Where on Earth has the time gone? I feel like it’s been ages since I last wrote a proper post here! At first I was head down, tail up and solely focused on finishing the third book in The Medoran Chronicles—and if you follow me on social media you would have seen when that happened and all the stats that went with it, YAY!—and then I was off travelling to the National Young Writers’ Festival (NYWF) last week… which leads me to now!
So, let me nutshell everything and bring you up to speed.
First up, as mentioned above, I officially finished writing the third book in my YA fantasy series about a fortnight ago. It took me exactly 40 days to write it from start to finish (which is CRAZY!) and it came out at approximately 137,000 words. At first I freaked out thinking that it must totally suck considering how quickly I managed to complete it, but my incredible (and honest) small group of early critique readers have given me nothing but astoundingly positive feedback. In fact, every single one of them claimed to have been unable to put it down—a fact which blows my mind in the best possible way. So, woohoo on that front!!!
Second, the events I was a part of at NYWF last week were incredible! To break it down further, I arrived on the Thursday arvo and started out by getting to know some of my awesome roomies (a screenwriter who used to write for Neighbours and now works on Home and Away, a playwright, a poet, and a journalist). A few of us went out to the meet-and-greet stuff that night, which included a group-speed-dating bonding activity (which was hilarious), and afterwards a bunch of us newly-friended people went to a (very late) dinner where we listened to ‘spoken word poetry’ (?) which was all kinds of interesting!
On the Friday I spoke on a ‘Women Kicking Ass’ panel and later in the arvo I presented a two-hour world building workshop—with both events being fabulous! That night there was a literary trivia competition (which my group sucked at, but we certainly laughed a lot!), and after that I met up with the awesome speakers on my ‘YA Genre: Ahead of the Curve” panel that was scheduled for Sunday. There were four of us in total—fellow YA authors Gabrielle Tozer (The Intern and Faking It) and Steph Bowe (Girl Saves Boy and All This Could End), as well Allen & Unwin’s children’s and YA editor, Jen Dougherty. We chatted for hours about all things YA until we all realised that there wasn’t any prep we needed to do for our panel since we were already so well versed on the topic! But it was still all kinds of fun to chat about something we’re all so passionate about for so long!
Here’s a pic of us after we actually finished the panel on the Sunday (left to right: Gabby, Steph, me, Jen):
Saturday was a free day for me to wander around Newcastle and check out some of the festival events—I particularly enjoyed the ‘Publishing How To’ panel, which I know is weird since I’m already published, but I always find it so fascinating to hear other authors’ journeys!
That night there was an ‘Under The Sea’ themed ball and since I had to do some prep work for an interview the next day I didn’t stay out for long (which ended up being a good decision since I still didn’t get to bed until after 2 am!), but I still popped out for a bit with my hilarious roomies. This pic shows us (or at least them) dancing for the eight blocks (?) it took us to walk to the venue in themed costume, as well as the mess of our room while everyone was getting ready:
On Sunday morning I spent a couple of hours with book blogger Paris Lee from Reading Creations and we had a ridiculous amount of fun filming an author Q&A together. I can’t wait to share it with you guys once she posts it, despite the fact that I think we spent most of the time laughing while swatting at bugs and trying to tame our wind-blown hair. Amongst all that, I think I managed to answer a few questions, but I’m sure it will be a hilariously entertaining video either way!
Sunday arvo was my YA panel, and after that (which was amazing) I had to zip off to the airport and return home.
That all leads me along to today, and…
I HAVE SOME EXCITING NEWS!!!!!
Are you ready?
THE COVER FOR RAELIA IS READY!!!!!!!!!!
Yep, you read that correctly! On Saturday I’ll be revealing the cover image for the second book in The Medoran Chronicles! HOW COOL IS THAT!!!
I would absolutely LOVE to have some people jump on board with me to share when it’s time for the release, so if you’re willing to help me out with social media (whether that’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, a website, a book blog, a BookTube link—anything), that would be AMAZING! Please comment below if you’re happy to share the image, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can send you the .jpeg version of it! YAY!!!