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    Book Review: Midnight Riot, Rivers of London Series

    The Rivers of London series is what would happen if Harry Potter was an adult in the police force. This book introduces the character of Peter Grant, a man who recently discovers that magic exists and that there’s a whole other side to London that he never knew.

    This book cleverly weaves together a traditional crime novel with elements of fantasy. The characters are rich and a true voice of London. The author Ben Arronovitch doesn’t shy away from the realities of crime and what it’s like to fight crime. He also weaves in a new fantastical world that feels like it could be real.

    Humour is used throughout the book as a way of dealing with the strange things that Peter finds himself facing. The tone is very British which makes it unique in this genre.

    If you’re looking for a unique fantasy novel that utilises the crime genre as well, then this series could be for you. I read this book through Audible and the narration really added to the story, the accents and music helped set the scene and drew you in.

    Hobby vs Hustle

    I’ve just finished writing my second book, which took a year and a half to write. By indie standards, this is an incredibly long time between books, but by traditional publishing standards, this is more normal. The indie publishing community has a lot of methods on how to sell books and get known as an author and one of those is the rapid publishing model where a writer would write two, three or more books and then quickly release them all. I think this is a good approach, but something I know isn’t for me.

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    On Finishing a Book

    It’s said there are various energies needed when it comes to writing. At the start of a project there’s a flurry of excitement that spurs the story on, then you get to the sticky middle where you try and work out what’s going on and when you get to the second act you’re rolling to the finish line. However, when it comes to editing, these stages vary. Now I’m not a fan of editing, it’s a very slow process for me and is a reason why it takes me longer than it should to finish projects. But maintaining enthusiasm is the necessary energy needed to get a project finished.

    So, after going through all the different stages of writing, finishing my second book feels like an accomplishment that’s long overdue. As I was editing the last chapters, I was reading news about New Zealand, and so it’s hard to feel like celebrating when there’s tragedy unfolding but I am grateful that I have completed another project, that I’ll have another book out and I can start book three.

    The third book will be the last in this series and I am looking forward to beginning a new project and going through the cycles of excitement that comes with writing fiction.

    They are us.

    As I write this, New Zealand is facing it’s darkest day as a terrorist attack has unfolded in Christchurch. This act of violence doesn’t happen in New Zealand, this type of fear isn’t something that is normal in this country. Yet it feels like it is something that is becoming increasingly familiar. New Zealand is a multi-cultural country, it’s built up of numerous nationalities that all call New Zealand home. I am one of those people, I lived in Auckland for six years and identify strongly with Kiwi values and am as much a New Zealander as I am an Englishwoman.

    As I read the news, I was working on finishing my second book, where I write about characters living in divided communities, where characters fight to seek equality with others. Art often imitates life, life imitates art. Sometimes there are things that you wish were fiction, but we have to face the reality of the world we now live in.

    My heart is with my home. NZ will heal and will be stronger.

    On finding peace

    In my books I’m writing about war, war that’s waged against those who are different from societal norms, war against those who are invading from other words, but in moments my characters find peace. They find peace amongst themselves and in the worlds they’re living in and in life it’s needed. You need to have light with the dark if you’re going to have a balanced story, and you need the balance with life as well.

    I’ve been busy with getting first edits on Redux done and it’s definitely going to be released in the first six months of this year. I’ve been challenging myself with 365 days of writing, and tracking progress on Twitter. I’ve missed a couple days since going back to work (but I write there too, so it kind of all counts right?), but I find I’m a habits person and keeping myself accountable is working in my favour for now. By the end of the year I’m hoping to finish at least the first draft of End Game (book three in the series) and get more work done on the marketing side of things.

    But, I’ve gotten to the point in my life where I’ve found some peace, and it’s helping my writing no ends. Sometimes we need to take a note from our characters and find the peace in moments of madness if we’re going to have the strength we need to achieve our goals.

    Hopes for 2019

    2019 has finally arrived on our doorstep and the start of the year normally means time for reflection and change. As you can probably tell, I’m still playing with this website, and have been doing a lot of thinking about what I want to do online this year. The main goal I have is to use the internet to build a digital community of readers and writers. I have some ideas on how to go about this which are currently being developed and will be released when they’re ready.

    As for a writing update, here’s how things are going.

    In 2018, I did very little in terms of author business work. I was in the midst of moving countries, then moving cities, dealing with family stuff, finding a new job and there were times when it was all getting a little much so I had to put my business on the back burner. I did however, finish the first draft of book two in the Genesis series, so that was my main accomplishment for the year.

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