My First Anniversary (as an author)
Yesterday was Draykon’s first anniversary. A year ago yesterday I uploaded the files to Smashwords and Amazon, swallowed my nerves, crossed my fingers and clicked “Publish.” A lot’s happened since then.
In October of 2011 I published Leximandra Reports, a short story collection featuring the Draykon characters.
In December 2011 I published Lokant, my second full-length novel and the second in the Draykon series.
In February 2012, I published The Rostikov Legacy, the first in a new series of supernatural mystery novellas.
In March, Draykon became a featured book on the Wattpad mobile reading community, and immediately began to gather a very encouraging following.
In April, Orlind (Draykon #3) was published.
In June I published the second Malykant Mystery (sequel to The Rostikov Legacy).
In July, all three Draykon books were updated with a stunning new map, and immediately afterwards I set the first book to free everywhere.
I wrote a lot for Spindrift, our online fantasy graphic novel (you’ve seen that, right?).
In that time I’ve also set up a new website (this very one, in fact); blogged a lot, here and in other places; established a social media presence across Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads (which I am great at neglecting); given away a lot of books and gained a lot of readers.
As of the end of the first year, the venture is profitable, going well and looking very promising.
So firstly: thanks, oodles of them, to everyone who’s been involved this past year – readers, reviewers, bloggers, friends, everyone. You’re all terrific.
Secondly: I am an obsessively goals-based being and therefore I have to have Plans. Plenty of them. Here’s what’s on the cards for Year Two:
This is the steampunk adventure novel I’ve been doing as part of the Drifting Isle Chronicles project (previously blogged about here). I finished writing this in July, and it’s going into editing soon. The scheduled release date for this is sometime in December – not far away!
This book is completely different from anything I’ve done before. There’s steam-car racing, shady villains, talking pigeons, floating islands, kidnappings, mildly crazy flying machines, superfuels, and kind of a romance. I’m looking forward to releasing it (on which note I’ll be looking for test readers in a few weeks – let me know in the comments if you’d like to help out).
It feels as though I’ve been talking about this forever. The reasons for the delay were:
– I wanted the map to be done first, or I would’ve had to republish them all afterwards. The map took a while, since we did the whole Crowdfunding thing.
– The fabulous Elsa found time in her busy schedule to do beautiful full-wrap covers for them – back, spine, everything. They look amazing.
I am uploading the cover for Orlind as I write (okay, I personally am not doing that. Internet Explorer is doing that. Who knew IE could be better at both Firefox and Chrome at… anything?). The interior files are almost complete; once a slightly tweaked black-and-white version of the map goes in, they’re ready to be approved.
After that I just have to order proof copies and wait the three or four weeks it’ll probably take for them to get here. If they look all right… then they will go live right away.
Let’s all hope it’ll all be done by the end of October, okay? That’s my tentative target. We’ll see.
At the end of July, after I finished Autogyro and before I took a couple of weeks of holiday (at last… phew), I was suddenly smitten with a new idea. By smitten I mean the seed appeared from somewhere and I was intriguied and it grew and after a few days of fleshing it out I was totally in love. So, I have to do it – right now.
Aubranael is the working title and the name of one of the main characters. This book will be a stand-alone novel, a work of fantasy employing considerable material from fairytale/folklore and set in the Regency period. I’m locating it in my beloved Lincolnshire, and structuring it as mostly a romance.
Is this possibly the most self-indulgent book I’ve done yet? Totally. And I can’t wait to get started.
I want to release it early next year, so I’d better get on with it.
Malykant #3 (and eventually #4 and maybe #5)
So it’s taking longer to build an audience for the first two Malykant books than for my novels, but novellas don’t tend to attract as much attention.
Having published two, however, I’ve had enough encouraging feedback from readers-who-want-more to add a third installment to my agenda. I want to write it before the end of the year, all being well, though I’m saving the draft phase for autumn and winter: somehow the foggy and dark weather does something great to my brains as far as creepy Konrad stories are concerned.
The setting for #3 is going to be a ghost circus. Just so you know. I can’t wait to get going on this one either. I’m doing Halloween in England (hopefully) and then when I get back – brains suitably creepified – on I will go.
Draykon Series #2
…which will not be called Draykon Series #2, I haven’t yet decided on the series name. But it will be the second series set in my Seven Realms world and featuring some of the same characters as before.
This is pencilled in to begin in January or February of next year (depending on how long it takes me to get through the above titles). I haven’t done it earlier because I wanted to take a break from Draykoning first: I think it helps to do that, moonlight in other worlds for a while and then return to it with a refreshed mind. Or something. Anyway, I’m tentatively planning either two books or another three-book series.
The prologue for Spindrift was finished a while ago, and it’s now nearing the end of Chapter One! Woot! Which means that writing for Chapter Two is pretty high on my agenda at present. Lots of exciting stuff planned, and new characters incoming. It’s going to be colourful.
… and when I factor in all the work that goes along with all of the above, that’s probably enough to keep me busy for another year.