Friday, May 27, 2011

On Writing: A Novel in One Day

Yours truly is taking part in the first ever “24-Hour Novel Project,” organized by new media raconteur John Herman.

The event, which takes place Saturday, May 28, is an exercise in collaborative noveling. Herman has lined up 20-odd writers — some of them fancy like Hugo/Nebula winner James Patrick Kelley and Bram Stoker nominee Benjamin Kane Ethridge, others wannabes like me and my Dandy Scotch Brawlers pal Dan Brian. 

Over the past couple of weeks, these folks and more have been submitting ideas to Herman: characters, settings, plot lines, etc. At midnight Friday, Herman will unveil the outline he's concocted using those ideas, assign chapters and let the key pounding ensue. Each writer is responsible for about seven pages. Midnight Saturday, the project ends and a new novel is born unto the world.

The novel will be offered as a free e-book on a Creative Commons license on Sunday, May 30.

Down in Highland Park, N.J., those curious about the project can watch it happen virtually courtesy of a new-media art installation at Nighthawk Books' NewMediator Art Show. Folks who don't want to travel to New Jersey can watch the story unfold on their own computers courtesy of a live link to the Google document we'll all be thrashing on. Most of the action will be happening midday, so checking it out around noon might give you the most bang for your Internet connection. The cover of the book will be designed as the book is underway, and you can watch that, too.

I'm happy to be a part of the project for the challenge, the chance to work with a talented group of folks, and the potential for exposure. It's a bit nerve-racking at the moment. I don't know the genre of the thing, much less the plot. I don't know if I'll be writing a chapter from the middle or filling in the spaces among “happily ever after.” Maybe I'll be writing action. It's completely possible I'll have to work out sex scene between a stamp collector and his maiden aunt's antique hatrack. Only Herman knows for sure, and he isn't telling for another 19 hours. 

If you are interested in following the project or downloading the e-book, you can find the links here. Drop us a line to wish us luck and/or tune in to watch us work; it could be fun.

Folks taking part include: 
M.F. Bloxam - M.F. lives in Portsmouth, NH. She is the author of THE NIGHT BATTLES (The Permanent Press, 2008). Learn more about her work at

Kathy Boss - The author of two children's books, Kathy, was born in Australia, raised in Canada and now lives in New England. She is currently working on a novel about a "love child" born in the 1970s who, as soon as she is old enough, flees her parents liberal, nomadic lifestyle. She turns mainstream and ends up so buried in the safety of suburbia that she yearns for the freedom of her youth, but cannot forget its price.

Dan Brian - Dan is a former music journalist and current fiction writer. He regularly fortifies his apocalyptic-scenario escape routes and consumes more Taco Bell than healthy. He reviews whiskey on the Dandy Scotch Brawlers podcast and exorcises writing demons on his blog.

Kathleen Cavalaro - Although screenplay writing is her area of comfort, Kathleen has also dabbled in lyrics, short stories and poetry. Her first play, “At My Window,” is set to open the 20th season at the Players' Ring theater in Portsmouth, NH in September 2011 (starring the person below me). 

E. Christopher Clark - Chris is an author, educator, and all-around geek who is passionate about storytelling in all its forms. The founder of the pop culture blog Geek Force Five, his work has also been published in Commonthought, Device, The Bradford ReView, and in Literary Matters, the newsletter of the Association of Literary Scholars, Critics, and Writers.

Deanna L. Cooley - Deanna, 24, graduated from Thomas College in Waterville Maine in 2009 with a Bachelors Degree in Communications - English. She is currently working on completing her first novel.

Benjamin Kane Ethridge - Ben is author of the novel BLACK & ORANGE, recently nominated for a Bram Stoker Award in Superior Achievement in a First Novel. His official website presence is Purchase BLACK & ORANGE, trade paperback or on Kindle via Amazon.

Chuck Galle - Chuck authored STORIES I NEVER TOLD MY DAUGHTER, a memoir of a raucous life before, during, as well after the so-called Sixties. He is currently working on a “cozy” mystery story with an itinerant actor sticking his nose into murders among his cast members. Chuck also acts on stage and screen and has been seen in fifteen TV commercials over the past three years. His website is

Jasmine Giacomo - Jasmine writes in the fantasy and mystery genres from Washington State, where she lives with her husband and two small children. She also enjoys geocaching, history, science and puzzles, holds a black belt in Danzan Ryu Jujitsu, and particularly enjoys reading and writing fight scenes. Check out her blog at Worlds of Jasmine for free short fiction or purchase books (ebook and print) from Amazon.

Matthew Gold - Matt is a writer of speculative fiction and lover of robots the world over. His last book THE WONDERS AT YOUR FEET deals with themes of murder, fame, and infamy alike and can be purchased through Amazon and other online retailers. Check out his blog, where he writes about technology, politics, and mental illness.

R.W.W. Greene - Rob is a former journalist turned high-school writing teacher now pursuing his MFA in fiction writing at Southern New Hampshire University. He writes fiction and records podcasts (See: Peek inside his pulsing brain at his blog.

John Herman - 24 Hour Novel Project creator John is an artist, writer, and web adventurer. His projects often explore the crossroads of society and technology. He is also working on his first (solo) novel. His website is Follow him on Twitter: @johnherman 

Jasmin Hunter - Jasmin is a freelance writer and photographer with a weekly article in the Seacoast Scene. She has also contributed stories and photos to Experience Magazine, The Portsmouth Herald, Fosters, The Wire and Portland Phoenix. Other credits include the monologue Sundance recently performed at The Players' Ring Theatre in Portsmouth, NH.

Steve Johnson - Steve is a writer, actor, radio DJ for WSCA 106.1 FM and producer of charity storytelling event A Winter’s Tale. He is currently pursuing a side career as an amateur perfumer and fragrance writer. 

James Patrick Kelly - Jim has written novels, short stories, essays, reviews, poetry, plays and planetarium shows. His short novel BURN won the Science Fiction Writers of America's Nebula Award in 2007 and he has won the World Science Fiction Society’s Hugo Award twice: in 1996, for his novelette “Think Like A Dinosaur” and in 2000, for his novelette, “Ten to the Sixteenth to One.” His website is

Christopher Klemmer - Christopher Klemmer is a sketch comedy writer for Portsketch and lives in Portsmouth, NH. Whether it be alarming fellow middle school peers with disturbing stories in creative writing classes or writing press releases as a sports information director in college, writing has been a constant thread in his life. His favorite book is THE STAND by Stephen King but he feels his life is more like "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson.

Margaret McAleese - Margaret’s full-length play, There's a Girl in Boston, was commissioned by Yellow Taxi Productions in Nashua, NH (considered for the American Theatre Critics Association's New Play Award). Her ten-minute play, Captured, was selected for New Hampshire Theatre Project's New Works Festival, and her short play, Seven Sisters, appeared in An Evening of Steampunk and Robot Theatre at The Players' Ring in Portsmouth, NH. Margaret's essay, From Haystacks to Handbrakes, was the first-place winner of the "My Brooklyn" annual writing festival at the Brooklyn Public Library in 2007.

Joe Stanganelli - Joe is a Boston-based writer, communications consultant, and attorney. In addition to writing scripts, songs, and stories, Joe writes about business and technology topics for United Business Media and other outlets. Follow him on Twitter: @JoeStanganelli.

Laura Thomas - Laura lives in beautiful Portsmouth, NH with her boyfriend and their two spoiled dogs. This is her first time working on a novel; usually when she tries to sit down to write she is distracted by the sudden need to do laundry, drinking more coffee, and wondering if she could survive alone in Jurassic Park. Laura is passionate about improv and sketch comedy; find out more about her group Portsketch.

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