Monthly Recap: February 2017

How surreal is it that we’re already saying goodbye to February? It was a short month for sure! As always, there’s been a lot going on, and as always, I’m running late with this recap. I’m not even sorry. I’ve had a tonne of freelance work, and have had some exciting new developments with my books, so life’s been a little crazy. Read about everything below.

My Books:

Heart of Mist, Book I, The Oremere Chronicles

It’s only been four short weeks since I last mentioned this book, but so much has happened!

Firstly, I was approached by a commissioning editor at a major publishing house, who asked to read Heart of Mist. This was a really strange experience for me, after having decided firmly on going indie.

However, I thought it was an opportunity too good to turn down. I sent my manuscript off, and heard back soon after that the editor had liked it, and had passed it on to the YA publisher.

While the YA publisher had it, I debated with myself about what path I really wanted for this book, and if I’d be happy at this stage handing creative control over to a publisher. If I’m honest, this really threw me through a loop.

If you’re a writer, you can probably relate to the whole ‘big 5 publisher dream’ that we generally hold onto throughout our entire careers. It’s only been in the last year or so that I’ve come to realise that this isn’t the right path for everyone. And particularly after my previous experiences in this industry, that it actually might not be right for me…

Even though there was still potential to be published by one of the big 5, I came to the decision that I’m on the right path.

Indie publishing is the right choice for me, but more importantly, it’s the right choice for this book, and the series.

I’ve been working tirelessly on some final edits thanks to the feedback of my incredible Advance Team. I’m really hoping to knock these over in the next week or so… I can’t wait til this stage is completely over!

The manuscript is due to go to my editor mid-March, and I’m so, so excited to work with her.

Hint: she was actually the editor behind one of my favourite novels in the past few years… Kings Rising.

More majorly exciting news? Not only have we gone through several cover roughs and revisions, but we’ve actually decided on a final cover!

We won’t be able to share this with you just yet, but I can tell you right now… It’s absolutely stunning.

Untitled, Book II, The Oremere Chronicles

In my last recap, I told you about how I hadn’t worked on this manuscript much as everything had kinda taken over my life… Well! While I haven’t done much actual writing, I’ve done some solid plotting – more plotting than I ever did with Book I to begin with.

I’m really hoping that taking my time during the early stages of the process this time, will make the writing period a little easier (and faster).

I’m currently using a spreadsheet (never thought I’d say that!) to plot out chapters and scenes. I’m also hoping that by doing this, the book will need less of a structural overhaul when it comes to editing.

Untitled, Book III, The Oremere Chronicles

In delving into the plot of Book II, many events have come up for Book III… In essence, I’m simultaneously plotting the final book in the series as well.

It’s both daunting and exciting all at once.

Other works

I’m really pleased to tell you that I managed to write a short story this month! I wrote a 4000 word piece which actually serves as a prequel to Heart of Mist.

Interested? You’re in luck! I’ll be giving ‘Break’ away for free to any good folk who sign up to my mailing list.

More on that to come.

Editor’s Life

Writer’s Edit

Ahhhhhh my baby Writer’s Edit has gone from strength to strength, particularly in recent months. Every month, we’ve broken the record for visits, page views, etc. from the previous month. It’s a massively encouraging sign that we’re well on our way to being a real leader in this industry, and it’s a good omen for our exciting initiatives to come.

I have been working myself into the ground creating these new courses that we’ll be launching in the near future. I’ve already told you about how sleek the new platform is, but I can’t help emphasising just how epic everything looks and feels.

These courses are going to be huge.

Dave has also been working super hard on some incredible tools and resources that will be up and running on the site shortly.

Just last week, we also welcomed a new Editorial Assistant into our fold: Jenny Ryan. The lovely Jenny has just finished a Masters of Publishing, and is also currently working for the Copyright Agency (right alongside the amazing Aleesha Paz!).

Freelance work

That saying “when it rains, it pours” has never been truer for my freelancer life. I went through a bit of a drought over Christmas, and now I’m absolutely flooded with work.

If I’m completely honest, I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed… Juggling an online publication, creating courses, editing a book, writing a book and being a freelancer all seems a bit crazy right now.

What I’ve Read:

I have to say, I did better than last month – and that’s what matters at this point… Baby steps!

  • An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
  • A Torch Against The Night by Sabaa Tahir
  • A Place Called Here by Cecelia Ahern

I have to take this opportunity to say just how completely blown away I was by Sabaa Tahir’s books. They were absolutely breathtaking. I couldn’t put them down – they were everything I love about fantasy, and were written in such stunning prose.

I could fan-girl all night about her. A massive thanks to the wonderful Claire Bradshaw for her recommendation!

Anyway, I could ramble on for another 1000 words, but I think we’ll leave it here.

Watch this space for new developments and announcements coming soon 😉

Until next time,

Helen

 

Note: Image Credit to David Mao via Unsplash.