Today, I’m super excited to participate in the Ninja Writer’s SF/F Giveaway Blog Hop. The giveaway includes over 40 novels and novellas. I’m hosting Shaunta Grimes and her novella, Broken Nation. When you’ve read this post and claimed your free novella, be sure to click bag to the blog hop master post to claim more books and meet more amazing authors!
Shaunta Grimes is the ultimate Ninja Writer. She’s also the best thing to happen to my writing this year. This time last year, I was slogging away through the second half of my Pick Up draft. I knew I was going to finish it, but I also knew there had to be a way to write a first draft in less than two years.
Enter Shaunta. I didn’t know her. I’m not even sure now how I found her, but like magic, I saw a tweet that offered something call The Plotting Workshop. In eight weeks, she said, you could plot a novel from beginning to end. It was, as I’ve already said, the beginning of the best thing to happen to my writing in 2016, and it’s been a pretty exciting year for my writing!
Tell us what inspires you?
This probably isn’t a surprise, but I’m highly inspired by stories. They’ve been my mojo my whole life. I love to talk to people and listen to their stories, I watch a lot of movies and television, and of course I’m a compulsive reader.
Why do you love the Ninja Writers Facebook group?
Because it’s by far the coolest thing I’ve ever been a part of! Ninja Writers is the most amazing, engaged group of writers I’ve ever been involved with. I’m not sure what kind of magic juice came together to make Ninja Writers happen, but I’m grateful for it everyday.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
UGH. Act Two. I have a bad habit of having really good starts and getting derailed as I get to the second act of my story. It never fails, I get a GREAT new idea right there. Something shiny and new and demanding of my time and energy and attention. I’ve had to learn how to make myself keep going and power through to the end. Otherwise all I’d have is great first acts!
How many hours a day do you write?
I write a lot. At least a couple of hours most days now, because I’m super lucky to be able to write and work on Ninja Writers full time. But, I actually have a really time daily goal for myself. Usually it’s 500 words, but sometimes I just can’t even go there and I revert to my smallest functional goal: 10 minutes. For me, daily writing is the most important thing. I almost never stick to my small goals (I end up writing more, once I get going), but taking the guilt out of writing has been a huge thing for me.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
You know, I was a newspaper reporter when I was in my mid-20s and it cured me of any idea I had about writer’s block. I know the struggle is real and people do suffer from writer’s block, but I also know that a lot of times it’s the writer-brain’s attempt to protect itself from the hard work of creating a whole world from scratch. Those tiny goals are my weapon against writer’s block. I give myself permission to write 500 words (or even 10 minutes) a day and stop there I want to. And I give myself permission to create absolute crap if that’s all I have in me that day. It works for me.
First came the Second Civil War, when the U.S. government tried to deport tens of thousands of Mexican farmworkers all at once. Then came the airborne Virus that ended the war—and the lives of almost everyone. Now America is a weak and struggling shadow of its former self: where there were once fifty states there are now just fifty cities; where resources were once plentiful they are now scarce and doled out in rations; and where democracy once flourished there is now only the Company, the sole remaining power—because they control the drug that keeps the Virus at bay.
Leanne, one of the few survivors of the Virus but now orphaned and missing a leg, must rely on the help of Alex Santiago, the one person she still knows, the one person who can help her avoid being conscripted by the military, and the one person who swore he’d come back to save her. . . .