book of the year, Top Ten Reads

#TopReads2018 @WriteAngie @AkeaWolfStories @SSCav @ProfNoelFitz @cjtudor @MandyBerriman @rhiannonnavin @LouiseWriter @OrendaBooks @vandasymon @DKHood_Author @harpercollinsuk @bookouture @BoroughPress

So, once again it is that time of year when we think about the year that has flown past at astonishing speed. For some 2018 will have been a good one and for others, it might have been a bad one and for many, it might be somewhere in between. Whatever it was for you, I hope that 2019 will be better.

For me 2018 has gone in a bit of a blur, life was trundling along pretty normally until June when everything suddenly changed. Literally over the course of one day, in the morning all was normal and in the evening I was in A+E. I don’t want to go into detail as I’m sure that many of you don’t want to hear the gory details but it wasn’t fun and suddenly life felt very uncertain and unknown. Regular readers of my blog will know that I struggle with my mental health and the stress and uncertainty had a definite impact on me.

My little blog was neglected, reading wasn’t always the escape that it had been and I struggled to concentrate and enjoy reading in the same way. It made me sad, but I just had to do the best that I could.

In November I somehow managed to complete NaNoWriMo when I wrote 50,000 words for a new book. I know that it will need major editing as my head was all over the place, but I love the storyline. And near the end of the month, I had major surgery, something that at the start of the year I would not have imagined that I would be having this year. The recovery wasn’t a lot of fun and I am still not healed, far from it, but I’m getting there and so I really, really, really hope that 2019 will be better, that I will edit my book and read some brilliant books. And I really hope that my blog is less neglected.

But now I need to think about the best books that I read this year, never an easy thing! As always I set myself a Goodreads challenge, last year I had failed to reach my target so I had lowered it this year to 60 and I am currently on 78 books! So I smashed it! Hurrah. I so wish that I could read faster (hence the blog name) and read the hundreds that some bloggers manage but that just isn’t going to happen.

So, here are my top reads. They are not in order, that would just be too stressful to work out!

So, to kick us off is a book that totally took me by surprise. Th1rt3en by Steve Cavanagh was one hell of a read. I loved it from the very first word to the very last word.

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There was a bit of fuss about the book as the tagline appeared to tell the reader what the twist was. I didn’t get the fuss at all, because it worked so well as a read and totally kept me hooked. I absolutely loved it and will definitely be reading other books in the series, but this can definitely be read as a standalone.

Next up is The Crying Season by DK Hood, which is book four in the fabulous Detective Kane and Alton series.

thecryingseason

I’ve enjoyed all the books in this series set in a small American town which has a scarily high murder rate. The Crying Season was, undoubtedly, the best book yet and I enjoyed it immensely. This is a series that is best read in order, so start at the beginning with Don’t Tell a Soul by D.K. Hood.

Only Child by Rhiannon Navin was a book that took my breath away. Told from the point of view of little Zach, Only Child tells the story of a family torn apart by a school shooting.

onlychild

It isn’t often that a book is told from the point of view of a child and it gave the reader a real insight into the family and at times it really was heartbreaking. I loved the father in the story and his relationship with Zach, he was flawed but he was trying. This is a book that will stay with you for a long time to come.

The next book is one of another series, the much loved DI Kim Stone series by Angela Marsons. There were two books in the series out this year and I loved both but Dying Truth has to be on this list.

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This was the book that broke readers hearts, online support groups sprung up to give readers a place to process what happened and all the while, author Angela Marsons could be heard chuckling in the background, enjoying her readers’ distress.

Next up is Home by Amanda Berriman. This is the second book on my list that is told to us by a young child, Jesika who is four.

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I loved this book, although it isn’t always easy reading it is a very special book and a fabulous debut novel. I highly recommend it.

I don’t normally read a lot of non-fiction but this year I have read a few and they have all been good reads, but one stood out for me.

becomingsupervet

When I heard that Listening To The Animals: Becoming The Supervet was coming out and written by Noel Fitzpatrick himself I really wanted to read it. As a long term Supervet fan, and a secret admirer of Noel himself I was keen to find out more about the man and this book definitely did that. I really enjoyed this read that made me laugh and nearly cry.

Next up is a book that I was biased towards liking before I started to read it. Overkill by Vanda Symon is set in a small New Zealand town, and having lived in New Zealand for a number of years and wishing that I could return, I was so excited to read Overkill.

Overkill Cover

Just look at the cover?! Doesn’t that make you want to read the book all by itself? I really enjoyed it and loved the main character and I’m very excited about the rest of the series that the fabulous Orenda Books will be publishing.

Technically I read this book in 2017, but too late for it to be included in my top reads of that year so I’m putting it in here.

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The Chalk Man by CJ Tudor is an incredibly impressive debut and I absolutely loved it. You have probably heard about it, even if you haven’t read it yet, as it has been hugely popular, but it deserves the hype. It is creepy and engrossing and just brilliant.

My next book is a book that I haven’t even reviewed on my blog yet. I was sent an advanced copy of this book to read and review recently, apparently the publisher picked 30 book bloggers to send it to and I was rather astonished to be one of them.

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I have to admit that when I started to read The Other Half of Augusta Hope by Joanna Glen I was a bit worried that I wasn’t going to like it. I was a bit confused by the writing style took a bit of getting used to and I really wasn’t sure where it was going. But gradually I fell into the story and what a story it was. Sure, it was quite predictable in a way but that didn’t matter, it was beautiful and special. You’re going to have to wait until June to read it, but it is definitely worth the wait. I will be reviewing it on my blog soon.

So now it is the time that you have all been waiting for…what will be my Book of the Year 2018?!

 

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Yes, my 2018 Book of the Year award goes to… The Lion Tamer Who Lost by Louise Beech. This is a truly deserving winner as it really is such a beautiful book with characters that you will fall in love with and scenery that reads so real you will think that you can smell it. Louise Beech is a hugely talented author and if you haven’t read any books by her then you really are missing out, she really is something special.

But I’m not going to leave it there. I need to give a special mention to my top children’s book from 2018. Akea- The Power of Destiny by Elizabeth Jade is a wonderful story that many will enjoy.    

2018 Top ReadsThere we go, my yearly roundup. I’d love to hear what you think, do you agree or disagree? Is there a brilliant book that I missed out? There are lots of great books that I couldn’t squeeze into this list, Anita Waller, Louise Jensen, Barbara Copperthwaite, Alison BelshamLuke AllnuttMatt WesolowskiAdam KayLouisa De LangeRonnie TurnerStephanie Rogers and Patrick Redmond are just some of the authors who missed out.

 

 

5*, book review, Children's books, debut author, young adult

#BookReview Akea- The Power of Destiny by Elizabeth Jade. #debutnovel #wolf #book @AkeaWolfStories

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Here is another book that I should have reviewed months ago. I remember talking to the authors’ mother via email and excitedly agreeing to read it, I think that it was about a week or two later that I first ended up in the hospital so this one, although read and very much enjoyed, got neglected. Better late than never!

My Review:

Akea- The Power of Destiny is a short book that can easily be read in an hour or so, but what an enjoyable hour it will be. I loved the story of Akea, a working husky who unknowing to her, also has some wolf in her.

I really don’t want to give the story away but what you will get is a wonderful story of love and friendship and loyalty, but also about being ourselves.

I gave Akea to my nieces to read, they are nine and ten. The ten year old felt that she was too old for the book, but she’s at that stage where she’s desperate to be a teenager and so a lot of things are too young in her mind. I asked her what she didn’t like about the book and she could literally think of nothing. The nine year old loved the animals and the characters and thought that it was a short but great read.

I’m well over ten and yes, the story is quite simple, but it really is wonderful too and the lovely drawings that go with the story make it even better.  The aspiring story behind the author just makes it even more special.

Thank you to Elizabeth Jade and her Mother for a copy of Akea. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

Akea is born into a family of sled dogs and a life that follows a predictable path, but from the day she first sees the lone wolf, Kazakh, Akea knows her future lies beyond the safety of her home. Kazakh is well aware of Akea’s destiny and the pack laws he will break to help her reach it. Regardless of the challenges ahead, he must make sure this young husky will be ready, even if it means his life.

About The Author:

elizabethjadeElizabeth Jade was born in 1998 in Northallerton, North Yorkshire, England, but moved with her family to Wellington in Somerset when she was very young. She has one older brother.

Elizabeth’s early schooling did not go smoothly, and as a result, she was homeschooled from the age of seven. Her parents soon learned she had a unique slant on life and quickly abandoned attempts to follow the national curriculum in favour of child-led learning.

Elizabeth stumbled into writing at the age of fourteen when she began to suffer from anxiety and depression and quickly found her story ideas pouring out faster than she could get them onto paper. It wasn’t until the age of eighteen that she realised her struggles in school had been due to Aspergers Syndrome (an autistic spectrum disorder).

As an enthusiastic animal lover, Elizabeth volunteered first at the Conquest Riding Centre for the Disabled and then at St Giles Animal Rescue before moving on to the Cats Protection Homing and Information Centre on the outskirts of Wellington. Her gifted way with the cats quickly earned her the title of ‘Cat Whisperer’ from the staff.

Since she had always possessed such a way with animals, it was only natural for Elizabeth’s story ideas to revolve around that theme. After a brief attempt at self-publishing and a further attempt with an agent, Elizabeth found a publisher and her novel, ‘Akea – The Power of Destiny‘ is now available through Amazon and major book shops. It was written when Elizabeth was only fourteen and is to be the first in a long line of stories involving this captivating character.

Akea- The Power of Destiny by Elizabeth Jade is out now and is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

 

4*, book review, debut author, non-fiction

#BookReivew This is Going To Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor by Adam Kay. @amateuradam #juniordoctor #NHS #saveournhs @picadorbooks #book

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This is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay.

Oh dear, I’m going through my blog and the books that I have read on Goodreads and it seems that with the craziness of this year I have missed some books out and they haven’t been reviewed. This Is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay is one of them, so here it is.

My Review:

I’d heard a fair bit about This is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay and I was keen to read it. I wanted to know why he had decided to leave the NHS, although I felt that I had a fair idea.

I used to be a midwife but I am no longer. The pressure put on NHS staff is crazy, especially when you consider how little they are paid. I am fully aware that since I left the NHS it has got a lot, lot worse.

This book was a great read, it made me laugh and it reminded me of why I left. And it was interesting that, in the end, we had both left the NHS for the same reason. Something happened that made us think ‘what are we doing and why are we doing this to ourselves?’ There was no good answer to that and so we did the sensible thing and left.

This book was full of funny stories but really it is a very sad book. I am so upset that the NHS has been destroyed and had so many cuts that the people working in the system are under unbearable pressure and I would love for the right people to read this book and take note and actually change what is happening!

Blurb:

The Sunday Times Number One Bestseller and Humour Book of the Year
Winner of the Books Are My Bag Book of the Year
Winner of iBooks’ Book of the Year

Welcome to the life of a junior doctor: 97-hour weeks, life and death decisions, a constant tsunami of bodily fluids, and the hospital parking meter earns more than you.

Scribbled in secret after endless days, sleepless nights and missed weekends, Adam Kay’s This is Going to Hurtprovides a no-holds-barred account of his time on the NHS front line. Hilarious, horrifying and heartbreaking, this diary is everything you wanted to know – and more than a few things you didn’t – about life on and off the hospital ward.

As seen on ITV’s Zoe Ball Book Club

About the Author:

adamkay1

Adam Kay is a writer and comedian
He writes extensively for TV and film. His first book “This is Going to Hurt” is out now.

 

 

This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor by Adam Kay is out now and is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

5*, book review, non-fiction

#BookReview Listening To The Animals: Becoming The Supervet. #ListeningToTheAnimals #Supervet @TrapezeBooks @ProfNoelFitz #vet #nonfictionbook #amreading #backablogger

 

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Listening To The Animals: Becoming the Supervet by Noel Fitzpatrick.

I don’t often read autobiographies but when I heard that Noel Fitzpatrick AKA The Supervet had written one I knew that it was one that I was going to read.

My Review:

I have watched Noel Fitzpatrick on television since his days on the BBC as The Bionic Vet. Of course, now he is better known as The Supervet, star of the Channel Four programme that has been shown on prime time tv for years.

From what I have seen about Noel, he really is someone very special, his dedication is clearly evident, as is his genuine love of animals, and the fact that he loves hugs.

I have often wondered about who he is, the man behind the vet. What drives him to work more hours in the day than is healthy? There has never been any mention of relationships or even friends outside the vet practice, but surely there must be some life outside of it? And why does he hug pretty much everyone that he meets?

Listening To The Animals answers all of those questions. Growing up on an Irish farm was clearly tough and taught Noel some valuable lessons about hard work, although I think that most people will agree that the hours that he puts in are not healthy. The bullying that he suffered was heartbreaking to read, how lonely and isolated he felt as a little boy with only a farm dog to talk to about his worries. I loved how he knew from so early on that he wanted to be a vet and my goodness I’m not sure that I’ve ever heard of anyone working harder than he did to reach his goal. Serious respect to the man, whatever you may think of him, he is someone that will not be beaten and if one way of reaching his goal doesn’t work then he will find another way. Some of his stories were hilarious and had me chuckling away as I read.

I enjoyed reading about some of his hobbies that he loved and learnt from, although all fell to the wayside as work took over his life. And we also heard about relationships, here he was very honest with us, I’m not sure that I really needed to know how old he was when he lost his virginity, but it was an interesting chapter.

I also had no idea what went into building his practice, both in sweat and tears, but also money and debt. I told someone that I had read the book and the only thing that they said was ‘He must be so rich.’ I may have thought the same, but now I know better. He is not in the job for the money, it really is all about the animals.

He talked a lot about his love of Kiera, a little dog that he shares with a vet nurse because he is aware that his lifestyle is not one that would be fair for a dog. The relationship between man and their dog is a complex one, one that I think is often dismissed by people who have never had a dog and even some who have, but what makes Noel such an amazing vet is that he totally understands this. In fact, I think that he has a better understanding of that love and connection and how important it is than most people. I have a dog and I’ve been lucky enough to have had two other dogs who sadly died from old age, all three were part of my family but I am sure that I could not articulate the depth of the feeling that I have or have had for my dogs as well as Noel has.

At the time of writing the book, it appeared that Noel was single, I’ve always had a bit of a ‘thing’ for him, so if you’re reading this Noel and fancy meeting up then do get in touch!

Thank you to Trapeze Books for a copy of Listening To The Animals: Becoming The Supervet by Noel Fitzpatrick. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

THE NO.1 SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER.

A powerful, heart-warming and inspiring memoir from the UK’s most famous and beloved vet, Professor Noel Fitzpatrick – star of the Channel 4 series The Supervet.

Growing up on the family farm in Ballyfin, Ireland, Noel’s childhood was spent tending to the cattle and sheep, the hay and silage, the tractors and land, his beloved sheepdog Pirate providing solace from the bullies that plagued him at school. It was this bond with Pirate, and a fateful night spent desperately trying to save a newborn lamb, that inspired Noel to enter the world of veterinary science – and set him on the path to becoming The Supervet.

Now, in this long-awaited memoir, Noel recounts this often-surprising journey that sees him leaving behind a farm animal practice in rural Ireland to set up Fitzpatrick Referrals in Surrey, one of the most advanced small animal specialist centres in the world. We meet the animals that paved the way, from calving cows and corralling bullocks to talkative parrots and bionic cats and dogs.

Noel has listened to the many lessons that the animals in his care have taught him, and especially the times he has shared with his beloved Keira, the scruffy Border Terrier who has been by Noel’s side as he’s dealt with the unbelievable highs and crushing lows of his extraordinary career.

As heart-warming and life-affirming as the TV show with which he made his name, Listening to the Animals is a story of love, hope and compassion, and about rejoicing in the bond between humans and animals that makes us the very best we can be.

About The Author:

noelfitzpatrickSPECIALIST SMALL ANIMAL ORTHOPAEDIC-NEURO SURGEON


In 2005 he opened Fitzpatrick Referrals, the UK’s pre-eminent and largest dedicated small animal orthopaedic and neuro-surgical facility in Surrey, employing over 250 veterinary professionals and comprising superlative surgical, diagnostic and rehabilitation facilities.

Noel is the clinical chair and chief surgeon at Fitzpatrick Referrals. He is particularly experienced in minimally invasive arthroscopic (keyhole) surgery, spinal disc disease, limb deformities, joint replacement, regenerative medicine and limb salvage for severe trauma or cancer. He is widely appreciated for his innovative solutions to complex problems, whilst promoting and ensuring efficacy and ethicacy at all times. He has developed more than 30 new techniques including several world-firsts.

In 2009 he became the first veterinary surgeon in the world to successfully apply a cutting edge amputation prosthesis (called a PerFiTS) to a cat called Oscar who had lost both front paws in an accident. In 2015 Noel and Oscar each received a Guinness World Record for the achievement.

Noel opened a second state-of-the-art hospital in Surrey dedicated to Oncology and Soft Tissue in 2015, redefining the standard of cancer treatment and care for companion animals.

A further centre is being developed at the Eashing referral practice called Fitzpatrick Institute for the Restoration of Skeletal Tissue (FIRST). The purpose of the new facility is to provide a range of validated evidence based options for the treatment of complex conditions of the neuromusculoskeletal system. This includes marrying new advances in biomaterials with the revolution of regenerative medicine.

 

Listening to the Animals: Becoming the Supervet by Noel Fitzpatrick is out now and is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

4*, book review, psychological thriller

The Date by Louise Jensen. #BookReview @Fab_fiction @bookouture #psychologicalthriller #amreading

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So, I’m doing a spot of admin and catching up on all things blog when I realise that I have some books that I have read this year that I have not reviewed. Not good and not like me but this year has been a very difficult one where normality has changed. So, better late than never, here is my review for The Date by the lovely Louise Jensen.

My Review:

I do like a Louise Jensen book, they are easy to read and they always make me think. The Date is no different.

Ali is a normal person, struggling through the ups and downs of life, healing from a relationship and moving forward. But things take a terrible turn for the worst and Ali finds herself incredibly vulnerable and dependent on others, friends gather around and try to help but Ali finds herself more and more isolated. But is her life at risk?

There are twists and turns as Ali struggles to adjust to her new life, but who can she trust and will she work that out before it is too late?

Thank you to Bookouture for a copy of The Date by Louise Jensen. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

One night can change everything.

‘I know it as soon as I wake up and open my eyes… Something is wrong.’

Her Saturday night started normally. Recently separated from her husband, Ali has been persuaded by her friends to go on a date with a new man. She is ready, she is nervous, she is excited. She is about to take a step into her new future. By Sunday morning, Ali’s life is unrecognisable. She wakes, and she knows that something is wrong. She is home, she is alone, she is hurt and she has no memory of what happened to her.

Worse still, when she looks in the mirror, Ali doesn’t recognise the face staring back at her

From the no. 1 bestselling author of The SisterThe Gift and The SurrogateThe Date is a gripping page-turner that will keep you awake until the early hours. Perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train and Before I Go To Sleep.

The Date by Louise Jensen is out now and is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

4*, blog tours, book review

#BlogTour #BookReview Murder Undeniable by Anita Waller. @anitamayw @BloodhoundBook

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Woohoo! Another Anita Waller book is out, she really is spoiling us as it really isn’t that long since her last book was out.

My Review:

Regular readers of my book blog will know that I am a big fan of author Anita Waller, I love her books and her characters and how she manages to find reasons for her murders, they are never senseless, they always have a reason.

I wasn’t sure about Murder Undeniable, I knew that it was the first book in a series and if I’m honest I do prefer standalone books, well that’s until I’m into a series and then I love getting to revisit the characters, but I feel like agreeing to read book one of a series might be committing myself to read every book in the series to come.

As always Waller creates great characters that are interesting, different and believable. I really liked all the characters in Murder Undeniable, and the story hooked me in and kept me reading. I’ve been struggling to get into books recently and this book changed that, it is easy to read and easy to follow and that is what I needed.

My one gripe would be that it was all a bit predictable, although that didn’t impact on my enjoyment of the book, I do like to be kept guessing.

But once again Waller has written a great book and the questions that I’m sure that you are all wondering is whether I would read more of the series? Well, there isn’t any doubt in my mind that I will.

Thank you to Bloodhound Books for a copy of Murder Undeniable by Anita Waller. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

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Katerina Rowe, a Deacon at the church in the sleepy village of Eyam, has a fulfilled life. She is happily married to Leon and her work is rewarding.

But everything changes when she discovers the body of a man and a badly beaten woman, Beth, in the alleyway behind her husband’s pharmacy.

Drawn to the young woman she saved, Kat finds herself embroiled in a baffling mystery.

When Beth’s house is set on fire, Kat offers the young woman sanctuary in her home and soon the pair begin investigating the murder, with some help from Beth’s feisty grandmother, Doris. But neither the police, nor Leon, nor the criminals want Kat and Beth looking into their affairs and the sleuths quickly find themselves out of their depth…

Can Kat and Beth solve the mystery and walk away unscathed?

About The Author:

anitawaller
Anita Waller was born in Sheffield, South Yorkshire in 1946. She married Dave in 1967 and they have three adult children.

She began writing when she was around 8 years of age, writing ‘compositions’ at junior school that became books with chapters.

In 1995 she sent Beautiful to a publisher and as they reached the contract stage the publisher went into liquidation. As a result, the book was consigned to the attic in dejected disgust but in 2013 it was dragged out again for an enforced complete re-type. The original was written on an Amstrad 8256 and the only thing that remained was one hard copy.

Anita is not a typist and it was painfully reworked over two years, submitted to Bloodhound Books who, within three days of reading it, offered her a contract. 31 August 2015 saw its release into the wide world.

Following the outstanding success of Beautiful, she began a sequel on 27 December 2015, finishing it on 19 March 2016. The new novel, Angel, was launched on 7 May 2016.

34 Days followed, with its launch in October 2016. This was a huge success, particularly in the United States. While this, her third book in the psychological thriller genre, was flying out in all directions, she began work on her fourth book.

Winterscroft was a change in genre. It is a supernatural tale, set in Castleton, Derbyshire, and its release date was February 2017.

While she was writing Winterscroft, it became very clear from reading reviews that a sequel to 34 days was needed, and she began work on that. Bloodhound Books launched Strategy, on 10 August 2017.

Her next book, launched February 2018 and entitled Captor, is a psychological thriller, set exclusively in Sheffield. It was an instant success, both in the UK and the US.

Then along came Game Players… once more set in Sheffield, the story involves a group of six children who have each other’s backs to a remarkable extent. The darker, criminal side of Sheffield is explored, with the book launching 18 May 2018.

Malignant arrived in the world on 10 October 2018, her eighth book in three years.

And now Anita is working on her first series, the Kat and Mouse trilogy, set in the beautiful Derbyshire village of Eyam. The first in the series, Murder Undeniable, launches 10 December 2018.

In her life away from the computer in the corner of her kitchen, she is a Sheffield Wednesday supporter with blue blood in her veins! The club was particularly helpful during the writing of 34 Days, as a couple of matches feature in the novel, along with Ross Wallace. Information was needed, and they provided it.

Her genre is murder – necessary murder.

Author’s links:

Email: anitamayw@yahoo.co.uk

Website: www.anitamayw.wixsite.com/anitawaller

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/anitawaller2015/ @anitawaller2015

Amazon page: www.amazon.co.uk/Anita-Waller/e/B014RQFCRS/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/anitamayw @anitamayw

Murder Undeniable by Anita Waller is out now and is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

NaNoWriMo, rambling, writing

Finishing my first draft. #NaNoWriMo #firstdraft #writing #amwriting #authorslife

So something pretty amazing happened yesterday. Not only did I write over ten thousand words in a day, but I also wrote two of the best words ever.

This is my third attempt at writing a book, the first was pretty rubbish but it taught me an awful lot. The second was better, I still think that the story is a good one and with a lot of work it might go somewhere but I’m not sure that I love it enough to do it.

The difference with this book is that it is a book that I know that I would love to read and I think that is why I also loved writing it.

I have never planned my books, I see photos that other authors post showing their boards or notebooks fully of planning, with each chapter outlined and every character thought through. I have no idea what it is like writing a book that is planned in such detail, but for whatever reason planning is just not for me. I have tried but I just can’t do it, my brain simply doesn’t work that way.

But I like it the way that I do it, I started this book with a vague idea of a plot and two characters in my head. I thought that I had a fair idea where the book would go but I was wrong, the book turned out totally differently to how I imagined. Well, not totally but very different. Another character appeared and demanded a bigger part in the story and that changed the book significantly. But I am very happy with the direction the book took and I love not knowing what is going to happen, it feels like the characters write the book and I am just the puppet that types.

I also had my first author lightbulb moment when the ending suddenly came to me, I’m not quite sure where it came from as I had had a different ending in mind, but the moment it came into my head I knew that it was the perfect ending.

Some of you may know that I had a busy November, not only did I do NaNoWriMo but my twins also celebrated their eighth birthday and anyone who knows anything about kids birthdays knows how time consuming and exhausting they are. I also squeezed in a bit of major surgery. It was a busy month.

So quite how I have managed to write seventy four thousands words in thirty seven days I do not know. But I did. And boy it feels good. I have no doubt that a lot of the book will be pretty rubbish, writing in a post general anaesthetic haze is unlikely to equal an amazingly written book and I know that I have made a load of continuity errors when my brain was too befuzzled (that so needs to be a word) to remember what I had written only a paragraph or two before.

But my enforced house arrest as I recover from the surgery has meant that I have had far more time to write, and it has been nice to think of something else too.

So my first draft is done, blooming amazing that I’ve got this far I think. But now the hard work starts…editing. This is foreign territory for me, I’ve never made it this far and so I’m more than a little scared because I have no idea what I’m doing, but I’m going to give whatever it is my best shot! Any advice appreciated. Really, really appreciated!

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But for now, I’m am so happy that I got to write the words ‘The End’ and I’m proud of every single word that I wrote, all 74,311 of them!