Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Review of 2016

Well, what a year! I can't believe the calendar is about to flip over and 2017 is about to start. Where has the year gone and what have I been doing?

Well, I started the year with some ridiculously over-ambitious plans. In a post on Planning 2016, I seem to have believed that by now, I would have:
  1. got a second book out there (currently called 'Adapt or Die') by autumn 2016
  2. converted a half-written book to a fully written one that's ready for publication in spring 2017
  3. converted another half-written book to a first draft
  4. got a third thriller to the publishers, ready to come out in summer 2017!
Well, that didn't quite work out!
'Adapt or Die' is now called 'Poisonous Minds' and is 'my problem child' (one that only its mother could love!). I'm still battling with it a bit, so it's not published and not quite ready to be yet, either. The first half-written book is finished (but is the middle part of a trilogy and I want to finish writing the third book and edit them as a whole). The second half-written one is still half-written, although I have done some more notes for it. I'm reading 'a third thriller to the publishers...' and thinking 'What third thriller???'

So, what have I got done in 2016?

Well, I published The Wrong Kind of Clouds...

I signed off on the cover in February and shared the secret hidden in it with you in Secrets About the Cover. I revealed the first chapter over three posts (part 1, part 2 and part 3). It was launched in Waterstones in St Andrews at the start of June.

Launch night was great fun. Lots of my friends came, I sold a heap of books (thank you all!) signed lots of copies and then was taken out for a celebratory dinner by my Rotary Club.
Stuart from Waterstones, introducing
me at the launch

By July, some of the first reviews were in (thankfully with a good scattering of 5*!), and I enjoyed a well-needed holiday with my husband. I was also invited to a Crime Writers' Association lunch in Glasgow and met some fantastic people.

I also started realising how much I hate marketing, but how necessary it is...

In August, I found out that I had been awarded a "Crime in the Spotlight" slot at Bloody Scotland (see here and here for details) and launched the first of a series of posts on Book Finds - where I shared the things I'd loved reading.

September's highlight was, of course, Bloody Scotland weekend, which was absolutely brilliant! I was on at the start of the session where Fred Macaulay interviewed the fabulous MC Beaton. I didn't fluff my lines, I didn't fall of the stage, I didn't trip on anything ... both Fred Macaulay and Monica Beaton were incredibly kind and generous to me and I even sold some books. I met some of the other 'Spotlighters' as well as other writers and had an absolutely fantastic weekend. So much to write about, I did two blog posts on it! Part 1; part 2.

Me on stage at Bloody Scotland with Fred Macaulay
and MC (Monica) Beaton
Sadly it wasn't all book launches, signings and Bloody Scotland. In October, my problem child, 'Poisonous Minds' came back from the editor and I've been struggling with the revisions ever since. Some of this is because I had a major crisis in confidence (see this post for ramblings about that...); some of it was because I also had a lot of other things on and I was finding it hard to balance my time.

In October, I also launched my other regular feature: Meet the Author and have interviewed Mac Logan, Frank Muir and Bea Davenport, with many more lined up for 2017 (thank you to all the authors who have let me grill them!).

November and December have been largely taken up with external things and hating the revisions of 'Poisonous Minds'.

And so here we are in the last few days of 2016. It's been a mixed year with some great highs and some crushing self-doubt. Most of my writing friends tell me this is normal. 😐 

How has everyone else's year panned out?



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