Writing Update & ARC Team call.

Apparently I look like a writer. How do I know this? I showed up to a meeting of the Friends of Ngaio Marsh today, and someone said “[Gillian], you look like a writer–would you take notes?” Approximately two seconds later there was a motion passed to make me a committee member, followed immediately by a motion to promote me to secretary–and here I am—secretary!

Weird fact: I have taken the minutes at all but two meetings that I’ve attended. Apparently I exude good note-taking vibes. Which, I do, so…truth in advertising?

I could share the minutes of the meeting with you today, but I’m not sure that you really want to know all the details of the heritage house tour, so instead a writing update. I’ve mentioned that I’ve got three upcoming releases: The Charity Shop Rejects Live in Concert (For the Love of Christmas #3), Life After Humanity (Thorns and Fangs #3) and Dead Wrong (Thorns and Fangs #4). Gentlemen Don’t Murder is currently with an agent, awaiting feedback. And I’m on chapter ten of an expected fifteen chapters of Morgen Prince (Deep Magic #4). 

You may be thinking ‘That’s a lot of books.’ You’re not wrong.

I don’t know when I came up with the idea of releasing a book a month in 2018, but I did, and so that is the plan. I already regret it, but the point of goals is to challenge yourself and I am definitely feeling challenged. The big freelance project is the major cloud raining on my parade right now, but I’m going to try and avoid taking on any Freelance projects over December and instead try to enjoy the holiday season and my family, without making myself insanely busy.

This may be more of a challenge than releasing a book a month in 2018, but hey–dream big, right?

As I prepare to write more books, I’m going to need help making sure that the works I produce stay up to scratch. If you’re interested in donating your time as an Advance Review Copy (ARC) reader, please drop me an e-mail at gillian.stkevern at gmail dot com letting me know that you’re interested! I’d honestly really appreciate it. This would involve reader the book and leaving an honest review on Amazon, Goodreads, and other online bookstores. If you’d like to help, but can’t commit to reading right now, then taking the time to leave a review on any of my other works would work just as well. Thanks in advance!

Have a Little Patience…

Last post, I mentioned I was working on Morgen Prince (working title), the fourth in the Deep Magic series. A lot of time has passed, and we have a new narrator. Move over Myrhydion: Duhywynt is finally getting the chance to tell his story. And wow… If you ever thought Myrhydion was verbose or Ieuan lacked self-awareness, you are not prepared for Duhywynt.

I’m sharing a song from my Morgen Prince writing playlist. This song is apt because not only are the lyrics incredibly appropriate for Dewi, but the setting is also very suitable (and I am a huge unashamed fan of Take That’s comeback):

Comment if you agree that it looks like the other band members are thinking ‘Bloody hell, Gary, seriously? Why did you drag us out here?’ for the first half of the song!

I’m thankful for gay romance novels

I am making Sara’s recommendations shared in this post the basis of my reading list–check them out! And if you’ve got any recommendations of your own to add, I’d love to hear them.

Sara Dobie Bauer

I’ve been reading a lot of gay romance lately, partially because of my three-novella contract with NineStar Press: an LGBTQ publisher who bought my Escape trilogy. As far as my trilogy goes, the words are flying, and I have to think all the smexy gay romance I’ve been reading has certainly aided in the process.

This isn’t a new thing, not really. It all started with BBC Sherlock and my sudden and surprising attraction to Johnlock fan fiction. (Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman would just make a really cute couple, okay?)

Introducing John Not Even Subtle Watson.

Maybe I just got really tired of the same old tropes in girl-meets-boy romance and wanted something fresh and new. I’ve seen all the permutations of Princess and Prince Charming, but I’ve stumbled upon something wholly new (to me) in LGBTQ romance: Prince Charming and Prince Not-So-Sure-of-Things-At-All.

My list of favorite authors…

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October Done/November To-Do.

Sorry about the sudden, unannounced disappearance. I’ve been having some Internet issues. For the longest time, logging onto Facebook meant I got only the top post of my newsfeed loading, Skype was completely unusable, and it took over two hours to send a one line e-mail. My motivation to fight with the Internet to accomplish online things took a big hit with the combination of a big freelance job and the start of NaNoWriMo.

The good news is that as of last Thursday, my net has been amazing! The bad news is that    you’d think that having pretty much no internet would mean that I was incredibly productive, right? Alas. I ended up trying to do something online, getting frustrated, then surfing on my phone instead. So I read a lot of inane news articles, but since I couldn’t really write any lengthy comments on my phone, wasn’t really able to talk much with people. I ended up feeling really isolated and alone during the last weeks of October. Then NaNo started, and I was able to attend in person writing groups, and that has given me a renewed enthusiasm and energy for writing. I have a lot of catching up to do, so I’m going to get to work right away. I have a new release in December, one in January and one in March, so you’re going to see a lot of me from now on!

October Goals: 

  • Banging The Supernatural: revise draft. Done! The sad news is that I think I need to write books 2 and 3 in this series before I can properly edit this one, so this project is going to take a little longer.
  • Freelance project #1
  • Freelance project #2
  • Read 4 books on Craft/Marketing Well, I read the books on Marketing, but in November…and not for my own benefit, but for the freelance project. I’m going to give myself this one because it’s embarrassing to have forgotten it this completely.
  • Plot my Nano project Done!
  • Mindfulness Habit Whoops.
  • 9 Blog Posts Haha, nope!

On the personal life front, October had some big family events. The biggest being that I have started babysitting my niece more often, which is really great. So far November has also had a lot of family events, including a trip to Akaroa for a special event. Plus the garden of my housesit keeps sneaking up on me every time I turn my back.

November Goals:

Since the month is already underway, I’m going to give a progress report on these:

  • Morgen Prince Complete First Draft. (45,499/75,000 words)
  • Freelance Project 9/12 chapters
  • Get back into blogging
  • Return Edits of Dead Wrong (1200 em-dashes).

So far, November is busy but good. Morgen Prince had a few tricky moments, but has been an absolute blast so far. I shared the first chapters with my friend/alpha reader, and she reports herself to be dying of laughter. Hopefully she’s laughing at the story and not my typos!

My new side-gig.

Although I’m a published author, I’m still a long way off being able to write full-time. Since quitting my job as an Assistant Language Teacher in Japan, most of my income comes from freelance jobs, anything from ghost-writing to editing to travel-writing. I also babysit, and this month I added another side-gig to my repertoire—and I think you’ll agree I really lucked out here.

Dog-walking.

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This is my new boss, and although she works me hard, I have to say I enjoy every minute of it. She’s always happy to see me when I arrive, gives loads of positive feedback, and is totally up for taking an untried route. If we get a little lost or walk farther than we intended, it’s all good! She’s not one to watch the clock. All in all, I really enjoy her positive attitude and look forward to many future walks.

Cats Have Staff: A.L. Anderson

My friend M. Caspian shared her cute fluff penname this week, revealing she occasionally writes ‘sugary-sweet M/M romance with HEAs all round‘ (she also reviews notebooks and introduced me to Little & Fridays so I totally endorse following her). I feel like I deserved a treat for getting Dead Wrong submitted by my deadline, and figured a sugary-sweet fic was better for me than eating half a packet of gingernuts. When I saw Cats Have Staff I knew this was the story for me.

Cats Have Staff is short, sweet, uncomplicated but still had me ridiculously invested in Sal and Golightly. In short, it was exactly what I needed tonight, and I thoroughly recommend it for cat-people or people trying to reduce their gingernut intake.

barnesandnoble-catshavestaff

Salvatore Moretti has spent the last three years alone, ever since his lover Benjamin Cresswell left town for the job opportunity of a lifetime. Sal knew he couldn’t hold Ben back, and instead he’s been focused on creating a solid life for himself. A good life. He doesn’t need more than that . . . does he?

This is a short story of 14,893 words.

Cats Have Staff on Amazon.

September DONE/October TO-DO

September seems to have gone by like a steam-roller. This month was unrelenting with hurricanes, volcanoes, and a national election here in New Zealand that will probably not be resolved until mid-October. When things get insane, I find myself needing more quiet time off social media simply recharging my batteries. At least I got a lot of work done!

I’ve already shared the big news—Dead Wrong is complete and I submitted it to NineStar this afternoon. I’m bizarrely happy with it. Bizarrely happy because it’s rare that I feel this positively about anything I’ve written after submitting it. Usually, the moment I hit ‘send’ on that Submission e-mail, I immediately remember every niggling doubt I had while writing. Author friends, can you relate?

September Goals: 

  • Edit Gentlemen Don’t Murder. Done! Submitted it to my editor friend and betas, waiting for responses. 
  • Complete Dead Wrong. Done! YAY!
  • Freelance Project #3 Still working on this, but this is my client behind schedule, not me.
  • Regular blog updates  Whoops!
  • Submit work to agent Not done–moving to October.
  • Work on craft Not consciously worked on. Will have to do better!

Overall, I’m pretty happy with what I achieved in September. There were some unexpected things that popped up. Freelance Project #3 doesn’t really give a good idea of how much freelance work I did, and from one day babysitting a week, I’ve gone up to one day and two half days. Despite all this, I stayed on track with my primary goals and even got some reading for fun in.

October Goals:

  • Banging the Supernatural (And Other Poor Life Choices #1) – revise draft.
  • Freelance project #1
  • Freelance project #2
  • Read 4 books on Craft/Marketing
  • Plot my Nano project
  • Mindfulness Habit
  • 9 Blog Posts

October’s going to be an even busier month than September… Wish me luck!