I’ve spent the better part of two weeks recovering from minor surgery on my right hand. Since this is my dominant hand, typing has been hard…but fortunately reading has not!
During my convalescence, I was able to put a bit of a dent in my TBR.
Check out my reviews below – and have a safe and wonderful Halloween!
Bennett’s Books – October Wrap-Up
A list of books I read this past month with links to my Goodreads reviews:
Roman (Vampire's Mate, #1) – Grae Bryan
A Strange Belief: Weird Stories – N.S. Ford
Splinter : A Diverse Sleepy Hollow Retelling – Jasper Hyde
In Aeternum – Maxime Jaz
Hunted (Blood Moon, Texas Shifters, #5) – Kat Kinney
Dread Scarlet (Shadows of Chicago Book 3) – Rien Nadie and C.J. Twining
TankerTanner – W. Payne Sillavan
A Forest of Grimm Desires – E.P. Stavs
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Sat with some old friends recently.
As y’all know, this past summer was very difficult, and then my day job threw several wrenches at me throughout September. I was extremely overwhelmed and am just now starting to feel steady again. Hence, this post, which will be a bit of a ramble. You’ve been warned!
For most of this year I’ve been thinking about what I want to do with this space. Before my life got too hectic, I had Notions and Thoughts about writing Meaningful Things and posting them here. I attempted this once but wound up getting frustrated, realizing the exercise just wasn’t working for me. So I’m going to return to talking about where I am with my writing and my plans for the future. Doing so in the past helped keep me grounded and organized.
Rereading My Own Books
I don’t revisit many books. I have a few select comfort reads I break out during my summer travels or the holiday season, but mostly if I’m done with a book, I’m, well…done with it.
As I’ve prepared to launch my third book this year (hello, burnout!) I realized that, as much as I was sort of dreading it, it would do me good to reread all of the books I’ve put out so far.
I’ve said this before, but I wish I had a time machine so I could go back and launch Gathering of the Four again. The first version was an absolute mess of a disaster and I’m utterly shocked that anyone got all the way through it, let alone posted favorable reviews of it. (Those of you who did are truly kind.) Though I had gone back and edited it again, I did catch a few more typos and grammatical errors during this latest reread. I am still embarrassed, but the upside is I’ve grown as a writer since the spring of 2021.
So, the copies of Gathering of the Four that are on sale now hopefully shine a bit brighter than the ones from the past. I don’t know if I’ll ever fully forgive myself for botching up my lifelong dream so badly at the beginning, but—it is what it is. Gathering of the Four is as good as it’s going to ever get.
Rereads of Yours and Mine and Second Glance didn’t make me want to hide my head in shame, but I did manage to clean up a few oddly-worded sentences here and there. Plus, delving into the lives of my side characters is always amusing, so combing through those two books again was not nearly as taxing.
In anticipation of starting Book Three next year, I’m also going to revisit Test of the Four this winter. I don’t think I’ll feel nearly as bad about myself after reading the second book in my series as I did after completing the first, so I’m not dreading this exercise as much. Ha!
I know I’m never going to be a famous author. Hell, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to consider myself a successfulauthor, but I learn something new with every story I write and every book I publish. What do they say? “It’s not the destination, but the journey?”
If you’re still here, thanks for being by my side!
Speaking of Publishing More Books…
I’m in the process of gathering alpha reader feedback for the yet-to-be-named next spinoff book in The Serrulata Saga. I had fun writing this one, but I did push myself too hard and so I’m anticipating a lot of comments along the lines of “Wait…what?” I will allow myself a small brag, however, and say that two of my regular alpha readers have already said they very much enjoyed this story, so hopefully I’ll be able to whip it up into shape for a release early next year.
After I get that book out the door, I will commence outlining Book Three. I’m hoping I’ll be able to learn from my mistakes, actually modify my behavior, and not rush. Now that I have pretty much realized I am never going to make money or gain fame from this self-publishing game, I have to keep reminding myself that there is no pressure. The words will come when they come. The next book will be done when it’s done. No one is really chomping at the bit for it, other than the reader inside of me, so I can do what I should have done from the beginning and take my time.
So, Book Three is coming. I just don’t know when. I’m not even going to hazard a guess; however…
Spooky Season Inspo
If you follow me on Insta, you know that Stephen King is one of my favorite horror authors. Every year around this time I revisit some of my favorite short stories by him, and I’m now in what I like to call “short story mode”. I’ve always enjoyed reading collections and I’m at the point where I want to put out my own. Thus, I’m planning to root around in (digital) folders from years past and dust off a few things I put down before I honed in on Gathering of the Four and self-publishing. I know there’s truly no going back again, so to speak, but it will do me some good to think back to where I was—and what I was writing—years ago.
This has turned into quite a post, so I’ll leave things here for now. I will be back later this month with my October reads wrap-up. Until then, stay safe and well.