Books Read in August:
- Poppet (Jack Cafferey #6) – Mo Hayder. I was partly through this before I realised I’ve skipped 3 volumes of this, whoops. But these are written as mostly standalones anyway, so I was able to enjoy Hayder’s horror blended detective thriller easily. The Devil of Nanking is still my favourite book by her and you should definitely read that. It’s one of the books I think about the most.
- Grimspace (Sirantha Jax #1) – Ann Aguirre. I’ve been meaning to read Ann for ages and this was such a fun book. A little bit like Firefly in that there’s a group of ragtag people on a spaceship up to somewhat illegal stuff. Really fun and also touches on some deep themes like grief and loss.
- Fool’s Quest (Fitz and the Fool #2) – Robin Hobb. Impossible to talk coherently about this book. Hobb’s my favourite author and this book was a whirlwind and arrrgh, the ending! If you haven’t read her yet, get Assassin’s Apprentice and thank me later.
- Luckiest Girl Alive – Jessica Knoll. Another one of the thrillers with potentially unlikeable female protagonists/characters, like Gone Girl and Girl on the Train (though I’m increasingly annoyed by the title trend–these are not girls, they are fully grown women–stop infantilizing them!). The protagonist of this book is like the really awful undercurrent of your thoughts you try to suppress, yet by the end of the book, you root for her. I ended up mentioning this book in my dissertation
- Love Beyond Time (Morna’s Legacy #1) – Bethany Claire. I decided to read some time travel romances as a bit of inspiration for a book idea percolating in the background. This was free on Kindle for Prime users so I gave it a go. Was entertaining, but the characters felt thin to me, and the Scottish accents not quite right.
I also beta read most of a manuscript.
Total books: 46 or so.
I decided I’d start doing a little monthly round up of what I’ve been up to work-wise and life-wise.
August was a busy month. My friend Erica was still out visiting from California. We went to Glamis Castle and Kirriemuir, birthplace of Peter Pan author J.M. Barrie, with my husband’s parents, brother, and twin nephews, which was a great day out (and more research for that same book idea). I had my birthday on the 4th and had a nice celebration with Lorna and Hannah. Then it was some down to Nine Worlds to participate on panels and have fun (see round up post). I also ended up going to Edinburgh for a weekend a few weeks later. Shouldn’t be too much travel over the next few months, so my productivity should bump up.
Over the month, my main writing project was Shattered Minds, the next book I have under contract after False Hearts. In June/July I hand wrote a lot of the book to force me to move forward with the story, and so this month was typing it up, aka rewriting most of it and significantly expanding it. By the end of the month, the book’s draft was up to 60k, so it’s a decent chunk. I also had to edit the first 10k and make sure it was super smooth, as I submitted it as my dissertation for my MLitt in Creative Writing, along with a 3,500 word essay on my process of writing it.
Last month, I proofed Pantomime to make some small text-level changes before the re-release, and this month I did the same for Shadowplay. Though re-reading them yet again was a challenge (I have read them over a dozen times at least), it was good to notice a few things to integrate into the Masquerade edit, when I get to that. I did some research and planning for the book I hope to write after Shattered Minds, though there’s no rush so I’m taking my time. I’ll give it the code name Betwixt Book. Near the end of the month, False Hearts copyedits landed, and I did a good chunk of that. In addition, I applied for a few part-time jobs in the arts for some stability, which always takes awhile, and also worked on an information pamphlet to send to local schools and community centres in the hopes of receiving more visit bookings (obligatory link to my Visits & Events page).
Plans for next month: make more headway in Shattered Minds, hopefully reaching at least 80k in the draft, send out information pamphlets, finish copyedits, do more Betwixt Book planning, and read more screenplays. I’m not sure when Masquerade edits or page proofs for False Hearts are landing, either, so if either of those come on my desk, I’ll shift gears.