Books

The Quality of Silence

On 24 November Yasmin and her ten-year-old daughter Ruby set off on a journey across Northern Alaska. They’re searching for Ruby’s father, missing in the arctic wilderness.

More isolated with each frozen mile they cover, they travel deeper into an endless night. And Ruby, deaf since birth, must brave the darkness where sight cannot guide her.

She won’t abandon her father. But winter has tightened its grip, and there is somebody out there who wants to stop them.

Somebody tracking them through the dark.

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Books

Lady of Misrule

Escorting the nine-day queen Lady Jane Grey across the Tower of London from throne room into imprisonment is Elizabeth Tilney, who surprised even herself by volunteering for the job. All Elizabeth knows is she’s keen to be away from home; she could do with some breathing space. And anyway, it won’t be for long: everyone knows Jane will go free as soon as the victorious new queen is crowned. Which is a good thing because the two sixteen-year-olds, cooped up together in a room in the Gentleman Gaoler’s house, couldn’t be less compatible. Protestant Jane is an icily self-composed idealist, and Catholic Elizabeth is . . . well, anything but.

They are united though by their disdain for the seventeen-year-old boy to whom Jane has recently been married: petulant, noisily-aggrieved Guildford Dudley, held prisoner in a neighboring tower and keen to pursue his prerogative of a daily walk with his wife.

As Jane’s captivity extends into the increasingly turbulent last months of 1553, the two girls learn to live with each other, but Elizabeth finds herself drawn into the difficult relationship between the newlyweds. And when, at the turn of the year, events take an unexpected and dangerous direction, her newfound loyalties are put to the test.

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Books

Serpentine

As she turns sixteen, Skybright notices troubling changes. By day, she is a companion and handmaid to the youngest daughter of a very wealthy family. But nighttime brings with it a darkness that not even daybreak can quell.

When her plight can no longer be denied, Skybright learns that despite a dark destiny, she must struggle to retain her sense of self – even as she falls in love for the first time.

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Writing

Plans, plans, plans

The word ‘plans’ is starting to look really weird right now.

It’s been nearly two weeks since I finished Camp Nanowrimo and I think that’s a long enough break from my novel right now. Any longer and it will be another rewrite for the July Camp and I really want to move on from this novel, or at least send it off to my writing group to get their opinions. In order to do that, I need to transform this novel into something I don’t mind other people reading by the middle of June preferably.

This novel I worked on during Camp, I See Fire, is, I think, the fourth rewrite in this world. The characters and plot were very different in the first one but I think every rewrite has improved things. But now it needs to get better and fast. Or as fast as it can go along with working full-time.

The two articles I’m looking at while editing is this one from Bookbaby, which has a more wider view of editing, and this one from Marissa Meyer, which is part of an extensive series of articles about taking your book to publish. I do better when I have a plan (hence the title) and especially ones laid out like this. With editing, it’s so tempting to jump straight in and get bogged down with how much work I have to do (it’s going to be more of a second draft than editing, I think), but if I actually want to get work done, I have to break it down into small chunks.