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Author Interview: Dawn Chapman

Dawn ChapmanFirst of all, tell us a little about yourself.

My name’s Dawn Chapman. I’m from the UK, and happily married to my long-suffering, non-writer husband, Paul. We live in a bungalow, with our Indian Ringneck parrot and 30 Koi, all of which are spoiled rotten by me.

How many times have you attempted NaNoWriMo? Have you succeeded in the past?

I’ve attempted NaNoWriMo every year since 2010, when they stopped ScriptFrenzy. I used to be a part of that event every April, but they closed it down. So, November became my writing month. I succeeded in 2010, failed in 2011, and then won every year since. Only more recently, this year, I took up Camp NaNoWriMo in April.

What can you tell us about your current work in progress for this year's NaNoWriMo?

I really wasn’t going to write this year, as I’ve a lot on with TSK Productions Ltd. And could do without pushing myself, but as part of our ‘Members Only Section’ for the main Secret King website, we’re running short stories of our TSK characters, some of which I penned this year as I started participating in Camp NaNoWriMo.

This one particular character and her story - stuck in my head. She’s far into the future of the TSK timeline, but is hounding me to get her story out there, and to write. So, I took a little time in October and plotted out her novel, with maybe the intention of actually writing it.

How are you keeping yourself focused and on track for NaNoWriMo? What advice would you offer to someone else who wanted to attempt it?

I know I have a lot on this month, so I attempted a 10k day on the 1st of the month. I use the NaNo chat rooms a lot, and have made some amazing friends from all over the world in there. In particular, the rooms tagged #melbnano #PhillyWrimos, #nanoelsewhereau #swissnanos, and #HuNoWriMo, the latter being a room which my local region are having a competition with.  However, I’m a friendly person, and have found they’re just as amazing as everyone else; they helped me win my 10k day. My plan, now, is to just try and do the minimum word count though. I tend to write more at the weekends, but I have a day job, and that takes up lots of my energy during the week.

My tip would be to write little and often. Set yourself a timer and go, then take a break and go again. The chat room ‘bot,’ Timmy, is great for this, and the encouragement of others helps too. But if you’re on your own, timing is everything.