It’s been a year

It’s been a year since my last blog post, and a tough one. Life events—some very good (new day job with intense learning experiences) and some awful (including death in the family)—have not given me the mental space I need for writing. But now, as I’m starting to come up for air, the little inkling to weave words together has returned.

My interest for the projects I’m supposed to be working on has not.

Over the past month, I’ve struggled a lot with that. There are sequels I should be writing! Books #2 in both the Foreverers and Cheston Chronicles series are right there on the line, the endings and plots clear as day in my mind, and yet I just can’t bring myself to muster the enthusiasm for writing them.

Right now, I’ve decided to take that as a sign. Those stories are probably not what I’m supposed to be writing right now. Honestly, they deserve better than to be forced into existence—if that means taking a break to write something else in the meantime, then so be it.

And you know what? I have ideas. Ones I can hardly wait to share with you, which is always a promising way to start. I’m going to hold off just a little while longer while I plot and outline, but as soon as I start writing I will keep you guys in the loop. Until then!


Tl;dr version: 

  1. I’m back to writing.
  2. It’s not the sequels to Revived and Cemetery Shift, yet.
  3. I’m still planning to write those. When I’m ready.
  4. Really excited about my current WIPs though.
  5. Stay tuned! <3

On not writing

I published my most recent book on my birthday in September, and since then I’ve barely written a thing. I’ve certainly not finished one. Still, I don’t feel a trace of regret; guilt is just an abstract concept. I’ve done other things instead, but they’re beside the point. The fact that I found a reason to write this post is not.

There are so many people preaching writing every day, much like a gospel of never-ending creativity. I’m sure that works well for them, or they wouldn’t be so excited about it—I’ve even had times when I’ve lived by the grind of daily words-on-page myself. I’m not going to lie: I enjoyed it. I probably will again. But I don’t think it’s the only way of doing things.

You see, I believe life is cyclic. Things come and go. We change and grow from our experiences. From that perspective, forcing yourself to do something the same way, all the time (like producing a certain number of words every day) is bound to fail. And that failure will hurt unnecessarily, because your expectations are mechanical and you’re organic.

There’s a word for always doing the same thing: stagnation—hardly an attractive idea to someone looking to entertain others with theirs. So before you start beating yourself up over the so-called writer’s block or creative slump or lack of interest in writing you may be experiencing, consider that you may just be meant for different things at the moment. Trust that the cycle will bring you back to creation again, once you’re ready. Once you stop judging yourself, it might be sooner than you think.

My final note on not writing is an insight: I just wrote a thing. Go figure.

Let’s uncover some vampire romance!

Aaah—it’s almost September! Summer has flown by so fast for me this year—but then, it’s been a busy time. After launching my first fiction title, I quickly jumped into final revisions of my next book: m/m vampire romance REVIVED. I’ve been wanting to write these characters for years, and right now I’m more excited about this story than ever.

Because guess what? It’s almost ready to launch. <3 Aaaand since I can’t possibly hold back any of these news any longer (I’m way too impatient to be strategic about this one, haha), I’m giving you a cover reveal, blurb, and Q&A all at once! Enjoy—and don’t forget to add REVIVED to your to-read shelf on Goodreads!

THE COVER. I love these colours so much. *_* <3


Murder at the family mansion—and Dirk Crewe is the obvious suspect.

For as long as he can remember, Dirk Crewe’s family have made all his major decisions for him—including who he’ll marry. Born a Crewe, Dirk knows he has to give up everything for the sake of his family’s rise within society. About to marry a woman he does not love, Dirk has resigned any hope for his heart’s truest desires. But when he finds his fiancée Corelia in the arms of another man, Dirk sees the chance to walk away from a loveless marriage and find love on his own terms. However, Dirk does not venture far once he learns Corelia has been murdered. Unless Dirk can prove he had nothing to do with Corelia’s death, his last chance at agency might as well be ruined.

A mysterious stranger, and the deadly secret that could save—or destroy—them both.

Becoming a vampire was never Rhys’s first choice. However, no matter how he tries to be better than the man who turned him, he still faces life in self-loathing isolation. But when Rhys meets Dirk, something about the mortal resonates with him—and age-old defences begin to fall apart. Though something about the death of Dirk’s fiancée isn’t right—and Rhys knows it better than anyone. Together, they set to discover the truth behind Corelia’s death in hopes to settle the past and determine the future.

:: THE Q & A ::

Q1) Girlll. Who’s your cover artist?

A1)  If that’s you trying to figure out when they’ll be available, they’re on an exclusive contract with me. (Mostly because it is me, but admit that sounded very exclusive and kind of cool.)

Q2) All right . . . so when do we get to read this?

A2) The book comes out on September 4th (not so incidentally also my birthday—what better way to celebrate, am I right?).

Q3) How can we buy the book?

A3) You can pre-order the e-book (= Kindle version) already. Just click here to go to your Amazon retailer. The print format will go live closer to the release date, also through Amazon.

Q4) Will it be in KDP Select / Kindle Unlimited?

A4) For the first three months after its release, yes! We’ll see about after that.

Q5) I’m a book blogger and I would love to get my hands on a review copy!

A5) That can be arranged! Hit me up at nina[at] , and we can discuss the details.

If there’s anything else you want to know about REVIVED, feel free to post your question in the comments! 

How to finish your book by being accountable

It’s the last week of July, and my second book (REVIVED, the first instalment in the queer vampire romance series Foreverers) has just been sent off for professional editing.

I wrote the first draft of REVIVED during CampNanoWriMo (a digital writer’s retreat—basically, writers from all over the world get together online and cheer each other on to finish things) in July last year, but I’d let it sit since. In part, this was because I had quite the busy year (got my PhD, finished my second to last semester of medical school, and tried to juggle the day job on top). But also, in all honesty, I hadn’t committed. Now, a year later, I decided it was time to finish that book.

I have so earned this badge—the end result of my July 2017 CampNaNo project will be released in September!

It would sound so good if I said I am one of those people who can set a goal for themselves and then stick to it without fault. It would also be a lie.

The thing is, it’s not enough for me to challenge myself—I need to let other people know that I’ve done it. I need the accountability, or I might as well have whispered that goal into the night, where it would be unheard except for maybe by the same kind of supernatural beings I’m writing about. And I don’t know about you, but I’ve yet to meet a good vampire writing coach.

So, in order to make sure I finish things, I find witnesses. It used to be that I’d tell friends and family members about my latest writing scheme—but near and dear ones have this otherwise charming quality of approving of you even when you don’t achieve your goals. Wanting something a little scarier (and thus motivational!), this time I told:

1. My new CampNano cabin, which consisted of a group of (as it turned out, very friendly) writers I hadn’t met before, but who had set similar goals. I needed unbiased judgment and competition—and it worked!

2. My editor, which was very effective because it gave me a) a deadline (which we agreed upon beforehand, and I then had to rush to meet) and b) the knowledge that someone’s counting on me to meet it so they can get paid in time.

3. My brother’s girlfriend, accidentally. She was staying with us for a time during July, and I happened to bring up the project I was editing–unexpectedly triggering her to ask about my progress every. single. day. I quickly ran out of new ways to say the same thing (namely: I was mostly on track, but it was slow and excruciating and I wasn’t sure if I hated or loved the thing), but then I was saving most of my eloquence for my actual project.

Admittedly, now that I’ve just finished a project, my writing life feels kind of empty. But I don’t think I’ll worry too much—I’ve already outlined a short story that will act as a follow-up to REVIVED, which will be out in September 2017. If Victorian vampires and m/m romance are your thing, stay tuned—I’ll be sure to keep my readers updated as the release date draws near.

How about you? Do you have any tried and true methods of finishing your writing goals—or other creative projects, for that matter?


I’ve always loved looking at pictures. When I was a kid, my mother got me these children’s books with classical art pieces in them. Long before I could read, books and art became closely intertwined in my mind. When I started write my own stories, it didn’t take long until I wanted to see physical representations of the words on the pages.

Fast-forward a decade or two, and enter the internet. What a wonderful source of information—and inspiration—this is! And if one is looking to browse pretty pictures to soak in some inspiration for one’s writing, there really is no place like Pinterest.

I tend to make an inspiration board for most of my writing projects at some point. For CEMETERY SHIFT, I wanted to emphasise a specific mood. As a result, the board has an eerie feeling—and, of course, features several graveyard sculptures and settings. Whenever I needed to invoke that particular state of mind, I would go back to look at the board.

The sum of those influences ended up manifesting in the book in a very tangible form.


(You may need to disable your ad blocker to see it—if the Pinterest widget still doesn’t load, this is a direct link).



Look familiar at all?


In addition to using Pinterest to put together inspiration boards for my own writing, I follow a number of other authors who are doing the same. These are some of my favourites:

J.F. Penn—thriller author whose vivid settings are so deeply inspired it’s contagious.

Kara Jorgensen—delightful mix of paranormal, historical, and fantasy.

Jordan L. Hawk—wonderfully otherworldly.

Kate M. Colby—features a great mix of steampunk dystopia and writing tips!


Do you use Pinterest too? Do you make your own boards, and what kind of things do you put on them? Feel free to share your board recommendations below! I’m always looking for new sources of inspiration and would love to add to my Pinterest feed.

The birth of an author

Before I published Cemetery Shift, I thought that once the book was out the process of having become an indie author would be complete.

Well. Not quite. Despite being far from new to the theory behind publishing an e-book, I had failed to take into account some of the immediate practicalities.

A published book alone does not an author make

As it turns out, after clicking ‘publish’ (in this case, on Amazon), an indie author still needs:

  • Patience. I am naturally impatient-a trait which often benefits me (as it kicks me into action more often than not), but which is utterly useless when I have to wait for things I can’t control. Like the book’s status to change from ‘publishing‘ to ‘live‘ in the Amazon backend system KDP. I still don’t know what was actually going on there, but I had to hold myself back to keep from wasting hours constantly refreshing the page.
  • More patience. I thought I’d prepared my social media and web presence thoroughly. After all, I had this website, a Twitter account, e-mail list, and a Goodreads account already. What more could I possibly need to prepare? Okay, admittedly I was aware I would have Amazon author central and a Goodreads author profile—I just sort of expected them to create themselves. Not so —and for each of them I needed to wait additional hours for the creation requests to be approved. Impatient Nina might have done more refreshing at this stage.
  • A healthy dose of forgetfulness. Because really, if I keep constantly reminding myself that my words are now out there being read by people I will be too distracted—and writing the next thing is my main responsibility right now.
  • Gratitude. Admittedly, this came by itself. When I announced my book launch to a few of my friends, I hadn’t expected the overwhelming positivity and excitement I was met with—including word of mouth recommendations of my work to others. I am thankful to have such supportive people around me, though it is certainly not something I take for granted. I will look for chances to repay these kind people whenever I can.
  • To think before they speak—particularly about their stories. When people started asking me things about my book and characters, I realised that what I say about these things now seems to hold another weight. Suddenly, any little remark can be a potential spoiler, and whatever I write becomes canon. It’s a strange feeling after having my work live in the ethereality of being in progress for so long, and something I haven’t yet decided how to deal with.

So far, I’m only at the very beginning of my author journey, and I’m sure I will find more unexpected new insights along the way. After all, constant development is rather the point.

If you want to contribute to my author journey, you can subscribe to my e-mail list, or check out Cemetery Shift, now available through Amazon Kindle Select for only $0.99, or through Kindle Unlimited.