2017 was a roller coast of a year for me. My first book came out! I read part of it in front of people for the first time! I wrote most of another book and had to scrap half it and start over! (For some reason the exclamation point in that last one makes me feel better about it). I’m grateful that it was such a productive writing year though, and sometimes I can still hardly believe that there are real print copies of a story I wrote and that people actually have them in their houses. Thanks so much to everyone who has read The Wardrobe Mistress, and to everyone who stops by my blog.
Last year, I put together a 2016 blog recap, and it was kind of fun revisiting some of the random or fun posts I’d almost forgotten about, so it’s officially a tradition now. Here are my favourite posts of the year, by month.
I put together a quiz so you can test your knowledge of troublesome turns of phrase.
I creeped myself out a little bit with this Flash Fiction
I’m still baffled that this bad decision in history was a real event
I discovered the delight of madeleines and managed to connect my adoration to literature
I wrote about belladonna and I feel like I should point that out because there’s a lot of poison in the book I’m writing now.
I rounded up a list of all the people in history who died from laughing too hard.
I made a compilation of entertaining quotes by Winston Churchill because I guess I’m not even pretending to be cool anymore.
I interviewed Crystal King about her delectably dark novel, Feast of Sorrow.
Since I spend so much (too much) time sitting at a desk, I shared some helpful stretches.
Jenni Walsh swept me away to a jazzy speakeasy with Bonnie and Clyde in Becoming Bonnie.
I went to the Historical Novel Society conference and it was the best time ever.
I wrote a Flash Fiction about a fractured family and now I’ve just realized that ‘Fractured’ would have been a better title than ‘Goodbye’.
Nina Laurin stopped by to talk about her compelling and suspenseful novel Girl Last Seen.
I wrote my favourite flash fiction piece so far.
I found out that most queens had pet dogs but one had a pet gazelle.
I was whisked away to a beautifully dangerous fantasy world in Callie Bates’ The Waking Land.
I wrote a short story about the ‘diamond necklace affair’ that scarred Marie Antoinette’s reputation even though she was innocent (and you can still get a free copy!)
August was a busy month for blog posts because I was celebrating the publication of my debut novel, The Wardrobe Mistress.
I’ve basically got everything you ever wanted to know about Marie Antoinette (just kidding, her life was super complicated) but there’s plenty of details like: surprising facts, her musical nights with the Chevalier St. Georges, a black composer who led a fascinating life and should be more well remembered than he is, how she liked to give her friends personalized perfume, how she did not say ‘let them eat cake’, a couple of her feuds, and why her dresses were considered scandalous and not for the cost.
Just so you’re educated in preparation for the extremely slim chance that you get whisked back in time to revolutionary France, I covered what you should wear. Full disclosure, given the choice, I would not time travel to revolutionary France.
I once again proved how obscure my sense of humour is with some affectionately mocking fake quotes from the French Revolution.
And finally, I stopped writing about France to gush over Elise Hooper’s novel The Other Alcott.
I became obsessed with the idea of moonlight gardens and I’m determined to turn my back yard into one.
I interviewed Devin Murphy about his complex historical novel The Boat Runner.
I wrote about a mayor with an extremely villainesque name whose bad decision burned up a bunch of buildings and caused an unknown number of fatalities.
I don’t want to sit next to any of these literary characters at dinner and you probably don’t either.
I love the escapism aspect of reading and found examples that physical descriptions in fiction can help transport the reader.
I shared my treasured apple cake recipe with you all as a token of my esteem.
I was lucky enough to have a group of other authors contribute to my three part ‘Lessons from Debut Authors’ series, with tips on submissions, publishing surprises, and advice for book signings, as well as fun stories of publication day celebrations.
Renee Dahlia stopped by to talk about her Bluestocking series, and shared some intriguing snippets.
I shared some anecdotes that should make us all grateful for modern surgical procedures.
2017 was a busy blog year, but I have to admit that my favourite blog post is still this one about foxes from last year.
So what’s going on in 2018? I’m having a lot of fun with my Flash Fiction series, so that will continue. Book Addiction will as well, and I already know a few of the amazing books I want to feature and I hope I can point some of you to a new favourite. I think Bad Decisions in History will transition to an occasional post instead of a monthly feature. I’ve been posting that one pretty regularly for two years now, and honestly it’s getting hard to come up with new topics. I might do a few more posts with advice for writers trying to get published, because there’s been some interest in the Lessons from Debut Authors series. (If this would interest you, or if you would like particular topics, let me know in the comments or by email or Twitter).
I hope you have enjoyed all 56 (!) posts of 2017. Lastly, I’m going to take this opportunity to make a small plea of my own – if you’ve read The Wardrobe Mistress, please consider leaving a review on Amazon or Goodreads. Even if you didn’t enjoy it – I promise I won’t even read it, but reviews are so important to authors – and readers – to help new books get discovered. (An excellent thing to keep in mind for other books too!) Thank you so much to everyone who has supported my book with reviews, social media sharing, buying a copy, or just expressing interest in the fact that I even wrote one. You’ve brought the book alive and I’m so grateful.
Cheers to 2018! Stay tuned for the blog to be back on January 3rd with a special book giveaway.