99p today only!

Newsflash!

Shadow Falls – Detective Madison Harper Book 1 – is Kindle’s Daily Deal today making the ebook 99p in the UK all day. This is a one day only offer so grab it while you can here.

Detective Madison Harper’s heart shatters when she searches the bedroom of twelve-year-old Jenny Lucas, the sweet little girl last seen splashing in the lake at Shadow Falls, northern California, with her friends before she vanished. A notebook decorated with stickers pokes out beneath a pink cowboy hat on the bed, which is neatly made up, ready for her return. Madison can’t help wondering why it took their close-knit community so long to raise the alarm.

The girl’s parents are distraught, and the local police have no leads—they desperately need Madison’s help. She knows better than most what it’s like to lose a child, and she won’t let it happen again, even if that means pressing Jenny’s grieving family for answers.

Then, canvassing the local area for hidden leads, Madison discovers a disturbing portrait Jenny drew at the local library. Was this angelic girl more troubled than anybody knew? Was she in danger from those she trusted most? If Madison’s instincts are right, then the life of another innocent child could also be at riskshe must find Jenny fast…

An absolutely unputdownable crime thriller that will keep you up all night! Perfect for fans of Lisa Regan, Robert Dugoni and Melinda Leigh.

Available in ebook, audiobook and paperback.

Books 2 and 3 are also out now.

Meet the characters: Detective Madison Harper

Interview with Detective Madison Harper from Shadow Falls (Book 1 of 3 in this crime series):

Hi Madison. Could you tell us a little about yourself as you work on your first missing person case in Shadow Falls, California?

Sure. I’m in my mid-thirties and originally from a small town called Lost Creek in southern Colorado. I’d still be living there if I hadn’t served time in prison for a murder I didn’t commit. I have one son, Owen, and I have no idea where he is. He’ll be seventeen now but he was ten when he was taken from me after my arrest. I’ve been a cop for five years and just made detective before I was framed. Now I’m out of prison my goal is to clear my name, find my son and get my job back. I’m going to be busy.

Why did you become a detective?

I hate injustice. I’ve always hated seeing anyone get away with breaking the law and ruining people’s lives, even more so since I was framed for the murder of a fellow officer. I find satisfaction in helping victims get the justice they deserve in order to be able to move on with their lives.

What was it like spending 6 years in prison for a crime you didn’t commit?

I could go into detail but it would put you off your dinner, so let’s just say it was as bad as you’d expect it to be. A lot of the women in my prison were victims themselves. Our criminal justice system has a lot to answer for and prison should be about rehabilitation and education but instead it’s mostly about punishment, which means everybody is labelled as bad, instead of by scale of their potential to turn their lives around. I made some friends inside, but it was hard serving someone else’s sentence, especially as I had no idea where my son was. I don’t know if I’ll ever see him again. The days were long but the nights were longer as I’d wonder what Owen looked like now, and if I’d even recognize him in the street if I ever walked past him after my release. I don’t even know if he ever thinks about me. Has he got a new mother now? These are questions that keep me awake at night.

How did you meet Nate Monroe?

I’m smiling when you mention Nate because we were like chalk and cheese at first. Nate is someone who served 17 years on death row for the murder of his fiancée, except he didn’t kill her and was recently exonerated at 39 years old. He was known as the ‘killer priest’ in the media because he’d been training to become a priest before he gave it up for the woman he wanted to marry, but she was cruelly taken from him when they were just 20 years old. He became a PI on his release from prison and I watched his story play out in the media when I was inside. I knew he’d be the best person to track down who framed me, and to help me find my son, so I literally begged him to take on my case and give me a job too. He took a lot of persuading but eventually he agreed. He’s been a good boss, if a little unconventional. It’s thanks to him we have a retired police dog, Brody, tagging along with us everywhere we go. Nate’s a sucker for picking up strays.

What’s it like delivering bad news to the parents of child victims?

The case we’re in Shadow Falls to investigate is that of a missing 12-year-old girl; Jenny Lucas. She vanished whilst at a summer camp. Her parents are beside themselves but it’s the grandmother who gets me. She’s trying to do everything in her power to find that little girl. It sometimes feels like she’s got a stronger bond with Jenny than the parents do, so it’s killing her to think of the girl being away from the family with a potential predator. She’s the one who hired us to look into the case since the local police don’t have any leads. I just want to be able to reunite them so I never have to deliver the news they don’t want to hear.

What’s it like living in small town Colorado?

Lost Creek, Colorado is remote to say the least. It’s nestled amongst mountains and forests and has the most beautiful scenery you could ever want. But that place is troubled. The welcome sign says Lost Creek is “where the lost are found”, but whoever thought that up must have been on drugs. There are good people in every town of course, but also bad, and I fear that if I ever get back to Lost Creek – which is my ultimate aim – I’ll find out that the person who framed me for murder all those years ago is someone who was close to me. Someone who wanted me put away for a reason. I just have to figure out what that reason was.

Shadow Falls is available to buy on amazon and kindle unlimited here. Ebook, audiobook and paperback.

Book 2 in the series: Cry For Help

Book 3 in the series: Little Girl Taken

— If you have any questions for any of my characters drop me a line on Twitter or Facebook and I’ll host an interview with them using your questions! —

Detective Madison Harper’s heart shatters when she searches the bedroom of twelve-year-old Jenny Lucas, the sweet little girl last seen splashing in the lake at Shadow Falls, northern California, with her friends before she vanished. A notebook decorated with stickers pokes out beneath a pink cowboy hat on the bed, which is neatly made up, ready for her return. Madison can’t help wondering why it took their close-knit community so long to raise the alarm.

The girl’s parents are distraught, and the local police have no leads—they desperately need Madison’s help. She knows better than most what it’s like to lose a child, and she won’t let it happen again, even if that means pressing Jenny’s grieving family for answers.

Then, canvassing the local area for hidden leads, Madison discovers a disturbing portrait Jenny drew at the local library. Was this angelic girl more troubled than anybody knew? Was she in danger from those she trusted most? If Madison’s instincts are right, then the life of another innocent child could also be at riskshe must find Jenny fast…

An absolutely unputdownable crime thriller that will keep you up all night!

What readers are saying

5 star reviews:

Wow, wow, wow!… A read-all-night page-turner of the highest order… I was hooked from page one… I was kept guessing until the very end.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

Wow!… Awesome! I was on the edge of my seat getting whiplash from reading so fast!!’ Barbs Beautiful Bookshelf, 5 stars

I LOVED THIS BOOK!… I was hooked It kept me on the edge of my seat the whole way through… so many twists and turns that keep you guessing.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

Wow, just wow.’ Spooky’s Maze Of Books, 5 stars

Wow… an absolutely thrilling read… unpredictable and brilliant. I LOVED IT!’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

OH MY DAYS!!!!… Gah, I am still thinking about this book!’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

Cover reveal for Little Girl Taken

I’m excited to reveal the cover for the third book in my Detective Madison Harper crime series: Little Girl Taken.

It’s available to pre-order as an ebook on amazon here and it will be released in ebook, audiobook and paperback on 29th July 2021. It follows Shadow Falls (book 1 in the series) and Cry For Help (book 2), but it could also be enjoyed as a standalone crime thriller.

Little Girl Taken begins on Madison’s first day back as a detective at Lost Creek Police Department after her wrongful conviction (and serving six years in prison) for the murder of a fellow cop. But can she pick up where she left off? PI Nate Monroe and former police dog Brody are also back and along for the ride.

Here’s the cover and blurb:

Rain rattles through the trees as she leans into the car, careful not to touch anything. Two pretty blue eyes stare back through the dark, wide with relief, or maybe fear. A baby girl, wrapped up in a pink snowsuit, reaches out a tiny hand. Her mother is nowhere to be found…

An abandoned baby is the last thing Detective Madison Harper expects to find as she drives to her first day back at work since the case that ripped her life apart. But as she cradles the shivering child close, all her instincts tell her there’s something more sinister at play. Then she finds a lone sneaker down a muddy trail nearby, the laces spattered with blood…

In a town as small as Lost Creek, Colorado, the baby and the shoe are quickly identified as belonging to Kacie Larson, a waitress at the local diner who quietly stashed away her tips to make a better life for her daughter. A mother herself, Madison can’t believe that Kacie would just abandon her child, but she also can’t convince her new team. Not for the first time, Madison feels she must go it alone to get the job done.

But when a body is pulled from a nearby lake, and it’s not Kacie, the case takes an agonizing turn. Is this missing mother really who she says she is? Is there a chance she’s still alive? Madison barely has time to think before the sweet little girl she rescued is snatched on a crowded street. Gone, in the blink of an eye.

To break this case and earn her place back on the force, Madison must learn to trust her team, and herself again—and fast. If she doesn’t find this twisted individual in time, a little girl could die…

A pulse-pounding, absolutely gripping and totally addictive page-turner that will have you racing through the pages and reeling at the twists.

I hope you enjoy it!

Wendy xx

New Book Deal

I’m delighted to announce I’ve signed a new two book deal with Bookouture!

For everyone who has enjoyed my Detective Madison Harper series so far (Shadow Falls and Cry For Help) and is eagerly awaiting the next book, I can now reveal that book 3 is due to be released in July 2021. Keep an eye out for the cover reveal and pre-order link within the next month or so!

Plus, I’m currently writing a standalone crime/psychological thriller and that will be released in February 2022. Instead of a police procedural this will follow the family at the heart of the crime more than the police who try to solve it. There will still be a detective investigating the case, but we’ll get an intimate and disquieting look inside a family’s turmoil as their secrets are revealed and we discover what really happened. And that’s all I can say for now!

Here’s the official press release from my publisher:

Bookouture are beyond excited to announce that they have signed two more crime thrillers from Wendy Dranfield. Associate Publisher Jessie Botterill has secured a new contract with Wendy Dranfield for World all language rights (including audio, film and TV) for two new crime titles; the third in her series featuring Detective Madison Harper and P.I. Nate Monroe, and a standalone thriller.

Jessie said of the deal,

‘Since the moment I first signed Wendy I’ve been completely blown away by her incredible work ethic and drive to understand her audience. She really pushes hard to give readers something fresh and exciting with every turn of the page, and you only need to look at the reviews to see how much readers adore her books. She deserves every bit of the success that I know is coming her way. I’m a very lucky editor!’

Wendy said,

‘I’m delighted to be working with Jessie and Bookouture on two more books. I’ve loved writing the Detective Madison Harper series and readers are clearly enjoying Madison and Nate’s adventures so I can’t wait to release book 3 in the series this summer. Bookouture’s fast-paced publishing suits me well because I can’t stop coming up with new book ideas.’

https://www.bookouture.com/2021/04/07/bookouture-re-sign-contracts-with-richmonde-dranfield-and-sanderson/

I hope you’re as excited as me for these latest books!

Wendy x

Meet my pets

Having grown up with dogs, I never considered getting a cat. But when someone in my family said they knew of a kitten who needed rescuing, I didn’t hesitate.

Joey joined my husband and I at 10 weeks old and he was our first pet together as newlyweds. He’s now 13 and he’s been an amazing first pet. He taught us how crazy cats are! He understands the word ‘sit!’ and will sit for his dinner, he wakes us up at 4am every morning in summer because he’s itching to get outside into the garden, and he can sleep for 20 hours straight if no one opens a food wrapper! He was recently diagnosed with hypothyroidism so he’s now on daily medication which, thankfully, he takes well. He’s a very greedy cat and will eat everyone else’s leftovers no matter what brand or type of food so nothing goes to waste in our house!

When Joey was 4 years old we heard of another kitten who needed rescuing, and so Sookie (we named her after Sookie Stackhouse from the True Blood series) came to live with us at around 10 weeks old. Between you and me, she’s my favourite because she has so much personality. She sleeps on my desk every day as I write and she’s very lazy. She’s not interested in being outside unless we’re out there and it’s sunny. Like Joey, she also loves her food and gains weight easily, especially as she has one of those pouches that hangs low under her belly and jiggles as she runs. She wakes us up with her midnight zoomies around the house (because she sleeps all day she’s a night owl!). Although she’s very loving it’s all on her terms; we can only touch her if she’s in the mood and she dislikes her younger brother! Not in an aggressive way, she just won’t let him near her and throws him daggers with her well-rehearsed look of contempt! Which leads me nicely to Teddy-bear.

We rescued Teddy when Joey was 10 and Sookie was 6 and he has turned our lives upside down! He’s half Maine Coon and he’s got so much more energy than the other two. He literally never stops wanting to play. And if we don’t play with him, he’ll chase Joey or Sookie to try to get them to play with him. He’s not aggressive at all, he just needs a lot of attention. Perhaps because he was rejected by his mother as a kitten and is the only surviving kitten from the litter. He was very small when he came to live with us. He’s very attached to me and although he’s not much of a lap cat, every night at midnight he comes to find me in bed, lies across my chest and rubs his face across mine continuously whilst purring for ten minutes straight. Then he goes off to sleep on my feet, next to the other two.

I probably love my cats a little too much because I added them into one of my crime novels (Won’t You Save Me), as the pets of my forensic technician. But readers loved it!

I can’t imagine not having a cat on my desk as I write. They really are the best companions and someone to talk to during the lonely long hours of writing a novel.

Until next time! x

New release: Cry For Help

It’s publication day for book 2 in my Detective Madison Harper crime thriller series – Cry For Help.

This book starts where book 1 (Shadow Falls) ends, but you don’t need to have read book 1 in order to enjoy Cry For Help.

Madison and her new friend – PI Nate Monroe – have travelled to Madison’s home town of Lost Creek, Colorado in order to find out who framed her for murder seven years ago. She’s also looking for the son she lost to the care system as a result of her wrongful conviction. It’s all very exciting and twisty as we race to see who she can trust and who has been causing all her problems! Give it a try – it’s available on amazon (and Kindle Unlimited) and from all good book shops. Available in paperback, ebook and audiobook.

Here’s the book cover and back page blurb:

Shivering in the early morning chill, the caretaker flips the switch on the Ferris wheel and stumbles back in shock. The teenage girl’s body is slumped in a halo of pretty colored lights, long red hair spilling over her tear-stained cheeks, her eyes fixed forever on her dangling feet.

When teenager Nikki Jackson’s body is found at an amusement park, just hours after Fourth of July fireworks lit up the night sky, the Lost Creek police rule her death as suicide—a devastating final act from a girl who had lost all hope. But the absence of the knife used to make the wounds on her delicate wrists makes Detective Madison Harper think otherwise. And the partial fingerprint found on the girl’s face proves her right. Someone else was with Nikki in her final moments

Back home in Colorado for the first time in seven years to investigate the murder of a woman with ties to the son she lost to the care system, the pressure is on for Madison to work both cases at once. Fearing the team has missed a vital clue, Madison searches the crime scene alone and finds the last thing she ever expected: a note proving the victims knew each other, and that the cases are linked. Is this a coincidence, proof a dangerous murderer is on the loose, or a trap set to lead Madison off the trail?

It’s only when Madison finally finds the knife used to harm Nikki, tucked in an almost impossible to find hiding place, that she knows she is closing-in on a twisted killer. But the last person she expects to see dragged into the department in handcuffs is her own missing son…

An absolutely unputdownable crime thriller that will have you sleeping with the lights on. Addictive reading for anyone who loves Lisa Regan, Robert Dugoni and Melinda Leigh.

It’s had such wonderful pre-release 5 star reviews already:

Woohoo! I was totally blown away so shockinglyincrediblyamazinglygood… I hardly had time to fasten my seatbelt before I was thrown right in the middle of the action. 

OMG!… I never saw that coming… I barely had the time to pick up my jaw from the floor… Great, great book!’ B for Bookreview, 5 stars

Oh man, what a rollercoaster of a ride jaw-dropping and edge-of-the-seat… couldn’t put it down till it was finished!’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

Wow, wow, wow! I loved this book…’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

Absolutely LOVED… Kept me guessing right up to the end. Non-stop from page one. This is a must-read!’ Owl Books, 5 stars

Instantly hooked I literally couldn’t put it down Fantastic book!’ Life Between the Lines, 5 stars

A brilliant rollercoaster of a ride… I read this book in one sitting in less than a day and loved every minute of it.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

A can’t-put-down book! I read late into to the nightbecause I just had to know what the ending was going to be.’ Shortbook Thyme, 5 stars

Yes, yes, yes!… I love it!… Superb… perfect!… This thrilling and extraordinary book should be read by every crime lover.’ Tove Reads, 5 stars

Wow!!! unputdownable. From start to finish I was hooked… twists and turnsI did not see coming… brilliantly suspenseful…Would highly recommend.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

Wow!… I just read this book in one go and I simply couldn’t put it down!!!!’ Tropical Girl Reads Books, 5 stars

Phenomenal… I could not put it down… took my breath away and I gasped out loud.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

Let me know if you enjoy it! xx

My latest book release: Shadow Falls

It’s publication day for the first book in my new crime series with my new publisher (Bookouture)!

Here’s the official blurb:

You thought your little girl was safe at summer camp. You were wrong…

When Detective Madison Harper arrives at a remote summer camp in Shadow Falls, northern California, her heart breaks for Jenny, the sweet little girl last seen splashing in the lake with her friends before she vanished. Peering into the silent cabins filled with rows of neatly made beds, Madison knows this idyllic place is hiding a terrible secret.

The girl’s parents are distraught, and the local police have no leads—they desperately need Madison’s help. She’ll do whatever it takes to crack this case, because it’s the only way back to the son she lost to the care system years ago when she was framed for a crime she didn’t commit.

But with the camp staff keeping tight-lipped and her new partner on the edge of a breakdown, Madison can’t find any truth to her instinct that there is more to Jenny’s perfect parents than meets the eye. Until she discovers a disturbing family portrait Jenny drew at the local library. Was this angelic girl more troubled than anybody knew? Was she in danger from those she trusted most?

One thing is certain, if Madison doesn’t find the answers soon, the lives of more innocent children will be at risk…

If that has piqued your interest you can get the book on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited in: paperback, ebook or audiobook. The ebook is currently only 99p/99¢ but not for long so grab it while you can!

Book 2 in the series – Cry for Help – is now available to pre-order on amazon and will be released on 22nd Feb 2021.

Enjoy!

Wendy xx

2020 end of year review

I hope you all had a relaxing, peaceful Christmas. Like most people my plans were scuppered by you-know-what, so my husband and I were alone over the whole period. It will be a quiet New Year also as I’m too tired to stay up until midnight these days! To be honest I’ve only ever enjoyed one New Year’s Eve and that was on a plane over the Atlantic Ocean coming home from getting married alone in New York. The pilot held a countdown and the whole plane was served champagne. Understandably, nothing since has ever lived up to that!

With the year drawing to a close I always like to write an end of year review to show how far I’ve come and to reassure myself I haven’t wasted too much time! It’s safe to say 2020 has been my most productive writing year yet. Not only because I’ve stayed home all year and haven’t had any holidays or breaks away or even been to many shops, but also because I’ve had so many ideas for books and I’m finding that the more I write, the more I want to write.

So this is what I’ve been up to in 2020:

✔️ Had one book published in ebook and audiobook (Won’t You Save Me – Dean Matheson book 3).

✔️ Changed publisher (to Bookouture).

✔️ Signed a two-book contract for my new Detective Madison Harper series at a time when I’d only written book 1 in the series.

✔️ Written two full length novels (books 2 and 3 in the series).

✔️ Re-written and edited books 1 and 2 in the series ready for publication in Jan and Feb 2021.

✔️ Outlined books 4 and 5 in the series.

✔️ Written various articles and short stories.

✔️ Documented my life and reactions to the pandemic on video camera, from the minute the virus reached the UK.

Anything else…

✔️ Oh, and I survived a global pandemic. It’s no wonder I’m feeling a little exhausted!

For 2021 I’m looking forward to the publication of books 1 and 2, and to finishing books 3 and 4 completely. Obviously, I’m looking forward to the end of the pandemic, like everyone else, but there’s much else to be hopeful for. I’m really looking forward to my garden springing into life from March onwards, as it was a real source of comfort this year. I’m already planning which vegetables and plants I’ll be growing in my potting shed while my cats keep me company on the cold, frosty last days of winter. And who knows, perhaps by the end of summer we might be allowed to travel again, even if only within our own countries.

All that’s left to say is – to anyone who has read one of my books this year, or who interacts with me on social media; thank you for keeping me going and motivating me with your kind words. I appreciate your book reviews, support, cat memes and friendship.

Here’s hoping we have a healthy New Year and a better 2021 with no more ‘unprecedented’ moments.

Take care,

Wendy x

My books

Cover reveal for Cry for Help

Exciting news – today is the launch of the cover reveal and pre-order link for my latest book: Cry for Help.

It’s book 2 in the Detective Madison Harper crime series from Bookouture and will be released on 22nd Feb 2021. This series follows Detective Madison Harper and PI Nate Monroe.

Here’s the blurb and cover:

Shivering in the early morning chill, the caretaker flips the switch on the Ferris wheel and stumbles back in shock. The teenage girl’s body is slumped in a halo of pretty colored lights, long red hair spilling over her tear-stained cheeks, her eyes fixed forever on her dangling feet.

When teenager Nikki Jackson’s body is found at an amusement park, just hours after Fourth of July fireworks lit up the night sky, the Lost Creek police rule her death as suicide––a devastating final act from a girl who had lost all hope. But the absence of the knife used to make the wounds on her delicate wrists makes Detective Madison Harper think otherwise. And the partial fingerprint found on the girl’s face proves her right. Someone else was with Nikki in her final moments

Back home in Colorado for the first time in seven years to investigate the murder of a woman with ties to the son she lost to the care system, the pressure is on for Madison to work both cases at once. Fearing the team has missed a vital clue, Madison searches the crime scene alone and finds the last thing she ever expected: a note proving the victims knew each other, and that the cases are linked. Is this a coincidence, proof a dangerous murderer is on the loose, or a trap set to lead Madison off the trail?

It’s only when Madison finally finds the knife used to harm Nikki, tucked in an almost impossible to find hiding place, that she knows she is closing in on a twisted killer. But the last person she expects to see dragged into the department in handcuffs is her own missing son…

An absolutely unputdownable crime thriller that will have you sleeping with the lights on. Addictive reading for anyone who loves Lisa Regan, Robert Dugoni and Melinda Leigh.

Cry for Help is available to pre-order worldwide here from Amazon for just 1.99. Out 22nd Feb 2021.

NaNoWriMo – Can you really write a novel in a month?

It’s that time of year again when writers start thinking about whether or not to attempt the madness that is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), or NaNo for short, and as I’ve participated quite a few times, I have some tips for you.

When I first heard of NaNo about 6 years ago, I laughed, shook my head and thought, ‘Yeah, right. As if you can write a novel in a month.’ I thought if someone finished a whole novel in one month then it would be utter rubbish and unedited. So, I avoided the idea completely…until I joined Twitter.

On Twitter, people take #NaNoWriMo seriously. That made me look into it in more detail and I discovered the point isn’t actually to write a whole novel in a month. It’s to write 50,000 words of a novel during November (the quietest time of the year, apparently, and therefore there should be less distractions). That works out at just 1,667 words per day. Just! So you’re not actually expected to start, finish and edit your novel in one month.

Once I signed up to the website (there are no fees involved), it felt like a challenge I wanted to try. So, on 31st October 2015, I sat down with a notepad and thought about what kind of book I wanted to write. All I had was a character and a location in mind. I didn’t plot or plan any more than that because I’m naturally what Nano-ers call a ‘pantser’, meaning I fly by the seat of my pants! But many people prefer to spend October plotting out their novels in advance so that when the time comes they can fly.

On 1st November, I sat at my computer, opened a blank Word document and started to write. It was easier than I had expected. What followed was 30 frenzied days of trying to fit in 1,667 words a day, around life and a day job. I learned that if you don’t write enough words one day, you can catch up another day. Or, if you’re really organised, you can write in excess of 1,667 words on the glorious days when the words are flowing and plentiful. There’s a great word count tracker on the NaNo website (www.nanowrimo.org) so you can log your progress. Plus, there’s a whole community of people willing to spur you along.

By 1st December I was a nervous wreck! I’d just managed 50k words and I had the shell of a first draft novel. But it wasn’t finished. I needed around another 40k words and many edits before I could consider it finished. I’m happy to report that I did finish it and then I edited it for months and sent it to two publishers. Somehow, both of them offered me a contract and the book has since been published (it’s called Who Cares if They Die and became book 1 of a 3-part series).

I believe NaNo got me into the habit of completing a first draft quickly and I’ve used it every year since.

This is what I’ve learned since participating:

The good:

  • It gets you into the habit of sitting down to write every single day. Something I’d never done before and I loved it – still do.
  • It kick starts a new novel and leaves no time for doubting yourself.
  • You’re less likely to edit as you go because there’s no time to! I love editing as I go but it slows me down completely. I once spent 6 months on the first 30k words of a book, editing it over and over. In the end I had to scrap it all and start again. That’s one of the hardest things to do as a writer but it made the novel much better.
  • The writing community on Twitter is amazing and the #NaNoWriMo hashtag is really encouraging during November. You really feel as though you’re writing with company for a change. It feels like we’re all in it together.

The not-so-good:

  • Writing every day gives me migraines. Staring at a PC all day was bad for my eyes. I should have had more regular breaks from my screen during my first attempt.
  • I exercised much less. My shoulders were aching and my hands turned into claws! Better time management on my part could have solved this and I’ve learned my lesson.
  • You need an understanding partner/family/roommate, because they will probably have to take over most of the housework during November. (Which is a bonus for us!)
  • You’ll want to put your novel to one side in December and not return to it for months! But that’s good, because when you pick it up again you’ll have a fresh perspective, which is invaluable for the editing phase.

So, what I’ve really learned is that while it is possible to write 50k in one month, it’s not really possible to write and edit a whole novel in one month (although I know some writers have mastered this). Also, writing every single day isn’t good for your body, but having a set routine of writing most days, whilst taking the weekend off, is best. NaNo can really get you motivated to start that new novel in a way that’s hard to beat.

If you’ve never tried it and always wondered about it, I highly recommend you give it a go. Even if you just kick start that new novel you’ve been thinking about but don’t make 50k words, it’s more than you’ve got now.

Good luck and see you on the hashtag #NaNoWriMo in November!

Wendy x