a power vacuum in the power-users’ organization, and the different factions begin to fight amongst one another—one led by Ami and the other Keisuke. John feels broken and responsible for the power-user deaths that are mounting up in the civil war, so he takes it upon himself to assassinate Ami and Keisuke. Because of this, he gains power equal to Hyuga.
John unifies the power-users under his control and uses them to corner Hyuga. John attacks Hyuga with his newfound power and barely delivers the killing blow before Hyuga could travel away from the battlefield.
John takes Hyuga’s head, bones and blood before reorganizing the power-users’ organization. He has the current members sweep across Japan and force membership upon every power-user they meet. After succumbing to the darker half of his soul, he rules over the power-users with an iron fist.
[Is this your first NaNo?]
No, I participated in Nano last year. This will be my second year, and my most recent novel is the product of last year’s Nano.
[What is the best advice you could give to other WriMos?]
Prepare. Prepare. Prepare. Tell your family and friends that you’re in a comma and disappear. Prepare.
For me, even though I’m a gardener, I have worked and reworked the magic system, written several sample scenes to give me a feel for the characters and magic system, made a basic outline for the chapters, and written a sample synopsis as seen above. Though, all will change after the first draft, having a good structure will help any writer keep moving when the time presses in on them.
[What do you hope to gain out of NaNo?]
The experience of a rushed deadline and a new novel. Nano is also a great way to meet new writers and have and improve your craft by trying something new. For me, it’s to see how well I work with an architect’s framework.