Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014 -- The Year in Review

Wow! I can't believe 2014 is almost over already. I'm always excited for the start of a new year because it's a fresh start, a time to take what I've learned the previous year and apply it to my life. And saying goodbye to 2014 is really very bittersweet. This has been a trying year for me, both personally and professionally. It seems as though I've had a lot more downs than ups this year, but

In 2014 I...

1. Survived the day my two oldest girls moved out to go live with their dad. I knew the day was coming. It was inevitable, but even knowing that, I wasn't emotionally prepared for it. It nearly broke me. Emotionally. Physically. Mentally. Spiritually. I was in a very dark place, and if it hadn't been for my husband and some really wonderful friends, I don't think I would've made it. I did, though, and it has made me a stronger person, a better mother, and brought me and my husband closer. It also reaffirmed my belief that every dark cloud has a silver lining.

2. Survived the crash and burn of Entranced Publishing. For those of you unfamiliar with this story, you can read about it HERE. This entire situation was devastating on so many levels. I could take the time to list how awful it was, how it affected me emotionally and mentally, but I'm not going to. I think the fact I'm still writing, still querying, still publishing speaks volumes about how much I didn't let this one bad experience ruin me or my love of this profession.

3. I conquered my fear of flying (thanks to the lovely Rachell Nichole) and made it to RT2014! This trip was definitely the highlight of my year! Not only did I get to immerse myself in the New Orleans culture and experience the uniqueness of Bourbon Street, I got to meet some of my writerly friends and a couple of my favorite authors. Did I mention I finally got to meet RYAN WINFIELD??? (insert high pitched squeal here)

The Disenchantments
From Left to Right: Barbara Garren, Me, Kat Daemon, Georgeann Swiger, Aria Kane, Ana Blaze

Even though the Entranced fiasco was horrible and caused some irreparable damage, that group of ladies in the above picture (and plenty more who weren't able to make it to RT2014) made the entire experience worth it, because without Entranced, we never would've found each other. There's that silver lining again ;-)

4. Hosted the Anaiah Press Co-Author Contest in which I chose one lucky author to co-write a book with me. It was a bit scary and daunting to pick a random stranger to write a book with. lol. But I really hit the jackpot when I chose Jody Holford. Not only did I manage to find a fantastic co-author, I've found a lifelong friend and confidant. It was so much more than I ever expected and something I'm so grateful for each and every day. Our first book, DANGEROUS LOVE, will be available April 2015 and we're already in the process of writing a second book with a third one in the development stages. I have a feeling we have a long and lucrative future ahead of us. Love you, Jody!

5. I've successfully built my client list at Anaiah Press. While I've acquired and signed a lot of authors, I unfortunately cannot be the editor for each and every one of them. (Wish I could!) So while each and every author I've ever had the pleasure of working with holds a special place in my heart, I want to give an extra special mention to my authors:
Courtney Rice Gager (Tess in Boots
Connie Ann Michael (1000 Stolen Moments
Jennifer Novotney (Winter in the Soul)
Molly Zenk (Out of Character)
Renee Donne (Runaway)
Rosie Somers (Pride)

Of course, this list wouldn't be complete without a very honorable mention to my lovely freelance author clients:
Kat Daemon 
Georgeann Swiger
Ava O'Shay
Dylan Quinn

6. I didn't publish a single thing! lol. No, I'm not joking. I seriously did not release a single book this year. While I feel like this is the ultimate failure as an author, I'm trying to spin it in a more positive light. Okay, so I didn't release a book this year. I did spend the year honing my craft though. I've learned so much working as an editor, which carries over into my own personal writing. I've studied the market, read books in my genres, and I wrote. A lot! Oh, and of course, I can't forget the biggest thing...

7. I SIGNED WITH AN AGENT!!!!! Yes, I'm still very excited about this. lol. Dawn Dowdle of the Blue Ridge Literary Agency is simply amazing. I adore her. We edited my book and spent all year querying it. (Before you ask how that went, please re-read #6 above.) But don't worry, we're not giving up!

8. I participated as a #PitchWars Mentor for the first time ever. Talk about a crazy, wild ride. It was a fantastic experience, and I can only hope Brenda Drake will invite me back next year.

9. In a strange twist of events, I met the talented David Jemal, who I have forged a fast friendship and partnership with. We hammered out a 90k book together in a matter of months. Edited it.

10. I wrote. A lot! Let me see...
INFERNO (with David)
DOMINICK (with David)
TEMPTING TANNER (a new adult novel for my agent)
15,000 new words on THE GEORGIA CORBINS

It's been one crazy ride. So, what did you do this year?