Brand New Year, Brand New Goals

Usually I post my annual check-in around the beginning of the year, but already 2021 has proven it’s a little different than normal.

Between checking the news on a regular basis here in the U.S. and working on my latest work in progress, The Blood of Kanta, it’s taken a bit to wrap my brain around 2021. If you follow my mailing list, you’ll have likely already seen all these plans, but I like to share things publicly too on my blog every year. You can go back and check out my previous entries from 2016, 2017, 2019, and 2020.

Last year the pandemic threw a huge curve-ball in my plans, but I also had several experiences that made me re-examine my work and my publishing process. Here’s a quick overview:

  • At the start of 2020, I had a short story coming out in Masks, a Mardi Gras anthology alongside some incredible authors. I had a second short story coming out in an anthology with the same publisher that was set to come out in December, but then the publisher closed its doors suddenly. Although the anthology was picked up elsewhere, I kind of wanted to take the reigns back on my short story, and now I’m planning on publishing it this October in my own collection of tales, The Impostor and Other Dark Tales.

    I made some truly amazing friends throughout this journey, but I still felt singed by the whole experience. That made me start looking at my writing differently and led me to the next step.
  • In 2020, I got back most of the rights back to The She-Wolf of Kanta, and have since decided to turn it into a full series, The Wolves of Kanta. This ended quite amicably, but I had been considering expanding on this universe for some time. Now I’m aiming to re-release The She-Wolf of Kanta along with two sequels in 2022.

I’ve always considered myself a hybrid author, with one foot in the small press world and one in the independent publishing world. I’m very proud of the Stolen series. The final book, Chosen, releases on March 23rd from Parliament House Press, who have been amazing to work with. However being hybrid means that I also publish independently, so I’m going to try my hand at that next year. It’s going to be a learning curve since I plan to tackle physical books and ebooks, in a series that doesn’t yet have a solid ending.

With that in mind, here’s my overview for my writing for 2021, and where I’m planning to go next.

Listing of my books and stories that are currently in progress.

There’s a lot listed above, but here is a quick run-down of what I’ll be working on this year:

It’s sure to be a busy year, and it’s already started off pretty darn busy. It’s going to take a lot of learning, a lot of writing, and a heck of a lot of editing, but I’m excited to see where this all goes!

If you want to follow my progress, check out my mailing list or follow me on all the social media channels. I’ll be posting regular updates and sneak peeks as I continue on this journey.

Writing Goals for 2020

Each year in January, I sit down with a pen and a pad of notebook paper and write out all of the pieces that I’m working on. That includes any works in progress, stories looking for a home, plot bunnies, and trunk babies. It really helps me to wrap my head around where I do (and don’t) need to focus.

These are just writing goals. It doesn’t really focus on the final edits and checks that are still to come in for Broken and The Seeking. Nor does it include all the marketing work that will also be going on behind the scenes throughout the year. This list only focuses on writing.

The first thing I noticed, especially comparing this list with my 2016 and 2019 writing goals is that I have a bunch more novels on the list this time! Yes, most of them are admittedly plot bunnies, but I’ve already sketched out character concepts and plotlines for some of these. I’ve also begun writing on a couple of them!

I really enjoy writing series especially in YA Fantasy, and my Two Sorceresses (title TBD) book is going to be the beginning of that. I’ve been turning the plot for that book over and over in my mind to figure out how I want to pace it, who the characters are, and how the plot will ultimately go. It’s going to be dark, magical, beautiful, and sincere.

The Smiling Man (title TBD) is a YA Horror book that came directly from a nightmare. Some of the scenes in this book will be so creepy and unsettling, that I almost decided it was too frightening to put down onto pages. But then again, I decided if it scared me, it should scare others too.

Chosen is my current work in progress. It’s book 3 of the Stolen series and I am both excited and overwhelmed by the prospect of finishing my first original series. There is so much I want to say still and only a single book to pack it all into. My next project, once the Stolen series is done, will be The Blood of Kanta, the sequel to The She-Wolf of Kanta. This will be a full-length book, unlike the novella that is already published. I’ve planned out the basics already, now it’s just a matter of finding the time to write it.

I’ve also listed all of my short stories that are currently either out on submission, to be published, or looking for a home. Some of these I think I could tweak a little and get them out in the world, but generally I try to prioritize my books over short stories.

You’ll notice a few of those short stories are already available to read, such as The Mysterious Disappearance of Charlene Kerringer, Against Our Better Judgment, and The Blade Filled with Stars. That last one is automatically available when you sign up for my mailing list!

I’m so excited for this year, but I’m also anxious about the number of releases I have. I sure do hope my books live up to expectations, but I guess that’s a fairly normal fear for an author, right? Especially one who has only been doing this for a couple of years and is still figuring this all out? It would probably be my boggart.

What are your writing plans for 2020? If you post your plans as well, please tag me so I can see them! Let’s all cheer each other on to becoming better writers this year!