January 2024 Writing Update

Happy 2024, everyone!

I hope that your past year was wonderful and that this year is just as good, or even better!

2023 was eventful for me, given that I had several poems published (twice in the same publication!) and self-published my second novel. I hope that 2024 can be just as wonderful if not better!

I’ve decided to take a different approach to writing these monthly writing progress posts. Closer to the end of this post, for example, you’ll see that I literally list some goals I have for the month. In next month’s writing post, I’ll reflect a bit on these goals and discuss whether I completed them or not, as well as the ups and downs of reaching them.

I also broke the usual “Original Fiction & Poetry” section into separate sections talking about my larger projects/novels and my short fiction and poetry. Given my increased focus on original fiction and poetry rather than fanfiction,  it was a better idea to split the shorter and longer works into different sections. It’s easier for me to organize, and easier on the eyes when reading (and writing) posts like this.

Newsletter Update:

For those of you that are subscribed to my email newsletter, I wanted to let all of you know that I left Substack. 

After several months of trying this platform, I felt that it wasn’t really working for me. I decided that it’s best to move forward with a new one.

My newsletters will now be sent through Buttondown! I’m hoping that this change will be for the better – not just for you as readers, but for me as well. If you haven’t subscribed, you can check out this link: https://buttondown.email/clarislamauthor 

Also, newsletters will return on January 9th! I expect to keep up the usual schedule of sending them every 2nd and 4th Tuesday per month.

Book Reviews:

Book reviews resume their biweekly schedule starting TOMORROW, January 2nd! I hope you enjoy continuing to read these book reviews as much as I enjoyed reading the books themselves.

Cover of "Engagement To Die For" by Claris Lam
Cover of “Engagement To Die For” by Claris Lam

“Winner Takes All” and “Engagement To Die For” featured on Pretty Book Shelf:

My books were featured on Pretty Book Shelf’s site! I’m glad that my work can get more visibility by being featured on the site.

You can click here to check out “Winner Takes All,” and click here to check out “Engagement To Die For!” Thanks to Zoe Blessing from Pretty Book Shelf for this opportunity!

Guest Blog for Shepherd:

During last month, I had the opportunity to write a guest blog for Shepherd giving a couple of book recs – specifically, ones taking place in isolated areas. Thank you to the staff at Shepherd for this opportunity!

Waiting for Indie Ink Awards Results:

Thank you to everyone who voted for my books for the 2023 Indie Ink Awards! At this point of writing and posting, I don’t know if either “Winner Takes All” and/or “Engagement To Die For” are Top 10 finalists in their categories yet. However, I hope to update all of you about this in a future blog post and/or on socials soon. The voting just ended literally last year (Dec. 31st 2023), so it might take some time for the organizers to figure out which books made it as finalists.

Thanks in advance for your patience, and fingers crossed for making it to the Top 10 Finalists!

Novels:

Back in November 2023, I decided to continue a project I first started in 2021. This is project is an adult fantasy novel trilogy. At this time, the trilogy doesn’t have an official name yet. I started writing Book 1 in 2021, but stopped about halfway through its first draft. This is because I wanted to focus on writing, editing, and self-publishing the books from my amateur sleuth murder mystery trilogy, the Harlow Mystery series.

With the Harlow Mystery series coming to a close, I figured that now was a great time to continue working on this fantasy trilogy! My approach this series will be different than the Harlow Mystery series. With the Harlow Mystery series, I was halfway through editing Book 2 when I released Book 1. I then proceeded to write, edit, and publish the next book. As for Book 3, I promise it is still on the way, though I can’t confirm a release date at this time!

With this fantasy series, I’m completely drafting all three books first before editing any of them. This is for the sake of making sure the drafts for all of them are complete. I can then spend as much time as I need with editing and revising them.

The worldbuilding in the fantasy trilogy is also much more complex than the Harlow Mystery series. It’s necessary to get all first drafts done. This is so I can add more details and connections through all three books as needed. It will also help ensure consistency between all three books, especially for following character arcs and worldbuilding.

Aside from this series and wrapping up the Harlow Mystery series, I’m still working on my first children’s fantasy book for early readers! This book is called “Sadie Rowe And The Missing Necklace.” This is a standalone book inspired by books such as Daisy Meadows’ Rainbow Fairy series and Gwyneth Rees’ Fairy Dust series. I also hope to give more updates on this book in the future. However, I’m not sure when the next update will be, so it might be a long time before I give any updates on it.

Short Fiction & Poetry:

I’ll be honest – I didn’t write much short fiction or poetry at all last month. This is because of the huge focus on the other projects I mentioned. However, I’d like to write shorter pieces more regularly. Doing this could help give me a sense of achievement by having smaller projects to complete. It will also force me to write consistently too!

My overall goals for this month are the following:

  • Make sure all final edits of “Bloody Fantasia” are done by the end of the month
  • Finish drafting 25% of Book 2 of my fantasy trilogy
  • Submit pieces (poetry or short fiction) to at least 3 literary magazines to be considered for publication

Is this ambitious for the first month of the year? Absolutely. Do I think I’ll achieve all of them? No.

Am I going to try anyway? Yes. It’ll force me to focus on getting more writing done. I look forward to the challenge that these goals give me.

Thank you for following my writing journey!

I look forward to sharing more about my work with you in my new newsletters and writing progress posts like these during the year! What goals do you have for this month, or for 2024 as a whole?


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