Thursday, December 29, 2016

2016 Year End Review



2016 Year-End Writing & Publishing Review

This is my 2nd year-end review, check out 2015 here. Since this blog has become more like a “journaling” blog for my writing career, I’m excited to have one post that details the path that my writing has taken in 2016 with all of the ups and downs.

I consider myself a full-time writer, which also includes the work I do with my indie publishing press (Mirror Press), and managing my freelance editing company (Precision Editing Group). I currently publish with 3 traditional publishers: Covenant Communications (Inspirational fiction & non-fiction), Thomas & Mercer (Thrillers), Kindle Press (Young Adult), as well as indie publish (self-publish) through my own imprint Mirror Press (Romance & Women’s Fiction).

January:
Set a goal to finish novel on 10th great-grandmother who was hanged as a witch in Salem in 1692. Decide to title it: Condemn Me Not: Accused of Witchcraft. Mindy Holt helps me with some of the research, motivating me even more. This is a book that I started in 2012, so I needed to stop putting it off. 

Contacted by TJ Mackay of InD’Tale Magazine who invites me to write the new “serial” novel in their magazine. Parameters include contemporary romance & it needs to be in 10 “episodes”. Of course I agree! I decide to call the novella Falling for June with the intent to create a trio of best friends and eventually I’ll write the next 2 novellas.




February:
Mail Order Bride (A Timeless Romance Anthology) is released.



March:
Solstice is released (Kindle Press), written under pen name Jane Redd.



Deliverance (The Moses Chronicles #2) is released, published by Covenant Communications.



April:
Love is Come is released. This is part of the Power of the Matchmaker series, a series of 12 books by 12 different authors, all with the “matchmaker” in common. This book receives an excellent Kirkus Review.


I begin to write Lake Town (Solstice #2) hoping that I can then submit directly to Kindle Press (without going through the Kindle Scout contest again), and have the book come out in the fall. Since the first book, Solstice, has a pretty steep cliffhanger, I knew I wanted the book out sooner than later. I had in my mind for a long time that I’d make this a 2-book series, but as I neared the 70,000 word count, there was no end in sight. I was really struggling with how to wrap everything up. When I decided that it would have to be 3 books after all, the ending flowed, and I was able to finish it the way it should be. 

Agent shops Condemn Me Not: Accused of Witchcraft to Lake Union publishing (Amazon imprint). It’s turned down. Agent recommends self-publishing, I sit on it for a while.


May:
Road Trip Collection (A Timeless Romance Anthology) comes out! Fun contemporary romance anthology. 


Writing Lake Town (Solstice #2)

I started writing The Killing Curse at the end of May, knowing I’d have to write throughout the summer. I used to be able to take most of the summers off, but the last couple of years, things have ramped up too much. It’s tricky to write with the kids all at home during the summer, so I found myself writing at very random times. Sometimes in the middle of the night when I couldn’t sleep, and other times in short snatches. In order to keep myself on task, I’d set a 30 minute timer and write without letting myself get distracted. My youngest is 12, but it's amazing how much preteens & teens need their moms still.

June:
Mail Order Bride is selected for a BookBub ad in June and it hits the USA Today bestseller list at #101! This is my 2nd publication to reach this status!

Falling for June is serialized in InD’Tale Magazine, one episode/chapter will be published per issue for the next 12 months. 

July:
Edited & submitted Lake Town to Kindle Press

August:
Kindle Press says they’ll have the answer on Lake Town by end of August.

Exodus (The Moses Chronicles #3) is released about a month early. 


Slave Queen (Omar Zagouri Thriller #3) is released August 30.


Finished writing The Killing Curse and submitted to agent who then submits to Thomas & Mercer.
On the first day that my kids go back to school at the end of August, I tentatively open an old email from my Covenant editor in which we discussed my next Biblical fiction book: Ruth. I read the deadline that I committed to—end of September. I think I might have to push it back. Then I attend a writers conference that same weekend and Mette Harrison talks about missing a deadline that resulted in a chain of events that eventually led to a cancelled contract. I decide not to miss my book deadline with Covenant. So I map out the word count I need to accomplish in the next 5 weeks + editing time. 

September:
Blind Date Collection (A Timeless Romance Anthology) releases. More contemporary romance novellas. 

Writing like the wind on Ruth, which basically means that I don’t shower or run any errands until the afternoons when I’m finished writing. I need to write 15,000 words a week, a minimum of 3,000 words a day, Monday – Friday. 

Received very disappointing news from Thomas & Mercer. They turned down The Killing Curse  because Slave Queen (#3), which has been out for a week isn’t rocking the sales charts. Yes, publishing can be brutal. All of my beta readers told me The Killing Curse is the strongest book in the series. Alas. And ironically, the night before I was wishing I had a full-length thriller I could use to market my other thrillers by putting it into one of those box sets that hit national bestseller lists. (be careful what you wish for…) So I contacted the editor on the other Zagouri thrillers, Charlotte Herscher, and she agreed to do the content editing starting in December.

Christ's Gifts to Women: This book came out four years ago, and now the publisher wants to re-release the book in a shorter "gift booklet" form for Mother's Day 2017. Co-author Angela Eschler work on paring down each section to 300 words. 
  

October:
No word on Lake Town. I work with the same cover artist, Claudia McKinney, who did Solstice to create a custom image. She sends me photos from Will Jardell, who was a runner up in the America’s Top Model contest. 

Conference call with Thomas & Mercer editor to talk about my future with them and what types of books they are looking for. A couple of weeks later I pitch a book idea for Amazon Huntress. Get the green light to proceed.

A Season in London (Timeless Regency Collection): Writing this novella for the Timeless Regency Collection publish through Mirror Press.



 
Ruth is accepted by Covenant Communications, but instead of a Spring release, they decide to release the book Fall 2017. This sets back my publishing schedule of 2 novels a year with them. 

So I find myself with a bit of a reprieve and decide to write the 2 novellas that will follow Falling for June. I write Falling for Sydney and Falling for Maria.



November:
Condemn Me Not: Accused of Witchcraft: Put together photo shoot with photographer Brekke Felt and model Dana Moore (my daughter). We had a fun photo image contest on this blog.



No word on Lake Town. Decide to indie publish the book since I need to keep the series viable. I’m already set up to self-publish successfully, and I can’t keep emailing and hoping KP will respond. 

Also, what about book #3? When I write that one and submit, will I get no response either? So I contacted the editor who worked on Solstice and booked her for January 2017. Set up release date for March 1, 2017.

Start drafting Amazon Huntress.

December:
Mostly Murder: Till Death comes out. This murder mystery anthology was an interesting project. It started with an invite to a Facebook group in the Spring and the original creator had to bow out. So Patrice Fitzgerald took over and had to move the release date back. There are more planned anthologies, but I was fortunate to be in the first one. I submitted a turn-of-the-century mystery set in NYC. Our maximum word count was 7,000 words, so that was a challenge. Author Simon Wood and I added each other’s names into our books, so you’ll recognize his name in my story Two Faces

Falling for Sydney releases (Falling series)


Anna the Prophetess: started drafting this book for Covenant Communications. I plan to submit summer 2017 and it will most likely have a 2018 release.

Submitted: I turned in the first pages of Amazon Huntress to Thomas & Mercer to get approval & feedback.

Great news received from my foreign rights agent. A publisher in Norway has purchased Norwegian rights to two of the Timeless Romance Anthologies. More news when contracts are signed.

Started edits for The Killing Curse.

2017 Release Schedule:
January 2017: A Season in London (Timeless Regency Collection) (written)
February 2017: Valentine’s Day Collection (A Timeless Romance Anthology) (written)
February 2017: Falling for Maria (Falling series)
March 2017: Lake Town (Solstice #2) (written)
March 2017: Condemn Me Not: Accused of Witchcraft (written)
April 2017: Christ’s Gifts to Women booklet (written)
May 2017: The Killing Curse (Omar Zagouri Thriller #4) (written)
June 2017: Falling for June (written)
June/July 2017: Delilah's Bakery (Tangerine Street Romance #4) (haven’t started)
August 2017: Solstice Novella (Title TBA). This will be part of a box set for 90 days. (not written)
September 2017: Ruth (written)
October 2017: Happily Ever After Collection (A Timeless Romance Anthology)
October 2017: Solstice #3 (haven’t started)




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