maandag 29 december 2014

End of the year ramblings

The end of 2014 is approaching , and I, for one, donned on my steel toe boots to give it a firm kicking in the behind as it goes. “Sayonara Sucker!!”

On a personal level this year has been a dastardly villain from a silent movie, twirling its handlebar moustache at me. Yet, at the same time, I think I needed to be tormented to make a fresh start, to reinvent myself and become a happier person.

Career wise 2014 has been quite pleasant. It took a long slow start, but this was the year where people started to notice my writing a bit more. Especially the horror community has made me feel very loved this year as an author, but also as a person.

In the middle of this year the first short story of Even Hell Has Standards came out, called Pride.  Getting it out there was a challenge, and there was a moment I almost quit writing all together, but
once it was out in the world, it became the stepping stone to Angel Manor, my first full novel.

The year was a bit of a roller coaster of productivity. There were moments were crippling self doubt made me discard everything I wrote and start over again. At the same time I’ve written three full novels, and rewritten a novella into a novel, so it’s not been a total waste. Two of the three novels (and the rewrite) have been published this year, for the third (Alleria) I’m still looking for a nice home (and hopefully an agent)

This year has been the perfect set up for a great 2015. I have found the team I like to work with, and I’ve been very fortunate in working with all the talented people so far. My editors, Lisa Lane and Lisa Jenkins have not only been fantastic and professional, but they’ve taught me a lot about my trait, and I’m very grateful for them. I got to work with two awesome artists too, Stephen Bryant and Paul Chapman, who produced some of the best looking covers I have ever seen. It was a special privilege to work with Lori Michelle, who was the formatter for the Coyote novels. It was a real pleasure to work with her. Another exciting thing was that my books (Deeply Twisted and in the future Angel Manor) are going to be converted to audio books by one of my favorite narrators, Chris Barnes. I am so excited about this.
Publishing Angel Manor has been a particular joy for me. I think it’s a blessing that I submitted it to Horrific Tales Publishing. I knew it would be a good fit, and I’m glad that the publisher, Graeme Reynolds thought so too.

For me it was very humbling to see how well Angel Manor was received. People really helped create a buzz, and I watched breathlessly as I saw the novel rise in the ranks. It was beautiful to witness. Everywhere I looked I saw people talking about Angel Manor, and it was really a dream come true for me. I don’t think the readers will ever realize how much they really mean to me.

When we hosted the book party, and a lot of Facebook friends (and people I didn’t know for that matter) dressed up as nuns, taking selfies to support the book, it blew my mind. I laughed till I cried at all the nun jokes and ‘caption this’ comments.
Then, to my surprise, we managed to repeat the success of the book party for Coyote: The Clockwork Dragonfly. Even more people dressed up and made the most creative wanted posters. I was amazed.

To be honest, I haven’t found the target audience for the Coyote series yet. It’s on my list to work on for 2015. Being a slipstream genre hopper isn’t easy, but I couldn’t imagine being anything else.

So, 2014 got me noticed, on to 2015 to expand my loyal readers base, to find people who enjoy my work. I still have the dream of finding an agent and getting some of my work traditionally published, but in the meanwhile I’m very happy with the independent publishers I work with.

I’m ambitious and have many plans for 2015, here are some of them.
1.      Angel Manor is part of the Lucifer Falls trilogy, I plan to publish the second book late 2015
2.      Around the summer I want to publish the third book of the Coyote series, called Coyote: The Rip Walker.
3.      The first book in my Celestials series (I haven’t decided on a title yet) will be written. I don’t know where I’ll submit it yet, because I’m not sure what exact genre it’s going to be. This is a book I’ve been mentally working on for 15 years at least, and I have written it several times, but just wasn’t satisfied with it. This year I will finish it. I’m going to set it in the same reality as the Lucifer Falls series and the books will have a few plots intertwined. It’s also going to have common ground with the Even Hell Has Standards series.
4.      I shall either write my coming of age horror novel (no title yet), or my thriller ‘Man’s World’. If time permits me, I shall write both, but I don’t know if I can.
5.      There will be a second story to the Even Hell Has Standards series. I’m thinking it will be Wrath. I struggle writing these, because the real life horror I had to research has a rather intense effect on me. I do want to have them written though.
6.      Though I said I wasn’t going to write for anthologies, I have at least one anthology in mind that I’m going to submit a story to.
7.      Aside from writing, I need to work on my marketing skills. One of the things I plan to do is attend more conventions. I already have two planned for next year, and I’m hoping a third, if finances will allow it. I want to get closer to the readers, and be more prolific.

Aside from all these career changes, I am planning to make a lot of changes in my personal life. 2014 rubbed my face in it, and showed me why I was so miserable for the last two years. This is not me, I’m all about the fun and the shenanigans, so I intend to spend my life celebrating them. I will think more positively, lower my ridiculously high standards of what I must achieve, and feel like less of a failure. There are so many great adventures to be had, and I want to have them all. Next year I will find more balance between work and free time, and I will start to enjoy life again, both as a mother, but also as an individual and a wife.

Bring on 2015, I won’t claim I shall own it, but I’m definitely ready for the change this time.

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