December 31, 2015
Happy New Year's Eve! Will you stay awake until midnight to see the ball drop in Times Square? I probably will.
This will be the last post of 2015. As you may glean from the title, it's my annual year in review post. It's when I look back and see if where I've been as a writer in the year closing was good enough for my harshest critic - me.
First up in 2015 - Hot August Comes was released at the end of February. Hot August Comes was one of those stories I started, then had to set aside to finish other projects. This story was on the back burner for a long time with me pecking at it over the course of many months. Not my favorite way to write, but the end result was pretty darn good if I do say so myself. Hot August Comes got some good reviews.
Hey, Joe is the first story I self-published. It's not that I think self-publishing is the greatest thing since white bread - I don't - but I think it's a valuable tool in the author's arsenal. You might see a photo of a guy in blue jeans and suddenly say to yourself, "Well, hello, Joe." And you might be with a publisher who has strongly indicated covers by authors will not be accepted. I wanted my name on that guy's jeans. So I self-pubbed Hey, Joe in March. It was a great learning experience, one I do not regret.
April is the A to Z Blogging Challenge. I completed the challenge for the FIFTH year in a row, every day and on time. It's a huge investment in time (which just happens to be my 2016 theme) but it's worth it. A writing career should have many facets, like a diamond.
Undeniable was released in May and hit the All Romance eBooks best seller list in June. You can't plan for that. You can only be thankful for each and every reader who purchased a copy. Undeniable is the story of two college boys who reconnect years later as adult men. Each of them feared the other lost forever when they vanished so completely from each other. It may be a common theme, lovers finding each other again, but it's one so many of us can relate to.
The older I am, the more important it becomes to reconnect with the people in my past that matter to me, if only to say hello. I never thought about visiting the grave of an old lover, but suddenly I had to. If you need to go tell a special person you still think of them, don't wait too long.
May brought the passing of my beloved Jett. He was thirteen, a grand age for a dog. My study is lonely without his quiet presence.
What can I say about Ian Coulter's Amethyst Cove series? Ian is the bad boy in my stable. Well, he's not too bad, being an ex-cop turned private investigator, but he doesn't suffer fools and bullshit with anything that approaches grace. Circle of Steel is the fourth installment in Ian's story. His lover, Rick, is shot by a sniper. It has some honest moments in it where fear and reaction to events cause Ian and Rick to say things not normally said in a "romance" novel. But it's a real relationship moment between mature individuals and their reconciliation reflects that maturity.
Saddle up! Ride Your Luck is my first true cowboy story. I had so much fun writing this story - it could have gone on forever! But I had a deadline... well I had a deadline. Seems like a few others in the same PAX didn't think they did. This one sat on the publishers shelf from May 18 until September 22. It really made me rethink a few things. I had this great story, if I do say so myself, and it languished. I was so disappointed it had to wait so long! It's a thing of the heart because my head knows that no matter when a good story is released, it will still be a good story.
September Morning. Man takes the summer off to regroup and form a plan for his life. Man meets the sexy neighbor. Man acts like an idiot and the sexy neighbor gets away. Too late man realizes his mistake. But this is romance and you know things are going to work out with some hope for a bright future, even with three in the relationship. (That's a teaser for you.)
Also finished in 2015, but not going live until 2016 are the aforementioned The Ghost Gets Even, SABRE:Union Jack, SABRE:City of Lights, and the next Sundown and Fallon story, Fly By Night.
On the plot boards are a couple of stories set in Marionville. I've been away from there for too long. It's time to visit a few old friends and see what they're doing. The first of those stories is at about the halfway point.
All-in-all, it was a good year. I didn't accomplish every goal I set for myself, but in many ways that's a good thing. Plans change. People change. We suddenly grow in an unexpected way. We change directions. It's healthy provided we stay flexible in our thinking.
I'm looking forward to the new year and what 2016 may bring. Will I get a puppy? Will I be able to retire ahead of schedule in June? Will the people I love still be in my life when 2017 dawns?
All I can do is live each day to the fullest. I'll hope you'll join me on the journey.