I’d call it a mixed start to the year. I was physically low with health issues. But having my first published book, Liar’s Waltz, released on 4th of January certainly gave me a boost. I’d set the goal a few years back, that I’d work towards this. Then in 2009 I started work on the first book I intended to submit. I submitted it in 2010 and Loose Id bought it, and New Year 2011 it came out.
Which meant I had to set a new goal, since I’d met the “get a novel published” one. I had to follow up on that and get another novel out there and start to build my backlist. Getting books out there doesn’t happen quickly, I have to think long-term. But I was already working on the next one – Stowaway. I’d written that in 2010 and finished the editing of it in February 2011 and submitted it in March. Meanwhile I was wrestling with the tax man trying to figure all that side out once I started receiving royalties, and I finished off the last of the non-pro work I had outstanding. That was a little sad, the end of an era. But a new era was starting and I could focus on my pro work.
Loose Id bought Stowaway in March (yay!) and we started on the edits. In between doing those I was outlining and drafting another novel, called Ganymede Tilt. It was a bit of a hard slog through that one, but I made it in the end, finishing at the start of June.
Summer was a busy old time. Edits of Stowaway, editing Higher Ground (another draft completed in 2010), planning the next draft, which I eventually called Chrysalis Cage, and the very first inkling in my head of an idea for a book series. It wasn’t all sweating over a hot laptop though. I attended the UK Meet of m/m, f/f, GLBT writers in July. It was great to meet up with people who I only knew through the internet and their books. Late summer Stowaway came out and I submitted Higher Ground to Loose Id. I also started writing Chrysalis Cage.
Then September came along. September rather sucked. I stopped working on Chrysalis Cage after a slow painful crawl through a few thousand words, and realised it just wasn’t ready yet. Also, it’s probably not technically a romance. Then Higher Ground was rejected. It was not a good month.
But there was light at the end of the tunnel. Chrysalis Cage might not have been ready, but the idea I’d first had back in the summer for a series was growing apace, was now called the Indiaman series and I began working on that in earnest. I found out Liar’s Waltz was going into print. And the rejection of Higher Ground was not a “you and the horse you rode in on” rejection, but rather an invitation to revise and resubmit, with suggestions for what they would like to see change.
Well I could have been lazy and left it as it was and started sending it elsewhere. But I’ve enjoyed working with Loose Id and my editor there. The suggestions they made were good (and made me say “why didn’t I see that?”) so I decided to make the changes.
I worked on that and the planning of Indiaman through October. In November I wrote the first 55,564 words of the draft of Indiaman #1 during NaNoWriMo, and continued on into December, while also completing the last of the Higher Ground revisions. I resubmitted Higher Ground on 13th of December and this time Loose Id accepted it! I got the first round of edits fast and finished them and the rest of Indiaman #1 before Christmas. Phew! What a year!
And to top it off, my 5 free copies of the Liar’s Waltz paperback arrived today. What a great way to end my first year as a published writer!
So what does 2012 hold for me?
A lot of editing to start off with. With a tight turnaround needed to get Higher Ground out for February 28th I’ll be busy on those edits for the next couple of months. I’ll also be starting on the edits of Ganymede Tilt and then of Indiaman #1. I have plans for new drafts later on in the year though.
I’ve joined the Romantic Novelist’s Associaton – like the UK equivalent of the Romance Writers of America, probably with more tea involved. So I should meet up with some local fellow writers through that and then I’ll be going to the annual conference in July. Look at me, I’m going all mainstream! I’m looking forward to the 2012 UK Meet too, bigger and better than ever!
Thanks to everyone who’s bought my books, read my blog and Live Journal, Tweeted with me, followed me on Facebook and Goodreads and Tumblr and of course who I’ve met face to face for the first time, having been brought together by writing and reading. It’s been a good year and I can’t wait for my second year as a published writer.
Happy New Year!