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Adrian, a spy for the King, sees a nobleman murder a servant. His desire for truth is pitted against the dangers of a high-stakes political game. When his friend Draken insists on pursuing justice, Adrian must protect those he cares about as the political games of powerful men alter the lives of everyone around him.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 Wrap-up and Writing Goals

Holidays Winding Down

We had a wonderful Christmas with lots of time spent with family. My wife's birthday party Christmas Eve consisted of making custom tree ornaments. She rolled her eyes at me when I helped one of my sons stuff a clear glass ornament with cat hair and glitter. We had kids, their in-laws, and others over Christmas morning. We visited a local park with a tree lit up as the Tree of Life. I didn't get down to see the lights at Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City this year, but most of the family was there at one point or another.

I hope your holidays were as joyful and filled with family as mine.

Goal Report

Last December I posted some goals, so let's see how things went.
  • Finish and publish “Crystal Queen” with Immortal Works.
    • No, but not by far. Crystal King saw some delays, and I've just now got Crystal Queen to where I can send it to the publisher.
  • Speak at three conferences (panelist, presenter or moderator). Most likely are LUW spring and fall conferences, LTUE, Salt Lake Comic Con, and FanX. I’m likely to attend all five either way.
    • Yes. I presented at LUW spring and fall, LTUE, and Fyrecon. It was a lot of fun. I'll be at LTUE again in February as a panelist and I'm proposing panels for LUW and Fyrecon for next year.
  • $200 in face-to-face book sales at conventions and conferences.
    • Maybe. I haven't crunched the numbers, so I don't know for sure. We had a very successful booth at Salt Lake Comic Con, with some success at LUW, LTUE, and Winterfaire.
  • Publish four short stories. (stepping things up from the 3 and 2).
    • Yes. I sold six. It's a difference in semantics when you talk about sold vs. published. Sold is easier to track. I'm also tempted to bend the rules a little since one of the six was poetry rather than a short story. Also, coming in as a semi-finalist at the Writers of the Future is a rejection, but it's a highly valued rejection.
  • Get 30 short story rejections.
    • Yes. I got 35. I measure rejections because it's a way to turn something that's usually a negative into a scoring mechanism. If I keep my stories out there gathering rejections, I will also gather sales. It worked. I got only a few more rejections this year compared to last but I doubled my acceptances.

Crystal King Published

The book came out in September through Immortal Works and you can buy it here. When I sign this book I usually write "It's all about family and friends." This applies to the story, but it also applies to life in general. Families are the bedrock and foundation of society.

It was a long road to publication, about two years in the making. As a first fantasy novel it required a bit more editing and adjusting than my second effort which is already prepped and almost on its way to the publisher.

Short Stories Sold in 2017

I didn't enter the Utah Horror Writers contest for their anthology this year since I was too busy with other projects. Some of the stories from this year are online or for sale in ebook or paper format. Others are not quite in print yet. Here is a list, including one long lead-time story sold over a year ago and still not quite out.

Learning to Run with Scissors (sold 2015, due out in an anthology next year)

Dissonance (due out online next year)
Market Rat (free online at Silver Blade)
Protector of Newington (Storyhack Issue 1 on Amazon)
Unlocked (poetry in a League of Utah Writers Antho on Amazon)
The Bannik and the Soap (due out in an anthology next year)
The Lure of Riches (Clarion Call 3 on Amazon)

2018 Goals

Here's what I want to accomplish this coming year. I'm not going to keep up on the short story rejection list because I'm transitioning more to targeted anthologies along with the novels. The shorts have done well for me in the past, so I will continue some effort there, but maybe not quite as much as in the past.
  • Send Crystal Queen with my publisher (nearly there!)
  • Write Crystal Prince and submit it to the publisher.
  • Get another Semi-finalist at Writers of the Future. I've got a small stack of honorable mentions now.
  • Write a science fiction series outline. Depending on the timeframe for Crystal Prince, I may be able to do this as a NaNoWriMo project in November.
And there you have it. 2017 was a good year. I expect 2018 to be even better.