Good ol’ fashioned diary entry

I’ve been pondering what to blog about.

Then the thought struck me: why don’t I just give an update on what I’ve been doing?

It’s not an original concept by any means, but sometimes in our quest for quirky or startling blog posts, I think it’s overlooked that blogs began as web logs (or personal journals), so it’s completely normal to write an old-fashioned update!

Woman typing at laptop

Over the past 18 months I’ve published three books and had a ball writing them.

They were all of a certain genre – a contemporary romance, slash rom-com, slash women’s contemporary, with a dash of YA thrown in (if you read the reviews for Media Queen). Two of the books were in the #HollyAnna series (Goodbye Newsroom and Media Queen).

I have another in the #HollyAnna series in the pipeline. The whole story has been outlined (which doesn’t mean it won’t change), and a few months ago I restructured the plot slightly. I have about 60,000 words down – I usually aim for 80,000 for this series. (The Train Guy was a tad shorter).

So, that’s ticking along. But I put it on the backburner to turn my attention to my thriller manuscript.

Yes, you heard right!

I had a good, long think about my writing and what I actually like to read. And what I love reading most is thrillers. Crime books are grand, too, but thrillers seem to be what I devour with the most enjoyment. You can see what I’ve read over recent months on my Goodreads account.

Australian bush landscape with big blue skyMy thriller manuscript is just over 80k and I think it may need to be closer to 100k words. Hopefully, that’s part of the feedback I’ll get from my manuscript assessor – because I’ve submitted it for an assessment via the wonderful folk at Writers SA.

I’ve toiled over my thriller for around 18 months, maybe longer, it’s difficult to keep track when I’ve juggled it with my PR consulting, university teaching, and other writing. In any case, it’s at version 8 and I decided it was time to hand it over for someone’s examination!

I wrote a short thriller/crime story and entered it into the Scarlett Stiletto Awards and bombed out – not getting onto the shortlist. But I loved that writing experience; what a rush it was to create that little drama.

I’ve also been writing more literary short stories. They’ve been inspired by my childhood in regional South Australia. One journal has already told me they liked my submission and, with a few tweaks, it could be published. I’m pondering those tweaks now.

The university teaching year is drawing to a close, and that will free up more time for my writing. There’s a lot to juggle. I’ll need to rework the thriller when I receive the manuscript assessment; I’ll keep working on short stories; and I’d like to enter more comps.

And always in the back of my mind, is that third (and probably final) in the #HollyAnna series. That will probably be my farewell from contemporary women’s writing. I love the characters and the pace and the colour of those stories, so perhaps that will be my summer holiday hobby…

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