I’m not very good at pre-planning (yeah, anyone who knows me is laughing right now—they all know I stink at details and logistics!) but I enjoy looking at the big picture of my schedule, seeing how all my projects fit together and also pinpointing crunch times.
Here’s a look back at my 2013, where my word of the year was EXCITED:
In 2013, I also wrote five and a half books from start to end while juggling edits and revisions on the five above. By far my most productive year as far as actual words on the page.
I hit the USA Today list a few times and sold 262,000 books, not counting my NYC sales.
I spoke at events in London, NYC, San Diego, Chicago, New Orleans, Charleston, Fayetteville, and back to NYC again—which is less than most years, but more than I’d intended as I’m trying to learn to say “no” to anything that takes me away from writing.
I wrote over 50 guest blogs (yeah, I do really have to work on that just say no thing!) and several dozen guest podcasts/video interviews, was featured in the USA Today and Entertainment Weekly among others.
Oh, and I won a few awards! Including the Thriller Award (for BLIND FAITH) and the RT Seal of Excellence (for BROKEN).
All in all, a great year. Very exciting indeed.
What’s in store for 2014?
After the release of AFTER SHOCK (did I mention, it’s out today? oh, and it really, really rocks—I mean really!) I have several more books planned for 2014 including:
* my second YA thriller in November, still untitled
* HARD FALL, the next Lucy Guardino FBI Thriller
* FIGHT DIRTY, the first in the Renegade Justice spin off series staring Morgan, everyone’s favorite teenaged psychopath from Lucy’s world as well as Jenna, Andre, and Lucy’s husband, Nick
* a new, top-secret, hush-hush BIG project coming in May (I’m sure I’ll be letting you guys know more before then, but right now there’s tons of stuff going on behind the scenes and I want to get things firmed up beforehand)
Plus, possibly (in my spare time):
* the launch of two new middle grade projects
* RAW EDGES, the second in the Renegade Justice series
* the Hart & Drake special Christmas wedding story (fans have been clamoring for this one, so I’m really trying hard to get it finished, but also need to make it worthy of their wait)
AND that’s just what I know of right now, the first week in January—who knows what might happen? That’s the one place where I try to never say no: to ideas and trying new things. If it’s something that will delight my readers and/or help me elevate my craft, then I’m in!
You might think from this that 2014’s catchword is productivity or some variant. But no, the north star guiding me this year is…drumroll please…
I want people more engaged with my stories than ever, just as I want to engage with my readers more than ever. And I’m working hard on taking my craft to a place (experimenting with world building and POV) where that can happen as well as finding new ways to connect with readers.
That’s my year ahead—what’s in store for you?
If 2014 finds you ready to share your stories with the world as a ProWriter, check out the courses created by myself and Joanna Penn on The Secrets of a ProWriter, Breaking into Publishing , Secrets of Indy Publishing, and How to Reach Readers and Market Your Novel.
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