Writing & Life Update: September 2020

I hope you all are doing okay, and are safe and healthy! I’m sharing another life and writing update today.

PERSONAL LIFE

The big news (and the main reason I didn’t post a blog in August) is that my father had his surgery. He had some complications afterwards but he’s doing really well now, which is the most important thing. In addition, my day job has been particularly rough lately, which leaves me emotionally and physically drained at the end of the day so I haven’t been able to work on much in the evenings (or even the weekends, which have become rest/recovery days). But I took a few days off work to mentally and physically recharge, which has helped a lot. I wish I could take a few more days, but I did make some real progress (read on to see what I did get done).

The other thing affecting my life is Google shutting down their Google Play Music app and launching the YouTube Music app instead. This is pretty trivial in the grand scheme of things, but music means A LOT to me. I’ve talked a lot about how much I use music to motivate me when I write (I create a playlist for each book I write, and use other ‘writing’ or ‘editing’ playlists along the way) so switching to a new and, in my opinion, shittier app in some respects has also been tough. I also use music to manage my anxiety, so it’s been challenging to both write and relax mentally and physically. But I’m hoping they’ll update certain aspects of the app soon.

AUTHOR LIFE

A few updates here for you!

Brazenbourg Duet: I received them both from my developmental editor! Unfortunately, there is quite a lot of work to be done, so they won’t be published this year. By the time all the edits are done (by me and my copywriter), it will be around mid-December likely anyway, so it makes sense to do a 2021 release (sometime in Jan/Feb/Mar). I’ll still try to get pre-orders up in the next couple months, though, as soon as the covers are done. Stay tuned!

Vollywood Series: I’ve made good progress here and taking a few days off work really helped me to clarify some aspects of this book and series. I’m so excited about where this first book and the series will go. I’m leaning more towards 5 books in the series (I originally had only 3 or maybe 4) but a couple characters have popped out at me that might need their own book. Sometimes I know ahead of time how many books in the series I want to do (e.g., 5 for the Seaside series, 2 for the Brazenbourg series), but other times I just go with the flow (e.g., the Royals series, for which I don’t have a set number of books I want to write in the series). I’ll think on this some more over the next few weeks.

Audio: The original company I’d decided to use to produce/distribute my audiobooks has really let me down, so now I’m basically starting from scratch. I’d wanted to ‘go wide’ (meaning I’d publish audiobooks on a broad range of websites besides just Amazon/Audible and Apple) but for now I’ve decided to go more exclusive with Audible and Apple. I’m reviewing a new batch of narrators now and I’ve decided to use British accents, rather than French or Italian (which just didn’t sound right, at least to me), for Valleria. In my head, actually the royals just sound ‘posh American’ when I’m writing, but I’m looking forward to hearing the British versions.

That’s it for now! Let me know how you’re doing, and something good that happened to you recently in the comments below.

~xoxo Marianne

2 thoughts on “Writing & Life Update: September 2020”

  1. Glad your Dad is doing better and that you finally took some time to refresh yourself. Always remember the advice about deploying oxygen masks on planes in case of emergencies; the caregiver puts hers on first, then puts it on her charges.
    Looking forward to your next installments. As for Finding Freedom, I was glad to hear that it was not a hit piece for the most part, but when it comes to Harry and Meghan, I only listen to what they themselves put out. As Harry said, they and only they, will speak for them. A rebel prince who left all for love and real freedom to live a purpose-driven life is real life romance grounded in the real challenges that they faced: jealousy, racism, classism and betrayal.
    Carla B.

    1. Hi, Carla! Very true – trusting what Harry & Meghan put out is incredibly important. I just love researching all things royal so loved the insight into royal protocol and modern royal life. I’m always looking for inspiration!💜 ~Marianne

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