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.

HUZZAH.

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:

Autogyro

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).

Draykon paperbacks

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.

Aubranael

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.

Spindriftery

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.

Probably.

 

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  • Ellie F

    Hello Charlotte
    I am very excited to hear your plans – I thoroughly enjoyed the Draykon series and have started on the second Malykant (and would love to read more). The Aubranael sounds right up my street too. I’ll look forward to hearing about their progress in due course. Keep up the good work.
    Best wishes
    Ellie

    • Charlotte

      Ellie, thanks for the comment – and for reading through all the titles! Hoping you will like Aubranael too =)

  • http://www.bluemoonaurora.com Michelle

    I’d definitely be interested in being a test reader for Autogyro. During our trip to GenCon, I was exposed to a lot of steampunk and I’m very intrigued with the general concepts, which I’ve been researching a bit as I prepare to run a steampunk-inspired roleplaying campaign.

    And again, huge congratulations on a extremely productive first year as a writer. Honestly I can hardly believe that you’ve done all of this in just one year!!! Very impressive. You’ve also got a very exciting year to come already mapped out and I’m really looking forward to seeing what you do. Congrats again!

    • Charlotte

      Michelle, I’d be chuffed if you’d test read. Thanks! A steampunk campaign sounds brilliant.

      Thanks for the good wishes too!

  • Ryan Lu

    Well done Charlotte, although I am not a writer, but sounds like a very big achievements in your first year as an rookie writer (tortured artist?). Congratulations on everything again, you are very talented. Happy first anniversary as an author!!
    Ryan Lu

  • What’s in a name

    Congratulations!! You’ve come a long way and wish you many many more successful years of writtery and adventure. I love your work, the characters and the attention to detail. Today is indeed a special day.

  • Mark

    Huzzah and congratulations, Charlotte! My, but you have been busy. I hadn’t realized just how much you’d been up to all in the space of a year. Outstanding. My own writing endeavor is nearly finished – I’m on the last hundred pages of editing. After that I just need to format for ebook, get a cover, and take the plunge. I have to say, watching you go through this endeavor has been an inspiration for me.

  • http://pearwood.deviantart.com Steven Tryon

    Congratulations, Charlotte! I’d be happy to check out one of your paperback proof copies if you want another set of eyes on it. I’ll read Autogyro, too. :-)

    • Charlotte

      Thanks Steve, most kind of you! I’ll be in touch about Autogyro soonish. Thank you for the gratses!

  • http://riteshkala.wordpress.com Ritesh Kala

    I want to read each and every one of those, and I’m waiting for the paperbacks! Those are going to be amazing! Oh, and count me in for all the beta reading you need!

    • Charlotte

      Thanks Ritesh, I’d love for you to beta read. I’ll be in touch about that in a few weeks, all being well! (Or less; who knows. Editing’s tricksy. Sometimes it’s agony and sometimes it goes like a spring breeze…).

  • http://blog.rachelcotterill.com Rachel Cotterill

    It surely goes without saying that I want to read all of these. I can’t wait :-)

    • Charlotte

      Rachel… for some reason my spam filter snagged your comment. I can’t imagine -why- since you have several previously approved ones. Obviously it’s having some kind of spasm… anyway thanks for the vote of confidence!