At the end of the year I usually do a little roundup and post it somewhere on the internet (usually never to be found or read again, because that’s how I roll.) And while we could all learn a lesson or two from Edna Mode, I find it quite cathartic to reflect once a year.
So, for me, 2016 started with an episode of depression so crushing I took almost four months off work, and ended up changing my job half way through the year. God damn, that was hard, and the reason for my low writing output over the past twelve months.
I only released one novel on the world in 2015, but the title is long enough for at least three, so that must count for something, right?! Five Times My Best Friend Kissed Me, and One Time I Kissed Him First was so much fun to write, mostly because the format felt so familiar to me. I’ve read a lot of ‘five times’ fanfic stories over the years. (A lot).
The Impossible Boy is a novel I’ve been writing for almost four years on and off, and I finally finished it at the beginning of July. Editing it was bloody hard work, mostly because my writing style has evolved so much from when I started it. (Seriously, you guys, there were so many elipses in that manuscript I thought I was drowning in them.) Now it’s due to be released within the next few weeks and I’m so nervous and excited to see what the response will be. It’s still a very me novel, though with much harder themes than I usually contend with. I’ve also been incredibly blessed with beautiful cover art design by my wonderful friend Garrett Leigh. Let’s all just bask in her talent for a moment….
In March I’ll have a short story coming out called Rainbow Sprinkles, which is part of the Dreamspinner Press ‘States of Love’ collection. The idea for the story had been circulating in my mind for a long time when the call went out saying that DSP were looking for a novella set in each of the United States. It seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to snap up California, and write the story about a guy who works in an ice cream parlour and a guy who works as a prince at Disneyland. It’s unashamedly, tooth-rottingly sweet.
The best part of that writing process was getting to visit Disneyland in April, ostensibly for ‘research’ purposes 😉
In September I managed to write exactly 30,000 words of a story, then stalled, so that’s sitting around waiting for a wave of inspiration so I can go finish it. It’s a novel, so it’ll definitely need some more work before it’s ready. I also battled, and eventually won, National Novel Writing Month (woohoo!) but I’ve been left with 50,000 words of ‘oh my god, what am I going to do with this‘ which is taking time to unravel. I’m hoping one or the other of those books gets finished asap, bumping my output for 2017 up to three!
With everything that’s happened this year, when I sit down to write I always find myself reminded of why I do this. Yes, there seems to be a never ending stream of people out there trying to scam writers in new and imaginative ways, which has only been highlighted with the ARe fiasco in the past few days. But I write for the same reason I read – because from the very bottom of my heart, I love love stories. I love being able to tell my stories in an era that encourages me to do it my way, and I love that I have a publisher in Dreamspinner Press that takes such good care of my work. I write because it puts joy in my heart, however cheesy that might sound, and anything else is a fringe benefit.
My writing goal for 2017 is to be true to myself. I always want to put novels out there that I believe in, that I’ll stand by and be proud of. When I keep that thought in mind I undoubtedly produce better novels.
Thanks for stopping by. And happy new year!