For a while now, I’ve started and ended each year with blog posts detailing my writing goals for that year. Making those goals public has been a way to both let you all know what’s coming and hold myself publicly accountable.
Unfortunately, the whole thing has gotten a little bit stale. So, this year, I’m going to skip the usual end-of-year report card and just look back at how things went. Sound good?
A Year in Review
Ignoring political, social, economic, and public-health catastrophes, 2021 was a pretty good year. My angel-wife and I are both safe and healthy. We’ve been able to see some of our friends and family. My author career is still a thing, and a growing number of people have found their way to my two series, lured by the false promise of free donuts and coffee1. And this was by far my most productive year, in terms of book, audiobook, and novelette releases.
Let’s recap, shall we?
- In February2, I released A Sure Thing, my third novelette set in the post-Break world, and the first to deal with the previously unseen criminal organization known as the Company.
- In March, I released a new cover for Investigation, Mediation, Vindication, properly positioning it as an urban fantasy, albeit one where the main character does NOT regularly go shirtless3.
- April gave us a two-fer. First, the audiobook of Red Right Hand came out. Then, I released Blood is Thicker Than Lots of Stuff, the sequel to Investigation, Mediation, Vindication, in a transparent bid to become the urban fantasy author with the most ludicrously over-long titles ever.
- In June, I released the third book in that series: Ghost of a Chance4. To my relief, people didn’t revolt over the book’s slightly darker and more complex plotline. The general lack of Bill did, however, prompt a few grumbles.
- In August, the audiobook for A Sure Thing came out, and our narrator, Joe Vernon, once again knocked it out of the park or whatever sports-related metaphor you would prefer. We also celebrated my angel-wife’s birthday, which should really be a bullet point all on its own.
- Last month, I finished my post-apocalyptic superhero trilogy, The Murder of Crows, with the release of One Tin Soldier. Despite all my fears to the contrary, the book received a warm response. I’m really proud of the entire trilogy.
- Finally, a few weeks ago, we started offering signed books through our press site. Even better, I managed to not bungle the requested personalizations for our first batch of orders!
So, that was 2021, from a writing and publishing standpoint. In bullet form, it actually feels kind of impressive. This was a busy year, but a good one. I didn’t achieve every goal I’d set for myself, but I didn’t die to murder hornets either; I’m taking that as a win. If the past few years have taught us anything, it’s that we need all the wins we can get!
Next year, I plan to keep things rolling. As I’ve mentioned, Joe is already working on the audiobook for One Tin Soldier, and we’re hoping that will be ready in the first half of next year. In the meantime, I’ve finished another edit pass on The Italian Screwjob5 and will be sending it to alpha and then beta readers shortly. This summer, I hope to release the first book in an entirely new series and sub-genre. And while the next post-Break trilogy won’t start until 2023, I am planning a stand-alone novel in that world for next fall.
Somewhere in there, I also want to write at least one more post-Break novelette6 and a stand-alone novella in an entirely different universe that might end up being a lead-in to yet another new series. I have no idea how I will fit all of that into one year, but I’m looking forward to trying!
What I’m Reading…
My biggest issue with these blog posts is that they are always about me. I’d like to change that by sharing some love for other authors each month, and I’m starting with Mark Henwick.
Long-time readers know I’ve been a fan of Mark’s urban fantasy and science fiction books7 since well before I became an author myself. This past year+, in an act of inspired lunacy, Mark has been writing and sharing a serial space story called The Long Way Home.
He’s since packaged chapters together into two book-length volumes and they are currently free to download and read. I devoured the first one, The Dark Takes Fools, while on vacation, and immediately dove into the next. As is typical of a Henwick book, there’s some very clever, very intricate worldbuilding8, but it plays subtle counterpoint to the fast-paced action that erupts as two military veterans from a fringe world try to make their way home after serving out their enlistment. I loved it and highly recommend checking both volumes out!
Have a Happy Holidays, everyone! Stay safe, eat well, and keep reading!
If you’ve read this far, you’ve got gumption, kid. In fact, you’re just the kind of person that would make an awesome subscriber to my newsletter. Come join the fun!
And by fun, I mean “be alerted when new books are available.” If this site’s blog posts are my monthly, in-depth, fact-heavy shareholders’ reports, the newsletters are my far-less-frequent, carefully crafted pseudo-tweets, skipping all the nitty gritty to tell you what you actually want to know: what’s new and how you can get it.
I promise I will never spam you… because spamming takes effort, and I am way, way too busy for that.
- Really, I have no idea how those rumors got started… but it’s probably best to just keep reading my books while you wait for the donuts to arrive.
- February 14th, because I’m a romantic, damn it.
- Pantsless? Yes. But rarely by choice.
- Ending the aforementioned title-related campaign before it could even get off the ground
- Book four in The Many Travails of John Smith.
- Although I’m torn between the long-planned post-Academy Ishmae story, a tale of Vibe and Paladin’s internship with the Defenders, or the final battle between Damian and Tezcatlipoca.
- The Bite Back series is his longest series, and deservedly very popular, but there’s a permanent place in my heart for the mix of space opera, mystery, and Brontë-like romance that is A Name Among the Stars.
- Or universe-building, in this case