The nights are drawing in and the trees are looking golden. Halloween and Bonfire Night are over and the shops are filled with festive cheer. It must be November and time to look back over the past year.
After the pandemic-ridden 2020, I had high hopes for 2021. By spring, we were out of lockdown and returning to normal, or at least a new version of normal. There was hope on the horizon in the form of a vaccine. College was opening back up for my teens. I could even walk into McDonalds again, albeit masked up to my eyes.
So what has 2021 thrown at me as an author?
Book 2 of the Haven Chronicles
I had high hopes for seeing book 2 spring to life in 2021. Unfortunately, the editing process and my publisher’s rapidly expanding stable of authors (that’s the number of authors expanding, not the authors themselves) means that book 2 won’t reach the hands of readers until 2022.
Still, this year has seen it revamped and polished to within an inch of its literary life. Steve, Hartley, Blessing, and the darkling are back but there’s a new villain to contend with. There are also new friends, new puzzles, and plenty of new places to visit.
Social Media for Authors
An idea began in 2020 of a way to marry both my copywriting and authoring skills to help other authors handle their social media presence. I even asked Burning Chair if they were interested (they were).
In 2021, I emailed off the first draft off to them and shortly afterwards they offered me a publishing contract. Over the summer, I polished off the edits they asked for and now it’s back in their hands for the next stage. I’ll let you know more, when I know more myself.
As usual, the writing community have continued to be a joy and as supportive as always in 2021. I’ve appeared on six bookish blogs this year:
- 3 Ways To Step Out of Isolation on Lily’s Writing Life
- Fantasy meets Science on Clare Rhoden’s blog
- an Author Interview on Jon Bolitho-Jones’ blog
- A Slice of Cake with Fi Phillips on But I Don’t Like Salad
- An Interview with Eleanor Palmer from Haven Wakes on Karen King’s blog
- and another author interview on Curled Up With A Good Book
Thank you to Lily, Clare, Jon, Claire, Karen, and Chelle for your kindness.
Caught up (almost) with my TBR list
I had so many wonderful books on my to-be-read shelf that I decided to make a definite effort to read them all in 2021.
So far, I’ve read and reviewed:
- Roxie and Alfred by Nancy R Hinchliff
- I am Dust by Louise Beech
- My Father’s Daughter by Lily Lawson
- Words of Alchemy by Camilla Downs
- The Curse of Becton Manor by Patricia Ayling
- The Crow Folk by Mark Stay
- Point of Contact by Richard Ayre
- The Binding by Bridget Collins
- Near Death by Richard Wall
And that’s just the fictional works. You can find all of my book reviews on my Instagram account.
A regular blogging habit
I’ve written a blog post at least once every month in 2021. There are a lot of planning and progress posts, but I’ve also written:
- More help for self-isolating readers on how to get your reading mojo back
- 5 ways that readers can help authors like me
- What do authors do in between books?
- and my Halloween post, 5 things that terrify authors
It’s been an odd but productive eleven months. The new normal is still taking a little getting used to, and constantly evolving too. I have two books in the works with Burning Chair and my fingers are firmly crossed for both book releases in 2022.
We’re on the glittery, slippery slope to Christmas and we’re only weeks away from the new year too. In December, there’ll be plenty for you to read here in the run up to the big day with a slew of author interviews.
See you then.