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

[singlepic id=567 w=320 h=240 float=center]

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.

[singlepic id=493 w=500 h=240 float=center]

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.)

[singlepic id=577 w=320 h=240 float=center]

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!


  1. >As a fan so helpfully pointed out, I didn’t do a holiday post…
    A’ight men, stand down, clear yur weapons and disappear.
    Not t’ bad Josuff. Not too bad.
    Also, I do believe you are lacking a rather important favourite character perhaps? *cough* *cough* Part of the website name mayhaps? *cough cough* The first character in a character interview done by you, perchance? *cough*….

    1. People could always fill him in! The starter list of favorites and least favorites were the characters I’ve had the most comments and emails about. Deacon himself, perhaps ironically, hasn’t had too much fan mail.

  2. I’m waiting patiently for anything new in the Deacon realm and more Lain. Loved Rise of the Red Shadow.. I hope your Christmas was blessed and your New Year fruitful.
    Thanks for sharing your talent with us..

    1. I hope to be getting back to writing some Book of Deacon stuff in a few months, and I’d say there’s room enough for another Lain story or two.

      Thanks for the comment.

      1. You do know of course that Lain is an incredible character and by far my favorite and he should have many many more adventures to take us on!! There are not many anthropomorphic characters that you can empathize with these days but Lain bridged the gap.. Looking forward to your next work.. I do like Ivy and Myn too..

        1. Lain certainly has become a fan favorite. Heck, The Rise of the Red Shadow was written after fans voted him in as the character they most wanted to see a standalone story from. In the poll I’m running right now, he’s firmly in the lead for favorite character overall.

  3. hello, I just read rise of the red shadow. it caused me to like Lain even more then I did after reading the book of deacon series. then I bought Jade thinking it probably wouldnt be able to even come close to the previous books. well I was proven wrong very quickly. I would love to see more books that tye in with the books of deacon.
    I am going to amazon.com to see what else is available from you.

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed Red Shadow, and Jade too! I don’t get much feedback on Jade. I’ll definitely continue the Book of Deacon stories. Just need to finish off some other projects first.

  4. A new sci-fi book?! Let the drooling commence! Been looking forward to more of Lex and crew since i finished the last one. Cant wait to see what sort of insane trouble he wades into next!
    On a side note, just can’t bring myself to vote on the fave/least fave characters. Can’t think of one i DIDN’T like (even the villains were too well done to vote down) and the favorite characters poll is missing an ‘all of the above’ option!

    1. Thanks a lot! The sci-fi keeps getting shoved aside for smaller, quicker projects, but I’m still plugging away. If I’m really dedicated today (I won’t be) I can hit a milestone in one of the secret projects and move back to sci-fi for a while. It should happen this week regardless.

  5. Well I think i have read all the novels that you have written so far. Read all of the deacon series and jade and shadow. Love love loved them all. Finally decided last week to try out the sci fi as i was out of reading material and hate trying to find a good author. I had put them off. More of a fantasy than sci fi girl they just get too bogged down in the tech for me im a fantasy reader i dont have to believe it is plausible. And now here i sit waiting for a new lex novel. I should have known you would prove yourself again. The stories were amazing but of course it is your character writing that i believe draws everyone in. Its the reason everyone loves Rowling, if you love the person you care about their story. Well that was an unintentionally long well done. I cant wait to see whats next on either world.

    1. Thank you very much. I’m proud that you enjoyed all of my books, even those outside of your usual genre. I’ll do my best to keep the stories coming!

  6. Ok first of all your an amazing author, I loved your book of deacon series as well as the red shadow prequel. I was not able to put them down and finished them in 5 days (impressive even by my standards I read a lot). Please I’m begging you do more with Lains character and the book of deacon series its amazing, the charachters are up there with the likes of R.A. Salvatores Drizzit, or Robert Jordan’s Rand Althor I like what your doing don’t ever stop I think your making a really memorable series here.

    1. Thanks! I’m always humbled to be compared to the greats like Salvatore and Jordan. There will be at least a little bit more with Lain. I actually just finished a short story that features him, albeit briefly. I’ll do my best to continue the series!

  7. As much as I feel Ether is going to win least liked character, I dont feel this is a bad thing. She certainly does earn it in quite a few ways.

    But, I love her because I dislike her. She is a very interesting and contractual character. It’s because of her flaws that she makes a grand character. I hope she gains some fans, but not at the risk of losing what makes her her.

    Seeing this reminded me how much I love Epidime as a bad guy.

    I really hope in the future books that him and Myranda get another showdown.

    I hope Myranda also is high on the favorites, she’s a wonderful character really. But Lain is such a fan favorite he tops the list. (I like him too)

Leave a Reply