Closing the Book on 2017

I love looking back over the past year, especially if I can be pleasantly surprised by how much I’ve achieved! (More often than not it’s regret over another year that failed to meet its potential.) But this year, I really feel like I’ve had a shift. I really feel like I’ve stopped thinking like a hobbyist, and started thinking like a business woman. My mindset has totally changed.

So, let’s see what I have achieved this year.

The VisionaryFebruary saw the release of The Visionary, book 3 of The Paper Duchess Series, which was quickly followed by a March release of After: A Post Apocalyptic Story Collection (which has turned out to be unexpectedly popular!)

It was a bit crazy doing two book releases in such quick succession, and I feel like I’ve learnt an important lesson from that. It did not go as smoothly as I’d hoped, but that lesson has led on to exciting plans for 2018.

Edge-LitFast forward to July, and I was at Edge-Lit literary convention. While I was there, I attended a workshop on running literary events, and this sparked a whole heap of ideas I plan to implement next year. It also prompted me to approach the organiser of Edge-Lit with a workshop pitch.

The MothersOctober saw the release of The Mothers, the 4th and final book in The Paper Duchess series. I had officially completed an entire series of books which was quite monumental.

Again, I’ve learnt a lot of lessons through the two years I’ve been writing and publishing the series (which you can read about here), and it’s already making the writing of my next series so much easier in a lot of ways. You see; mistakes are never just mistakes if you learn from them. And lessons are valuable, and something to cherish.

NaNoWriMo 2017 Winner BadgeNovember proved to be a ridiculously busy month. I decided to give NaNoWriMo another shot. This was my 7th year doing it, and I had 3 wins and 3 horrendous losses under my belt. I hadn’t come anywhere close to completing it since having children.

But I felt determined this year. I spent all of October planning, and I put my success down to that. I stormed in at just over 51,000 words by the end of the month. And a very nearly completed novel draft (which is now completed).

Sledge-LitNovember also brought around Sledge-Lit, the Christmas edition of Edge-Lit literary convention. Remember that workshop pitch? This was my first ever time as a guest author, and my first ever time on a discussion panel. I also ran a very successful worldbuilding workshop which I’ve had amazing feedback from. You can read more about my Sledge-Lit experience here.

The Paper Duchess Series Box SetAs if that wasn’t enough for one month, I also put together and released The Paper Duchess Complete Series Box Set. This was not nearly as easy as I’d anticipated, and I spent days fiddling around with the coding and the format to get everything working properly.

But, I did it, and people can now get the entire series in just one file. Phew! What a year!

2017 has also seen a lot more going on, both on and off stage: promos, newsletters, giveaways, author takeovers, secret plans, upping my social media game, bettering book delivery, having a short story accepted for an anthology, and I could go on forever. It’s been so busy. And December isn’t going to let up either.

December has already seen the completion of my next book’s first draft, The Smudger, which was mostly done in NaNoWriMo. As long as editing stays on track, I’ll be sending it out to my beta readers before Christmas. And that means I can spend the festive period with my feet up (at least, as much as a mum can!)

I’ll see you in the new year to talk about my plans for 2018 (the non-secret ones, at least!)

Insecure Writer's Support GroupThis post was written as part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group blog hop. If you want to visit the other IWSG member blogs, or sign up yourself, you can do so here.

Got Goals? Endings and Beginnings

Big Goals BloghopHello strangers! I completely missed last month’s post, but I have a very good excuse: it was my son’s 1st birthday. Such an important milestone. So I now have two months to catch up on.

So, The Visionary (The Paper Duchess Book 3) was published as an ebook at the end of February, and after a lot of fiddling and to-ing and fro-ing, I finally published the paperback version just yesterday. It’s so nice to be able to wave that book goodbye at last, and let it fend (mostly) for itself. Alongside its existing siblings of course. And, as every motivational poster tells us, endings always herald new beginnings. You know; doors opening and closing and all that.

So what is next? Well, a beginning and an ending, in a sense. I’m just about to start writing The Mothers (The Paper Duchess Book 4), and I’m so excited about wading into a brand new project. First drafts are my favourite bit. But The Mothers will also be the concluding book of the series. That’s actually a really sad thought. It’s going to be hard to say goodbye to those characters, and that world.

But you know what? There’s those doors again, because I have got some other projects I’m really excited to get started on.

How’s your month been? If you want to visit the other blogs in this blog hop, or fancy signing up yourself, check out the linky list here: sylmion.blogspot.co.uk/p/do-you-have-goal.html

Got Goals? Third Time’s the Charm

Big Goals BloghopWell, February has been something of a whirlwind, and, thankfully, really, really productive.

The Visionary, the third book in my Paper Duchess series is all ready to go for its release on February 28th. It’s been a heck of a journey to get there, a journey that, at times, I didn’t think I would ever finish. But February came with a renewed determination, and it’s been absolutely fantastic.

So the series continues, and The Visionary is available at Amazon, iTunes, Nook, and Kobo. What a relief. Normally, I would take a well-deserved break now, but I have After‘s release on March 6th. Here we go again!

How’s your February been?

How has January been for you goals? If you want to visit the other blogs in this blog hop, or fancy signing up yourself, check out the linky list here: sylmion.blogspot.co.uk/p/do-you-have-goal.html

Got Goals? Implementing Deadlines

Big Goals BloghopI’d love to say that January has been a big month of working hard, high word counts, and continuing progress. In actual fact, the first three weeks were filled with procrastination, avoidance, and constant excuses. This past week, on the other hand, has been amazing.

It took me a while, but I’ve definitely found my mojo.

The Visionary, the third book of my Paper Duchess series, is now available to preorder. I work well when I have a deadline, and imposing one has definitely spurred me on. And talking of deadlines, my story collection, After, is also on preorder.

I’ve also been busy with Instafreebie and other promos, with more scheduled next month, including the first one that I’m hosting, and my mailing list is a healthy 2,000+ now.

So I’m looking forward to a very productive and exciting February. Long may the momentum continue!

How has January been for you goals? If you want to visit the other blogs in this blog hop, or fancy signing up yourself, check out the linky list here: sylmion.blogspot.co.uk/p/do-you-have-goal.html

Got Goals? 2016 Roundup

Big Goals BloghopSo here we are at the very end of 2016. For many reasons, this year has been momentous, and will certainly be remembered in the history books, although not always kindly.

On a personal level, it’s also been a year of big changes. There’s been the joyous birth of my second son, the sad loss of my last grandparent, the anxiety of sending my oldest son off to school, and the beginning of my weight loss journey which sees me triumphantly ending the year more than 3 stone lighter.

And when it comes to books, my Paper Duchess series continued with the release of The Matching, I also released my first non fiction book, How to Survive Working from Home with Preschool Children, and announced upcoming books The Memory Trader and After. I’ve also increased my mailing list from a mere handful, to more than 750 subscribers.

What didn’t happen, unfortunately, was the release of The Visionary, which I’ve had to delay. I could reel off a range of excuses, all of them valid, but they’re just excuses at the end of the day. If I delve deep, if I’m truly honest, I think I’m lacking focus. A focus I will regain in the new year.

And I have a plan. But, more about that tomorrow.

If you want to visit the other blogs in this blog hop, or fancy signing up yourself, check out the linky list here: sylmion.blogspot.co.uk/p/do-you-have-goal.html

This is What Followed… Preorder News

AfterMy first short story collection has gone on preorder on Amazon.

‘After’ is a collection of post apocalyptic shorts, exploring the lives of those left behind after millions of people across the world simply disappear.

The blurb:
The end has already come. This is what followed.

People began to disappear. The first few could be explained away, but as the missing posters began to plaster every wall, every fence, every lamp post, they became impossible to ignore.

For those left behind, it was a matter of survival. Some opted out, unable to find a place for themselves in this new world. Others struggled on, trying their best to reclaim the lives they once had. And some people thrived.

This is a collection of their stories. The survivers, the deserted. Those still clinging to hope, and those who have abandoned it.

You can preorder your copy here.