The Mighty Pens would be nothing without our volunteers. We wanted to make sure everyone got the recognition they deserve. Each week, we’ll be spotlighting one or more of our volunteers and they can tell you in their own words a little bit about them and why they are a part of the Mighty Pens team.
First up this week is Asteria Gonzalez (she/her)! You can follow along with Asteria’s journey on Twitter @SNAGonsalez.
Q: Tell us a little about yourself.
A: As I say in my bio, I am a yet-to-be-published author from central Texas. I love stories that focus on the characters and have a dash of humor (hence my love for Dragon Age: Inquisition).
Q: Tell us about your pets.
A: Aside from the dogs, who are relatively unimpressed by my writing, I have an ancient cat who believes it is her calling to lay on my laptop.
Q: What are you currently reading/watching? What was your last 5 star read?
A: I have just opened to the first page of The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi, which came out in September. It’s the sequel to The Gilded Wolves, and if you like ensemble casts, historical fiction, and those National Treasure movies, you’ll love these books.
Q: Are you a plotter or a panster?
A: Am I allowed to say that I’m both? Sometimes I strictly stick to an outline, and other times, I veer off because the characters have decided to investigate a strange occurrence in that neat little forest over there.
Q: What’s your favorite writing snack or beverage?
A: Tea, no doubt about it.
Q: What’s in your ears while you write?
A: Unless I’m stealing a few minutes to write between tasks, I have music on, typically soundtracks.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about writing? Least favorite?
A: Usually, I enjoy drafting the most. That’s when I take all the snippets and ideas I had during the planning phase and create something better from them. On the flip side, if the project is causing trouble, drafting is also my least favorite because—and I think most writers can relate—it can be so daunting. It’s all achievable, though. Just keep writing!
Q: Have you participated in NaNo before? Have you won? Are you participating this year?
A: Back in 2017, veritable eons ago, I decided to take part in NaNoWriMo for the first time as Kat and Sooz had started the Mighty Pens that year. Not only did I hit that set 50k goal, but I reached 77k. A lot of words, right? I scaled it down the next year to 55k, and this year will be a mini NaNo, due to a busy schedule.
Q: What do you write? What are you working on for NaNo?
A: I can never seem to get my head out of fantasy worlds, and yet, my next project is likely going to be a young adult contemporary. Before the contemporary, I must finish this adult fantasy I’ve been drafting since early 2020. The working title for that contemporary is the oh so creative “YA Fake Dating WIP.”
Q: Any advice for someone joining the Mighty Pens or doing NaNo for the first time?
A: If this is your first time in NaNoWriMo, just remember that any progress is progress. Reaching that 50k isn’t necessary. Enjoy the writing and be proud of what you’ve done! The same goes for any first time Mighty Pen: set some goals for yourself, both in writing and fundraising, but at the end of the day, have fun and remember what’s important here. It’s not a race, and any words are progress, and any money raised will help.
Q: Are you a Mighty Pens newcomer or vet? Why did you decide to become a volunteer?
A: I’ve been a proud part of the Mighty Pens since it began in 2017. Some might recall the sprints I would lead in the previous years around my college schedule. Now, due to the aforementioned busy schedule and all the other wonderful volunteers we have, I’m not leading quite as many sprints, but I’m still cheering on other Mighty Pens.
Q: What’s your favorite part about the Mighty Pens?
A: From the beginning, the community of the Mighty Pens has always stood out to me. They are welcoming and never fail to uplift each other.
Q: Do you have a special connection to Every Mother Counts? Or just like raising money for a good cause?
A: Sooz has shared a lot of her journey with us, and learning about what she went through and endured has made this year’s decision to fundraise for Every Mother Counts clear. I want to do what I can to help more have the resources they need before, during, and after childbirth. This is for Sooz and all the others whose stories I don’t know.