January 26, 2022

Happy New Year! (2021 End of Year Review)

2021 was a rollercoaster ride, y’all. So much happened, and at the same time it sort of felt like nothing did. Such is life in the time of COVID, right?

I figured I would make a post to just touch on some of the highlights of the year from me as an author, and a few things that are of a more personal nature. Like I said, it was a wild year, and despite everything I did manage to make some headway in my writing career.

So here is the list, in no particular order! All of these moments mattered to me, so trying to rank them was next to impossible.

  1. The decision to switch from writing contemporary young adult stories to horror/thriller stories was one of the biggest things I undertook this year. I started making the shift at the end of 2020, but really stepped into the world of horror fully this year. Horror is the genre I read the most, and that I most enjoy, I just never felt like I could do it as an author. I felt inadequate when it came to horror stories, but the more I explored and wrote in the genre, the more confidence I gained. I’m now in the middle of writing a full horror/thriller series, with two and a half books done out of four. It’s an incredible feeling, and while I do think I’ll drift back and forth between genres now and then, I’ve found a place where I am immensely comfortable. That, really, just makes all the difference.
  1. The first book in the Rag & Bone trilogy, Transmission, was released this fall! It was my first real foray into the world of horror, and while it also fits the YA category, I’m immensely proud of how it turned out. It was also the first book released by Cat & Key Publishing, which is amazing. Book two will be out in March, and I feel really ready for that. It’s scary but exciting to be in the throes of doing so many new things, but I feel genuinely happy about it. Leaving the Rust series behind was difficult, but the move was a necessary one. So far people are very receptive to Avery, and to the chaotic and empty world I created in Transmission. I hope that they’ll love what comes next, and that I don’t let anyone down.
  1. I sold not one but TWO horror short stories to the Creepy Podcast! Creepy is one of my all time favorite podcasts, I listen to it religiously, so this was a HUGE deal for me. I mean HUGE. The first story of mine that they took interest in was Murder Mittens, which I pulled from publication until after it airs on the show. I don’t know for sure when that will be, but when I do know I’ll link it. The second was my story The Treat, which was written for the Halloween season. It was featured on one of their October podcasts, and you can listen to it here. You guys…hearing MY story read by a voice actor on one of my favorite podcasts was a literal dream come true. I’m still not over it!
  1. Speaking of wins, I entered a contest to write a flash fiction piece centered around the idea of Victorian era Christmas ghost stories with Ghost Orchid Press and Letters To Poe. While I didn’t take home one of the prizes, I did make it into the finals and my story will be published next holiday season in their anthology! I haven’t posted the story, titled Beckwith House, online anywhere yet but I may do next year around the holidays. I was just honored to even be considered, it was a big step!
  1. I did a lot of writing this year, and drafted up some new ideas. They seem to be flowing well, and I’m proud of that. I took my time with NaNoWriMo this year, and weaved together a ghost story/murder mystery tale for my Dreadful Seasons series. I don’t have a good title yet, just a working one, but it felt good to get a second book done. I hope that I can further flesh out all of my ideas too, and that they keep coming. It feels SO NICE to just WRITE and put down all of my crazy ideas. I’m really proud of myself for every word I’ve accomplished in 2021.
  1. On a more personal note, the best experience I had by far in 2021 was my trip to Waverly Hills. You can read the full blog post here, where I talk about what I saw and experienced there. It was my most successful blog post to date, and I’m proud of that. I’m proud that people wanted to read and engage with my first hand account, and that I was able to draw in so many readers to my website. It’s the little things in life, y’all.
  1. I wrote a lot of flash fiction stories and poems this year. I’m not much of a poet, but now and then the mood strikes and I push something out. I had one that did fairly well on social media, and got reposted a few times on Instagram. It’s titled Ancient Ones, and I’ve included it below for your reading pleasure (if you are so inclined)!

So those are some of the highlights of this past year, and my thoughts about them. What is coming in 2022? Well, hopefully a LOT. If all goes well I’m slated to have 7 new novels out, the first of which is just a month away from release on January 20th. Here is my full posting schedule, in case you missed it the first time:

I’m also REALLY hoping to compile a bunch of short works into an eBook for easier access if folks want to read them but don’t want to dig around in my social media or here on my website. I’m looking into making a few customized goodies to sell in a little online shop, where you can orderbooks, bookplates, book marks, that sort of thing. So let’s hope I get that actually accomplished this year.

I think it’s going to be a good year. Especially since the first book in the Dreadful Seasons series is coming, and I truly believe it’s one of the best (if not THE best) things I have ever written myself. I’m just stoked for the world to be part of that series, and to see how it does. I don’t anticipate ever making it rich as an author, and I don’t really care about the money part. I just want my stories and ideas to engage people, and to give them something they enjoy the way I have enjoyed so many books over the years. The dream is, of course, to be a full time writer at some point, but for now this is more than enough.

I love you all, see you in 2022!

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