Yesterday morning I had the opportunity to interview writer D.J. Britt, writer of 24 3-Day Novels as well as the novel Cambrian (which you can purcahase for a paltry $3.99 from Kobo Books). The interview was done live entirely over twitter where we talked about his massive novel factory year. But you don’t need to seek it out because we have the interview in its entirety here!
note: interview has been slightly reworked for the sake of readability
@SCBarrus: [D.J Britts] work has been covered on radio, TV and internet. Here he’s featured on a CBC news segment: http://bit.ly/O6cEbIhow are you this morning?
@Britt_dj: great Cody thanks. How are things in sunny
@SCBarrus:Very overcast, but I’m sure that comes as a surprise to no one.
@Britt_dj: I live in the sunshine capital of Canada. Near Estevan Sk. Supposedly most sunshine through the year.
@SCBarrus: We had a nice sunny week, but it has since departed and now we have overcast skys and rain forecast. So, you’ve written 24 3-day novels, live online? How did that come about?
@Britt_dj: [It was an]act of shameless desperation. After years of pitching the industry I decided to get loud. 3 day novel inspired me.
@SCBarrus: Had you written a 3 day novel before that point, or did you just decide to jump in head first?
@Britt_dj: I took part in the 3 day novel contest in 2010. A creative crack binge, but without the slipping pants. Doing a marathon online was also inspired by the film Julie and Julia. Great watch. I highly recommend.
The 3 day novel contest in 2010 was my first writing contest of any sort. I survived, so I thought what the hell. I had never written to a clock before either. Now that I have I recommend that to all writers.
@SCBarrus: I’ve done the 3 Day Novel contest before, so I know the intensity. I had to prepare myself, visualize my novel. You wrote 24 in a year, how did you maintain inspiration? Did it flow or did you cheese grate your brain?
@Britt_dj: I brain stormed on a pad, looking for characters and situations. I’ve always been a swooped. Just run with an idea. By month 10 I was running on fumes, averaging 2 of these a month fried me. The inspiration for one was a happy face icon on twitter. It turned into my vampire story Voids are People Too. It’s on my site in audio.
I learned a truth Rod Serling taught. He said he plucked his ideas out of the air. You really can use anything.
@SCBarrus: So you found the time limit helpful then? In what way?
@Britt_dj: It held a gun to my head, especially the fact it was live online. My life was strewn with unfinished works my marathon taught me that I was just being lazy. It just takes determination to finish what we start.
@SCBarrus: Did you find yourself gravitating to unexpected themes or narratives?Anything that surprised you?
@Britt_dj: I tried every genre almost. Horror sci fi police procedurals. Even a romance. I think what surprised me is how I [used] everything my brain could snatch onto. In that vampire story I used the fact my fish had all died recently, some white spot disease. The way I incorporated that on the fly became one of my favorite parts of that story. I think what surprised me is how resourceful we can become in a tight corner. I like those surprises a lot.
@SCBarrus: While writing this you received a lot of media attention. What was that experience like?
@Britt_dj: A shock. I also wrote a few 3 day novels in public venues as well as live online. While writing at a chapters store someone tapped on my shoulder and said I had a call. It was the producer of a national radio program. This netted me other coverage, including a national paper and many other outlets. An established writer told me that I received more attention than most professional authors ever do. I never saw that coming.
@SCBarrus: I think that goes to show just how impressive cranking out 24 novels in a year is. Most people can’t fathom that.
@Britt_dj: Well don’t let it get around but these do get easier as you do them. The secret for me was marrying a page quota every day. Still, pounding out 8000 words a day or so takes its toll. I was badly burnt out at the end of the year.
@SCBarrus: 8000 words per day! Did carpal tunnel ever set in?
@Britt_dj: Back trouble! I started getting some shooting pains there after a while. Had to really watch what chairs I used.
@SCBarrus:And now you’ve been recording those novels as audio books?
@Britt_dj:It is a latte to go world out there after all.
@SCBarrus: Well it looks like we are coming close to the end of the interview. Any last thoughts
you would like to share?
@Britt_dj: The theme song to my whole journey was an old ABBA tune, Take A Chance On Me. That’s all I can ask. If people check out my audio stories and like them they might enjoy my horror novel Cambrian available from Kobo.
@SCBarrus: And all of these can be found on your blog http://www.24novels.com/
@SCBarrus: Wonderful. Well, thanks for taking the time to chat with me.
@Britt_dj: thanks so much Cody. I hope the sun shines in Seattle!
To Learn More About Author D.J. Britt…
Be sure to visit his website 24 Novels where you can find audio recordings of some of his 3 day novels including Voids Are People Too, as well as his horror novel Cambrian.