Are You Up For A Challenge?
Calling Writers: Are you up for a challenge?
It all began with a challenge. Brian C. Johnson emerged as a novelist through the NaNoWriMo Challenge. He is now working on his third novel. Sometimes all it takes is a little nudge; a little challenge, to get started on something you were always meant to accomplish.
“I’ve only been writing fiction for a short while—about ten years. That is two novels. I never imagined writing novels at all. Several years ago, our local newspaper was doing a special pullout magazine for Black History Month. The focus was to be ‘African-American artists in the Shenandoah Valley.’ The reporter identified me as an artist. When I mentioned that I didn’t do any art, she questioned, ‘Aren’t you a writer?’ That was not an identity I had ascribed to myself. ‘Me, a writer?’ I explained I had not written anything other than a few lovelorn, sappy poems only my girlfriend would see, and a couple plays I hoped would be performed in church.
A few months later, she invited me to join her in the NaNoWriMo Challenge. National Novel Writing Month (shortened to NaNoWriMo), is an internet-based challenge; writers endeavor to complete a 50,000 word novel in 30 days, during the month of November.
I took her up on it. I had virtually no idea how to write a novel, but I had always heard that you should write what you know. As the first of November loomed, I had little idea what I would write about—until I experienced a very vivid dream; the dream stayed with me, almost haunting me. I knew that was to be the novel. I won NaNoWriMo that month—in 26 days. It took me another eight years to get it ready for publication. Titled, The Room Downstairs, my debut novel released in 2016, much of it was my childhood memories realized.”
As the leaves change, and drift down from the trees; as the temperatures drop, and you find yourself inside, as November rolls in, it is the perfect time to take on a writing challenge. Join the thousands of other writers this month in the NaNoWriMo Challenge, and see what you can accomplish.
Author and advocate, Brian C. Johnson, has committed himself personally and professionally to the advancement of multicultural and inclusive education. His newest work of historical fiction, Send Judah First, is based on the life of of Belle Grove Plantation’s head cook from 1817 to 1836. In Send Judah First, Johnson beautifully expounds upon the two historical documents that mention Judah and illuminates the life of this otherwise erased soul.
Purchase your copy on Amazon today.
Martin Luther King once stated, “We are not makers of history. We are made by history.”
It’s true that American history has not always been true to its aspirational disposition towards equality but it is essential that we delve into these hard histories and share the stories of many who have all but been erased.
Send Judah First: The Erased Life of an Enslaved Soul tells the story of a woman who should be remembered. In the historical record Judah’s life is reduced to the date she was purchased and the date that she died. I felt that it was very important to bring her story to life and to portray the depth, humanity, and vulnerability of a beautiful soul all but erased by history.
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