Tuesday, October 27, 2015

NoNo-NaNoWriMo #amwriting not

At the start of this year, I intended to do all three NaNoWriMos - the Camp version in April and July, and the full version in November. Last year I did the Camp NaNo in July. I've done the November one three years running, though I've never 'won' the full version (I've won three of the Camp version, but usually doing 20-30K to either finish short story collections or the Zombie Girl novellas, now retired).

But things changed. While working on Zombie Girl 2 for the April Camp, intending to submit it to my publisher with the first book already due for release that month, Breathless Press and Lycaon Press announced their impending closure. Suddenly it seemed pointless completing ZG2, and though I went on to hit the 20K target, the story wasn't completed. By the end of April, and after just a few days live on the publisher's site, Zombie Girl 1 and the rest of my BP/LP titles were down. It was the end of an amazing but short era. My NaNoWriMo plans went up in smoke. By the end of May, I had re-released my debut novel Keir as planned (returned to me after the sale of my publisher Lyrical Press Inc at the start of 2013), plus the three novellas and a short I had with BP/LP. Zombie Girl went back into storage. Aside from taking the decision to go fully self published after losing three of my four publishers in just two years, I was at a bit of a loss.

I've always liked to use NaNoWriMo to either kickstart a new project, or complete those hanging over my head. I used the one in July 2015 to complete a trio of short stories, two of them for anthologies. One anthology never went ahead due to lack of submissions, and the other had its submission date bumped to December instead of August. I was starting to feel a certain apocalyptic pattern emerging!

However, this November I was debating whether to do a sequel to either my superhero romance When Dark Falls, or my scifi romance Tethered (partly because most of my word count this year has been shorts, titles that never got to publication, or additions on edits). Since Tethered was getting the better sales and a reader had asked if there would be more books to come, Tethered won. Then an idea for a Colchester-based urban fantasy started vying for attention. *side eyes muse*

But I've come to the decision not to do NaNoWriMo this year. Why? Well, after the kerfuffle in the first half of the year with publisher closures and anthology fails, and the prospect of having to go back to a full time job (not writing) next year, plus various real life issues that have required far more attention than previous years, I don't want to start anything new. I'm still editing Keir's Fall - something I planned to have up for pre-order by now with a November 7th release date. I have had a complete fail on it. I still have three short stories to finish, two of which have been WIPs for two years now (pretty poor when you consider the 10K word count. I've completed 40K novellas quicker!). I still have to polish up my superhero short story for the December deadline, I have a novella with my editor right now (a planned May 2016 release), a novella in the Rebecca contest which will be free for editing/publication after November, and a novel booked for edits in January. There's an awful lot of nearly-but-not-quite projects hanging over my head, and I'm feeling the pressure. I feel I can't move on until these are complete. I feel like I'm running out of time.

So, my plan is to work on completing all of these projects currently blocking me by the end of this year and so clear the path ahead. The January project could possibly be brought forward and finished for the end of 2015 for full closure. It means I can start anew in the new year with some bigger projects that need much more time during a period of my life when I may well have far less time to spare. This feeling of too many things left half done is holding me back.

Therefore NoNaNoWrimo this year. Maybe none for a few years now. But there will be plenty else coming out over the next few months up until June 2016, so you won't be left with nothing new to read. :)

Last Wednesday I was over the moon to learn that two of my book covers (and therefore two of my cover artists) are finalists in the EPIC 2016 Ariana eBook Cover Art Awards. Kudos to Victoria Miller (my cover artist at Breathless Press) for When Dark Falls in the Scifi/futuristic category, and of course Danielle Fine (who has done so many of my covers and additional artwork since we first met in 2011) for Keir in the Fantasy/paranormal category. I don't get the shiny things from this contest, but still chuffed to see my cover artists getting some of the recognition they deserve for their work. The winners will be announced in March 2016.

Scream! For the Cure is coming to an end, but the next book bundle is up for preview HERE. Please go check it out and come back for the auction on the Friday.

The Broad Universe Full Moon Blog Tour kicked off Sunday, with 30 authors participating, three main prizes including gift cards and books, and some fascinating posts on the subject of moons. My own post is about the moons featured in my books and a bit about the topic of blue moons. What are they? Why are they blue? What does it all mean?! You can find the full details HERE or stop by my post HERE where there are links to the home site and other participants to make it easier to navigate. The tour runs until the 7th of November.

Halloween is almost upon us, and I have a special newsletter going out on the 30th. But will it be trick or treat? Sign up HERE to find out.

Status Update
You know what I'm going to say, don't you? Yup, edits are still in progress for Keir's Fall. On the bright side, the edits for Quickshot - my new space opera short - were completed and the story submitted. I'm waiting to hear if it's got into the anthology or not. Reunion at Kasha-Asor - my novella length side story in the Redemption series - has arrived for first round edits.

This week is half term holiday for my monsters, and the youngest has an extra non-pupil day on the following Monday, so my post next week may be delayed or even non-existent. Sorry! Hopefully I'll have news on progression with Keir's Fall, and the winners of the Rebecca contest (in which I'm a finalist, squee!) will be announced sometime over November


  1. Congratulations on your book cover success! I know exactly what you mean about having not-quite-finished projects hanging over your head. I'm in the same situation and couldn't face starting something new until I sign-off on existing projects (of which there are many). Good luck with editing! May the muse be kind ;)

    1. Thanks Pippa! (gosh, it's weird saying that, lol).
      Yeah, I just want to get some things finished, just to feel clearer. Like until they're out of my head, there's no room for anything new to start clamouring. :P


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