As promised, yesterday the EP Songs from Vermin released onto streaming platforms, along with the single Loneliness. I had so much fun recording all of these, and prepping them to release for my birthday.
Now readers can listen to the songs that appear in The Vermin Series before the sequels come out, which is so awesome.
Here’s a little background about the songs featured (I’ll try to avoid any major spoilers).
The song Wicked Boys on the EP is featured in the second novel, and in the world of the series is sung by two sisters named Dottie and Darla. It played a lot when Roland, Dianna, Peter and Charlotte were still in school. Roland actually plays the guitar arrangement in the series, and it’s Charlotte’s favourite song.
My Heart (Kem Herotse)
In the world of the series, Kem Herotse was originally written in Valdin Zunta, the language the vermin speak, but was translated by humans later on, and renamed My Heart. It’s a song that pops up here and there throughout the series. I also love this track because it allows folks to actually hear the language Nicholas speaks with his family and his pack.
Don’t Go Crying
In the series Don’t Go Crying is performed by Alana Token, a singer who was very popular when Roland was young. She performed in Tavern before he was born to celebrate the reopening of Doren Shipping, the company Roland’s father worked for. She disappeared from the public eye after rising to popularity, but her music is still loved to this day.
There are two versions of this song on the EP, one being more of a lullaby version than the original.
Tell the Postman
Another Alana Token song, and a favourite of Roland and his mother Adeline. He sings this to her in the first book, and if you’ve read book one, you’ll also notice that the song mentions Ferine, where Nicholas was born.
This is my favourite song to sing and play out of the songs in the series! In the books it is performed by Tavern’s very own Georgie Bryce, and is based on his life. Although the lyrics are very sad, it’s a catchy tune that ended up being extremely popular with teenagers, especially Roland, who once dreamed of travelling and performing like Georgie with music of his own.
I hope you had fun learning a little bit about each of the songs. More is revealed about them, and how the related to the character’s throughout the books. I had a lot of fun creating music to them, and recording them. If you want to check out older posts about The Vermin Series, click one of the links below.
If you have yet to read book one in the series, I will do my best not to spoil anything with this post, and of course if you’d like to read it, you can find it here:
Thank you to those of you who have been so patient, waiting for the release date announcement. I don’t have that date just yet because things were delayed due to unforeseen circumstances, but I can say that we’ve settled on a title for the second installment of the series and…the test readers all came back with excellent feedback!
Honestly, I’m so excited for this book to release. I’ve been prepping another giveaway, and I’m definitely stoked about it. I’m also planning to do more in-person author events after the release, given that my schedule permits them. I had so much fun doing the one in Waterloo, and getting to chat with booklovers from across the region.
I’ll be revealing the name of the second book once we get the finalized cover art, but I’m really excited.
I’ve got a bunch of other projects on the go here, that I can’t wait to share.
In preparation for book two, and as a treat to those who’ve read the first novel in the series, I’ll be releasing my first full EP on Spotify, which is a collection of songs from the series. The Songs From Vermin EP will release this month on my birthday! I can’t wait to share it. I recorded a lot of these songs between 2019 and 2020. My favourite out of the set is Bicycle Blues, and I think once you hear it, you’ll know why.
Until further updates, and announcements come along I hope that you’ll check out my reviews, and hopefully find a new favourite book to add to your TBR!
For those participating, how is NaNoWriMo going so far? We’re now 17 days in, and I’m fairly satisfied with my progress so far. I like what I’ve put down, and am emotionally attached to my characters, so I’m excited to finish and get to editing.
I’ve been feeling under the weather these last couple of days, so I haven’t gotten as much work done as I would’ve liked, but I’m sure I’ll make up for that lost time eventually. I love creating mood boards, playlists and doing sketches of my characters while I’m writing. I find it helps me capture the characters personality, and see them as more fleshed out. I could honestly spend hours just creating characters, I think that’s why I spend so much time in Create-A-Sim when I’m playing Sims4. I like to imagine the story of their life, what sort of careers they might have, who they’ll love…if they’ll love at all? I love to think about the types of clothes they wear, what they eat, what they listen to, what their favourite genres are. That’s why I had so much fun doing OCtober last year. I wish I did it again this year, but I didn’t have time unfortunately.
For the novel I’m working on right now, I’ve got a playlist going with an array of songs that I find really fit the theme and characters…or just the overall vibe. Heaven, California is one of the songs that just fits the vibe.
Sometimes I just have this playing faintly in the background while writing. I also listen to a bunch of other songs like Greenroom, My Girlfriend is a Witch and Girl With One Eye.
The images above are all outfit inspiration that I draw from for some of the character’s in the novel. Some character’s, at least in my mind, have a signature colour scheme. Occasionally I’ll sketch a series of outfits that I want to describe for key scenes in my novels. This can be helpful when I go back and edit, in case I want to add some more visuals. Sometimes I do this just for fun. With Vermin, I have a lot of outfit sketches and things, especially for Rose. She has a few signature looks that she wears throughout the series.
I’m very excited about this new novel, and of course I will keep you all posted on the next two books in The Vermin Series, and when those will be released once I have more information on that.
I’ve been writing the third book in the Vermin series by hand, which has honestly been cathartic. I don’t know why I stopped drafting novels this way? I think it had to do with tracking my word count for NaNoWriMo honestly…
Back when I was working on the draft for the first book in the series, I had written everything by hand in a binder. After completing it, and transferring the draft onto my computer for editing, and the querying, I wrote the majority of book two’s draft on my computer, only writing the odd scene by hand here and there. The other writing projects I was working on around the time that I was editing book two were also written on my computer versus in a binder or notebook like I’d done previously. I’ve found that writing on my computer for my first drafts restricting. I constantly go back and edit scenes over and over, while I’m drafting when I should be writing, and allowing the story to unfold naturally. Writing the initial draft by hand allows for more freedom. If I make a mistake, I move on, especially since for the first time I’m drafting in pen.
I normally use pencil, but I have so many nice pens, and love the feel of pen on paper, so I went for it.
The other reason I decided to draft book three by hand is because for years I kept telling myself I needed a break from screens, and the pandemic didn’t really help the situation. I check my phone so often throughout the day that I just started leaving it in my room, and trying to only check it a couple times a day for emails from work. I found that outside of reading, I was spending way too much time on my phone just scrolling, and wasting time. Even with my computer, I’d get distracted while working on a scene and go off on a random Google search that would consume so much of my time. If you find yourself getting distracted by such things, I recommend going into your phone settings and using the wellness features that allow you to turn off any distracting apps for a period of time. You can set this as a daily thing, or simply choose one day a week. I have mine set do occur once a week, and I use that time to read and write. It was especially helpful while editing book two because it took away the temptation to play on my phone and watch tiktoks for three hours. Instead I was using those three hours to do the things I actually wanted to do.
I know most newer phones have this feature (my old one didn’t) and I’m honestly thankful for it. I’ve been making an effort to spend less and less time scrolling aimlessly. I recommend not checking your phone first thing in the morning either. If you’re like me and use it as an alarm clock (my alarm clock broke in university), then this can be difficult. What I do is, I simply turn off my alarm and walk away. I focus on getting ready or go eat my breakfast and then, I’ll come back and actually unlock my phone. Being bombarded with all kinds of notifications right when you wake up, can be super distracting. I know that in the past I’ve opened my phone to check an email from my agent, and then ended up going through all my socials, and an hour would pass. An hour that I could’ve spent getting ready for the day. After a while this can get a bit overwhelming, so instead I don’t bother checking my phone until an hour after I’ve woken up. I don’t know why, but I guess it just sets the tone for the rest of the day.
Since making this change I’ve found that book three is coming along nicely. The entire process has been lovely. I’m fully focused, and don’t need to constantly reread sentences because I was distracted by YouTube or a sale somewhere or what’s trending on Twitter. I’ve just been writing, and having fun. My mind isn’t wandering. I’m super excited about book three, but that is all I’m going to say as I don’t want to accidentally spoil the events of book two before anyone can get their hands on it. I still don’t know they release date for the second book in the series, but I will let you know as soon as I get word on that. I had a lot of fun writing it, but I just really needed a break from constantly being on the computer, after three years of it. I have nothing against technology or anything, but damn…social media is so distracting. It’s sad how many hours are wasted just scrolling and scrolling and scrolling. I’d rather read or draw or go lay in my hammock and stare at clouds for an hour.
Now outside of book three news, if you follow me on Instagram you may have noticed that I’m doing an in-person book signing! I’m absolutely thrilled about this. I was a little nervous to do one alone since I didn’t get an opportunity to do one when my book initially released because of the pandemic, but thankfully the fantastic author Lindsey-Anne Pontes, whose book I reviewed a while back here on the blog, asked if I’d join her for a signing. She’s done plenty, so I’m glad to have her there with me. Initially I was very nervous but as the date approaches, I’m feeling less nervous and more excited.
As a little kid I always imagined doing a book signing. I wanted to have my books all laid out nicely in a cute display on the table, and write nice messages to readers, and talk with them about my work. I’ve been to a handful of signings in my life, and the authors were always so great. I’m hoping I give off that same vibe to people who come and say hi. I’d love to recreate that feeling for someone else. Meeting and talking to someone about their book is so much fun!
I actually have a list of authors that I would love to meet someday, and now that signings are finally happening again I’ve got my fingers crossed that I’ll be able to.
I am planning on doing another signing when book two releases, and am looking forward to sharing my other writing project with everyone soon. I’m also just very excited to talk about my novel in person.
If you’d like to purchase a copy of Vermin, you can get it from Amazon or Indigo.
If you’ve already read the first book, don’t forget to leave a review and stay tuned for book two announcements!
I’m currently doing a read through of my manuscript trying to watch out for crutch words. While drafting my manuscript I kept a list of these words, words that I tend to overuse, and going through the list I’m actually pleased with how just keeping track of them has helped me reduce them a fair amount. Now that I know what the results are for each of these words, I’ve set a minimum and maximum usage amount, followed by alternative words so that I can focus on finding appropriate substitutes. I base the usage amount of the overall word count for my manuscript.
Of course, I’m sure my editor will find other words that I may not have picked up on myself, but many of these words are ones that they pointed out with my first book, so I’m hoping to reduce them before passing my manuscript along to her.
Crutch words aside, I’ve also created a checklist outside of my draft notes on any corrections, additions or areas that I think need fluffing or cutting down. I’ve also included a list of things to keep in mind while I’m reading.
I like to do these types of full edits before I pass my manuscripts along, because I find that the cleaner my draft is, the easier time we’ll have going over it.
For this edit, I’ve been making great use of my thesaurus, and am challenging myself to step away from my comfort zones a little bit. Anything that seems off or feels like it needs to be reworked or cut, I’ve been tackling immediately. My goal is to complete this edit by the end of the day, and so far I’ve been making great progress. With that said, it’s back to work for me. I’ll be treating myself to some ice cream once I complete everything on my list.
A young maid is catapulted into an inventor’s explosive world. Will a brazen tongue and a desperate attempt to save his life destroy her future?
Louisa balances on the cusp of two very different worlds, but as the bastard child of parents born of the social elite in London, she has no name and no future until one fateful night. Forced to act when her employer accidently blows up his lab, Louisa moves from the shadows to the spotlight.
With destiny upended, she hovers on the precipice of a new life. If she can manage to hold her tongue, and her un-lady-like curses, she could have everything her exiled mother dreamed for her – but is that what she really wants?
Juggling the layers of lies knotted into her existence, Louisa must face her future or die trying.
This series sounded really fun, and I’d been meaning to read it for some time. It’s a quick read, which was nice, because I was able to read the first episode during my break.
I already adore Louisa and Bennett. The episode was well paced, and I’m excited to continue on to the next.
I also really loved the cover, and the idea of setting this series up where it releases in episodes, like Charles Dickens original works. It adds a lot to the world building, and kind of feels like reading a graphic novel.
This is a really fun series and I can’t wait to continue!
Pre-orders for Telma Rocha’s novel Twenty-Eight Years just opened up. I saw on the authors Instagram, that they would be donating their royalties from pre-orders along with money from their workplace to help with aid in Ukraine.
A past love and a new romance have more in common than Jenna bargained for!
Jenna Taylor has it all, or so she thinks: a secure job as a journalist at a prestigious magazine in downtown Toronto, a steady relationship, and a bestie everyone wants. When her fiancé, Josh Harrison, gives her the ultimatum to start a family now or they’re over forever, she’s shocked and hurt. His sudden announcement forces Jenna to accept a much-anticipated promotion in Quebec City-one she would have turned down for him. The promotion comes at the most convenient time and the distance is just the perfect amount of space to start over and nurse her broken heart.
But, when Jenna meets Liam Garnier in Quebec City, the shocking resemblances between the two men unnerves her. Could it be possible that they just look alike-not likely! Jenna takes it upon herself to discover the truth. The reality of the situation comes with a lot of consequences: hurt the people she loves the most or remain quiet and keep the truth from Twenty-Eight years ago buried. Can Jenna live with what she knows and not tell the ones she loves, and can she do so without it tearing her apart?
Back in October of 2020 I wrote a post about what real life books the cast of Vermin might have on their bookshelves. It was probably one of my favourite posts to make. I’d love to do a version with modern books, as I tried to choose those that would’ve been published during the time the series takes place. I’ll definitely make time to go through some books and see which ones fit best with which characters.
Book two is going very well editing wise. I was hoping to get through this final bit before the end of the month, but then I realized that the month is ending like…tomorrow! It’s already May!
I’m going to make sure I tidy up these scenes, and make sure I go through and read everything over one final time before I send it off. I over edit…I know that…so I’m thankful that I have an amazing editor who can say “Okay. Enough! It’s good!”
I really need that. I wish I had an editor back when I was in school, because I constantly felt like my work was incomplete, sometimes starting over five or six times. This is why I have my 3 rounds of edits rule. After three times of looking over my work, I will pass it on to the next person.
If you’re like me and find yourself constantly needing to make sure everything is “perfect” I recommend putting a limit on yourself. I find three full edits takes me less time, and allows me to meet my deadlines. Of course, different methods work for different people, but this has definitely made things less stressful.
Please be on the lookout for another giveaway, as there will be more after book two release announcements are made. This will again be held on Goodreads, and I will of course send out reminders to everyone during the duration of the giveaway so that they have an opportunity to enter.
I’m so excited for this second book! Thank you to everyone who has read book one, for being so patient. I’ve loved hearing your thoughts on the series so far, and I love that my characters have resonated with you.
If you’re interested in character themed content, here are some posts you can check out:
And of course, there is also character related content on TikTok @TheVerminSeries.
If you would like to listen to the first chapter of the book for free, you can check it out here on YouTube:
That aside, I’d like to wish you a lovely day. Keep reading, stay hydrated and stay tuned for my review of an upcoming young reader’s book being published by Scholastic. It is absolutely fantastic, and perfect for fans of superheroes, kid’s who love to draw…and anyone that absolutely adores fantasy.
It’s the season of Fallow, in the era of iron. In a northern misty bog surrounded by woodlands and wheat fields, a settlement lies far beyond the reach of the Romans invading hundreds of miles to the southeast. Here, life is simple–or so it seems to the tightly knit community. Sow. Reap. Honor Mother Earth, who will provide at harvest time. A girl named Devout comes of age, sweetly flirting with the young man she’s tilled alongside all her life, and envisions a future of love and abundance. Seventeen years later, though, the settlement is a changed place. Famine has brought struggle, and outsiders, with their foreign ways and military might, have arrived at the doorstep. For Devout’s young daughter, life is more troubled than her mother ever anticipated. But this girl has an extraordinary gift. As worlds collide and peril threatens, it will be up to her to save her family and community.
Set in a time long forgotten, Daughter of Black Lake brings the ancient world to life and introduces us to an unforgettable family facing an unimaginable trial.
Wow! Cathy Marie Buchanan has done it again! I absolutely loved reading about Hobble, Devout, and Smith. The story was so vivid. I was constantly filled with wonder, and anxious of what Fox would do next, and what secrets were kept in the past. I also loved the way the chapters were split, with Devout’s written almost as if they were being seen by someone else, in third person because they happened in the past, whereas her daughter Hobble’s were written in first person, present day. I thought that this made the story stronger, and it also allowed the reader to get a clearer picture as to who Smith was through the eyes of both his wife, who had known him since he was a boy, and his daughter who could tell his every thought just by looking at him. I loved each and every character in this book, and was definitely drawn to Smith, despite him not having a perspective. It was clear how much he cherished his family, and wanted to keep them safe, making decisions that could put himself in grave danger. The way the suspense was built up in this story was also fantastic! I was constantly worried about what might happen to this family. I don’t want to spoil anything but it was definitely a thrilling read. I can’t wait to see what’s next for this talented author!