GRACEBORN: NaNoWriMo + next steps + book 2 reveal!

Did you participate in NaNoWriMo 2019? I did, and I finally finished the draft of the first book in my fantasy series Graceborn! Woohoo! Come and check out the details, featuring some exciting SNIPPETS from the book, what I plan to do next, and the reveal of the title and mock cover for book two!! →

First things first: I WON NANOWRIMO 2019!! Words cannot even describe how excited-slash-relieved-slash-exhausted I am right now. If you read my post back in October, you’d know that my goal for this November was to write the first 50k words of part 3 in Blood of Old, which is the first novel in my WIP fantasy series Graceborn. Here’s how I went:

Write 50k words. Due to the writing frenzy I was in, I managed to reach the 50k target on November 21st! But did I stop there? No way! Since I was on a roll, I kept on writing for the rest of the month, and my final NaNo word count for 2019 was 66,762 words!!

Finish the draft. I had also previously stated that I really wanted to finish the current draft of Blood of Old by the end of 2019. Once I reached 50k words for NaNo, I switched my goal to getting the book done…and I got there! The complete draft is 195,170 words!!


If you follow me at all on social media, you may have seen my daily updates featuring a little doughnut chart that showed my word count for that day as well as how far along I was in the NaNo process. Below, I’ve posted the day-by-day play of how November unfolded for me!!


Also during NaNoWriMo, I posted a few lines of Blood of Old onto my Twitter account every day. They’re all still there if you’d like to go and have a look, but I thought I’d share some of the most popular snippets from the month here on my blog. I hope you like them, and I’d love to know what you think!!

Asa staggered along the passageway as fast as he was able. Tongues of fire whizzed past the corners of his vision in bursts of light and heat, the din of their crackling hiss eclipsing even the throb of his pulse in his ears.

The Weaver lowered his hands and squinted up at the ceiling. “I kind of hoped you wouldn’t say that.”

“So you want me to feed you lies?”

“No,” he said sourly. “I just don’t want to deal with another problem right now.”

The bodies had been there for days. They were strewn across the road like sacks of grain left to rot in the balmy, late-spring sun. Golden light spilled through the dell’s sparse canopy, highlighting the yellow-green cast to their skin.

“Will you dance with me?” he whispered.

Her cheeks looked darker than before, and her lashes lowered, veiling her emerald eyes. Then she stepped forward. Took his offered hand.

And Asa thought his heart might explode in his chest.

Naveen raised a finger and pointed it at his face. “Have a think about it when your brain isn’t stewing in alcohol.”

Endrid stared at her blearily. Forget the morning—he was regretting that last bottle of wine right now.

So, the book is done. Now what? I’m essentially taking the next week or so off to (A) recover after NaNo, since I’m exhausted, and (B) prepare a few things for the coming stage in my writing process. Here is a quick look at my current thoughts and intentions about the next key steps in the process of getting Blood of Old into your hands!

Beta reading. Although I’ve only just finished a second draft, which is almost another first draft given I changed so much, I’ll likely be putting out an official call for beta readers in the next week and a half. Blood of Old is a bit of a beast, I won’t lie, but I feel like I’m at the point where I need feedback from others before I start making any more edits!

Editing. Yep…I’m eyeing this one with dread! Given the amount of time it will likely take to put Blood of Old through its beta reading phase, I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m not ready to edit until late 2020…or even early 2021. One of my focuses for next year is likely to be drafting book 2, and I don’t really want to split my focus. We’ll see!

Publishing. I’ll get there. Eventually. Somewhere in the far-off future. Since I’m a slowish writer and an even slower editor, there is no way I’ll publish until I’ve got drafts of the next two or so books in the series as well. The route I take will likely depend on what happens with my YA contemporary novel, but I’m feeling like I’d prefer to self publish this one!

If you’re potentially interested in beta reading, or just want to know more about Blood of Old, I’ve included the abridged blurb below. The full blurb is available on the Graceborn progress page. Let me know in the comments below if you have any questions, but keep for eyes peeled for the “official” call for beta readers, which will contain all the info you need!

“The Old has returned…and what once was, will be again.”

For a thousand years none have dared to enter the Tainted Land, but when Asa O’Dair spills sacred blood on its once-sacred soil, fulfilling an ancient prophecy, an evil long-thought vanquished begins to stir.

Now, Asa and his adopted brother Kael must travel to the city-state of Asphodel, where treachery and dissent lurk within the ranks of the Graceborn, and they learn that a great and terrible destiny awaits them both.

Read the full blurb of Blood of Old here.

And now…what you’ve all been waiting for, right? I’ve been umming and ahhing for ages over when to reveal the title and mock cover of the second book in the Graceborn series. Since I’m still on a high after NaNo, and am likely to start work on the draft of this book early next year, I’ve decided that the time is…well…NOW.

So, without further ado, I present to you the title and mock cover of Graceborn book 2:























What do you think? I came up with this title around the same time as I changed the title of book one from Old Blood to Blood of Old. I wanted all the titles in this series to match, or at least have the same “ring” to them, and I definitely feel that First the Song has that. I’ve had a long time to get used to it now, so I’m not sure if it sounds odd to you, but the title comes from the following rhyme:

“First the song that lures me

Then the call into the sea

Last the face that takes my breath

As she drags me to my death”

This rhyme is one I wrote to be significant to book two…for reasons that are yet to be revealed. Within the world of Graceborn, it is very old and very mysterious, and is believed to have originated in the coastal regions of the nation of Finnmark (see map here). I hope you like it, and I hope you like the mock cover!!

Did you participate in NaNoWriMo this year? How did you go? Have any plans for your next steps? What do you think of my title and mock cover for Graceborn book 2?

  One thought on “GRACEBORN: NaNoWriMo + next steps + book 2 reveal!

  1. 03/12/2019 at 11:18 PM

    I’m continuing to try to work on my sequel to Mystical Greenwood, while trying to market and get reviews for the first book. Best of luck with everything! Happy Holidays!

    Liked by 1 person

    • 03/12/2019 at 11:26 PM

      Thank you! It can be a real challenge to multitask our writing projects, but sometimes it just has to be done! I hope your December is productive 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      • 03/12/2019 at 11:28 PM

        You’re welcome, and thank you. Hopefully the holidays will bring an increase in sales. Hope your December is productive too!

        Liked by 1 person

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