I’ve never been one for New Year’s resolutions. I used to make resolutions back when I was in high school and I didn’t understand what it takes to reach your goals. Back then, every January I’d say something like “I’m gonna lose some weight.” And “I’m gonna pay more attention in school.” Then midway through March when I was barreling toward an “F” in French and my love handles were spilling over the sides of my pants, I’d realize I hadn’t stuck to my resolutions. Okay, maybe I didn’t have love handles, but you know what I mean. Most people don’t stick to their resolutions, and so me not sticking to mine made me normal. I liked being normal.
At some point in my life I went from resolutions to plans. My plans don’t begin in January and end in December. Some plans take years to accomplish. I had a great year last year. It didn’t go entirely as planned, but it was fun and I learned a lot. So today I thought I’d look back with you a bit, but more importantly, I wanted to share my plans for what’s ahead.
In September my first independent novel, Boyfriend From Hell was published by White Whisker Books. I am so fortunate to have my friend Chris Meeks and his new book venture in my life. Self-publishing isn’t for everyone. I am certain I am one of those people it is not for. With an indie publisher I get most of the benefits of self-publishing and NONE of the headache. If you are an author who is like me, there are lots of new indie publishers springing up all over the place. Find one run by people like Chris with a background in publishing, and leave the headaches to them.
Boyfriend From Hell got off to a great start in September, but after the Kindle Nation Daily feature on October 8th sales slowed. Rather than cry in our beer, Chris and I decided to change the book cover for BFFH and its sequel, Earth Angel (that was due out in December), to a more adult cover with a romantic theme. The new covers were created by AdaraRosalie. I then went to my pal Roxanne Rhoads and her Bewitching Books Tours and asked her to host a blog tour for me that featured both books. She came up with an awesome theme that started my tour on Cyber Monday (the Monday after Thanksgiving). By December 31st both Boyfriend From Hell and Earth Angel were soaring in sales.
As some of you know (I’ve tweeted about it ad infinitum), after my January 6th feature on Pixel Of Ink, Boyfriend From Hell spent nine consecutive days on the Amazon Kindle top 100 Best Sellers list (for Girls & Women). Earth Angel made the list as well, but only for a very short period of time.
Before I tell you what’s ahead, I want to begin by thanking my friends and fans—frans—for their support the past year. I couldn’t have done it without you. I’m not just thanking you for your sales. I know all of you aren’t buying my books. That’s all right. If you’ve left a comment on my blog or Goodreads page, or if you participated in the Hollyweird Tuesday Trivia Challenge or some other contest, I thank you.
A few of you have lamented that Heaven Sent, the third book in the Falling Angels Saga, won’t be out until December. Sorry. I want you to know I have begun working on it, and it is going to be the best Falling Angels Saga book so far. Seriously. That’s why I am taking my time. I want it to be awesome.
As I was outlining Heaven Sent, I realized I needed one more book to conclude the series. That book (currently entitled Falling) will tentatively be out late spring 2013. See, you won’t have to wait an entire year for that one. If you don’t see me on the blog or Twitter or holding fewer contests in 2012, please know I will be hunkered down writing. I’ve got a lot of writing to do.
Something else I am excited about this year is the first book in my Hollyweird series. I sold this project to a publisher last year and it stalled. That’s because it was sold to a new Indie publisher who wound up going out of business. The principal, however (a woman with tons of big time publishing experience), asked several of the authors to hang in there with her as she searched for new financing. Her deal is done; the new pub house is open. I will tell you more about it when I can, but editing on Hollyweird should begin in the next few weeks. That book will be out this year as well. I will post about my journey to publication right here on a regular basis.
I am also keeping my hand in television and film. I just completed the first draft of a romantic comedy that I was hired by a foreign production company to write. Both my first YA novel, Never Slow Dance With A Zombie and the Sal Conte (my alter ego) horror short story, The Toothache Man are currently in development for feature films. I may also announce a TV project some-time this year.
My larger plan is to create entertainment (Books and short stories) that can become movies, TV shows, graphic novels and/or video games. That’s a big plan. I’m not Disney or Dreamworks. I’m just a guy with a dream, but I do have over 20 years’ experience in Hollywood. That should help. But I know it will take more than a New Year’s Resolution to carry out a plan like mine. It will take a revolution.
So that’s my year ahead—busy, busy, busy. I welcome you all along for the ride. You can always leave words of encouragement on my blog, or if you have a question about me, or writing, or anything at all please write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am still available for book club dates and school visits. And I travel on my own dime, so getting me there cost you nothing. I do this because the best way to make you my fan for life is for you to meet me personally. I’m really quite lovable. Invite me out. You’ll see. If you are interested in having me attend your book club or event send me an email.
When I was a kid I wanted to be a writer because writing looked like fun. I didn’t realize how much hard work was involved, but I’ve got to tell you, I was right about the fun part. Have a great year.