January 2024 Author Updates

Happy February! It’s another month and it’s time to reflect on what I accomplished in January and my latest writing updates. It’s also a IWSG Wednesday (what’s that? read on!) and the question posed this month is about author websites.

This month I am:

Writing Progress and Updates

I just did a big look-back at 2023 so if you missed that and want to see a roundup of things I did and writing accomplishments, head on over to that post.


After a couple months of setbacks due to family items, I was able to work hard on my novella, Tavern Tale. I’m proud of what I accomplished, which ended up being increasing the length by about 14,000 words (2-3 chapters in length) and I’m excited for the new character interactions, the extra backstory weaved within, and the world building that gives you more insight to the magic and gods and goddesses. I outlined the next book and a bit of a third, and I started a map.

Next step is for my publisher to review the edits and see what else we need to polish for a fall release! To get a reminder with the crowd funding goes live, get a free book when you pledge, and check out the other 11 books with mine click here.

After hitting send on those edits in January, I’m taking a short mental break by doing some crafts and playing a video game (Sackboy) and will be back to writing book 2 of the Etherea Cycle by the end of the week.

I got Sackboy as I’d played Little Big Planet years ago and thought it might be a calmer alternative to my usual RPGs for me to play in front of my children (I’m not about to play Diablo or Dragon Age in front of them so don’t really play games anymore). While it’s calmer in the sense of no stabby stabs with swords or language bombs, it’s still a bit too intense for them right now with avoiding traps and timed races and yetis falling on you. But it’s fun!

What I’m Reading

I’ve started a lot of books in January. I’m just having a hard time connecting to some of them. I don’t know if this is just a mental space I’m in, or if the books just aren’t for me. I think I’ll pause a few of them and give them another go later this year. I was especially excited to finally get around to starting the Dragonriders of Pern series, I’m just not finding myself drawn to the characters.

I finished four books in January so I’m off to an enjoyable reading year. I’ve already added several books to my physical TBR pile and am trying to make sure I read some off of my list before I buy more (but they are so gosh darn pretty).

If you’ve followed me for a while, you’ll know that I’m always reading multiple books at the same time. Here’s my current list including ones I’m tabling for now:

Insecure Writer’s Support Group February 2023 Author Question

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group post on the first Wednesday of the month. “Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance.” You can find my previous posts here. The group poses a monthly question to answer as well.

The co-hosts this month are: Janet AlcornSE WhiteVictoria Marie Lees, and Cathrina Constantine. Be sure to visit them to say thanks for their work.

IWSG Question of the Month

What turns you off when visiting an author’s website/blog? Lack of information? A drone of negativity? Little mention of author’s books? Constant mention of books?

This is a hard one as I know that my website isn’t something magical and unique and could use some improvement. But here are some things that annoy me enough to maybe x out of the webpage.

  • Excessive scrolling. I’m not a fan of the layout where the menu/navigation options aren’t present, and you have to keep scrolling to get the “cards” that show you more information. Often I’m at the site because I have a goal – I want to know more about the author, I want to find their books – and if I can’t get to that section within a few moments I’m likely to throw up my frustrated hands and walk away. So easily found information is also key for me.
  • Side bar of books. And not just a side bar on the left or right side, but so big that it takes up most of the screen and scrunches the text on the rest of the screen so that it feels like you’re trying to read a book on a bookmark-width screen as you endlessly scroll past the leering novel covers.
  • Popups and ads. I get needing to fund your work. It’s hard to make a living off of writing. But I want to support you the author and not the brand that is showing an ad on your page. I also know that everyone says you have to have a newsletter, but I wish people who use the options that don’t prompt you to sign up on every page you visit on their website. Once is enough. Remind me the next time I visit, sure, but if I closed that newsletter form I don’t want to see it again today. Thanks

This list is a little cheeky and these issues are barely issues at all. But my favorite sites make things interactive, like clicking on a fantasy map location and being shown the races and characters that live there. sites like those inspired me to create these entries like you are accessing a database over at my EthereaCycle.com home for my fantasy and scifi fusing novel series.


My sci-fi and fantasy poetry book, Imaginari, gets it own section this time. I’m getting closer to picking a launch date! I am waiting for one more contest to either accept or reject me before I start the process to launch through the publishing arm of my co-author company, J&K Writing LLC. That’s right, I have a business. Right now we are focused on just publishing our own works based on the experiences we’ve had in the publishing industry so far.

Anyway, buy me a tea and help fund my efforts in launching my first poetry book, Imaginari!

If are you interested in being an ARC (advanced reader copy) for poetry books, sign up here.

11 thoughts on “January 2024 Author Updates”

  1. I’m impressed you can read several books at one time. I stick my nose in one book and if I love it, I can barely get anything else accomplished until I finish.

    1. Certainly if one really grabs me I focus on it. I last did that with Tomorrow Tomorrow and Tomorrow. Nothing grabbed me like that last month, sadly. But with my kiddos it often isn’t easy. Sometimes I’m up at 3am rocking the baby so I pull out an ebook. And I’m not about to buy a book on audio too just to listen, so in the car I listen to something I already have or have from the library. And then I try to improve my writing craft but get board if that’s the only topic I’m reading. So I’ll read a few chapters here and there between the genres I love.

  2. Helpful comments on author sites, thanks! I’m planning on redoing my website, though I likely won’t have time until AFTER my book launch, which is unfortunate, but I’m paying extra close attention to the responses on IWSG posts this month.

    I remember really liking the first Pern book, but when I tried to go back to read more of them many, many years later, it didn’t strike me the same. I kind of want to try again, but I think part of it for me is that I enjoyed fantasy and sci-fi more when I was younger, and my tastes changed.

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