2013 Year In Review and a Just For The Heck Of It Survey

Happy Holidays everyone! As a fan so helpfully pointed out, I didn’t do a holiday post, so stand by for the obligatory look back and look ahead. BUT FIRST! I should let you folks know that I’ve tallied the votes for the Free-Wrench cover and the two line version is the winner, for reasons as diverse as “It makes the hyphen seem necessary”, “it doesn’t cover up the background airship”, and “It gives the cover better balance.” Now it is time to tuck away Free-Wrench until the edit is finished, at which point I should have a pretty good idea of when it will be released.

My holiday was fairly odd. Thanks my brother’s recent recovery from a length back injury that left him out of work, he was eager to get back on the job. Thus, he worked on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. My other housemate, my sister in law, spent time with her family, and my own gift exchange with my folks was the previous weekend. As a result, I spent the holidays mostly alone, eating Ben and Jerry’s with a titanium spork (on Christmas Eve), eating chinese food with a titanium spork (on Christmas Day), and watching Mystery Science Theater 3000 (both days). Got some good stuff, though. A fancy hat. Cups that look like toxic waste barrels. Dead Rising 3. Good stuff.

How was YOUR holiday?

Looking Back

What did 2013 bring me? Well, I turned thirty years old for one. I met fans at both PAX East and New York Comic Con. I was interviewed a few times, one of which provided most of you good folks with your first chance to hear my voice! (Lucky you…) And speaking of audio, the audio books of The Book of Deacon Trilogy and Jade were both released this year. Apple picked my books for their Break Out Books promotion not once but twice, and I was even labeled an “Emerging Author” in Australia. I continued my collaboration with StoryBundle, offering up the whole Book of Deacon series, including perhaps the most significant news of the year, the release of The Rise of the Red Shadow. I got lots of goodies, including plushies of Myn and Solby, and figurines of Myn and Lain! (I also tried and failed to get said goodies mass produced so you good folks could afford them. Not that I won’t keep trying.) I began an artistic collaboration with Adam J. Hall, which produced some awesome character art.

It was also a good year for introducing new things to the site. I did two character interviews, one of Deacon, one of Ayna. The long awaited chat was added, and I even scheduled my very own Q&A chat that, wonder of wonders, people actually attended! There were a few new sales ideas, including my first ever pre-order. I did some blog swapping and some blog hopping, too.

Not everything panned out. My devious attempt at baiting more fan art produced exactly one reply. Dropping the price of my first sci-fi book to free didn’t produce nearly the splash that accompanied my career launching price drop of The Book of Deacon. But hey, they can’t all be winners.

In terms of writing, aside from wrapping up and releasing The Rise of the Red Shadow, I also started a third sci-fi book, finished revising last year’s NaNoWriMo project, and started, finished, AND revised this year’s NaNoWriMo project.

Last but not least, a change that has very little impact on you readers but a huge impact on me. I helped buy and moved into a brand new home.

Yep, 2013 was a heck of a year. So, what’s 2014 going to have in store for me?

Looking Ahead

Unless something goes terribly wrong, I’ll be releasing this year’s NaNoWriMo project in a few months. The details of the release are yet to be finalized. Ideally we’ll be releasing it as part of a NaNoWriMo themed StoryBundle next year but in order for that to be the case we’ll need to gather a few more submissions for the StoryBundle NaNoWriMo Contest. So if you finished a fantasy or sci-fi NaNoWriMo project, this year or any previous year, I invite you to submit it. You just might win!

I also plan to release last year’s NaNoWriMo project this year, though that’s got a few more steps before I’d say it’s ready. Why did this year’s story go first? Because last year’s story was a goofy little experiment about idiotic super heroes. This year was a little more dignified. (Just a little though. It does include at least two euphemism for the results of severe airsickness.)

A short story I wrote several months ago is going to be released as part of an anthology early next year. You can learn more about that from Neverlands Books.

Setting aside those things already written and in the process of being written, I’d say another dip into The Book of Deacon is called for soon. As usual, I’ll be discussing that with you more as we get closer to starting the project. There are also some double top secret projects simmering away, only to see the light of day if they get enough momentum. I can’t say much about them, except to say that they don’t fall into any of the settings I’ve written before, and at least one is an entirely different medium.

I’ll be commissioning more art naturally, because I’m addicted to it. It is also probably a good idea to try to make sure that every book is available in every format. That means trying to get audio books for The Rise of the Red Shadow and the Sci-Fi, and paperbacks of the Sci-Fi and Jade. I’ve already sent an email to Tantor Audio about The Rise of the Red Shadow, but no reply yet. (I choose to believe it is because of the holidays, and not because they decided not to talk to me any more.)

The site will be getting some new upgrades too, including the ability to purchase autographed copies of any of my paperbacks. We’re also tinkering with the ability to sell special edition ebooks directly from the site! There are still some kinks to work out, but I’m thinking of things like alternate covers, bundled editions, or even early releases. We’ll see how that shakes out with the coming year.

What Now?

Well, as always, I’m open to suggestions of what you’d like to see me do. I’m always trying to expand my horizons. Why just this morning I joined Tumblr! Want me to do another Character Interview? The survey is still up! Want me to do another chat? Let me know. Have some new idea that’s nothing like I’ve ever done? Give me a shout!

In closing, I thought it might be fun to do another poll. This one doesn’t have any ulterior motives, it’s just something to do. Basically, I’m interested to see once and for all who the favorite and least favorite of my characters are.

That’s it! Thanks for reading!