NaNoWriMo, A Pair of Boots and a Cast

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Have you heard of National Novel Writing Month? It’s a program for writers that has been around for, I think, 13 years or so. Writers accept the challenge of writing 50,000 words in one month. Seems easy, right? That couldn’t be further from the truth! It’s 1,667 words per day, and sometimes that can be hard to do. NaNoWriMo takes place every November, and with Thanksgiving in the mix those 1,667 words can be tough. Plus, there is work, family, etc., and if you miss a day the words can pile up quickly.

The Smuggler Wore Silk 400 x 640The first year I participated was in 2012. I promised myself a hot bath with a book if I reached 25k, and a pair of awesome black leather boots if I reached 50k. I only made it to 30k that year, but I ended up with those boots anyway. I sold my first book, THE SMUGGLER WORE SILK, at the end of November and Mr. Alexander came home that night with a bottle of wine and some amazing boots to celebrate!

This year I committed to 50k again, though I went in knowing I wouldn’t meet my goal. I had foot surgery on November 19 and in the days leading up to the surgery I was prepping my house and day job for my future inactivity. After the surgery, well. Let’s just say I wasn’t up to writing for a few days. Still, I managed 13,873 words on a new book. I consider that not too shabby!

Now that November and NaNoWriMo is officially over and me and my cast are sitting at home, I’m keeping that writing momentum going into December and hoping for lots of words. Wish me luck!

P.S. If you want to see the lovely gentlemen who visit me and my cast, stop by my Facebook page! So far Jamie Fraser and Ryan Gosling have come to call. Any suggestions on who should be up next?

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Despite being a native Michigander, Alyssa Alexander is pretty certain she belongs somewhere sunny. And tropical. Where drinks are served with little paper umbrellas. But until she moves to those white sandy beaches, she survives the cold Michigan winters by penning romance novels that always include a bit of adventure. She lives with her own set of heroes, aka an ever-patient husband who doesn’t mind using a laundry basket for a closet, and a small boy who wears a knight in a shining armor costume for such tasks as scrubbing potatoes. Alyssa’s debut release, THE SMUGGLER WORE SILK, was awarded 4.5 Stars and Top Pick, nominated for 2014 Best First Historical by the Romantic Times and Best First Book in the Romance Writers of America RITA contest. Her second book, IN BED WITH A SPY, released in December 2014 from Berkley, and received a Starred Review from Publishers Weekly and 4.5 Stars and Top Pick from Romantic times. She has been called a “talented newcomer” and “a rising star you won’t want to miss.” You can find Alyssa at all the usual places! Please stop by and say hello! And you can always reach her by email at

6 Responses

    • Alyssa Alexander

      Congrats for giving it a try, Denise! And I think anyone who gives it a try is a winner. NaNo is scary!

  1. Barbara Monajem

    I have pretty much sworn never ever to try NaNoWriMo. Invariably, I become bogged down at certain stages of a book (well before 50K words) and have to let it sit and rest for a few weeks….which means my chance of making the 50K are about nil, unless I write sheer nonsense for a few weeks.

    I am all admiration for you, Alyssa, and anyone else who tries it, whether or not they make the 50K!!

    • Alyssa Alexander

      Unfortunately, sometimes it IS nonsense that comes out while trying to make that 50k goal. Plotting in advance seems to help, but I’m a pantser, so that’s a bit difficult. But it is definitely an experience!