Sunday, 30 June 2013

Summer Writing Goals!

Because I have nothing better to do (except unpack, but I swear my possessions have all multiplied since I've been at uni. I didn't realise I owned this much STUFF!), and because I love making lists (more than I like actually accomplishing the items on said lists...), I'm going to compile a list of writing goals for this summer. Except it doesn't really count as a summer holiday if you don't have a school or course to go back to, does it?...argh, this is making my head spin. On to the list, anyway!

Writing Goals:
  • Finish editing Darkness Watching for publication!
  • Get feedback on Walking Shadow (Darkworld Book 2) from beta readers and rewrite/revise accordingly. 
  • Then send Walking Shadow to my publishers!
  • Complete the first major edit of Darkworld Book 3 (and decide on a title!)
  • Complete the first draft of Darkworld Book 4! (ditto with the title thing)
  • Update and check outline of the final Darkworld novel before starting...eeek!
  • Plan/outline at least one other project to start work on after Darkworld is complete (I'm currently worldbuilding for a potential YA high fantasy project I'm very excited about!).
And here's some general goals:
  • Be Awesome on work placements.
  • Get more work placements/internships/job interviews.
  • Read a ton of books and write reviews.
  • Think of something original and creative to do with my blog.
  • Please, please don't face-plant at Graduation Ceremony.
  • Make plans with awesome people, somehow - now we've left uni, everyone's scattered all over the country!

Here's to a fantastic summer!

Saturday, 29 June 2013

On Endings and Beginnings

So the day has finally come: I'm leaving university. Needless to say, I'm kind of an emotional wreck right now. Lancaster has been my home for three of the best years of my life, and now it's come to an end. It's time to face the real world...

But first, here's a glimpse into the insanity that is student life- from vanishing cutlery to people walking around in strange costumes, to mysterious houses in the middle of the woods! One thing’s for certain: university has definitely changed my life for the better, and I’m glad I kept a record of everything that’s happened because I never want to forget it.

I fell in love with Lancaster immediately. As a city girl, it was a novelty that I could see sheep from my window! :P

Lancaster is beautiful in the sun <3

I came to university – in a city where I knew no one - as a na├»ve eighteen-year-old who had no clue how to be an adult. I couldn’t cook or operate a washer, and I'd never even used a microwave - let alone made a plan for what to do with my life! I’m now graduating with a vague life plan in mind, a published novel – and three years of unforgettable experiences. 

I've climbed mountains in the Lake District - including the two highest peaks in England. I also got stranded overnight in a trip that's become a Hiking Club legend - but wasn't much fun for the people involved! Thankfully, they managed to get the minibus through the blizzard in the end! 

Arguably it was worth suffering for the beautiful views...

And here's some pictures of the lakes when the weather's nice! :) 

I went protesting in London in 2010 (No, I wasn't one of the crazy people who broke into parliament. But it was kind of cool to be at the centre of a national event. :P).

I visited many, many awesome places in the area. For instance, I've been to Lancaster Castle twice (and got locked in a prison cell as part of the experience!)

And the Bronte Parsonage museum in Haworth, Yorkshire (home of the Bronte sisters) is pretty cool, too!

I've been to Blackpool Pleasure Beach three times since coming to Lancaster, and I still scream the loudest when riding the Pepsi Max.

University has certainly widened my life experience. Before uni, I'd never witnessed such things as this:

Yes, those guys are dressed as Po the Tellytubby and a Power Ranger. It wasn't even a fancy dress party.

And when the freezer won't defrost, a hairdryer, a spatula and a pair of scissors will do the trick...

And occasionally, you have to paint yourself blue. (I'm dressed as an Avatar, if anyone's wondering :P)

There's always plenty of wildlife (not just people in animal costumes :P)

It's always cool to geek out over Harry Potter! :D

And I’ve travelled abroad. If someone had told me the summer before I started university that less than a year later I’d be in Australia, scuba-diving the Great Barrier Reef and jumping out of a plane over Byron Bay, I probably wouldn’t have believed them!

But here's the proof: 

I also had a close encounter with a koala. :D

 And saw the famous Sydney Opera House!

 And last summer, I had my intrepid jungle adventure in Costa Rica. 

And of course, this year, I achieved my lifelong dream and became a published author! :D

It's been quite a journey! I'm going to miss all the amazing people I've met since I came to Lancaster. I've met other writers, made friends for life, and most of all I've lived. I've finally stopped listening to negative voices and accepted that I am who I am, and there's no point in pretending otherwise. I'm going to live the life that makes me happy even if it means going against what other people expect of me, and I'm no longer going to look back and regret past mistakes. University has taught me to embrace what I'm passionate about and to live life to the full. I'm not going to lie: I’m devastated to leave it behind.

But thanks to the wonderful people I've met at Lancaster, I finally know who I am. I'm a writer.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Feature and Follow Friday #4 - and some good news!

It's time for another Feature and Follow Friday post, which is hosted by Parajunkee & Alison Can Read!  This week's question is about my preferred reading format!

I feel kind of guilty admitting this, but I'm starting to prefer e-books to physical books. This is for many reasons, most of which are practical. I own over 500 paperbacks, and my shelf space is extremely limited. I already get woken up at least once a week by a stack of books falling like dominoes because I've been forced to double them up on shelves only meant to hold one row! 

Another reason is that I travel a lot - and hope to do even more travelling in future. Carrying tons of paperbacks around isn't realistically possible, as crushing as it is to leave my favourite books behind! Plus I read constantly. I can take my Kindle to the gym, hold it in one hand when doing something else, store over a thousand books and take advantage of free offers... I've been well and truly converted to e-books!

But there's still something about holding a paperback copy of your own book in your hands that feels so much more awesome than seeing it on a screen. And I still have a weakness for pretty covers!

On a completely unrelated note, I have some exciting news: I just found out my degree result, and I'm going to be graduating with a 2.1 in English Literature with Creative Writing from Lancaster University! Needless to say, I'm thrilled! :D

Now I'm off to deal with the chaos of moving out...

Review - A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin

A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, #2)

Goodreads description: Time is out of joint. The summer of peace and plenty, ten years long, is drawing to a close, and the harsh, chill winter approaches like an angry beast. Two great leaders—Lord Eddard Stark and Robert Baratheon—who held sway over and age of enforced peace are dead...victims of royal treachery. Now, from the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding shores of Winterfell, chaos reigns, as pretenders to the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms prepare to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war. 

As a prophecy of doom cuts across the sky—a comet the color of blood and flame—six factions struggle for control of a divided land. Eddard’s son Robb has declared himself King in the North. In the south, Joffrey, the heir apparent, rules in name only, victim of the scheming courtiers who teem over King’s Landing. Robert’s two brothers each seek their own dominion, while a disfavored house turns once more to conquest. And a continent away, an exiled queen, the Mother of Dragons, risks everything to lead her precious brood across a hard hot desert to win back the crown that is rightfully hers. 

A Clash of Kings transports us into a magnificent, forgotten land of revelry and revenge, wizardry and wartime. It is a tale in which maidens cavort with madmen, brother plots against brother, and the dead rise to walk in the night. Here a princess masquerades as an orphan boy; a knight of the mind prepares a poison for a treacherous sorceress; and wild men descend from the Mountains of the Moon to ravage the countryside. 

Against a backdrop of incest and fratricide, alchemy and murder, the price of glory may be measured in blood. And the spoils of victory may just go to the men and women possessed of the coldest steel...and the coldest hearts. For when rulers clash, all of the land feels the tremors. 

Audacious, inventive, brilliantly imagined, A Clash of Kings is a novel of dazzling beauty and boundless enchantment—a tale of pure excitement you will never forget.

Amazon UK

The second volume of George R. R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire saga is even thicker and more complex than the first, and in my opinion, it takes longer to get to the main action, but the climactic battle is all the more effective for it. A Clash of Kings picks up where the first book left off, with the Kingdom of Westeros in chaos as the death of King Robert, which has sparked a fight for the Iron Throne.

King Robert’s young son currently has a tenuous grip on the throne, but rumours of incest between Queen Cersei Lannister and her twin brother Jaime threaten the stability of his throne. Lord Stannis and his younger brother Renly also fight over the throne, the former assisted by a sinister magic-user. Robb Stark, son of the murdered former Hand of the King, seeks revenge for his father’s death. And meanwhile, Daenarys, accompanied by her newly hatched dragons, tries to gain allies to take back her family’s kingdom.

Martin expertly weaves the different characters’ storylines together, including the witty and intelligent dwarf Tyrion Lannister, who takes up a new role as Joffrey’s Hand, and Arya Stark, who flees her father’s murderers by posing as an orphan boy. Her sister Sansa, formerly betrothed to Joffrey, is now a victim of his wrath, and her younger brother Bran may know the truth about the Lannisters. And are his sinister dreams a warning of what is to come? His elder brother Jon Snow and the rest of the Night’s Watch attempt to find their missing members in the forests, and to stem the threat of the Wildlings that try to breach the Wall.

It took me longer to get into this than the first book, and the introduction of so many new characters was a bit confusing (possibly because I’ve yet to watch Season Two of the TV series). But the pace soon picked up, and I found myself struggling to decide whose side to take. I think Martin’s point is that there is no right side in war. Tyrion is one of the most interesting and compelling characters, yet he fights on the side of the cruel and merciless Lannisters. As before, Martin does not shy away from inflicting brutality on his characters, both ‘good’ and ‘bad’, and some of the twists were genuinely shocking. Ruthlessly engaging, this is an unmissable fantasy saga.

Rating: ****

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Indie Book of the Week #4 - Nefertiti's Heart by A.W. Exley

Nefertiti's Heart

Cara Devon has always suffered curiosity and impetuousness, but tangling with a serial killer might cure that. Permanently. London, 1861. Impoverished noble Cara has a simple mission after the strange death of her father - sell off his damned collection of priceless artifacts. Her plan goes awry when aristocratic beauties start dying of broken hearts, an eight inch long brass key hammered through their chests. A killer hunts amongst the nobility, searching for a regal beauty and an ancient Egyptian relic rumored to hold the key to immortality. Her Majesty's Enforcers are in pursuit of the murderer and they see a connection between the gruesome deaths and Cara. So does she, somewhere in London her father hid Nefertiti's Heart, a fist sized diamond with strange mechanical workings. Adding further complication to her life, notorious crime lord, Viscount Nathaniel Lyons is relentless in his desire to lay his hands on Cara and the priceless artifact. If only she could figure out his motive. Self-preservation fuels Cara's search for the gem. In a society where everyone wears a mask to hide their true intent, she needs to figure out who to trust, before she makes a fatal mistake.

This is a fantastic Victorian mystery thriller by my fellow Curiosity Quills author, A.W. Exley. I absolutely loved Cara. She’s a strong and feisty heroine who’s had a difficult life thanks to her father giving her away to a wealthy businessman when she was only fourteen. Seven years later, she returns to London after learning of her father’s murder and becomes entangled in a mystery involving a priceless Egyptian artefact and a killer targeting young aristocratic women. Meanwhile, the enigmatic Viscount Nathaniel Lyons is also interested in Cara’s father’s collection of artefacts – and Cara herself.

With a kickass heroine, a vividly drawn steampunk-esque setting and an engaging mystery, this book is one of the most entertaining I’ve read for a while. The mystery is intriguing and suspenseful, keeping you guessing throughout, and the real villain certainly took me by surprise! The characters leap off the pages, and the romance is well-woven into the story. This is certainly different from the kind of book I usually read, but it didn’t disappoint. Highly recommended!

Rating: ****

Monday, 24 June 2013

Review - Cinder by Marissa Meyer (and audiobook sampler!)

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1)

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . . 

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Amazon UK

I loved Cinder. I thought the reinterpretation of the fairy tale worked really well without making the plot predictable, and the concept of the Lunar Chronicles series is incredibly creative! Cinder is a sixteen-year-old cyborg working as a mechanic in New Beijing, one of the six Earthen empires into which Earth’s countries have been split following the fourth world war. Technology has advanced to the point at which androids are employed as servants, and cyber-technology can be used to save lives. However, her status as a cyborg gives Cinder few options in life, and when she is given a job by Prince Kai, heir to the Emperor of the Eastern Commonwealth, the last thing she wants is for him to discover she is part machine.

Meanwhile, a devastating plague threatens the Commonwealth, and hope for a cure may lie with Earth’s enemies, the Lunars, headed by the ruthless Queen Levana. She wants to marry Kai in order to have the empire under her control, and the heir to the throne finds himself torn between saving his realm through a marriage to the evil queen, and pursuing the girl he’s truly falling for: Cinder.

This was a real page-turner, and the sci-fi world is detailed and complex with just enough information given to immerse the reader in the story. I like the subtle links to other fairy tales and to how the saga is going to develop as a whole. I love the concept, love the characters, and overall this is the best – and certainly the most imaginative – fairy tale retelling I’ve read recently. I’m going to have to read the next book, Scarlet (based on Little Red Riding Hood!) now! 

Rating: ****

The lovely people at Macmillan have sent me a sample of the audiobook to share with you guys! Have a listen here:

Friday, 21 June 2013

Feature and Follow Friday #3

Alison Can Read Feature & Follow

It's time for another Feature and Follow Friday post, which is hosted by Parajunkee & Alison Can Read! This week's question is about literary quotes, which I can never remember off the top of my head - so I'm turning to my trusty friend Goodreads for help! So here are some of my favourites...

 Harry Potter quotes

'It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.' 

'Of course it's happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?'

'It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.'

Infernal Devices/ Mortal Instruments quotes

“Have you fallen in love with the wrong person yet?'
Jace said, "Unfortunately, Lady of the Haven, my one true love remains myself."
..."At least," she said, "you don't have to worry about rejection, Jace Wayland."
"Not necessarily. I turn myself down occasionally, just to keep it interesting.” 

'One must always be careful of books,' said Tessa, 'and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.'  

“Don't touch any of my weapons without my permission."
"Well, there goes my plan for selling them all on eBay," Clary muttered.
"Selling them on what?"
Clary smiled blandly at him. "A mythical place of great magical power.”

And here's one from Skulduggery Pleasant, because Derek Landy is hilarious

'Doors are for people with no imagination.'

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy also never fails when it comes to hilarious quotes...

“For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much—the wheel, New York, wars and so on—whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man—for precisely the same reasons.” 

“This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movement of small green pieces of paper, which was odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.”

“Ford... you're turning into a penguin. Stop it.” 

“The Answer to the Great Question... Of Life, the Universe and Everything... Is... Forty-two,' said Deep Thought, with infinite majesty and calm.” 

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Indie Book of the Week #3 - The Charge by Sharon Bayliss

The Charge

When the King of the Texas Empire kidnaps Warren's brother, Warren embarks into a still Wild West to save him. On his journey, he makes a discovery that changes his life forever—he and his brother are long-lost members of the Texas royal family and the King wants them both dead. 

He gets help from an activist Texan named Lena, who's itching to take on the King and happens to be a beautiful firecracker Warren can't stay away from. Convincing her he's not one of the bad guys becomes harder when a mysterious energy stirs in his body, turning his brain into a hive of emotions and memories—not all his own.

A legacy of violence is not all he inherited from the brutal Kings of Texas. The myth that the royal family possesses supernatural powers may not be myth at all.

Gone are the days when choosing a major was a big deal. Now Warren must save his brother and choose whether or not to be King, follow a King, or die before he can retire his fake ID.

Today I've picked a book from one of my fellow authors at Curiosity Quills Press as my indie book of the week. This is certainly a unique story! Sharon Bayliss’s brilliant new adult alternative history imagines a world where Texas established its own empire separately from the U.S. – ruled by a family rumoured to have supernatural powers. When Warren King’s brother is kidnapped, he learns that he’s a descendent of the Texan royal family, and that puts his life in danger.

Meanwhile, Will Cole, son of the President of the U.S., is experiencing strange symptoms linked to the charge. His girlfriend, Lena, a supporter of the freedom of Texas, becomes friends with Warren, unwittingly dragging him further into the political turmoil. The three characters’ stories interact in intriguing ways and the plot takes twists and turns I didn’t expect, keeping the reader guessing throughout.

This is an interesting blend of alternative history, political thriller, supernatural mystery and a dash of romance. I recommend this book not just for its original premise, but also for its heart-racing plot, great characters, and explosive action. I’ve honestly never read anything quite like it! 

Rating: ****

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Indie Book of the Week #2 - Stitch by Samantha Durante

Stitch (Stitch Trilogy #1)

Her heart races, her muscles coil, and every impulse in Alessa's body screams at her to run... but yet she's powerless to move.

Still struggling to find her footing after the sudden death of her parents, the last thing college freshman Alessa has the strength to deal with is the inexplicable visceral pull drawing her to a handsome ghostly presence. In between grappling with exams and sorority soirees - and disturbing recurring dreams of being captive in a futuristic prison hell - Alessa is determined to unravel the mystery of the apparition who leaves her breathless. But the terrifying secret she uncovers will find her groping desperately through her nightmares for answers.

Because what Alessa hasn't figured out yet is that she's not really a student, the object of her obsession is no ghost, and her sneaking suspicions that something sinister is lurking behind the walls of her university's idyllic campus are only just scratching the surface...

The opening installment in a twist-laden trilogy, Stitch spans the genres of paranormal romance and dystopian sci-fi to explore the challenges of a society in transition, where morality, vision, and pragmatism collide leaving the average citizen to suffer the results.

Stitch is a fabulously unique story – one of the most original I’ve read this year! We meet university student Alessa as she struggles to cope with her studies following her parents’ death a year before - and it doesn’t help that in her new home, she’s being haunted by a ghostly figure only she can see. She feels an inexplicable pull towards this strange boy, like she’s met him before, and determines to find out who he is and how he died.

But her search for answers leads in a different direction to how she anticipated, and she begins to suspect that he is not a normal ghost. The signs seem to point to his being a projection across time – but it doesn’t make sense that he can see her, too. When she finds out how he died, she becomes determined to find a way to warn him, but then her best friend reveals a secret that unravels her whole world: she is not who she thinks she is, and her life as she knows it is a lie.

Because her dreams of being imprisoned in a dystopian prison are more real than they seem, and she and the ‘ghost’ are both victims of the same system. Now they have to play out their roles until they find a way to escape.

This is a very cleverly written story that seamlessly meshes the two genres of paranormal mystery and sci-fi dystopia. What I liked most about it was the way in which Alessa’s feelings are mirrored in both of her lives. In both, she feels like a prisoner, yet she remains determined and strong. I was completely caught up in the story and found the horrifying future world fascinating.

This is a twist-filled ride with great characters and a unique blending of genres. If you’re looking for a new adult novel which does something totally unexpected, I can’t recommend this enough!

Rating: *****

Monday, 10 June 2013

Review - Blood Red Road by Moira Young

Blood Red Road (Dust Lands, #1)

Goodreads summary: This fast-paced YA debut novel has it all: smart, savvy characters making their way through an eerily dystopian society, with all the requisite action, adventure and romance characteristic of the genre vividly and at times, chillingly, portrayed. 

In a wild and lawless future, where life is cheap and survival is hard, eighteen-year-old Saba lives with her father, her twin brother Lugh, her young sister Emmi and her pet crow Nero. Theirs is a hard and lonely life. The family resides in a secluded shed, their nearest neighbour living many miles away and the lake, their only source of water and main provider of food, gradually dying from the lack of rain. But Saba's father refuses to leave the place where he buried his beloved wife, Allis, nine years ago. Allis died giving birth to Emmi, and Saba has never forgiven her sister for their mother's death. 

But while she despises Emmi, Saba adores her twin brother Lugh. Golden-haired and blue-eyed, loving and good, he seems the complete opposite to dark-haired Saba, who is full of anger and driven by a ruthless survival instinct. To Saba, Lugh is her light and she is his shadow, he is the day, she is the nighttime, he is beautiful, she is ugly, he is good, she is bad. 

So Saba's small world is brutally torn apart, when a group of armed riders arrives five day's after the twin's eighteenth birthday snatch Lugh away. Saba's rage is so wild, that she manages to drive the men away, but not before they have captured Lugh and killed their father. 

And here begins Saba's epic quest to rescue Lugh, during which she is tested by trials she could not have imagined, and one that takes the reader on breathtaking ride full or romance, physical adventure and unforgettably vivid characters, making this a truly sensational YA debut novel. "

This thrilling dystopian debut by Moira Young gripped me from start to finish. Set in a bleak wilderness known as the Dustlands, Blood Red Road follows eighteen-year-old Saba as she makes it her mission to rescue her twin brother when he is taken captive. The unusual narrative style gives Saba a unique voice which completely pulls the reader into the story, very much like other dystopian novels such as The Knife of Never Letting Go. And it’s easily as good as Patrick Ness’s book – if not better.

Saba might not be the most likeable protagonist, especially the way she still blames her younger sister for her mother’s death in childbirth, but we come to identify with her and admire her courage as she undertakes a dangerous journey, fighting for her life in a terrifying dystopian world. It’s as adrenaline-charged and compelling as The Hunger Games and Divergent, but totally unique in its narrative style. Like Katniss, Saba’s a survivor, and her voice dominates this fantastic tale of action and romance. A must for all dystopia fans!

Rating: *****

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Indie Book of the Week #1 - The Forgotten Ones by Laura Howard

I've decided to start this new feature to highlight indie (self-published or small press) books and authors whose work I've enjoyed! Since I started my publishing journey, I've discovered so many awesome new books and met some fantastic, dedicated independent authors working so hard to get their work out there. I don't have time to write a detailed review of every book I read, since I'm busy with my own writing and work for my internship, so I decided to do this instead! Every week I'll be picking one author whose work I've recently enjoyed and posting a mini review!

The Forgotten Ones

Goodreads Summary: Allison O'Malley's plan is to go to grad school so she can get a good job and take care of her schizophrenic mother. She has carefully closed herself off from everything else, including a relationship with Ethan, who she's been in love with for as long as she can remember.

What is definitely not part of the plan is the return of her long-lost father, who claims he can bring Allison's mother back from the dark place her mind has gone. Allison doesn't trust her father, so why would she believe his stories about a long forgotten Irish people, the Tuatha de Danaan? But truths have a way of revealing themselves. Secrets will eventually surface. And Allison must learn to set aside her plan and work with her father if there is even a small chance it could restore her mother's sanity.

I’ve had my eye on The Forgotten Ones for a while, and I jumped at the chance to read a non-contemporary new adult novel. 21-year-old Alison’s only life plans revolve around taking care of her schizophrenic mother, who has never been the same since Alison’s father left just before her birth. She keeps people at a distance, even Ethan, her childhood crush, but he seems to be showing an interest in her, and she isn’t sure she can resist. Then her father turns up out of nowhere, and suddenly she’s hearing voices in her head and having strange dreams. Her father is actually from Tir na n’Og, the faerie world, a world that might be the last hope for her mother’s sanity.

This was an enjoyable read and I really enjoyed the use of Irish faerie mythology. I was caught up in the story and the magic and suspense were superb. I especially liked how the contemporary world and the faerie world were intertwined in Allison’s life, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the romance with Ethan develops. This is a fast-paced and engaging read and will appeal to any fans of fantasy, mythology and romance – well worth checking out! :)

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

IWSG 3 - On choosing a project!

It's time for the monthly Insecure Writer's Support Group, hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh! This month I've been relaxing after finishing my exams and the first draft of Darkworld Book 3, so I've been doing more editing and planning than actual writing. Which leads me to my question of the month: how do you pick which project to work on?

I have notebooks full of half-formed ideas, but most of them are too insubstantial to turn into a novel. I realise I'm thinking far into the future here, but I'm wondering what will be my next big project after the Darkworld series. I've been doing tons of worldbuilding for a MG/YA fantasy trilogy, but I just don't think I have enough ideas yet for it to work. I have the skeleton of the plot and I've outlined the world, but I need more ideas, more concepts, more characters to flesh out the story. And my inspiration's gone out the window. So I guess I'll be returning to the Darkworld series once again! The good news is, I kind of accidentally wrote the first line of Book 4 the other night, and I have a feeling motivation is just around the corner...