Wednesday, 27 November 2013

What's Up Wednesday #17

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme run by Erin L Funk and Jaime Morrow and is a great way for readers and writers to catch up!

What I'm reading

Champion (Legend, #3)This week, I read several sequels I've been waiting to read for a while! I picked up Champion by Marie Lu, as I really enjoyed Legend and Prodigy, and this was probably my favourite of the three! What an amazing trilogy ending! 

I've also been reading the Darkest Powers trilogy by Kelley Armstrong, which have been on my TBR list forever! I really enjoyed the series (though I'm kind of glad I didn't read it before writing the Darkworld series as there are a couple of similarities - it's always the way!)

The Summoning (Darkest Powers, #1)The Awakening (Darkest Powers, #2)The Reckoning (Darkest Powers, #3) 
The Redemption of Callie and Kayden (The Coincidence, #2)
I also read The Redemption of Callie of Kayden, which I've looked forward to for ages! I don't read much contemporary, but these are some of the best New Adult books I've read.

Oh, and I completed my Goodreads 2013 reading challenge: 250 books! Note that around 30 of these were novellas, but I'm still pretty thrilled because it's double what I read last year! I blame submission reading for turning me into even more of a speed-reader than I was already - but it certainly doesn't mean I don't take the time to slow down and enjoy the story! :) 

I just wish I had the time to review every book I read...

What I'm writing

More editing! I've been fixing continuity issues across the Darkworld series, and also doing the possibly-final edits of Beneath the Waves and tinkering with the query. I've read through this manuscript so many times I'm afraid any more editing will ruin it - so I'm going to face my fears and enter Pitch Wars next week! It might be only the nerve-shredding terror of entering the query trenches again (would you believe it's been a year since I was querying Darkness Watching? How time flies...) that's been holding me back. Also, I've never participated in a contest before. But Pitch Wars sounds fantastic, so I'll give it a shot!

If it's of any interest to anyone, here's my current query for Beneath the Waves:

In sixteen-year-old Rika’s world, the cursed oceans return the dead to life as blood-drinking vaska that threaten her home. As the only human who can breathe underwater, she must hide her abilities from her superstitious neighbours, but when she discovers she is the missing daughter of the Queen of the Finfolk, a hidden community beneath the waves, she makes the dangerous journey into the Kingdom of the Finfolk. A slumbering danger worse than the vaska lurks in the water; and her only hope lies in a forgotten alliance between humans and Finfolk.

When Rika’s childhood friend, seventeen-year-old Levi, a young magus-in-training at the Magi Guild, discovers that the syla crystal – humanity’s only defence against the vaska – is dwindling, he determines to find an alternative source. Rika’s and Levi’s quests bring them together to face the vaska and the awakening beast. They must restore the failed alliance or lose their world forever.

Aaand, an alternative one:

Sixteen-year-old Rika is the only human she knows with the ability to breathe underwater – a dangerous gift in a world where the oceans are cursed to return the dead to life as blood-drinking vaska. But the last thing she expects is to learn that she is the missing daughter of the Queen of the Finfolk, a hidden community that exists hidden beneath the waves, and the key to saving them from the curse of the vaska.

When Rika’s childhood friend, Levi, a young magus-in-training at the Magi Guild, discovers that the syla crystal – humanity’s only defence against the vaska – is dwindling, he determines to find an alternative source. But this is the very crystal that sustains the Finfolk’s community, and when the vaska strike at the heart of the Magi, Levi faces the choice of whether to reveal their existence or face humanity’s extinction.

As Rika make the dangerous journey into the Kingdom of the Finfolk, she learns of a danger worse than the vaska awakening under the sea, threatening both humans and Finfolk alike. Their last hope rests in a forgotten alliance, but magecraft always has a price, and it might be more than they are willing to pay.

(this is giving me headaches at the moment...)

I'm thinking of pitching it as like Sabriel with merpeople...

As for my other writing, for some reason, I seem to be on an end-of-the-world kick at the moment. The next project I'm planning (but shouldn't be, given how much else I have to do!) is a YA post-apocalyptic fantasy. So, there's that. But I'm being good and putting it away to focus on my current works-in-progress (read: I'm working on it when I should be sleeping...).

What else I've been up to

DOCTOR WHO. Also, my boyfriend and I spent Sunday at Birmingham MCM Comic Con, which was amazing! 

 Yes, there was a giant minion. Also, we ran around trying out the Star Wars vehicles. :D
 (I am completely incapable of acting my age...)
 And there was a Stormtrooper parade. Awesome.
 I was VERY tempted to buy a D.Gray-Man replica sword (photo on the left, the top one). I managed to resist, on the grounds that I have nowhere to keep it. But yeah, I'm a total D.Gray-Man fanatic and have always wanted one of these!

I did buy a walrus named Paul, though.

And there's always a Dalek (see below).

I then went up north to stay with my boyfriend for a few days. We watched Catching Fire on Monday, which was AMAZING! I liked it better than the first Hunger Games film (which I loved).  Jennifer Lawrence was brilliant, as always. That film was SO EMOTIONAL. I'm still getting over it!

What inspires me right now

Enthusiasm! From the tenacious NaNo-ers close to completing their goals to the excited writers preparing for Pitch Wars, the writing community is overflowing with enthusiasm at the moment! Also, Doctor Who. And Catching Fire. And life in general.

Only 5 days to Pitch Wars! *flails*


  1. I saw Catching Fire yesterday, it really was so emotional! Amazing, though. Congratulations on 250 books! That's so many, I haven't even met my target of 50 yet.

    1. Definitely! Good luck meeting your goal. :)

  2. Good luck with Pitch Wars! Congrats on hitting your reading goal!

  3. I loved reading this because you and I couldn't be more different in our taste in books and entertainment, which made this all the more fun. Your pictures are a hoot! So glad you are living it up with reading and sci-fi passions you enjoy. :)

    1. It's always interesting to read other people's posts even if they don't have much in common. Glad you found it interesting! :)

  4. I'm at the 75 book mark so far for my Reading Challenge, which is one book behind where I should be right now. I'm hoping to remedy that ASAP. Sounds like you've been having an awesome week. I would love to go to a Comic Con sometime! Your queries are both well-crafted and your story sounds good. I know what you mean about query-writing and the headaches it brings. I am the absolute worst at it.

    Have a great week, Emma!

    1. Thank you! :) Queries are harder than the actual writing! :P

  5. 250 books?! Holy cow! I'm impressed with my record-breaking reading this year of... 30-some books. XD I can't read anywhere near as fast as most of my friends, and sometimes I swap reading for gaming before bed.

    Good luck with pitch wars! The story sounds exciting!

    1. Thank you! :) I'm a compulsive reader, but even I'm shocked that I managed to read that much this year!

  6. Good luck with Pitch Wars. I almost got in last year, though one of the things holding me back from getting chosen seemed to be that the scope, length, and mood of my book feels more adult than YA, in spite of the protagonist's age. I'm not sure when or if I'll enter another contest, given how out of step I seem to be with most people entering.

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  8. Thank you! I'm sure you aren't out of step - this is my first time entering anything like this, so I'm terrified I don't know what I'm doing!

  9. Best of luck with Pitch Wars! Your query - both of them - sound very intriguing. It's such a hard thing to write, isn't it? Hope it all works out for you :D

  10. I am still trying to absorb the 250 books comment. Wow, that is impressive. Seriously...AND you write AND you go to Comic Con and eat and sleep!

    I've read about 50 - 60 books a year for the past few years, which I used to think was impossible. It's not but it's all perception. Super-readers fascinate me!

    Good luck with Pitch Wars! Last year was my year doing the contest circuit. It was crazy-busy but yielded legit results, so they are worth it.

  11. Haha, I do read at a crazily fast pace! Thanks - I do hope it's worth it! :)

  12. I want that minion! Also, I'm super jealous you saw all those Star Wars things!!!

    Good luck with the querying and Pitch Wars! I'm rooting you on!

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  13. 250 books? in 11 months? Holy Shamoly. That. Is. Awesome. I'm not admitting to how many I've read this year. (okay 21).

    Everyone needs a giant minion at home. Seriously, how fun would that be? I'd put it on my lawn outside the writing room window. Beloved Husband would probably die of embarrassment but seeing it there everyday would make me so happy.