Time for a change… or two or three

Oh, my gosh. I have been working so hard this month on a number of special projects, and the time has come when I can finally tell you all about them!

First, I want to announce that my fun middle-grade series, The Sugimori Sisters, is expanding! I have two new books to share with everyone this year, and the first of them, Further Scientific Mayhem! With the Sugimori Sisters, comes out September 1st!

Ellen is a sixth-grader with normal sixth-grader problems. Risako is a first-grader with a collection of scientific gadgets all calibrated to solve them. If only the calibration weren’t so off-kilter.

From a misdirected teleporter to an irritating shrink ray, from an uncooperative chemistry set to a camera that does more than take pictures, these wonky gadgets will have Ellen and Risako using all their wits to keep their parents from grounding them!

That’s Further Scientific Mayhem in a nutshell. The third book in the series, The Holiday Experiment Files of the Sugimori Sisters will be coming December 1st, so keep an eye out for it! I had so much fun writing these that I often broke out into giggles during work hours. Loud, snorty, undignified giggles. And if I can make some of you giggle, too, that’s mission accomplished.

The next two things, and what have taken up most of my brain power this month, are related to one another.

I have moved my mailing list to a new service, which gives me more bells and whistles to play with. You can see up at the top of the sidebar the updates I’ve made, including the fact that signing up will net you an ebook you can’t get anywhere else, now that the Cattittude StoryBundle is over. My hope is that my new and improved newsletter will be a fun place where me and my subscribers can be book friends! I’ll even share some excerpts from my current works in progress or books that haven’t been released yet, so, like, maybe if you’re dying to read a snippet of A Prisoner to Spring, the first book in my upcoming fantasy romance series, Winter’s Consort, you might think about signing up? Eh? I mean, who knows?

But along with the new newsletter come a whole brand new website.

That’s right, I’m going to be leaving this page behind. It’s been a great little home for me while I started out as a seedling writer, but now I’m feeling ready to put some leaves out and maybe move my roots to firmer soil. What I’m trying to say with this tortured metaphor here is that I’ve got my own domain now, so I don’t have to be at “.wordpress” anymore, which doesn’t exactly look the most professional.

The new site is here: www.brigidcollinsbooks.com

Go ahead! Go check it out!

Sadly, this does mean I won’t be updating here anymore. But I will be keeping a blog just like this one over at the new site, and you can follow me there to keep up to date on all my shenanigans, maybe check in on my slow but steady progress on Protector. Or, y’know, you could sign up for my newsletter? Remember about the free book! It’s got cute cats in it!

See you all where I see you.

Cats, Cats, Cats! Plus updates on the writing

Well, I may have been over-confident in my hopes of completing A Protector Over Winter, book 4 of my Winter’s Consort series, in January. Seeing as it is now, uh, August, and it is not done. What can I say but 2020 was rough in both expected and unexpected ways. While I’m still super pleased with my productivity in the last quarter of the year, I went into December completely burnt out, not only mentally, but physically, too.

But my wife and I spent the beginning of the year rearranging our house to better accommodate the two of us working from home constantly, and I got myself set up with a much cuter, much more ergonomically pleasing writing corner, which should help cut down on the cramped shoulders, knotted back, and pounding headaches I was getting from spending all of 2020 writing hunched over a TV tray at the couch. Ugh.

But I’ve been working this year, too. I got my story written for the next Valdemar anthology, which should be out at the tail end of the year if prior patterns are to be followed. I’ve also been working diligently to complete work on my Sugimori Sisters series, too, which has been just pure fun throughout. Look for more news on that soon.

And I haven’t forgotten A Protector over Winter. How could I? This series has lived in my head and my heart for five years now, from the moment I wrote the short story “Bride Thief” for the Midwinter Fey bundle my friend Jamie was putting together back in 2017. The first three books are “done” and have moved to various stages of production. As of the end of July, I’m 20,000 words into Protector. I’m not trying to rush this one like I did books 2 and 3, just trying to get steady work done and see Chelsea and the Winter Queen to the happily ever after they deserve.

Part of the reason I’m only 20k in is that my workflow got a little interrupted by being invited to join a StoryBundle of cat fiction, which required me to set everything else aside to put together a whole new collection! It’s live now, and will be until August 18th.

The Cattitude Bundle

Being included in a bundle like this alongside some of my favorite authors working today, is so incredibly exciting! I mean, besides the fact that it’s all about cats, of course.

If you’ve never purchased a StoryBundle bundle before, the model is pretty cool. It’s pay-what-you-want, but if you pay a minimum of $15, you’ll get all of the books included. Also, a portion of your price will go to support charity, which is extra amazing. Our charity is AbleGamers, a group that does fantastic and necessary work to help disabled and housebound people find ways to enjoy video games, which helps them feel less isolated.

Isolation is something we can all understand after the last year, right?

Anyway, my collection, Strength & Chaos, Mischief & Poise, is exclusively available through this bundle right now. It features a new Sugimori Sisters adventure, as well as some other stories that deserved another push of visibility after having been published in magazines. Mine is one of the bonus books in this bundle, meaning you’ll need to hit that minimum $15 threshold to get it for yourself. But it’s worth it, I promise! Besides getting a whole slew of great feline-based fiction, you’ll be supporting both an amazing cause and a bunch of hard-working indie authors.

Grab your copy right here!

That’s all for today, but be on the lookout for more exciting updates later this month!


You didn’t think I’d forget to pay my cat tax, did you? 🙂 Here’s a peek at my new writing corner, with Winnie in the cat bed and Brooke in the people furniture!

NaNoWriMo Day 26 and 27: The End

Project: An Enemy by Autumn – WC book 3. Word count: 2,700, 1,900. Total: 46,700.

Listening to: Library ambience.

I forgot to post yesterday. I sat down before writing and jotted down a fine-grain beat-by-beat road map to the end, which made me feel much more comfortable going forward. I also ended up splitting the final chapter into two, so we’re back up to 12 chapters total. I finished chapter 11 yesterday.

This morning, I’ve just finished the whole book. An Enemy by Autumn is a thing that exists now! And the series is now three quarters finished. Starting to look like a real gosh dang collection of books!

20 days of writing, even though it felt like forever sometimes. Taking days off throughout definitely killed a lot of my momentum, so I’ll try to minimize that on future projects. (Y’know, maybe don’t write a novel during a highly intense election?) It came in at nearly 47k, which I’m very happy with. I’ll give myself the NaNo win despite not hitting 50k, because dang it, I wrote a whole book, and that’s the point.

I’m still feeling kind of shaky about this one, but tomorrow I’ll do my readthrough and figure out all the places I can make it stronger. Then it’s on to figuring out what the heck happens in book 4!

The plan going forward is to clean this one up a bit, do that plotting, and then take the rest of the year off. I’m excited to hit the ground running January 1st with book 4, A Protector over Winter.

But for now, it’s time to relax!

NaNoWriMo Day 25: Inching Along

Project: An Enemy by Autumn – WC book 3. Word count: 1,600. Total: 42,100.

Listening to: Hollow Knight OST.

I ended up taking both Monday and Tuesday off this week. I got my flu shot on Monday, and it seems that knocked me out, because I came home and promptly fell asleep on the couch for about four hours. Tuesday I was still feeling sore and cranky, so I took it easy instead of pushing.

But today I’m back on it, if a little slower than I’d like.

Chapter 10 is finished, and I’ve got about 200 words into chapter 11, the final chapter. The end is approaching, but it sure feels like it’s taking its sweet time getting here. I’m thinking now that I’ll only get to 48,000 words at the most. This should be doable over the next two or three days.

Should be. November has turned out to be pretty rough, with lots of ups and downs as far as writing energy goes.

I think I’m also feeling kind of iffy about my ending, which always slows me way down, too. It’s something I can’t fix easily, since (slight spoilers) this one ends on a bit of a cliff-hanger leading into book 4. That’s kind of the nature of the thing, especially since I’m working with Romance structure. But I still want the end of this book to feel like “yes, that’s the end of this portion of the story” rather than “the story just cuts off here for no reason.”

But maybe that’s something better dealt with once the first draft is done and I do my readthrough. Things have a way of popping out at me during that stage that easily answer problems I thought were huge obstacles while I was writing them.

Here’s hoping I find the energy for a big, progress-making day tomorrow.

NaNoWriMo Day 22: Motivation Despite the Hell Year

Project: An Enemy by Autumn – WC book 3. Word count: 2,100. Total: 40,500.

Listening to: Katamari Damacy OST, Crypt of the NecroDancer OST.

All of chapter 9 is done now, and I’m about a thousand words into chapter 10. Barreling towards the end! Might not make it all the way up to 50k, but it’ll be close.

I’m so excited for this book to be done. It’ll mean two whole novels written in one year, which is a first for me, not to mention the half a novel of finishing A Prisoner to Spring first. 2020 is turning out to be my most productive writing year ever, despite 2020.

Enemy will also be the ninth book I’ve written over the nine years I’ve been really “serious” about writing, which is a nice sort of evenness. I like the idea of having averaged a book a year. And once I get book 4 of this series done in January, I’ll both be 10 for 10, and have half of my book-length works featuring obviously queer characters, something that is growing more important to me as I go along in life.

These, along with the story of Winter’s Consort itself, are the sorts of things that have been pushing me along in the final third of this hell year.

Tomorrow I expect to have low wordage due to other busy-ness, but I should be able to wrap chapter 10 up on Tuesday at least. Then it’s the final push to the end!

NaNoWriMo Day 21: Chapter Combination

Project: An Enemy by Autumn – WC book 3. Word count: 2,300. Total: 38,400.

Listening to: ASMR.

Finished what was on the outline to be chapter 9 today, then decided to go ahead and combine 9 and 10 into one. So 9 isn’t fully done, but the content I intended to finish today got done, and then some. I’m actually pretty close to done with the what-was-chapter-10 stuff, too, but I’m calling it quits for now. I’ll finish it tomorrow and get a healthy start on the new chapter 10. That’ll bring us into the final act of the book.

After a pretty up-and-down three weeks here, I’m feeling very confident going into the final week of NaNo. Only two chapters and a bit remain, and only 11,600 words separate me and 50k. Not certain if we’ll make it all the way there, but it’ll be close. Should be able to cross the 40k mark and make this thing officially a novel tomorrow!

NaNoWriMo Day 20: I haven’t stopped

Project: An Enemy by Autumn – WC book 3. Word count: 3,500. Total: 36,000.

Listening to: Outer Wilds OST.

I know I haven’t updated the last few days, but I’ve been writing still, except yesterday. 400 words on Tuesday, 1,500 on Wednesday. I think my brain hit a wall and just needed me to take it easy for a little while. That’s okay. I spent some time focusing on other things, reading, playing guitar, listening to music. My brain felt much more ready to work today. I have in fact been pushing pretty hard and pretty non-stop since mid-September, working to finish books 1 and 2 of Winter’s Consort as well as a couple of short stories. The few days I took off during the election were not restful, oddly enough. Once this book is done, I intend to take a good run of days off before diving into book 4.

But there’s still work to do on this book before then. I finished chapter 8 today, plus got about 800 words into chapter 9. I think 9 will end up being pretty short, and there’s a chance I’ll combine it with 10, which I also think will be on the shorter side. Only four chapters left on my outline, and ten days to write them.

I can do this.

NaNoWriMo Day 16: Steamy-ish

Project: An Enemy by Autumn – WC book 3. Word count: 1,900. Total: 30,600.

Listening to: MCR.

Well, today’s work saw me coming the closest I have ever to writing a sex scene. I guess I’m a big ol’ coward, though, since I ended up “fading to black.” But really, I’d already decided that this series wasn’t going to feature explicit sex. My characters definitely bang, we just don’t look too close while they do it.


It feels likely at this point that I’ll take the full three days to write chapter 8. There’s a lot that has to happen in it, and I’m not sure how many words it’ll take to cover it all. I’m not too worried. Progress is being made, smooches are happening, the Autumn Court is being creepy and shit, and I’m having a good time.

More tomorrow!

NaNoWriMo Day 15: Meeting Goals

Project: An Enemy by Autumn – WC book 3. Word count: 3,500. Total: 28,700.

Listening to: Hades OST.

I have met my goals for this weekend, and chapter 7 is complete! I also wrote a tiny bit on chapter 8, but I’m not really going to work on that today.

I am so glad I did my readthrough the other day. It’s left me feeling so much better about the whole project, which always helps get the words flowing. I’m back to feeling confident that I can wrap this thing up before the November 30th deadline, though I don’t think it’ll be quite as quick as October’s Dare was.

More work tomorrow.

NaNoWriMo Day 14: Halfway

Project: An Enemy by Autumn – WC book 3. Word Count: 3,100. Total: 25,100.

Listening to: Lofi beats.

The good news is, I broke 25k and I finished chapter 6! The bad news is I discovered I needed a scene that I had not plotted for, and thus have once again split a chapter in twain, so now I have a total of 12 chapters. Long, beleaguered sigh. But, that does put me neatly at the halfway point, as near as I can calculate it right now. 25k out of 50k, 6 chapters out of 12.

But more good news is that I spent this evening doing a readthrough of everything so far, and I am far happier with it than I thought I would be. In fact, I was actually dreading reading over it all, because I was pretty certain I’d find big, glaring problems. But I didn’t find anything to worry about at this point other than a couple of easily tweaked sentences, and I am now left with a much stronger sense of confidence about this book. Motivations are set clearly, Chelsea and the Winter Queen are romancing all over the place, and the Wild Hunt is Wild Hunting. Goes to show that while I’m in the weeds of actually creating the thing, my memory of what came before can be a little unreliable. Maybe my Mid-Book Blahs have already come and gone for this one? I can only hope.

I still want to try and finish chapter 7 tomorrow, even though “chapter 7” is now really “the second half of chapter 6” from before. That probably means it will be a shorter chapter, so doing it in one day, especially a weekend day, is certainly doable. And since I’m all back to feeling super excited about this story again, that’ll help, too.

More tomorrow!

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