My name is Ali and I’m a 26 year old journalist, writer and sometime comicker based in Edinburgh. In 2011, I wrote the first drafts of 12 books in 12 months.
It all began with National Novel Writing Month 2010, when I wrote my first book (or 52,000 words of a first draft, if you wish to be pedantic) in 30 days. The Single Mum’s Aristocratic Library Assistant was supposed to be a pastiche of a Mills and Boon romance, although it went off in a few different directions (including SF and Fantasy). I enjoyed the experiment and found the daily target of 2000 words pretty easy to stick to – so much so that by December I felt a bit bereft at the lack of creative challenges.
12 Books in 12 Months was the answer to this problem. I picked a different genre for every month and after midnight on the 30th / 31st day I moved on, whether I was finished or not. Unsure whether I would be able to keep up the momentum all year I appealed to the public through this blog, Twitter and Facebook to give me ideas for character names and genre tropes to work into each story. They were very supportive, as were local media types in Edinburgh, so that whatever other challenges I faced during the project I knew I wasn’t alone. That might sound trite, but I was genuinely overwhelmed by the level of support I received for what I described self consciously to friends as my ‘potentially really stupid idea’.
One year on I have completed the challenge, but it doesn’t stop now. In 2012 I plan to re-visit all my ramblings and start to edit them into something more akin to real manuscripts, at which point I will look at appropriate publication methods. I will also be writing a thirteenth book about the experience of writing 12 books in 12 months. Confused? You should be.
- I am taking January to have a bit of a break from novelling, to read books by other people, and to get back into the routine of pitching freelance articles to papers and magazines. But in February, the work begins again in earnest.
Book 13 will be about writing and attempting to publish twelve genre fiction books in a rapidly changing publishing industry. I will talk to proper authors about their approach, interview agents and publishers on what they look for, and ultimately create a literary equivalent of Dave Gorman’s Googlewhack Adventure. That’s the hope, anyway, and this website will be available throughout so that you, the internet, can follow it all.
Hope you enjoy the ride…