I started participating in NANOWRIMO – Officially National Novel Writing Month, in 2004. I don’t even want to think about everything that has happened to me since then, or to my career, because it would make my head explode, and nobody wants that. I’m going to concentrate just on what I’ve accomplished during one 30 day period a month over the years. More than 400,000 words of fiction. Of the seven years I’ve completed the Nanowrimo challenge, I have completed six novels. The seventh, Gideon’s Curse, is still on the hard drive, and as soon as I’m certain all of the timeline issues I created for myself have been dealt with, I will complete that one too. This year, this evening, actually, I will add at least 50,000 more words to the pile, bringing the total to just under 465,000 words. Approaching half a million, and most of them published.
I see a lot of writers – and some journalists who like to write about writing but haven’t done much to show they know what they are talking about – go on rampages against Nanowrimo. Rushing ahead, they say, is against the spirit of the “craft”. Not everyone should write a novel just because they can, etc. I say to all of them…Meh. This simple competition with no prize has helped me, year after year, to regain my focus, to produce finished products I’m proud of…and I wanted to take a moment to revisit those success stories.
2004: The Mote in Andrea’s Eye – entire novel completed in November…and sold later that same year to Gale / Five Star. This book went through a hardcover, a trade paperback, and a large print edition with Five Star and is now a successful eBook – soon to be an unabridged audiobook.
Critics said: “Tugging heartstrings with the expertise of a master puppeteer, Wilson, a former naval technician, adds plenty of authentic touches but never overwhelms the reader with details. The clean prose, romance and fantasy elements, heart-pounding scenes of man against nature, and topical currency (thankfully not overplayed) will appeal to a wide variety of readers…” – Publisher’s Weekly
2005: Vintage Soul – which started as the first of the DeChance Chronicles and became Volume II in the digital rebirth. Also sold the same year it was finished to Gale / Five Star. This series is currenly one of the most popular things I write. This is available as an eBook and as an unabridged audiobook narrated by Corey Snow.
Critics said: “This clever urban fantasy is packed with solid writing and filled with crisp details. Wilson is a whiz at painting with words. Below is a description of a ritual gone very wrong when an inept practitioner fails to control the demon he has raised.” – Patricia’s Vampire Notes
2006: This is the yet-to-be-finished Gideon’s Curse, which follows two timelines – an undead uprising on a cotton plantation outside Old Mill, N
C in the 1950s / 1960s – and a preacher, persecuted for bringing his teachings to
the slaves of that same plantation just after the Civil War. While this book has yet to see print, a novella has been carved from it’s bones – The Preacher’s Marsh, which HAS been published as an eBook, and was featured in my huge short story collection from Dark Regions Press, Ennui, & Other States of Madness.
The Critics haven’t said much about it yet….
2007: The Orffyreus Wheel – This is one of several aborted projects I worked on for a previous agent who never, in the end, could get excited about anything I wrote. I wonder if she understands how close she came to killing my career? Anyway…this is another twin-timeline story. It covers the life of Johann Bessler, who invented a perpetual motion wheel in the 1700s, and his ancestor who inherits the secret, and a grim battle to provide the world
with free energy. This is available as an eBook and an unabridged Audiobook.
Critics said: “With the Orffyreus Wheel, David combines the same effortless pace of a good tale as he does with Ancient Eyes, but also manages to interweave two distinct stories – both of which share the same breathless excitement and wonder of their central characters. ” – Reader Review – Amazon.com
2008: Hallowed Ground – written with Steven Savile. This novel, out now in trade paperback and eBook, due soon in unabridged audio, narrated by the talented Joe Geoffrey, is one of the works I am most proud of in all the years of my writing career. It is a good western, I think, complex and layered, and accessible on many levels. I had a blast working on this with Steve, and it was even more fun as we did it over Nanowrimo and allowed folks to
read along – which I’ve done almost every year. This book is just now gaining in popularity, and I have high hopes for it…
Critis said: “Steven Savile and David Niall Wilson have produced a fine entry in the burgeoning Weird Western genre. Elegantly written, bristling with action and drama, HALLOWED GROUND is intelligent, thought-provoking, and highly entertaining. Readers of both Westerns and horror novels shouldn’t miss it!” — James Reasoner, author of REDEMPTION, KANSAS
2009: Heart of a Dragon – Book I of the DeChance Chronicles. Born of a short story written a very long time ago, this is a tale of a young artist, an old Mexican Magician, bike gangs, and of course, Donovan DeChance. I love writing the books in this series – like the characters, and the city of San Valencez that I’ve visited so many times in my work…This book, like Vintage Soul, is available in eBook and unabridged audiobook, narrated by Corey Snow, who will (I hope) remain the voice of the series. Both books will be available this year in trade paperback.
Critics said: “Set in and around the dark and brooding Barrio of San Valencez, this tale weaves mysticism and action with a decided Hispanic twist. From the very beginning, when the rival Dragon and Escorpiones clans fight in Santini Park, you know the tale has far more to it than meets the eye. What brings the tale together is its underlying themes of Honour, Loyalty, Courage and Dark Ambition.” – Reader Review – Amazon.com
This year, I started out doing the next Donovan DeChance novel, Kali’s Tale, which has Donovan and his lover Amethyst looking after the young pack of vampires from Vintage Soul as they journey to The Great Dismal Swamp in search of on of their creators – to destroy him. He is, of course, more than they bargained for – and Donovan will have his hands full. This novel is also the first direct link between the DeChance Chronicles, and the O.C.L.T. novel series. There are cameo appearances from Geoffrey Bullfinch, of novella The Temple of Camazotz, and Rebecca York, from my novel The Parting. Interestingly, this year’s novel was to include a short flashback that told the story of Donovan’s origins – and that blossomed into a 21k novella of it’s own… Today I will put the cap on the 50,000 words for 2011 and will continue on to see how many I can get before the 30th…
This is my thank you to all the folks who encouraged me, Chris Baty (no longer in charge) at Nanowrimo who tempted me and then prodded me and even helped promote me as my novels became successful. Trish, who loves me, my kids who support everything I do, my agent Bob Fleck who has been there through all the Nanowrimo years – my collaborator Steve, and all those of you who have bought and read my books. To the naysayers of Nanowrimo, I again say – Meh. I’d say this post speaks for itself.