I've just finished the final edits on Ronah, and I'm ready to send it back to the editor for the last time.
This year has been a massive journey - a huge rollercoaster ride that feels like it hasn't stopped. It's only getting faster and more frantic as the final month of the year arrives.
Almost a fortnight ago, I went to my first ever book launch - as an author. What a surreal feeling to open up the book and recognise the words on the page. Not because I'd read them somewhere before, but because I'd written them!
Delia from 1231 Publishing put together a fantastic launch and was super patient with all of my noob questions. It was astounding to see that the launch had been booked out - as a librarian, let me tell you, there's usually between a 5 and 20% drop-off rate for people attending an event, but there were people standing in the back because there wasn't enough seating.
I've spoken in front of crowds before - over 1000 people in some of them - and I always get nervous. It's part of the process. The nerves hit you, and give you that extra bit of adrenaline and you get up there and wow everyone.
At the launch, it was different for me. I felt under-prepared, and the beautiful, word-perfect speech I'd practised in the mirror that morning disappeared as soon as I entered the room.
I'm pretty sure I rambled, and totally forgot to mention that Ronah is part of a young adult fantasy series (surprise!), and have yet to find the courage or time (mostly the courage) to look at the video that Leah, one of my beautiful support crew took.
I can't thank everyone enough for taking the time to come and support not just me, but the other authors as well. I feel incredibly humbled and honoured. And if I type any more about this, tears and going to wreck the keyboard.
If you've been following me on social media, then you know I've done a few teasers for a super-secret special project that I've been working on.
It's not ready just yet, but you can have a hint: The novels in the Lissae series are all based off Shari. Her thoughts and experiences, her fighting methods and how she (tries) to work with others to problem solve. You get to see bits and pieces from the other characters, but really, it's tiny glimpses into their worlds and lives.
Problem is, that while I've been waiting for the editor to go over Ronah, one of the characters stood up and demanded some air time. And then another, and another...
That means good news for you. And you'll hear it here first - the super-secret project that I've been working on is a short story, told from one of the characters in Ronah, before they meet Shari.
Any guesses as to who? It's pretty obvious if you check out my Instagram page.
I haven't had a lot of time to read lately, with the super-secret special project, the book launch and editing, but I have read The Evil Inside Us which is perfect for this time of year. If you want a book that gets deep into your psyche then it's well worth the look.
I'm a bit stoked that my journey with Ronah is at a end. The characters have made me laugh, cry and curse. They've waited a long time to make it into the hands - and hopefully the hearts - of many.
In the whirlwind that has been the last year/month/week (does it ever stop?), I've learnt more than I expected, and met the most amazing people and I can't wait to see what the next year will bring.
I know blog posts and newsletters have been rather sporadic, as I've been concentrating on all of the other little bits that make up being an independent author, but I'll be posting more regularly now.
Expect the next newsletter out at the start of November, with more details about the super-secret project!