As the end of the year approaches I like to sit back and take the long view, to gaze out over the past twelve months and reflect on where I’ve been as a writer. 2014 was year 2 of kicking the tires on this whole wordsmithing journey. While there were certainly moments where I it felt like I had take the car into the shop and repair the engine, those turned into opportunities to swap out for new and better parts. And despite some bumps, I got to see some lovely scenic places on my writing road trip in year 2.
In the “bumpy” category was the editing and release of my second novel Through the Viscera. Though the first draft was finished by the end of 2013, the editing process took nearly six months. This was far longer than I had expected and I am hopeful that my future books will not take that long. Part of this was due to the fact that I had some problems getting the book to my line editor and then the line editor, well, how can I say this nicely, um, he basically did a really awful job. The manuscript came back filled with typos. The long and the short of it was that I had to go out and find a second editor and that took more time. On the good side of things, the editor I found was really, really fast and I hope to work with her again in the future.
Again on the encouraging side of things, I think the cover for Through the Viscera turned out gorgeous and I’m very pleased with the way the story came out. I got to write about quite a few more characters in this second volume of The Chronotrace Sequence. The main character is also more familiar with his world so I was able to write within a sort of larger range of experience. I never realized when I started out this series just how challenging it would be to write about a completely foreign world from the perspective of someone who had no knowledge about that world. Hopefully, Through the Viscera made it easier to grasp what was going on as Adan builds upon what he learned about himself and his world in volume one.
Writing: a dangerous business?
Speaking of covers, I released a second cover for The Jammer and the Blade this year. It’s probably my favorite cover so far. This hundred page novella hasn’t gotten much traction in terms of sales, but the cover is bestseller material as far as I’m concerned!
My short stories, The Artificer’s Apprentice and The Spirit of Caledonia continue to be free and get downloaded pretty steadily. Artificer has probably been my best received work in terms of reviews, so much so that I am considering writing a full length novel based on the short story. I’ve got an outline, but there are a few other projects in the queue that I want to get to before I tackle this one.
Here on this site I had fun doing sort of “mini reviews” of several books with a few fellow authors online via the “Six Degrees of Kool Books” and “Nightstand Books” series of posts we wrote and shared with each other. Those are on pause for the time being, but even if they never start back up again I got to hear about some wonderful new books from all the others who posted in this series. A big thank you to everyone who took the time to share about characters and stories from so many different books.
As for what’s up ahead, I’m currently editing book three of The Chronotrace Sequence, Ascent of the Nebula. I’m hopeful that I won’t run into any unforeseen obstacles this time, but it’s a dangerous business, this editing. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to!
I hope that whatever journey you’ve been on this year, you’ve managed to keep your feet and stay the course. The end of the year is a great time to reflect on where you’ve been as well as where you’re headed. So what dreams do you have in your sights in the days and months ahead? Writing? Reading? How about with life in general? Let me know. I’d love to hear from you.