2018, you were a doozy. Every year before I write these, I go back and read the prior years’ entry. Part of it is to refresh myself on the format, part to see how many of the New Years Goals I accomplished, and a little bit just to remember where I was this time a year prior. In reading 2017’s blog, I noticed how Past Drew mentioned he learned from prior years and didn’t over-extend himself.
Suffice it to say, 2018 Drew was not as smart as 2017 Drew. Don’t get me wrong, this has been an amazing year, filled with projects I’m so proud of and new opportunities. It’s just that all that fun stuff took time to do, and by the end that resource was in short supply. Such is the trade-off of a jam-packed year though, and what a year it has been!
On the book front, 2018 was a major milestone for me. It marked the conclusion of my first series, Super Powereds, with the release of the final book: Year 4. I also added a fifth entry to the Fred, the Vampire Accountant series with Deadly Assessments, and returned to the Spells, Swords, & Stealth world for a fourth time with Siege Tactics. There was another project in there too, one that was written in 2018 but isn’t public just yet. My Mystery Project was an unexpected opportunity, and one I can’t wait to unveil in 2019. Of course, there’s more than just the books to talk about. Authors & Dragons saw some awesome growth this year. With the funding of our Side Quests, we officially became a weekly podcast, we launched a Discord channel to hang out with our Patreons, we had a full year of Shingles releases, including an audiobook of volumes 1-6. And while I don’t like to tell tales outside of school, things are looking pretty good for an audio of 7-12 too. We had our second live show at a con, made Steve eat a dangerous amount of Taco Bell, and generally had an amazing time. Speaking of cons, what a year! Emerald City, Con Carolinas, Rose City, and one canceled Vegas Con where we had a meetup anyway. Thanks to adding those meetups, I got to chat with many more of you and spend some time actually hanging out. Those have been a great addition to the con experience and I look forward to meeting even more of you in the years to come!
Dang, what a year. And yet, as always, at midnight we start a fresh game. For those new to the blog, I don’t believe in making New Years Resolutions. Instead, I make New Years Goals, things I want to accomplish in the year ahead. I don’t always hit them all, especially the movie deal one, but I’m proud to say I can usually check off the majority of the list. As a bonus, this also serves as a look ahead to what books are coming down the pipes.
1. Write Villains’ Code #2: While this is admittedly something of a half-kick over from 2017’s list (I’ve started work on VC2, but am nowhere near finishing) I’ve got way more confidence that it will be done in 2018, especially since it’s my current Work-In-Progress as of this writing. Will it be out in 2018? I really hope so, but I’m also not going to prioritize getting the story out over getting it right, so it all comes down to how long the writing and subsequent editing process takes. I’m sure you’re wondering though, if I’m working on a huge project like VC2, does that mean we’re potentially a year away from the next Drew Hayes book? Definitely not, and my next goal will help explain why.
2. Release my Mystery Project: This one already has a rough draft done, so it’s in the editing phase. Not sure when this one will release, but short of some major hurdles I foresee it getting out in 2019 without issue. Fingers crossed you all like it, because I had a lot of fun, perhaps too much, in writing this one.
3. Release Underqualified Advice: I touched on this during the “Why the Blog?” entry from a few weeks back, but I’m working on collecting, updating, and editing a selection of blogs, especially the ones about writing, for an ebook and audio release this year. Title will probably shift a little, however this one is fairly locked in since most of the content is technically already written.
4. Write and Release Fred #6: Even if VC2 doesn’t make it out in 2019, I am more than confident that it will be written, and right afterward will be my yearly visit to Fletcher Accounting Services. This one isn’t much of a surprising entry on its own, however it ties in deeply with goal number 5.
5. Break my Schedule: This one sounds weird without context, I can admit. A few years ago, I wrote about conditioning, how we as authors set the readers’ expectations with the way we release. Spells, Swords, & Stealth was a great example, as I’d just skipped a year of release after 3 steady entries. Similarly, for the last five years, I’ve had a Fred book come out every summer. Writing the Fred books yearly is still doable, since the format helps keep them contained, however the timeline aspect is becoming cumbersome. It doesn’t always work to have Fred be scheduled for writing in winter, sometimes there are other projects that would keep a smoother schedule if they could take the space. While I definitely want to keep Fred annual, I think the freedom to move him around will help keep book production easier. That’s why I’m breaking with tradition, albeit more gently. This year, the Fred book probably won’t come in summer, in order to carefully remove expectations of seasonal releases.
6. Do Another Year of Shingles: We had an awesome time with the first year, and I am happy to report we are keeping this ball rolling along!
7. More Cons and Meetups: As mentioned above, I’ve loved the travel and getting to meet readers, so as I can get accepted to them, I’d love to do more conventions. Reminder that as of this writing, I’ve already been confirmed for Emerald City Comic Con and Denver Pop Culture Con (formerly Denver Comic Con). I’ll post the meetup details once we’re closer to the events and I have a concrete idea of my schedule.
8. Movie/TV Deal: Have to keep the tradition alive! Maybe it will help now that there’s a disclaimer on the top of my site telling people I’m not dead.
I think that’s enough to bite off for 2019, although don’t be shocked if a few surprises pop up again. What about you all, did you accomplish things you hoped in 2018? Got any goals for 2019? Feel free to share them in the comments and cheer each other on!