The end of an era and what to do with fresh pasta - a dish combining the best of two worlds

I'm finally coming to the end of writing my series. I first started writing these books it was April 2016, and I was still editing and revising another novel, the first one I ever published. It would see the light of day in a month's time, but back in April 2016 I was already immersed in the world of witches and vampires and Fey and what not. I was already living under the spell of Rune and Sasha's romance, way into writing book one of the series. And I was having so  much fun with it! By June 2016 I had finished writing the first draft of "Unnatural" and was already picking up pace to start writing book two. I remember coming up with a character in my mind for book two, one I described on this post. Funny thing is, after book two was done, she had nothing to do with what I mentioned there. For starters, she became a lot more important during the rest of the series, and her story ended up being quite different from what I first thought it would be. But she's still a quadroon born to a mulatto slave, and she's still the vampire queen of New Orleans. She became one of my fave, actually.

So by mid July 2016 I was writing book two, which so far was the hardest one to write, let me tell you. Living with those same characters, having them always in my head, talking to me, telling me their stories and the settings for those, forcing me to do a lot of research - I'm lousy at that, I always get sidetracked! - which, after hours and hours of pouring into it, I managed to loose. Along with a whole bunch of chapters I had penned down and were sounding great, like I described here. I think this is where "Preternatural" first became so hard to write. And it kept on, it was a real struggle all along. Even after first draf was over, the editing process was excruciating. I kept going back and tweaking everything, and even after I was done with it - or thinking I was done with it - I realised, as I was writing book three - to be published later this year - that there were things which really belonged in book two. So I had to go back and do it all over again, and rewrite those chapters into book two, while still toiling away at book three. By the end of January 2017, this one was nearly finished, and I was editing "Preternatural" already. Thinking it would be a mere trilogy. How wrong was I...

Cue in March 2017 and I realised this series was not gonna end by book three, no way. Too many loose ends, too many words still left, like those characters still had a lot of story to tell. I realised it was gonna take another book to finish everything off in a manner I felt satisfied with. So as soon as book three was done with, I already had book four all spread out in my head. And now, I'm pages away from writing The End. And being done with it. With them. It's June already, and I have had these characters by my side for close on two years. Even before I was penning down their stories, I had been haunted by their names: Sasha Devereaux, Rune Sanderson. The main characters. But even before those two came to fruition in my head, the Devereaux, the Montgomerys, the Roses had been there for a long, long time. Since 2007, 2008, I reckon. When I first wrote down what would later become part of the first chapters in "Preternatural". Oakridge Falls existed in my head even before I knew that small town was all about Sasha and Rune.

I've been dreading finishing up this series, I must be honest. Maybe I didn't need to drag it on for four books, maybe one would have been enough. But I had the stories inside me and wanted to pull them out, so I did. For a while now, as I saw the end looming nearer and nearer with each line I pen down, I have been afraid of not being able to drown myself in another project. Something that makes me work as hard as this one did, something that makes me write as hard as this one did. Something that gets me eager to be out of bed in the morning so I can pour myself into it. I confess I have been afraid I would not have the motivation inside me for another story. I was afraid I might end up depleted - it took me a looong time to start writing again after I finished "A Study in Love". But it seems like that is not to be the case. It seems that, unbeknownst to me even, a story has been planting itself in my head, starting much like every other novel I wrote, with names that simply keep popping up when I'm at rest. I have the names, I have the characters coming to life, too. I have the basis for the story, as well. I'm stoked to wrap up The Preternaturals series and dive into this one.

It will be a huge project, I'm well aware of it. One I am not quite sure I can tackle to fruition. Will I manage to write it? Will I end it? I've already started out some of the gigantic research this promises to beg for. I've already constructed a few characters to my liking, like they've shown themselves to me and now they just wont leave until I tell their stories. I want to write this, I have been fascinated by it for ages, like I said here. So I am quite eager to wrap up "Commoner" and get on with this. It has started invading my mind, already. Just the other day, as I was in the car listening to Mr. Mister's "Broken Wings" as it came on on the radio, a whole scene came to mind. And it was really good. And it got me really excited to write it down. After that scene, a couple more sprung up in my head, and I knew I had something there, I had the makings of a good story, something interesting and riveting, at least for me. I wanted very much to write it. I want very much to write it. So I'm not really worried right now, that I'm gonna be mourning the end of my current work in progress. There's something to look forward to, and even if no one reads whatever else I may write in the future, like I have said plenty of times, I can't do anything else but write. And write I will.

And because last week I shared a recipe for fresh, homemade pasta, I wanted to show you what I cooked with it. It's one of my favourite dishes, because it weds the best of two worlds: Italy's delicious pasta and Portugal's much loved salt dried cod. This is one dish you will want to try. Although it's got nothing to do with books and stories and writing, here's what you'll need:

  • fresh pasta (find a recipe here)
  • 250 gr salt dried cod
  • 1 medium sized onion
  • fresh garlic
  • half a dozen sundried tomatoes
  • 1 red chilli
  • white wine
  • fish stock
  • olive oil
  • coriander - a small bunch
Start by bringing water to the boil on a kettle and dowsing the salted cod with it, allowing it to soak for about five to ten minutes. Once that time has elapsed, get rid of the water or use it to cook your pasta in, wash the cod in a bit of cold water and shred the fish into smaller strips. Reserve. Then get on with peeling and dicing the onion and the garlic. On a frying pan, heat up a glug of olive oil and stir fry the onion and garlic in it. Add the chilli, cut into slices - you can take out the seeds or leave them, depending on how hot you want this dish to be -and the sundried tomatoes, also chopped up. Gently stir until they look tender, freshen it up with a small glug of white wine and season it with the fish sauce. On a pan, bring water and salt to the boil and cook the pasta, it will be very quick, seeing it's fresh. Three, four minutes should be enough. Drain the pan and add the cod to the pasta, then pour the contents of the frying pan over it, stirring everything together. Chop the coriander and tos it in the pan as well, reserving a few bits to serve. Plate up and add a generous sprinkling of parmiggiano cheese, freshly grated, and the rest of the coriander. Enjoy!


  1. My son loves pasta and would be all over this dish!
    Good luck with finishing everything up and saying goodbye to your characters.
    And for gearing up for something new?

    1. You son must be a lot like mine ahahah!! I'm gearing up for something new all right, gonna be the maddest thing I get myself into but I'm sooooo excited about it!!
      Thank you so much**

  2. whoa, i'm in awe that you wrote so much so quickly! congrats on (almost) finishing this series, and here's to the start of another one (:

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