The Ghost of NaNos Past

November, and among writers, NaNoWriMo has come to an end.

For those who don’t know, NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is a challenge to write the entire first draft of your novel in the 30 days of November.

I didn’t participate this year, but NaNoWriMo has always held a very, very special place in my heart. It was in NaNoWriMo 2016 that I pushed myself to write the first draft of my debut novel, Honey Butter, which was published nine months later in August 2017.

13-year-old me holding my NaNoWriMo certificate for finishing the first draft of Honey Butter

Pictured is a 13-year-old me holding my official NaNo certificate. I was crying just before this, and anyone who has read the ending of Honey Butter will know why. That story was a tearjerker from the beginning.

I’ve come a long way since this photo was taken, and I have a long way to go still in my career and life in general, but I don’t ever want to forget my beginnings. I don’t ever want to forget that early morning on November 30th, whipping tears away as I typed the words THE END and thinking: “This is the best story I have ever written… I’m going to research publishing, tomorrow.”

If you would like to read Honey Butter yourself, you’re in luck! You can have the Ebook and audiobook free when you signup for my email Newsletter and paperback copies are available for purchase on all major online retailers.

It would make a great gift for that young writer or reader in your life, or anyone who would enjoy a sweet summer story about life’s everyday joys.

docendo disco, scribendo cogito,
– Millie Florence

FREE: ebook and audiobook!

Do you guys remember that book I published when I was thirteen years old? Honey Butter? A sweet summer contemporary novella about sibling relationships and finding joy in everyday life? With a protagonist who collects paint cards??

What if I told you that you could read it right now FOR FREE.

No, I’m not kidding. All you have to do is click here to sign up for my email list and/or book club and you’ll receive a free Ebook AND audiobook of Honey Butter.

Yes. FREE AUDIOBOOK.

I’m not a huge ebook fan, so I wanted to include something for the audiobook lovers out there too!

(If you’re already signed up, you just got an email with your copies.)

I know I’m going to write and publish many more books in the future, but Honey Butter will always hold a very special place in my heart. I hope all of you enjoy it!

Title Reveal!

Allow me to introduce you to my next book. It’s a middle-grade fantasy adventure novel with a touch of regency era history.

So, without further ado…

The Balter of Ashton Harper

There’s no official release date yet, but I would estimate it coming out sometime fairly early in 2022.

In addition to the title, I’ve also released my Pinterest boards for the book and character aesthetics. Check them out here!

What to know more? Drop your questions in the comments below! I’ll be posting a Q and A video about the upcoming title on my YouTube channel soon!

The Character-Reader Connection

During the Beta Reader stage for Lydia Green of Mulberry Glen, J.C. Buchanan one of my beta readers, had a favorite character. That character was Prehna Birchdell, the smart, logical, outspoken friend and complete opposite of Lydia Green.

The fact that Prehna was J.C.’s favorite character caught me completely off guard.

Not because I didn’t like Prehna, I did. But because in the first draft of the story she had absolutely no personality, and I had been struggling to make her character ‘work’ ever since.

Because of this, somehow the thought had never occurred to me that she would be anyone’s favorite character. I had begun to think of her less as a character and more as a piece of the plot – a thread that had grown tangled and I had only just managed to weave back in smoothly.

But J.C. loved her. She loved Prehna a lot more than I did at that moment, and because she really cared, she noticed a lot more than I did.
Some of her comments include:

“NO!!! PREHNA!!!!”

“I really love the the development of Lydia’s character here–however, fit within this scene, the fact that she isn’t more concerned for Prehna makes her a smidge less likable. Just a thought:)”

“I LOVE this whole interaction. Lydia and Prehna both get a chance to be totally real and get everything in the open–Lydia admits she was wrong, Prehna confesses her hesitancy. It makes the characters SO relatable and so likable!!!”

“Is Lydia worried at all for Prehna? Because I’m freaking out here nothing better happen to Prehna”

Obviously… My neglect of Prehna had caused some problems. (They’re fixed now, I promise. XD)

This taught me two valuable lessons.

  1. Write every character as if it’s your reader’s favorite, because they might be. Let them have their moments, don’t shove them to the side as ‘just another character’.
  2. Find good beta readers who care about your characters (sometimes more than you do) and your story and want them to be the best they can be.

So, to recap. Thank you J.C., for helping me create the Prehna Birchdell we all know today.

docendo disco, scribendo cogito,
– Millie Florence

Book Trailer Released!

If you don’t follow me elsewhere, let me catch you up to speed.

I’ve wanted to make a book trailer ever since Lydia Green of Mulberry Glen was published, however, with one thing and another, I didn’t have the opportunity to make one until this fall.

For the past two months, I’ve been planning, filming, editing, color grading, recording voice-over… All the things. But now, at last, it’s here!

That’s right! Lydia Green of Mulberry Glen now has an official book trailer! 
A lot of research was put into this trailer to make it the best it could possibly be, and I’m so excited to share it with all of you!! 

So watch it, enjoy, and if you have a moment, you have no idea how much I would appreciate it if you shared the book trailer with a friend.

Thank you guys so, so much for all your help and support, and I hope you enjoy the trailer!

docendo disco, scribendo cogito,
– Millie Florence