Looking Back, Looking Forward

Looking Back…

It turns out that I have nothing to complain about regarding my writing career (yes, I can actually call it that now, as opposed to a “hobby”), as 2015 brought with it an abundance of recognition/accomplishments. I started the year with my first professional short story publications–WHITE NOISE, in Phobos Magazine–and ended the year with seeing my story INTO THE MOUNTAINS WITH MOTHER OLD GROWTH on the 2015 Tangent Online Recommended Reading List. But what happened in between…?

At the end of March, Douglas Draa accepted “Mother Old Growth” for the 31st issue of Weirdbook Magazine. Thanks again, Doug!

First Base.

The first weekend of June, I found literary representation for my debut novel, SAILING THE BELUGA. And that representative happens to be the #1 ranked Agent (for deals), at the #1 ranked Agency (for the industry as a whole–15 years running)…Thank you Mark Gottlieb, of Trident Media Group.

Second Base.

In late July, I received an AMAZING advance praise for said novel from the #1 New York Times Best Selling Author, James Rollins–Thank You Mr. Rollins!

Third Base.

And in the late fall, I signed my official contract with my new publisher, Coffeetown Press, for SAILING THE BELUGA. Thanks to everyone involved with this!

Home Run!

Like I said, nothing to complain about.

Looking Forward…

I do wish I had more time for writing. And of course, I wish I could somehow leverage myself into this career full time–the ultimate goal. I don’t know if 2016 will allow me to do this, but it is certainly a goal for the future. My long-standing joke still remains in effect: It wouldn’t take much to replace a teacher’s salary. Sad, but true.

As I am now knee-deep in the editorial process of my novel, I am thinking and preparing for all those strategies that will get me to my ultimate goal. Marketing is the key player here, and this next year I will be more active with this. Some of my goals are:

  1. Revamp my website/blog/internet presence
  2. Learn more about twitter, and how best to use my account without pissing a bunch of peeps off
  3. Create business cards
  4. Add additional accounts for Amazon, and Goodreads

Granted, I still need to complete the stages of my novel, in preparation for publication–all in good time.

 

 

Georgia Found!

More good news: my story “Finding Georgia” was recently accepted at Stupefying Stories Magazine. This is a nice publication that I’ve been badgering with submissions for a few years now–glad to finally get in.

I took a few literary indulgences with this story, experimenting with both the narrative voice, as well as tense. I’ll be curious to see how well it’s received from readers.

Corn-fed Baby and Gravy…

Corn-fed Baby and Gravy is now in print at Bete Noire Magazine. This story has a long running history with my daughter Jessica, and me, only because of the title. Although we’ve had a lot of laughs with it, she won’t be reading it anytime soon. It’s a classic horror story, featuring a real big baby with a real big appetite!

In other news, I’m putting some decent rounds into my second book. Got 25% of it done, and the goal is to be finished by June. Another literary suspense, with themes similar to my debut novel, SAILING THE BELUGA, (forthcoming from Coffeetown Press), I have yet to come up with a title for this new book. But as always, I have faith in my Muse.

What? A Book Deal!

Wonderful news I’m announcing. I’ve entered into a contract with a publisher for my debut novel! As any writer knows, this is a MONUMENTAL ACHIEVEMENT. In June, I acquired my agent, and now, I’ve acquired my publisher! In a few short months, this goofy hobby of creating stories has become a life-changing event for me. But it hasn’t been just a few months–I’ve been working diligently at this craft for four years now. Also, I have many people to thank, and to be sure, each of them will be acknowledged. Now….where’s the champagne?

Say hello to Mother!

First quarter of 2015, and I’ve made a killer sale to a most distinguished publisher of all things strange, and horrible! Weirdbook Magazine bought my story, Into the Mountains with Mother Old Growth. It will be featured in their 31st issue, (the magazine’s “comeback issue,” after a 17 year hiatus).

Shifting gears, I plan on eeking out a few more short stories, before getting back to The Bones of Hyrum Hill. With the grace of my muse, I hope to complete the novel by year’s end. Perhaps a trip to Atlanta, in May, will stoke some fires!

A great way to end the year!

2014 started off well, and ended with a bang! I made my first professional story sale as of this week–my story “White Noise” sold to Phobos Magazine. The story will be featured in the magazine’s third issue, early in 2015. This bit of success has been four years in the making, and was well worth the effort. Now, to keep the momentum going.

For 2015, my goal is to sell more short stories, and to finish my current novel project: a long version of “The Bones of Hyrum Hill.”