So I hadn’t planned on doing National Novel Writing Month this year (aka NaNo or NaNoWriMo), since I am still putting the final touches on UnConventional before I send it out for publication, not to mention a handful of other projects. However, writing for me is kind of like being possessed by my characters – sometimes they just need to come out.
That’s how I ended up starting what I’m calling Az Monster. I “needed” to write a story that focused on a widower raising his daughter alone. I’ve also been wanting to write something set in a small town in Southeast New Mexico for a long time now. Additionally, asthma is one of those diseases that is incredibly common and yet rarely written about, so, in my typical fashion of preferring to handle diseases and disabilities you see rarely (even less than disease/disability in general beyond cancer), I decided to make the male protagonist an asthmatic. Again, in typical fashion for me, his disease is integrally woven into the story itself.
And this is how I ended up starting Az Monster. Initially, it was simply on a whim, for myself. But after discussing it with some of my writing buddies, they encouraged me to pursue it. I’m glad they did, because I’m halfway through my NaNoWriMo goal and already feel this is shaping up into an incredible, rich story that I think many readers will enjoy once I’ve completed it.
Az Monster is a story about love, about guilt, and about finding the strength to move beyond the shackles of your past.
For now, enjoy this excerpt from the beginning of the novel.