writer diary

Reflecting on 2020 — a year of love and monsters

Reflecting on 2020 — a year of love and monsters

And here we are: at the end of 2020.

What a year this has been.

When I wrote the blog post in which I looked back at 2019 last year, I finished the article saying how excited I was for 2020 and that it would be a year full of new releases and adventures.

How right I was.

Okay, things didn’t go exactly as I’d thought — this year has been weird, to say the least, and yet, in a way, it went so much better than I could have expected or dreamed ❤️

Shall we dive in?

 

• January: Editing & Exploring the Insomnia Saga … & Yoga

Ah, January. When all was still normal. You still remember what it was like?

All right, all drama aside, this was a busy month that — when I think back on it now — actually passed me by in a rush. The holidays were over, and so it was time to get back to work. My editing-fairies and I worked on the final round of revisions for INSOMNIA‘s manuscript.

Meanwhile, I wrote a third short story for The Insomnia Files, in which I brought Alain Somnus and his friends to life; I absolutely loved working on this; diving deeper into the history of the Insomnia Saga, fleshing out the world-building… It was fun!

Also, ideas for a certain story regarding monsters and a girl named Kiss began to grow…

Apart from writing, I had also decided I wanted 2020 to be a year in which I changed my way of living, my view on life, my daily habits, etc., which is why — for the first time ever since I picked up yoga in 2014 — I had signed up for Yoga With Adriene‘s 30 day yoga journey of January on YouTube. I’m still glad I did that, because I can still tell I have learned things from that month that still serve me now 🙂 It also helped me become even more focused, which only improved my working-speed.

 


• February: INSOMNIA & KISSING MONSTERS

In February I was finally able to release INSOMNIA, the first book in the Insomnia Saga, and the launch of my English/international writing career. The day of release was something I had been looking forward to for months, and it was absolutely amazing, as I got some very supportive messages from both readers and fellow writers who were just as excited to meet Jodi and Kay — or to reunite with them, as some of them had also read the Dutch edition published in 2018.

That was February 11th. On February 14th, however, I released a second book, a novella this time — and a rather romantic one at that 😉

 

 

I’d begun working on the KISSING MONSTERS manuscript at the start of February, amidst the preparations for INSOMNIA‘s release, and it was a bit of a race against the clock to get it finished and properly edited before Valentine’s Day… but I made it (only because it’s a short read, really) and I honestly had a hard time deciding on which book release I was proudest that week 😀

With writing KISSING MONSTERS, however, I suddenly discovered a deep love for writing romance… and I was intrigued.

During the final weeks of February, I wrote The Nocturne Files, the second Insomnia Saga short story collection to be released later that year, all the while thinking of other stories I could write… You know. More romantic ones.

 


• March: Enter the Madness

And then came March.

During the months before we’d all heard the news about this virus spreading in distant countries, but within mere weeks it came closer and then arrived at everybody’s doorstep.

What. The. Hell.

The Netherlands (where I live) went into lockdown and so did many other countries, and everybody, all over the world, was anxious or angry or lost. Suddenly the world was forced to slow down, suddenly the streets were eerily silent, and everybody was waiting for it to be over. During the first week, I must admit I struggled with a bit of anxiety as well, having a hard time focusing on my work and feeling like I’d just entered a parallel universe… or the set of some kind of failed zombie movie.

Luckily I had decided to write a sequel to KISSING MONSTERS, entitled KISSING SHADOWS, which kind of pulled me through the weirdness, and, in the end, helped distracting me. Maybe it’s strange, but my inspiration kept on flowing, and before I knew it, I’d decided to turn the Kissing Monsters books into an entire series, deciding to focus on creativity instead of the virus, and make the best of my brand new quarantine life.

 


• April: The Insomnia Files & Writing ORIGINS & new daily life routines

I slowly became aware of the fact that the virus was here to stay, so I kept focusing on my work and published The Insomnia Files, the first short story collection within the Insomnia Saga and also my very first short story collection in general, which felt pretty awesome 😉

My writing flow still knew no limits, and so I began working on ORIGINS (Insomnia Saga 3) — and whoa, writing that manuscript was a rush. My working speed was off the charts, especially because my focus was almost inhuman (no, really) AND I found a new writing technique which I’ve been using ever since: I stopped rereading every single chapter I’d written. I simply wrote on and on, until a part of the book was finished, and only then did I backtrack and quick-edit the chapters, after which I swiftly moved on.

I swear, it felt like magic.

Next to that, I also made some changes to my daily life. As I couldn’t go out for my runs anymore (which was a bummer, but hey, I’d rather keep my family and myself healthy and virus-free, thank you very much), I began working out at home on a pretty strict schedule. I’d already been doing at home fitness workouts for years, but only in the evenings, and now I started doing them in the mornings too, to make up for the runs I was missing out on. Funny thing is, I almost started to feel healthier than I did before 😛

 


• May: Finished ORIGINS & Still the Inspiration Did Not Stop

I felt like I was half-possessed, or something. Not being able to go out gave me so much more time to write and so much less distraction, that I just threw myself on my writing. So even after I finished the manuscript of ORIGINS, I barely stopped to take a break but instead started writing plot outlines for various projects…

 


• June: NOCTURNE & back to the world of Kiss and Zane

In fact, at the start of June I had written 4 (FOUR) plot outlines for different projects; The Origins Files, the third Kissing Monsters book, and two entirely other and unrelated book series.

At the end of the month, I was excited for the release of NOCTURNE, the second full-length installment of the Insomnia Saga; I had done so many attempts at writing this book (also in Dutch in 2018), that I was actually relieved to finally see it hit the (digital) book shelves 😉

During the last week — during a heatwave, I might add! — I wrote KISSING SCARLET (Kissing Monsters 3) while editing book 2 for its release in August; finally, the Kissing Monsters series was on its way to publication…

 


• July: Summer holidays… relaxation? Explain that to my mind

Usually, it’s my “ritual”, so to speak, to take July and August off from work, to catch my breath and recharge.

The thing is, however, despite all the work I’d already done the months before, I didn’t feel like I needed a break at all. I just wanted to keep on going… which is what I did, although at a slower pace because I allowed myself more time to read and play video games. In July I outlined and then wrote KISSING GHOSTS, the fourth Kissing Monsters book… and by the end of the month, I was already working on the plot outline for book 5. Honestly. I was unstoppable.

And it actually felt pretty awesome.

 


• August: KISSING SHADOWS & A Spiritual Heatwave (for real)

Although still willing to go on and keep the flow going, in August I was forced to slow down when a pretty intense heatwave wrapped almost the whole of Europe in a suffocating hug. (Huh. That’s a poetic way of putting it.)

I’m not sure, I think it went on for over a week? In any case, it kind of turned my brain to mush and having a laptop on my lap wasn’t very comfortable (trust me, I DID try), so I spent my days drawing and crafting a bit, while also reading quite a lot~ It was fun, and while I kept brainstorming for the Kissing Monsters series, it also gave me some time to focus on other things.

As fitness workouts were out of the question, I did daily Tai Chi instead, which brought me to articles while browsing the internet concerning meditation, the Law of Attraction, and all those things related to each other. I definitely got intrigued by this other way of living and viewing life, and had always wanted to try meditation for real (not just the occasional attempt I’d made the years before). I never did, though, because “I never had the time”.

Well, the thing is, you just have to make time. And during a heatwave you’ve got plenty of that.

(Ever since that heatwave I’ve been meditating daily for 10 – 20 minutes, and have never skipped a day! I’m loving it ❤️)

During all this, I was also stoked to finally release KISSING SHADOWS, the sequel to KISSING MONSTERS, happy to share the continuation of Kiss and Zane’s love story with the world 🙂

After the heatwave, I wrote KISSING NIGHTMARES and finished it within a week~

 


• September: KISSING SCARLET & Back to work full-time

September came. Summer and autumn fought for a place, and I often took my editing and writing work outside to the balcony to enjoy the final days of warmth.

While editing releases for September as well as October, I worked on the manuscript for KISSING FLAMES, the 6th book in the Kissing Monsters series. It actually took me some time to get used to the busier rhythm of things again, but once I did, the flow returned and I fairly quickly finished the manuscript 🙂

At the end of the month, I celebrated the release of KISSING SCARLET, book 3!

 


• October: The Nocturne Files & my first KM reviews

In October things began to change.

For the better, that is.

I received my very first reviews for the Kissing Monsters series from readers… all over the world.

And WOW. Every single one of them simply blew my mind (they still do, actually); I never dared to expect that readers would fall in love with Kiss and Zane with the same amount of passion I’ve done, but that is exactly what happened, and I honestly don’t have the words to describe how grateful I am for the warm welcome that readers have given me and my story about monsters, angels and Gifted Ones ❤️ The reviews I have received truly are an author’s dream.

These developments really encouraged me in my writing and I didn’t think it was possible, but ever since I’ve been working on my books with even more gusto than I did before 😉 In October I wrote the 7th book, KISSING SECRETS, while also preparing the book releases of The Nocturne Files (Insomnia Saga #2.5) and KISSING GHOSTS (Kissing Monsters #4), designing the books, etc. It was really busy, but incredibly fun to be working on — especially now I knew even more readers than before were waiting for my stories 😀

In the final week of October I released the second short story collection in the Insomnia Saga, The Nocturne Files! I’m still really happy with how the paperback edition turned out~

 


• November: KISSING GHOSTS & passionate monsters & more reviews

The magic didn’t stop after October; in November the Kissing Monsters books kept receiving wonderful reviews, which made me pinch myself several times just to check I wasn’t dreaming~

It was also time for me to start working on the 8th installment, entitled KISSING PASSION. I think I wrote it in about… 3 weeks? I’m not even sure anymore; writing it was like a blur of excitement and emotion, because this installment is the grand finale to the story arc. It was so intense to work on, and I loved every single minute of it (even when I decided to rewrite that scene, and oh, that scene too, and so on; I’m incredibly critical on my work lately!! Guess that’s a good thing, though, right?).

About halfway through November I released KISSING GHOSTS (Kissing Monsters #4), which had already received some pre-publication reviews from my brand new ARC team, making the release day even more fun 😉

In the last week, my book designer and I also made the ebooks for KISSING NIGHTMARES (#5) and KISSING FLAMES (#6), preparing them for their December and January releases.

 


• December: KM Collection & KISSING NIGHTMARES & a secret “witchy” project

In December it was high time to slow down a bit. My editing team and I had finished the final revisions of the year in November, so I took my chance in December for some (mostly) uninterrupted writing time! ❤️ This is how I began working on a project for which I’d already written the plot outline back in May. It was actually supposed to be a stand-alone book… but after a week of working on it and falling in love with the world and characters (happens to me a lot, it seems… 😛 ), I decided to turn it into a series anyway.

Because, why the hell not.

It’s a story filled with witchcraft, magical spiders, and broody romance — I know, sounds more like a project for Halloween, but trust me, it worked just fine to be writing it surrounded by the Christmas lights in the room 😉

 

This month I had not just one, but two releases! First of all the Kissing Monsters Collection #1, released in both ebook and paperback edition, which includes books 1 to 4 from the Kissing Monsters series ❤️ The second was KISSING NIGHTMARES, the fifth installment… and that concludes my publications of 2020 🙂

 

 

And that’s it. My personal 2020 in a nutshell.

This year has been absolutely crazy. Many things have changed because of the pandemic, many people have grown restless, while others put their extra time to good use by creating beautiful things. I’m happy to belong to the latter, and, well… although 2020 hasn’t been exactly ideal, so to say, I honestly can’t say it has been a bad year for me.

It’s actually been pretty awesome.

I think I’ve never written this much in a year before as I did in 2020, and I certainly never published this many books in 12 months; this year I have released 10 works. Ten. I’m amazed just thinking about it, and I actually feel kinda proud too… 🙂

Also, 2020 has taught me to start thinking and living in a new, better way, focusing even more on positivity and learning how much of that energy can actually be “controlled” by a person. I’m not trying to go all Star Wars on you guys (however, “may the force BE with you”, though, really), but I have truly discovered that your mind and so your thoughts could very well be the most powerful tool a person has in life. Good thoughts and being grateful for even the smallest things in your everyday life really can change your entire world and bring your dreams to life.

So, here’s to 2021; I’m not expecting things to go back to “normal” again, yet I’m ready to dive into this year. No matter what, I’m going to make another great year of it, keep the inspiration flow going strong, publish lots of new releases, stick to my daily meditation and hone my positive-thinking skills… and meet many more readers, writers, great people whom I can share this with 😀

Are you ready for 2021?

Thank you so much for reading this very lengthy blog post; I hope you enjoyed it!

And, last but not least… HAPPY NEW YEAR!! I wish all of you the very best ❤️❤️❤️

 

— Lynn

 

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Thanks so much for subscribing and following ❤️

Posted by Lynn Robin in News, 4 comments
SEPTEMBER 2020 Writing Update: A Month of Nostalgic Madness

SEPTEMBER 2020 Writing Update: A Month of Nostalgic Madness

Hello there, dear monster kissers~

September has sure been a crazy month! It actually started out rather slow and relaxed. I was enjoying the change in seasons, watching summer slowly making way for autumn; there’s a certain nostalgia to September which always manages to inspire me, and this year was no different.

But I also did A LOT, hence the “madness” in the title 😉 Let’s dive right in…

 

 

• Brainstorming for a new/old book series

Like I said, September makes me feel nostalgic and that made me think about a book series I wrote nearly 10 years ago (yes, seriously. Gosh, this makes me feel so old — I’m only 28 though!!). The characters and story never entirely left my mind and most certainly not my heart, and I’ve been wanting to rewrite it for years. I didn’t, however, because I went through some disappointing and bad experiences with this book series regarding a publisher. I won’t go into details now, maybe in the future, but in short: I couldn’t work on this book series anymore without feeling physically ill.

This month, though, I discovered those feelings have entirely left, and now I feel free and at ease enough to work on it again. This is super exciting for me, and although I only planned to jot down some vague notes in my Word document, it soon turned into a pretty detailed plot outline for the first book! WHOA. My mind was blown 😉

I haven’t worked on it in the last couple of weeks, but it’s still on my mind on a daily basis and it looks like it could very well be a project I’m going to work casually on during the coming months. I’m not going to tell you guys anything yet (YES I KNOW I’M EVILLL), apart from the fact that it’s a Upper/Mature YA Fantasy series with loads of romance and a tiny bit of a fairytale-feel although set in a modern day world!

 

• Writing KISSING FLAMES

Still, nothing could distract me from my other obsession, which is my Kissing Monsters series~ I love working on these books SO MUCH. With every installment, I actually manage to surprise myself with a plot twist even I didn’t see coming! xD

That’s also the case with book 6, KISSING FLAMES, which I finished last week! In this installment I’ve introduced another story line that helped me end the book with a nice cliffhanger (as I stated above, yes I know I’m evil *insert villain-laughter*); it’s something I came up with while drafting the book’s plot outline. Now that I can start working on book 7, I’m really excited to explore this part of the story while things build up to a climax; as I’ve said before, the series will consist of 8 books total, which means…

I’m almost done writing the entire series.

Kind of makes me sad, actually. I love spending time with Kiss, Zane, Skylar and the others~

 

• Editing Kissing Monsters series + Insomnia Saga

Besides writing, I’ve been busy editing several manuscripts. KISSING SCARLET (Kissing Monsters 3) needed to be prepared for its September release, and as The Nocturne Files (Insomnia Saga 2.5) will release next month in October, those manuscripts needed some work as well. Also, last week I started editing KISSING GHOSTS, book 4 in the Kissing Monsters series which will also be published soon — very, very soon 😉

The revisions have been fun! While editing, I noticed that while writing my manuscripts I have the habit of making unnecessary long sentences, using MANY words for descriptions and actions that can be described a lot simpler. It’s always nice to reflect on my writing and take those lessons along with me for the next project (saves more work editing in the future, lol).

 

• New release: KISSING SCARLET

Well, it’s only been yesterday, so I’ll keep it short and sweet for this update:

Book 3 in the Kissing Monsters series, KISSING SCARLET, has been released in ebook! I’m so excited for this part of the story to be read by you guys!! I enjoyed writing this installment so much, especially because some scenes take place in a somewhat-tropical-beach-setting and I actually wrote this at the start of the summer — the final chapters were written during a heatwave, as a matter of fact; really suited the setting, lol~

Oh, don’t forget to check out KISSING SCARLET‘s book trailer if you haven’t already!:

 

 

• Coming up in October: some changes on my blog

Yes, that’s right! During the last few months I wasn’t entirely happy with my blog — that is, with the (lack of) consistency of my posts. I actually want to post more often so the blog will have a more lively feel to it. Also, I’m going to change my writing update posts:

As you’ve probably noticed as you’re reading this, my writing updates tend to go on for a bit… and then some more. I feel like they’re simply too long, and even though I know I have some AMAZING readers (I love you guys, you all rule) who do read them and even regularly leave comments, I’ve also noticed lots of people tend to stop reading after a bit because of the lengthiness.

In all honesty, even I tend to skip really long blog posts myself occasionally, simply because they’re a bit tiring to read — it’s different from reading a book; in that case I don’t mind lengthy stories at all 😉

So: In October I’m going to try out a new formula, so to speak; I’ll still post writing updates, but they’ll be shorter updates, sometimes maybe even weekly. That way I can also share more personal thoughts and things that happen to me during my daily life, giving it a more personal feel. Like a writer’s diary, or something! I think that sounds pretty cool and cozy.

It’ll be easier for me, too; to be frank, when I sit down to write these updates at the end of each month, I sometimes struggle to recall all of the things I’ve done and then often choose not to mention some things because it will make the post way too lengthy. It’s going to be an experiment for now, both for myself and you guys! I hope we’ll all enjoy the shorter blog posts from now on 🙂

 

All right; it’s time to say good-bye to September and hello to October! I LOVE October; I’m a real Halloween enthusiast and really enjoy the spooky atmosphere 😀

This month I’ll be working on book 7 of the Kissing Monsters series, doing some more editing, and my lovely book designer and I will get together to prepare some book publications for October, November, and December! Super excited!

 

COMING UP NEXT MONTH: On October 27th we’ll be celebrating the book birthday of The Nocturne Files, book 2.5 in the Insomnia Saga! It’s the second story collection in the series, including a novella and a short story that dive deeper into the past and lives of Alain Somnus and Nilisa Solovey; the Summoners and the Cult of Night Angels. It’s going to be rather creepy, I can tell you that. Some parts of this book are rather… well. Unnerving 😛

 

— Lynn

 

Don’t want to miss updates on my book releases? Then please subscribe to my blog (scroll all the way up, and you’ll find the subscribe button to your right. All you have to do is enter your email address, and then confirm your subscription).

or

If you’d like to stay updated and see more of what’s happening behind the scenes on a daily (hourly, even!) basis, please follow me on Instagram, Twitter and/or Facebook. I recommend Instagram for a steady amount of updates, since I’m sharing everything I’m working on in my stories; feel free to follow!

 

Thanks so much for subscribing and following ❤️

Posted by Lynn Robin in Writing Updates, 6 comments