This month’s games were #AuthorConfession, #MeetAWriter, #TheMerryWriter, the truth half of #WIPTruthOrDare and #WriterlyWIPChat.


  1. Goals:
    A First draft on the oft-delayed House In Exile.
    Edit House Valerius & A House Divided.
    Actually try submitting something.

  2. Form new habits:
    Be more disciplined.
    500 words per day.
    A new short story, at least every 3 months.

  3. The main group that I’m a part of is the #AuthorToolBoxBlogHop.
    Or at least, I was part of it last year. Unless I hear anything to the contrary, I’ll hope I still am.
  4. I have 2 WIPs: House In Exile and a short story that I don’t have a title for yet.
  5. Well, I’m still working that one out. One thing I have done lately is upgrade to my own domain and moved my WordPress blog over to that. Ps. If anyone sees a link that needs fixed, let me know.
  6. I has a few options (courtesy of having a professional photographer for a wife).20190108_062019494_ios
  7. By trying to be aware of when I’m wearing myself down. And by not procrastinating as much.
  8. Eat better, exercise more, lose weight. Fairly typical ones, I suppose.
  9. I’ll let you know once I’ve worked that one out.
  10. I plan to read 52 books again this year. I use my Goodreads to track them.
  11. There are a few releases I’m looking forward to:
    Paternus: War of Gods by @UnDyrk
    The True Bastards by @JFrenchAuthor
    Chasing Graves by @BenGalley
    Holy Sister by @Mark__Lawrence
    and, of course, Broken Glass…
  12. Well, for the new year seen in A House Divided, the majority of them spent it playing poker and passing a bottle of booze back and forth between them. Except for Eve. She spent most of the time watching TV.
  13. Ash has three goals: Short-term: Stop De Vries Mid-term: Restore his name with the ruling Cabal. Long-term: Make his father proud of him.
  14. I think it’s safe to say De Vries opposes the above…
  15. Why is a raven like a writing desk? You don’t want either landing on your head…
  16. “No,” She said, reaching up to run her hands over my head in a gesture that surprised me with its intimate feeling. “It’s not that you can’t do this. You think you don’t deserve to do it.”
  17. Word counts: House In Exile – 38,500 Untitled short – 1,100.
  18. It feels like Ash’s first serious relationship
  19. Ash wouldn’t appear on any reality TV show. It goes against everything he’s been taught about keeping a low profile.
  20. Hardest parts about writing a sequel – maintaining continuity and not repeating yourself.
  21. Depends on where my head’s at. I try to alternate between series and stand-alone.
  22. Ways to ruin a sequel: Ignoring/contradicting/re-writing developments from the previous without proper explanation.
  23. Something bitter, probably.
  24. I’m not sure De Vries would agree with everything I have planned out so far but I daresay he could live with it. 
  25. This was supposed to be a for the people I think will encourage me to reach my 2019 goals. Belated but here goes: @UnDyrk  
  26. Although he was brought up accustomed to having money, current events mean Ash has learned how to live out of a single bag so I’d so low maintenance. 
  27. That would depend on the odds. Ash would be inclined to fight but he’s not going to stick out one he knows he can’t win.
  28. A mobile phone and a weapon of some kind. De Vries has been know to favour revolvers.
  29. De Vries looks forward to taking down the people he thinks have either crossed or belittled him and ultimately, taking control of the Curia.
  30. The main cast has to learn how to work without the resources of a House behind them and with the Curia having a standing kill order on most of them.
  31. Taking control of what I’m doing. That’s the plan, anyways.


  1. If you’d asked me years ago, I would have said a dog person. But I’ve become more accustomed to cats over the past 10 years (having at least 2 in the house during that entire period). We now have 2 dogs & 2 cats so I guess I’m both.
  2. Scariest thing I ever did was fly across the world and completely change my life in order to be with my wife. Also, the best thing I ever did.
  3. I prefer to be early, whenever possible.
  4. I’m probably more of a follower, I have to admit. Too little self-confidence to make a good leader.
  5. Grumble about it, lie on the couch, watch something that doesn’t require too much thought and is likely to make me laugh.
  6. I hope I never lose my whimsicality.
  7. Meeting my wife and convincing her to see me again.
  8. Although the question was for three, I did two apiece for Clyde the cat & our Rocketdog.
    Why do you have to ambush me from under the bed?
    What is it with you & the shower? 
    Can you be more careful with that tail of yours?
    How do you keep managing to shut yourself in the laundry room?
  9. I’m definitely more of a night owl.
  10. Broccoli. . . Any guesses what Britt made the first time she ever cooked for me?
  11. I got drunk and fell face first into a gravel pathway. I still have a scar above my lip from it.
  12. A cup of coffee as I’m starting my work day.
  13. Can I have somewhere that has both mountains and is near the sea?
  14. My bucket list:
    1: Create a bucket list.
    2: Fill it with interesting things.
    3: Do the aforementioned interesting things.
    4: Write about them.
    5: Erm….
  15. Scotland to New Mexico. 4,600 miles and a 7hr time difference
  16. What I’m most likely to become famous for? Swearing in front of someone I shouldn’t…
  17. My first decree as Emperor of the known Galaxy: mandatory 1hr reading time.
  18. Type M.
  19. Dream car? I’ve always fancied have a Jaguar.
  20. What do I think the future will look like? Bleak.
  21. Twitter is probably the one I use most often out of any platform.
  22. I’ve always liked wolves. And hedgehogs. 
  23. I usually prefer Autumn.
  24. Not really. Another thing to work on this year…
  25. Can I be both? I grew up in the country but have lived in cities more than half my life. There are still things that appeal to me about both.
  26. My favorite holiday is Halloween.
  27. The great city of Anhk-Morpork.
  28. Aside from being a year older, I’m not all that sure my has changed much since last year.
  29. The mental place I was in for a good chunk of 2007-2008.
  30. Since a movie universe was specified, I think I will have to say Star Wars.
  31. I hadn’t really thought about this one before but my current notion is either Charlie Cox or Eddie Redmayne. Have either of them played vicious bastards before?


  1. I’m Drew, writer, reader, blogger, and general ne’er-do-well. My antagonist is Piter De Vries, one of the Ceteri (basically genetic vampires) looking to destabilize their society so he can make it more to his liking.
  2. I wasn’t even aware of it until now.
  3. The primary goal of the year: First draft on the oft-delayed House In Exile.
  4. I need to get back to treating/taking care of myself better.
  5. Weekend off.
  6. 20190127_201459623_ios
  7. Procrastination is something I need to give up. Maybe tomorrow.
  8. Not enough, unfortunately.
  9. Take short breaks to reset my brain.
  10. Well, I’m still trying…
  11. A combination of people who I thinks deserve more recognition / a shout-out
  12. Weekend off.
  13. 20190127_201804784_ios
  14. “I will not introduce myself,” He said. “In the unlikely event that any of you have recognized me, it would befit you to keep that to yourselves. I have and will offer you a substantial amount of money for your services, and with that I expect discretion.”
  15. The main thing I’m struggling with is joining up some of the separate scenes/elements I have.
  16. A writer who supports me? If I had to pick just one, I’d probably say .
  17. “Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip” – Elmore Leonard
  18. You could say any of ’s covers but definitely this one…from the shadows of the owl queen's court
  19. Weekend off.
  20. 20190127_202127662_ios
  21. I don’t really have any proper marketing advice other than don’t be annoying about promoting your work.
  22. Elevator pitch: It takes you up then brings you back down again. No more stairs. You may even get music although you probably won’t like it.
  23. I’m not great about making aesthetics and since I’m behind (again) I’ll skip this one.
  24. My site is
  25. Yes, it is. House Valerius is dedicated to my wife, Britt.
  26. Weekend off.
  27. Keep going, no one else can tell the story in your head.
  28. Responsibility, loyalty 
  29. I don’t recall immediately where I got Valerian from, but Ash’s first name comes from The Evil Dead series.
  30. I hadn’t really thought about this one before but my current notion is Charlie Cox.

#WIPTruthOrDare – Truth

  1. Ash could use a fresh start with the Cabal but since that would undo where I’ve put him, he probably won’t get it just yet.
  2. Ash’s biggest regrets always involve the people who died for him or that he wasn’t able to save.
  3. The item Ash needs most, at least at the beginning of House In Exile, is some packaged blood.
  4. Keeping his things orderly is one thing MacReady retained from his military service.
  5. De Vries would probably do the exact same thing as he’s doing now.
  6. Ash nearly always needs help, in one way or another.
  7. De Vries regrets that Ash refuses to see his point of view.
  8. MacReady likes bananas, which made some of his time in central America easier.
  9. Two or three of them have secrets but they’re spoiler related so I’m going to respect their confidences for now.
  10. I suppose the one that dislikes change the most is Dr. Mbejane. Mainly because, as one of the Ceteri doctors, he’s constantly having to adapt to new techniques etc.
  11. Quinn is the one most likely to lose something. Not because he’s forgetful, he’s just not tied to possessions all that much.
  12. Well, the last thing De Vries gave Ash was some new facial scars. But, based on the things he’s said, he wants to give Ash a reason to believe in his goal.
  13. Hmm, probably Eve. If nothing else, she’s lived the longest so she’s lived through more…
  14. If she could, I think Eve might enjoy tending a garden. She’d enjoy the relaxing nature of it.
  15. The only people I can see De Vries writing letters (well, personal letters anyway) to are either his mother or Carina.
  16. Maybe not a symbol exactly but De Vries does seem somewhat obsessed with taking Matthias Valerian’s sword as a trophy.
  17. Mbejane is probably the closest. As a doctor & someone who often has to act quickly, he always wants to know where his things are.
  18. Actually, so far MacReady seems to be one of the few characters without a dark secret to hide. I may have to change that.
  19. De Vries preferred colour is a dark, burgundy red.
  20. I do sometimes wonder what Ash would have been like if his mother hadn’t died when he was a teenager. I like to think he’d be less inclined to doubt himself as much.
  21. De Vries’ resume:

    Several years experience with international markets and travel.
    Excellent time-keeper and planner.
    Fluent in 4 languages.
    Highly motivated.
    Not afraid to get hands dirty.

  22. Ash has frequently been associated with a Phoenix symbol. On his sword, in his dreams, etc
  23. The lack of water would be of less concern to De Vries than a lack of blood but he’d still need some sooner or later. 
  24. Well, technically speaking, Ash and the majority of my main cast are on the run for their lives from the greater Ceteri society.
  25. So far, I’m not aware of any of my characters struggling with learning.
  26. At best, De Vries views snow as an inconvenience. 
  27. Ash favours blues. 
  28. MacReady’s skills:
    Pilot – primarily helicopters.
    Military training.
    Guerrila warfare.
  29. Actually, most the parties Ash has been to have been Ceteri functions of one kind or another so he’s found them a bit boring.
  30. I don’t think any of my characters hate water as such.
  31. Feeling out of control or not knowing what he’s doing.


  1. My MC is Ash Valerian, heir to the oldest Ceteri House, House Valerius. His major goal is to prove that he will be a worthy successor to his father.
  2. The past couple of years I’ve set myself a goal of a book per week, courtesy of the Goodreads challenge. To be honest, I’d never do that many without Audible.
  3. Favourite parts of the New Year? Probably the music. Well, that or Scotch & Wry
  4. It’s a three-way tie between Casey, Dr. Mbejane & MacReady. Casey takes her role very seriously so always tries to prepare for anything, Mbejane is just generally meticulous and keeping his things orderly is one thing MacReady kept from his military service.
  5. There are two Valerian family sayings that Ash has adopted:

    “Loyalty above all else, save family and honour”
    “This is who we are, and we will do what we must”

  6. Ash’s great Aunt Eve. She’s over 1000 years old.
  7. The last book added to my TBR list was Chasing Graves by .
  8. Ash didn’t really have much in the way of childhood dreams, except maybe that he could enjoy a summer day with his cousin.
  9. Not so much the D&D tabletop games but I did play some on PlayStation.
  10. Sort of. It was a combination of The Hobbit, Dracula, Frankenstein, and The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe, all of which I read within a year or so around 8 or 9. Between them, they opened up worlds to me.
  11. I wouldn’t describe Ash as being particularly ambitious. Maybe because he’s been the heir to his House since he was born, he’s known he’d have a certain amount of power.
  12. I really want to say it’s De Vries since he’s a psychopath. But it’s probably Quinn, given his general levels of confidence & competence.
  13. The general scheme is alphabetical but there’s one bookcase for signed books, a separate shelf for the B&N collectible editions, and the rest is what I can fit into the other bookcase.
  14. Anno Dracula
  15. Maybe he doesn’t read as much as I do but Ash does enjoy a good book.
  16. What does De Vries find beautiful? Seeing his plans develop and come to fruition.
  17. No, Ash does not keep a journal. His older brother Jonas did though.
  18. Loudmouth, redneck cowboy who’ll try to hit on any pretty woman nearby.
  19. A song lyric describing Ash? “And then I see a darkness…”
  20. Ash’s best friend is his cousin, Elizabeth. Despite some ups and downs, they’ve been close since childhood
  21. I usually have 2 books on the go at once – 1 book/ebook, 1 audiobook.
  22. Ash cares more about Ceteri law than human law but he will usually try to keep within those to avoid drawing unnecessary attention.
  23. Years ago, De Vries was caught in a fire. It still haunts him every so often.
  24. I’m not great about making aesthetics and since I’m behind (again) I’ll skip this one.
  25. Could be better. Could be a lot better.
  26. Loyalty to his friends.
  27. De Vries knows when to spend money wisely to help ensure his goals but he’s not the sort to casually throw cash around.
  28. I suspect he would if he could. Ash’s biggest regrets revolve around people he’s lost and I can see him wanting to undo that.
  29. Ash is happy enough with his real name. Some of the aliases he’s ended up with, not so much.
  30. The main thing De Vries loves is having control. While he might say he’s doing things for the betterment of all, I’m not sure if he sees people as more than things to be manipulated.
  31. I did manage to plan out a bunch of blog posts for next month.

As Always, Thanks to the hosts:

#AuthorConfession – J.M. Sullivan & Jessica Julien

#MeetAWriter – Alyse N. Steves

#TheMerryWriter – Ari Meghlen & Rachel Poli

#WIPTruthorDare – Allie May

#WriterlyWIPChat – Moira A. Ward


1 Comment

  1. Great post, Drew! Thank you for the mention too! As writers we need to be aware of how our time is allocated and the need to be social on social media – something I admit can be challenging at times. Your work ethic is a great example for other writers to follow. TGIF my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

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