My Writing Year – 2019

A successful writing year is measured using a variety of criteria by different authors. For me, I must feel that if not prolific, I’ve at least achieved a good standard with what I have published. I’m a firm believer that if as an author I expect a payment, I owe the customer my best efforts.

Rather than talk about ‘numbers’ as a guide, it would be better to look at the time taken for some of my most recent publications. Codename: Nightshade, for example, went through my process for two years before I was happy with the end result. One Man, Two Missions, was a bundle of files for a long time before I was satisfied with every story.

I created Tom Benson-Erotica to avoid, or at least reduce the mentions of the genre on here, but this post will be one of the exceptions and for good reason. I wrote a novel, a full-length prequel novel, and a book of fifty erotic poems.


Although the erotica output in my own name may not sound impressive, one of my most ambitious projects to date was the creation of a new author.

During 2019, I published five full-size novels under a female pen name. I’ve kept the pseudonym and the stories (in progress), a secret for two years. When I came up with the idea I promised myself not to go public until I had completed several books and published them over a period of twelve months. This would allow me to assess unaided development. The experiment was also to see if the erotica author would be prolific, and successful. She has been both when considering she’s had no support or advertising campaigns.

The theory of creating ‘box sets’ was beyond me for a while. I’d checked a fair number on Amazon and couldn’t see many reviews, so I figured that maybe they were popular as a purchase, but not easy to review. Whatever … I spent a couple of weeks selecting and producing four box sets. They haven’t been my most successful venture, but in each case, I’m giving something back in terms of pricing, so it’s the consumer’s loss; not mine.

Throughout the year I offered my services as a beta reader to several members of the Indie Author Support and Discussion group (IASD), the finest writing group of its type on Facebook. Oh, yes, and in between other things I produced two stories for the IASD horror anthology Depths of Darkness.

To return to my opening statement regarding success in the past year … yes, I believe that with the sales produced under my own name, and the regular sales by ‘Katya’, it has been a successful writing year.

I’ve produced this summary a month earlier than normal for two reasons. Firstly, I am deep into two WIP and will not be publishing anything new in December 2019. Secondly, this post will be appearing in the November issue of the superb Connections eMag produced by fellow author, Melanie P. Smith.

I have a smaller but no less important target for next year, but more of that in my New Writing Year – 2020 post in the near future. Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts and summary, and for any comments or suggestions, you may leave. Sincere thanks go out to all you lovely people who’ve sampled or continue to read my efforts.


13 thoughts on “My Writing Year – 2019

  1. Barbara Speake

    Good summary of all your effort this year Tom, some we’re hearing about for the first time! You go, Katya. I loved Codename: Nighshade. A very worthy successor/new variant of the BTL trilogy. I think I’m doing well with one book a year! You leave us for dust…


    1. Thank you, Barbara. Codename Nightshade took a while, but I think the time taken and the regular rest periods worked. Retirement has been a blessing for me in that I’m able to commit to full-time writing. Distractions are few and far between. 🙂


  2. You leave me breathless, Tom, achieving so much. AND you’ve failed to mention the time you give to supporting others. Rarely, a week goes by when you fail to publish a review of another author’s book, posting it “on all the usual suspects”, which includes Amazon. On top of all that, you beta read, not least for me, tackling 4 novels and 1 novella in the last three months. I know you won’t mention any of that, so I have. xx


    1. Thank you, Sarah. As the great Stephen King would say, ‘if you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time to write’ and I do like to read widely. I learned early on that mutual support was important in the writing game, so I do what I can, when I can, just as you do. 🙂

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    1. Hi Julia, and thank you. Forget the slow coach—just take care of yourself, and when you’re good and ready, let’s see another great story. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh Katya, I wonder how many readers, guys and gals, fantasized about having an encounter with the author? Might some of them feel this is ‘too much information’ for them? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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