In January I set the goal to write and finish the second episode in AWAKE and then finish book 4 in the Charlie MacCready series.
Hands down, 2015 was an exciting year even though it didn't turn out as expected. I should have known last December that something was amiss when my readers of my short AWAKE Finding Dad clamored for more. AWAKE Finding Dad was only meant to be a single short book. It was based on a dream I had and that was the end of the dream. Despite that, I wanted to keep my readers happy so I agreed to continue the story with another episode.
I missed my goal by 4 days. I released AWAKE Aloha on March 4th, 2015. Again the feedback was great and instant: More!
Now I pause. I love reviews. Good reviews are great motivators. Couple them with increased sales and it is pure inspiration. Not-so-great reviews I see as opportunities to improve my art. They usually don't bother me. However, this year, a rather snarky review by another author stung. The review was not about the quality of the story itself but about what the reviewer perceived as flaws in the mechanics (grammar, punctuation, style). The review seemed vague and lacked specifics and examples of errors. As I sometimes do, I contacted the reviewer in an attempt to learn and fix the problems. To my dismay, she retracted her comments she made in the review and said in one place I shifted tense, but regretfully she couldn't remember where. I shook it off. However, when I saw the sales for episode I stop dead in their tracks, I sunk into a depression. The mind worked overtime. Was this fellow Indie Author purposely sabotaging my plan for this story? My first impulse was to get even. Trash her writing efforts. For two months I couldn't write a thing.
Finally, with the help of my wonderful fellow-author, friend, and sister-in-law, I was able to put things into perspective again. The problem wasn't with the reviewer. It was with me. I had focused too much on the personal, emotional side of the reveiw instead of letting it help me to better my craft.
In June I released episode III, AWAKE Lights Out. Then in October, episode IV, AWAKE The Undesireables. And finally, just this week, episode V, AWAKE Newberg. And there are at least two more episodes to come. Each episode is about 58 pages. Short reads for sure but hopefully entertaining.
I now return to original theme for this blog, how did I do on my goals? While I released 4 episodes of AWAKE in the last 12 months, I wasn't able to complete book 4 in the Charlie series. But their were other pluses to this year - I had two audiobook releases with a third being reviewed right now - so I feel I had a successful year overall.
So, what are my goals for 2016?
To write and publish the "last two" episodes in AWAKE.
Return to Charlie MacCready The Dark Angel and by the end of the year see it released.
Start the last book in the Charlie series - as yet untitled.
Other hopes for 2016 include the release of Charlie MacCready Shadows in the Dark and Charlie MacCready Sirens in the Night on audiobook.
Speaking of which, if you would like a free audiobook copy of Running or Charlie MacCready The Ghost in the Attic, I am giving away 10 free copies of each. Just fill out the brief form below and I will send you the code and instructions.