January 2020 Monthly Roundup

Hi everyone! Things have been quiet here on the North-Eastern front as I’ve been hard at work writing the sequel to Sand Dancer! I’ve just sent off a draft to the lovely Uproar Books which should keep them busy for a while and give me time to catch up on everything I’ve neglected; housework, blogging, cardio, you name it.

So one thing I want to try and accomplish each month is to write a short roundup of what I’ve been up to, including my writing progress, what books I’ve been reading, what games I’ve been playing, and anything in between. This is partly to keep myself accountable but to also give you an insight into my writing life, especially when things get busy. Writing a book can be a slow, painful, and lonely process sometimes!

I’ll also use this roundup to highlight some new blogs of the month. Currently I’m writing one blog a week every Saturday, but will be changing this back to twice a week.

Let’s kick off the first roundup for 2020:

What I’m Writing

It’s taken me an entire year to write the sequel to Sand Dancer. The problem is that I wrote too much and needed to split the damn thing in half, which meant creating a whole new ending, and somehow, I still ended up with too many words! Uproar Books will be looking at it soon to tell me what problems and plot holes will need fixing, and no doubt find ways to cut the word count down. I hope. So this version isn’t the final version by no means. They’ll be lots of editing to get through first. But a milestone has been achieved! Hurrah.

Whilst I wait on feedback, I’m putting together a collection of prequel stories based on side characters from the world of Sand Dancer: Alistar, Raj, Ravel, Rais, and a new character from book two. I’m hoping to tie up these stories into an ebook that you’ll be able to download for free from this website. Stay tuned for that!

What I’m Reading

I finally got around to reading Tempests and Slaughter by the amazing Tamora Pierce. Want to know my thoughts? Read my review!

Currently, I’m reading through Always Greener, a sci-fi satire set in a future London where game show contestants try to prove who has the worst life. Always Greener is by fellow Uproar Books author J. R. H. Lawless and is due for release this month. Pre-order your copy before the release date of February 18 and Uproar Books will donate its share of sales to the CUSP Foundation to help children in Africa!

Uproar Books has another special book out on February 18 too: New Adult fantasy Asperfell by Jamie Thomas. If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if Jane Austen had blood magic, then this is the book for you! Find out more and pre-order! I’m going to be reading this one next.

What’s more, if you don’t already own Sand Dancer yet, you can get a special bundle deal which includes both Asperfell and Sand Dancer, saving you 25%! Check out this sweet deal (US only!).

What I’m Playing

I’ve not had time to play many video games this month as I’ve been writing a book you know. BUT I did watch through The Witcher on Netflix over the Christmas period so now I’m playing The Witcher 3, naturally. Toss a coin to your favourite author!

I’m also back on Stardew Valley. If I make it sound like an addiction, it’s because it is! I’ve always been a sucker for Harvest Moon/Rune Factory farming sims, and Stardew Valley is one of my favourite games of the past decade. I’ve started a Hill Top farm at the moment and I’m growing many blueberries. Come back next month and I’ll show you my progress haha.

Anything Else?

The end of January was my birthday! To celebrate, I visited a dog cafe in my city called Dog and Scone. I’ve honestly never visited anywhere quite as happy and got to spend an hour cuddling tiny little dogs. Of course, now I want a puppy…

That’s it for January, so see you at the end of February! And don’t hesitate to get in touch with me by leaving a comment or chatting over at Twitter!

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