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Category: Progress Updates

My progress updates will keep you informed of new WIPs, release dates, cover reveals, and all other news regarding my books. If you’re looking forward to my future releases, you’re in the right place!

April Goals

Happy April, friends and familiars!

I don’t have much time this week–working from home has been and still is amazing–so I’ll get right to it 🙂

Darkened Light

I’ve finished the handwritten edit of Darkened Light, so now I just need to apply all the changes to the draft and send it back to my editor! I just realised I haven’t got a copy on my laptop yet, so that needs to happen, too.

Blood Wisp

I’m making good progress on Blood Wisp–speaking of which, did you catch the title reveal on Twitter and Instagram? 😉

The three books will be called:

Blood Wisp (Blood Wisp #1)

Blood Song (Blood Wisp #2)

Blood Vow (Blood Wisp #3)

There’ll also be one paperback with all three books. Individually, they’ll only be out as eBooks.

Once Blood Wisp is written, I’ll outline the other two books so I’m ready to dive in this summer. I’ve booked all four covers for October 😉

Between those and the other covers (Blood of the Dragon in August and the prequel novella in September) I’ve got a lot of reveals coming up! 😀

The free newsletter exclusive guide Self-Publish Your Debut Novel like a Boss is almost ready for betas and will go out next week. I’m hoping to have it ready for my subscribers by the end of the month ^-^

Relics of Ar’Zac

I’ve neglected the prequel to Relics of Ar’Zac while I’ve adjusted to my temporary routine, but I still want to get as much of that done as I can this month. I want it to rest while I edit Blood of the Dragon for the first two times, and then come back to it while Dragon is with my editor.

I doubt I’ll finish it this month, but all progress is good progress.

Once the Easter break is over and Darkened Light is with my editor, I’ll begin the first read-through of Dragon. It’ll be messy, but I’ve stocked up on tea so I’m ready*.

* *whimpers in a corner*

Seeing how much I’ve been able to get done when I’m working from home full-time has been incredible motivation to get my butt in gear. More people are reaching out to me to book sample edits, which is encouraging. I just need to find a few freelance writing clients now and turn some of those sample edits into contracts, and I’ll be a happy kitten.

Honestly, this break from the day job has been eye-opening.

One last thing before I get back to work–

I’ve created the first aesthetic for the Blood Wisp trilogy this week, so I thought I’d leave you with that 🙂

You can find all originals in my Blood Wisp Pinterest board.

Have a wonderful April, friends!


Sign up for my newsletter for updates on my books (like early cover reveals…) and recommendations to help you grow as a writer:

All content belongs to the author, Sarina Langer.

For all previous updates on my books’ progress, click me!

For Cookie Break’s front page, take a look here.

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March Recap

How the actual fudge is it the end of March already?

It’s been a great month, friends. I’ve got so much to tell you, and it’s all exciting stuff! Keep reading–I’m saving the best for last 😉

  • I’ve finished the first draft of the Self-Publish Your Debut Novel Like a Boss guidebook, and will proofread it over the next few weeks. I’ve contacted my betas and will send it to them over the next few weeks.

Don’t forget, this is a newsletter exclusive freebie, so if you want a copy be sure to sign up!

  • I’m almost done with the handwritten edits of Darkened Light. My plan is to finish it next week, then apply the changes the week after, and to then send it back to my editor for the line edit. A month after that, I’ll be ready for betas.

It’s totally not too early to volunteer 😉

  • I’ve written my short contribution to the anthology, and have set it aside for now. Whatever the release day will be, it’s far away yet so there’s no rush.  Makes a nice change :’)
  • I’ve started writing the prequel novella to Relics of Ar’Zac. While I’m not too far into it yet, I’m excited about it and can’t wait to finally tell this story.
  • I’ve loved this week. I’ve worked from home for one week out of three now, and am amazed with how much work I’ve got done! Just think how much faster I could publish new books if I did this full time! I know I can’t afford to yet, but I don’t want to go back to the day job. This one week of working my butt of from my little home office has been eye-opening.

And a couple of exciting new developments I didn’t see coming at the start of the month:

I’ve decided to do Camp NaNo 🙂 The biggest challenge since I made that decision has been leaving it alone until April 😛 I’m in love with this dark, stabby, and bloody novella and can’t wait to share the first snippet!

My goal is 17k–the entire first novella. I’ve won the main event before, so this shouldn’t be difficult, right? oo

I’ve kept the best for last…

I’M ONE OF THE AUTHORS SIGNING HER BOOKS IN BRIGHTON THIS NOVEMBER!

It’ll be my first signing, so any advice from those of you who’ve done this before would be appreciated <3

I’m planning on bringing

  • Rise of the Sparrows
  • Wardens of Archos
  • Blood of the Dragon (if it’s not out in time, I’ll bring exclusive ARCs)
  • Darkened Light

If it’s ready, I might bring ARCs of the prequel novella, too. You’ll be able to buy the books directly from me on the day, or you can bring your own copies for me to sign. Of course, the ARCs won’t be available in paperback anywhere else yet, so your only chance of getting one is from me on the day 😉

I’m also hoping to bring bookmarks, tote bags, and mini posters designed to match my books.

The event is on the 10th November. Save the date, and come hang out with me <3

Now, I do believe all this is quite enough for one month!

I’ll see you next week for my April goals 🙂 If you’d like to put your name down to beta read my self-publishing guide book or Darkened Light, let me know <3


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All content belongs to the author, Sarina Langer.

Gifs are from giphy.com

The Camp NaNoWriMo banner and the British Book Bash banner belong to their respective websites.

For all previous updates on my books’ progress, click me!

For Cookie Break’s front page, take a look here.

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Camp NaNoWriMo April 2018 (I’ve (Almost) Done all the Prep Work for You!)

Guess who’s signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo? This girl!

After I failed last November due to two colds and burning out, I wanted to try being a camper this time. And if you’re tempted to sign up, too, you’ll be thrilled to hear I’ve already done the prep work for you!*

*well, sort of

Camp NaNoWriMo April 2018 Prep Sessions

Last year October, I hosted weekly prep sessions for the big monster event. While your goal may not be 50k, being ready still can’t hurt.

If you missed the sessions last year or would like to refresh your memory, here they are again:

Camp NaNoWriMo April 2018 Prep Sessions

Character Creation

Camp NaNoWriMo April 2018 Prep Sessions

World Building

Camp NaNoWriMo April 2018 Prep Sessions

Plotting

Camp NaNoWriMo April 2018 Prep Sessions

Reading List and Treats

Camp NaNoWriMo April 2018 Prep Sessions

You can Do This!

Weeks 1-3 come with free downloadable worksheets so you can get plotting right now! They cover all important basics but no more than that to stop you from over-preparing 😉

Whether you want to set rewards or not is up to you. My own goal is 17k, which doesn’t really feel worthy of a reward. If you shoot for 50k, you should definitely treat yourself to something!

Book recommendation

If you’d like to do a bit of outside reading, I strongly recommend this book:

Camp NaNoWriMo April 2018 Prep Sessions Book Recommendation: No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty

It’s short (it claims to be 50k, the length of a NaNoWriMo draft) and written by the father of NaNo, so you know it’s relevant!

Buy it on Amazon | Read my review

What am I writing next month? I’ll be writing the first novella of my novella trilogy set in Midoka and Krymistis (if you’ve read my Relics of Ar’Zac books, you’ll be familiar with those). I’m aiming for 17k, and all three will be DARK, bloody, stabby, and possibly a tiny bit smutty. But no promises on the latter 😉

I wish I could share a bit more, but I haven’t got a title yet. I am, however, officially signed up and have created my own cabin. The CookieBreak Writers Retreat would love to have you if you’re taking part–I promise motivation and encouragement 😉

Since my cabin isn’t public, I don’t think I can attach a link to it. If you’d like to join, let me know what your NaNo username is and I’ll invite you 🙂

Sign Up

You might also enjoy:

Camp NaNoWriMo April 2018 Prep Sessions - Scrivener Recommendation

Camp NaNoWriMo April 2018 Prep Sessions - Resources for Writers

 

Are you going to camp next month? What will you be working on, and whats your target word count?

Happy plotting, NaNonites! <3


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Please note: This post contains affiliate links. I do not endorse anything on this blog that I didn’t enjoy or believe in– all affiliate posts are recommendations.

All content belongs to the author, Sarina Langer.

For all previous updates on my books’ progress, click me!

For Cookie Break’s front page, take a look here.

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March Goals

CookieBreak | March Goals (all the writing and plotting!)

You may have seen this post pop up on Tuesday… SOMEONE* got a little excited and hit publish rather than schedule. I realised what I’d done as it was publishing and quickly saved it as a draft, but if you’re faster than lightning and already read this without pictures and gifs–well, you know I post these on Fridays. You’ve no excuse oo

*plot twist: it was me.

Friends, I can’t tell you how often I’ve thought about this post thinking I’d be setting my February Goals… How can it be March? HOW

This month is a big one for me. As some of you will know, I took a new job at my current workplace in January. A day job which is term-time only–meaning I’m off for three weeks this Easter.

This month, I get my first real taste of working from home full-time. It’ll be nothing compared to the three months I’ll get over the summer, but it’s a start. I imagine it’ll be interesting.

On a completely unrelated note, if you need an editor for your novel or a freelance self-publishing writer (or if you know someone who does), get in touch <3

March Goals

Compared to last month, this list looks so short! But they’re all big, time-consuming goals, so this list is longer than it looks:

  • I want to finish the first draft of the Self-Publish Your Debut Novel Like a Boss workbook by the end of next week, and proofread it by the end of the month. I’ll be needing betas soon 😉

Don’t forget, this is a newsletter exclusive freebie, so if you want a copy be sure to sign up!

  • my priority is finishing the handwritten edits of Darkened Light. There’s still quite a bit left but I think I’m past the worst chapters, and I am about to have three weeks to myself and my professions.

Applying the changes I’m making on paper won’t be too bad*, and then it’ll be ready to go back to my editor.

And then… Beta readers

*assuming that someone hires me, that is. if not, I’ll just be pitching my butt off.

  • I outlined my contribution to the anthology I’m part of last week, and it’s disturbing and heart-warming and I can’t tell if it has a happy ending or not? Since it’s short (I’m aiming for 7k max) I’ll write it next week.
  • The prequel novella to my trilogy is now plotted and will be written after my anthology contribution. I’m aiming for 25k, but since I’ve never written a novella before I don’t know how long it’ll take.

Of course, I’ve never written a short story, either, so March promises to be an exciting month! If you’ve got any advice for either, share away <3

  • I’ll be pitching, writing, and editing my butt off*! I will make this work as a full-time career, and this Easter break will be an exciting start.

See what I mean? Barely anything after my list last month and January*!

*of course, my list in January included my goals for the whole year, so…

What are your goals this month?

What are you working on at the moment? Camp NaNo is approaching, and I’m half-tempted to join. Are you using March to prepare?

Make a hot drink*, plate up some cookies, and let’s chat!

*eyes snow outside

Sign up for my newsletter for updates on my books (like early cover reveals…) and recommendations to help you grow as a writer:

All content belongs to the author, Sarina Langer.

For all previous updates on my books’ progress, click me!

For Cookie Break’s front page, take a look here.

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February Recap

How is it the end of February already? 2018 is going way too fast!

I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t thought about my goals for March yet–or not much, anyway. But right now, let’s look at February:

CookieBreak Copy  While I haven’t got a logo to show you yet, my designer is working on it as you read this 🙂 In fact, I saw the mock-ups on Wednesday and they look good.

I’m not sure if logo reveals are a thing, but prepare yourselves.

Darkened Light – DID YOU SEE MY MAP ON WEDNESDAY? I love sending out newsletters, but all the more so when I’ve got shiny things for you <3 If you’re not subscribed to my newsletter, GET READY!

Here it is, the official map of Darkened Light:

ISN’T IT PRETTY <3

Thank you so much to Glynn at MonkeyBlood Design. How he keeps turning my artistically challenged sketches into something so pretty, I’ll never understand.

And since we’re in the middle of show & tell, I’ve created these character aesthetics for my four main characters:

840, my beautiful boy and favourite*

Find the originals on my Pinterest board.

*hahaha, just kidding, obviously we don’t have favourites**
**just kidding, this boy’s my exception

Ash, my cat-magnet who blows up his problems*

Find the originals on my Pinterest board.

*like, not out of proportion, I mean with explosives

Doran, my emotionally scarred thief.

Find the originals on my Pinterest board.

And my girl, Naavah Ora who can enter the realm of the dead.

Find the originals on my Pinterest board.

*cries* I LOVE MY BABIES SO MUCH*

The edit is going well, my editor’s notes make me cry happy tears, and I’ll be ready for betas before long**.

If this looks like something you’d like an ARC of, don’t forget to sign up for my Review Team 😉

*I realise I’m shouting a lot but I just have a lot of feelings for this, okay
** *cries at the amount of draft left to edit*

Blood of the Dragon – THE FIRST DRAFT IS DONE*! It’s a short first draft, but it’s done and it’s proofing and I’ve written a whole trilogy!

AAAAAAHHHHHH

Somebody hold me.

*gawd, again with the shouting! you’d think I’d be high on too much tea or something which definitely never happens

Relics of Ar’Zac prequel – I’m quite excited about this now! I’ve spent some time this week taking notes from all three books and will plot and outline it next week. I’ll write it in March – but more on my plans for next month next week 🙂

Once I’ve made any.

Anthology – I’ve outlined my short contribution, and it’s dark and disturbing and heart-warming? Honestly, I don’t know if it has a happy ending or not.

I’ve never been so confused by one of my own projects.

The other authors have given me the go-ahead to share it with my Review Team, so if you want to read it before everyone else don’t forget to sign up 😉

All that I Can Be – Progress on this has been a little slower. I’ve finished writing it (yes, my hand still cramps, thank you) but haven’t started typing it up yet… *awkward cough*

I do still want to start publishing the first chapter in March, so getting this typed up is next on my to-do list.

Darkened Light Anthology – I’ve made a list of shorts I could write and just have to narrow it down now. There are a few which I’ll definitely include because they feature to various extends in Darkened Light. The rest will be based on myths, urban legends, and dark fairy tale re-tellings 😉

Workbook – I haven’t made as much progress as I wanted on this, either. I’ve written most of it, so really it just needs finishing up but I want to get it right. It’s supposed to help you write and publish your own books, after all!

That’s almost it for this month. Just one more thing:

I realised I haven’t given you an excerpt in a while! So today’s is a little longer 😉

It’s from Darkened Light and my boy 840’s POV:

“You don’t talk much, do you?” Doran asked from behind 840. They had been on the road for little more than an hour, and neither of them had said much. Naavah Ora had taken a silent lead ahead of them. 840 had wanted to fall back a little to observe his new situation, but Doran hadn’t allowed it. He had a feeling Doran was worried he’d try to run off and find his village, but he couldn’t fathom why Doran would care.
     Naavah Ora responded without turning around. “We’re not here to be friends. As soon as we reach the next city I’ll be on my way.”
     840 felt a small wave of relief hearing it; Naavah Ora looked at him like he was a demon. She was cautious around him, and didn’t trust him. He didn’t trust her, either; her glare made him uneasy.
     “And you?” Doran asked. 840 tensed. He wasn’t any good in social situations. “What’s your name? I don’t know what to call you besides—”
     “840.”
     “Yes, but your real name? The name your parents gave you?”
      He hesitated. How could he tell Doran if he couldn’t even think it himself? His name no longer mattered.
      “My name is 840.”
      “You can’t just be a number, Ginger. You must have—”
      “Ginger?”
       Doran quickened his pace until he was walking next to him. “Yes, Ginger. I can’t just call you 840.”
       “Why not?” He hadn’t had a nickname since his parents had called him—
       “Because objects are numbered. Days are numbered. You’re a person, and people have names.”
       His forehead creased but he didn’t argue. He expected Doran had a lot more experience with situations like this one than he’d ever have.
       “Why Ginger?”
        Doran looked at him like he’d gone mad, but at the corner of his lips they curved ever so slightly into an amused smile.
        “Because of your hair. It’s red. You know. Ginger.”
        His heart beat faster. He felt like he was defying his Lord, but it was nice to have a name again. Still, there was a little voice at the back of his mind which sounded a lot like the First Elder reminding him that this was just another test he needed to pass. He wouldn’t fail.
        “My name is 840.”
        Doran sighed. “Fine. Ora can call you that if she wants, but I—”
        “My name is Naavah Ora. You don’t get to call me less than my full name.”
        “Fine! Naavah Ora can call you 840 and pretend you’re a thing if she wants, but I won’t. You’re Ginger to me unless you tell me your real name.”


Sign up for my newsletter for updates on my books (like early cover reveals…) and recommendations to help you grow as a writer:

All content belongs to the author, Sarina Langer.

For all previous updates on my books’ progress, click me!

For Cookie Break’s front page, take a look here.

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February Goals

Before we dive in, I wanted to thank everyone who made me feel special last week Friday. I’ve had a great birthday, got spoiled, and really felt the love <3 The birthday promo is the most successful one I’ve ever done, so thank you to everyone who downloaded my books and celebrated with me <3 Happy reading! <3 <3

But enough with the cheese!* Let’s take a look at all the things mad little me hopes to get done this month**:

*now there’s something you’ll never hear me say again! #cheeseislife
**somebody stop me. or pour tea.

CookieBreak Copy  I meant to get a logo designed when I first registered my business last July, but it seemed excessive at the time*. Now, however, I’ve branched out into freelance self-pub writing, and I kinda really need a logo if I want to look professional. Which I do.

I’m booked in for this month and hopefully I’ll have something to show off very soon! February will be a month of show & tell, just you read on…

Darkened Light – While I’m not as far into my edits as I hoped to be, I’ll be able to share the map soon! Not just my terrible sketch, either, but the nicely designed one. Judging by my previous maps, it’ll be epic. Just. You. Wait!

If you want to be one of the first people to see it, be sure to sign up to my newsletter to get the scoop early 😉

I’m also going to edit the bloody daylights out of this. Once my first draft of Blood of the Dragon is done and proofing, all my spare time will go to Darkened Light. My red pen is ready**.

*given that it was just my name at the time… I only named it CookieBreak Copy a few weeks ago.
**actually, it’s dying #saddays

Blood of the Dragon – I’m so close to finishing the first draft! Which is thrilling and terrifying. I love finishing first drafts, but I’ll finish a whole trilogy this time.

My first trilogy.

Daunting.

I am excited to let it rest and focus more on Darkened Light edits, so the excitement is definitely the winning emotion here.

Anthology – I’m not sure if I’ll have time to write my contribution, but I want to outline it at least. I finally know where I’m going with it, and it’ll be nice to have something more than scribbles.

Relics of Ar’Zac prequel – I’ve accumulated a lot of notes for the prequel while writing Blood of the Dragon, and I think it’s about time I put them all together into their own folder and start plotting!

I haven’t written a novella before, so this’ll be exciting on several levels. Any wisdom you can share would be welcome <3

All that I Can Be – Once the last chapter is written (sometime next week, probably) I’ll type everything up so I can proofread it. My respect to people who write whole books by hand. HOW THE FUDGE DOESN’T YOUR HAND PERMA-CRAMP

I’m happy with how it turned out, but it’ll be much easier to tell once I’ve made my handwriting legible :’)

Darkened Light Anthology – grr, I still don’t know what to call this… I won’t actually write any words for a couple of months yet, but I want to take some notes at least. I’ve got a few legends and myths from the Darkened Light universe in mind, but want a better idea of how many I’ll have.

They’ll most likely be written in a dark-fairy-tale-kind-of-style, but that’s about all I know at this point.

Workbook – I want to finish the first draft of my newsletter exclusive workbook so I can help you self-publish your debut novel sooner rather than later! I’ll be looking for beta readers before long, so keep an eye out if you’re interested 😉

It’s like I’m not aware February is too short for all this *cries tea** I’m a little dizzy because of how much I’ve got planned (would you believe one of my New Year’s resolutions was to give myself less to do so I stress less?) but I’m also confident I’ve got this. It’s not as bad as it looks…

But then I remember that February only has 28 days and, I mean…the pressure is on.

*Yes, my tears are made of tea these days.

What are your goals this month? Make a tea, get a cookie, and let’s talk!


Sign up for my newsletter for updates on my books (like early cover reveals…) and recommendations to help you grow as a writer:

All content belongs to the author, Sarina Langer.

All gifs came from Giphy.

For all previous updates on my books’ progress, click me!

For Cookie Break’s front page, take a look here.

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Aaaand January is Over (Also, my Birthday is TODAY so Have Goodies!)

Happy Friday, friends and Sparrows!

Can you believe January is already coming to an end? :O Before I dive into my progress this month, let me share some treats with you <3

It’s my birthday TODAY*, and that means YOU benefit**! Today only, both of my books will be free on Amazon. If you miss your chance to get them for free, you can still get them at a reduced 99c/p tomorrow and Sunday. On Monday, they’ll go back to being full price, but right now you should celebrate with me and treat yourself!

*in case you didn’t know from the title
**that’s how it works, right? I have a birthday, so you get presents?

Here you go, I brought links and everything:

Get the goodies!

Get more goodies!

Now, onto my updates! Truth be told, I’m a little amazed at how much I’ve achieved this month. Let’s hope it sets the bar for the rest of the year rather than tire me out early.* This week especially has been strong. I’m determined to finish the first draft of Blood of the Dragon by the end of February**. Just look at Wednesday’s word count:

WHY COULDN’T I DO THIS DURING NANO

Oh, right, haha, I burnt out and was dying of flu, fun times
*Why yes, I do take donations in tea! THANK YOU
**I told Instagram I would, so I kinda have to now or else the bookworms will eat me

I’ve copied all Darkened Light feedback from my critique partners into my printed draft, and my editor’s first feedback is looking good. She assured me she’ll finish the developmental edit by the end of February, so I’ll push myself to get my part done, too. I’m finding this edit oddly easy, so I’m probably doing it wrong.

The map is going to be designed next month, so remember to sign up for my newsletter so you get it before everyone else 😉

But, even more exciting, THE HALFWAY POINT OF BLOOD OF THE DRAGON HAS BEEN BREACHED! I told you today was one for celebrations 😀 One out of three deaths have happened, and my characters apparently have bigger issues because they scream at me about small, inconsequential things instead. So, yes, we’re getting along fine. I’m enjoying myself.

OH, also, I booked my cover designer for August/September yesterday! Nothing like a deadline to make me type/edit like someone’s holding a gun to my head!

I’ve almost finished the draft of All that I Can Be and am still on track to finish it by the end of this month. In February I’ll type it up, and then I’ll just need to proofread and share it with you in March! FUN TIMES

Honestly, I’m not sure if I should give you updates on the Super Secret WIP or not. I’ll take my time writing it so it can grow all by itself like a delicious kiwi in its natural habitat, and just write down any notes that pop up while I do other things. I can’t give you any details because for the most part, I’ve got nothing.

I’ve got a crude map. There’ll be two main characters – a guy who’s just lost the love of his life and hates everything and everyone*, and an elf who’s his opposite in every way and winds him up like nothing else can. They don’t have names or ages or hopes and dreams right now, but I love them already. I don’t know them, but GAWD I love them.

The world is coming along all right, too, so that’s nice.

BUT, there’s one thing I can give you. A working title**😉 Until I decide otherwise, let’s call it THE SILENCE OF MAGIC. I’ve a feeling it’s here to stay, I’m kinda enamoured with it. But until I stop being an indecisive kitten, let’s pretend it’s temporary and prepare for the most boring title reveal ever***.

You’ll have to let me know if you’d like monthly updates or if you’d rather I didn’t bother since I haven’t got much. Until you say otherwise, I’ll include it in my monthly updates.

CookieBreak has had a couple of changes, too! On the Welcome page, you can now find a better summary of everything I do here, and I’ve re-written my About Me page with added updates on my WIPs and my current reads 🙂 The latter still needs work, truth be told.

*he’s based on me, clearly
**since I suck at keeping secrets and can’t call it super secret anymore
***Now watch as I change my mind tomorrow.

This month has been so busy, I’ve probably forgotten something. You’d think I’d be better at taking notes, given my obsession with stationery.

But enough about me, the birthday girl*! How has your month been? Have you achieved what you hoped, or has it been a difficult one? Make a tea, get a cookie, and let’s chat!

*have you treated yourself yet?

Sign up for my newsletter for updates on my books (like early cover reveals…) and recommendations to help you grow as a writer:

All content belongs to the author, Sarina Langer.

For all previous updates on my books’ progress, click me!

For Cookie Break’s front page, take a look here.

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2018 Goals AND January Goals!

HELLO, EVERYONE!

COOKIEBREAK LIVES!

How are you? I hope you had a wonderful break and a chance to relax and recover* from the rather long year that’s now behind us.** Because, friends and familiars, this year is going to be busy! I’m going to break this up a little more than usually so you can skip the parts you don’t care about, if any.

*And cake. I hope you had cake.
**Thank God that’s over, am I right? I don’t know about you, but a small part of me is still traumatised tired.

Darkened Light is my priority. My critique partners have sent their feedback to me and it’s looking good! My editor is now doing the developmental edit and I’ve started reading over it again, too, so the countdown is on!*

Critique Partner feedback on Darkened Light <3

Blood of the Dragon and the trilogy prequel will be published later this year close to each other. I’m not sure what’s best – should I publish Book 3 first, or the prequel novella? It makes sense to publish Blood of the Dragon first, especially because the novella will work as a standalone, too. BUT the prequel novella MIGHT** add an extra sense of dark foreboding.

What would you prefer? Book 3 first, or novella first? They will likely be published within a month of each other, so you won’t have long to wait either way 😉

*Not really, though, since I haven’t set a date.
**Not committing to anything since I haven’t even outlined the thing *ahem*

I’ll write as much as I can of Blood of the Dragon since NaNo didn’t really happen for me*, and then I’ll just need to type the last words next month and the first draft will be done! And then I’ll have written an entire trilogy!

Once that’s done, I can focus on writing the prequel novella. There’s a lot of history I can’t explain in the trilogy without creating paradoxes, so a prequel it is! More on that in a month or two 😉

So, what else is in the works? Quite a bit, actually. Once the draft for the prequel is resting and I’ve begun edits on Blood of the Dragon, there’s a trilogy of novellas I want to write, a sort-of-prequel to Darkened Light, and then there’s NaNo. And the anthology I’m part of. AND the weekly serial coming to this blog in March. Oh, right, and NaNo**. Mustn’t forget about NaNo.

Here’s a bit more info, in case you were wondering:

Trilogy of novellas – These will be set in Midoka and possibly Krymistis, because I don’t know when to say goodbye apparently. I thought it was a shame that I’d created this world and my favourite corners were largely unexplored by my characters, so I’m writing three dark very dark novellas. Which probably won’t have a happy ending, but we’ll see.

They will be set after the events of the trilogy and explore dark areas of magic.

Darkened Light prequel-anthology-thing – I’m still kinda undecided about this one, to be honest. It’s not a prequel as much as it’s an anthology of stories from the world Darkened Light is set in. I’ve done more world building on Darkened Light than I’ve done before, and naturally most of that work doesn’t find its way into the duology. ’tis the way of things, my dears.

It will work as a standalone and tell magical stories from the different countries in Darkened Light. Some of these will be influenced by myths and urban legends, while others will be completely made up.

New Year, New Desk, New Workspace

Anthology – I’m part of an actual co-authored anthology, too! There are 14 of us, and we’ll all be contributing re-tellings of dark fairy tales, urban legends, and myths. It’s all extremely exciting 😉 No name has been chosen yet, but you can already take a look at my Pinterest board 😉

I’ll talk more about it later this year so I don’t overwhelm this post with info. It’s long enough as it is (my apologies).

All that I Can Be – I’ve already mentioned this a few times here and there, but this small weekly fictional series is going to take over from my bi-weekly writing prompts on Monday. You can peek at the Pinterest board for this one, too 😉

I’ll go into more detail soon, but for now let’s just say it’s about a girl who struggles with her confidence and love and makes a deal with the devil to be better at life.

NaNoWriMo – I know this is early, but I’m hoping if I start thinking about it now I’ll know what I’m doing by the time NaNo comes around. The logical thing to do would be to write Book 2 of the Darkened Light duology (which I named in the same breath as Darkened Light, by the way, and the tension is breaking me), BUT I barely withstood temptation last year and set The End of Stars*** aside AGAIN to write Blood of the Dragon. So, I’m torn this year. And wondering whether I can make it through NaNo with two WIPs on the go. Has anyone done this? Or did you try it and die and are talking to me as a zombie now? Because that seems more probable to me.

As I said, I need time to decide which one to write, if not both. Also, this is a post about my publishing and writing goals this year and NaNo happens this year, so here we are.

Now, let’s move on to–Oh, wait… There’s one more…

Just, you’d bring me tea because you know I don’t like coffee.

Super Secret WIP**** – This SSWIP snuck up on me over Christmas. I’d promised myself and my SO that I wouldn’t do any work, and technically I didn’t. I didn’t do any actual writing. I just drew a map, and then the info started filling itself in and wow, suddenly I had a blurb AND a possible title and both just kinda happened and when the muse sings this loud, friends, you have to listen. Do you have any idea how terrible I am at writing blurbs and naming things? IT’S A SIGN.

I’m sad that Paperchase can’t deliver my notebook and refunded me, so I guess I’ll have to go notebook hunting at some point.*****

There, now we’re done.

*cries into ice cream cake*
**The November one, so that’s ages away and I probably don’t need to panic about this already but I like to have a plan.
*** For those of you who are new here or didn’t realise I changed the name – this used to be Immortals (temp. title), my sci-fi WIP which I started a while ago and hit a wall pretty much right away. It’s based on this little short of mine.
****except I just told all of you it’s happening… *fails at secrecy*
*****Oh woe is me

There are a few tiny changes coming to Cookie Break this year. Nothing like that last monster list, though, so no worries.

The Welcome page – my static front page will undergo a small makeover to better reflect everything I do here. Right now, it’s got the cover, buy links, and Goodreads reviews of my latest release, but I do a lot more on this blog than publish books*. Like reviews. And talking about books. And writing. And admiring other authors’ books.

Monthly updates – On the first Friday of every month, I’ll share my goals for the month ahead with you. Don’t worry, they won’t all be as long as this one. It’s just that it’s January so my goals for the whole year are here, too. Also, on the last Friday of every month, I’ll share progress updates with you so you can all see how I’m struggling along doing.

CookieBreak Copy – Late last year, I founded CookieBreak Copy. You can now hire me as a freelance creative writer for your blog and/or business, or as your editor (and thank you to those of you who have. I love you.) Since both sides of the business deal with copy, the title fits both beautifully. My wonderful author buddy Anna B. Madrise is also a designer and has agreed to design my new shiny logo, so keep an eye out for that next month <3

*This is a big shock to all of us, I’m sure. My apologies. I’ve said on many occasions that I shouldn’t be allowed out unless I’ve had tea but Larry, God of Mischief and Biscuits, had other ideas, clearly. Blame Larry. Definitely his fault.

I’ve set the quite possibly mad goal of 45 books as my Goodreads reading challenge. I read a little more than that last year, but a couple of things are different this year. In December, I took a new position at my library, so while I’m not changing the place of my day job and while the role itself doesn’t change an awful lot, either, the hours have changed. I normally read on my lunch breaks and, as you’re about to see, I won’t have as many of those.

BRING IT ON

My new role is term-time only, meaning I have Easter, the summer, and Christmas off to work on my WIPs and grow my businesses. While I’ll do both the rest of the year, too, that extra free time is going to be a massive help. It also means that I get paid a fair chunk less, so business growth is going to be a priority because not having any money (and being the girl who pays the bills right now) is no fun. It’ll also be a good indicator of whether I can work as an author, writer, and editor full-time or whether it’ll drive me insane, so send tea and cookies. Or let’s meet for lunch. I’m definitely up for a catch-up over lunch.

It’s going to be stressful, but the new day job/author ratio is exciting and I couldn’t say no. I’m definitely not ready to quit the day job altogether, but I feel like I’ve taken a step in the right direction.

On that note, if you need an editor or someone to write posts about the beautiful craft of writing for you, get in touch <3

But that’s enough from me*! What are your goals for this year? Any new books on the horizon with your name on them I should know about? Make a tea, get a cookie, and tell me your plans!

*I can hear your relieved sighs…

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All content belongs to the author, Sarina Langer.

For all previous updates on my books’ progress, click me!

For Cookie Break’s front page, take a look here.

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Happy New Year, Friends and Sparrows!

(Is anyone else way too excited that this year starts on a Monday? It’s gonna be great, I can tell already)

I’m just popping in briefly to wish you all a Happy New Year <3

I hope you’ve had a relaxing break, actually took a break instead of working through the holidays, and are feeling energised and up for whatever this year may bring <3

I’ll be back on Friday with my goals for this year, my goals for this month, my proposed publishing plans, and a few changes I’m going to make to CookieBreak. Right now, enjoy your first few days in 2018 🙂

A wonderful start to you, friends, familiars, and Sparrows!

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Bookish Progress Updates, End-of-Year Giveaway, & Cheap Books

Goodness me, it’s been a year, friends! I always feel like I’m not doing enough–like I‘m not good enough–and I’m sure many of you know what that feels like.

I also know it’s nonsense. I’ve done and achieved loads this year, and I’m grateful to have a chance to reflect on what I’ve done. It’s hard to see how well you’re really doing when you’re still in the chaotic middle of things! Taking better care of myself, physically and mentally, is one of my new year’s resolutions, but why not start today?

So, what have I achieved this year?*

I published Wardens of Archos.

I edited Darkened Light and sent it to critique partners and my editor.

I took a course on editing and proofreading, and became a qualified editor.

I registered as self-employed.

I started a business and have happy editing clients.

I started a freelance writing business last month which I intend to grow next year.

I got a new part-time job.

I set up my newsletter and my Sparrow Review Team.

I moved CookieBreak from WordPress to a self-hosted server and gave it a huge make-over.

Definitely no reason to feel like I haven’t done enough, right? Chances are, you’re feeling the same thing. It’s common among creative freelancers, like indie authors or freelance writers. So, let me tell you now:

You’re doing enough. You’re doing great. You’ve earned a break this Christmas.

Look after yourself, my dears. Burn-out is a bitch.

You don’t need to tell me in the comments below, but make that list for yourself and take a look at how much you’ve achieved this year. Shut up that critical part of you that’s constantly nagging you to do better even though you’re exhausted!

* I’m not doing this to show off. I’m doing it to shut up the super critical part of me that’s never happy with my efforts. Take that, super critical part of me! *shakes fist*

Due to me rushing around these past two weeks to set everything up so I can actually enjoy my break (17 days of lazy bliss, friends! *sighs*), I haven’t made much more progress on Blood of the Dragon. Here’s where things have been happening:

Darkened Light is with my editor and critique partners, and their feedback is good! If you want a little more than that, take a look at the Author Hop Giveaway below 😉

I’ve been starting to write All that I Can Be, the weekly fiction serial that’s going to take over from the bi-weekly A-Z Name Prompts. I’ll give you all the details next year so you know what’s coming, but if you’re curious now feel free to check out its Pinterest board 🙂

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m fortunate to be one of the authors in an anthology of fairy tale retellings, urban legends, and myths. I’ve been plotting my short contribution and things are coming together. It’s early days for all of us, but if you’re curious, there’s a Pinterest board for that, too 😉

And that’s just two weeks’ worth, and not including the work I’ve done on my businesses!Soooo, next year is going to be busy 🙂

But let’s move on to cheap books and giveaways, yes? 😉 You know that’s why you’re really here *ahem*

*Take that, super critical voice in my head!

This giveaway is on Instagram only. Be sure you follow me on Instagram so you don’t miss it!

I will pick THREE winners because I’m feeling generous this season 🙂 I’ll be giving away e-copies of Rise of the Sparrows AND Wardens of Archos, as well as an early first-ten-chapters preview of Darkened Light. Normally, you’d need to be on my Review Team to get the latter, but it’s Christmas so I’m giving up the goodies 😉

Moreover, I’m not the only author giving away her books. There are 17 of us, so there’s a good chance you’ll win something 🙂 Do pop over and have a look!

I’m really excited about this promotion. The last one I did was free books, and it’s grown my review team as well as my readership more than anything else I’ve tried to date. I can’t wait to see how this promo with cheap books rather than free books is going to compare.

Next year, I’ll share my results with you so you can see if this might work for you and your books, too 🙂 I’ve been meaning to write a post about marketing, anyway.

If you haven’t bought your copy of Rise of the Sparrows yet, here are the links:

If you like what you’re seeing in this promo, feel free to share it and spread the word! Last time I checked, over 70 authors were included, so there’s plenty of choice 🙂

I might have a third promotion to share with you as well (for Wardens of Archos this time), but I won’t know whether I’ve been approved for it or not until the 20th. I won’t blog over the holidays but I’ll share it on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter if I’m in, so be sure to keep an eye on my accounts 🙂 There’ll also be a newsletter if Wardens is included, so feel free to sign up for that instead 🙂

What have you been up to this year? Have you achieved your goals? Don’t worry if you haven’t. Life happens. Other things come up. You’ve done beautifully even with one or two failed goals <3

Since this is my last post of 2017, allow me to wish you a Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and a great start to 2018 <3

You’re welcome to join me for a bit of annual reflection and a chat over tea and cookies in the comments 🙂 Make yourself comfortable and let’s talk!


Sign up for my newsletter for updates on my books (like early cover reveals…) and recommendations to help you grow as a writer:

All content belongs to the author, Sarina Langer.

For all previous updates on my books’ progress, click me!

For Cookie Break’s front page, take a look here.

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(Oh, and my unconditional gratitude.)