I don’t really like to do these year-end posts (I skipped last year’s). I’m never happy with how (little/much) I accomplished over the past year, especially with how many books I was able to complete.
At first glance, 2021 was a dismal year. I only published 3 new books (Leprechauned, Evil Eyed, and Monstrous Heat) and two short stories for anthologies. Worse, I set aside a couple of books incomplete this year, which I really hate to do (Darkness3, Monstrous Hunger, Blizzard Bound, Cajun Christmas). I REALLY HATE not finishing books that I want to finish. Especially when I have preorders on them.
But I can only do what I can do, and this year, I didn’t manage to write as many words as I wanted. I still wrote. I still completed 3 books and 2 short stories. I also started writing Shara’s Blood’s prequels, something I’d been meaning to do for years (I’ve completed Rik & Daire’s, Guillaume’s, Xin’s, and Mehen’s so far).
What the short list of “completions” doesn’t say is how many new things I tried this year.
- With the help of Pink Flamingo Productions, I was able to get Broke Down, Knocked Up, and Four Men & A Baby into audio. (4 Men is recorded – I’m still waiting for ACX to release it).
- I took several older series wide this year, learning how to publish direct at Koko, Google Play, and Apple. This includes republishing two dragon novellas with new covers, titles, and edits.
- I got my first solo BookBub! That was really exciting.
- I tried my first BookBub ads.
On the home/personal front, I was still in court limbo for the first half of the year, since That Man had filed another maintenance modification request. He passed away in July when I was at LLS in Savannah, so we left early to be here for my girls. The last few months, I’ve been working to finalize my forever house at my Dad’s, trying to balance what I can afford with what I want, especially knowing that the Evil Day Job dropped that bombshell in October. I have some plans drawn and the bank lined up. Just waiting now to see if the appraisal lines up and then we can get busy building.
For all my efforts at improving my process and streamlining my systems, I’m still pretty disappointed with my output this year. The list of things I want/need to finish just keeps growing and I have a hard time lining up which book will come out first. It really depends on what unfolds over the next few months.
The strict, rigid line up of preorder dates just doesn’t work well for me. Yes, I like deadlines. But I’m also an emotional writer, and I need to FEEL the story sparking. I need that magic working and flowing, or it’s just a slog. So my goals for 2023 will be finding the magic. Focusing on it. Letting go of the written-in-stone dates and just letting the stories tell me where to go. I’m going to dabble with writing in several different things, at least until something really sparks and takes off.
If all goes well, I’ll be moving again this summer. I may even need to find a temporary place to live a few months until the house is finished. All that’s going to be disruptive and stressful to my stability and environment. But the life I want to have in the country at my dad’s is just around the corner.
What I do know is on the plate this year are several anthology stories I’ve signed up for. Bloodlust releases in February, Dark Needs in May, and The Thousand Doors of Midnight Manor will be in November.
I’m also going to focus on getting the rest of the Blood prequels done so that you can enjoy Queen Takes Blood sometime in first quarter.
Lastly, and most importantly, I am going to get Shara back into the line up even if none of the other stuff that I wanted to finish first is done or not. I used the holiday cards to write out that intention over 1000 times. Shara returns in 2023!