Welcome to the July 2022 roundup!
Well, this was yet another blink and you’ve missed it month! July went by so fast for me, mainly because I spent a solid two weeks of it working on the final draft of Blackbirch #3. The awesome #6amAusWriters on Twitter ran a #WinterWritingWarmUp event, and I used the two weeks of meeting at 6am to write and sprints throughout various different days to get an ARC (advanced reader copy) completed.
I’m happy to say those two weeks were exactly what I needed and the ARC is now in the hands of the readers I’d promised copies to. I’ve now spent the last week taking a creative break to get some space from the words so I can look at them again and finalize the print copy. Once that’s done, I’ll be announcing the title, cover, blurb, and release date, so please keep an eye out.
This month I also celebrated 5 years of blogging (which was technically in June, but I missed the anniversary 😬), and this is what else I’ve been up to…
What I’ve Been…
Blackbirch 3 – Just when I thought I was finished, I added over 3,000 new words to the ARC version of the MS (draft 11 for those counting along). I received some very awesome advice from one of my beta readers (Thanks, Emma!) to make sure I was putting what I know in my head, on the page. This is writing advice 101, and I thought I had been doing that, but hearing it from her and having a look at the MS after a 2-month break made me realize there were places where I wasn’t actually following this advice as well as I thought I was/could be. It made a huge difference and resulted in some much better chapters that I ended up being really happy with.
Watching And Reading…
Thor: Love and Thunder – Did we need a 4th Thor movie? Maybe not, but I’ll take this over the boring Thor 2 any day. Still hung up on his big love, Jane Foster, Thor has been wandering aimlessly with The Guardians Of The Galaxy helping others. When New Asgard is threatened by Gorr the God Butcher, he teams up with Jane, who can now wield Mjölnir (for reasons I won’t spoil), Valkyrie, and Korg to find out why Gorr is out for vengeance. There are the usual action battles, humor, and post-credit scenes, but my favorite part was why it’s titled Love and Thunder, which is revealed in the closing scene.
The Black Phone – While the advertising of this movie has really played into the kidnapped kid’s vibe, it’s a supernatural story at its heart and a pretty good one at that. Based on the short story by Joe Hill, The Black Phone centers on a 70s-era town plagued by a spate of child kidnappings. When Finney is the latest child taken, his sister Gwen could be the key to finding him. Given visions in dreams, she knows things the police haven’t publicly released, and the detectives in charge of the cases turn to her for help. Meanwhile, Finney is in a basement with a black phone, one that rings and connects him to the children who were murdered before him. It’s a slow burn, but once the connections of what Finny is told to do by the other kids, and his sister’s dreams all come together in the last half of the movie, you’ll be glad you watched it.
The Umbrella Academy (Season 3) – Worth watching for the Footloose dance battle ten minutes into the first episode alone, season 3 sees The Umbrella Academy go head-to-head with The Raven Academy. They are the alternative timeline version of kids who were adopted instead of them after the season 2 time-meddling shenanigans, and the rest of the season is the consequences of those actions. Vanya becomes Viktor, Allison gets the worst character arc and is made so unlikeable, Klaus learns the true extent of his powers, Luther finally gets a break in love, 5 is still 5, and we finally get to follow the story of a Ben who’s not dead. If watching, stay on the credits of the last episode for a mid-credit scene that hints at the direction of the next season.
The Difference by C. D’Angelo – When Rachel realizes her life isn’t making her as happy as she thinks it should, she decides to delve into her family history, mainly the hidden story of her Italian-immigrant Grandfather’s journey to the US. It’s something he never spoke about when alive, and she feels it’s her duty to uncover why. It’s also a good distraction from the mild depression she’s sinking into, and the staleness she feels in her years-long relationship. After a year of dead ends, and research leads that go nowhere, Rachel and her partner decide to journey to her grandfather’s hometown in Italy in the hope of uncovering the truth and any still-living relatives. In my opinion, it takes a while for the story to get where it’s going (Rachel in Italy), and before this, she spends a lot of the book being whiny and oddly obsessed with the Titanic and her Grandfather. By the closing pages, though, the author does turn all of this on its head. Rachel’s inner transformation via the things she discovers about her Italian side redeems both the character and the story, and I did enjoy the book as a whole by the closing pages. I would also read more by this author as she did a great job describing the food, scenery, and relationships of the other characters. Recommended for readers who like family history stories.
If you’ve got any good book 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
Winter. This has to be one of the coldest winters we’ve had here in Australia for a long time. It’s been very rainy too and that has hampered my daily walks and kept me inside for most of the month, which is great for hitting writing deadlines and avoiding Covid, the flu, and other people 🤣.
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 For Action Scenes.
For more tips, visit my Writing Tips Pinterest Board.
Blackbirch Review Of The Month…
This review comes courtesy of Blackbirch: The Dark Half and was the most popular review posted this month on my social media feeds.
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 July Roundup. Let me know what you’ve been up to in the comments!
— K.M. Allan