…And a Happy New Year!

Happy 2016, folks!

If you know anything about author blogs, then you know what that means–it’s time to review the last year and look ahead to what’s coming in the new year. So let’s review, shall we?

In 2015…

Actually, the last year came perilously close to being a creative disappointment. I started out 2015 with plans to write and publish Ghost of a Chance, but the draft I’d started floundered, and then the Kickstarter I ran to try and breathe new life into it failed to gain traction. But then that all led to my publishing contract, which was pretty much the main highlight of my whole year.

With the contract in view, I started a new draft of Ghost for NaNoWriMo, and though I didn’t win, I did make decent progress, and with a solid outline to work from this draft is shaping up much better than the first attempt.

As far as actually finishing things, I wrote and released the mini-sequel Restless Spirits: Love Letter and wrote a short story to submit to a horror anthology. It was rejected, but I plan to keep trying to find a home for it.

As far as freelance work goes, 2015 was a big improvement over previous years. I had quite a few editing gigs, some of which were more enjoyable than others, all of which taught me a little more about my own writing; and a lot of book formatting work, which I enjoy mainly because it’s mindless enough that I can actually listen to podcasts and music while I work. Article writing was really where it was at during the last part of the year, though, and I was able to add some good pieces and respectable clients to my writing portfolio. My writing pay scale also shot way up, so that was pretty great.

Personally, it was a perfectly fine, if not particularly exciting, year. I struggled a bit with some chronic health issues the last few months, and we rounded out the year with a number of small household crises brought on by the almost endless rain, but nobody in the Bauhaushold suffered any major illnesses or hardships this year, so I’m chalking it up in the Win column.

In 2016…

I have a feeling 2016 is going to be a big year, at least professionally speaking. It’s certainly going to be a busy year. I have until August to turn in the final draft of Ghost, and I’ve got until April to complete revisions on Restless Spirits –which is slated for re-release on Halloween — and Love Letter.

Besides all that, I’ve got to come up with and implement a publisher-approved marketing plan, which will include a lot of activities that are way outside my comfort zone (which is partly why I’ve dubbed this year to be a Year Without Fear; more on that next week on the other blog).

Part of that means resurrecting this space as a full-fledged blog and not just a news page. So I’ll be trying to post here more regularly–or at least more frequently–and rambling about things like how the book is going, what I’m doing to get ready for the release, how my trad-pub experience compares to self-pub, etc. Even though so many blogging experts tell you not to, I may even delve into serving up writing advice, because after spending a year as a freelance editor I have a LOT to say on that subject.

I’m also open to answering reader questions and tackling reader-suggested topics. I asked my Facebook followers for some of each, and only one person responded. She had a lot of questions, though, so that should keep me busy for a while. Still, if you have any questions or suggestions for topics you’d like to see me cover here, drop them in the comments.

I also hope to step up my freelance writing game in 2016 and actively pitch articles and guest posts instead of waiting for clients to come to me. Currently I have one steady writing client, and I’d like to add a few more. I’ll also talk here about how that’s going and what I’m doing to help make it happen.

That’s probably an adequately full plate for the next 12 months or so, but even so I’m also hoping to do something with Dominion of the Damned this year, even if it’s just to come to a decision about what to do with it. I’m trying to decide whether to continue it on my own or try to find a publisher for it, and that discussion is a whole ‘nother blog post in and of itself.

Oh, and related to the whole book marketing thing, I’m also going to be starting a monthly newsletter. Currently my mailing list only receives an e-mail from me when there’s a new release or other major news to report, but I want to become more engaged, so I’ll be sending them a more personal e-mail at the end of each month. I’m still trying to figure out what will go in it. Right now I’m thinking an overview of how the book is going, a writing excerpt, and a book recommendation, or at least some discussion of what I’m currently reading. Anyway, if you’d like to get that and you’re not on my mailing list already, just click the button to sign up in the sidebar. You’ll also get a free short story collection if you do!

So that’s what I have going on in 2016. And it’s not overwhelming or panic-inducing at all! *grins somewhat maniacally and unconvincingly*

What about you? Anything big coming up this year? Did you make resolutions or are you just winging it? Tell us about your New Year’s expectations in the comments, and don’t forget to ask a question or suggest a topic for this blog if you have one.

I hope everyone reading this has a blessed, productive, prosperous and disaster-free new year!

PS – Eucha Falls is now a free e-book on Amazon, BN.com and pretty much everywhere else that sells e-books! Go get it!

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