What I'm reading
This week, I've been reading the Emperor's Edge series, which is an awesome indie steampunk fantasy series by Lindsay Buroker. I've also been rereading some of the Skulduggery Pleasant books in preparation for the finale!
What I'm writing
SHINY NEW MANUSCRIPT. Seriously. This. Book. It's relentless, I tell you! It has me captive and superglued to my laptop! Even when I was on holiday, with a broken flash drive (a writer's worst nightmare!), I managed to write 14,000 words - I'm now halfway through and it's only been 2 1/2 weeks since I started writing it! This is the fastest I've ever written a draft, and it's my 15th book! It's official - I'm in love with this story. <3
What inspires me
THIS STORY... Okay, I'll stop now. :P But it's been months since a new story captivated me in this way (the last time was with Indestructible, last November), and my first drafts are often an exercise in extreme patience. Nothing's better than being completely in love with your own story!
Also, this article by Chuck Wendig on writing what you love. This is EXACTLY what I'm doing with this series! :)
What else I've been up to
Well, I didn't update last week because I was in Florence! But the week before, I was writing words and spending time with the boyfriend. Then last week, I went to Italy with my family. Here are some of my photos! ^_^
...I also did the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and made a complete idiot of myself. So, there's that.
It's also time for IWSG! The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the creation of Ninja Captain Alex, and is a great way for writers to share their worries, support and encouragement.
I talked last month about goals, and about how "backup plans" are basically saving my sanity while swimming in the query trenches. Now that I'm halfway through my shiny new manuscript, that's more true than ever! This book is like a dream. That's not to say it's easy - it's actually one of the most challenging projects I've ever written. But it's basically the book I'd NEED to buy if someone else had written it. Not only that, it's also like the Darkworld series in that I don't just want to write it - I want to see it published. With Darkness Watching, I was willing to postpone my dream of getting an agent and sign with CQ to publish a story mainstream publishing would never accept. And it's the same with this one. Unless gravity reverses and we're all sent spiralling out into space, I'm determined to write this series!
I'm not yet at the stage where I can share too much about it, but I will say this: this is not a book I want to put through the traditional publishing process. Of course, I really want an agent and a publishing deal for my children's books - that's always been my dream. But it's been four years now since I started seeking a traditional publishing deal. And this is my fifteenth manuscript. That's a LOT of unshared words. I'm very lucky that I get to publish the rest of my Darkworld series with CQ. Some of my other manuscripts are shelved, and rightly so. But ultimately... well, it's a subjective business. That's a fact. And in publishing, so many things are out of our hands - including our entire careers.
I think it might be obvious where I'm going with this. To make it clear: I'm still querying The Clockmaker's Key. But this new series is my focus for now. I called it a backup plan, but that might be devaluing it a little. Well, we writers are an insecure bunch! But this has been a long time coming, I think. All I can say is... next year looks set to be an interesting one!