Happy New Years, Champions! I hope you all had a fun time bringing in the New Year. I went and saw The Force Awakens…for the second time. (I can’t help it, I love that Rey is the main protagonist!) In another note of celebration, you’ve already unlocked the next Heart of Ice special–which is a short story from Captain/General Halvor’s point of view. (Click here for the PDF!) There’s only one short story left to unlock, so thank you everyone for reviewing! I appreciate it so much.
Normally I would post my last Snow Queen: Heart of Ice themed post today, but as it is now 2016, I try to spend the first few days of the new year reflecting on the fun times, and the things I’ve learned. I thought it would be fun to share some of my reflections on here!
What I learned as a Writer:
- Over-working = really, really terrible! I pushed myself to the brink in 2015 and wrote eight books in twelve months. While I feel like I still produced quality stories, I was not a joy to live with during the last few months, and a lot of the fun got sucked out of it. In 2016 I’m going to dial it back on the number of books I publish–I’m aiming for six–and I’m going to focus on working ahead of my projects so I don’t get stressed out. (Side note: I’m not the only one who gets stressed out in the process. When I’m working on a tight deadline, I force stress onto Editor #1 and #2 as well, and even Myrrhlynn with cover deadlines.)
- Editors are worth their weight in gold. 2015 saw a huge amount of stylistic growth for me as a writer due to the influence of my editors. They taught me me a lot of stylistic building blocks I didn’t know I was missing, so now my books read much more smoothly. I’m really happy with how much my books and stories have improved. Thank you, editors! (Although poor Editor #1 still has to hunt-down my misuses of farther vs further. Sorry Jeri!)
- Readers are Awesome. This point becomes really obvious when you see my “fun memories” section below, but I felt that I needed to type it out because it’s something authors and writers so easily forget. This particular point was a huge reminder for me in December as Heart of Ice shattered all of my personal records and far exceeded my expectations, and you guys helped it do that. Thank you!
Fun Memories from 2015:
- The Valentine’s Day Poetry contest: You all had me in stitches of laughter one moment, and teary eyed with the next poem!
- Cinderella and the Colonel, The Little Selkie, and Puss in Books were all released in paperback format. (Puss in Boots barely squeaked in, going live on December 31, and I’m still trying to tie up some of the ends on it.)
- Facebook Champions had me melting due to the cuteness of their cats when we were discussing pet cats around the release of Puss in Boots in August.
- Joining Instagram–which I have to work hard at to keep my account from becoming a portrait gallery for Perfect Dog.
- Commiserating with Champions over the original The Little Mermaid. I was sooo thrilled to learn I am not alone in my…lack of affection for Hans Christian Andersen’s story. I have felt guilt about that for years, but now I feel free!
- Heart of Ice which, as I mentioned above, shattered every personal record my books have ever set. I’m still in awe of that.
- I know this isn’t really a writing memory or anything I’m even remotely connected to, but THE FORCE AWAKENS!! Gaaahh, I love it!
Looking Forward to 2016
What are my plans for 2016? It’s hard to say. As I mentioned before I’m hoping to produce six books this year. I do know that the release schedule is going to be mixed up due to the need to work ahead on the Timeless Fairy Tales so I have plenty of time for editing. This means there is a very good chance the King Arthurs books won’t be released until later in 2016, instead of interspersed like I normally aim for. However, I am dedicated to finish writing the King Arthurs series in 2016. You can look forward to Snow Queen 2–I just sent it off to Editor #2 yesterday. We’re aiming for a late February release, so it won’t be long!
Thank you for joining me on this incredible adventure, Champions. I couldn’t do it without you. Enjoy the extra, and welcome to 2016!