The Maddening: 2013

It’s New Year’s Eve, and what kind of blogger/wannabe writer would I be if I didn’t spend some time reminiscing on the year past, and looking forward to the year to come?  So I no particular order:

Separate Ways – I was separated, then later divorced from my wife of nearly ten years in 2013.  While I can’t say this was the easiest thing I’ve ever gone through, it did make it possible for me to meet Jenn, who, as of a few nights ago, is my fiancé.  Yes, I know it seems rather quick, but when you know, you know.  I still haven’t adjusted to not seeing my daughter more, nor do I ever think I will.

Big Pubbin’ – I released two more books this year–The Shadow Within and the hot-off-the-presses Together Alone), bringing my total available books up to six.  Not too shabby considering I’ve only been at this for 2 1/2 years.  Of course, the majority of these stories were extensively worked on in the years leading up to me publishing, so I’ll be interested to see just how prolific I can be in the future.

If It’s Broke…. – While I’m proud of my accomplishments since I first began this publishing journey, I know I didn’t start out as strong as I might like.  Now that I have a bit more experience under my belt, I’ve decided to go back to my original books and clean them up a bit.  I’m not exactly in a position to go through and edit them again for now, but I recently finished fixing the dreadful table of contents for Ascension, and in the process, shrunk down the text size a bit, slimming the overall product down.  As a result, it not only looks and reads better (in my opinion), I’m also able to offer it for cheaper than it was originally.  Now that I have it out of the way, The Four-Year-Old Guardian, Bravado/Dramatique, and The Shadow Walker are next.

So Failure *Is* An Option? – NaNoWriMo… you know, that thing in November us writery folk drive ourselves crazy over, trying to produce 50,000 words in a month?  Yeah, that.  I completed it last year for the first time.  Thought I was a shoe-in this year.  Nope.  Didn’t happen.  Though in my defense, I did manage to beat NaBloPoMo.

Moving on….

Looking Back, Gazing Forward – This past year marked my first time working with an editor (the uber-talented Katy Sozaeva).  Not only has she helped me improve my writing, but I’ve learned a lot from going through her edits.  Not enough I don’t need her, however.

I’m also looking forward to working with a skilled artist for my covers in the coming year.  I’m rather proud of what we’ve been able to do in the past, but I know they can be better.  While my covers aren’t quite at the level of someone photoshopping wings on their grandchildren, with a digitized fire in the background (yes, I’ve seen that done), I still wouldn’t call them professional quality.  And I’m hoping for an image I can use in promotional material.

Which brings me to marketing.  Sigh… does any writer out there actually enjoy this part of it all?  I have to be the absolute worst at marketing.  While I tried to do a give-away with The Shadow Within, I snuck Together Alone out in the middle of the night with no fanfare.  I know it’s not the right way to do it (assuming I want to be all successful and stuff), but I just can’t help it.  Once a book is ready to go, I want it to be available.  I’d love reviews (good or bad), but I hate schmoozing for them.  Kinda drives me crazy.

Hopefully I’ll do better in the year to come.  I’m hoping to have two more books out in 2014.  I’m currently 34,000 words into the rough draft of The Blood Contract (Only Human on the Block IV… yikes!), and a few chapters away from finishing the rough draft of World of Shadows Part I: Infiltration (Unseen Things III).  I also have a series I started and stopped working on a few years back that I recently unearthed.  In my spare time, I think I’m going to blow the dust off of it and see what I can make of it.  And then, of course, there’s NaNo come November.  I will not fail this year.

So, as usual, a lot on my plate, but nothing I can’t handle.  I imagine this time next year, I’ll be looking back at all I accomplished (and everything I failed at), and looking forward to 2015 being a banner year.

’til then, the future remains a mystery.

Thanks for reading… Happy New Year, and be safe.

S.L. Madden


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