Happy Old Year and welcome to the New!
What a wonderful year the old 2014 has been. I dared to officially turn my passion into my job, I am writing/editing full-time (with all the blogging-marketing-communicating-researching that comes with it) and love every minute.
The moment in October 2013, when I decided to do my first NaNoWriMo and write my fourth or so novel with the mad pace of November’s writing challenge, changed my life. I got into a writing/editing routine that made me finish my story, and much faster and organised than any novel before. I tried to keep the routine, and when my daughter started kindergarten in September, I was finally able to work in the mornings, almost every morning — a total dream come true for me! No more stolen evening-hours and night-shifts. I am allowed to get up and sit down at a desk to work like I always hoped I would one day, after the kids got old enough. I have so much more time now to do proper research, build a readership and do all the stuff that surrounds being an author. My output and energy has increased incredibly.
I very soon was offered a brilliant professional opportunity, when a publisher who knew my work hired me for editing their local Eifel magazine — and then asked, like a bolt out of the blue, whether I’d also like to do a serialised novel for them! Whatever I wanted, as long as it was historical, and positive. So within half an hour I won two paid jobs that incorporated all the work I love, with utmost creative freedom! And my next NaNoWriMo project was born.
For the first time ever I had to write in German. It was daunting, as I have explained before. But it’s easier than I feared and I think I’m more than half-way now with “Tilda und Leo — der Löwe im Pfarrhaus” (the lion in the rectory). I am writing it as a normal-length novel version in Scrivener, and for the monthly issues cut and carve pieces out that go into the magazine. I was handed a readership! This opportunity is rare for unpublished authors and I am SO grateful.
Then, just before Christmas, my writing buddy infected me with the idea to do a little Christmas gift for your readers, a free short story that should just be fun — to write and read. We only had about a week. We brainstormed, drafted, wrote and edited like madwomen. Then we needed covers. It was a ridiculously tight schedule, but we managed two covers in two days. I didn’t do it myself — and still it took so much longer and more thinking than I had anticipated. And last we had to format and upload them on Smashwords, to have a proper platform with our author profile, and real ebooks with an ISBN that can be downloaded for free there. Smashwords included my Viking Romance novella “Yule Flight” in their premium catalogue — I am proud and chuffed and all those things a mummy feels for her beautiful baby!
That baby got downloaded over 200 times in the first week … I had no expectations whatsoever, but that number for me (three-digit!) as an unknown author with my first ebook publication knocks me off my feet!
I want to toast and hug and thank every single reader who gave me a chance! THANKS A MILLION for your trust and I hope I did not disappoint you!
Given that great experience I can’t wait to add more of my stories to the portfolio. And I know which they will be —
This leads us from the Old Year, 2014, to the New Year, 2015:
In between the publication frenzy I worked on three Viking Romance short stories and found an editor for them, for publication in the coming year. I can’t wait to see those babies born and out there, hopefully healthy and thriving just like my firstborn, “Yule Flight”!
I want to see them all grow and become my new happy family of stories. I want to watch them mature and make friends with readers — while I try to grow my network of author colleagues and gather a readership that forces me to work harder and add more small or big babies to the story clan. I can’t wait for all this to move on, grow bigger and work out in some way that reassures me that my initial decision was right:
That the best thing about the Old Year was the decision to become an author in 2014,
and my New Year’s resolution is to work harder, get better, grow a network of readers and author-friends, and just enjoy the new writing life!
Let’s do this together, every step of the way. THANK YOU for your support, criticism, help and friendship.