I am linking up with Cait and Sky’s Beautiful Books link – up to bring to you a basic introduction of the novel I have cooking for Nanowrimo 2016.


You can read all about Nanowrimo on their website, here and all about Beautiful Books here. If you’d like to ‘friend’ me go here and please do!! Writing is such a solitary job I need all the hugs, food and encouragement I can get!

what’s cooking?

1. What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?

Now this is an oldie.

I’ve been having this idea in my head since I was 17 and possibly longer as its about pirates and I’ve wanted to be a pirate since I was 6 and yodeling around the establishment in my grandmother’s golden hoop earring.


2. Describe what your novel is about!

Alfie Yamazaki is a prep school scholar who goes to bed after the worst day of his life to wake up with his bed adrift in the big, blue ocean.

He is fished out by pirates who strip him of all his belongings and prepare to throw him in the ocean when he is temporarily saved because the ship’s captain; a scarred, foul mouthed girl probably no older than him, who turns out to be notorious pirate called the Queen of Dogs, known across the Seven Seas for her demonic powers said to have been granted by Kali the Goddess of Destruction after a deal made outside the fire-gates of hell.

Naturally, things get progressively worse for Alfie as he tries to find a way to get back to his own time before Captain Sayuri’s battle with a degenerating god explodes into an actual war.


3. What is your book’s aesthetic? Use words or photos or whatever you like!

I’d like to use pictures please! So click on my book cover for my pin board.


4. Introduce us to each of your characters!

Alfie – the world weary narrator is the one telling you this story. So he’s in complete control of what you hear and not me.

Sayuri – the titular Queen of Dogs. Likes swearing, stabbing and asking questions later if not ever. Has amblyopia in her right eye which means she can’t see properly and that is probably the reason for her foul temper, Alfie supposes.

Nishal – it’s his fault there is even a story so you better watch out for this 8-year-old spider monkey. (He is human!)

There is also a sea god and his fearsome water dragon. But no more on that for now!

5. How do you prepare to write? (Outline, research, stocking up on chocolate, howling, etc.?)

  • I suck at outlining.
  • But pantsing only takes me as far as Chapter Ten or Twelve but by then it’s pure, unadulterated gibberish.
  • So I wrote an outline.
  • Which is basically the whole story in a list of points.
  • And then I made a cover for Nano and pinterest board.
  • Then I went around looking for more books. (because everyone knows I need more excuses.)
  • The bottomline is, I don’t know what I’m doing, but I’m reading 19th century literature occasionally to try and keep the language as authentic as possible.
  • I’m also rewatching Downton Abbey simply because everyone is smol and innocent and have no idea where they’ll be in Series Six. (Spoiler: DEAD) But this has nothing to do with my novel.

6. What are you most looking forward to about this novel?


I’ve been collecting and clipping down story ideas surrounding pirates for almost half a decade now. (Stop trying to calculate my age.) I can’t wait to finally put it down on paper. I feel like it’s time.

*says so solemnly* ‘It’s time!’


7. List 3 things about your novel’s setting.

  1. It’s set in colonial Ceylon which is modern day Sri Lanka which is my homeland so I am writing what I know!
  2. There is magic, and sea dragons and a talking elephant!
  3. Tea, coffee, honey rings and semolina cakes and hibiscus jam and all the food that I eat that you have never heard about! (Unless you’re Sri Lankan too.) You’re welcome!

You might want to google the city of Trincomalee for a better picture of the setting.

8. What’s your character’s goal and who (or what) stands in the way?

Alfie would like to get back to his crumbling prep school life before there’s nothing left to salvage.

The whole of this colonial joyride is in his way, oh, and also the wee technicality that he doesn’t know how he got here or how to get back.

9. How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?

  • He learns a new language.
  • He learns that he can be who he is; unable to fight, faints at the sight of blood is physically incapable of swearing without a gag reflex and still be a hero and an inspiration.

10. What are your book’s themes? How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?

What are your book’s themes?


How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?



I’m super terrified and equally excited and can’t wait to begin. If you’re joining in, please do let me know and if you aren’t but want to know how I’m doing, I’ll be on Twitter, sobbing my heart out around tea time everyday.

Good luck, and may the words make sense.

Dashie 😀


5 thoughts on “what i’m writing for nanowrimo // beautiful books

  1. I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT TO FLAIL OVER FIRST BECAUSE THERE IS SO MUCH AWESOME HERE. *pauses to shriek wildly* I loooove pirates. I legit was about to write a pirate book for NaNo too!! I have a duology all plotted out, but decided to be sensible and go with the contemporary I’d planned for months.😂 but pirates ARE EVERYTHING. ❤ I've been obsessed with them since I was a small fry too! And omg set in Sri Lanka just makes it 1000 x more awesome. Plus the Queen sounds amazing and entirely epically stabby. I LOVE THIS SO MUCH.

    1. Aww thanks Cait! I’m actually super excited for this. You should see my notebook for it so thick and yellow and overflowing with my feels. Can’t wait to get it done on paper!! PIRATES IS EVERYTHING YAAAAS

  2. Pirates! This book sounds so cool! I was going through old BP link-ups and stumbled on this. It sounds awesome. Did you win NaNo? How did you do?

    I also checked out your about me page and noticed you’re from Sri Lanka! I’m doing this blog series where I interview people from around the world to break stereotypes, promote international diversity, and make a firsthand account crash course for writers. Would you like to participate? I’d love to have you!

    Best wishes on your projects!


      1. Excellent! I was so excited when I saw you’re from Sri Lanka. Basically I email you the document that has the questions and guidelines. You answer them in the document then send them back to me. My email is howellvictoriagrace(a)gmail.com if you’re more comfortable with emailing me so I have your address instead of posting it here.

Let me know what you think :)

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