Claire Buss is a multi-genre author and poet based in the UK. She wanted to be Lois Lane when she grew up but work experience at her local paper was eye-opening. Instead, Claire went on to work in a variety of admin roles for over a decade but never felt quite at home. An avid reader, baker and Pinterest addict Claire won second place in the Barking and Dagenham Pen to Print writing competition in 2015 with her debut novel, The Gaia Effect, setting her writing career in motion. She continues to write passionately and is hopelessly addicted to cake.
(1) This is not your first rodeo with NaNoWriMo, why do you do it?
I have absolutely no idea lol. I think it’s the challenge of trying to write 50,000 words in a month and the fact that so many other writers get involved. You really feel part of a community – you can commiserate with others, spur each other on, take part in writing sprints plus you get bragging rights if you make it.
(2) What is the best part of doing NaNoWriMo?
The best part is having that daily focus to get your butt in that chair and get writing. I find that I usually write around 700 words per session so I know I have to sit down twice in one day. That kinda works for me as I have so much other stuff going on. But obviously, there are days when that doesn’t happen so then I know I have to try and find extra writing time. It’s like a huge push to get the words written.
(3) What is the hardest aspect of taking part in NaNoWriMo?
Trying to get the words written lol. I mean, if I had lots of time to write then I would be kicking out 50,000 words every month so I really use November to try and give me a push on my latest project. It can be kinda depressing when you realise that if you knuckled down, you could write every day and you might be able to kick out 50,000 words every month. We writers so we use any excuse to beat ourselves up and procrastinate!
(4) What has happened with the book(s) you have written in a previous NaNoWriMo?
I wrote The Rose Thief in my first NaNo year. It’s a humorous urban fantasy inspired by my love of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld and has the same observational humour. In my second NaNo I wrote The Gaia Project, the second book in my hopeful dystopian trilogy so my third NaNo meant the third book in the series, The Gaia Solution. My fourth NaNo (wow I’m really racking these up, aren’t I?) was my humorous urban fantasy novella The Interspecies Poker Tournament. These books have all been published and are available everywhere. Last year I changed track and wrote the beginnings of a brand new book with new characters and a new world. It’s fun and I will definitely be going back there to finish that story and write some more.
(5) What project are you working on this year?
This year I am finishing off The Silk Thief and beginning The Bone Thief, both of these are humorous urban fantasy novels set in the same world as The Rose Thief and are a continuation storyline. Sort of.
(6) Finally, what advice would you have for those attempting it for the first time?
Be gentle with yourself. Yes, the aim is to write 1667 words a day but it’s not the end of the world if you don’t make it. If you ‘only’ write 500 words a day – that’s still 500 more than you would have had. The key take-away from doing NaNo, I think, is being focused on your book and your writing and dedicating a portion of time every day to your craft. That is a sustainable goal that we can strive for. And if you only do for one month a year that’s still a book a year. Not too shabby at all.
You can find all Claire Buss‘ books on Amazon, share her thoughts on her blog, follow her on Facebook stalk her on Twitter or sign up for her newsletter. You can also participate in her Facebook group.