March lasted for absolutely freaking ever. ಠ_ಠ
It’s simultaneously been the most exciting month and one of the most stressful, and I genuinely am exhausted. Utterly EXHAUSTED. 2020 needs to sit down and take a nap and come back when it has a better attitude, because wow, the world is toppling into devastation with COVID-19. I feel guilty for actually having good news to share this month when so many are suffering. But also it’s important to cling fast to the good things too?!
But first: I hope you’re all staying home (if you can) and being safe. Mental health is definitely taking a beating this month, so I feel for all of us smothered with anxiety too. Australia isn’t too badly affected right now (so grateful) but our shelves are bare, our lockdown measures are extremely strict (people are being fined $1000 for social gatherings and standing too close together), and borders are closed. Gah, just hope it works and soon. Very ready for this tragedy to be over. (Though I have to admit lockdown life is just…my life as is. I don’t really, er, leave the house anyway? 👀)
But I have good news too…🥺
I’ve officially signed with a new literary agent! YOU BETTER BELIEVE I CANNOT STOP SMILING. I’m now represented by Tara Gilbert of Corvisiero Literary! Tara’s love and vision for my writing is just filling my heart and I’m super excited for everything we have planned. We have a lot planned. I’m about to launch into edits for my next contemporary (this one darker and more whimsical than the others). And, look, I haven’t felt this encouraged and motivated about my writing in so so long!! 😍🥰😘😚
I’ve also been shortlisted for the CBCA Book of The Year Award!
Which is honestly mind blowing and such an honour. The Boy Who Steals Houses is being loved and recognised so much, I’m totally overwhelmed and grateful. (And it also got its first translation deal this month!! I’ll give details when I can.)
TBWSH is also turning 1 on the 4th of April. 😍 Baby is a year old! Ahhhh.
I will likely do a Q&A on instagram, and some sort of sappy post here. 😂 Because a year!!!!
I think I said something hopeful about March being for writing? So cute. 😂 But I had reasons to be distracted! I went back to querying in January and it has honestly been the most stressful time of my life. I don’t think I slept for 3 months. So while I didn’t launch into my new WIP in March, I still managed to write a 20,000 word outline! I was going to dive into that for Camp NaNo, but now I have edits. I HAVE EDITS! I am so excited to do edits!!!! Just leave me in my little nerd corner here okay.
- I celebrating getting an agent with eating ice cream so I think that counts as writing.
- It was really satisfying to write a very detailed outline again — I pantsed my last two books and it was stressful and I gnashed my teeth and I really prefer plotting.
- The edits I’m heading into will include a lot of book surgery. I’ve gone into deep edits feeling overwhelmed and despondent that I “didn’t get it right” before. But this time? I’m actually excited. I can feel how much better the book is going to be and it’s making my heart leap.
I still read 16 books this month, but also feel like I was a total lazed potato?! It was either reading a full book in a day or not reading for several days. We don’t do middle-ground here. We do drama and angst.
My library is obviously closed now too (because of COVID-19) and I’m really upset…no more reserves and snagging interesting looking books off the shelf on impulse. 😭 I still can use the online library but I prefer physical books. But I managed to borrow out a lovely stack on the last day at least! And it’s not like I dON’T HAVE ANYTHING TO READ IN MY ROOM. #selfburn
(all covers link to goodreads)
Vote and help meeeee!
because I have a lot to read (most of the review-copies are unsolicited!) and I’m very grateful but also overwhelmed? 😂
Here are my reading highlights of February!
The Name Of All Things // absolutely my favourite of the month! 😍And this series is fast fighting for “best of the year” category too because it’s just SO GOOD. It’s adult fantasy and has intricately complex backstory and world-building. But I’m just obsessed with the characters and the magic system. And it’s unapologetically queer. 🥺 Love.
Chosen // This is the sequel to Slayer, which I loved a lot last year! And this? SO FUN. It’s like a comfortable paranormal read (seriously Supernatural as well as Buffy fans need this) and it’s has the best group squad and banter. And also little bit o’ murder.
The Henna Wars // Oh I LOVED this! An #ownvoices contemporary about a Bangladeshi teen who starts a henna business, but two other girls in her class compete for clients and it’s a nuanced and excellent discussion on cultural appropriation. Also rivals-to-lovers f/f romance! Plus the BEST SISTER BONDS I’ve read for ages!
Woven In Moonlight // An #ownvoices Bolivian inspired fantasy that was just so much fun! Vigilante and royalty story lines aaaand enemies-to-lovers. 😚I also loved the magic system (she weaves and it comes to life) and there’s a cute baby sloth.
Suggested Reading // Absolutely ADORED this book. It had such a phenomenal discussion on book banning, and shows different sides. Plus the power of books, how even readers can be judgemental and fjkdslad just so so good. The characters weren’t very dimensional is my only comment.
The Sleeper And the Spindle // I really love fractured fairy tales, and this is just a 92-page story, but it’s illustrated and LOVE the expressions so much. Basically a queen goes to wake a princess with true love’s kiss, and basically the ending was perfect. She was so done 😂
My Life As A Potato // super cute MG read that was just wholesome and adorkable. Pretty romance focused, but like SO CUTE and had messages on friendship and being true to your own weird self. Also so many potatoes, clearly.
Iphigenia Murphy // this had a really literary style to it, and such heartbreak themes of homelessness and abuse. It really breaks you, but also rebuilds you. About the missing girls that no one looks for. 💔
Other Books I read
how are you fairing with the lockdown? and is anyone writing for Camp NaNo? tell me books you’ve bought/borrowed/been gifted lately!!!