Happy New Year! For most of us, anyhow, if you celebrate the turn of the year according to a different calendar, then you can file this away to consult at the appropriate time.
As for me, I wanted to both inform you about some of my plans for the year–in hopes I’ll meet some of you along the way! and also to make public commitments about some of my goals, in hopes you’ll nudge/encourage/badger me to get there.
For today, I hope I am writing while you read this. I try to start the new year in the way I plan to continue, with a balance of writing, exercise, family, and outdoor life.
Right now, I’m finishing up the edits on the third book in the Dark Apostle series (yes, I’m still being a bit cagey about the title). Wish I could show you all the cover sketch, but I’m not allowed. Rest assured, you’ll be the first to see it when I have permission to post!
I plan to roll right from there into revising book 4 based on comments from my beta readers (are you interested in becoming a beta reader for me? Drop me a line!)
The Arisia convention is my first scheduled event, January 16-19 in Boston, MA. This is a big regional con complete with masquerade, gaming, and lots of panels!
My February project (once I finish book 4 revisions) is to flesh out my outline and start drafting on book 5, the series climax–I have a basic synopsis already, and some scenes I’m really psyched about! Also in February, there’s the Boskone convention, February 13-15, also in Boston, MA. Boskone is a little more literary, features a science speaker, and often attracts some New York editors as speakers, so I heartily recommend it for the authors out there.
Hopefully, I’ll wrap up the draft on book 5 by the end of March (I used rapid drafting techniques to maintain the energy of creation). Then, I’ll be experimenting with a new genre: adventure! I have some fun ideas for archaeological thrillers.
April will see the release of “The Grail Maiden”, a Dark Apostle novella, set around the time of the historical hinge-point for the series, during the failed invasion of Scotland by Edward Longshanks. This story features the history of Randall and Alyson, later to become the Duke and Duchess of Dunbury. I learned so much about them from writing it–and I’m looking forward to sharing it with you.
May, I’ll be at the International Medieval Congress in Kalamazoo, affectionately known as K-zoo, picking up ideas for new books and stories, and soaking up the medieval vibes. Maybe I’ll connect with some of my history buff acquaintances.
In June, I’m the kick-off instructor for the Odyssey Workshop here in New Hampshire, for those aspiring speculative fiction writers. Jeanne Cavelos, the founder, is an amazing teacher, and I’m one of the guest authors. There’s still time to apply, for you or your writer-buddy who needs a boost.
July will see the release of book 3, with appearances, signings, promotions, or whatever I think of. I’d love to have your creative ideas about that. It is also the season for my overnight camps, this year featuring kayaking Lake Umbagog and climbing at Rumney (always a favorite) bracketing the Readercon Convention, the most literary of the bunch, on July 9-12 in Burlington, MA. All books, all the time.
August–maybe I’ll slack off. . .nope! I’ll be at Sasquan, the World Science Fiction convention, this year in Spokane, WA, Aug. 19-24
By September, hopefully I’ll have finished revisions on Drakemaster, the first in a proposed Silkpunk series, a Chinese epic fantasy about a clockwork doomsday machine. I’ve got the draft already, will be tweaking it for my beta readers, then revising based on their feedback. Did I already mention I’m looking for readers?
The Fall will have me developing and drafting a Whole New Book. What will it be? Will it be a thriller? a new fantasy world, maybe inspired by something I learn at K-zoo? Even I don’t know yet! But I had a bang-up season this year, drafting Drakemaster at about 3700 words per day, so I’m eager to do it all over again.
Then the cycle begins anew, with revisions on book 4 (my 2016 Dark Apostle release) and so on. . .don’t worry, I have a spreadsheet to keep track of everything.
But this is also where you come in. I’d like to invite my friends, fans, followers and writing buddies to help me stay accountable. If something on this list catches your interest, get in touch. When March rolls around, ask me how far I’ve gotten on book 5–and make sure I’ve got a great reason if I’m falling behind!
What are your dreams and goals for the coming year? I’d love to hear about them, and to encourage you as well–but beware–accountability goes both ways!