Monica is truly the definition of an artist. Born and raised in Italy, she now lives in my favorite place–the Pacific Northwest. Not only can Monica write words and turn them into beautiful books, she is also a painter and sculpture balanced by being a mother and wife. I am really excited to get to share her NaNo experience with you all!
-Name: Monica La Porta
-Blog/Website Address: www.monicalaporta.com
-Tell us about you: I am an Italian transplanted in misty Washington State.
–If you’re a writer–professionally speaking–what is your “normal novel” pace? Given no restrictions on time, how long would you say it takes you to write 50,000 words?:
I write 1000 words every day, or at least I try my best to. When I am particularly inspired I can write up to 5000 words, but I’d say that normally it would take two months to write a 50,000 word novel.
-This isn’t your first NaNoWriMo…tell us about your first time?:
My first time was three years ago, and I approached it like a vacation from reality. A month to write whatever my mind concocted without worrying about contents, characters, flaws in the plot. Just pure, unadulterated writing. Loved it. The house suffered from it.
-Since there is an end goal–which makes you a “winner”–did you win and reach 50k in your past NaNoWriMo’s? How many words total did you write (more or less or dead even)?:
I won both times I participated; dead even. I tend to write more than the recommended word count every day, so that I finish earlier and celebrate Thanksgiving without worrying about deadlines.
-NaNoWriMo is a lot of work, so we all want to know, what initially inspired you to join the writeathon movement and then, what has kept you coming back for more?:
The first time, I wanted to push myself to see if I could write more than the 1000 words I had settled on. I had lots of fun in the process, my family was very supportive, and I decided to do it again.
-What were some of the things you taken away from past NaNo’s? Any lessons you’d pass on to a newcomer and things you’d personally do different this year?:
Free your mind and write for the sake of it. Don’t’ worry too much about house cleaning and cooking. My house and my family survived the last two Nanos, and I am confident they will survive 2011 Nanowrimo as well.
–What happened to your story–did you publish it? Junk it? Still working on it? (this is the place where it is A-O.K to mention a published book, if that book came from NaNoWriMo’s of the past):
2009 Nano’s is safely stored away. The story I was trying to write took a life of its own; it started as a young adult tale of a blind girl going through daily life struggles, and soon enough dragons and princesses made their appearances. Promising, but messy. Maybe, one day, I’ll take a look at it again. 2010 Nano’s, The Priest, is going to be on Kindle later this month (October 2011). Last year Nano’s was born as a prequel of a novel I was already writing. I was almost done with Pax in the Land of Women, when two characters came alive: the Priest and Rosie. Their story was sad and worth telling, but there wasn’t space for them in Pax. Nanowrimo came around, and I thought it was the perfect opportunity to put Pax on hold and write The Priest. One year later, the stories of Ginecea, a land where women keep men under captivity, and love between a man and a woman is a sin, are ready for public consumption. Lots of writing, re-writing, editing, re-editing, professional editing (twice), and proofing in the last 365 days…
–What do you think your biggest personal challenge will be when it comes to NaNoWriMo this year? (examples: time, other obligations, consistency of participation, writers block)
2011 Nano’s is going to be a challenge because I haven’t made up my mind, yet, about what I am going to write. I should be working on the third and final installation for the Ginecean series, and give The Priest and Pax their conclusion, but I have been toying with an idea for a while, and the other story is calling me.
-Since you’re obviously back for more–tell us–what prep work have you done for 2011 NaNo? Do you have a strong plot mapped out? Character development? What are you current plans?:
Well, for Pax at War I have the whole story mapped out. If, instead, I give in to temptation and I work on the young adult paranormal story I have been thinking of lately, I haven’t planned much. I have a general idea for the atmosphere and the setting, two main characters already talking and wandering around, but the plot is still open to endless possibilities. The only certainty at the moment it is that no vampires, shape shifters, werewolves, witches, or elves will be enrolled in the cast.
-Do you plan to keep working on this book/novella/script post-NaNo?
Definitely, in both case scenarios. If I write Pax at War, it will be the final chapter of a trilogy, and I have already reserved a spot with an editor for May 2012. If I write the young adult paranormal, I’ll keep working on it later on.