Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Road Just Traveled - Looking Back at 2010

December 22, 2010
**Post updated 4/12/2017 and 4/2/21**
**Amber Quill Press has closed and the paperbacks are no longer available**

It’s the time of year when it doesn’t matter what blog you read, you’ve got a better than fifty-fifty chance of landing on some version of “My Year in Review.” I don’t think it’s so much that we authors who blog are looking for material to post, but more that it’s a time for us to gather our thoughts and energies and focus on our future.

What better way to look forward than to first look back? To understand the road just traveled guides us around the potholes in the road ahead. Those who stop here at Between the Keys are my honored guests, and welcome traveling companions. So what is newsworthy about the year 2010? Let’s look back and see.

The year started out with the release of two paperback compilations. I can’t say enough nice things about Amber Quill Press, and their paperback program is just one of the great marketing tools they have in their arsenal. Night Moves*, which contains my favorite story Tango in the Night, and Give Me One Night, was released at the turn of the last new year. I love the Night Moves cover! It’s my favorite of all Trace Edward Zaber has done for me. This talented cover artist is another reason AQP tops my list of publishers.

At the Southern Cross, a three-story compilation that includes Netting Neptune, Taming Triton, and Poseidon’s Pleasure, was also released near the first of the year. Poseidon’s Pleasure is my second favorite story of among those I’ve written. Having paperbacks available is such a treat for me, the author. Ebooks are the way of the future, and in my case outsell the paperbacks probably about 100 to 1, but I still enjoy having a stack of MY paperbacks on my nightstand. Call me old-fashioned for having this one little backward-thinking indulgence.

The first new release of the year was Shine A Light. A difficult story to write, I struggled with how far a “romance,” even a contemporary gay romance, should tread into the topic of HIV. In the end, I have to ask if I handled the subject to the best of my ability for my readers. How sophisticated has the romance reader become? It wouldn’t bother me one iota to read a story where one character was HIV positive, but I’m looking at it from the mixed perspective of writer/reader.

Shine A Light was quickly followed by In the Limelight, another paperback that includes Shine A Light, and Seducing Light. (In the Limelight went out of print 3/31/16.) As I’ve stated, Amber Quill Press has a lot going for it, and offering the author the opportunity to have each book in both ebook and paperback, thereby broadening availability, is a marketing program other publishers would do well to adopt.

April brought the release of A Hard Habit to Break, the first of many stories set in the fictional town of Marionville. Some of you may be familiar with the term ‘world building,’ and this is what I’m doing in Marionville. I’ve developed a town/city setting in which to create a
community of characters. The books won’t be sequels to each other, but you may discover that your favorite characters from A Hard Habit to Break are still happy together when you read Open Roads, and What You Don’t Confess.

Between A Hard Habit to Break and Open Roads there was a neat little shapeshifter story entitled, The Back Stairs. This is the first shapeshifter I’ve written as KC Kendricks, and I had a lot of fun with it. Sundown is a different sort of shifter, and it’s not your standard shapeshifter story. The transformation is not the main event – the romance is, and to that end, the human half of the pairing stumbles a bit on his way to accepting the differences between himself and his lover. Metaphorical? You decide. I’ve actually just completed a sequel to The Back Stairs, and hope to delight my publisher by getting a cover blurb written so I can send it in. Will he be delighted? One hopes.

So that’s a surprising look back. I had five new books released in 2010, along with four paperbacks. You’d think I wouldn’t lose track since it’s my backlist, but I don’t often stop and take a long, retrospective look back at my body of work. When it comes to many things, including writing, my focus is forward.

My year closes with a sense of accomplishment. I’ve grown in my writing and learned a few things, which I endeavor to do at all times. Life and living go hand-in-hand with learning, whatever your passion. Outward growth is encouraged by inward growth, even if the universe sends us in marvelous, unexpected directions.

I’ve been happy at my keyboard throughout 2010, finding secrets between the keys. As we dive headlong into the holiday season, that’s good enough for me.


 KC Kendricks

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