I got so much done in 2016. Despite a lot of other things going on that I had to work around, the backlog of work that I have ready to publish is huge, and I’m so excited to get some of it out in 2017.
I do a calendar every so often, just to try to keep a grip on what I’ve got going on, and I put in a special effort this December to work through what I’ve got coming up in 2017, and I wanted to give you a peek at everything I am going to try to do in 2017. So here goes.
If you are on my mailing list, you’ve been getting notices that I’ve got work available on Instafreebie that is only available to newsletter subscribers (new or existing). There is my Isobel sample, a unique short story in Isobel’s world that will continue to be available, and there was the Christmas short story that is still available but that is going to come down around the middle of next week, but the rest of the stories that have been cycling through Instafreebie have been novellas from The Book of Carter.
I’m really, really excited about these, because there’s so much of Samantha’s story with Carter that I only got to tell by reference, in the Sam & Sam main series, and these were really important stories for Samantha. And, well, Carter is a character I was terrified to write, because he’s got his own agenda all day, every day, but they’ve been a whirlwind of fun, sort of getting dragged along behind as Carter does his thing. I’m actually planning at least one more Book of Carter novella, in early 2017, that right now I expect will stay up on Instafreebie as an exclusive bonus for mailing list subscribers, but the rest of them are going to come down one by one and get published to Amazon. I’m still working through the final (non-Instafreebie) covers, which is what’s delaying this today, but I’ll get them sorted out, and they’ll start showing up on Amazon through January, February, and March, culminating in a Book of Carter release sometime before the end of April. Stay tuned for cover reveals as they get finalized.
Working my way through to the end of the year, I’m planning a Portal Jumpers release, a Sam & Sam release, a His Dark Mistress release, and a Sam & Sam companion release. Like Isobel, there are a lot of other characters in the Sam & Sam universe that I think deserve to have their own stories told, and this one is one I didn’t really see coming. Becca is special to me because she has created a set of images for the year that are really just showing up everywhere for me. It’s like when someone you know gets a new car, and then all of a sudden you start noticing just how many of that car there are out there. Becca’s world has started showing up in unexpected places for me, and I’ve bought art, toys, and clothes because they remind me of her. I’ll release more information about her as we get closer to her actual release in the middle of next year, and I’ll have a cover reveal for that probably in April, if my guiding winds stay true.
This is a clue. He’s also gorgeous. That is all.
On the writing side, I’ve got eyes bigger than my stomach, I suspect, but I’ve got a lot of things that I want to do, so I’ve basically just planned… all of them. A standalone novel, a Portal Jumpers Adventure (a Portal Jumpers novel with the same main characters, but not connected to the main arcs going on in the Portal Jumpers series – so long as you’ve read the first two, I think you should be able to read a Portal Jumpers Adventure any time, and it should make sense), a Sam & Sam novel, a Sam & Sam companion novel… More if I can do it. This was a very productive year, as I mentioned, and I’m setting my sights on even more in 2017, trying to simply improve my work output for every month, compared to the previous year. It’s a strategy that I have to use carefully, to make sure that I don’t let my goals become such rock-face mountains that I just don’t even try to climb them, but the path I see for 2017 feels very do-able right now.
The trick, for me, to accomplishing huge things is flexibility. Set big goals, revisit them often, and adjust as my priorities, interests, and availability change, and then try (try, oh, try) to see the shortcomings as successes, because the goals were so high in the first place. In a positive mindset, it works. There are definitely days that it doesn’t. That said, the magic of flexibility is being able to take new information into account, as I get it.
Information like reader feedback.
There are a few kinds of reader feedback. The most obvious is dollars, and with all the love in my heart for my most avid readers, if they aren’t loving the stuff that is selling well, I’m going to prioritize the things that sell well, and try to find spare moments to advance the work that they are clamoring for. This does happen. That said, having readers who are really excited about new work and upcoming releases is more motivating than anything else I know of, so if you don’t see your favorite characters represented on either my release or my writing schedule, speak up! I’d love to hear it. I’ve packed out both the release and production schedules for 2017, but I didn’t mention everything I’m planning in the list above, because they’re things I’m a lot more flexible on. It’s easy to swap out one book for another, at this stage, if I find that the one I’ve chosen isn’t the one my readers are most excited about.
You can use the contact me button up above any time you like, for anything that you want to tell me about. Sincerely, I love hearing from readers (and other people in the industry – hello, other writers!), and I answer most of the e-mails I get.
Hope your year-end planning has been as encouraging as mine, and I’ll see you in 2017!