Let the anxiety-provoking chaos commence! I skipped a wrap up last month because I went straight from starting the query process to Camp NaNo. So rather than adding more madness to my life, I figured I would wait out the month. And now here we are jumping into May! So did all of that nervous energy get me anywhere? Sure did!
It’s been a great couple months for my writing productivity, so I am pretty stoked at the moment. The biggest news is that I have moved on to querying A Witch’s Tale (new title TBD). Since the end of March, I have sent out 16 queries, 4 of which already returned as rejections. But rejections are part of the process (at least this is what I frantically whisper to myself every time I get one). I just made some revisions to the query letter, so hopefully the next batch is more successful. If I get anywhere I will add my query letter somewhere on this website.
While I wait, I have been pouring a ton of energy into the new Warrior story (title also TBD) and actually finished the first draft! I don’t feel great about it yet, but I am working through the first round revisions and it’s not as bad as I thought. I think one thing I need to focus on is the voice. The voice in AWT is so clear to me, but for this new book it’s still a bit murky. I love this new protagonist though. She is an anxious mess, but strong and heartfelt and I am excited to make her feel more alive as I keep editing. Once this goes off to my beta reader, I’ll then have to decide if I want to launch into the sequel or start another project I have in mind. Or maybe…I don’t know…take a break?
I got through 10 books in the past two months, so I’ll keep this short!
King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo: Loved seeing more of what happens in Ravka after the events of the Shadow and Bone trilogy. This book really captures what happens when the Sun Summoner isn’t around to be the “chosen one”. Also loved being in Zoya and Nikolai’s heads. Can’t wait to real Rule of Wolves!
The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly by Jamie Pacton: This was a cute, feminist agenda romp, but even though I love YA, it read a bit younger than a lot of YA I read and I don’t think I was the right audience. Would definitely recommend for teens.
The Cruel Prince by Holly Black: Jude Duarte is a super interesting protagonist and I really enjoyed this take on the Fae. Everyone is super cutthroat, but that’s the point. It was great to see the “hero” be an incredibly flawed person trying to survive a cruel world.
Wings of Ebony by J. Elle: The melding of fantasy, technology, and racial injustice in this book was absolutely wonderful. Very cool magic mechanics and Rue is a great protagonist to follow. I loved following her and I can’t wait for the sequel!
The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna: Really enjoyed the world building in this and following the girls as they learn their own strengths. I will definitely read the sequel. I think in some places, the heroine felt a little flat, but overall really enjoyed this.
The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco: Wow, the world-building and magic mechanics in this one! This world felt so rich and lived in. I am super interested in following more of Tea’s story and seeing how she becomes the person we meet in the very first pages of this book.
We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal: I loved everything about this one! Enemies to lovers, an incredibly rich world, intriguing characters. The characters felt so real to me and I need to get my hands on We Free the Stars ASAP!
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo: A very different feel from the Grishaverse, but just as delightful. This book is so gritty and juicy and downright eerie. I truly enjoyed this take on the paranormal. I really hope there’s a sequel coming our way!
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor: To be quite honest, I was ready to DNF this book a couple chapters in. Despite being introduced to the chimaera, I was having trouble getting into it. But I am SO glad I picked it up again! The twists woven into the plot are wonderful and after those first couple chapters, the world gets so rich!
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Suzannah Clarke (DNF’d): In all likelihood I will pick this up again, but right now it’s in time out. I was getting frustrated with some of the language in here (for example the way a little person is described). I know it’s supposed to imitate a certain period of time, but I still found it unwarranted. But I may be missing something in the satire.
I finally finished She-Ra, which was everything I ever wanted in a show. So I moved on to Falcon and Winter soldier. I love Bucky and Sam working together so much! And Sam’s speech at the end of the season made me cry! I really appreciate that Marvel is digging into deeper topics like racial injustice and the repercussions of bringing everyone back after Endgame. I also made it to Campaign 2 in Critical Role, and the new characters are wonderful. And since I’m a sucker for a rewatch, I just finished rewatching all of Sense8. This is still one of my favorite shows and I think it’s so underrated. The way they connect the human experience all across the world is stunning and delightful.
I’m back on the podcast train, which means that I am listening to a lot of Witch Please, a fortnightly podcast that analyzes and critiques the Harry Potter series. I am learning a lot through these women about different studies and concepts in literature, such as Orientalism and Animal Studies and where Harry Potter gets them right, or (more often) wrong. In addition to being a fun podcast, it helps me think through a lot of what I write. And in terms of music, this month it’s been a lot of Singles by Future Islands, Mini World by Indila, and The Big Freeze by Laura Stevenson.
Thanks for reading! See you next month!