First off, let me specify that this post is purely writing related. Looking at the big picture, I’m incredibly grateful to have made it through 2020 with my health and finances intact. I hope for the same in 2021.
Writing is a big stress-reliever for me and one that I definitely need right now. So for the moment at least, I’m going to push aside the dumpster fire that is current events and talk solely about writing and publishing.
Published in 2020
I’m proud to have published three books last year, a big accomplishment for me since I’ve averaged one per year until now. (I think the most I ever managed in the same year was two.)
The Dark and Otherworldly series was my first foray into publishing urban fantasy, which is a genre that I love to read. I’d actually written urban fantasy books before then, but that was back in my early days as an author, and they were horrible novels that will remained banished to the depths of my hard drive forever.
I’m super happy with how Dark and Otherworldly turned out and am so grateful to everyone who read and reviewed it.
Those books are my biggest accomplishment of the year, but they’re not the only things I wrote. I put up several short stories on my website too:
- The Lunch Date, a fun bit of flash fiction set in the White Knight & Black Valentine universe
- Marigold and Saffron, a fairy tale-esque flash piece about two stepsisters and a quest
- Strange Hunt, a Dark and Otherworldly prequel about hunting the Others
- The Memory of Ghosts, an urban fantasy short story for Halloween
In addition, my sci-fi western short story, The Stranger who came to Dusty Hollow, was published in the anthology Reach for the Sky, which came out in November.
I also dipped my toes into writing immersive fiction for apps with Dead Messages, a cozy paranormal mystery chat story on Plop.
Plans for 2021
The Shadow Journals
My biggest goal for 2021 is to publish The Shadow Journals, a new urban fantasy series about a freelance exorcist. If you read The Memory of Ghosts last October, you already met Bea, the hard-drinking, cowboy-boot-wearing heroine of the series.
The Shadow Journals will be an episodic series of short stories, and I’m thinking I’ll release it in seasons with something like one story a month. But that may be overly ambitious, so we’ll see how it goes once I get closer to publishing the first one.
Writing for Apps
Books are awesome. Books will never not be awesome. But as technology marches on and the way people read changes, I think we can push the limits of what a “book” is. There are story apps out there doing really cool stuff, and I want to be a part of it. I already got started with Dead Messages, which you can read on your phone in the form of text messages between the protagonist and other characters, including the ghost of the murder victim.
This year I want to continue to expand my horizons when it comes to the types of things I write. And while I can’t say anything yet because it may not materialize, I do have something in the works already.
This is probably on every author’s list of plans for every year. 😅 I love writing, but despite being an indie author for a while, I’m still terrible at marketing.
I did make some improvement last year, though.
This year I plan to do some sales and advertisements for Poison and Honey to get more people into the Dark and Otherworldly series. The goal is to make enough profit to justify spending more money on cover art and edits for further books in the series. (I’d love to do a sequel trilogy.)
I’ve also slacked off on promoting The White Knight & Black Valentine Series, and I’m planning on redoing the covers for all five books and putting out paperbacks.
If you’re reading my blog, you obviously know about my books already, so this isn’t immediately relevant to you. But if I can improve my marketing skills and increase my income, it means I might be able to cut back on hours in my day job and have more time to write–which means I can put out more things for you to read.
And if you haven’t read one of my series yet, I’m aiming to release box sets of ebooks for both Dark and Otherworldy and The White Knight & Black Valentine Series, so you can buy the whole series at once for a discounted price.
I’ve got a lot planned! Hopefully 2021 will ease up on the plagues and civil unrest so we can all de-stress a bit and have an easier time living our lives and accomplishing our goals.
Did you set goals for 2021? Leave a comment with your plans (or a link to a blog post if you’ve written one). And take care of yourselves out there!