Introducing My NaNoWriMo Project

by | 2 November 2018 | Life, Writing | 30 comments

I’ve been making hints about my next book for a few weeks now, in both blog posts and newsletters, but always being very vague and mysterious about it.

Because I, frankly, didn’t know enough about it to actually explain it any more than ‘it’s about secret agents’, which isn’t a very satisfying description.

But now that NaNoWriMo has officially begun, I have a bit more of an idea of what in the world I’m doing. Just a little bit.


I had full plans to join in on my friend Christine’s linkup about NaNo novels, but I left it too late (typical) so today I’m unofficially commandeering the questions, with a few little changes. 😂


What first sparked the idea for this novel?

The original idea that this novel has been derived from came to me in June 2016, approximately. I then wrote it into a novel called Monsieur Scattlocke, a dystopian Robin Hood retelling. This then had a sequel, Agent Kit, which I wrote for my first NaNoWriMo ever two years ago. January 2017, I completely and utterly rewrote Monsieur Scattlocke into Rogue Escarlate. Then in April of the same year, I wrote the final book in the trilogy, Operation Flint.

I learned a lot while writing those four books, and since writing them I’ve learned even more. One of the things I’ve learned is that sometimes the books you write are bad, and there’s no fixing them no matter how many edits you do. Sometimes you just need to be grateful for what you learned writing them, and move on.

Only because I did that, can I introduce you today to my newest novel: ROGUE AGENT.

Rogue Agent was inspired by a lot of different things. Spy/secret agent movies. Amazing books. My own obsession with everything secret agent. And, of course, remnants of the four discarded books.

The protagonist (more about him a few questions down) is taken from the original books, along with several other characters who are more or less mish-mashes of multiple original characters. All of them have changed quite a lot over the past two years, and only a few of them are actually recognisable anymore.

Wowzers that was a long answer. 😯 Let’s move along before I start rambling on for another decade.


Blurb Time!

Benjamin Kit has graduated from his years of training to Junior Agent in all but name. His finals are coming up in less than a month, and he knows he’s ready.

When a mission takes an unexpected twist, Ben is thrown into something far bigger than any of his training prepared him for. With the whole agency at stake, he knows he must warn someone, but when he’s labeled rogue on false accusations, Ben has to choose between following orders and doing what he believes is right.

Ben has information that could save everything, but there are people who will go to all lengths to make sure that information is not shared with anyone. The lines start to blur between who is friend and who is foe, and people who Ben once would have said deserved no less than death are, somehow, the only people he has left to rely on.

I spent way too long trying to get that blurb together, and I’m still not satisfied, but…you take what you get. 😅


Where does the story take place? What are some of your favorite aspects about the setting?

It takes place in an alternate-universe style slightly futuristic world. Most things are things from the real world, but place names are all fictional, and there’s some advanced tech as well.

I’m actually really liking the aesthetic feel of it so far. I’m a country person, but the feel of the city has been really fun. The first scene opens in a cafe where the main character is playing piano, and it’s just such a fun feel and I’m really enjoying it.


Tell us about your protagonist.

Benjamin Kit is really the reason why I’m even writing this book. I JUST LOVE HIM SO MUCH.

Ben is 17 years old, 5’8″, and is a secret intelligence agent in training. He’s very loveable, friendly, a little awkward, very determined, and protective. He’s highly trained in a lot of martial arts and fighting methods, and loves playing the piano.

I’m actually so enjoying writing a musical character. I’m very musical, but somehow I’ve never written a musical character until now, and I have no idea why. It’s so much fun. As I mentioned, he starts off the story while playing piano in a cafe, and subtly spying on a meeting happening a few tables down. No one would suspect the local cafe musician of being a spy for the biggest worldwide secret intelligence agency… 😛


Who (or what) is the antagonist?

Ben actually only finds out who the main ‘villian’ is about three-quarters of the way through the book, so it’s not like I’m going to tell you right now. That’s kind of the point of spy novels. You have to work it out yourself. 😏

There are a lot of different antagonists. A couple of the major side characters are antagonists. Actually…almost all of them are. But that just makes everything more chaotic. Good times.


What excites you the most about this novel?

I’ve loved the characters for a long time. I’ve also loved spy stories for ages, and I’m just so excited to finally write one with a good firm plot and characters. Every one of my stories has my heart and soul in it, and I know this one is going to be no different. Ben is actually a very similar personality to me too, and we share similar struggles and fears.

I’m also looking forward to writing one of the newly hashed characters, changed and developed from the original books. He’s going to be so. much. fun. But a lot of details about who he really is aren’t revealed until near the end of the book so I can’t share much about him either. 😬 My lips are sealed!


Is this going to be a series? Standalone? Something else?

I have full plans that this is a standalone, but as it happens, it also feels like a book that could potentially have a sequel. But I’ve also got so many other books I want to write that I don’t think it a sequel would be happening anytime soon.


Are you plotting? Pantsing? Plansting?

This is what my plot looked like at ten minutes to midnight, Wednesday 31st. I call that…last minute plotting.

I’d filled out the three act plot structure for it, but the details are still lacking a little beyond the one-third mark. 🙈

I’ll burn that bridge when I get to it, though.


Fun Extras!

Playlists! Collages! A glimpse at the opening scene! And in that order too, so you can listen to the playlist, admire the collage, and then read the tiny snippet, mwahaha.

I actually have spotify these days, so here’s a link to my spotify playlist, then another link to my youtube one! They’re actually completely different, as the youtube playlist has a lot more songs with lyrics.

No one would suspect the local cafe musician of being a spy for the biggest worldwide secret intelligence agency, and yet there I was: playing piano in the local cafe, as innocent as can be. Depending on your definition of ‘innocent.’

My fingers moved across the piano keys in a bouncy jazz piece that had toes tapping all through the room. Everyone was enjoying it, even if most of the people who visited here didn’t have a very good sense of rhythm. You take what you can get.

To anyone who walked in, I was just some guy reeling through his repertoire to earn a little extra cash and maybe a meal to the bonus. No one knew my real mission, which was lucky.

That’s kind of the point of being a secret agent.

To my left, two tables back on number twenty-four, a twenty-something year old man perched, fidgeting, on the edge of his seat. Across the table from him, my colleague relaxed against the back of his chair, adjusting his thin-framed glasses. Nothing too unusual for anyone else watching, but interviews for applicants hoping to become intelligence officers aren’t quite your everyday; you never know how they might turn out.

Which is why I was here. Just in case.

– – –


And that about caps off my introduction for Rogue Agent! I’m so excited to be starting this novel, and I’ve been loving hearing all about other peoples’ novels too.


Spill! What’s your novel about? Are you doing NaNoWriMo? Do you like spy/secret agent stories?

Jane Maree

Jane Maree

Jane Maree is an Australian writer, adventurer at heart, beloved daughter of the King of Kings, and believer in at least six impossible things before breakfast. Raised on fairy tales, scraped knees, and makeshift swords, she has yet to outgrow any of them. In her day job, Jane teaches music and freelances as an editor, but by night she crafts daring stories of broken heroes overcoming extraordinary odds.


  1. Clare

    Nice, I am excited to see where this story goes now, it can only get better.

    • Jane Maree

      Haha, true words. Very true words. 😅

  2. Krystal


    I’M (internally) SCREAMING


    *much flailing*

    Ben, my smol cinnamon roll, I’ve missed you. <33

    (also, yaaaaay, you're on Spotify : D *goes to follow you*)

    EEEEEP *can't stop grinning bc this sounds epiiiiic*

    • Jane Maree

      KRYSTAL! ❤

      Haven’t we all though? 😊 Ben is very pleased to have finally returned, and I’m so excited to see where this book takes his character.

      Yess, I have caved and gotten an account finally. 😂 Now I can stalk all the other playlists and fun things!

  3. Sam Kowal


    I am writing this comment to inform you that you must release a novel.


    • Jane Maree

      Awk, you’re the best. 🙈

      I’m trying! And I’m slowly getting closer, but it’s definitely a slooow process. 😉

  4. J.A.Penrose

    *Skips the screaming cos you probably get the usual jist*

    Ack! This is so cool! Rogue Agent is finally being written and AH IT IS SO EPIC. MUCH EPICNESS. Ben is amazing, and the rest will be too! (And nice playlists. I approve.)

    • Jane Maree

      Yes, it’s finally here!!! It’s been long enough in the coming. 😛

      Thank you so much! 😃

    • Jane Maree

      The Piano Guys should be on every playlist though, am I right? 😛

      Ooh, thanks! I’ll go check that out now.

  5. Jackson Szabo

    Stumbling around the internet I somehow find myself here. Although I’ve exclusively considered myself more poet than properly skilled; many people have been encouraging me to start writing full-blown stories. Just wanted to say your website has been an inspiration for me to embrace this avenue as a writer and I thank you for your insights

    Kind regards from an Australian time traveler.

    • Jane Maree

      Hey Jackson! I’m so glad that I could inspire you even a little bit. Thank you so much. 😄

      All the best for your writing adventures!

  6. Lilian

    rogueeeee agenttttttt here we go. *flails about excitedly*

    also GUESS WHAT I’ll think of when I go to my local cafeteria and pass by the piano????

    • Jane Maree

      Just watch out for the day when you see someone playing the piano. You never know if they’re actually a secret agent… 😏

  7. Maggie

    It sounds really cool! I’ve completely overhauled my first novel idea that I had several years ago (if you can even call that plotless thing a novel idea…) and I’m really excited about. Just in the outline it’s really blossoming into more than I could have ever imagined it to be.

    • Jane Maree

      That’s great! It sounds like we’re pretty much in the same boat, haha. Revamping plotless novels is so satisfying though. I hope the story turns out amazingly for you!

  8. Estella Kate

    Your book sounds amazing!

    I am doing NaNoWriMo for the first time! It’s exciting, though I have a couple different stories going through my head and it’s hard focusing on only one!

    • Jane Maree

      Thank you! 😀

      Aw, that’s so cool! Have you settled on one of them to write this month?

      • Estella Kate

        Yes I have, but I haven’t done much (I am a bit slow).

        • Jane Maree

          Nice! It’s not the word count or speed that matters, it’s the heart behind it. 😉

  9. MiddleEarthMusician

    YES ROGUE AGENT IS SOUNDING SO AMAZING!!! I can’t WAIT to hear more about it. AND BEN!!! <333

    • Jane Maree

      Ben’s just the star of the show, isn’t he. 😛 I’m so happy to be finally writing him again!

  10. Jem Jones

    Heh, I know what that’s like…

    Me: ooh my shiny new WIP is so secret, I cannot say ANYTHING about it
    Me: mostly because I don’t know anything about it but shhh

    (I’m actually working on a current WIP, though… eventually my blog readers are going to get sick of me talking about it [and not finishing it], but until then… *shrugs* 😉

    “Just in case.” < that sounds ominous xD

    I remember hearing about Agent Kit a while back, and can't wait to read more about the new version!!

    • Jane Maree


      It sounds like such an interesting book though. I haven’t tired of hearing about it yet. 😛

      Just in case… 😏

      Thank you!! I’m so excited to be writing with the (revised) old characters again, but with a decent plot line this time. 😅

  11. Catherine Hawthorn (Farm Lassie)

    Oh I remember bits and pieces of this story! I like how you reinvented it 🙂 Spy stories are always cool!

    I’m doing NaNo for the first time this year, and it’s The White Rose (being a rebel since I have 8 WIPs to work though…LOL).


    • Jane Maree

      It’s such a blast to the past to revisit it! 😉 I love the whole style and mystery in spy stories, but without having them be full blown sherlock holmes.

      Ooh, yay! That’s so cool. Rebels for life, haha! 😂

  12. Kendra Lynne @ The Wanderling

    THIS IS SO COOL EEP! XD I already love Ben, he sounds like such an awesome character!!! *falls over* Seriously, Jane; your stories are always epic. I’m so glad that you’re on Spotify!! I’m definitely going to follow you. 😉 Reading your blog makes me motivated to write. <33

    • Jane Maree

      Yess, he’s so much fun to write. 😀

      Thank you so much, Kendra! 💕 It seriously makes my day to hear that.

      • Kendra Lynne @ The Wanderling

        I sometimes worry I’m a bit too enthusiastic in my comments, but I can’t help it because that’s the way I am in real life as well. :s

        I hope you don’t mind. 😛

        • Jane Maree

          No way! You can never be too enthusiastic, girl. 😜

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