Camp NaNo April 2021 Project

Sky Heart Coming Soon
Sky Heart by Ally Aldridge

Camp NaNo April 2021 Goal

My goal for Camp Nano will be to finish Sky Heart. I think there’s only 15k words left. It should be doable, but I have really been struggling with the ending.

If I do manage to get it done quickly, I will work on the prequel. It will be a novella in length and about told from Denny’s POV, about how she came to be friends with Gwyn.

Camp NaNo Story Snippets

@worldindiewarriors on Instagram have come up with some prompts to encourage people to share a snippet of their WIPs during April. They are a relaxed friendly bunch, so don’t worry if you can’t post for every prompt, or if you don’t post on Saturdays. The idea is to support each other and connect with others taking part. I’m going to try to do these challenges but I don’t post on Saturdays so… I’ll be posting when I can.

Follow #WIWSnippetSaturday

Wednesday Instagram Lives

Every Wednesday at 9pm UK, @worldindiewarriors will be hosting IG Lives to keep everyone motivated towards their goal. In addition, they will have a guest join them to discuss a topic of the week.

On 21 April, I will be their guest chatting about self publishing. If you have any questions or just want to join us, we’ll be happy to see you there.

[kofi]

If you have enjoyed this content, you’ll like:

Why I love World Indie Warriors

The World Indie Warriors Brochure

Why I have chosen to Self Publish

Don’t put off writing your novel!

Have you seen that advert of a mum working from home? She is lying on the floor cooing at her baby and typing on her laptop. I bet you know the one I mean.

Well, I’m embarrassed to admit I believed this could be my life. My dream has always been to be a Novelist and I also longed to be a mother, so this image was singing to my heart, ”you can have it all!”

If I’d waited for my ideal writers life, I’d still be waiting.

Ally Aldridge

I’ve been writing stories ever since I could put a sentence together but for many reasons I put off seriously trying to get published until the prospect of children was on the horizon.

As soon as I got engaged in September 2009, I came off the contraceptive pill. I wanted it out of my system so I could get pregnant as fast as possible once married. We married in June 2011 but different factors got in the way of motherhood.

Our Wedding in Mauritius

During that time I wrote Hunted, Instinct and Drift (now published as Ocean Heart). I edited Drift, queried it, got some requests… but never an offer.

Late 2013, I had my son. He took over my life in the most glorious way, but it was obvious how unrealistic that image in my head was. My working hours were reduced but it didn’t enable any extra time for writing. If anything, I had less time. I was juggling a job and my parental responsibilities. Most evenings I was too shattered to do anything.

Once my son turned three, we decided we were ready to grow our family. Fortunately, I didn’t fall pregnant quickly because a few months later the company I was employed at went into administration. Expanding our family was put on hold until we got financial stabile again.

To my relief, almost a year later, we decided to try again and I fell pregnant straight away. My daughter joined us in the summer of 2018.

During this time I’d continued to edit and query Drift. I realised that I have to just make my situation work if I wanted my dream. That meant, I often wrote in the evenings when my kids slept. Sometimes they have worn me out in the day and I have to be okay with letting myself take a break.

I focus on celebrating what I have achieved and that I’m still making progress, instead of being frustrated I can’t do it as fast as others. I blog and schedule content on my mobile whilst my kids play. I make my social media posts on my phone often using Canva. In the smallest pocket of time, I can still work towards my goals.

Due to my new can do attitude, I’m now a published author. That’s right, in December 2021, I said yes to myself, and published Ocean Heart, book 1 in The Soul Heart series. If I’d waited for my ideal writers life, I’d still be waiting.

Redfae Bookshop is my Affiliate Bookshop.org Shop Link.

During lockdown, I’ve lost my childcare for my youngest . And, whenever the schools close, I’m homeschooling for my oldest. My employer has been pretty supportive and when I’ve been most impacted by the pandemic, I have been placed on Furlough.

These days I have even less time to write! But, I’m writing. Maybe not everyday, but I am getting there.

My message to you is, do what you can now because every little bit will add up. There’s nothing to lose. Worst case scenario, you have a fabulous novel all to yourself.

[kofi]

If you enjoyed this, you will like:

The Process of Publishing a Novel – 1 of 3

12 Tips for Self Editing

Notebooks of Story Ideas

How to Beat Writers Block

Romance Tropes – Which are your favourites?

With Valentines Day coming up, I thought it’d be fun to share some of the romance tropes that can be found in Ocean Heart, and possibly in Sky Heart. Warning: Lots of snogging Gifs!

Redfae Bookshop is my Affiliate Bookshop.org Shop Link. NB: This post contains these affiliate links…

Friends to Lovers

This is a favourite romance trope of mine because my husband and I started out as friends. For us it had a HEA, we have a beautiful home and two fabulous kids, and later this year we’ll be celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary. But getting together wasn’t easy, and it risked our friendship if it didn’t work out.

In Ocean Heart, Mariah is crushing on her BFF.  It starts off as an unrequited love, but during the novel they deal with first kisses, jealousy, and a break up.  Can they rekindle their romance, save their friendship, or do they need to move on?  

Enemies to Lovers

Sometimes I don’t like the trope because I don’t want them to get together. It depends on why they are enemies but, I made it work in Ocean Heart. Check out the reviews of Ocean Heart.

When Mariah beats swim star Murray in a race, he doesn’t handle losing well.  After behaving like an idiot, he starts to take an interest in her but she’s not interested.  She’s heard about his reputation.  

Check out my review of A Court of Thorn and Roses by Sarah J Maas.

Bad Boy

This is the one where the bad boy falls in love and changes his ways. I’m a sucker for this one as a fantasy, but in real life not so much. Bad boys are bad news and rarely deliver a HEA.

Murray has an Instagram feed of all his conquests and he’s not ashamed to brag about it.  It’s why he’s so protective over his sister Kiely.  He knows guys only want one thing, until...

Love Triangle

Some people really hate this trope. Eek! But, not me. Throw in more hot guys, more romances, more complications, and I’m hooked turning the page.

There are technically two in Ocean Heart.  First up, when Mariah realises she’s crushing on her BFF Jace, he already has a girlfriend, Kiely.  Later, when Murray takes an interest in Mariah, he attempts to draw her attention away from Mariah. 

Check out my review of Sorceress of Truth by J D Groom.

Soul Mates

This is where two people are meant to be together. It’s common in paranormal romances, where a wolf imprints on their mate.

Mariah is a mermaid.  She doesn’t know it, but when she accidentally marks one of the guys as her mate for life, then they are bound. 

Fake Relationship

People fake relationships in books often to raise their status, or to get a reaction from someone else. In Out Of My League the MC accepts the deal to save face at a party where she catches her boy friend cheating, and in The Practice Boyfriend the MC strikes a deal to gain access to the elite parties.

In Ocean Heart, Mariah agrees to a fake relationship.  Both parties have different reasons but united on one goal; to end a romance.  

Check out my review of Out of My League by Sarah Sutton or The Practice Boyfriend by Christina Benjamin.

I’m working on book 2, Sky Heart, which follows Kiely’s story and already I can see certain Tropes appearing.

Second Chance

This is where old flames rekindle. The question is always whether their is a relationship worthy of a second chance or too much damage.

In Sky Heart, Keily is desperate to get back with her ex. She struggles to handle the break up gracefully.  

Check out my review of Duet Rubato by Claerie Kavanaugh.

Best friend’s Brother

As a teen I loved a book called Ginger’s First Kiss by Janet Quin-Harkin. It’s the first book in the Boyfriend Club series where a group of friends pact to help each other get their first kisses and Ginger realises she’s into her BFF’s brother. I got it free with a teen magazine at the time called BIG. Over the years I have lost the book and it is no longer in distribution.

Both Keily’s BFFs have brothers, and both are off limits.  It’s a rule the girls made. A rule Kiely is tempted to break when one of them offers to help her get over her ex in a way nobody else can. 

Check out my review of Amelia’s Story: The Wiccan Romances by Nicola Hebron.

Forbidden love

This trope is so exciting. There’s all the danger of getting caught, and whatever the stakes are.

It’s not just her friends that Keily needs to hide who she is seeing, it’s also her over protective big brother, Murray.  And later, she must keep it hidden from someone more dangerous than she ever imagined.  

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to like and follow.

[kofi]

Search the blog for more posts on Romance as I have interviewed romance authors and reviewed romance books.

The Process of Publishing a Novel – 1 of 3

Check out the collection for all parts.

The first step to publishing a novel is often to write the first draft. This is the same whether you wish to traditionally or self publish. There are some exceptions to this rule.

If you’ve have an interesting story to tell from your real life or an expert in your field, a publisher or agent might reach out and request you write a book if there is a market in demand.

Some people prefer to hire a ghost writer to write for them. In this case you’re not the one physically writing your book and this post is not for you because today I’m covering writing the draft version.

Step 1 – Draft a Novel

Here is a handy info graphic of what I’m going to cover in this post.

You can save this to your Pinterest board.

Plan

If you’re writing a full length novel it’s useful to start with a plan. I don’t consider myself a plotter but I still write an outline. It helps me get from A to B, and a few check points along the way.

Some writers want a more detailed plan. They might want to design their characters, do some Worldbuilding and draw maps, or even need to research information.

Write

This is obviously the most important part. If you don’t write the book there won’t be a book. However, don’t get hung up on making it perfect. You will not publish your first draft – in fact nobody has to see that monstrosity if you don’t want them to.

Writing a novel is a big task. It can help to break it down into smaller more manageable tasks. Many writers find it useful to set word count goals. Writing sprints can be useful to focus time on writing in quick bursts.

Here’s a handy post on beating writers block.

Self Edit

Some writers edit as they write – this does slow the process down but afterwards your manuscript is in a better shape. Other writers spew the words onto the page and tidy up the mess afterwards.

It doesn’t matter how you do it but you’ll want to give it an edit before letting anyone else read it. It’s easy to make mistakes whilst you are in the moment.

You don’t need to limit the number of self edits. Edit it as many times as you need to. Some people break the task into different focusses. For example, you might do a read through and look for inconsistencies, or focus on SPAG, or receptiveness, or pacing.

Here is a post with some tips on how to self edit.

Alpha Reader

Not everybody uses an Alpha. They are often someone you are close to and you show them an early draft to get feedback. Sometimes Alphas are used before a book is finished to assess whether the story has any merit before investing a load of time in it.

Self Edit

Whenever you get feedback on your book you should reflect on it. Did your Alpha share some ideas to help you improve your book?

Don’t worry if they didn’t. Many Alphas are already your personal cheerleaders (like your spouse, mum, best friend, etc). They might not have the skills to critique but when you’re battling self doubt, they are the ones picking you up and cheering you on.

They may also have raised issues or ideas you hadn’t thought about. Often when trying to get someone to understand your idea, you discover the plot holes or where things aren’t clear enough.

Beta Readers

These people read a draft you’ve worked on improving. You can even find paid Betas who have skills to highlight where you can improve your novel further.

Here is a post that compares Beta and ARC readers (and touches on Alpha readers).

Self Edit

Yes! You will get feedback from your Betas on how to improve your book. It’s best to have a few Betas and they may even have conflicting views. Allow yourself time to reflect on their advice.

Remember it is your novel at the end of the day and if their ideas are changing the vision you had, you don’t have to apply them. However, if several readers pointed out the same thing, they most likely have a point you should pay attention to.

You may even want to ask your Betas questions. For example, is this sex scene too much for teen readers? Um… yes, I’m working on a story where my Betas will be asked this. 😂

Get a Professional Edit…

The next post in my series is about getting your manuscript professionally edited…

Redfae Bookshop is my Affiliate Bookshop.org Shop Link.

[kofi]

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Behind the Book: Swimming Sideways by C. L. Waters

Your book has been on my radar for a while but it wasn’t until recently that I realised what a journey you have been on and how similar our journeys are to each other.

What can readers look forward to in the series?

Swimming Sideways, the first book in The Cantos Chronicles, is the catalyst for the other two books, The Ugly Truth and The Bones of Who We Are. A YA Contemporary, it follows Abby Kaiāulu as she begins at a new school where she gets caught unwittingly between two young men—former best friends Seth and Gabe—who need to face their own struggles to find healing. Abby’s story is about her personal journey to understand herself as a young Hawaiian woman, but it also  inspires change for all of the characters. While each story is in and of itself its own narrative around  each of the characters, the series explores the series of events through their different perspectives. It’s a love triangle in some ways, but the love triangle isn’t the focus.

Are there similar series to yours?

Swimming Sideways has a Hawaiian cultural element that is very unique which I’m not sure comps very well, but I think Randy Ribay’s Patron Saints of Nothing has a gorgeous cultural element and Call it What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer is a lovely title that looks at how love can inspire individual growth. I had a reviewer compare my writing style to John Green and Brigid Kemmerer, so that’s awesome.

Tell me about the main character Abby?

Abby has moved with her family from Hawaii to Oregon; it’s a last ditch effort to save the family from what looks to be a divorce. Abby, though, is leaving behind a secret in Hawaii and is glad to be starting over and leaving that part of her life behind her. Oregon provides an awesome opportunity. She’s trying hard to redefine herself in this new place trying to be a good big sister to her twin brothers and a good daughter to her parents. She thinks that if she can just do things “right” then she will be able to control the outcome of this move. But secrets never stay hidden and Abby is going to choose whether the mistake controls her or if she’s ready to forgive herself?

The books in the Cantos Chronicles came to you out of order and you published book 2, The Ugly Truth, first. What was it like when you realised your first book in the series wasn’t book 1?

So frustrating and one of those forehead slap moments. But I also think that had I not written Seth’s story, The Ugly Truth, first, I wouldn’t have come to understand the other two stories. So while I made the rookie mistake, that mistake brought understanding and growth and helped me eventually finish the series.

Originally you published exclusively to Amazon but then moved to publish wide with Ingram Sparks. What motivated this change of direction?

After I finished The Bones of Who We Are (the third book in The Cantos Chronicles), I wanted to get them into local bookstores. After lots of phone tag, I finally got to talk to someone who in a very direct (but helpful) way said, “Why do we want to carry our competition?” (meaning Amazon). The question was eye-opening for me and made me reexamine my goals as a writer. What did I want? What was important to me and my author journey? Who did I want to be as a creative for the long haul? The answers to those questions helped me refine my ideas about my career as a writer and “authorpreneur.” That was the impetus behind the shift.

Tell me about a typical day in the life of author Cami (C. L. Waters)?

Up early (usually around 5am give or take thirty minutes in either direction). I spend time journalling and reflecting on my faith walk. Then it’s getting the family moving for the day. When they are gone, I’m working on the business side of writing: blogs, newsletter, beta-reads, editing, catching up on email, planning and implementing marketing strategies, whatever needs attention. In the afternoon I’m working on creative writing and wherever I am in my process. Currently, I’m rewriting my 6th novel. I wrote a blog describing this. Here’s a link: https://www.clwalters.net/blog/2020/11/4/indie-author-life-a-day-in-the-life-of-

Can you share a snippet of the book?

Sure! How much do you want?

Here’s a moment when Abby “meets” Gabe for the first time:

I slink out of the room, head down, and run right into somebody walking through the hallway. Ass on the floor and Good Abby can’t contain the bad one any longer: “What the hell!” I snap. “Watch where you’re going!” I look up at the culprit. The anger catches in my throat. I’ve bumped into a boy the size of a wall.

“I could say the same thing about you,” he replies. His voice has the lure of the ocean surf in the distance, a gentle and relaxing rumble. His bright blue eyes are the Hawaiʻi Pacific Ocean, intensely bright set in the golden glow of his bronze skin. His black hair is longish, curly, hanging over his sharp features though his lips are soft and full. He holds out a hand, the sinew of his muscles hinted in the exposure of the brown skin at his wrist.

He helps me up.

Someone in the hall passes and jostles him with a shoulder. The Wall loses his balance and knocks against me as I stand, but I don’t fall a second time. His arm wraps around me and keeps me from falling to the floor again. We’re so close that I smell the clean scent of him like soap and a hint of something spicy. My hand still in his, an arm around his solid and unforgiving shoulders, electricity winds up my arm straight to my heart and flutters with the current.

“Freak,” a passing voice in the hallway says.

I pull away regretting the loss of the connection but unwilling to go back to the social dump. Been there. Done that. This is me starting over.

Good Abby rule: Selectively choose your friends.

The Wall looks at me. His eyes have narrowed, the color now flinty, and the energy I thought I felt retreats somewhere safe. I notice the knowing look on his face, and it’s a knife in my gut. His jaw tightens. He recognizes this current version of me all too well. I identify his awareness because I was him, after all, the one they called names. It may have not been freak, but slut or whore did the same kind of damage. I knew a version of this new me too, and it makes me feel ashamed.

“Sorry,” he mutters and pulls his black hood over his head as he walks away.

Good Abby coaxes the bad one not to look back, not to watch him walk away. Bad Abby wants more than anything to turn around, say she’s sorry and let him know she’s been there. But she listens to Good Abby and goes to her next class. I walk away wondering which one is good Abby and which one is bad?

Excerpt from Swimming Sideways (2020) by CL Walters

Where can we go to discover more about you and your books?

My website is probably the best place to find out everything you need to know. www.clwalters.net

Redfae Bookshop is my Affiliate Bookshop.org Shop Link.

[kofi]

If you enjoyed this post, you will enjoy other behind the book posts. Check out:

Behind the Book: 2020 Collection

Behind the Book: Agent: Undone by Cassidy Reyne

Behind the Book: A Heart of Salt & Silver by Elexis Bell

Book Review: And the Stars Were Burning Brightly

2021 Goals!

This year, I’ve really struggled with creating my goals. The problem is there’s so much I want to do but where to start?

I know if I have too many plates spinning, they’ll all crash. As I’m writing this it’s January 1st and I’m finally choosing my goals after agonizing over them for two weeks. And… I may still tweak them before this post goes live.

Personal

Skincare routine: Over the years, I’ve tried loads countless products and I’m constantly changing my routine. During 2021, I plan to finalise my skincare products which I think will benefit my skin.

I hate waste so I need to use up products I already have, and it also depends on money too. I’ve already decided on the products and look forward to sharing these with you as I buy them.

Visit Hollowtree Farm: Fear of the virus and lockdowns reduced the number of places we visited. We even had a gift voucher for a fun day at the farm and never got to go. They’ve said it doesn’t expire so this is a priority for 2021!

Self care: I never have time to indulge in things like doing my nails or a face mask. So, I’m planning to reward myself with products to support this when I hit my other goals.

Writing

Sky Heart: This is the BIG one. I want to finish book 2 in the Soul Heart series. But… there are many steps to a published book so this will likely take me all year.

Publishing a Novel To Do List

For accountability, I’m going to tweet my progress every Sunday.

Novella 1: I’m working on two novella’s but I want to finish “Denny’s story” first. I’m thinking of using it as a readers magnet.

Novella 2: This project will be on standby and only worked on if I’m waiting on stuff for the other writing projects. This is ”Luna’s story”. I’m still working on the titles of my novellas.

Ocean Heart: I have ideas to do something special in Mer-May. But, I can’t say more until I’ve figured out the details.

Reading

10 Books: Yes, it sounds low but when I’m busy on a writing project I only read a chapter or two a night making my progress very slow. 2020 I only just hit my goal of 12 books. 😂

I do only record fiction books but I also read a few non-fiction books on writing. I’m hoping to review these on my YouTube channel this year, as well as other bookish content.

I will keep posting my reviews to my blog, Goodreads, Amazon, Book Bub, Litsy, if able to. I will track my reading goal on Goodreads.

Goodreads/Litsy/Book Bub/Book Sniffer: I’ve used Goodreads for a few years but never been very active. I hope to improve that and get better at using the other reading social apps. Which brings me on nicely to my next goal…

Social Media

Website update: I’m going to quarterly review my website content to check it is up to date. And, update during that month.

Shop: Okay, it’s not social media but it is connected to my website. I’m trying to create a shop on my website but struggling. I will master it! I mastered moving my website during my book launch.

Trial Canva Pro: I love Canva and been tempted to pay for the pro version. But now there’s a scheduled too. It would be incredible to have everything in one place.

I bought Planoly during my book launch so I could schedule videos and carousels on IG. There’s been a few occasions it hasn’t posted, so I’m tempted to try other schedulers.

Consistently Post: This went really well this year for my blog and Instagram. I want to continue it and add YouTube and Twitter to my goals.

  • Blog: Mon, & Thurs
  • IG: Mon, Weds, & Fri
  • YT: Tue (fortnightly)
  • Twitter: Sun
  • Newsletter: end of month (was every other month)

Followers/Reviews: I’ve seen people track their followers growth. I’ve never done this but it’s a good idea. I will aim for a 20% increase over all platforms.

2021 Followers Count

I’d love to reach 10k on Instagram as it opens up certain features but it feels still too far out of reach. Until I worked out what 20% was, I was thinking of aiming for 5k by June. I think 4687 is more realistic and although social media helps with marketing my passion is writing.

My Facebook page has been around longer than my group. The Soul Heart Readers group was created in October to help with Ocean Heart’s release. I’m hoping members will stick around for Sky Heart – I’ll need BETA and ARC readers later this year.

I use Parler the same way I use Twitter, and really like the platform. My numbers grew fast when I first joined but has now slowed down. It’ll be interesting to see which of the two platforms has more growth in 2021.

My YouTube channel is very new, I’m not sure how fast it will grow. I’ll also be posting to Odysee to try out the new platform – I’ve not used it yet. Over the Christmas break, I created a new Intro & Outro which I’m looking forward to using.

Reviews: I have a page on my website where I’ve collected my favourite reviews of Ocean Heart, and directed readers to where the original can be found.

Reviews are really important for a books visibility, so I will be tracking how many I have and – eek – remind my readers to leave reviews.

January Goals

Listing my goals for only this month looks like a lot. Eek 😬

Personal

  • Record unboxing of Naturismo box (then start using products)

Writing

  • Sky Heart: Write 5k per week – track progress on Google sheet. Share progress on Twitter/Parler for accountability

Reading

  • Set annual reading goal on Goodreads
  • Finish reading Cinderella is Dead (paperback) – track progress on Goodreads
  • Finish reading Winter Trials (eBook) – track progress on Goodreads

Social Media

  • Update website content
  • Add shop to website
  • Blog & IG: Create January content & make a start on February content (aim to always be two weeks ahead)
  • Record, edit, schedule two YouTube/Odysee videos
  • Try out Canva pro – if scheduler is good, cancel Planoly
  • Weekly Twitter/Parler accountability post

[kofi]

If you enjoyed this you will like:

About Ocean Heart

My 2020 Book Reviews

Looking back at 2020

My Links Page

It’s another IG LIVE!

I had the most fabulous live chat with author Lyndell Williams (on Instagram as @laylawriteslove).

Meeting Author Lyndell Williams

She recently had some mobile woes and took the plunge to get a new phone. It wasn’t as straight forward as just popping to the shops to get it and she had to wait F O R E V E R for her new handset to come in. She this on Instagram and I offered a few words of support. We got messaging and she asked if I’d help her test out her new mobile with an IG live.

As you know, I am trying to get braver in front of the camera My inner introvert was screaming “Say no!” but to get more experience on camera, I said Yes. And, I am so glad I did. Layla was so lovely to speak to.

Going Live on Instagram with @laylawriteslove

We agreed a date & time for the Instagram Live, and both connected without any issues. Yay!

We mostly discussed writing and reading romance. I discovered her novels are steamy, and her series features around diverse characters. Her readers demanded more stories about her side characters, so she wrote some novellas. You can discover more about her book here.

She also shared tips with me on plotting. And, we covered writing in different point of views and making believable characters. She is a developmental editor and we both discussed how valuable they are. She has five novels and uses a developmental editor too. You can find out more about her services here.

Check Out Our Live

[kofi]

If you enjoyed this, you will like:

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Technical Difficulties

Book Review: Agent Undone by Cassidy Reyne

NaNoWriMo Outcome

Spoiler alter! I didn’t reach 50k. I knew I wouldn’t because November is a busy month, mainly with birthdays galore, but add to that everything that goes with launching a book and it’s pretty impressive I wrote anything.

Maybe I should have passed this year’s NaNo but I just can’t help myself. I love the NaNo community.

Planning

The goal for NaNoWriMo is to write 50k words in 30 days. This works out to roughly 1,667 words per day.

But, what if you can’t write every day. What if you know on certain days it will be near impossible to write? And, 30 days is a long month if never allow yourself a single break.

I made a calendar in Excel and put Y or N depending on if I could write or not. I think counted the Y, and worked out I could write on 18 days of the month. This meant on my writing days, I needed to achieve 2778 words.

How It Went…

Week 1, went well. I had planned for a day off for for going live with Holly but joined a World Indie Warriors writing sprint afterwards. I also planned a day off for my birthday but decided to celebrate by writing This put me ahead of target. I needed to hit 13,890 words and had 16,306 words.

Week 2, I allowed one day off for my son’s birthday so it didn’t impact my goal. But, I also skipped two planned writing days, and that put me behind. I needed to hit 30,558, but I only had 26,725. This is why in my mid point check in I said I was behind, even though I had more words than NaNo participants that were on target, because I knew I had less days than them to write.

Week 3, was not good. I had planned a day off for going live with Nicola. But, I agreed to an unplanned live with Lyndell. Then, I decided to sell my house and had to tidy up (everywhere) for the Estate Agent (and then we decided not to sell). Then our boiler broke and spent a whole evening trying to create a bath warm & deep enough to bathe. This resulted in my not writing on four days I planned to – not good. I needed to hit 47,226 words, and I had only reached 31,473 words.

Week 4, was getting close to my release date and I wanted to give it my full attention. I only planned to write on one day and I did. This week involved pre-recording a radio interview. I also attempted to migrate my website myself from one server to another, and transfer my domain to the new location. It wasn’t smooth sailing. I also attended a full online writing festival, Indie Fire. I needed to reach 50,000 words but only had 38,643. I could have written some evenings but I didn’t want to burn out.

Week 5, is just the last two days of the month.

Was It A Success?

I didn’t get 50k words, so I failed NaNoWriMo. But…

My big goal for this year was to publish Ocean Heart, and I wasn’t going to let NaNo ruin that. If NaNo had distracted me from my launch then it would have been an epic fail.

When I set out to do NaNo this year, I just wanted to get back into Sky Heart. I achieved that. To me, personally, that makes this NaNo a success.

What’s Next?

I’m going to enjoy my book release week as I need to recharge and revel in this long awaited moment.

I will continuing working on finishing Sky Heart, book 2 in The Soul Heart Series. I’m hoping the first draft will be ready for Betas by the end of January.

Book 2 in The Soul Heart Series

I’ve created a work in progress cover, to visualise achieving my goal. Do you like it?

I’m also working on two Novellas. I’m hoping with these being shorter they’ll be quicker to get out & help with the wait for Sky Heart. I’ll announce those once I have a title.

All Author Cover Contest

Ocean Heart is currently entered in the All Author December 2020 Cover Contest. If you like the cover of Ocean Heart please vote for it.

[kofi]

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Coming Soon: Ocean Heart Launch Party!

Live Author Chat!

During October & November, I have been doing fortnightly Live author chats with my launch party team, on writing and books. It’s been a lot of fun and is leading up to the big event -My Launch Party!

To make sure you don’t miss the lives, be sure to follow me on YouTube and hit the notification bell.

Catch up / Replay

Don‘t worry if you missed the lives, you can watch the replays on my channel.


TUE 20 OCT @ 8PM ( London)

Catch the replay here.

TUE 3 NOV @ 8PM ( London)

Catch the replay here.

TUE 17 NOV @ 8PM (London)

Catch the replay here.

Launch Party

TUE 1 DEC @ 8PM (London)

This is my awesome launch party to celebrate the official release of Ocean Heart. Celebrate live with us here.

We will be talking all things Ocean Heart but I’ll be careful not to spill any spoilers. Come along and ask questions. I’ll also be announcing the Preorder Giveaway winner.

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YouTube: A Bookish Surprise

YouTube: I’m Her Biggest Fan

Ocean Heart

The Making Of The Blurb for Ocean Heart

My NaNoWriMo Project

Well… I have not one, not two, but THREE projects for November. And, I still probably won’t make the 50k goal.

That’s not me being a defeatist. I’m not quitting before I start. In fact, despite the odds, I’m still going to try. And, you should too!

November is always a busy month. It’s my son’s & I’s birthdays, and the birthday of lots of other loved ones. On top of that, I’m launching Ocean Heart. There’s a lot going on. Plus, someone always gets ill in November – I’m hoping the social distancing is going to help avoid that this year.

Realistically, November is not the best month for me to write. However, the NaNo challenge encourages me to be more focussed and accountable. Because of this, I write more because I took part. And, I love the community spirit, writing with us.

Project 1 – Sky Heart

This is the main project. Sky Heart is book 2 in The Soul Heart Series. Getting this published will be my 2021 big goal. So, I need to get it written.

Kiely got dumped for Christmas. Heartbroken she makes rash decisions to get over her ex-boyfriend, starting with a blindfold and a mystery kisser.

Kiely’s new wild lifestyle places her in the wrong place at the wrong time. Now she must stay alive, as she’s drawn into an ancient shifter war with werewolves and reapers.

Kiely’s battle to overcome her ex is about to take her to new heights.

Project 2 – Prequel

This will be a short novella. I may give it away as a readers magnet for newsletter signups. It’ll be a Historical Fantasy, but not set a long time ago. It’ll be in the 90s.

Project 3 – Luna

My werewolf villain wants me to tell her story. I’m not sure if it will be written just for me so I know her better or to share her with the world.

Luna’s story is also to be a Historical Fantasy. This will be going back to medieval times. It’s anticipated to be a novella.

What about you?

Are you doing NaNo this year? And, what do you think of my projects?

I usually focus on just one but I’m really feeling all three of these right now and just want my creativity to flow.

I’m planning on attending a few live write ins with World Indie Warriors on Instagram.

[kofi]

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Camp NaNo July 2020

NaNoWriMo 2017 — Ally Aldridge

Now you can PreOrder Ocean Heart!

Behind the Character: Kiely