Thursday, December 31, 2015

Monthy Round-Up: December 2015

As we come to the end of another year, it's an appropriate time for me to look back on what I achieved in my writing in 2015.

It has, on the whole, been a good year for me regarding publications. My horror novel THE WHISPERING DEATH was released by Kensington Gore Publishing in the summer.

There were also two anthologies released this year with stories from me: FORMER HEROES, released by Far Horizons Publishing in July, includes my story "The Unending Scream"; and my story "The Haunted Dolls' House" appeared in FEMME FATALE, published by Kensington Gore in September.

In addition, I also contributed to a short book featuring writing tips from romance and mystery writers, released by Gardener Publishing in April.

I was aiming to have an online guest slot every month of 2015. I almost got there - there was nothing in May or December, but I managed to get spots in every other month of the year. The publicity game for writers is hard work, especially for those of us who have to make time around the day job to fit it in, along with the writing, and I fear the blog has suffered as a result, since I posted a lot less often this year.

All of my online guest blog posts and interviews for 2015 are now listed and linked on my website. I hope to keep up the momentum next year, but I also plan on paying more attention to the blog as well. I just need to create more hours in the day first.

I was pleased to be able to get to the end of the first draft of the third Shara Summers book, SPOTLIGHT ON DEATH, earlier this year. Well technically it's draft 2.5, since I've restarted this manuscript three times before actually getting to the end. I hope to have it finished and ready to submit in the first quarter of 2016.

I have also started work on a new horror novel, as yet untitled. This one I am also aiming to complete in 2016.

So, some lofty goals there, and I am in for another busy writing year. But I think it's good to aim high. You never know what you are capable of until you push yourself.

I wish everyone a happy and productive 2016, and may you succeed in whatever you set out to do.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Year End Wrap Up

As 2015 draws to a close, I've been looking back, and realize I accomplished more than I thought I had. I got an agent, and currently have a novel under submission at a couple of publishers. Not that I expect to hear anything until after January 4. Hopefully, it'll be good news.

I also have another novel ready to send her that I finished writing and revising after a long hiatus.

My other writing accomplishments were writing an 81,000 word novel for this year's NaNoWriMo, having two screenplays win honorable mention, and publishing two short stories in two anthologies, one which I co-edited.

Unfortunately, I fell short of my reading goal, although I did get a late start. However, in all fairness, I was reading books for a contest, and I couldn't list them without jeopardizing a confidentiality agreement. So let's just say that I read 10 more books than the book reading challenge site shows. :-)

Here are my writing goals for 2016:

Revise and submit full-length crime drama screenplay. (May be able to do this before the end of 2015.)

Write TV pilot. (Story bible is already finished.)

Revise and submit five novels/novellas.

What about you? What are your writing/reading goals for 2016?

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Revisiting Old Friends

And by old friends, I mean characters from stories I've either finished and left behind, or stories that I've almost finished, but for some reason put aside.

One of these manuscripts is Cathedral Girl. I actually started CG before I even wrote Death Sword. This was back in 2004. (Interestingly, I found a Zaphkiel Project manuscript from 2011, which would become Exterminating Angel. Makes me wonder how many drafts I have floating around on my PCs, and explains why I usually save them by the title_month_year to keep track.)

Anyway, the research for CG lead to an interest in the Memitim, which was the original idea behind Death Sword, but ended up becoming my NaNo project. The Memitim can be described as destroying angels (mal'ake habbalah) (from the Jewish Encyclopedia). Basically, angels of death.

Which brings me to where I am now regarding two different series about the angels of death, although one isn't an official series, and the other one is in the early stages.

Death Sword was supposed to be the first in a three book series (originally four) with each book focusing on a particular angel of death. For reasons I don't recall, I dispensed with the fourth book. Anyway, I wrote the second and third books, Serpent Fire and Devil Inside, only to realize my second book was a mess. (Ironically, the third book seemed to work better. Go figure.)

So I'm back to revising Serpent Fire. And the story has developed from a paranormal suspense with possible political thriller overtones.

But once I finish Serpent Fire and revise Devil Inside, I can return to the Memitim series.

Let's just say that's a goal for 2016. Year end goal is to write a TV pilot. :-)