February 2024 Writing Update

Happy February, everyone!

It’s now February 2024, and this time of month usually has everyone thinking of romance novels, mainly because of festivities like Valentine’s Day taking place during this month. I usually don’t care much for this occasion, since I don’t read a lot of romance, nor do I care much for romantic subplots in books (unless they’re really well-written). However, I do hope all of you out there enjoy reading some great books, whether they be on romance or on other topics of interest!

I also noticed that I reached over 250 followers on my Facebook page close to the end of January! Thank you so much to everyone following my writing journey through there!

Book Review:

Last month, I shared the following book reviews:

More book reviews will be posted this month. There will also be a special post about some books I didn’t review, but still enjoyed reading! Stay tuned for those!

A New Guest Blog!

Midway through January, I had another opportunity to write a guest blog for Shepherd! This time, the post was about my three favorite reads from 2023. Please note: The time period they use for their Favorite Reads of 2023 posts is a bit different than what I use for mine, so the list was a bit different than what I wrote for my own blog.

I hope that you find some new book recommendations and that you enjoy reading them!

Awards, Anyone?

During December 2023, both my books “Winner Takes All” and “Engagement To Die For” were nominated for several categories in the Indie Ink Awards! Any books that made it to the Top 10 Finalists in their categories were supposed to be contacted during January 2024.

Unfortunately, I received no contact about either of my books. This means that my books did not make it to the Top 10 Finalists in any of their nominated categories. I’m admittedly a little disappointed by this outcome. I previously had high hopes to at least have one of my books as a finalist in one category. However, I’m very happy for everyone else that did make it to the Top 10 in their categories! I wish them the best of luck in their final round of judging.

However, there is some good news: My book “Engagement To Die For” received EIGHT NOMINATIONS for the Queer Indie Awards! I did not expect so many nominations, and I’m absolutely grateful for all of you that nominated ETDF!

ETDF was nominated for the following:

  • Best Mystery/Thriller
  • Best Cover
  • Best Lead Character (Aubri Harlow)
  • Best Romantic Relationship (Bastian Faullkner & Nick)
  • Best Supporting Character (Bastian Faulkner)
  • Best friendship or Platonic Relationship (Aubri Harlow & Bastian Faulkner)
  • Best Sophomore Book
  • Best Sequel

Voting for the winners closes TOMORROW, Feb. 2nd. (Despite what my promo image says above, the deadline got extended.) If you haven’t voted for ETDF in its nominated categories yet, this is your last chance to do so! Thanks in advance for your support!

Goal Review For Last Month:

This section is to review all the goals that I made last month.

1. Make sure all final edits of “Bloody Fantasia” are done by the end of the month

Was it Accomplished? Yes!

All final edits of “Bloody Fantasia” are complete! Now I have to confirm a release date, format the book for self-publishing, make sure I’m 100% complete with the cover design, etc.

Now that I’m in a great place with “Bloody Fantasia,”  I probably won’t discuss much more details about “Bloody Fantasia” until closer to the release date. There isn’t much on the writing side of things left that needs to be done for this book. However, I hope to share more details about it in the future, so stay tuned for details!

2. Finish drafting 25% of Book 2 of my fantasy trilogy

Was it Accomplished?  Yes!

I realized, almost halfway through January, that I wrote several scenes in Book 2 chronologically out of order. I then had to spend some time re-ordering the scenes so they all made sense. This process also helped me get a sense of how much of the main plot I actually wrote so far, so that was a plus. I also realized that I technically wrote all of the main plot. I then spent the rest of the month finishing up writing the subplots.

What does this mean? I finished writing the first draft of Book 2! Yay!

Since I just finished drafting Book 2, I’m taking February off from working on the trilogy before I start drafting Book 3. Writing novels, let alone writing the first draft, is a huge undertaking and I want to make sure I pace myself with this trilogy. For this month, I’m either plotting out some other future books, or focusing exclusively on drafting new short stories and poems. Depending on how things go, I might pick up drafting Book 3 in March or work on a different project.

3. Submit pieces (poetry or short fiction) to at least 3 literary magazines to be considered for publication

Was it Accomplished? Yes!

I ended up submitting some poems to three different literary magazines at the beginning of January (the 1st and 2nd). I then proceeded to keep submitting works to other lit mags every couple of days during the rest of the month.

In total, I submitted pieces to 12 lit mags and/or contests to be considered for publication!

What Else Have I Been Writing or Doing?

In addition to working on the previous listed goals, I also wrote some new short stories and poems. I hope to edit those and submit them to more lit mags to be considered for publication during this month!

I also ran a poll on Tumblr last month, trying to gauge interest for following me on Instagram if I hypothetically made an account. Based on the results, there isn’t a lot of interest. Two thirds of the poll responses said “no thanks!” while the other third said “yes please!” However, given the small number of responses to the poll, I’m tempted to run another poll and see if I can get more responses. This way, I’ll have a better idea if anyone is interested. Alternatively – feel free to comment below if you’d be interested in following my writing journey on Instagram! I’d be open to reading your thoughts about it.

My overall goals for this month are the following:

  • Submit pieces (poetry or short fiction) to at least 3-5 literary magazines or contests to be considered for publication
  • Plot out future books OR write new short stories and/or poems
  • Do all the rest of the required set-up for self-publishing “Bloody Fantasia” in the eventual future

Thank you for following my writing journey!

I hope all of you enjoy reading more of my progress and upcoming work! Do you have any goals for this month? Let me know in the comments below!

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