To Finish or Not To Finish: a Novel in Limbo

I spend a lot of my time sat in the dark as I feed my baby, staring at a picture of a girl in a yellow dress. And now one thing for sure: her story isn’t over yet.

When I started my Master’s a year ago, I did it with the intention of using the time to work on the sequel to Searching For Katherine (r.2014), which has sat unfinished in my proverbial desk draw for the past three years.

However, three months into my course – I found out I was pregnant. Overwhelmed by work, university and now pregnancy – the novel remained unfinished.

Well now I am on maternity leave, my degree has come to an end, and I have a month-old baby boy – my time is both free and less so at the same time.

Hanging on my living room wall is the original sketch – done by an old friend of mine – of the cover for Searching For Katherine.

It is of Katherine in a torn yellow dress, walking through the forest. I always loved the drawing because it was of a pivotal moment in Katherine’s story; of limbo. She finds herself leaving one hell, with no promise of salvation or safety once she gets wherever she’s going – but she still takes the journey. And thus, I too am in limbo when it comes to this book.

But now it’s time to come out of the forest and choose a path. Do I scrap the book altogether, and take time as a sign that some books just shouldn’t be finished? Do I pick up where I left off? Or do I start the manuscript again; and embellish it with the things I have learned in life since last writing it?

I always felt a duty to Katherine to finish her story, I still intend on doing so, but perhaps not in the way I originally planned.

I think I’ll dust off the old hard drive tomorrow and see where we left off, and if there is a story yet to be salvaged.

Advertisements

Chapter Eleven | Finding Jennifer Book Teaser

Here is a little taste of what’s going on in Chapter Eleven of my upcoming novel – and sequel in the SEARCHING FOR KATHERINE series, FINDING JENNIFER. Enjoy!

finding-jennifer-chapter-eleven-extract

Indie Pride Day | Book Giveaway

Today is #IndieBooksBeSeen Indie Pride Day: a day to celebrate and share independent authors and poets from all across the world via social media.

Today, if you check the hashtags #IndieBooksBeSeen or #IndiePrideDay, you will see thousands of photos of Indie Authors holding up their #ISupportIndieBooksBeSeen signs, as well as a copy of their own book.

In celebration of #IndiePrideDay, I am doing my biggest giveway yet! Check my Instagram for full details and the actual post. 

quote yourself a freebie

QUOTE YOURSELF A FREEBIE! All you have to do to win is comment below with your all-time favourite book quote! I will be announcing the winner Saturday 2nd July 2016.

The winner will receive:

The rules are:

  • One entry per person.
  • No giveaway-only accounts (I will be checking!)
  • Must be entered on July 1st 2016. Any entries after midnight will not be counted.
  • You must be aged 13 or over (some of my books have explicit content) or have the permission of a parent/guardian to enter.
  • This is a world-wide competition.
  • Your entry must be in the comments/ Tweets of one of my original posts, i.e: this blog post, the Facebook or Twitter posts, or on my Instagram.

Good luck, and may the best bookworm win!

Finding Jennifer: Extract

As I get back into the swing of things (mainly working on Chapter 6), I thought I would share an extract with my readers: just to give you a taste of the story.

Don’t worry – I won’t give too much away!

findingjennifer extract ch 6 promo

Expect Awesomeness in 2016

2015 was an amazing year for me as an author, but also a hard year for me personally.  So it’s safe to say it’s been a mixed 365 days.

In 2015 I:
– graduated
– got an amazing job
– made some awesome friends
– drank a lot less
– started paying off my debts
– focused more on my writing
– grew my hair
– and a lot more!

2016 is going to be my Year of Achievement. I’m not posting some bullsh*t post about fad diets or going to the gym or buying a car. My goals and little and often and all about my personal happiness / mental stability.

2016 Year of Awesome Will Include:

– completely paying off my debts
– saving for a flat
– learning to drive
– finishing and releasing FINDING JENNIFER
– finishing EVERYDAY WE LIE
– spending more time writing than watching TV
– learning to relax
– spending less on me and more on time with others
– learning new skills
– improving my soul

What are your goals and hopes for 2016?

Why Writing A Sequel Is So Hard

I have always envied series writers for their ability to keep a story going for 2+ books without losing the will to live, or losing the plot along the way.

I tend to stick to 1-book plot lines or poetry: nice and quick with no afterthought. But now, I am writing a sequel for the first time (more in theory than in practice at the moment), I need to know the secrets!

There is so much more to consider when carrying on a novel to the next book:

  • have the characters developed?
  • is there a time lapse?
  • will it be a continuous plot?
  • are you restricted by a previous timeline?
  • is there some very specific details mentioned before that can’t be changed?
  • where is it set, and why has it / hasn’t it changed?
  • why is there a need for a sequel: what did you leave unanswered?
  • what does the reader expect to happen?
  • what do you expect to happen?

There’s a lot to consider, but there is one very important question when writing a sequel or a series: WHY?

Why are you carrying on? You’ve finished the first book – so why does there have to be more? Is something left unresolved? Did you end on a cliffhanger? Are there too many unanswered questions? 

You need to know the answers to those questions before you start writing – that’s why it’s so hard: because you’ve knowingly constricted yourself to an already established story, now you have to carry it on.

Make it a good one!