Monthly Recap: March 2016

Another month over, and what a massive month it was. The official announcement for my book being signed made it out into the world, the Writer’s Edit gang attended Noted Festival in Canberra, Writer’s Edit relaunched with a new look and so, so much more…

My Books:

Red Hands

Hopefully by now, some of you will have seen the announcement, but just in case – I’m stoked to be able to tell you that my debut novel has been signed with Melbourne publisher, Inkerman & Blunt.

I’ve been keeping this quiet for what feels like forever now, so it’s been amazing to be able to tell everyone!

The rough production schedule is looking amazing. There’s a lot of work still to be done before it hits the shelves, and I can’t wait to get stuck into more editing and the other nitty gritty aspects of book production. It’s going to be such an incredible experience watching this book come to life.

I’m due to have my first meeting with Donna Ward next week, so there’ll be more on this in my April recap!

Finding Oremere (Work in Progress)

I’ve gone through an extensive structural edit of this novel since I last updated you. A lot of backstory, world-building and character development had to be added in, and as a result, an addition 25,000 words was added to the manuscript.

There’s still a long way to go, but miraculously I’m still really excited about this book, and its sequels. In fact, I reached a point where I really felt like I needed some feedback.

The wonderful Jenny Bravo (author of These Are The Moments and writer at Blots & Plots), offered to be a beta reader for me, and I took her up on that.

I honestly can’t wait for her feedback – I’ve been eager to talk to someone about this story for what feels like ages now! I’m really looking forward to refining the plot and characters even further, and then hopefully passing it onto some more beta readers (here’s looking at you Claire and Kyra)…

I’m already skeptical about the title choice – but it’s important to remember it’s a working title, and not to get too caught up in it.

Book II (Work in Progress)

So, as I think I mentioned in my last recap, I made the insane decision to do another NaNoWriMo in March (write 50,000 words in 30 days).

It was a massive ask of myself amidst everything else going on, but I’m really proud of the effort I put in. I didn’t quite make 50K, but I did hit 40,000, which is pretty awesome.

I’ve also realised that Book II is much stronger than the first, thanks to discovering Pinterest. I realise I’m a bit behind the times on this platform as a tool for writers, but it’s made such a huge difference to how I write, particularly the world-building aspects of fantasy. I don’t think I’ll write another book without it.

I’ve made a board for each character and each setting, which has made visualising the whole story and world so much easier, and therefore easier to describe in the novel.

I’m enjoying writing the second book even more than the first, if that’s possible. I think it’s because I now know the characters a lot better than in book one, and there’s even more action…

I can’t wait to hammer out the rest of this book over the next month (that’s the plan anyway) and start planning book 3 in detail!

Editor’s Life:

Writer’s Edit

As I’ve been hinting at for a while now, there are some big and amazing changes coming to Writer’s Edit this year. This month saw us take a step towards our goals with a brand new look for the site.

We’ve cleaned everything up, taking on a much more modern, minimalistic design, and have started creating our own featured images to go alongside this. Have a look for yourself here.

It’s really exciting to see such a big change hit Writer’s Edit, and on May 1st, I’ll be able to announce what our plans are for the rest of the year.

What else? Myself, Kyra and Claire took a little road trip down to Canberra for Noted Festival, to be a part of the Independent Publishing Fair!

I can honestly say, I haven’t laughed that much for three days straight in a really, really long time. Noted Festival itself was great, and it was so wonderful to meet new friends, and give the Kindling books the exposure they deserve, but the highlight for me was spending time with these beautiful women.

I came away from our weekend in Canberra feeling incredibly grateful for the friendships I have with these two talented, crazy gals.

I can’t thank them enough for their company, their jokes and of course, their amazing work for Writer’s Edit and the Kindling anthologies.

Kindling Volume III

Speaking of Kindling… We’re close to finalising the shortlists in each category. It’s hard to believe this is the last time we’ll be doing this, but I’m so glad our team is back together for our last anthology.

There’ll be more on this in my next recap.

What I’ve Read:

  • Kindling Volume III submissions
  • Welcome to Orphancorp by Marlee Jane Ward
  • The Sending (Obernewtyn Chronicles) by Isobelle Carmody

This has definitely been one of the worst reading months for me in the last year. I spent much of it re-reading the Throne Of Glass series and the Captive Prince series, as starting something brand new just felt too overwhelming with everything else going on.

As you can see, I’m still on the Obernewtyn Chronicles, I don’t think I realised how much I’d bitten off with these!

Anyway, there’s plenty planned for April, so expect another chunky recap next month.

Until next time,

Helen

Featured image via Shades of Cool.

Note – this is how we wish our road trip looked, but there were more sheep (which Kyra knew lots of facts about), less trees and the very weird and somewhat deserted city of Canberra. But we wouldn’t have had it any other way.

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