Friday 20 December 2019

My Bookish Year

2019 is coming to a close, so I've been thinking about all the lovely bookish things that have happened over the past year.

2019 started with my first ever Agatha Christie novel. I'd never watched an episode of Poirot on the TV either, so when I saw there was going to be an adaptation of The ABC Murders on TV over Christmas 2018, I decided to pick the book up and read it before watching - and I enjoyed both!

I've read some fantastic books this year. Five of my favourites* are:

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough
A God In Ruins by Kate Atkinson
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary &

*The books are listed in the order I read them because choosing five was difficult enough

At the beginning of the year, I was working on my tenth book (now known as The Accidental Life Swap). The ebook was released in September, followed by the paperback and audio in October.

Although The Accidental Life Swap is my tenth book, it was only my second book to be released as a paperback and my first with an audio version, so it was VERY EXCITING.

You can read the diary I kept while writing the book here or see the 'Book Extras' here

I'm now working on Book 11, which will hopefully be published towards the end of 2020.

50,000 words of the first draft was written during November as I took part in Nanowrimo for the first time (you can see my posts about it here) and I joined a local writing group, which really helped to motivate me.

Now I'm looking forward to seeing what 2020 will bring!

Monday 2 December 2019

Nano 2019 - How Did I Get On?

November has passed in a bit of a blur of bashing out words at home and write-ins at the library as I attempted Nanowrimo for the first time. I didn't think I'd be able to manage 50k in a month; I aimed for around 20k per month for my last book as I needed to slow down a bit for my own sanity, but even before that, when I wrote as quickly as possible, I managed around 40k max a month. 

But I did it! I reached 50,000 words on Friday 29 November - so I had a day to spare. I don't think I'd have managed to make the 50,000 words if I'd have been going it alone. I usually write during the day - mostly mornings - and only open my laptop at the weekend if I'm nearing a deadline. But with so many words to get down, I had to commit to writing every day (which I mostly did. I had a tooth extracted and when I got home from the dentist, I got into my pyjamas and felt sorry for myself for the rest of the day in front of the telly instead of writing, which I think is totally reasonable). I even made myself sit with my laptop for extra writing sessions in the evenings, which I only usually do when those pesky deadlines are within reach. I know me - I'm a lazy sod - so I know I'd have slumped in front of the telly if it hadn't been for the writing group at the library and our collective Nano attempt.

Joining the writing group has been brilliant for me, as it's not only made me push myself, I've also met some other local writers. After our final writing session on Saturday, we went out for a meal to celebrate surviving Nano, which was a lot of fun and a great way to unwind after such a hectic month!

Thanks to Nano, I'm now in the final stages of Book 11 and I'm hoping to have a first draft finished by Christmas.

Did you take part in Nano this year? How did you get on?