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note to self: i’ll be there for you, always

written june 6, 2021. Photo by Kristine Cinate on Unsplash I have always looked for myself in other people. I think the idea was that they would somehow hold the pieces of me that I felt were missing. That maybe, if I wrapped my identity up in theirs enough, we would somehow make a whole person. It's not healthy to live like this, but I did it anyway — burning through relationships and searching for something I couldn't quite name. It was never enough, not to be myself, but it was never enough to latch my identity to other people, either. I got close, several times — I thought I had reached the pinnacle of self discovery. I thought I had completed myself. But in the end, relying on other people to help build yourself is never a viable way to do things. It's only recently that I've started to become comfortable with the idea of being enough, as I am, on my own. Several years ago, in this same position, I would have searched for another person to attach my identity onto,

What a Wild Ride (Beautiful Books #3)

NaNoWriMo 2015 is now over, and somehow I managed to make it to the finish line. In celebration of this, I'm here to participate in Beautiful Books, my blog link-up with Cait.

I'll be discussing Leo Andromedus Saves the World, the novel that took everything out of me.

1. On a scale of 1 (worst) to 10 (best), how did the book turn out? 

I'm going to say a 4. While I love my characters, this book needs some serious help. I did finish both NaNo and the novel, but it took a lot out of me to write it. I kind of rushed the ending and messed up some things. (*evil laughter*)

It needs heavy editing for sure, and writing it was nearly impossible. I got behind several times, and I didn't like my novel very much at all. 

Writing Leo A was a last minute plan, as you know, and I do think I rushed writing it. I didn't know enough about it in order to write it with confidence. So, I learned a few things. This NaNo, I realized that while I do like to fly by the seat of my pants, I do need to have basic plot points that I'm writing towards (like I did last year with Lost Girls). I do have to plot out at least a little bit--at least during NaNo. If I don't have at least a little plotted, then I waste time trying to figure out what happens next when I should be writing. So, that was a nice little lesson learned. 

Writing Leo Andromedus Saves the World was really super-duper hard. However, now that I'm done with it, I appreciate this book so much, and I am ultimately glad I wrote it. 

...Did anything defy your expectations?

Haha, yeah. Like... all of it. A murder plot happened, several deaths occurred, and my characters' vibrant personalities were a total surprise. They totally switched around many of my plans, which, surprisingly is fine by me. It was all a really wild, difficult adventure.

2. Comparative title time: what published books, movies, or TV shows are like your book? (Ex: Inkheart meets X-Men.)

This is absolutely Inkheart meets X-Men. Just kidding, I wish. (Cait and I still want someone to write Inkheart meets X-Men. Just saying.)

I would have to say this is like Once Upon a Time meets The Raven Boys meets NCIS. (I don't even know what I write anymore, guys.)

3. Do you enjoy working with deadlines and pressure (aka NaNoWriMo)? Or do you prefer to write-as-you’re-inspired?

Normally, NaNo gives me the much-needed boost to finish off my novels and to just write. However, this year, it was the direct opposite: writing was like pulling teeth. As soon as NaNo ended, I started a story (titled Spaceboy) where there was no pressure to make it good or to finish in a month. Writing this story is going so much better. Who knew?

4. How do you go about editing? Give us an insight into your editing process.

How do I go about editing?

I... just... don't. 

I've rewritten Because I'm Irish, so I think that counts. That was literally rewriting, though, and there wasn't as much actual editing involved. I'm hoping to work on that next year... but we'll talk about that during question #10.

5. What aspect of your story needs the most work?

The plot, as well as those teensy little details that end up being inconsistent. Leo and Emilie, one of the many friendships in the novel, ended up having like 5 different stories of how they met. So... yeah. Editing the plot, writing, and inconsistencies. AKA, fixing everything.

6. What aspect of your story did you love the most?

Okay, I'm kidding, I'm kidding. I loved the friendships. The interpersonal dynamics were so perfect. I loved the titular character, Leo, so much. He's so full of life. I also really enjoyed Allan's ability to read minds, which led to some really creepy-awesome scenes.

7. Give us a brief run down on your main characters and how you think they turned out. Do you think they'll need changes in edits?

Maybe. I think the bare bones for my characters are in tact, but they can always be fleshed out more.

Leo turned out so much better than I had planned, actually. He's British, with a quick wit and a penchant for slightly off-kilter ideas. His best friend, Allan, started out super moody, but by the end was one of the best companions my characters could ask for. Emilie was my unexpected narrator, who viewed things rationally and logically (and mostly skeptically). She had a connection with each character, which was so fun to write. The only one I think needs more development is Raven. She seemed kind of flat and dry since I was busy giving the other characters screen time. I'd also like to develop my secondary characters, Brooke and Declan, a lot more in future drafts.

8. What are your plans for this novel once you finish editing? More edits? Finding beta readers? Querying? Self-publishing? Hiding it in a dark hole forever?


Basically, though I love this novel, it burned me out so badly that it needs to take a time out for a little while. I know it has potential, but it needs to sit for a bit before we get there. So we shall see.

9. Share a favourite snippet!

This involved going into my document for the first time since NaNo, which was a terrifying prospect. 

“You’ve been gifted with this thing called Magic. Again, congratulations. It’s quite an honor. Most people live their life in a vanilla sort of complacency, never knowing there’s wonder lurking around every corner.”

That's my darling Leo Andromedus speaking, and this quote kind of sums up what the entire novel is about: magic, with a touch of witty sarcasm and British wit.

10. What are your writing goals and plans for 2016?

I'm currently working on a random new project called Spaceboy, which stars Stanley Tucci and Chris Pratt, among others. I really love where it's going.

In 2016, I would like to make writing a routine that I work on every single day (or close to it!). I'd also like to revise at least one draft, so that I can work towards my goal of publication.

How did NaNo go for you? Did you enter Beautiful Books? Let me know below!

(P.S. New blog design. I felt like it was time for a change. Let me know what you think!)


  1. I'm glad you pushed through despite the difficulty! I'm feeling that a bit lately while rewriting the extended parts for one of my books this month before I take a holiday break. Best wishes with this novel!

    I did Beautiful Books too!

  2. Congrats for finishing!

    "I would have to say this is like Once Upon a Time meets The Raven Boys meets NCIS."
    -But that sounds awesome! (And I must say, I also like the sound of Spaceboy).

    Leo sounds like a fun character, and that line you shared was a voice I really liked.

    My editing is often just "rewriting" too. Side plots crop up, characters die (unplanned, anyhow), someone insists on falling in love (also unplanned). Sometimes it turns into a completely different book!

    Anyhow, here's my Beautiful Books if you're interested:

  3. Your novel sounds really interesting! I especially like the sound of Emilie; rational characters are fantastic. :)

    I did do Beautiful Books! Here's the link to mine if you're interested. :)



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