A belated Happy New Year to you all. Also, a belated new year post.
January gets its name for a good reason. The Roman god Janus had two faces, one looking forward and one looking back. The turn of the year lets us be reflective and hopeful at the same time.
I would have posted sooner but that the beginning of the year was taken up with finalising the galley proofs for Gilded Scarab. After the rush of Christmas and new year, I decided to take a couple of days away from writing and instead I glued the backs onto 185 spaceship brooches and made the covers for two more Kindle cases.
First the good things. It was the first year that I really tried to make a go of being a writer. I’d talked about it before, even published an indie sci-fi novella (FlashWired) and got a couple of short stories accepted by Dreamspinner for various anthologies in 2013. Mixed responses for all of those—said wryly, you understand, and with a self-deprecating smile.
But last year, I decided to stop shilly-shallying around and actually do something to make it all happen. So, I revised the first of the Shield novels, wrote three more books and started on a fourth. I was, to say the least, prolific.
In my terms, of course. Maybe not quite so many books as in the image. I can’t churn out a novel a month like some writers manage (not a bad thing since it keeps their name out there) but I was very happy with progress all the same. The count was:
Taking Shield series
Gyrfalcon revised 97,420 words
Heart Scarab completed 102,280 words
Makepeace completed 95,480 words
The Chains of Their Sins started 36,097 words in
Lancaster’s Luck series
Gilded Scarab completed c 113,000 words after editing.
I was over the moon in June when Wilde City took Gyrfalcon and Heart Scarab, and in August Dreamspinner offered a contract for the Gilded Scarab. Thrillsville, people. Thrillsville.
See? Decide to take writing seriously and Things Happen.
That was the good stuff, along with still being with D and loving him and Molly, the Deputy Editor to bits. The not so good stuff was health related. My mother fell and broke her hip in February, and her already reduced mobility is now considerably worse. She’s making a reasonable recovery and is taking on more in the house to test her independence a little, which is all to the good. Then I ended up with the chest infection from hell in June, and was wiped out for months afterwards. Turned out to be Vit. D deficiency. But hey! look on the bright side. At least I didn’t end up with rickets.
So what about 2015?
Well, first of all, the proposed publication date for the ebook of Gyrfalcon is the 28th of this month (the print version will be a few months down the line). Squee! I’m waiting on edits and a final cover, but here’s a little glimpse of a bit of it.
Earth’s last known colony, Albion, is fighting an alien enemy. In the first of the Taking Shield series, Shield Captain Bennet is dropped behind the lines to steal priceless intelligence. A dangerous job, and Bennet doesn’t need the distractions of changing relationships with his long-term partner, Joss, or with his father—and with Flynn, the new lover who will turn his world upside-down. He expects to risk his life. He expects the data will alter the course of the war. What he doesn’t expect is that it will change his life or that Flynn will be impossible to forget.
Yeah, I know that’s a bit of a tease… But you can see why I’m doing Kindle and iPad cases and creating little rocket ship brooches. I’ll need something to give away on publication day! Watch this space for a full cover reveal.
And in February (probably) Dreamspinner will publish the Gilded Scarab. What can I say about this? I love Shield, and Bennet and Flynn, but Rafe Lancaster stole my heart away. He is, to quote one of my editors at DSP, *awesome*.
When Captain Rafe Lancaster is invalided out of the Britannic Imperium’s Aero Corps after crashing his aerofighter during the Second Boer War, his eyesight is damaged permanently, and his career as a fighter pilot is over. Returning to Londinium in late November 1899, he’s lost the skies he loved, has no place in a society ruled by an elite oligarchy of powerful Houses, and is hard up, homeless, and in desperate need of a new direction in life.
Everything changes when he buys a coffeehouse near the Britannic Imperium Museum in Bloomsbury, the haunt of Aegyptologists. For the first time in years, Rafe is free to be himself. In a city powered by luminiferous aether and phlogiston, and where powerful men use House assassins to target their rivals, Rafe must navigate dangerous politics, deal with a jealous and possessive ex-lover, learn to make the best coffee in Londinium, and fend off murder and kidnap attempts before he can find happiness with the man he loves.
And yeah, another teasery picture. Reese Dante did the cover and I am beyond delighted with it. Keep tuned in for a big reveal here when I have a firm publication date.
And more of the same, I hope for 2015. As soon as I’ve finished Chains of Their Sins, I’m going to write the second Rafe Lancaster book. It has a title: The Dog Who Ate Millions. I love that title. I only hope I can write the book to match it! Then it’ll be back to write the last two Shield books, and maybe, finally, get a start on the Frontier Women book that certain friends nag me about now and again.
But what I’ve taken away from 2014 is this. All fun aside, don’t waste time. I did. I only got myself focused, really focused, on my writing last year and as a result, in the next couple of months I will have two novels published. I’m proud of that. But it comes about not because of any innate talent of mine, but because I started treating writing seriously—as work.
I’m really looking forward to 2015. No more time for lollygagging – get cracking and write those books! No more procrastination.