I don’t think a year has ever flown by so fast for me. I published 4 books!!! I can’t believe I did that. And I started out in a new genre. I self-published for the first time. I learned a lot.
The month of January is named after the Roman god Janus. Janus is depicted as having two faces, one looking forward, one looking back. He is the god of beginnings and transitions and mediates the beginning and end of wars and fights. So in that spirit, I thought I’d look back on five things I loved in 2013, and mention five things I’m looking forward to in 2014.
The Wonders of 2013
1) I started on the path to self-publishing. I’m still on it, still learning, but I love the control. There is also a lot of fear and self-doubt involved, but I have supportive friends and I cannot think of a thing I’d change – even the painful learning experiences were valuable.
2) My wonderful editor at Simon & Schuster, and my agent. These women are amazing to work with and I love being involved with them. They are so professional and a sheer pleasure. I love being a hybrid author, and working with S&S as well as my self-published work. I think the one enhances the other and vice versa.
3) My readers. Wow. I’ve had such amazing feedback from my readers. The loveliest reviews, and some really wonderful emails that have made my year. Letters that tell me how much my books have touched them, or that my work has made them happy. Total author nirvana.
4) My writing friends. In 2013 I was blessed to get to know some local writers a lot better because I was on the planning committee with them for the Romance Writers of Australia conference. I have really loved the face to face contact and sharing their highs and lows (although its been mostly highs, yay!). I also am very blessed to have such amazing long term writing friends, who have been sharing this writing journey with me for ten years or more. I can’t express how much your friendship means to me.
5) My family. They supported me through the crazy learning curve that was 2013. Families don’t come better.
The Full-of-possibilities 2014
1) I’m really looking forward to expanding on my first fantasy novel, Mistress of the Wind, with The Golden Apple in March and The Silver Pear hopefully six months later. I am so loving writing in fantasy, a genre I’ve loved since childhood.
2) New historical periods. I am writing a 1920s set novel at the moment, and I am so, so, so loving it. I have been a rabid Dorthoth L. Sayers and Agatha Christie fan. I would mainline Poirot if I could, and I devour the amazing BBC series of Poirot, with its beautiful art deco sets and mincing detective. One of my all time favorite movies is Thoroughly Modern Millie. So you can imagine that writing this current book is just such a lot of fun. That’s why I’m a writer. This is what I love doing.
3) Being more focused. Last year was the learning curve year. And I’m sure I’ll keep learning, but (please!) hopefully not at the same pace. I’ve got some street smarts under my belt now, and I hoping the curve is a little gentler, and I can get more writing done. I’ve got too many stories to tell. Which leads on to . . .
4) Inspiration. This is something I am so grateful for. Books, people, songs and the world around me inspire the stories that pop into my head, and in the last two months I have developed at least three new story ideas that I’m so excited to write. I need more hours in the day, I think!
5) Celebrating success. This, I don’t do enough. I need to celebrate my milestones more, and I hope I get better at it. It makes reaching them all the sweeter, and helps to balance out when things don’t turn out so well. If I had one message to everyone, it would be ‘be kind to yourself’.
What are you looking forward to in 2014?