For the first time ever, I’m looking forward to the new year. 2017 is going to be amazing. I’m sure of it. I have it all planned out. Here is a list of my writing goals and other stuff for 2017.

I normally try to avoid new years celebrations and the resolutions / promises that go along with it. To me, Dec 31st into Jan 1st is a night like any other, but I’m running with it this year and promising to start 2017 as I mean to go– with LOTS of writing.

The Madison Chronicles

I’ve been through Sadie Madison and the Boy In The Crimson Scarf, the first book in The Madison Chronicles series, over Christmas and trimmed and edited it again. It’s lean and fighting fit, so I’m sending it out to agents this week and hoping for some positive feedback. Click the title or link in the navigation to read more about this book.

Book Two– Sadie Madison and the Bounty Hunter’s Apprentice (working title)– is about 30% done so I’m planning to get stuck into the rest in May / June / July and get the first draft finished. I’m really excited about this series, especially after reading lots of books this year for middle-grade readers. I really believe in it and know it stands up against other books in it’s genre.

Interested in an early / pre-edited read of either books and happy to discuss / send feedback? Let me know. Beta readers are always welcome.

The Last Scarecrow

I wrote this book in the summer 2016. I’ve blocked booked January to kick it into shape and possibly release it as a FREE eBook in the Spring. Excited? I know I am.

The Last Scarecrow is a middle-grade post-apocalyptic fantasy adventure novella. After The Many Years Storm, which destroyed almost all life on earth, Twelve (a scarecrow), Erin (her creator) and a blackbird named Raven build themselves a boat and go in search of survivors. Having survived The Many Years Storm, can Twelve and Erin survive the world that now awaits? A world inhabited by Wickermen, Mannequins and Statues, upon high-tides and wracked with a ravenous hunger. Only time and adventure will tell…

Shadowling (NaNoWriMo 2016)

I was really excited, and somewhat nervous, to attempt to write Shadowling as part of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in November 2016. Unfortunately, I was struck down by a nasty illness for 10 of the 30 days so the book currently stands at 48k words. In February I’ll be revisiting it and getting it finished. I’ll edit it later in the year.

Shadowling is a young adult retro high-school fantasy / horror novel about growing up, friendship and monsters. Mean Girls meets ET meets IT.

Set in the US back-water town of Leithwood, surrounded by an unnamed forest, Cotton Rivers captures a strange creature emerging from the woods on one of her hidden camcorders. The same day a series of gruesome murders occur at the local high-school. What is the creature on Cotton’s camera and does it have anything to do with all the vicious murders taking place on campus? The Leithwood County PD have come up empty but Cotton, and her gang of screwball friends, are willing to put their own lives in danger to find out.

Updates on Shadowling’s progress will be on social media throughout the year and possibly the opening chapters for those of you that are desperate to read some.

The Evergreen Strain

A new book for 2017, The Evergreen Strain is a young adult science fiction novel. In the near future, death has been cured and immortality is a choice but not everyone wants to live forever. Emerson, a twelve-year-old schoolboy boy, goes for his round of injections– The Evergreen Strain– but something unexpected happens. Something that only occurs to one in every ten-million people. Instead of slowing the aging process to a dead halt, The Evergreen Strain starts to age Emerson. Fast.

I’ll be writing this in March and April this year with an edit in September. Updates as they happen.

Dark Kings (Tales of Sorrow #1)

Another new book for 2017. The first in a trilogy, Dark Kings is young adult fantasy / horror novel about three warring families that live in Sorrow: a city of eternal night. Robey Merrick leads her family of mortal humans against a family of supernatural beings (Gods / Demons / Monsters) and a family of magic users (Witches & Magicians) for control of Sorrow. This is still in an early planning stage but I should be writing this in October-December 2017.

Reading

I thought about trying to read 100 books in 2017 but, looking at the workload above, I’m going to push for 75 instead. I’m sure there are lots of books coming out this year that I’ve yet to discover but so far I’m excited about V.E. Schwab’s ‘A Conjuring of Light‘ and ‘Our Dark Duet‘, Susan Dennard’s ‘Truthwitch‘ and ‘Windwitch‘, Leigh Bardugo’s ‘Crooked Kingdom‘ and Scarlett Thomas’ ‘Dragon’s Green‘.

Star Wars: Episode VIII

Oh ma gawd! I’m SO freakin’ excited about the next Star Wars episode movie. There’s a whole year to wait but I’m still wrapped in the brilliant Star Wars bubble created by Rogue One that I don’t mind the wait. There will be a couple of trailers coming my way during the year and the reveal of the film title too. I’m guessing it’ll be a darker movie, Empire Strikes Back style, with Kylo and his Knight of Ren coming more into focus.

Sadly, this will also be the last film featuring Carrie Fisher. Her role as Princess Leia was also scheduled for Episode IX too but that will no doubt change. Such sad news. Princess Leia was a defining feature of my childhood and has been with me every day since. I love writing with strong female leads. Her spirit is in every one.

…and finally

I think that’s probably enough, right? Oh, I’m running a marathon in April too. It’s my second one so I’m a little better prepared mentally. Just hope my legs hold together. Join me on Facebook / Twitter / Instagram etc to see how 2017 unfolds. Thanks for reading and have an awesome year.

NjH x

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