Monthly Recap: January 2017

I’ve been inspired by Kyra Thomsen’s latest post to look back at my very first recap. Two years ago, I published this post… Since then, I’ve had a book contract, had rights reverted, gone full-time freelance, started writing in a completely different genre (and started a series!), wrote an entire new book, published two more books and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

It’s nice to acknowledge just how far I’ve come in two years, but as always, this post is all about reflecting on the recent past. So let’s get stuck into what happened over January 2017…

My Books:

Heart of Mist, Book I, The Oremere Chronicles

Ahhhhhh… It feels good to write that title. I’ve had some really lovely feedback regarding the change from Finding Oremere, so that’s a little win to celebrate.

There has been so much progress with this book lately that I can hardly contain my excitement. It really deserves a post of its own, but time is of the essence at the moment so here will have to do for now!

Heart of Mist will be published under Talem Press, which is a soon-to-be-launched imprint of Writer’s Edit Press.

My incredible advance team (Kyra, Claire, Aleesha and Kelly) are in the process of doing a final feedback round, before I make changes and hand the book over to my editor.

Cover roughs are also due in a few short weeks, so that makes things incredibly real. This book is happening. It’s coming into the world this year.

Stay tuned, folks.

Book II, The Oremere Chronicles

As I may have mentioned in previous recaps, there have been some major changes to the plot points of Book I that naturally affect the events in Book II. Now that everything is finalised in terms of major structural developments, I’m finally free to continue writing the rest of the draft.

This is my first time writing the second book in a series (first time writing a series in general), so I’m curious as to how it’s going to differ from writing the first book, or a standalone novel.

I’m starting to ease back into it, and have already spent an evening this week plotting the major events on index cards (a new method for me).

Without wanting to give anything away, there are some epic scenes in this book that I can’t wait to start writing…

Book III, The Oremere Chronicles

Along with finalising the plot and events of Book II, has also come the rough outline of Book III. And I mean rough.

I have always known the general structure of each book, and the over arching plot of the series, but since my experience with how much the first book changed, I’m going to leave the planning minimal, at least until Book II is closer to being finished.

Looking at the books listed even like this is quite overwhelming. I’ve actually just committed the next three years of my life to this series… But… Man it feels good.

Other works

When working on large scale, long term projects, I think it’s important to be able to achieve other milestones along the way. Which is why I’ll be writing a few short stories this year.

While I think my strengths lie in longer form fiction, I have some exciting plans for some shorter work in the near future…

Editor’s Life

Writer’s Edit

Writer’s Edit is currently in a massive state of flux as we get closer and closer to launching our new educational platform.

We’ve made a few decisions lately that have set us back time-wise, but Dave and I feel that the delay will be well worth it when we unveil our new courses and tools for authors.

I’m so so thrilled with what we’ve done so far. The platform itself looks like a dream, the functionalities are amazing, and I just know our members are going to get so much from it.

Both myself and the wonderful Claire Bradshaw have spent much of our time lately editing courses that we wrote last year.

In addition of course, is the general running of Writer’s Edit, which as always, is full on. We’re constantly working with our authors, and helping them improve their writing, as well as managing social media and the like.

We’ve also just listed an ad for a new Editorial Assistant, so it’ll be great to get some extra hands on deck!

Finally, Writer’s Edit was also selected as one of Positive Writer’s Best Writing Blogs of 2017. Myself and the team are pretty stoked with this achievement. We’ve gone from reading lists like these to being featured on them!

Freelance work

Over the Christmas period, freelance work slowed down a bit as it always does. January however, has been crazy.

I currently have about six or so freelance clients who I’m doing numerous projects for: social media, copywriting, editing, manuscript assessment and SEO auditing. Plus, I’ve been offered a part-time contract doing writing across four different brands the parent company whose office I share.

What I’ve Read:

This is so depressing… This month my reading has really gone downhill, I haven’t read nearly as much as I would have liked.

  • The Self-Publisher’s Ultimate Resource Guide by Friedlander & Sargent
  • Swapping Mad by the Stevenson Experience

I attempted to read…

  • Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard
  • The Banished of Muirwood by Jeff Wheeler

But I just couldn’t get through them. In both cases, these novels seemed a little slow to me, which surprised me as I loved Red Queen and The Queen’s Poisoner series.

I really need to start scheduling in dedicated reading time, and should probably stop abusing Amazon’s ‘Buy in one click’…

Until next time,

Helen

Note: Image Credit to Clem Onojeghuo via Unsplash.