The First Seven Years: 2013-2019 in Review, and the Journey Ahead

Hello readers! No, there’s no Being a Better Writer article today, since I’m still on break. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t any content to be had! No, as we’re about to head into a new decade, 2020 now just two days away (less, depending  on when you read this), it’s the perfect time for a look back. Two looks back, actually! For one, we’ve got 2019 to look at, to see how it stacks up against 2018, but we’ve also got the decade as a whole. Well, minus seven years, as my first book—One Drink for those that have joined us since then—was only published in 2013. But as we look back today, I’d be remiss not to look over the decade as a whole and see where it’s taken both myself and you readers. To see the growth of this grand adventure as it continues to build!

So then, let’s dive right in and talk about the year! How’d 2019 stack up?

Jungle CoverObviously, the big elephant in the room is Jungle. The titan (literally, check out that word count) of a Colony sequel that landed in November. Jungle was 2019’s only book release but … what a release!

Jungle was a titanic effort, taking months upon months of work from myself and dedicated Alpha and Beta Readers to polish and prepare. But in the end?

Jungle has been a titanic success. Though only out for the last two months of 2019, it’d be impossible to talk about the state of things without it. While not quite reaching the pre-order and high-burst numbers  Colony did at its release, Jungle has instead remained a steady seller, even as it garners reviews with greater speed than Colony ever did. Reviews which have so far entirely been positive. As of today, Jungle is still sitting with a perfect Five-Star score across Amazon and Goodreads, with a lot of praise lauded on it in its reviews for how it moves the story forward while taking it in surprising new directions!

Of course, this means good things for sales as well. Jungle catching eyes has only brought a renewed resurgence of interest in Colony as well, which has seen a nice sales increase as a result of Jungle catching reader’s eyes and then going on to read both.

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Forward

Welcome to 2019. Be on the lookout for Replicants.

2018 is behind us. And what a year. It had a lot of highs, and it had some rough lows too. And I’m not just talking about the year globally. I’m just talking about books and stuff.

But enough about that. Let’s talk about the future. So, what’s coming ahead in 2019?


Well, first up, and early in the year, the release of Hunter/Hunted. It’s in the final act now, though just barely (I haven’t done much writing over the last week; I needed to recharge). I figure this one will be done with the draft this month, as long as my other job doesn’t consume too much time, and then it can go into Alpha/Beta and release. Rejoice, Dusk Guard fans, for the third book is almost here. Oh, and remember how I said it would probably be the shortest? I have no idea anymore. And … well, I’ll leave it at that.

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Being a Better Writer: Forward!

Today’s post is going to be a little different. Aside from being late (I was asleep for a good chunk of the day). It’s also going to be a bit less about the act of writing and the gritty details of writing and character development (we’ve got plenty of posts on those already, and plenty more to come) and more on the mentality of it.

Naturally, of course, it also involves this New Year. 2018 here at last. And I have good hopes for it. As should you.

Which is really what this short post is all about: 2018, high hopes, and looking forward.

You know, it’s funny. As often as we may write characters that “have hope,” or write stories where hope is a foundation of what keeps the main characters going, sometimes it’s truly easy to slip a little away from that hope ourselves. When we’re working on a story with a truly staggering narrative weight, it sometimes feel like every bit of that weight is bearing down around our shoulders.

Which is fair. From one perspective, it really is. The whole story is on us. At least, until the editors get it. And the readers.

Which—and again, this is short and sweet—is something we shouldn’t forget. Yes, that story we’re working on now may seem like it is an all-consuming beast in our lives.

But sometimes, rather than looking at the path under our feet and thinking about the weight on our back bearing us down toward it, we need to turn our eyes to the peak we want to reach and keep our gaze there. Away from each plodding step our feet make. Away from the dust and grime. We need to focus on the destination and the scenery around us … not the steady, relentless tread of our feet on the dusty path.

As metaphors go, I don’t think that was too bad. We need to keep our eyes forward. When a book flounders (in sales or in writing), don’t forget the end-goal. Whatever that goal is. Just keep your eyes on it, work your way forward.

After all, it’s a new year. Whatever goal you had in mind? As long as you keep working towards it, it’ll be that much closer tomorrow. Keep your eyes on the goal. Keep stepping forward.

It’s a new year. Let’s all leave a lot of footprints behind us.

Happy New Year!

Being a Better Writer: Beginning Anew

Hello everyone! Welcome to 2016!

Yes, that’s right, it’s a new year, and now that the festivities and parties are all over, that means it’s time to knuckle down and get back to work! Well, for me, at least. And I’d best do it fast. There’s a whole lot of work staring me in the face right now! I’ve got a book to release by the end of January (more on that tomorrow), a second book to release by May (more on that to come, but most of you regular readers know the title), and another book to start, finish, and publish! And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! There’s at least one convention—LTUE—to go to, another book I need to rewrite, the next Dusk Guard entry to consider, and even, of course, the weeklyBeing a Better Writer posts to keep track of (along with everything else web-related).

And you know what I say? Bring it on! I’m refreshed, recharged, and I’ve got two books about to come out. How could I say no to that?

So then, with all that said, lets dive into today’s topic: Beginning Anew. I felt it was appropriate to discuss seeing as we’ve just kicked off the new year. All of you are out there setting goals (hopefully), examining your lives, and, if you’re a writer (or a prospective one) figuring out exactly what you want to accomplish this year with your craft.

That’s good. You totally should be doing that. See any of the number of prior posts I’ve made on goals or motivation for my opinions on that topic. And if you want more, there are plenty of writing blogs out there discussing this very topic as a consequence of the new year.

So I’m going to talk about something a little different when I say “Beginning Anew.” I’m not going to talk about the new goals for the year you’re setting, nor entirely the act of sitting down to start a new book (though I feel that might be a topic for another time). Instead when I say “Beginning Anew,” I’m speaking of another kind of new. The kind where you look at something that you’ve worked on again and again and realize “You know? Maybe it’s time to move on.”

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