A fresh start

We're all moved in! I'm sitting here in my new study, 51 pages into the The Bone Season's first sequel. I have a new desk, my new wrist supports and my computer, and I'm surrounded by shelves of books. It's small, but it's my little piece of heaven. The new house is wonderful. Mum's thrilled with it. I wasn't sure how I'd feel about living so close to water, but I'm already in love, albeit terrified of the angry swans that stake out the canal.   

This will be quite a short post, as we've entered into quite a stagnant phase of the publishing process. There are 410 days to go, still well over a year, until The Bone Season hits UK shelves. Alexandra is away at the moment, so I won't have her feedback on the edit until after she returns. Alexa, however, has almost finished reading it, and she's very pleased with some of the new scenes. I'm hoping I'll be introduced to my copy-editor soon, and to have a cover design. I have to close my eyes and calm down whenever I think of the cover design. What will it look like? Will there be colours, or will it be B&W? What kind of font will they use for the title? Argh. Must stop thinking about it. Impatience overload.

In other literary news, my agent has published his first book, Breaking 80, and my Renaissance tutor has been longlisted for the Man Booker Prize with his debut, Communion Town. I'm excited to read both, although I don't know the first thing about golf, so reading David's should be an interesting experience. 

I'm working through my reading list at a snail's pace. The Sphinx Project by Kate Hawkings is the first self-published novel I've ever read, and I have to hand it to the author for doing so well on an SP project. The cover design is extremely professional, and the book is very well-presented in all quarters. I recommend it if you're a fan of the Maximum Ride books. I also finally got round to reading The Woman in Black, written by the lovely Susan Hill. It was a much thinner book than I'd expected, but in 160 pages it reduced me to a quivering five year-old.  

Thanks to sm Varner for some questions for me to answer this week!
  • Do you write every day? 

    Always. Writing is as much a part of my routine as eating and sleeping. My day is usually structured around writing and broken up by meals and short breaks.  
  • Do you shoot for a certain number of words, or a certain number of hours, or do you just sit down when you feel like it? 

    I've never set myself a daily limit, though now I have deadlines I might have to start. How much I do per day depends on whether or not I'm at uni. During the holidays I treat it as a job, so I work 6-8 hours a day. During term time I have a lot of essays to write, so my writing time is severely restricted, but I make a point to write every evening if possible, even if it's just for an hour or two.

  • Do you work better early in the morning or late at night? 

    I'm definitely a night owl, but I think I'm a bookend person in that I also work very well in the early morning (as long as I've had 2-3 cups of coffee). In the middle of the day it goes up and down: I could suddenly get a burst of inspiration, or I could just sit there staring at the screen and drumming my fingers. At that point I decide it's time for a break. At uni I tend to work through the night, as I need to be alert during the day so I don't produce essays that make no sense.    

  • How close is that writing routine to the routine that you would ideally like to have?

    Ideally I'd like to write through the night and sleep during the day, but it's just not possible! However, now I have my own study, which is downstairs, I can stay up much later without disturbing the rest of the house.

The Olympics opening ceremony gave me a huge rush of inspiration, so I'm intending to spend all tonight writing while listening to this music. Wish me luck.


  1. Will there be some illustrations (like start of every chapter) in the inner pages of Novel or not?

    I think colour cover would look much better!

    1. I don't think there will be large illustrations, but possibly some at the beginning of each chapter - we'll have to wait and see what the production team do with it!

      Samantha x

  2. I loved the insight into your process :). I'm at my most creative at night too. If only we could get the rest of the world to switch... What's your position on world domination? ;-)

    1. World domination . . . I'm game if you are? :D

  3. I'm sooooo exited about your book too, Samantha :)
    I can't wait to see cover of your fist book.
    And something I didn't saw that anyone asked: what will be the title of first sequel of "The Bone Season"?

    1. I have got a provisional title but not sure if I'm allowed to release it yet - will ask.


  4. Yeah, middle of the day would be tough for writing, since the world's constantly moving. Much easier to get stuff done in the wee-hours (whether that means staying up or waking up) when the world's quiet.

    Not so sure about the total nocturnality bit, though. At least for me. I'm already naturally pale enough. With any lack of sunlight, I fear I may become completely translucent/invisible. And I don't know what I'd do if I misplaced myself.

    Thanks for the answers, Samantha!

    1. Definitely. I usually have to wait until my little brother is asleep or has gone out, too, bless him . . . And yes, that's true - I'm also very pale. Don't want to literally turn into Casper.

      Hope the answers were helpful!

  5. I am soooooooooooo excited to read the bone season. We're going to pre-order it in hardcover. I love writing, and I really like how you built your world off of the seven dials and clairvoyants!


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