2017 Wrap-Up and UPDATED 2018 Plans

Note: Usually I keep my blog posts and newsletter separate, but for this year-end wrap-up I’ll be using the same text in both. Just letting you know in case you’re wondering why this is in your inbox twice.

Normally, at the end of a year, I find myself saying “I can’t believe 20XX is over!” However, in the case of 2017, I actually can believe it’s drawing to a close. Only because for me, it’s been more like several years stuffed into one. That sounds like a complaint, but it’s not–far from it.

So much has happened in my life this year that I can barely believe it’s only been twelve months. My goal at the start of 2017 was to become a published author. I didn’t have any clear plans for what to do after that. I think I entertained the notion of growing a beard and becoming a hermit, because I felt so embarrassed about putting my work up for sale. In the end, I decided not to. I’d look terrible with a beard. Plus, to my amazement, people wanted more of my stories, so the hermit lifestyle suddenly seemed a lot less appealing.

At this point, I have three novels and two novelettes published, as well as a web serial. I couldn’t be more grateful for the positive reception to these works. I want to thank all the fellow authors and enthusiastic readers who have responded to my books this year and helped to promote them. You’re wonderful people, and I’m very blessed to have you as friends.

On that note, let’s talk a little about 2018. I’ve already done a blog post about my plans for the new year, but since then I’ve made some minor changes to my scheduling. I also have something exciting to announce at the end, so read the whole thing!

First of all, while working on Beaumont and Beasley Book 4, I’ve come to the conclusion that splitting it into multiple episodes isn’t going to work. I’m just not feeling it. These stories work better in the roughly 60,000-word format I’ve been using up until now. I still intend to use the episodic format for the Blackfire series, since those stories will be shorter. (I think. And I might actually be releasing those all at once, Netflix-style. We’ll see.) But instead of breaking up The Thirty-Nine Thieves into chunks, my plan is to simply release it as a single volume, hopefully sometime in late January. I don’t think I’m going to announce a specific release date this time. I’ll make it a surprise. It’s not the standard practice with book launches, but it’s an experiment I’d like to try.

The Clawthorn Rose will be getting a new synopsis soon (as I briefly mentioned in a previous post). The story is still mostly the same as what I had teased originally, but a few of the side characters I came up with in the first draft have been replaced by others. Also, my female main character, Anwen, is refusing to fit into the mold I’d envisioned. I’d planned for her to be like Merida, but instead, she’s turning into a female Shawn Spencer.

Oh well. These things happen.

I’m also weaving in some stuff from that scrapped novella I was working on earlier this year called The War of the Three Bears. I abandoned it because it didn’t fit properly into B&B continuity, but I’ve been lifting characters and concepts from it to use elsewhere. I’m reworking some elements of it to add an “East of the Sun, West of the Moon” twist to The Clawthorn Rose.

I don’t know why I tell you these weird, nerdy details. I guess some people might find them interesting. XD

Some of my previously-published works will be released in new editions in 2018. The first three Beaumont and Beasley books will be available in a single volume for people who want to catch up on the series in one fell swoop. The first three B&B Case Files will be published in a single volume too, after I get the third one released. Those are currently only in digital format, but I the collected edition will have a paperback version. Also, Horseman, my Wattpad serial, is now finished (yay!) and will be published on Kindle and paperback once I’ve had a chance to do some minor edits.

Also, I can officially confirm that I will be at Realm Makers 2018!

I had a fantastic time at RM this past year, and I can’t wait to go back. I will be bringing along some books to sign, and promoting whatever new release(s) I have out at that time. Not sure what those will be yet; we’ll have to see. Registration opens February 1. Don’t forget to sign up so we can meet in person!

 

And now for the announcement. In 2018, I will be starting a podcast!

 

I really love podcasts, and I’ve wanted to do one of my own for a long time. It will revolve around my thoughts on writing, indie publishing, and storytelling in general. My intention is for it to be a practical aid for those trying to break into the field. I’ll be drawing on everything I’ve learned so far (and the stuff I’m continuing to learn) to bring you advice and encouragement in your writing career. Stay tuned for more details on this project!

That’s everything I have to share for now. I’m looking forward to taking my writing to the next level in 2018, and I can’t wait to share more stories with my readers. Once again, thank you all for a wonderful, joy-filled 2017!

Happy New Year!

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Comments (16)

I can’t wait for your next releases! GAAHH. So. excited. 🙂

I reeeeally want to go to Realm Makers. No clue if it could even happen, but I want to. XD

Hmm, podcast! I’m intrigued. I don’t usually listen to stuff but I’ve heard podcasts are popular! Good luck with that! 🙂

So glad this was a good first year of publishing for you! You’ve come a long way very quickly and I’m in awe! Congrats, friend!

Happy New Year! Welcome to Beaumont and Beasley! (No idea; I just had to say it.)

Ha ha, thank you so much!! 😀 I really hope you can come to RM sometime; that would be awesome. And yeah, the podcast is something I never thought I’d be doing, but I like to talk, so… XD I think it might be a lot of fun. I got a podcasting microphone for Christmas, so I’m all ready for it.

You inspire me, sir. You have had a stellar year and I can’t wait to watch your career this next year. A podcast sounds brilliant. And I am dying to go to Realm Makers, so Lord willing I’ll see you there. Happy New Year!!

That would be awesome! I really hope you can make it. And thanks so much for all your kind words and encouragement. Happy New Year to you too!! 😀

I’m so glad you’ve decided not to do the episodes. I can’t wait to read what comes next, I rather like East of the Sun West of the Moon, and it’s not one that gets used a lot so always nice to have a new mix of it. Also a female Shawn Spencer would be pretty cool, but that’s just my opinion. Hope you were able to bring the new year in in style, and that it’s a great year for you to come.

Thanks, I appreciate it. I haven’t completely abandoned the episodes concept–I might still use it in some way down the line, but definitely not for this particular book. Hope you have a happy new year as well.

I’d love to make it to Realm Makers! But the cost and the travel and the arranging for childcare and the EXTROVERT factor all make me a little light-headed. 😛 It would be really cool, though!

I have never listened to a podcast in my life. Children. Needy people. To-do lists. Whingy cats. All of that makes such ventures a tad difficult. But for you I will happily find a way. 🙂 Keep us updated!

And I TOTALLY get the changing publishing plans to cover all your goals with a lesser amount of stress. I’m very looking forward to getting to finally read Horseman when it comes out in paperback!

Btw, I don’t think you’d look awful with a beard. Just don’t attempt to braid it or put highlights in, and you’ll be fine. *thumbs up*

Ah, I see where I went wrong now–I was envisioning myself with the braids and highlights. XD

It would be SO AWESOME if you could come to Realm Makers. For what it’s worth, most of the people there are introverts, so it’s not too overwhelming in that respect. The place where they held it last year was a bit too noisy in spots for my liking, but the main conference area wasn’t like that, and I think they’ll be in a somewhat calmer setting this year.

I know what you mean about finding time to listen to podcasts. I usually do it when I’m not even in the house–while walking, driving, doing chores, etc. I was never really into it until just a couple months ago, and now I’m hooked. I might also be starting a YouTube channel that focuses more on reviews and stuff like that. My office/bedroom isn’t the greatest backdrop, but I don’t think people will care. Plus I’m getting the wallpaper changed in the near future. XD

Thanks for the kind words on Horseman! I hope you enjoy it! (It has Malcolm’s son and a snarky cat, so…) 😀

Even in a smaller/more laidback conference center/area, I might be playing with fire. A couple years ago, I attended the Montrose Christian Writers’ Conference in Montrose, PA, and that’s the definition of small and low-key, and I only went for one day, and still couldn’t attend all the sessions. (I hid in the used book sale during the after-lunch Q&A things.) But also, I didn’t know anyone there, and none of the sessions were geared specifically towards speculative fic, and I wasn’t feeling well from a rough drive down there. Hopefully, my next conference experience would be much different!

Between not having much spare time by myself, and/or the house to myself not very often, I’ve stopped trying to listen to audio books, etc. in recent years. I do like the idea of shorter things, like a podcast, because I could easily find the time once or twice a week to listen to installments.

White Fang has a YouTube channel, that he mostly uses for his gaming videos, though his posts are few and far between during the school year. I’ve been told I should start one for reviews and the like, but I am so deathly afraid of the camera I don’t think it would happen (or if it did, I’d always be behind the camera and people would have to assume I’m a disembodied voice). And I can guarantee your wallpaper is not as bad as the 1950s throwback in my living room…

I know I’ll enjoy Horseman! 🙂

I completely understand! I think you’d like RM better. No conference is perfect, of course, but this one went remarkably well last year. I felt like I was surrounded by friends because of all the people I knew from the internet, and the complete emphasis on spec-fic was very welcome. (Not an Amish novel in sight…) XD Overall, it did feel pretty low-key. It certainly wasn’t a madhouse. And there were plenty of breaks in between the sessions for people to recharge and get some alone time.

Yeah, these podcasts are definitely going to be on the shorter side–30 mins at the most, I’d say. I personally never have the time to listen to longer ones, especially when they get rambly (something I’ll definitely try to avoid).

XD XD Mine is butterflies. Not ugly, but not me. It was put in for the mother-in-law of the people who used to own my house, and I just haven’t gotten around to changing it yet. I don’t really care about it most of the time, but I’d rather have something a little more neutral behind me when filming videos. You know, a lot of people I follow on YouTube never show their faces–they just record the audio and then use a sort of image slideshow for the video part. You could definitely get away with that. I’d love to see what you come up with! Your reviews are always awesome.

Thank you! I’m still not sold on the idea…I might do a “test” video for Twitter or something.

(And I would totally film in my bedroom, where the wallpaper there was scrapped and painted over years ago.)

Ha ha! 😀 Yeah, a test video sounds like a good way to try it out. I’ll probably do something similar.

You made so many accomplishments in 2017! I’m in constant awe at how quickly you produce stories. I cannot WAIT for all the next batch of stories you’re working on for us! (I mean, a female Shawn Spencer??? YES PLEASE.) Plus all the other stuff you have planned. A podcast sounds like an amazing idea! This is exciting!

And Realm Makers! There is a slight chance I’ll be going this year! It’s not set in stone AT ALL, but it’s definitely something I’m going to be working toward. 😀 I’d soooo love to meet all my fellow writer/blogger peeps!

Anyways, I’m absolutely looking forward to all you have in store for us. Happy New Year!

YES!! *fist pump* Sorry, I know it’s not set in stone, but I am already going to start pressuring you. XD Nah, just kidding. I do hope you can make it though, that would be awesome. I think you’d love it.

Oh, my goodness!!! I’m SO excited for all these new releases this year. Your covers look amazing, they’re definitely a peek at what the magic is like inside the book-to-be. And I LOVE your podcast idea. Really looking forward to that!

Thank you so much!! Very kind of you to say. I’m excited about doing the podcast; I think it will be a fun way to connect with readers. 😀

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