An ode to NaNoWriMo (and a Happy Birthday too!)

IMG_6904It’s almost November! And that means two very cool things for me:

  • NaNoWriMo (of course!), and
  • My debut book’s first birthday month is almost over.

The two are actually linked, because ‘The Lost Stone of SkyCity’ was written during NaNoWriMo 2016. I had heaps of fun writing it, but I had no idea it would be the first of my MSs to be published.

aurealis-awards-finalist-high-resI certainly never dreamed it would be shortlisted for an Aurealis Award (OMG!!!). Or that it would get such a positive response from readers. The past year has been full of new experiences for me, from first writers festivals to first COVID-19 cancellations, crash-courses in online presenting and then – just last week – first CBCA Children’s Book Week as an actual author!

I’ve been really lucky that my state (Western Australia) has finally turned having the world’s most isolated capital city into a real bonus for everyone: our kids are back at school and I was doing in-person presentations every day. I loved that I could meet so many awesome students, filled to overflowing with so much epic imagination and inspiration!

So, as a thank you to my TLSSC baby and a thumbs up to NaNo, here’s a short history and me and NaNoWriMo 🙂

2014 – Don’t even ask. Seriously.

Yep, I signed up on Day 3 and it was a struggle. What even were words? I hadn’t written for years. But I finished my 50,000 (yes!) and it changed my life course completely. I wanted to be a writer. At least by night …

But the MS? Absolutely terrible. It will never see the light of day!

2015 – Now we’re talking

This year I came to the party with purpose. And I wrote an awesome MS that I still totally love. 

9781925815948_WEBLARGEWatch this space because a contract has been signed, and ‘Evacuation Road’ is set to be published!! I’m so happy with the publisher and the cover roughs are blowing my mind. Yay!

2016 – ‘The Lost Stone of SkyCity’

Published by Fremantle Press October 2019. Yippee!

2017 – Nope No No Nope

I was back at Uni this year, wading through my final teaching practicum. No, I did not do NaNoWriMo. Yes, this was a very smart decision!

2018 – Bombed out

This year was terrible for me! Everyone has them, I’m sure.

I didn’t have a good idea for my story, I had totally lost my writing mojo, and then I got a bad case of the flu. Wisely, I gave in

I’d love to be able to tell my tired past self that she was about to sign her first book contract – hold in there!

2019 – I’m back, baby!

Yep. This was a good one. I had a great idea and some awesome world-building. This MS was recently shortlisted for a Varuna residency and I really love it. Now to actually find the time to edit it!

And the reason I don’t have time? Well you can blame –

2020 – Let’s do this!

NaNo-2020-Writer-Badge-1-300x300Mars. Blame Mars.

Not the planet. The story idea. This one came to me so strongly I belted it out in a NaNo of my own making. I totally love this concept. I love the characters, I love the setting, I love the intrigue.

But it’s coming to me as a duology. And I’ve only written the first.

So, come Sunday, I’m back to the world of Dee and Holt and we’re going to kick some planetary butt. With side-lashings of slime. And some underground cavern capers.


Good luck to everyone doing NaNoWriMo this year! And if you’re not, that’s okay. Sometimes it just doesn’t fit into life.

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