newsletter issue #6; monsters and first lines

tanvi berwah
Me, every year November comes round: oh my god, it’s november, where did time go
I actually love November in these parts of the word. Now is when the trees begin changing colors which ends in: CRUNCHY LEAVES
I also don’t hate that the days are cold and I can make myself warm in blankets. I hate heat!!! But not when I have created it myself. :^)
Thank you for letting this small introduction be the place where I can say absolute nonsense.

:puts on author hat: :stares into the distance:
This time last year, I was coming to a realization that I was absolutely unable to write, read, or even look at my WIPs. I don’t know if it was a block, or the lockdown getting to me. I just remember feeling useless, and that’s not the greatest of feelings.
Cut to a year later, now, I just submitted this round of revisions on MONSTERS, am working on Book #2 synopsis and first act, and jotting down notes on Adult Horror WIP. Which is to say, goddamn it, patience and cutting yourself some slack is a good thing who knew, and an especially important reminder during Nanowrimo.
This is very rich coming from me, by the way, since for some reason I always go haywire in the days leading up to a deadline EVEN IF I’M ON SCHEDULE. Are my eyes still burning? Yes. Am I go to do something differently next time? Probably not but maybe you will. (This probably has nothing to do with the myriad of mental illnesses I have, no.)
Anyway, hopefully my editor signs off on this version and we can head to copyedits. I both had fun and kind of despaired during this stage, because the book is so very close to being done. One of the things I found out during these revisions is how the word MONSTERS is a play on multiple things–you’d think that was obvious as these things are, but at no point was this word in any of my previous titles, which were all solely focused on highlighting my main character, Koral, not her monsters.
Another word, or line, that gave me so much grief in the past 3+ years that I have worked on this book now is the first one. I’ve had so many first lines for this book, and when I finally settled on the opening that is going to be in the versions yall will read, I had multiple versions of the new first line as well. Just last night, I spent five hours replacing words, clauses, testing the syllables and saying the line out loud for so long it started to sound completely unhinged. It was the absolutely last thing I was doing, even after having drafted the accompanying email to my editor, before I was exhausted and just pressed send.
And I think it’s safe to share snippets now. I THINK.
Monsters Born and Made, September 2022
Monsters Born and Made, September 2022
Now you think this is a stupid, pointless snippet which NO I LOVE IT but also speaking of one word (i cant say which one) in this particular excerpt, I mayhaps saw a cover :eyes emoji:
It’s the cover of dreams, honestly. While I can’t share any of it, I’m very excited about the artist because they did some art on one of my favorite TV shows of all time, and like my friend Crystal said, it’s absolute f a t e that I get to work with them.
  1. A Survivor’s Guide to the Long, Slow, Infuriating Process of Revisions: Imagine something with this title on the internet actually being useful? I was surprised too. But the second I read the first point, about the hypothesis of a novel, I knew this was good. It’s how I’ve learned to focus while writing and it’s one of the few things in the process that doesn’t fail me when I’m stuck. Do give it a read if you do any type of writing.
  2. Every House Is A Haunted House: This was such a beautiful meditation on how it’s not just death that causes a “haunting.” We leave imprints on the places we live and visit, languages we speak, and objects we keep or gift. How everything we go through in life, tangible or not, is made up of multiple histories, traumas, and stories, and perhaps how it’s not always possible to get rid of our ghosts.
In Candyman, racist murder is personified not by the lynch mob, but the person lynched. It is the victim and their insistence on remembering that is the threat to the community, or at best a kind of litter that needs to be responsibly tidied away. This narrative also promotes one of the most persistent delusions of modernity: that we can be free of history, that we only have to pay our ancestors’ debts, and the damage will all be gone.
Speaking of covers, my fellow Foreshadow alum and 22 debut, Gina Chen, had her book’s cover revealed. Gina’s writing is gorgeous and I can’t wait to read Violet Made of Thorns!
gina chen!
The VIOLET MADE OF THORNS cover is HERE!! Design by Casey Moses, art by Sasha Vinogradova 💜

If you want to read:
🌹 a fairytale-flavored fantasy
🏰 feat. asian antiheroine seer + golden boy prince
🔥 in a love/hate trainwreck of a romance

  1. Midnight Mass: I’m gonna be real yall, I read a lot less in October because of being on deadline but also whatever I did read pales in comparison to this one show that has gotten under my skin. I think about it so much, even now, from the actual horror of the story to its slow monologs which everyone seems to hate but I love??? PLEASE WATCH IT IF YOU HAVEN’T (but also, like, trigger warnings for visceral horror, religious violence, et al). And if you have seen this show, hmu, I wanna hear your thoughts!!!
That’s it from me in this first ever delayed and weirdly-timed newsletter!!! Very much hoping not to make this a habit besties.
Now let me go and fix my extremely sad-looking website. And, as always, I’d love you forever if you shared this newsletter or the goodreads link to MONSTERS BORN AND MADE with your friends!!!! :D
Love and light. Take care <3
Monsters Born and Made by Tanvi Berwah
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tanvi berwah
tanvi berwah @tanviberwah

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