January 2022 Roundup

Welcome to the January 2022 roundup!

Well, here we are, another new year full of possibilities, and let’s face it, more Covid-19.

Although we were fortunate here in Australia to escape huge case numbers in 2020, the end of 2021 saw Omicron explode and we’re currently riding a wave of it. The pandemic and lockdowns have kept me from visiting my family and home state of Sydney for 2 years, but thankfully my twin sister was able to come here to Melbourne for a visit. Below are some pictures of what we’ve been up to, as well as what else I’ve been doing this month…

What I’ve Been…


Blackbirch 3 – I’m still slowly making progress on draft 10. In order to get things moving, I set myself a mid-February deadline to get it to the next round of beta readers. Now to see if that gets it edited or gives me a stress-induced panic attack instead 🤣.


Yellowjackets – This thrilling mystery series flashes between the timelines of ’90s teens trapped in a forest after a plane crash and their present-day adult versions trying to stop the truth about what they did to survive from coming out, and I’m here for it! With an all-star cast of veteran former-child stars and a new crop of young up-and-coming actors, Yellowjackets has more than just a creepy storyline going for it. Trying to guess everyone’s fate and how the opening sequence came to be will keep you binge-watching each episode, and impatiently waiting for season 2.

Dexter: New Blood – One of the better reasons to make use of the trend to reboot everything right now is being able to correct one of the worst series finales ever. When the original run of Dexter ended with him abandoning his son, faking his death, and starting over as a lumberjack, there weren’t many fans. New Blood was able to fix most of the horror by reuniting Dexter with his estranged son, now a 16-year-old who appears to have his own Dark Passenger. I won’t spoil it for anyone who hasn’t watched the final episode yet, but I will say that I was satisfied with how they ended the series this time.

Scream – The ’90s fave serial killer, Ghostface, is back and up to his usual antics of phone calls, scary movie trivia, and stabbings. Going after those related to the original Woodsboro victims and killers, there are twists galore, new rules to play by, and a reunion of original cast members (or Legacies as the new movie characters call them). It’s a step up from Scream 4, way better than the horrible Scream 3, and on par with Scream 2 and the original, mainly because of the nostalgic nods to both.

After Life (Season 3) – Just as the previous seasons were 6 episodes of emotional, top-notch writing, season 3 finished the story of cranky, grieving widower, Tony, perfectly. While some of the focus shifted to other characters in town, it didn’t take away from Tony’s journey of navigating life after the death of his wife, Lisa. Showing just how much he’d grown since her passing, the final episode will hit you right in the feels.


Elements of Fiction: Characters and Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card – An easy-to-read book full of tips and examples. It explains how important it is to know your characters well as you write them, and what viewpoint options are used in popular fiction. The examples of those viewpoints and hints about how to master them are very helpful. Recommended for writers looking to learn new skills or to brush up on their existing ones.

The Beginning Of The End by Jacqueline HayleyThank you to the author for sending me this novella, a prequel to the YA dystopian After series. You can also get it for free at Jacqueline’s website. This quick read opens at a house party where Cass is taking advantage of her parents being out of town and getting together with some friends. When one turns up with a virus that’s been going around, no one thinks much of it, but as the night goes on and they have to take her to the hospital, the teens quickly realize things are more serious—and dangerous—than they thought. Throw in sudden feelings for one of her best friends, Stephen, and Cass has a lot to deal with, right when it seems like the world is at its end. It’s a nice introduction to the storyline of the virus and leads into the first chapter of After Today, which has immediately piqued my interest and been added to my TBR pile.

If you’ve got any good recommendations, let me know in the comments, or be my friend on Goodreads 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!

Taking Photos Of

My Evil Twin! After 2 years apart and 2 visits canceled by lockdowns, my twin sister finally arrived in town. We’ve been to the movies, caught up with other friends visiting from Sydney, a Disney exhibition, and gone on our morning walks. We usually walk while talking over the phone from our respective states, so it’s been fun to physically walk together instead. She’s also finally met Dash and Luna and is currently plotting how to sneak them into her bag so she can take them home with her (I told you she was the evil twin 😈).

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, Writing Tips: Building Tension.

For more tips, visit my Writing Tips Pinterest Board.

Blackbirch Teaser Of The Month…

This teaser comes courtesy of Blackbirch: The Dark Half and is featured when Kallie Jacobs has a vision of a fire and ignores it, sparking fatal consequences.

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

If you’ve read either of my books—and haven’t done so already—please consider leaving a review or a star rating. It really helps indie authors get their books noticed, and also helps fellow readers find books they’ll like.

Quote Of The Month…

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

— K.M. Allan

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

14 thoughts on “January 2022 Roundup

  1. As i cant remember having done so, i wish you a happy and blessed New Year! Thanks for sharing all the great tips for watching and reading. Congratulations to the reunion with your sister. This is always the best, to overcome situations like we all have to deal with. Please, stay well! xx Michael

    Liked by 1 person

  2. After Life is pretty nice, and I don’t remember if I’ve watched Season 3, but now I’m going to go back and check it out. Like you said, great writing. I’ve been on a Better Call Saul binge lately. I never thought I’d like it, but Vince Gilligan is teaching me a thing or two about conflict in that series! Anyway, thanks for this post!

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  3. So glad your sister came to see you after such a long separation! It’s been four years and counting since I’ve been back home. Hoping for a quick visit later this year if things work out. Meanwhile, I’m busy writing!

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  4. Over here on the other side of the “Great Pond”, we haven’t had any lockdowns. People are staying at home more, but we do get around with our masks on our faces. Our hospitals are full because of COVID. I wonder if the lockdowns would help.

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    1. No lockdowns at all or just more recently? I don’t think we’ll ever have an official lockdown again, but we’ve been having self-imposed ones here now too. Until my sister visited, I was only going out once a week for essential shopping. I’ve been a few places with my sister (restaurants, cinemas etc), but now she’s gone home again, I’ll be going back to only leaving the house when necessary. I’ve got too much work to do on my next two books, so self-imposed isolation should help me actually make some real progress with my manuscripts 🤣.

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      1. We haven’t had one official lockdown here in the US. In fact, there are people here who have never worn the face mask as they scurry around doing their shopping, going to appointments, and going to their jobs. In other words, I’m living around arrogant people. With this said, I don’t really know how things work in the big cities here seeing that I live in a moderate size town. I’m ashamed to be an American these days.

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