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Year End Thoughts

Looking Up to Old Main, Charleston, Illinois

We had safe travels back from Illinois, and while we had a happily exhausting trip, it's always good to be again at the Beech House. I came home ready for the new year, ready to launch forward toward 2018 with fabulous goals.

I have had a tremendous 2017. Intoxic received a bronze medal in the General Fiction Category from the ​Readers' Favorite Internation Book Awards and was one of the September Underground Book finalists. All three of the Alison Hayes Journey were certified by Underground Book Reviews for quality in independent publishing. I ramped up my Gallion Picks Book reviews and started reviewing for Readers' Favorite, LLC. I read a lot of good books in 2017. I started looking at People Who Inspire and sharing them with the rest of you. I've had my faith in humanity restored by some of the fantastic, loving, courageous people I have met. 2017 was a big year.

2018 is going to be bigger. My next book is going offered in the spring of 2018, and it has been a shift for me. Off the Dark Ledge (tentative cover) will classify as Psychological Thriller and has ​​

been an adventure in writing. I didn't understand that I was writing in a genre until my editor sent back early comments from her first read through. The rewrites and edits have been almost as exciting for me as the initial writing. I'm finding ties along the way that I didn't even realize I had made the first time through. It is not, perhaps, the book I set out to write, but I think it's pretty unique. I'll be teaming up with the small press, TheWordVerve to publish this work and I am very excited to see how their expertise and industry experience will present my work to a new and broader audience. We are still in negotiations, but I am very confident about this collaboration. I have worked with their editor-in-chief on my Alison Hayes books and respect and valued her input tremendously. In 2018, I also plan to release a fourth, and perhaps a conclusion, in the Alison Hayes series, which for the time being will remain an independent journey.

While I have enjoyed the Gallion Picks Reviews and will continue them, but I'll do them with less regularity. Reading and reviewing takes a lot of time away from writing. I had hoped to have Off the Dark Ledge ready for release by the end of 2017, but it was still maturing, and I was preoccupied reading other works.

I've set a goal that over the next five years my writing will do more than just support itself, and for that to happen, I have to write, like a job, and build my catalog. I've never been a goal-oriented person, in the writing world I am a what they call a "pantser," but as I begin to see the direction my writing can take my family I recognize that "pantsing" in life is not always the most successful strategy. I look forward to an exciting year. I hope you all have high hopes for 2018 as well.

I have met incredible people this year, I've learned a lot about marketing, I've learned a lot about building an online footprint, I've learned a lot about writing as a career choice and not a hobby. It has all been an adventure, and I am proud of what I have accomplished. Last year, at this time, I didn't know enough about the industry to appreciate the value of a team, this year I do. I'm an okay "one-man show," I know my way around a good monologue, but I am so excited to see what we can do with fabulous dialogue. I'm excited. I hope you'll stay tuned for everything coming in 2018.

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