Looking back and charging forward

Every January I make a To-Do list of all my major works in progress and figure out which ones I want to prioritize. Here’s the 2017 edition.

Looking back over last year, I’m super proud of all the work I’ve done. So many short stories got finished up, published, and I’m hoping that more get picked up soon. Here’s a quick rundown of everything I published this year.

  • January 2016 – A Slippery Customer
    • Hit top 10 on Amazon’s Horror anthology list multiple times
  • February 2016 – Tiny Necks
    • Almost entirely 5-star reviews and more keep rolling in
  • May 2016 – Curse of Beauty
    • Received several excellent reviews!  ❤
  • October 2016 – Dead Man’s Hill
    • A Halloween tale with a dash of dark humor

However I did notice that I hadn’t made much progress on my novels. Outside of Beyond the Treehouse, I didn’t do that much work on the WIP novels I had. There’s a good reason for that actually.

At the beginning of the year I got a publication offer from a small publishing company, one that I had worked with before. Their communications were a little sporadic, but I was excited to get my book published. However the contract they sent me gave me major concerns. It took me a bit to find some legal advice, but once I did I felt like I had a grounded ability to negotiate and listed out my requests. Unfortunately a big request on my list was not available to negotiate, and I had to reject the offer. A few months later I found out that the publisher was closing shop after being in the business since 2012.

I was upset to hear what had happened to them, and to the amazing authors who worked with them. It was also hard for me to get back into working on my books after that. Short stories I could dive into easily, but books were harder. Books take a lot of commitment, and after having plans fall through like that, it’s been hard to get motivated again.

I’m hoping to change that in 2017. This year I’m planning on focusing a lot more on my novels, and hopefully knock out book 2 for one of my series on the list. I also have a standalone horror novel that I’ve been itching to start too. Here’s my list of WIP novels and short stories for 2017. Look at how complete that short story listing is too!  ❤

If you want to see my 2016 WIP to-do list, check out my post:

Hooray for To-Do Lists!

Dead Man’s Hill

So while I was out of town last week, the latest issue of The Sirens Call Publications eZine got released!

Not only is this whole issue FREE to read, but my story, “Dead Man’s Hill”, featuring some entertaining zombies, is contained within.

You know you’re not ready for Halloween to leave just yet.

Coming soon: Hallowe’en Hell

Some excellent news this lovely October day! My Halloween-themed short story, “Dead Man’s Hill”, has been accepted into Sirens Call Publication’s eZine, issue 29: Hallowe’en Hell! Every issue of their eZine is free to read, so you’ll get a whole issue chock full of Halloween tales. How’s that for getting you in the Halloween spirit? Once it’s out, I’ll be sure to post a link here for everyone to enjoy!

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This story was originally written in a response to the following prompt: A zombie apocalypse occurs in a society which has been ready for it for over a century.

So YES, there will be zombies. And YES, there will be gore. It wouldn’t quite be Halloween without it, right?

Also a big thanks to everyone who visited and posted comments on the HWA book giveaway last week! I haven’t gotten the notification on who won yet, but once I do, I’ve got the anthology right beside me ready to go.

Halloween Giveaways Galore

We’ve had our Halloween decorations up for  a couple of weeks, but that doesn’t diminish the excitement when October rolls around. The temperature has dropped and the sweaters have been broken out. Pretty soon it’ll be time to visit pumpkin patches and drink hot apple cider to keep warm. It’s the month for marathoning horror films and making the tough decision of figuring out what to wear to that Halloween party.

Now there’s another treat to help you enjoy this frightful season. Throughout the whole month of October the Horror Writer’s Association will have daily guest blog posts from horror authors celebrating the season of candy and terror. We’re posting short stories, reminiscing about the joy of Halloween, and of course hosting giveaways!

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Drop by and check out today’s Halloween Haunt post, Dirty Ghosts by David Ghilardi. To see the full schedule, check out the listing here on Facebook.

not-your-average-monster-2-cover-smallBe sure to drop by on October 5th for your chance to win a free copy of Not Your Average Monster Volume 2!

On October 31st, for Halloween, one lucky winner will win a Kindle Fire HD6 as well!

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To my PitchWars Mentors…

So far this has been a year of firsts for me. I went to Texas for the first time back in May to visit my Aunt. I went down to visit Savannah for the first time a few weeks back, and just last week I went to my first concert.

gwenStefani

Now I can add submitting to PitchWars to that list as well!

Yesterday I took the plunge and submitted Beyond the Treehouse to a few of my mentor picks. (The submissions are open through August 6th if you’re planning on doing the same!) Part of the process is creating a relationship with your mentor hopefuls, so here’s a little about me. (You can read more over here.)

Back in 2010 I decided to give NaNoWriMo a chance and it renewed my love of writing. Before then I was a very active fanfiction writer, but that was the first time I had ever written something so long and entirely original. Since then I’ve gotten a number of short stories published and worked on several books. I’ve bounced around various writing forums like Absolute Write and Scribophile, but found it difficult to stay active in them while keeping up with my writing and holding down a full time programming job. I try to do at least one NaNo event each year, but sometimes squeeze in two or three. Last summer I went to the World Horror Convention in Atlanta and got so inspired. I participated in Camp NaNoWriMo that summer and churned out four horror short stories, one of which got accepted to a market that qualified me for the Horror Writers’ Association membership.

Beyond the Treehouse is a book that’s near to my heart. I’ve been working on it for two years. I had to scrap it completely at one point and rewrote it. I cut out characters, added new ones, and carefully pieced it all together. It’s YA Fantasy, but it definitely dabbles in the weird at times, and I have a hard time keeping my love of horror from seeping in along the edges.

Outside of writing, I’ve really gotten into cosplay over the past year. A few months back our Black Butler squad even got an award at the AWA Summer Blockbuster Event!

AWA_Summer2016When I get into fandom, I tend to dive deep. Next month me and two of my cosplayer friends will be delivering two panels on Black Butler at DragonCon, and two more panels at AWA (Anime Weekend Atlanta). I’m working on a vary large prop at home in preparation for it (Deathscythe, anyone?) and we’re even planning a trip to Japan next year to see the animated movie in theaters.

In short, it’s been a hell of a year, and my blog hasn’t quite gotten the attention it deserves at times. My writing is still going strong though, and isn’t that the important part?