behind the scenes

A Look at 2018: The Writing Recap

I can’t believe that 2018 is already over. This year was such a split between the beginning of the year when I was completing a draft every few weeks and the second half of the year. Between January and July, I can think of at least four drafts off the top of my head that were started and finished. Then I moved in August and it killed my writing.

A look at 2018: the Writing Recap

After so many years of working on my main series The Cassie Morgan Series, I took some time this year to focus on something new. That’s how I ended up writing a new series – The Emily Burnet Series. I’ve taken a break over the past month or so to just not worry about writing, but I’m hoping to get started back up next week. When I move in January, I’ll be jumping back in full-steam ahead. I look forward to the late nights of writing again.

Related Post: My Writing in 2017

The main focus of 2018 and the first half of 2019 will be The Emily Burnet Series, which starts with Airtime & Alibis. With more information coming in the new year, Airtime & Alibis tells the story of a journalist who works with a police officer to find a missing woman – someone she went to school with. The series takes place in Austin, Texas, which is where I live. Knowing a city so well allows a lot of fun ways to bring it into the story and I’m excited to build it into the series.

In the new year, I’m excited to introduce you to Emily, like I did Cassie.

Even as I focus on this new idea, Cassie Morgan has been bubbling in the back of my head. While I’ve been writing, I’ve also taken the time to organize some thoughts and plot lines for both series. Between getting organized and the amount of reading I’ve done this year, I’m really excited to flex my creative muscle again in the new year.

Related Post: How I Fell in Love with Writing

This second half of 2018 has definitely been a transition period as I rearranged things to make 2019 a better year. While this year didn’t have anything big in the limelight, I made some pretty big moves in stories that make me really excited for 2019 and what it will hold.

If you haven’t already, I highly suggest signing up for the newsletter for the first news of the year. 2019 is gonna be legit, y’all. I can’t wait.

Behind the Scenes 2018

Behind the Scenes was a linkup I joined in 2015 and did again in 2016, but skipped out last year. Given that I’m planning to ramp back up in 2019, I thought it would be fun to see how things have changed since 2016. I’ll be sharing recaps of my year this week, so I hope you enjoy!
Behind the Scenes in 2018


This year, I’ve written in just about every situation – at work during my lunch hour, at coffee shops, the Austin Public Library, and in bed. I’m getting ready to move in January and I look forward to getting back to my writing desk and a dedicated space to tell stories (and I’m hoping to share some pictures of the new space once I move).


When I have my desk, I can go late into the night writing. Many nights it would be midnight and I would still be plugging away at the words, often aided by a nice glass of wine. This year didn’t feature any 10,000 word days, but we might have to make up for that in 2019. I’ve also snuck in some editing in at my lunch hour for my day job, which is at three in the afternoon. I am definitely a late-night writer.

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Water or wine. If I’m at a coffee shop, a cold brew is usually called for (but only one or two – any more and I’ll make myself sick). I try not to eat while I write, but I have snuck in some writing while eating lunch or dinner.


At the beginning o the year, I was crushing it with a new draft about every 45 days. Then in June, I started a new job and in August I moved in with family temporarily (for personal reasons) and the writing train slowed down. Once I move in January, I plan to focus on writing and revving back up.


I’ve listened to music, watched Youtube vidoes, binged on podcasts, and chased tornado coverage on the internet – all in the name of something to listen to while writing,


Latptop. Always the laptop.


There really isn’t, I just write.


I don’t do anything special to get writing, I just sit down and write. If I’m struggling, I might take a break and go on a walk, but I often keep powering through. I like to break my writing segments up into 15-minute chunks. If I’m really on top of my game, I can get 500 words done in that time. I use the target window in Scrivener to keep myself going, and I love hitting the goal and resetting it to push myself farther.


A drink, probably my planner, and my phone.


I don’t, I just expect myself to keep going.


This new series I’m working on, I want to rewrite the first three books before I get the first one out. I’m hoping I can do this to cut down the time between releases. Then after I release the first three short stories, I’ll go back to The Cassie Morgan Series. At this point, it’s been eight months since I’ve worked on those books and I’m really itching to go back to them.

Read past years of Behind the Scenes: 2016 | 2015

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Coming in 2018

A new year is here and it feels so nice. Often times, I feel the new year can be hard for me, but this one is different. I feel like I’m in a good place. Especially after the last two years, which were rough, I’m feeling optimistic – and that goes for my writing as well. So today, I’m sharing what’s coming in 2018.

Coming in 2018

Since 2017 saw no new titles published, I’m hoping to publish some this year. It definitely hurts not to have new material for people to read, but it’s not a race – it’s about patience. Today, though, I want to recap exactly what I’m hoping to accomplish in my writing this year. I’m focusing on two series that I think I’ll be working on, but a lot of things can change in twelve months. I can’t wait to come back in December and see what actually happens!

The Cassie Morgan Series

I’ve mentioned multiple times that I’m trying to get both Justice & Lies, the third book, and Hit List, the fourth one, done at once so I can publish them back-to-back. Given the way Justice & Lies ends, it makes sense because Hit List picks up shortly after the end of the third one. My hope is that these two stories are so intertwined, you could pick up Justice & Lies, without having read the first two, and still feel like you understand what’s going on.

Currently, I’m 54,000 words into a Hit List draft, with probably 15,000 words to go, My hope is to be done by the end of January, but after that, I’m taking some time off from the series. We all go through creative burnouts, so it’s important to see those for what they are. I’ve been working on these two books for a year and a half straight now, and I need a break!

Hopefully, I’ll come back to them in April or May, but I don’t anticipate coming in before that. I’m hoping for a September or October release date for Justice & Lies, which would be over two years after Double Played came out.

The Short Stories

I’ve also mentioned these a few times – the short stories, but these stories are still so… abstract. I’ve got two ideas I’m toying with and I’m not totally sure which direction I want to go in. One is much darker than The Cassie Morgan Series, more in line with something like The Girl on the Train or All the Missing Girls. Then my second idea is more light-hearted, almost cozy mystery type. I suspect at the end of my writing career, I’ll have written both, but for now, I’m not sure which direction I want to go in.

I do want to try some new ways of publishing – with the short stories, I’m hoping these can be faster and I can promote them more. All the “traditional” rules that I follow as an indie author, I’d like to throw those out the window and just see what I can do – experiment with these short stories.

Either way, as I have a goal to read a whole entire book series that consists of 46 books (right now) this year, I’m also hoping to write a lot of words, and of course, I hope you stick around for the fun!

My Year in 2017: Writing Edition

Hello end of the year! 2017 was a insane year for me, but throughout it all, I still had my writing. This year didn’t quite end up the way I thought it would.

My Year in 2017: Writing Edition

The year was spent working on two books – two books I thought would be out by now.

Justice & Lies is the third book in the Cassie Morgan series, and over some rewrites, it drastically changed. The main plot line didn’t really change – I’ve had that pinned down for a few years, but the order of events shuffled around. Given how tight the time frame is between Justice & Lies and Hit List is, one change can have a huge impact on both books.

While I’ve rewritten both books a couple times, I’m almost done with a rewrite of Hist List. A big part of my editing process is just rewriting the whole draft a few times – it allows me to get a better understanding about what I may or may not need in a book and it allows me to keep stories tight.

I’m hoping this is the last rewrite, but after – I’ll still be doing some heavy edits to make sure all the details line up across both stories – and with previous stories.

This year has involved a lot of behind-the-scenes work to make sure 2018 features some really awesome stories. There isn’t much else to say except stay tuned!

For the Love of Word: Q2 Goals

This is a new series (inspired by Kristen at to the site. Every quarter I’ll break down my writing and reading goals so you know what’s happening behind the scenes and we can share some new books together!

For the Love of Word: Q2 2017 Goals

In future updates I’ll break down what I have read and what I accomplished in the past quarter, but since this is the first one, I’ll start out with my goals.


Finish Hit List. Right now, I’m finishing up the first draft of the fourth Cassie Morgan book, Hit List. I’m about halfway through the draft and hope to finish in the next week or two. This is the final book in the “first” part of the book series, so I’m spending more time closing plot and lines and making sure the ending is satisfying and makes sense.

After I finish Hit List, I’ll loop back around to start edits on the third book in the seriesJustice & Lies. I expect my edits and rewrites to take about a month and a half to two months, so I’m hoping that I’ll finish by the beginning of July. I suspect these two projects will take at least three months to finish, which will cover the quarter.

Lately, I’ve slacked on reading, and I need to get back on track. For reading, I’m hoping to read at least 6 books in the next three months, hopefully more. I’m currently reading a few different books, including Eat, Pray, Die. The book has a sequel I’m hoping to read after. I have a few other books after, and as I finish each, I’ll be sure to add book reviews here and on Goodreads.

I’ve always found that being open with my goals publicly helps me accomplish them more. So in July, I’ll be back with an update!