October 2020 Roundup

If you’re a subscriber to my newsletter, you’ll find the content of this new blog post familiar.

Since July 2019, I’ve been keeping subscribers up-to-date on my writing journey, what I’ve been reading, watching, taking photos of, and writing tips. In order to keep writing without burning out, though, I’ve made the decision to close down my newsletter and switch the content to a more manageable blog post, which will now be part of my regular monthly schedule. I hope you enjoy it!

If you were a newsletter subscriber, thank you so much. There’s a parting gift in the final and 13th newsletter, which should be in your inbox now (if you can’t see it, please check your spam folder).

Well, here we are at the pointy end of 2020, which I’m sure many of us are well and truly ready to see the back of, and hoping 2021 brings better things.

I know a lot of countries are going back into lockdown and my heart goes out to you. Where I live in Melbourne, we were in lockdown from March to June with the rest of Australia, and then just our state of Victoria had to go back into lockdown in July. We’ve only just moved out of this lockdown and stage 4 restrictions as of this past Wednesday, after more than 100 days confined to our homes.

I wish I could say I used the time to write a book, but like many others, I spent most of this year stressed-out and homeschooling, and I’m just now in October getting myself back on track.

What I’ve Been…


Blackbirch Book 3 – I finished the 5th draft last week and now I’m taking a break and working my way through an editing course with The Australian Writers Centre that will help me whip draft 6 into shape. After that, it’ll be off to my betas and a step closer to publication in 2021.


The Meaning Of Mariah Carey by Mariah Carey with Michaela Angela Davis  – Beautifully written, The Meaning Of Mariah Carey gives an insight into one of the world’s most misunderstood stars. Mariah’s songwriting is one of my biggest inspirations as a writer, and I’ve been a fan since 1994. When you follow someone for that long, you think you know them. This memoir proves that no one really knows anyone.

Revealing Mariah’s traumatic upbringing and family life, her repressive first marriage, losses, betrayals, failures, triumphs, and the family she’s always longed for and finally created for herself, it’s an insight into a person so many people wrote off, and continue to write off to this day.

Beneath the Surface (Outsider Project #1) by Rebecca Langham – A nicely written book that mirrors some of today’s issues (refugees, acceptance, the impact of technology on society) in the story of an alien race kept in isolation by a government intent on learning their genetic secrets. Human/alien relationships, betrayal, and secrets abound. And when every truth revealed is twisted on its head during the last few pages, you’ll be reaching for the sequel.

Lucid by Kristy Fairlamb – If you’re a fan of fate, dreams, changing the future, and destined love, then Lucid is the book for you! When Lucy meets the new boy in town, she has no idea that their crossing paths will change life for both of them and open up an inherited family gift. Every night when she goes to sleep, Lucy dreams of death, witnessing accidents she can’t stop. With the arrival of Tyler, she finds there is more to her dreams and what she can do with them, but the consequences could cause her to lose what she loves most. This story is well-written, with a beautiful first-love romance between Lucy and Tyler, and fun friendships between Lucy and her friends. I’d recommend it to anyone who likes a touch of supernaturalness to their YA stories, and I’m looking forward to devouring the sequel ASAP.

The Great Escape from Woodlands Nursing Home by Joanna Nell – As usual, it was a pleasure to read Joanna Nell’s latest book. She has a knack for creating relatable, real characters, and turning everyday settings into something more. For this adventure, we get to know two very different individuals, Hattie and Walter, both of whom have ended up at the Woodlands Nursing Home, and both of whom want to escape. An unlikely friendship ensues, plans are hatched, a mini-bus is taken for a spin, and final wishes and changes of the heart come together for a book that will leave you with a smile on your face. There’s antics, laughter, and tears, but also a good read to be had. Highly recommended.

Fallen Princeborn: Chosen by Jean Lee – This is the first Jean Lee book I’ve read and it won’t be the last. Beautifully written, I was drawn into the Princeborn world via the imaginative worldbuilding and the unique cast of characters. There is something for everyone in this fantasy series with creatures, magic, and houses that move the highlights. The relationship between Charlotte and Liam will also keep readers turning pages. There’s plenty of action in this story, with many battles taking place, and it kept me on the edge of my seat, right up until the cliffhanger ending. I can’t wait for book 3!

You can find my book reviews on Goodreads. Be my friend and share your books/recommendations with me!

If you’d like to add the Blackbirch books to your “Want to Read” shelf and/or check out the reviews, click the following images!


Cobra Kai (Seasons 1-2 – Netflix) – If you’re going to reboot an iconic franchise, this is the way to do it. Not only does Cobra Kai nail the homages and references to the 80s Karate Kid movies, but it gives you more. The original characters gain depth and it actually makes you root for the villain. Go along with Johnny as he tries to re-launch Cobra Kai Karate with a new set of kids, and learn why he was the way he was in the original movies (it’s surprisingly deep).

The Boys (Season 2 – Amazon Prime Video) – While it does take a few episodes to get moving, season 2 of The Boys is just as crazy—and violent—as the first. This time around we’ve got new superheroes, different powers, secrets, and the propaganda machine running at full speed to get the marketing twist right after the revelation that superheroes are made, not born. If you can hang in there until the last few episodes, it’s worth it.

Taking Photos Of

Spring! The September/October weather has alternated between warmish and cold and raining, which has really made Spring bloom. These photos were taken in my backyard.

On The Blog…

In case you missed any of my posts, or want to read them again, here are the blogs for September and October 2020.

Guest Blogs!

I also got to be a guest interviewee on some great blogs. Thank you Laurie Bell and Jean Lee for asking awesome questions about writing and Blackbirch, and putting my rambling answers out for the world to see!

Writing Tip Of The Month…

I’ve started adding #WritingTipWednesday posts to my social media feeds and here is the most popular tip for this month. It’s taken from my blog post, 8 Query Letter Don’ts.

For more tips, visit my Writing Tips Pinterest Board.

Blackbirch Teaser Of The Month…

This was the most popular Blackbirch: The Dark Half teaser that I posted to social media this month.

This is one of the more intense scenes in the book, where Max needs to tell Sarah something she isn’t ready to hear and it turns her world upside down. For more teasers, visit my Blackbirch Pinterest Board.

If you’d like to read the books released so far or find out more about each novel, here are the links:

Quote Of The Month…

“Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.”

– Ashley Smith

I’ve hoped you’ve enjoyed my October Roundup. Let me know what you’ve been up to in the comments!

— K.M. Allan

Find me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

15 thoughts on “October 2020 Roundup

  1. Good idea combining your newsletter and blog post. I’ve already got both copies of your novels, and at some point I’ll get around to taking pics for my Instagram.
    I’ve watched those tv shows, I’m now watching Utopia… it reminds me of Preacher. X

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Weeee! Thanks for noting my book and site, and I hope you’re able to find a new groove now that life is sloooowly shifting in Melbourne. I’m still working on that new groove, too. Will you share your favorite lessons learned from the editing course when it’s done? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome, Jean. Obviously it’s a paid course and the content is copyrighted, but there are some things I’ve learned that will become part of my editing routine and I’ll try to share that 😊.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you 😊. I really liked the Mariah book, it was very interesting and very eye opening about her early childhood and career. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who likes biographies.

      Liked by 1 person

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