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Category: Goals

One year anniversary

Posted in Goals

Just one year ago today I began writing fiction. I can't explain what took me so long to get started, but it wasn't until I stumbled across an interesting story idea that I found compelling that the bug finally bit.

It bit hard, though. In the last year I have written and published two books and three short stories in my fantasy series The Hounds of Annwn, and the third book is nearing the end. I've managed this “in my spare time” while working a regular job (lots of getting up early, seven days a week).

What does this mean? Total word count for the year is about 400,000 words. On the one hand, I find that almost impossible to believe. On the other, I have a very vivid understanding of just how much more I have to learn in my new profession, and I feel that I've barely scratched the surface.

The best part is getting feedback from readers who are enjoying the stories. Or not. The more I hear from you, the better I can make the books. Please don't be shy about comments or even reviews — I look forward to them.

Over the next year I plan to finish book three (King of the May) and possibly another volume, as well as several more short stories in the same world so that I can bring out a short story collection in print and ebook. I'll also begin a completely different fantasy series, The Affinities of Magic, about a world with an unusual biology, where all living things have magic in some form, and students of wizardry have much to learn.

Wish me luck!

Lessons learned in 2012 / Goals for 2013

Posted in Goals

As 2012 rolls on down to a close, I'm moved to reflect on what this year has been like.

I began writing fiction in April and have just published the second book in the Hounds of Annwn series. I can hardly believe it myself. I only wish I had taken the plunge sooner.

I resurrected an old business (Perkunas Press), built it a website, did a crash tour of thought leaders in the new world of independent publishing, and took the first steps toward professional writing.

270,000 words later, I feel like I'm just getting started. I've gotten my books listed in a few dozen online channels, but I've barely scratched the surface of distribution in libraries and independent bookstores. I've started a newsletter, but it's a long way to the famous “1000 fans” that make the foundation of a career — and I must earn them one at a time with the best writing I can produce, the best stories, the highest quality, and constant improvement. It's a challenge.

The feedback I've been getting from individuals and editorial reviews has been very encouraging, but I have almost no reader reviews in online retailers, and I need to concentrate on coaxing that from my readers.

I intend to put up two more books in 2013, more if I can. The next will be the third book in my first series. There's likely to be a fourth, maybe more, and I have a second fantasy series in mind, too. Since I like to end each book with the a sample of the first chapter from the next one, I've already had to start book three in order to complete book two. Soon I'll be able to stop shepherding the new release through the publication and review channels and return to the fun stuff: making up worlds and telling stories about the people in them.

My medium-range plan is to have ten full-length books out by the end of 2016, or more, in three series. Should be possible!