Local author Shari Bera had never before written a novel or even thought about becoming an author until one visit to the South Lake Tahoe Library about four years ago.
Posted in the library was a flyer about the month of November being National Novel Writing Month. Every November, writers around the nation are challenged to write a 50,000 word novel within the time parameters of November.
This challenge sparked a chord with Bera, and with her 16-year-old daughter as her editor, she got to writing.
Her first book “You Have Got to See This” was self-published in 2018, which was inspired by an archaeology class she took at Lake Tahoe Community College years prior. While all three of Bera’s novels are fiction, life events have inspired the basis.
The next year, November 2019, she published “You Will Not Believe This” which was sparked by a series of wild dreams that she formed into short stories and reworked into a novel.
Her most recent published book, written in November 2020, is called “You Cannot Touch This” which delves into understanding the concept of murder, but don’t worry, Bera says she doesn’t write about anything gruesome, especially with her daughter as her editor.
The book was published on Jan. 21.
While all three books are very different, she says she drops hints in each of the novels to connect them.
After picking a theme, she places words to a page with a flowing plot and not until the third week in the book does she finally figure out the ending.
To stay on track throughout the process, Bera completed 1,667 words a day with the help and motivation from the NNWM community.
NNWM is a nonprofit that provides the resources along with structure and community to help encourage people to achieve their creative goals.
In larger cities the program offers writing meetings at cafes and libraries to enhance the bond in the writing community, pre-pandemic, of course.
Bera hasn’t yet decided the next topic for November’s novel, but throughout the year she keeps a journal of ideas.
She says her inspiration comes from other books and authors enjoys but also from living in Tahoe.
“I love being here, I love being in nature,” Bera said, and added that the nature of Tahoe has been a big inspiration.
While she said she doesn’t have the time to write a book outside of the challenge, she wants to continue the tradition.
“I will probably write a book every November until I die,” she said.
Her novels are all self-published on Amazon.