Welcome to the March 2021 roundup!
And the year continues to fly by! I can’t believe we’ve hit the end of March already. I was busy doing lots of editing this month and will continue to do so into April—because let’s face it—a writer’s work is never done. I hope you’ve all had a safe March and worked on the goals you wanted to achieve.
To find out what else I got up to this month, read on…
What I’ve Been…
Blackbirch Book 3 – I spent March working on draft 7, which I was hoping would be my beta reader draft and ready to send out for feedback by April 1st. As I’d spent the last few months editing different chapters and working through various checklist options, I hadn’t read the MS from start to finish for a while, and I realized there was still work to do to make sure it’s a collectively smooth read that makes sense. This work will now be my draft 8, and I’m hoping to get through it by the end of April.
Open Book by Jessica Simpson (AudioBook) – This was such an open and honest book that gave me insight into a pop star who has been through more than most people would imagine based on her glossy image. Read by Jessica, you can hear the emotion in her voice when she talks about the events that shaped her life. Covering everything from sexual abuse when she was a child, tragic losses of family members, bullying in high school, the pressures of fame once she became a star, marriage/relationship breakdowns, and addictions to pills and alcohol, Open Book will take you on an emotional roller coaster too. It’s relatable, therapeutic, and has an underlying theme of hope. A must-read.
The Word-Loss Diet: Professional Self-Editing Techniques for Authors by Rayne Hall – This is a quick read with tips that are worth doing on any manuscript. It’ll help tighten your prose if you’re committed to cutting as many words as possible. The instructions are easy to follow and ideal for beginner writers, or any writer who has let bad, word-y habits sneak into their sentences.
Emily’s Baby (Book Two in the Holds End Series) by Chantelle Atkins – Picking up right after the events of the first book, Emily’s Baby continues the story of the people living in Holds End and all of their addictions, complicated relationships, and family dynamics. After finding herself pregnant to Charlie, 15-year-old Emily must tell her parents and her brothers, including Bill. Bill doesn’t take the news well, considering Charlie almost killed him in book 1, and spends the majority of this book trying to prove that Charlie hasn’t changed. This obsession leads to the shocking events of the final pages, and a twist that will have you thinking about what happened long after you’ve closed the book. Chantelle Atkins is a master at creating characters readers care about and a world that feels real, and I can’t recommend this book highly enough. Definitely add it, and the others in the series, to your TBR pile.
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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!
WandaVision (Disney+) – Not going to lie, I found it really frustrating watching this series week-to-week. Any time something happened that made a little bit of sense, the episode ended. I know that’s a hallmark of good writing, but I found it annoying as a viewer. Thankfully, the series fully redeemed itself once all the episodes aired. While we’ll have a wait for other Marvel movies to see the payoffs off the post-credit scene and what the future has in store for Wanda and Vision, it’s another great entry in the Marvel universe.
Raya And The Last Dragon (Disney+) – Such a beautiful story that isn’t only visually stunning, but also extremely relevant for the world’s situation right now. 500 years after Dragons helped humanity beat monsters called the Drunn, the Drunn have come back and caused the humans of Kumandra to split into factions only interested in helping their own communities. After her father is turned to stone, Raya spends years looking for the last Dragon, and with a rag-tag group of new friends, they work to bring the world back together.
Superstore – Series Finale, Season 6 (Binge) – Thanks to Covid19, Cloud 9 is being turned into a fulfillment center, which sees the employees we’ve spent 6 years with trying to figure out what they’ll do now the store is closing. I won’t add any spoilers here for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet, but the finale was definitely one of the better series endings I’ve seen in a long time, and any fan of the show is sure to be satisfied with how it wraps up.
Taking Photos Of
My book in a library! Blackbirch: The Beginning has hit library shelves in my local area! All the books I read as a teen were borrowed from the library, and it was where I discovered the books of my favorite author, so seeing my book on a library shelf was a real writer-dream/bucket list moment come true. If you’re in the ERL library network in Melbourne, give it a borrow. If you’d like to borrow my series from your local library, there’s usually a book request form you can fill in on your library website.
On The Blog…
In case you missed any of my posts, or want to read them again, here are the latest blogs.
Writing Tip Of The Month…
#WritingTipWednesday posts are added to my social media feeds every week and here is the most popular tip for this month. It’s taken from my blog post, How To Stay Creative When The World Is On Fire.
For more tips, visit my Writing Tips Pinterest Board.
Blackbirch Teaser Of The Month…
This was the most popular Blackbirch: The Dark Half teaser I posted to social media this month.
In this teaser, Sarah is worried about Josh disappearing for most of the day with the new-in-town witch, Kallie. There is of course good reason for Sarah to be worried, but you’ll need to read the book to find out why! 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…
I’ve hoped you’ve enjoyed my March Roundup. Let me know what you’ve been up to this month in the comments!
— K.M. Allan