Oh 2017. For the world as a whole, you were a god damn shitshow, but other sites will be covering that with more skill and research than I could ever hope to, so instead we’ll keep this more self-focused. Otherwise, we’ll all start drinking now and not stop until 2019. For me, this year seemed to fly by, as I bounded from one ambitious project to another. Thankfully, I learned my lesson in years prior and didn’t over-extend, so it was a very happy bouncing as I wasn’t completely crushed under deadlines.
Per the usual format, I’m going to take a couple of paragraphs to look back at all I managed this year, and I would encourage you to do the same. Consistently, I go into these thinking I’ll have nothing to write, and by the end I am shocked at all that has happened. Make a few lists for yourself; you might be amazed at the memories that spring up when you start digging for them.
In a lot of ways, 2017 was the opposite of 2016. Whereas last year I only released sequels to existing properties, in 2017 I launched a new series with Forging Hephaestus, and released my first standalone in years with Second Hand Curses. Second Hand Curses also marked a new experience for me as it was my first time working with Audible as a publisher, and my first audio-exclusive book. That’s not to say it was all new though, the fourth Fred novel, Fangs of Freelance, was my other book this year and marked a significant change in Fred’s life (that’s all I’ll say to avoid spoilers). My own life changed as well during 2017. I moved out of Deep Ellum and managed to buy a house in the suburbs. I also learned my neighborhood takes Halloween fucking seriously, which is rad as shit but means I have to bring it hard next year! Outside of just Texas, I had a lot happen as well. I stepped up my Con game, hitting places like Charlotte, Denver, Phoenix, and Austin. In Charlotte, I got to do a live A&D podcast with every member present for the first time. I also got a hangover that could slay a god, but that’s just part of the experience. Speaking of Authors & Dragons, we launched our Patreon in 2017, and started producing our bonus content with the Mimic Chest. I got to meet Gordon Korman, one of my lifelong literary heroes, as well as the talented Kirby Heyborne who does the voice of my Fred books. And, lest we ever forget, I made some new Drinkalong Power Hours.
And yet, busy a year as it was, come January 1st it all fades into the rearview mirror, so let’s turn our eyes toward the horizon and the year yet to come. As most of you probably know by this point, I believe in New Year’s Goals, not resolutions, and I’ve got a few in mind for 2018!
1. Publish Super Powereds: Year 4. Now from the announcement blog a few weeks ago you know this is on track, but it is still very much a big part of my 2018 plan and I’m giving the book a little space here.
2. Finish and Publish Fred #5. This is going to be a fun one, and while there’s still a bit while to go I’m excited about getting this one out to you. As always, since I use a publisher for these they are out of my hands on the release dates, but if we keep the same time frame as usual then you should be getting this one sometime in summer, with the audio version to follow months later.
3. Write and Publish a new Spells, Swords, & Stealth book. That’s right my RPG fans, the first book I’m working on this year (after Fred #5 is wrapped) will be the continuing adventures of Thistle, Eric, Gabrielle, Grumph, Timuscor, and, of course, Mr. Peppers. The goal is to have it out by fall 2018, though we might slip into winter depending on how long everything takes.
4. Writing Villains’ Code 2. I’m not thinking this one will hit the market in 2018, given the size of these monsters and the fact that it has another book ahead of it in the queue. Still, I’d feel good if I got this one completed in 2018, both because it will let the editors get moving so we can pull off a 2018 release, and because I just can’t wait to jump back into that world and tell some new stories.
5. Do a Full Year of Shingles with A&D. By this point you’ve learned about our new project, and honestly this one is almost cheating as a goal. Given how many we’ve got locked and ready to publish, there’s little change of us failing on this one, yet it is still something I want to see through, so damnit that’s a goal!
6. Focus My Cons. With writing planned out, a big goal for me this year is to use what I’ve learned and start doing cons more intelligently. Instead of pinging around, I’m hoping to hit a few bigger ones in large geographic areas, allowing me to meet with the most number of fans and hopefully give most of you a con that’s quasi-nearby if you want to say hello. So far the only ones I know for certain are Emerald Comic Con and 90% ConCarolina, so if you’re around Charlotte or Seattle I’ll be out there. As for the rest, watch the Events page and I’ll make announcements as soon as I get confirmations.
7. TV/Movie Deal. Hey, just because it hasn’t happened in years before is no reason to stop trying. Every year is a new opportunity, and besides, if I was going to give up easy this is not the profession I would have chosen.
8. More Live Events. By this point, I’ll have done the Wine Walk with readers down in Deep Ellum, but I hope to have more in the year ahead. I’ve got a few ideas, like doing an actual launch party for Year 4 somewhere in DFW, and my general goal is to make myself a little more available to readers. Expect some missteps and false starts as I get my feet wet in this area, but eventually I’ll figure things out and hopefully put on a few great events for everyone.
That feels like enough to take up a big chunk of the year. What about you all, though? Tell me your New Year’s Goals in the comments below, as well as if you accomplished any you set for 2017. Thanks to all of you for making this year so adventurous and entertaining, I can only imagine what 2018 has in store for us all.