1. First contract
Lyrical Press contracted my debut novella, Red Shoes for Lab Blues. My fabulous editor Ann-Marie Smith has worked with me on two rounds of copy edits and two rounds of line edits to make this story shine. We’re wrapping up the line edits and hopefully moving on to galleys soon. I’m hoping for a cover reveal sometime in early 2013 and gearing up for release in July. It’s exhilarating, and a bit nerve wracking – this will be the first time I’ve put my work (and by extension myself) out there, but it is a milestone I will always treasure.
I’m also blown away by the wonderful and supportive author community at LP.
2. Landing an Agent
I am profoundly grateful to Natalia Aponte for believing in my potential and taking me on as a client. She and Victoria Lea have given me some really terrific editorial guidance for two series I hope we can sell in 2013. I just wrapped up revisions for book one in the Music City Afterlife urban fantasy series and I’m super excited about the next steps in the quest for publication.
3. MCRW Service as Secretary
Wasn’t expecting this, but the lovely ladies on the nominating committee for Music City Romance Writers thought of me when it came time to elect a new secretary. I look forward to working with the rest of the board and our RWA chapter in 2013.
All in all, pretty awesome year.
1. Finish and Edit Works in Progress
This one may be tough, but definitely worth it. New material is the lifeblood of a writer. I’m making it my goal to take all of the valuable lessons I’ve learned from editing the novella and urban fantasy novel and apply them to my two new projects. I’ve read plenty of how-to books/blog posts on craft, and the recurring theme that most resonates with me – keep writing, keep writing, keep writing. If you do, you’ll become a better storyteller, you’ll become more efficient and generate cleaner first drafts, you’ll have more projects in the pipeline ready to sell.
2. Learn All I Can About Marketing and Promotions
Here’s where (I hope) all of those panels and workshops on marketing and promo will pay off. I’ve got a great network of fellow authors, mentors, and industry professionals lined up and will continue to build on it. Balancing this goal with goal number one will no doubt present a challenge, but should be a great experience – starting with the novella and hopefully continuing with the series in progress.
3. Give Back
Probably one of the most rewarding parts of this journey has been encouraging other authors and watching them begin their own journeys. One of my cyberpals made her first sale at the end of the year. To my great delight, she told me that my encouragement was one of the factors that made her decide to write and submit original material. How cool is that? I get to be a mentor, too! And…one of my crit partners is working on her first novel. Look out, world – she’s got a great story in the making and I cannot WAIT to see what she does with it.
So that’s my year in review and my hopes and aspirations for the coming year.
What are yours?