Wow, September was a huge month, I got so much done! Thank mainly to Angela James for her 30 Day Accountability Challenge – being part of the group was the kick up the keyboard I needed to back myself, my writing, and my business acumen. I really felt as though I moved forward a little more every single day, whether it was adding words to a story, or getting the business side of things under control. I wrote three new short stories, finished edits on a secret project, finished edits on the not-secret project I’ll talk about more in a moment, drafted at least 4 book covers, pulled together ALL the social media stuff I needed, and made lists of a tonne more. Such a rewarding experience can’t recommend it highly enough.

Now, about that not-secret project – here it is! Our anthology, Christmas At Kissing Point is now ready for pre-orders! So excited to launch this into the world next month – going live on all major platforms on 4th November, 2020. Print copies will also be available… I’ll even sign them if you like  🙂 Stay tuned for some sneaky snippets from my contribution – Kissing The Girl Next Door – hope you love it!

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Ahhh, August is always my favourite month of the year for all things writery – it’s the Romance Writers of Australia Conference time! Although this year it was all online, I’d venture to say that in many ways it was the best one yet – SO much amazing content from SO many amazing presenters (huge shout out to Liz Pelletier – best workshop ever – growth hacking, do it!), and the best part was being able to discuss everything as we went, taking notes, asking questions, being interactive, and sharing the fun together. I was lucky enough to sneak away to a little cottage with a writery friend so we could watch all the sessions together uninterrupted by our day jobs and kids – such a special, relaxing time but most of all MOTIVATING. I’m absolutely chock full of ideas and actions to keep me going for the next few months, mainly on the business side of being a writer – so many things I’d never considered before, but this is the year, while we’re all housebound, I’m making it happen.

Meanwhile, we are also charging ahead with our Christmas anthology – can’t wait to reveal our delicious cover! Again, so much “business” happening behinds the scenes to get it published that I’d never considered before – such a giant learning curve, and one that will stand me in good stead for years to come, no doubt.

Surprisingly, I did also manage to do some reading – book of the month goes to 69 Million Things I Hate About You by Kira Archer… though Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer comes in a close second just because Twilight will always hold a special place in heart (even though Edward has so many thoughts, who knew?)!

Drinking to our future success!

Conference lanyard close at hand, despite being a virtual conference this year

 

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Well, I feel like I’m settling into this COVID-life, but am a bit bemused as to why I still seem to be super busy when in theory I should have more time on my hands? It’s a mystery…  Anyhoo, what did I do this month? Firstly, we got lots of lovely feedback on our social media book cover launch, & managed to choose our wonderful cover, yay! I can’t wait to share it with you, but it’s not official yet… stay tuned, it’s so gorgeous! In the background, we were feverishly editing away version three of our stories, finding photos of our Heroes/Heroines, and coming up with an author blurb. Phew! Now to start working on a marketing plan… which I know nothing about, but we’re all keen to learn 😉 I also booked accommodation for our cheeky virtual RWA conference getaway in August – can’t wait to see what the RWA team have got in store for us, it’s always one of my favourite times of year and I’m sure this year will be no exception. Even if it’s not face-to-face this time (so no fancy-dress cocktail, boooo 🙁 ). I finally heard back from Harlequin about my second WIP – it was a hard no, as they didn’t like that when the story starts, the H/h already have a crush on each other, so they felt the tension would be unsustainable… *sad face* Will keep working on it regardless and see what happens. And I read some awesome books (making up for June’s rather lackluster performance on this front). Really hard to choose but my favourite this month would have to be This Time Tomorrow by Tessa Bailey (the second in her Phenomenal Fate trilogy and I have to agree, it is phenomenal!).

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Pretty sure somebody messed with the space/time continuum and made the first half of this year 6 years long and also 6 days yes?! Anyhoo… here’s what I’ve been up to in the last month…

Completed an RWA OWL course on creating an Author Business Plan with Lauren Clarke – some GREAT information there, but also quite overwhelming… I’d have to print it out to get my head around it all, I think, though it’s definitely something I’d get cracking on immediately if writing was my sole income… super valuable and broken down so my tiny wee mind could understand it – very practical! Finished the second version (including first round of edits ) of my anthology story and beta read 3 others ahead of deadline *shines halo*… Read a couple of books but not sure I have a favourite this month, nothing really blew my skirt up, even the reverse harem *ahem*…

Kinda quieter than usual but I was also celebrating the Festival of Starbuck (my birthday) with a number of events including a wonderful weekend away with some of my favourite writery friends 🙂

Not much I know, but like I said, weird month. Hope you’re all well and surviving this hellscape timeline! Til next month, make good choices 😉

 

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Oh my lovelies, what a time to be alive… it just seems to get weirder and weirder… I wonder if all generations feel this? I can’t help being grateful for all the things that I have and others don’t… including being lucky enough to have been born an optimist 😉 I’ve been watching heaps of Parks & Recreation lately (for therapy) and 5 seasons in, I can confidently say that as much as I want to be a Leslie Knope, the truth is I’m a Chris Traeger (minus the fitness obsession!).

So what else’s been happening? Well, I finished and submitted my Christmas anthology story, and then beta reviewed four others – OMG y’all are going to love this book so hard, we are disgustingly talented, if I do say so myself, haha! I’m already super proud of how this is going to turn out, loooooove everyone’s ideas! I also finished reading/judging 4 RWA Ruby contest entries and 3 RWA Valerie Parv contest entries – one was amazingly perfect loved it, I REALLY want to see it on a shelf one day so I can finish the whole thing! But, as a result, I didn’t really get much other reading done…

Also decided “what the hell?!”, tidied up my WIP#2 based on the feedback from the Emily judges last year, and submitted it to Nic Caws @ Harlequin… wish me luck…

Book of the month goes to Heart of Eon by Anna Hackett – jumped in at book #3 in the Eon Warriors series, but glad that means I can now go back and read the first two  🙂

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I know, I know, the months are kinda melting into one another… but I still think we should take a moment to pat ourselves on the back for whatever we managed to get done last month! What did you get up to? Are you using this time to check off your To Do List, or  mainly concentrating on surviving these crazy times with some sanity still intact? I’ve been doing a little of both… Firstly, I finished my Christmas anthology story, thanks to my critique group’s ever so gentle persuasion in the form of daily 20 minute writing sprints (thank you thank you, a million times thank you!)… also had a couple of networking/drinking video sessions with those very same darlings… got given 5 RWA Ruby nominated books to judge so have started reading those… caught up on several months’ worth of RWA Hearts Talk magazines (turns out it’s pretty interesting these days, who knew?!)… read soooooo many other books, but the highlight of the month was Reborn Yesterday by Tessa Bailey, OMG I could not have loved this one harder, pulled an all-nighter just to finish it in one night, could not put it down, cried at the end (maybe I was just overtired and emotional by that point, but let’s assume not). I also pulled out WIP #2 and finally wrote a few more words in it – wow! Will be interesting to see how long this one takes me to finish – at this point anything less than 10 years is flying 😉 Hope you’re staying safe and well, keep reading! xx.

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I am now up to about 3k in my anthology story… Did I tell you about the Christmas anthology I’m contributing to with some friends? We decided we’d self-publish a collection of stories later this year. I’m super confident that they are all wonderful storytellers so this is VERY exciting! However, I’m starting to feel the pressure now, as my first draft is due early next month!

Had a wee pang of disappointment when I realised I did not win a mentorship with Lindsey Kelk 🙁 Hoping I’m one of the applicants she said was so good they don’t need her help  😉 She did actually write back to me personally and said “I truly did enjoy reading your submission and I really hope you’ll continue on and get it published.” … so that’s nice!

Read soooooo many books (6 books and 6 novellas) – now more than ever, we need to escape, no? They were mostly bloody brilliant, but a special call out to the 6 x Dashing Widows novellas from Anna Campbell… and a “special” call out also for the truly awful Mills & Boon Cherish I read (which I will not name) – look, I don’t mind a beta Hero but this one literally cried when someone messed up his home furnishings, so I was all no, just no…

I was hoping to visit Tasmania later in the year, but I guess that won’t happen now… but, am happy to be safe and well, hope that holds for everyone reading this.

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