#FreshStart - Ellie Darkins
It’s the beginning of a whole new year; what time could possibly be better to become more motivated and inspired? You have a whole 365 days ahead of you, and now is the time to start making them count, so we're asking authors what they've got planned for the year ahead!
Ellie Darkins shares her hopes and goals for 2019 as she steps back into her writing career after maternity leave.
Looking ahead at 2019, I just know it’s going to be an incredible year. I’m kicking off the year the best way an author knows how, with a book release. This is super exciting because it’s my first new book for more than a year, after I took a break for maternity leave in 2017 and 2018. Surprise Baby for the Heir is my seventh book for Harlequin/Mills & Boon, and will be hitting bookshelves, real and electronic, on 24 January. I’m so excited to share this book with everyone, and especially the gorgeous Scottish settings that I travelled up to the Highlands last year to research. In a nutshell, this is a one-night stand surprise baby story, where I get to torture my laird hero and doctor heroine into realising they had the right idea on that first night together, and should probably get on with falling in love.
When it comes to my hopes and goals for 2019, there’s so much I want to achieve it’s hard to narrow down. But I’m going to try:
First, I want to keep a record of every book I read, for work or for pleasure—the best ones are both. I also want to read more diversely, especially more authors of colour, and LGBTQ+ stories and authors—I would love your recommendations!
Second, I want to write more books. I am just coming to the end of my current manuscript and haven’t decided what I want to work on next. My writing schedule up until this point has been fixed since long before my last baby was born, so to be looking at a clear calendar and an empty notebook is a little scary, but also incredibly freeing. I have a few ideas fighting over who wants to be in my next book, so I’m going to have to sit and have a long, hard look at them and decide who’s gets to go next.
Third, I want to build some long-term relationships with mentoring clients. Editing and mentoring is my real passion, and I’ve worked as an editor for more then ten years now. I’m always up for reading a romance manuscript as a one-off, but the most satisfying projects I’ve worked on are those that have extended over a period of time, and have become completely symbiotic. I didn’t have space for many clients in 2018, but I’m hoping to start booking in some new projects in January. As with my reading list, I’d love to see more diverse projects, with #ownvoices authors.
And finally, I’m hoping to keep track of all of the above by finally cracking the art of bullet journaling, especially to keep track of that reading list. After a few aborted attempts in the past, I’m convinced that this will be the year my diaries and notebooks finally look like those gorgeously inspirational accounts I follow on Instagram! I have the washi tape, I have the stencils, I have the cute coloured pens, and I’m ready to plan.