My Writing Year – 2021

Most of my time over the past couple of years has been spent in fictional worlds, which might sound peculiar but has for me, been a blessing. As an author I’ve found it easier than many people to accept national and international travel restrictions. Late in the year I fitted in trips up to Scotland and across to Amsterdam. In both cases I witnessed a different real world from before Covid 19.

I started my writing year as usual, with targets. Four new titles was always going to be ambitious, but without ambition, there’s little point in setting goals. Next Steps: and other stories, Sylvia: Beyond the Apocalypse, Codename: Foxglove, and Crusader were all in the line-up. Of those, only Crusader remains a Work in Progress.

What else filled my time?

A challenge I’d set myself was to produce my mainstream titles in paperback, which created a lot of work. The task was accomplished. A secondary job was to publish my short stories in paperback but not include tales from my anthologies which had been submitted by guest authors.

To cut a long story short, if you’ll pardon the pun, I had eighty tales which I mixed to produce four volumes of twenty short stories. My aim here was multi-faceted:

– produce books which were value for money for readers.

– an approximately equal word count.

– a mix of genre but without erotica.

– all my own work.

Did I maintain any other author interests?

As always, I filled in many hours reading, reviewing, beta-reading for fellow members of the IASD, and mentoring a couple of aspiring authors.

Apart from those things I offered my services to my pseudonym — Katya Cumming. For her part, she produced five new titles. Her books are slightly shorter than mine but have plenty of action, albeit for a different taste. Five may sound like a lot, but they are written over a longer time period because most are based on notes and short story ideas from over the years.

*

Do I believe I’ve had a productive writing year?

Yes, I do, and as we all look forward to 2022, I’m content with the titles I have planned. One of next year’s stories is Selena: Sea Nymph, my first attempt at sci-fi paranormal fantasy. The first five chapters are available for reading and comments in my Work in Progress menu.

Not to be outdone, Katya also has more titles lined up.

I already know how most of my author’s year will be spent in 2022, and 2023, so I’ll drop a hint with my New Writing Year blog in January 2022.

Comments and suggestions are welcome as always, and thank you for taking the time to read my blog.

***

A New Beginning

As an author, there are two occasions when I feel particularly happy regarding my craft. The first, is a sense of personal achievement when reaching ‘The End’ with a novel. The second time, is a when I start to revise a new Work in Progress and find myself catapulted into creating the new story.

Two days ago, I completed Codename: Foxglove. Apart from working on various other projects it took me two years to produce what I believe is a satisfactory tale. It is now with four beta readers, and if all goes well, by mid-December will hit the virtual shelves as an eBook. Hopefully, by late December it will also be available as a paperback. This will see the end of the Beyond The Law series of stories.

For anyone interested, the first chapter is Giving Your Word.

A considerable weight had been lifted, so I revisited Selena: Sea Nymph, my first attempt at a modern paranormal fantasy. I read my first two chapters, made a few notes, and enjoyed a coffee before reading them again. From that point it took me a ‘working day’ to rehash what was previously written. The first chapter has seen a considerable reworking. Half of the original first chapter has been replaced, and the half I removed has become the new second chapter. Mysterious or what?

As this is a new venture for me with regard to genre, I’d appreciate any feedback. The refreshed blurb is available on the book’s page, and the first chapter, Realisation, is available for reading and comments.

I have no fixed target set for publication of Selena: Sea Nymph, but a rough estimate is Spring 2022. It will be interesting to see how closely matched my guess is with the reality.

In the meantime, as always, thank you for reading my blog and any comments or suggestions.

***