We’re briefly interrupting the Court of Midnight and Deception themed posts to take part in an annual tradition!
I’ve made it into a tradition to look back at the end of the year and reflect on everything I’ve accomplished, and see how the community has grown. (You can check out my 2019, 2018, and 2017 Reflections if you’re curious!) And since 2021 has dawned upon us, it’s time to share all that I have learned! (Admittedly…a little later than I planned, ahahah.)
In 2020 I…
- Wrote SO MUCH! I launched the entire Hall of Blood and Mercy trilogy, Prince’s Bargain (Elves of Lessa #3), and two of the three Court of Midnight and Deception books! MY FINGERS HURT!!
- Went through the entire Brandon Sanderson online course–again. (Link to the FREE class here.) I listened to a bunch of his lectures in 2019, but when he released 2020’s edition of the class I was in quarantine, so I decided to listen again. I feel like the class helped me to level up big time, specifically in writing characters. I’m always trying to improve–especially in writing romance–but I’ve found I have better luck if I target specific things and then work on them in my current manuscript. I listened to Sanderson’s lectures on characters about 3-4 times each before making adjustments to The Prince’s Bargain, and I did a total rewrite of the first 30 pages of Crown of Shadows, too, in order to apply some of what I learned. (What fun that was…)
- Experimented with urban fantasy and a new world, as well as a new writing system! I’m really loving the trilogies–I find them faster/easer to write than longer series–and being able to release them in short succession.
- Got started on Fairy Tale Enchantress book #4, Trail of Magic! It’s hard to say where I’m at in the story because rather than write linearly I bounced around a bit and wrote some of the important pieces, but I have a great start on it! (I’m hoping I’m over halfway through, but after Reign of Magic turned into a giant behemoth that was double the length of book one…I try not to get my hopes up.) This is the book I’ll be working on next, so hopefully it will be available this summer!
In 2020 the KM Shea Team…
- Grew! We brought in Vin, our Community Manager who has become the glue of our community and a huge help to me in so many ways I can’t even list them all here. She’s the special guardian of our Discord server and our Facebook group, but she has been a huge help in organizing things like my Facebook live, the December event, and Sheacon, too! Please allow me to tell you her scheduling abilities are now legendary among the KM Shea Team and we all admire her for her ability to come up with fun games when we’re all brain dead.
- Welcomed Mythical Cat and SuperRog as our first moderators on the Discord Mod Squad–these guys are the best! SuperRog is the server’s dad, and Mythical Cat has the ability to find memes and gifs that I feel in my soul.
- Pulled off a Christmas miracle when Meg managed to get Hall of Blood and Mercy and the Prince’s Bargain in paperback before December! Thanks, Meg!
- launched the two Magiford quizzes–the first being our very popular “which Supernatural are you?” and “Which Fae Court do you belong to?”
In 2020 our Community…
- Held Sheacon in August! Seriously, that weekend was amazing. We had games, riddles, drawing, panels–so many fun things, and so many fun memories in a year that was tough for everyone. And Sheacon wouldn’t have been possible if not for the hard work of the organizers/hosts/tech gurus: Xoffy, Dino, Cindy, Anneli, Ellarose, Batattack, Lemon Duck, Narel, Emarynn, and Zooknar! Thanks, guys. You’re the best! <3
- Launched the KM Shea/AM Sohma Champion Facebook Group! I resisted this for a while because I was scared no one would want to join, ahahah! But you Champions showed your love and loyalty, and we now have over 1,200 members! (And it’s a WONDERFUL place! Between all the funny memes, great book recommendations, and general love of books, it has become a fantastic piece of our community!)
- Continued to submit beautiful and fun works of art to our fanart gallery on the website, and the new “Fabulous Fan Art” channel in discord, as well as show off mad art skills in the Facebook Group as well. Our community is a talented bunch of Champions!
- Voted in the most enormous Summer of Polls event! Approximately 1,370 Champions voted in four different polls, picking out the community’s favorite heroine, hero, animal side kick, and couple! (You can read the wrap up here!)
- Threw several parties on Lord of the Rings Online, and in Animal Crossing! (Vin hosted, and she gets an award for having the most beautifully decorated Island EVER! Though my fellow attendees should each get awards for their adorable outfits!)
- Newsletter Champions voted for Royal Magic as the annual Valentine’s Day free book–but the AM Sohma Champions showed up in a big way and Second Age of Retha Book #2, The Desperate Quest, lost out by only a handful of votes, so I made that free over the summer!
2020 was a really rough year for the world, but I was incredibly proud of the way our community pulled together, stayed kind, and shared plenty of book recommendations to distract us all! You, Champions, are what makes our community so special. Thank you for joining in our fun. I can’t wait to see what we’ll do in 2021!