A little update for August

OK, so the only thing I’ve successfully and continually achieved over the last three months is an expert level of procrastination. Call myself a writer? I haven’t put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard in a horrifyingly long time. I signed up for NaNoWriMo… twice… and barely competed. I can’t even say I was blogging instead because, well, look at my blog. The spiderwebs and tumbleweeds speak for themselves.

No, I have to face it, I have done sweet FA lately and it’s time for that to stop. So here’s me, shaking myself out of my self-induced funk, and giving you all an update.


What I should have been doing:

Beta’ing Harli V. Park’s novel: I haven’t forgotten you, I swear. You’re on my list!

coverdimensionsThe Elder Throne: First novel in the Equinox Series is complete, thrice-edited but unrevised. I’d say about 60% of it has been changed – all for the better, I hope, but 40% of it still needs pushing over the line before I can attempt a second wave of queries. I feel really good about the direction this new revision is heading in, I just need to find my motivation to complete it.

The Winter Court: I have actually written more of this! (A minimal amount, but something’s better than nothing, right?)

My blog: Ha ha, ha ha, ha. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Ha. So evidently I’ve written nothing: no book reviews, no fun-fact-asides, no updates on my life and not even the easiest of all posts – answering my 52 Week Blog Challenge. What I’ve decided to do about this is gather together interesting information, prep it all to make it interesting, and start up again in October with a regular schedule I won’t be killing myself to stick to. In the meantime, I will be resuming my 52 Week Blog Challenge but only answering the interesting questions because life’s too short.


What I’ve actually been doing:

DIY and home improvement: I’ve practically lived in IKEA and on Etsy lately and my house now resembles a lovely, quirky geek den. However, I still don’t have any bedroom curtains. I’m working on that.

Taking mental health time: I’m struggling a bit lately. Mental self-care is not something I usually think I require, but it’s become apparent lately that I need a bit of a boost, or some downtime to process the myriad of unpleasant things that are making my daily grind a little worse. I’m working on it – and I have a holiday soon, so I’m clawing my way back towards being on top of it all!

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Writing future books, blowing off fictional steam and developing characters: My mind has been jumping all over the place lately and this has manifested in exploring two separate alternative timelines, writing an entire novella’s worth of backstory and writing snippets from books that have no business being written until I finish my current project. I have successfully ‘blown off steam’ though, and the benefits of all this creative procrastination is that it has now given me a stronger hold on my characters and on things I need to include in my current work for continuity reasons.


What someone has actually done for me:

Brett Arts Illustrations (via Fiverr)

Brett has been working very hard to deliver some excellent character illustrations. By the time all of these characters are complete, I will have a decent manuscript to pair with them for my Beta Readers, at which time I will put up a page with descriptions in the hope you might want to know more. In the meantime, here’s a sneak preview of a few favourites.

 

Wish me luck getting back on track!

Week #24 | My biggest dream in life

Part of the 52 Week Blog Challenge


My biggest dream – or ambition – in life is the same now as it was when I was seven: to make a living by writing and publishing novels. This blog post is actually slightly very delayed because I was busy taking steps to fulfil this dream by attending a course on how best to write an attention-grabbing query letter and submission pack.


lives a thousandThe desire to become an author is the first decision I remember making about my life. My Year 3 teacher, Mrs. Goode, told me I had a talent for writing and pointed out that, behind all of the books I was reading, there was an author who wrote them – who did it as a job. I loved reading; I can’t explain how much books have influenced the way I see the world, how much they’ve shaped the person I am today. Growing up in a socially conservative family, I consider books at least half the reason I’m an unabashed liberal.

Books open your mind to concepts you might not experience in real life; some can teach tolerance, shape your views on taboo subjects before you even experience them. They test your mettle, your values, the way you think and feel, and they never stop teaching you how to look at life from someone else’s perspective. To quote George R. R. Martin: “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.”

Well, I’ve lived a thousand lives and I’ll live a thousand more, but I want to contribute to the ocean of worlds that live inside books. That’s my dream, to just reach one reader and open their minds (whilst having fun at the same time, of course).


The problem comes in realising this dream. Continue reading

Earning My Stripes: My first rejection

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Those of you who tune into my Twitter feed may have already seen my first real milestone. On Friday, I received my first rejection letter for a query re. The Elder Throne.

It was an exceptionally polite and nice rejection letter, and I wouldn’t mind receiving such a missive again from them. Obviously, the basic message was still ‘no thank you’, which led me to conclude four things:

  1. Rejection isn’t as heart-crushingly awful as I thought it would be.
  2. My fellow writer friends (notably Lucy Flint, S.E. Berrow, Julie Hutchings and Mandy Rabin) are lovely, lovely people.
  3. The Elder Throne may not be as finished as I thought it was (but I’m waiting to make a decision on that one until after I receive replies from the outstanding 4 queries I sent).
  4. I can absolutely do this writing thing.

Continue reading

Where the wild things are: Sending my first query into the world

On Friday 11th December, I was taken by a somewhat reckless desire to send my first query into the world. As you might know, I’ve been working on my query approach and manuscript submission for the last two months, but I hadn’t considered sending anything off until the new year. The reasons for this were that I was told not to by every Internet source on book queries. Hence why I consider my desire (and subsequent action) reckless.

Let’s make no bones about this: I’m wholeheartedly expecting a rejection.

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I’m not even at the ‘I’m expecting a no but secretly hoping for an offer’ stage – I will be utterly shocked if I’m met with anything but a form rejection letter/email.  Continue reading

Starting my first query

Okay. The time has come.

My Elder Throne manuscript sleeps quietly on my USB (and C drive, and external hard drive, and in my drawer as a print-out, just in case). It’s exhausted. It went through a rigorous round of Final Edits with me this week and its shiny, polished self is spent.

As am I, but I can’t rest yet. It’s time to get to grips with my query.

That means it’s also time to follow my favourite piece of advice ever given by an evil lion.

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Continue reading