Thursday, January 7, 2016

Looking Back and Going Forward, Writing Goals for 2016

January of 2015 I set up an "agenda" for the year, and it was the first time I put a plan of action in writing. I was so sure  I could accomplish everything on my list and went forward into the great beyond... 

Yeah, not so much. 

I did accomplish part of my list, but at the end of the year when I looked back for some reason I felt I hadn't accomplish much. So, before looking forward, I'm going to recount what I accomplished. (This is more for me than anyone else, a trail of positive thinking to help me set up 2016.)

By May 2015, I had somethings marked off. Dragon's Eye was accepted by Less Than Three Press in February, as was the Interlude, A Child's Wish. Also accepted around the same time was the second book in the ION series, Werewolf's Tale and a Druid's Sword.

I was feeling pretty gung-ho and volunteered to write two free stories for the GoodReads M/M Romance group.

After reading a slew of Motorcycle Club books, I approached Kenzie Cade to co-author with me an urban fantasy version, and in June we brainstormed a six book series
with a possible spin-off. On Sept. 1st, we began writing the series, Devil's Dawn.

Around that same time I approached an editor for my poor Fate and Destinies manuscript that had been languishing on my hard drive for over a year. She gave me some great feedback which I'm only part way through establishing because of... stuff. And that stuff kept happening so that I pushed back working on it.

Round midyear I got a bit overwhelmed because I took on too much at once. It was great learning experience, one I will try not to go through again. Less Than Three was awesome and worked with me. Ruby Red Booty Shorts and a Louisville Slugger which was supposed to release in September was pushed back.

In July, I went to Rainbow Con in Tampa, Florida and met some really great people and was reacquainted with old friends. July was also the month I played catch up, trying to get back on track so I could accomplish the second half of my agenda. That didn't go as I expected. 

Releasing Chaos was/is giving me fits, and it was the first time I rued writing a book in first person. I guess you could say that is the issue of being a 
pantser instead of a plotter--not being able to foresee all the many details of the final books in a series. But on the flip side, I don't think the ending would have been as good if I set everything in stone from the beginning. On the upside, in November I woke up in the middle of the night with a resolution to a part of Releasing Chaos's problem.

In the meantime, prints were made of the illustrations of the Valespian Pact around the time Alpha Trine and Striker came out
on audio book. I was interviewed for the first issue of the MCB Quarterly. In May, the anthology Keep The Stars Running released. My short story, The Aurora Conspiracy, was included with other fantastic shorts. The anthology went on to receive and honorable mention in the 2015 Rainbow Awards and later tied for first place in the LGTB Anthology / Collection category

In June, Salvaging Toby's Heart was released for the GoodRead's M/M Romance group Don't Read In the Closet event. In December, the book was nominated for Best Sci-fi/Futuristic/Post-Apocalyptic/Steampunk and Best Love is an Open Road Story.

In August, the second DRitC story, Darksoul: Part One was released, and it too received a nomination for the Best Action/Suspense/Adventure story. 

I went on and completed Darksoul, moving the story from 44k to 112k. Currently, the manuscript is with an editor. It'll need to also go through proofing and binding before I can self-publish the story in 2016.

Keeping Faith was a finalist for the Best Gay Book in a Series and Playing for Keeps and Keeping Faith released together in the paperback title, Unshakable.

Several of Sumeria's Sons made The Romance Reviews Top Picks and Dragon's Eye made several favorite reading lists for 2015.

If I wanted to look at the bare bones of 2015 releases, the list would look like this:

January - Songs of the Earth
March - A Leap of Faith
March - Audiobook for Alpha Trine
April - Dreams of the Forgotten
April - Unshakable released on paperback
May - Audiobook for Striker
May - Keep the Stars Running
June - Starting Fires
June - Salvaging Toby's Heart
July - Surrounded by Crimson
September - A Child's Wish
September - Darksoul: Part One
October - Dragon's Eye

Okay. Wow. I have no idea why I was thinking I hadn't accomplished much. What a busy year!

Now the question is, what will happen in 2016?

In this first quarter, Darksoul: The Complete Novel will be self-published. The Novel will have both part one and two published together in one volume. There were changes made to the first part of the book, additional information, changes made to race names, and such, as well as the last couple of chapters moved further back in the story.

This is where I'm laughing at myself because I thought that self-pubbing would be quicker, but honestly, not so much. It's been a learning process and I don't see myself doing this very much in the future. I like spending my time writing. :)

Ruby Red is back on the release schedule! Whoot! It is now up on the LT3 Press website for pre-order, releasing on March 2, 2016.

Talking about adding to a story. Ruby Red Booty Shorts and a Louisville Slugger started out around 22k. I'd originally wrote it for a holiday sub call, and it wasn't accepted because it was part of a series but was published separately. Shortly after it was originally released, the publisher went out of business. LT3 accepted the little guy, but while going through edits, there were several suggestions made that I agreed with. The story grew from 22k to 49k. In order for me to spend time on it, things were pushed around last year. Even though I was a little harried at the time, I'm glad I took the time because the story is so much better than it was.

As I'm typing this up, book two in the ION series, Werewolf's Tale and a Druid Sword is waiting for me to get back to editing it.

What else is on the 2016 "agenda"?

Everything above the green line is what I would like to definitely accomplish this year. 

Death Mask is due in for the sub call at the end of the month. Fingers crossed. I'm not quite finished. I've been trying to work on it while editing Werewolf's Tale but honestly, the editing has been taking up my time. ION 2 needed some serious TLC. I'm praying that everything about Death Mask will fall into place later this month. Seriously, it's bad form to not submit a story to the sub call you asked your publisher to do. :)

Once Death Mask is off my plate, I'm going back to Releasing Chaos. I'm 30k into the story and I think I know what needs to be done (deleted) to get the story past this part. The good news is the last interlude is complete. I need to edit it and such, but short story is close to being ready to submit.

The first book in the series, Devil's Dawn, that I'm writing with Kenzie Cade is almost finished. If we pushed, it could be finished before the end of February. 

Fate and Destinies will be brought off the back burner. The changes from 1st to 3rd person completed and I'll be able to hand it over to the editor. (Someone please say, "About time, woman!")

Then comes the third book in the Valespian Pact. Is it crazy that writing this book scares me the most? I have a bare bones outline of what needs to happen in Bespoken, but I couldn't hear Prometheus's voice. Without that voice, the story would've been flat. The last week or so, he's been talking, which is excellent.

The rest of what is above the green line will come after the projects above are completed. I won't be participating in the DRitC event this year. If I get a wild hair then I can put that energy into anything below the green line. I'm pretty sure Wolfe's story will get told. Honestly, Salvaging Toby's Heart practically wrote itself. Oh! I'll give you a bit of information on my sci-fi stories, Salvaging Toby's Heart and Darksoul and The Aurora Conspiracy takes place in the same universe. So you might see some character crossover.

That's it! That is what I would like to accomplish in 2016. The little whiteboard will be marked up by midyear but did you know that there is a bigger board? Would you like to see what the next few years could bring? Haha! :)

Thank you for stopping by and reading!!

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