I don’t think I could be more pleased with how 2015 turned out. Looking back at the goals I set at the beginning of last year, I made a lot of them happen. It wasn’t always in the order I’d planned, and there were a few projects that got added in as well. Here’s a quick recap before delving into 2016:
What happened on target: Hat Trick Overtime: Summer Camp, Flipping for Him, and Dancing for Him (which is the rework of Dancer & Sexy Big Man) all came out right on time. I also wrote two shorts as planned in the year. Holiday Hotel Hookup was part of Dreamspinner’s Advent Calendar for 2015. The other, A Sound Beginning, will release in February 2016 from Pride (look for a cover reveal later this month). Also, I did alter the plan for Dancing a bit because I self-published that rather than taking it to a publisher.
What happened a little off target: Hat Trick 3: Penalty Shot came out in September instead of July. I ended up pushing back the deadline because I needed to rework parts of the story to make sure Simon and Alex got the proper send off. Hat Trick Overtime: Reunion was written on time, but the release was earlier than I’d planned so it could get into the Hat Trick 3 paperback (and that was a great reason to be early). Also, Codename: Winger book one didn’t make into beta read phase by the end of Q4. I am, however, nearly complete with the first draft.
What was off target/unplanned: I was invited to participate in JMS Books’ Heat Wave series and wrote Heat Wave: Tuscaloosa, which came out in July. During NaNoWriMo, I wrote Make the Right Choice, a novella that puts the spotlight on Leo and Matt from the Hat Trick trilogy. It’s due to come out in February (more details to come on that once I have a date). Will and I also started Jeff & Will’s Big Gay Fiction Podcast in November, which has been a blast to do. All of these were very welcome additions to the year.
I failed to meet the goal of writing 10,000 words per week. I wrote 226,149 words during the year, which works out to an average of 4,349 words per week. That’s not bad, but I’d like it to be higher. The biggest lapse in the year was in August, September and October where my word count averaged just over 1,100 words per week.
The 2016 Plan!
It’s all about a lot more books and stories for 2015. The first writing out of the gate will be to finish the first book of the Codename: Winger YA series. I’ve got four books mapped out and I want at least two of those, if not more, written this year. When they’ll get published is a question that will get answered later in the year.
I know there’s a Hat Trick spinoff book I want to do that focuses on the Rainbow High youth team that first appeared in HT3. As I’ve written on the blog before, there’s a character that got chopped from HT3 and I want to tell his story. Bryan and TJ have more story to tell. Plus, I’d like to find a love interest for Scottie.
Once again, there are a couple of DSP anthology calls that have caught my eye. I also need to look at other publishers to see if there are any open calls that pique my interest so that I can work these into the plan.
There’s some co-writing in the works too, although it’s still shuffling around the schedule what this will be. Some of it I’ve talked about before on the blog, but I’m not going to go into it here. I’ll blog about it more once projects get underway. Make no mistake though, I’m excited about these projects since I’ve never tried the co-writing thing before.
In terms of travel, Rainbow Book Fair in NYC is set for April 9. I’m also headed to the Dreamspinner Author Conference in March. I’ve always heard about the excellent DSP conferences are and I’m psyched to go to my first. GRL in Kansas City will come up in October and Will and I are pretty sure we’ll attend that. We’ll firm that up in the next couple months so we’re ready to go by the time registration opens up.
I mentioned from 2015 that I failed the word count goal. It’s a work in progress improving that. Word sprints, which I started doing in June, helped a lot because I can get words on the page fairly quickly that way. Sprints, in fact, made NaNoWriMo rock this year. I know one of my biggest issues is that when I’m revising one thing (or working on marketing items), I have a hard time getting writing done on something else. I keep trying to find the right balance and that will continue this year. Ten thousand words a week continues to be the goal. I’m not giving up on that. If you’re inclined, you can always follow my words-per-day process on my Works in Progress diary.
I also want to read more this year. I read about 25 books last year (I read more than I tracked on Goodreads because of the beta reading I did) and most of that came in fits and starts. It’s not for lack of things I want to read. I’ve never had a reading goal before, but I’m going to give it a shot this year. Based on 25 for 2016, I’m setting 40 for this year. You can track my progress on Goodreads.