I'm just realizing that I haven't blogged since my birthday week (oops). So much for blogging every Monday in 2018. To be honest, I haven't had much to report. Once I turned 21, I've been hanging out with friends a lot more and away from my computer more than I ever have been (something my mom is positively loving).
Unfortunately, I've also been pretty stuck on writing a new Chapter 8 for Unmoored. But I have booked an editor (and now have a hard deadline, so I will be working my butt off to meet it). I've also let go from the flawed idea that this book has to be the same length as the first book. Because everyone knows that, at some point, writing to a length will eventually lead to adding in unnecessary filler. And no one wants to read lazily-written filler content in the middle of a novel.
I'm also low-key doing Camp NaNoWriMo but haven't done much because of the above reasons and not feeling well on more days than I would like to admit. Are you doing Camp NaNo this year? Comment below about how it's going! If you're not doing Camp NaNo, tell me how your April is going instead.
NaNoWriMo is over and I did not win. I only made it just past 45,000 words. Which is 3 days short of the goal. Although it's less than the 50,000 word count goal, I still did much better than I thought I would given I didn't write at all for 4 days (red), and under 1,667 on 11 days (yellow) and under 600 on 5 other days (orange).
With that said, I only have 5 more chapters to write, which will put me over the 50,000 word mark for NaNo (albeit late), but it will still be short of my novel's goal of 60,000. I intend to expand at least 18 chapters during the revision process, so I don't think that will be a problem.
Now, enough about me and my writing. Let's get to the fun stuff!
Starting today, my book is in 2 paperback giveaways. The first ends on December 22, and the second ends February 28. So, click on the images below and enter for the chance to win The Belgrave Legacy and many other books.
I have a little writing update. But first, here's a little recap of my Thanksgiving Break:
My Thanksgiving has been a bit rocky to say the least. On Wednesday, very close family friend went into the ER and my mom stayed with her while I hauled all our Thanksgiving food and plates into an Uber and rode up to my uncle in New Jersey by myself. Let's say it was an unfortunate reminder of my mom's trip to the ER this summer when I had to play point person and actually realized for the first time that at some point in the future, I'll be the one taking care of my mom, not the other way around. It wasn't something I ever expected to deal with so early, but I was oddly calm about it all (publicly, anyway).
But things picked up on Thursday because my mom came up to New Jersey, and we assumed everything was fine with our friend. It wasn't, but she wasn't alone, and we were getting updates throughout the day. And on Friday, we were set to come home, get our dog back, and host said friend in our guest room.
That didn't happen because I started feeling chest pain (had been off-and-on for the past few months, but it wouldn't go away all day on Friday), and took my own trip to the ER (same one my mom had been in this summer) and spent 4 hours waiting and taking tests, and then waiting for results. Luckily, it's nothing dangerous. But these three incidents (although I was saying this before my own trip) have made me so consciously grateful for the existence of ERs (even if they do take forever) and cell phones, which allowed me in all cases to stay in touch with the people I needed to.
So, what does this have to do with writing? Well, it explains my lack of (substantial) writing 11/22-11/24. Today, I'm hoping to get some writing in, but I think I may have to admit that NaNoWriMo will be unwinnable this year. Which is a kind of tough pill to swallow since I started out so ahead, then didn't have my computer for 5 days while it was fixed, and all this Thanksgiving medical drama. But, even when I don't win, NaNoWriMo has been so helpful in getting me to write Unmoored that I'm also thankful for the kick in the butt it's given me this month.
You may remember me announcing that I was doing NaNoWriMo this year, and was part of The Mighty Pens fundraising campaign for the Malala Fund. If you haven't read that post yet, I would go read it here. If you're wondering about how I've been doing, I just passed 15,000 words in my draft today. And because I'm part of The Mighty Pens, I received this badge and was featured on the blog with the below questions (with a few others).
What is your favorite book and/or author, and what draws you to them?
Favorite book is The Giver by Lois Lowry, favorite author is Cora Carmack. Love the book because of the imagery, story, complicated worldview, and the fact that it was one of the first novels I ever read and partly made me fall in love with reading. Love Cora Carmack because her stories always propel me through them dying to know what happens and loving the love stories she writes.
Is this your first book? If not, what was the first book you ever finished writing? Tell us a little about it.
No, it’s the second official book I’ll be publishing. Technically, it’s the 7th book I’ve written (but that includes 3 separate books—one of which I published—that wound up becoming 1 single book, which is the first book I officially published). The first book I ever wrote was the summer before fourth grade and I wrote a blatant Nancy Drew rip-off. It will never see the light of day, but it was fun at the time.
What’s the working title of your NaNoWriMo17 project?
Unmoored. It’s the sequel to The Belgrave Legacy.
Give us an elevator pitch of your project.
She’s the best friend. He’s the twin brother. She’s a siren. He’s the only male witch in the world. And while they love each other, they drive each other nuts and can’t seem to agree on the nature of soulmates when it comes to her best friend and his sister’s crazy relationship with a duplicitous angel. So there’s no way in hell she’s going to tell him that they’re each other’s soulmate.
Share your favorite line/short paragraph from your book so far.
“How many of Ivy’s exes are here?”
Fawn surveyed the other guests for a few moments. “About thirty, give or take.”
“That’s all the guys here.”
You know when people say, "enjoy it while it lasts"? Well, my first 5 days of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) were amazing. You can see below my 3rd day was sub-par, but I made it up on the 4th day and kept it up on the 5th. But then I had a 3 day streak of yellow. And you may be wondering why.
Short answer: my computer malfunctioned and I didn't have it to write for those days. I was typing on my phone, giving myself hand cramps as I did. It was slow, and literally painful. But, I just got my laptop back today and am prepared to catch up on the 3,281 words I need by the end of the day to be back on track. Today is red because as of writing this, I haven't written any more of Unmoored yet.
Now, I was fully prepared to spend a week (11/6-11/13) without my laptop even though, as a college student and author in the middle of NaNo, the thought filled me with terror. But things got even worse on Monday, because I (and many other authors) received an unexpected email from our book distributor Pronoun, telling us the company was closing in January. Which, again, is something I can easily deal with (others aren't so lucky). But without my laptop, the news made me internally panic.
Today, I started the process of pulling The Belgrave Legacy and the related Short Story Collection from publication. I'll be publishing it again as soon as possible on Amazon, but since I rarely ever get sales from iBooks, I've decided to make my books exclusively available on Amazon.
If you haven't read Part 1 where I introduced Unmoored as my NaNo17 WIP, you can read that first and then come back here.
Okay, all set? Let's jump into Part 2 (as always, questions are from my writer friend, Paper Fury).
Series: The Belgrave Legacy, 2
Author: Zara Hoffman
Genre: Upper YA Paranormal Romance
Publisher: ZH Press
Add on Goodreads
A witch. A siren. Soulmates?
Alec Belgrave is overwhelmed. He's busy protecting his sister Fawn from the forces of Hell while also attending college in a different state. The last thing he expected was to learn their shared best friend was his soulmate.
As a siren, Ivy Moore knows a lot about attraction. But having Supernatural beauty is useless if her own soulmate doesn't see her as anything more than a sisterly best friend. Is it so unreasonable to want her soulmate to want her without fate pulling the strings?
They may be soulmates, but that doesn't mean love will come easily.
Unmoored is a young adult paranormal romance featuring magic and sirens. As a spin-off of The Belgrave Legacy, it can be read as a sequel or a stand-alone book.
You may remember me announcing The Belgrave Legacy's sequel, Unmoored. I outlined it during October (#NaNoPrep & #Preptober), and am starting to draft it in earnest for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).
Title: Short Story Collection
Series: The Belgrave Legacy, 0.5
Author: Zara Hoffman
Genre: Upper YA Paranormal Romance
Publisher: ZH Press
3 witches. 3 stories.
Meet the original Belgrave matriarch and see her do all she can to protect her family in Evelyn's Enchantment.
Meet Fawn and Alec's grandmother as she makes a difficult decision to give up the love her life to save her unborn daughter in Cassandra's Choice.
Meet Stella Belgrave, Fawn and Alec's mom, and learn about her own love story in Stella's Soulmate.
The Short Story Collection has three young adult paranormal short stories featuring magic and three powerful Belgrave witches before Fawn was called on to fulfill her destiny. These stories can be read as prequels, but are not necessary to understand the plot of The Belgrave Legacy.
In addition to all of that, author Susan Dennard and Kat Braver created The Mighty Pens (#TheMightyPens), a fundraiser for NaNoWriMo participants to raise money for the Malala Fund. Below is my message from my personal fundraising page. Please donate if you can. It goes to support girls' education, something in which I wholeheartedly believe. The fundraiser will run from today (November 1) to November 30.
I've been a feminist for as long as I can remember. Like Maya Angelou said, “I’m a feminist. I’ve been a female for a long time now. It’d be stupid not to be on my own side.” Remember, feminism=gender equality, not man-hating (that's misandry).
All opinions featured on this blog are mine unless otherwise marked as a sponsored or guest post. All book links are affiliate links.
I'm a self-published author— because being a college student wasn't hard enough! I write YA multi-genre fiction for young adults or the young at heart. I love This Is Us, NCIS, BBC's Sherlock,