Dy lives and writes in Adelaide, South Australia. Her partner is a great cook and doesn’t mind when she forgets to eat dinner (much). She has a 9+ year old daughter who inhales chocolate and looks like Twiggy; shares a house with two dogs, two cats, an annoying but loveable Alexandrine parrot and several fish.
She longs for the day that her daughter stops bringing home refugee animals. Snails inching down the staircase are no fun.
Her background is in classics, anthropology and social work and she spent much of her childhood travelling throughout south-east Asia and the south Pacific, learning about other cultures.
Her days are spent writing, spending time with family and friends and chatting with crit buddies. If she’s not on the computer you can find her reading, daydreaming, drawing, haunting antiquarian bookshops or researching her latest novel.
Dy has a MA in Creative Writing from Adelaide University and is a graduate of the Odyssey Science Fiction Fantasy Workshop 2012.
Maya McAdam has never quite fit in, even on Earth where the magical elite sells alchemy on the black market. She has wild visions of conveyer belts turning into snakes and draws surrealistic pictures of places she’s never been. Partying and tossing back spells seems like a good way of avoiding her problems.
A week before her twenty-fifth birthday, her surrealist paintings finally sell. When a scarred stranger watches her from behind one of her sketches, she knows life is going to hell.
Maya would never have imagined she’s the daughter of a cursed king, and a bargaining tool for magical guilds. Will she fight demons and give up a desire for spells so she can find love with a warlock? Or will she leave her friends and become the nightmare the magical elite fears?
How many years have you participated? 3 years
What attracted you to the challenge? The idea of working with a virtual community for support.
Are you a pantser or plotter? Both … mostly a pantser.
What’s inside your NaNoWriMo writing survival kit? Tea, a great desk lamp, the outline of my next scene, pictures of my characters, chocolate.
Do you have a NaNoWroMo playlist? No, I tend to write best when it is quiet. Sometimes I’ll put on music and then it’s heavy.
Where do you write? I write in my long narrow study.
What preparations do you make before beginning a novel? I fill out character sheets and usually will go through Dramatica Pro with a story idea.
How long did it take you to finish your book? Did you take a break after November or work steadily on until it was complete? I wrote my first book in 6 months and write steadily throughout the year.
Tell us about your writing process. What were the most challenging aspects? I wrote my first book fairly quickly then spent another 18 months fixing all the structural problems. So I try to plot more nowadays and make each scene focused.
Was writer’s block an issue? If so, how did you overcome it? Yes, it was an issue. After my first book sold I found it hard to settle on one idea and kept changing my mind. In the end I forced myself to sit at the computer and WRITE without looking on Facebook, Twitter or Goodreads. The first few hours were godawful but I managed to get through the antsy feeling and came up with something I was happy with.
How did you set about finding a publisher? I used duotrope and sent out query letters.
What would you say is the key to your success? Writing, reading and doing lots and lots of writing courses.
What do you say to those writers who frown upon the challenge? Bleh. Have they ever tried it?
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from the experience? It’s possible to write 50k in a month if you put your mind to it. Don’t worry about the words on the page just write from your imagination and your subconscious will take care of the rest. Trust yourself.