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It’s okay to write short books

First off, it’s been a while! I’ve been absent from my blog to focus on other aspects of my personal life, including some fun new diagnoses (sarcasm) alongside starting a full time job. I am currently working on 2 new books though!

Anyway, this post isn’t about that. This post is something I’ve been thinking about for a while since I first published ‘Immunity’, my bestselling dystopian novella. If you didn’t know, it is in fact my very first published book, which I began writing at 14 years old and published at 16. It’s a little over 100 pages, an easy-to-read novella. However, novellas aren’t hugely popular or relevant anymore. Despite some literature classics being novellas or novelettes (looking at you, Charles Dickens!) these days it seems that only 300+ page books count as actual books. The thicker the better, the wordier the better, essentially. Which is ironic, because many issues people point out in shorter books can be seen in a worse capacity in bigger books! So, what’s going on here?

Despite that saying ‘Never judge a book by its cover’, we are all guilty of doing so at some point. Whether that’s literally picking a book because of a pretty cover (am guilty there) or deciding against a book because it looks too small or too short, everyone who reads has done it at some point. The general consensus seems to be that readers are worried that shorter books will have issues with pacing, which therefore affects almost every other aspect; the plot, the characters, and the quality of the writing itself. Admittedly, these are all very subjective things. Fast pacing can be enjoyable if done correctly, but some readers simply don’t like fast pacing to begin with, which is understandable. The issue is when a blanket statement or thought like this is applied to every smaller book.

Short books such as novellas will typically have a simpler plot. To make up for the fact that there is less time and space to develop an intricate, detailed plot, writers have to cut the fat off so to speak and simplify the plot. Sometimes this even includes having less characters. A prime example would be my own novella, ‘Immunity’. The plot and story line are very simple and basic. This was done on purpose so that I had more space to flesh out and develop the two protagonists (the only characters in the story, mind you) and explore their relationship. And despite my young age, it seems that readers agree this was done well! All reviews of the novella say that the character development and interaction, as well as how they interact with the world around them, is arguably the best aspect of the book. When you have less characters, you can make more of an impact with them. You can afford to be more concise in your writing, making it smoother and easier to read. If the writer knows what they’re doing, then this is a strength, not a weakness. Choosing to write a shorter story so that you can really emphasise the stronger, more developed aspects, is an amazing skill that can transfer well to longer novels.

On the flipside, longer novels can have a similar issue with pacing. When a writer sets out to write a 100,000 word+ novel, they know they have plenty of time and space to have fun with descriptions, varied plotlines, casts of characters, etc. Again, if done well, this works fine. It’s another skill that needs to be worked on and developed. If not done properly, this can end up with scenes and chapters that feel like they’ve gone nowhere, endless paragraphs of descriptions, characters that fall flat due to being left in the background in favour of 5 other characters. In addition, just the look of a huge book can be a big turn off for readers; it can feel intimidating!

So, we’ve looked at the issues readers may have with short books. But what about the internalised faults you have as a writer? When I was coming to the end of writing ‘Immunity’, I had considered adding extra chapters and content to the story to ‘flesh it out’. I considered this because I was worried it wouldn’t be seen as a ‘proper book’ because of how short it was. This worry was exemplified when I first received my proof paperback copy, and saw how small it was. And again when I began looking at literary agents, many of whom simply didn’t accept novellas or anything less than 45k words. These days, I still internalise that worry. I still push myself to add extra chapters, scenes and plot to my books to make them bigger. So that when I hold that paperback in my hand, it feels like a ‘real book’. It’s an awful concern to have because it’s simply untrue. If you write, you are a writer. Whether you write poems, abstract descriptions, YA fiction, non fiction- if you write it, you are a writer. If you publish it into a book, it’s a book! You are an author. Stories designed to be shorter will not benefit from additional junk and filler. If you finish your novel, finish the writing and editing, and realise it’s a lot shorter than you anticipated; that is okay. You don’t need to add anything to it if you don’t think it’ll be a genuine improvement on the story or quality of writing. Developing as a writer includes noticing when you actually need to make changes and edits, and when you need to step back and not let your worries take over.

If you’re a writer that has ever struggled with this, I hope this helped. It’s a very niche topic to discuss but hey, that’s what I do, I pick out niche things no one cares about and talks about them anyway. Let me know what your thoughts are on this subject!

Featured

My First Blog Post

Welcome to my page!

Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.

— Oscar Wilde.

This is my first blog post on my new official website! I used to have an old website for my writing career, however I decided it would be best to combine my writing and my photography into one page to make the most out of it.

On my blog, I will be posting updates regarding my books and photography/art, as well as occasional book reviews and my thoughts on subjects regarding the life of an author and artist and so on. In addition, there may be the odd post about mental health or current issues in the world, because I like to keep track of the media and what’s happening out there. It’ll be quite an eclectic mix of posts, but this is just how I function and it means that there’ll be something interesting for everyone.

If you want to keep yourself updated with my blog posts, you can subscribe at the bottom of the Home page to be notified straight away.

That’s all for now though. Thank you for reading!

HYSTERIA Book Launch- 1st December

Hi everyone! Long time no see.

This pandemic has hit me hard, and writer’s block came on swiftly with little to no reprise. So it took me much, much longer to finish this book than any of my previous works. I even started writing a completely separate book halfway through, then realised how bad it was, and continued Hysteria again. Anyhow, it is completed now! And its book launch day is the 1st December.

I will be arranging an in-person event for the book launch in my hometown Cheltenham, but there’ll be plenty of posts and activity online to celebrate the launch too. When I have more details of the in-person event I will of course post them here.

In addition to finishing my 7th novel, I’ve also started uploading again on my YouTube channel, where I will be talking more about this book before the launch day.

I should probably tell you guys what the blurb is! I haven’t revealed much about the plot, so I’ll share the blurb with you all now.

Iclarness was once a great nation that carried the world on its shoulders. Until one day, when it was mysteriously attacked by the ocean. Since then, no one has dared to go beyond the Shallows, resulting in Sepistan’s resource and population crisis.

Until Oscar Norlock decides to take on the challenge to prove the world wrong.

Follow Oscar’s mission to prove everyone wrong, to take on the challenges of the mysterious ocean waters and the horrors they hold within. Unmapped island, unknown creatures and bizarre weather changes- are these real events, or is he losing his mind?

From bestselling author Alexandra Killworth, this Lovecraftian-esque psychological horror thriller follows a young man trying to rescue his country from self destruction, by putting his life on the line to explore the hidden wonders and horrors of the ocean, and unravel the mystery of the devastation of Iclarness.

I can’t wait for its official release, and I’ll see you all on the 1st December.

Autism: The Uncertain world of the Coronavirus

This post will probably end up just being a bit of a ramble. Lately, everything has changed due to COVID-19 and the rules being put in place in each country are affecting everyone’s life. Everything is now uncertain and up in the air, ambiguous. Some people are panicking, some people are calm but cautious and some people just don’t key and keep going out and socialising regardless. Since the UK started putting measures in place a few weeks back, I kept my cool and kept thinking that I was dealing with it quite well. I’m not panicking or stockpiling or freaking people out with statistics. I’ve been staying inside as much as possible and keeping myself distracted. When in reality, I’ve been avoiding the fact that there is a lot of change and uncertainty going on that I can’t handle.

As someone with autism, I don’t handle change very well. I thrive on routines and schedules (MY routines, not someone else’s) and hate the unknown. I like eating the same meals and doing the same activities because they’re safe and secure. That’s why I also don’t handle uncertainty. And considering there’s no actual date for when schools open, social distancing stops, restaurants and pubs can open again and so on, it’s safe to say that there’s a lot of uncertainty in the world right now.

In an effort to keep myself busy and distracted, I’ve ended up pushing myself into sensory overload. Even though being productive is usually a good thing for me, in this case, I haven’t been allowing myself the time I need to sit back and process everything. This is going to be a really hard time for everyone, but I can’t help but think about others with autism. Uncertainty and change is difficult for everyone but when you’re autistic, it can feel so intense that it’s actually painful.

I had a lot of plans that have had to be cancelled. I was supposed to be at a literature festival, an art sale, a book signing and a school talk but no more. A lot of events that I was really excited for have just gone. And considering that most events take planning and preparation to avoid stress for neurotypical people, you can imagine how stressful it is for someone who’s autistic to wrap their hand around the fact that all of that preparation is down the drain.

I realise now that I have been pushing myself too much. Just because I have the time to do it, doesn’t mean I should be spending every second doing something productive. If you’re having the same struggles, I highly recommend taking a small bit of time everyday to just lie in bed/sit comfortably and relax. Listen to some relaxing music, mindlessly doodle, close your eyes, nap, whatever- just let yourself do nothing. You don’t have to think about what’s going on in the world, you just have to let your mind be free for a bit. If you spend all of your time worrying about the pandemic and keeping yourself busy, you’ll only overwork yourself.

I’d also recommend setting yourself a new schedule, if that helps you. It doesn’t have to be filled with things- it can be as simple as setting a time to wake up, have meals and go to sleep. Even though most places are in isolation, if you can, go for a 5 minute walk. Fresh air is really good for calming you down. Also, loosen your expectations. These are not normal times, at all. So why should you keep up your normal expectations of yourself? Be kinder to yourself, let yourself relax more and don’t overwork yourself.

It’s natural to feel the need to do stuff with all of the new spare time you have, but even people like me who want to be productive can end up overworking themselves.

Take care.

Balancing Illness and Art

I’m not necessarily obviously ill. I don’t have a physical disability that you can see. I have an eating disorder however, alongside an autism diagnosis, anxiety, depression and migraines. As much as I try to keep these things at bay, they inevitably end up affecting the way I work. It’s an art in itself, really, balancing illness with your job or hobbies. For me, it’s balancing the illness, my job and my education. It’s tough, but it’s not impossible. Today I just want to discuss this aspect of my life in a little more detail.

I think that when you become ill to the point where it’s affecting your life, you learn a lot of important skills. You learn to be both spontaneous yet use schedules and plans. As someone with high functioning autism, I thrive on schedules and time tables. Yet due to my illness, I’ve had to scrap them. No longer do I have the same times to go into school and leave school every day. Some days I leave early, some days I come in late, some days are completely normal! Some days I have to miss for appointments and some days I need to take off due to my mental health becoming strained. It’s not simple and it does cause a lot of stress, but I’ve learnt to adjust to it and accept it, because it’s what is best for my health.

You also learn to compromise. I used to have the dangerous mindset of ‘If I’m not going to be able to give it my all, I won’t do it at all.’ which caused a few problems. If I wasn’t feeling great, I wouldn’t bother at all. It makes sense, to be fair- why would I half ass something that I know I can do to a greater standard at another time? But it drastically decreased my productivity. I was writing less, drawing less, studying less, despite the fact that I could have done some work. I do take time away from these things to fully relax every now and then, because we all need that (especially if you have health problems) but this wasn’t taking time away. This was not bothering, because it wouldn’t be as good as it could be.

In reality, a lot of skills can only be developed if you keep working on them. You get better at drawing by, you guessed it, drawing every day. This doesn’t mean draw a masterpiece every day. Even if it’s just getting out a pencil and sketching a few people or animals or flowers, you just have to draw something. Anything that’s worth being done 100% is worth being done 20% or 50%. It’s something that people with depression often struggle with too, which is why it’s often suggested to take ‘shortcuts’ like using wipes to clean your face and neck if you can’t take a shower or go into the garden for fresh air instead of a full walk. To this day, I make sure I draw something every day, even if it’s just a doodle in a notebook. I also make sure I write every day, even if it’s just a sentence or two. If you stop working on your skills when you’re not at your best, you likely won’t be working a lot at all.

When you’re ill, you have to become very proactive in your life. Which sounds a little dumb, but you can’t afford to be passive when you’re ill. The media seems to think that anyone who is disabled just lies in bed and accepts whatever happens to them, when that isn’t the case. We have to make a lot of decisions constantly that other people might not have to consider. It’s easy to feel out of control when you’re ill, but being ill makes you proactive and you have to take control of a lot of things in your life.

Anyway, that’s all for now. I just wanted to write my thoughts down briefly. Do you have any sort of illness that affects how you work and live? Let me know in the comments.

9 Ways to Promote: for New Authors

So, you’ve just written your first or second book, and you’re not sure where to go from there. A year ago I was in those shoes. I started out with absolutely no idea what I was doing, but I have learnt a lot over just one year, and today I’m going to share my current knowledge with you.

1- Establish good relationships with other writers, agents and book reviewers

This is key because the writing community is quite tightly knit. Almost everyone is lovely and you’re bound to make some really good friends. While it’s nicer to have friends with authors who write the same genre as you, don’t feel limited, you can talk to everyone. This is important for a few reasons. For one, on social media, you’ll have a consistent audience. Secondly, you can approach them to ask for reviews (in exchange for an ARC) or to be a beta reader or critique partner. Thirdly, word of mouth. It doesn’t take much for one success to spread through the grapevine once you’ve got a good collection of friends in the writing community.

2- Contact local indie book shops

Since it’s very unlikely you’ll get your book onto a mainstream bookstore’s shelves, it’s best to aim for indie bookstores. These shops are usually much more open to supporting smaller, local authors, so see if there’s any in your area. If they agree to stocking your books, you’ll have to come to some sort of deal regarding money, but once they’re in any bookstore you can start promoting that on social media like mad.

3- Use social media a lot, but don’t be self obsessed

When going through social media, the last thing anyone wants is someone constantly saying ‘Buy my book!!!’ over and over. You should be on at least 2 social media sites and keep them updated regularly. Be personal if you’re comfortable- share a selfie or two, or a picture of your cat, whatever you want. Let your audience into your everyday life and let them see why you’re relatable. People like to talk to people that get them. If every one of your posts is about buying your books, you come off as desperate and trying too hard.

4- Use targeted ads on Facebook

If you use Facebook, definitely use targeted ads. This means establishing a clear, concise audience that the advert will be aimed at. Firstly, the advert itself should be the blurb of the book (maybe followed by a review) and the link/picture. Cut to the chase, make people interested. Narrow down who would be interested. Is it young adult? Or is it Historical? If so, target people who like The Witcher, Game of Thrones, and so on. Think of any hobbies, jobs, education, books, TV shows and films that your reader might be interested in and add it.

5-Play to your special bits

What I mean by this is, if there is something unique or different about you, utilise it. For example, I am a mentally ill autistic female writer. A fairly big minority. Therefore, it gives me a unique insight and experiences that help me write different stories. I’m also very young for a writer, so it’s easy to make headlines such as ‘Youngest author in Gloucestershire’ and I can use that title to target schools for talks and workshops.

6- Contact local schools

Speaking of school, this one is good since everyone has contacts. If possible, contact your local schools- bonus points if it’s one you went to! This works out me personally since I’m young and my old secondary school is quite tightly knitted. You can do a creative writing workshop, or a talk about the life of an author, or if the audience is more intellectual you could even go into the nitty gritty bits of publishing and marketing and whatnot. Choose a talk that fits you and your books.

7- Put spare copies of books into charity shops

Not everyone has spare copies of their books lying around, but if you do, consider donating them to a local charity shop. You won’t get money obviously, but loads of people visit charity shops for cheap books daily. And who knows, if someone buys it and likes it, they might check you out on social media! It’s a shot in the dark but it can play off. At the very least, your book is out there and in new, different places and getting exposure.

8- Contact your local newspaper

If you have a local newspaper, try and contact them about your book launch. Now’s not the time to be hugely humble, you have to really sell yourself. Any past achievements, good reviews or awards should be mentioned here- after all, newspapers want people to pay attention. Some places might not bother, but definitely give it a shot. It’s always nice to see your face in the local newspaper!

9- Do giveaways

Everyone loves a giveaway. If you do a giveaway of one of your books, plus maybe something else (if you’re an artist, you could do prints of your work!) it means that even people who haven’t had the chance to buy a book can get involved. Make sure it’s signed too- everyone loves a personal message! Almost anyone will take part in a giveaway if possible because there’s no risk, you just have to sell the giveaway right. In other words, make your book sound really good, and there shouldn’t be any problems. I did a giveaway last year of my first book signed, and all people had to do was review any of my books on either Amazon or Goodreads. To go along with it, I made some of my other books free on Amazon for a few days, to give some people a chance to read some of my work before taking part.

2019 Overview

So, 2019 was my first official year as an author. I published my first book in November 2018, and the other 4 throughout 2019. It’s also the year I really nailed down my art style and started experimenting more in photography. Today though, I’m going to have a little look at what I did in 2019, what went well, what I learned, and so on.

The obvious point as I mentioned before is that I published 4 more books. And they got longer and longer, and they’re all of different genres. I definitely still think that’s my way to go. I think I will be focusing more on YA but I don’t want to force myself to stick to a specific genre like romance or horror, because I just have so many ideas in all sorts of genres. That might change in the future of course, but that’s what I think for now. I started the year completely clueless about promotion and marketing and I’ve learnt so much. I’ve learnt a lot about networking, about ads, about agents and publishing, and I’ve connected with more fellow authors.

Little things I did include setting up this website, which gives me a good way to connect with my audience and showcase both my books and my photos. I’m currently working on a way of showcasing my art too. I started doing commissions and my confidence has definitely grown. My books have been put into some local school libraries, and already have reviews.

A big thing that happened was my creative writing session at Pittville school back in September. That was absolutely huge for me, it’s something I’ve always wanted to do but thought I never could because of my anxiety. So, definitely a huge success for me in 2019. I hope to do more things like that, maybe even move on to doing signings or festivals.

I started writing my 6th book, ‘My Parasite, Ana’ which is about a queer teenage boy with anorexia. This is a pretty serious, personal story to me and I aim to have it completed in the next few months. It’ll be my longest yet, but definitely isn’t a high concept and won’t interest most people. I don’t mind that. I just want it to have an impact and have the message conveyed well enough.

In my personal life, this year wasn’t particularly good. I was diagnosed with anorexia and a lot of other things happened that I won’t get into much detail. That being said, I’m learning to take these things in my stride, and utilise them for my benefit. Like using my experience with anorexia to spread a really important message. I don’t want my illness or my problems to define me or control me, so this is a way of preventing that.

Anyway, that’s my quick overview of 2019. Obviously, this is a new year and a new decade, so I can’t wait to see what it’ll bring me. Happy holidays!

Writing a book about eating disorders

For those of you who don’t know already, my next book is a story about a teenage boy suffering with anorexia. It definitely won’t be a typical commercial novel. It’s not a huge, amazing high concept story that will attract a huge, guaranteed audience. Unfortunately that’s a risk with all of my novels. I’m not really interested in writing high concepts for the sake of profit. If my book idea isn’t guaranteed to be successful, I don’t really care. I write what I want, essentially.

It’s thrown up a lot of challenges and questions though, writing a book about an eating disorder. I’m constantly questioning what is too much detail and what’s too vague. What might be triggering, what is realistic, how informal or casual is *too* informal or casual. It was stressful when I first started writing it, but as I’ve done more of the book, it’s become much more natural and easier to write. Here I’m just going to talk about some things to expect from the story and the process of writing it.

For one, a huge part of the story itself is about the representation. Every piece of media I’ve seen about eating disorders, especially anorexia, is aimed at or surrounding women. But for this story, the sufferer is a teenage boy. He’s not sporty or athletic, he hasn’t got massive risk factors. I chose anorexia specifically because it’s the eating disorder I suffer with and I felt it was easier to write and make it feel more natural. Makes it feel much more authentic, rather than forcing myself into the shoes of say, a binge eater or a bulimic that I can’t really relate to as much. Since entering the eating disorder community over a year ago, I noticed a distinct lack of men in everything. In films and books and even within the toxic ana community on tumblr. There’s next to no representation of men with eating disorders and I can’t even begin to imagine how difficult it must be to deal with that.

This, along with my own experiences, has inspired me to write this story. It’s written in the perspective of the protagonist, Jonathon. I figured this would be the best way to make it feel authentic and personal and real. As a result, the writing style is very casual and informal. At first I was worried it would be too casual and people would dismiss it as being badly written, but the more I’ve written the more confident I feel that this was the right decision. Even if the reader has not had an eating disorder, I want them to emphasise and/or sympathise with at least some of his experiences and feelings. I want the reader to feel like they know him.

It’ll be a risky story. Like I said earlier, it’s not a huge commercial concept. It’s not exactly happy and peppy. It will be brutally real and honest and open about the eating disorder world. Things like the physical symptoms (including fainting), thinspo, ana coaches, dating and losing friends are all explored within this story. For sufferers with anorexia, it’s possible it could be triggering. But it could also be reassuring. You are being represented and light is being shone onto a disorder hidden away behind the stereotype of thin, white girl. It’s a really, really important story to me and if any of my books were to suddenly become famous overnight, this is the one I’d want it to be. It’s just got such an important message and story that I think needs to be out there. Anorexia isn’t just skipping meals and losing loads of weight instantly. It’s going through horrible hunger pains, brutal headaches, lying to friends and family, seeing a different body in the mirror and never being comfortable with who you are. That’s the reality I’m exploring in this story, and that’s what makes it risky. Many readers want a happy story with a happy ending, or a high concept fantasy trilogy. That’s not what this is. It’s a brutally real and honest story that you should really get dragged into.

At the same time however, the protagonist’s experience isn’t the same as everyone else’s. One other thing I’ve been worried about is people calling things out as unrealistic or not right. When in reality, his experience isn’t the same as mine or someone else’s. For example, he found it easy to start skipping meal and fasting, whereas many people with an eating disorder struggle to fast longer than a few hours. And that’s fine. His experience is not my way of saying “this is what an eating disorder is in every person” but rather “how he feels and thinks is the reality of living with an eating disorder”. While many people with bulimia can purge, he can’t do it and that doesn’t invalidate him. He’s just a different person.

If you’re reading this and you happen to have a history with eating disorders, or a writer with some experience in this subject and would like to be part of an early reading group to give feedback and comments as I’m writing, contact me through my website.

Writing this story so far, despite my worries, has been really easy. Maybe it’s down to the familiarity of it. It almost feels like I’m writing my own story even though I’m not, and by using a casual writing style it feels like I’m talking directly to the reader. That should make it better as a YA novel too.

In mid December I’ll be writing a blog post looking at the year as a whole, in my writing, art and photography and how I’ve grown as a person. This will include an update on how the book is going, where I aim to be 1/3 way through it.

Thanks for reading as usual.

GIVEAWAY TIME!

If you want the chance to win a FREE SIGNED COPY of one of my books (your choice!), read below!

All you have to do is leave a review on any of my books! The more reviews you leave (for example, if you wrote a review for ‘Immunity’ and posted it on both Amazon and Goodreads) the higher chance you have.

The review can be on Amazon, Goodreads, or social media- specifically Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. If you choose social media, make sure to tag me, and/or send me a screenshot of the review.

If you don’t have an Amazon account, you can always ask a parent or older sibling to leave a review for you! And setting up a Goodreads account is easy, so don’t worry about age limits.

This is to celebrate the completion of my fifth book, ‘Blind Man’s Song’, due to be finished in November. The deadline for reviews is the 20th November, and I’ll announce the winner on the 21st.

Good luck!

2019 Favourites: Music, Art and Books

So it’s late October in 2019, and this year has been wild. I’ll talk more about my year as a whole in December but for now I’m going to be talking about my 2019 favourites. So basically, my favourite music, art and books that I found in 2019 and absolutely love. Pretty self explanatory.

Music: This year I came across 2 Japanese artists on YouTube. I don’t know how to define their genre of music so I’ll be referring to it as J-Pop, although I think it’s more alternative, I’m not entirely sure. I’ve always liked music from other cultures and countries because I find it tends to be more interesting, and if I don’t know the language, I’m not too focused on the lyrics and more on the tune.

The artists are Yoh Kamiyama and Eve. Kamiyama’s songs are pretty catchy and I love listening to them whilst doing school work and revision, but I don’t know the English translations for them so I don’t know what any of the songs mean. For quite a few of his songs, I started listening without knowing how I felt but the more I listened, the more I enjoyed them.

The thing that drew me to Eve’s songs are the animations in the music videos. I don’t know who does the animations, but they are beautifully done and absolutely amazing. In some recent videos, the animation is so good, it looks like it could be an actual anime or cartoon. In others, the style is more sketchy and poetic and really suits the tones of the songs. Luckily, the videos have English lyrics, which adds a whole layer of meaning and symbolism that I absolutely love. I’m a sucker for deep stuff like that.

As for art, this year I came across an artist called Myriam Tillson on YouTube. For someone whose art is amazing, she doesn’t actually have a lot of subscribers compared to other artists I follow, which is really surprising. She does very symbolic, meaningful, often dark pieces of art usually using gouache or ink. Her work ranges in sizes but they’re usually very detailed and unique and follow a certain concept or idea.

As for books, there are 2 that stand out to me from this year. There’s ‘Snowflake, Az’ by my favourite author Marcus Sedgwick, released this year, and ‘Butter’ by Erin Lange.

Snowflake, Az was a very interesting read. It touched on the subject of chronic illness that I’m very close to and shined light on a variety of perspectives. It shows you just how much chronic illness can affect both you and every other aspect of your life without pitying the characters. They’re unique and quirky and you learn so much by reading this book. It also broke my heart at certain points. I literally cried whilst reading and it’s going to stick with me for a while.

Butter was a book I found in my school library and wow, it was so impressive. Although the protagonist isn’t particularly likeable, you sympathise with him so well no matter who you are. The author Erin Lange did an amazing job of conveying emotion through the story. It frequently made me laugh as well as gasp in horror and cry. The premise was very morbid and I wasn’t sure what I was expecting but it really sucked me in from page 1. Overall, it’s a very emotional story that is scarily real and I don’t think I could forget it if I tried.

As a quick update, I’m 3/4 way through my fifth novel, I am to have it completed by the end of November. The future of this novel is pretty uncertain currently, so it may or may not be out by Christmas, I just don’t know currently.

I plan to do a Favourites post every year! Possibly every season depending on how much new stuff I discover, but I’d highly recommend checking out every one I mentioned in this post if their work interests you.

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