2016 in Retrospective #writerslife #amwriting #amnotwriting #amreading

The zombie apocalypse did not happen in 2016 (or did it?). I suppose it depends on your perspective of events...

I did try a few scary things this year. I participated on a YA author panel at the Catfish Literary Festival in June and surprised myself by actually having fun. It was my first public speaking engagement as a writer. I followed that with the Once Upon a YA Book Club event in October, where I met with a group of teens for a group discussion on “Straight A’s.” No one ate me.

I exceeded my Goodreads 2016 Reading Challenge of 12 books for the year and signed up for 20 in 2017. One of my favorites for the year was “Room” by Emma Donoghue.

Writing took up most of my non-day-job time. I published my 4th indie book, “The Future Unborn,” in May, 2016, and wrote my 5th book.

I signed a contract with a NY agent, Jennifer De Chiara, for that book instead of self-publishing.

I wrote approximately 25,000 words into the rough draft of my next book. There’s no sense in sitting around and waiting for things to happen where I have so many other stories to tell.

On the contest front, “Drive to June” won First Place in the Reader Views Reviewer’s Choice Awards, and “The Future Unborn” was named a Finalist in the 5th Annual Beverly Hills Book Awards.

I took to social media, updating my Web site, improving my blogging skills, and creating a Twitter account, and as I wrote last weekend, I have found a tribe of like-minded writers on Twitter who are struggling with all the same daily writer things as me. It’s lovely.

Interviews of me appeared in AL.COM and my company newsletter. I participated in the Madison County Author Expo.

I slept insufficiently. Exercise suffered. I drank way too much Diet Mountain Dew. And we definitely won’t talk about my Netflix consumption here… I do love The Walking Dead.

What will 2017 bring? I hope that my agent can find a traditional publisher for my book, and I will be able to sell in brick-and-mortar stores. Sales on Amazon have slowly declined over the past 12 months. Direct sales are almost non-existent, and almost everyone uses the Kindle Select program to purchase my books. I need alternate sales channels. I need to get into libraries and schools where the kids are.

I will keep writing and improving my craft.

It’s what I love. It’s what I do.