Coming up on the end of 2014 is making reflect about the last twelve months. It’s certainly been an interesting year with big highs and lows, but I’ll focus on the good for the most. Back in February (which seems like decades ago on one hand) I announced my book deal with Orbit. Since then I’ve been working really hard on editing book 1 and that’s nearly done now. Nearly. I’ve one final round of proof-checking to come and then it is out of my hands.
The hard work by myself, and other people, has gone on for years now, which sounds weird to say but it’s true. It was back in May 2013 that I announced I had an agent, in the form of the incredible Juliet Mushens from The Agency Group. For years getting an agent felt like the impossible mountain I’d never climb, but eventually I managed it by being picked off a slush pile. Also I didn’t realise how important and beneficial it is to have an agent. A champion who believes in you and will fight your corner.
Looking back over the last year I can say the hard work actually began after getting an agent. I also didn’t realise that until I started doing it. First I was working with Juliet to get the book ready to submit to publishers, which took about a year, and then I started all over again with my publisher, Orbit, several times.
As well as editing Battlemage (book 1), this year I’ve spent a good portion of it writing book 2. The title of book 2 will be confirmed soon. We have a proposed title for book 2, and book 3 in fact, but they need to get the nod from the right people, so I can’t mention it yet. When I’ve had time, I’ve also been plotting and makes notes on book 3 which I started writing in November. However, that’s now on hold as my first round of edits have come back on book 2. Learning how to juggle different projects is definitely an important skill to master, and it is one that I’m still working on. It takes me a bit of time to get my brain out of one creative head space and get it back into another. It helps that the books are connected and set in the same world, but there is still an adjustment period. Mine is definitely not a traditional trilogy so that has created its own challenges that I am trying to learn from for the future.
Writing is usually done in isolation, although I know of several authors who write in public places, even so it’s a solitary thing most of the time. Meeting other writers, talking to them and hearing their stories about their struggles, bumps in the road and just generally hearing their experiences has proven to be very helpful. Some of my friends are a few steps further down the road which has been great. It’s prepared me for some of what’s happened in the last year and that I’m not the first person to be faced with various problems and therefore mine are also not insurmountable.
Over the last year in particular I’ve made great friends with some fantastic writers which has given me a real sense of community. There are a lot more challenges ahead, but I am excited, nervous and anxious about what’s to come, which I think is a healthy approach. Roll on 2015.