Hello all. It’s been a busy time of year for me. My YA historical What Souls Are Made Of has been edited, copy-edited, proof read and has swanned its way over to production. The Oleander Sword (Burning Kingdoms #2, of The Jasmine Throne 2 Electric Boogaloo) has been through two intense round of edits, and is now heading to copy-editing. Phew.
Some highlights since our last chat:
The Oleander Sword - sequel to The Jasmine Throne - now has a cover
What Souls Are Made Of also has a cover (it’s raining covers over here!)
I have a new job as a writing tutor for The Novelry!
Now without further ado, for those who don’t follow me on Twitter or IG and haven’t seen this yet…
Add it on Goodreads (no pre-order links yet, unfortunately!)
The prophecy of the nameless god—the words that declared her rightful empress of Parijatdvipa—has been Malini’s blessing and curse. She is determined to claim the crown that fate has offered. But even with the rage in her soul and a loyal army by her side, deposing her brother from the throne is going to be a brutal and bloody fight.
The power of the deathless waters flows through Priya’s blood. Thrice born priestess, Elder of Ahiranya, Priya’s dream is to see her country rid of the rot that plagues it: both Parijatdvipa’s poisonous rule, and the blooming sickness that is slowly spreading through all living things. But she doesn’t yet understand the truth of the magic she carries.
Their chosen paths once pulled them apart. But Malini and Priya’s hearts remain as entwined as their destinies. And they soon realize they must come together again if they wish to save their kingdom from those who would rather see it burn—no matter the cost.
Sometimes, lost things find their way home...
Yorkshire, North of England, 1786. As the abandoned son of a lascar—a sailor from India—Heathcliff has spent most of his young life maligned as an "outsider." Now he's been flung into an alien life in the Yorkshire moors, where he clings to his birth father's language even though it makes the children of the house call him an animal, and the maids claim he speaks gibberish.
Catherine is the younger child of the estate's owner, a daughter with light skin and brown curls and a mother that nobody talks about. Her father is grooming her for a place in proper society, and that's all that matters. Catherine knows she must mold herself into someone pretty and good and marriageable, even though it might destroy her spirit.
As they occasionally flee into the moors to escape judgment and share the half-remembered language of their unknown kin, Catherine and Heathcliff come to find solace in each other. Deep down in their souls, they can feel they are the same.
But when Catherine's father dies and the household's treatment of Heathcliff only grows more cruel, their relationship becomes strained and threatens to unravel. For how can they ever be together, when loving each other—and indeed, loving themselves—is as good as throwing themselves into poverty and death?
Around the time What Souls Are Made Of was bought by Feiwel & Friends and The Jasmine Throne to Orbit, I realised that I was about to earn the most publishing money I was ever likely to see at once. How often, I reasoned, was I likely to get a payment for two books at once? I decided I would leave my job as a librarian, focus on writing for 6 months or so, then look for a part-time job in libraries to keep my hand in.
I uh, left my library job in February 2020. Interesting timing on my part.
So between pandemic job cuts in my field and shielding family members, I’ve been a full-time writer since, but that was never my plan. I like a certain level of stability that publishing, by its nature, just can’t offer. I was just beginning to look for new library jobs when I was offered the chance to tutor writing remotely for The Novelry, an online writing school. Was I relieved? Absolutely. Was I excited? Also, absolutely.
I now get to work with writers directly and encourage them as they work on their own novels, and that’s been really rewarding. And I’ve missed having colleagues? A schedule?! Bizarre the things you miss, when you’ve been holed up in your house for two years.
You can find out more about The Novelry here, if it sounds interesting to you. But I just thought I’d remind you that most authors have day jobs of some kind, and that I’m delighted to have one connected to my writing. I do still love libraries though, and may toddle into one again in the future…
I wanted to end by sharing this gorgeous fanart of Malini and Priya. Thank you to everyone who has shared squee or art for TJT - it honestly gives me so much life.