Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The New Year: Looking back, looking forward

New Year’s Day is a great time to look back on the previous year and take stock of where one’s been. Life looks quite different in hindsight. When one is going through an experience, the immediacy of the moment holds one’s attention, concealing the broader aspects of the event and the overall pattern of one’s life.

Able to now to ignore the moment-by-moment challenges and worries of the past year, career-wise 2013 was an impressive one for me, and a fairly smooth trip on the personal front as well.

The year opened with me promoting FATAL ERROR Book 2 in the BackTracker Series as my latest release. This included a visit with the kids at the St. Paul Alternate Education Centre (SPAEC). I began working on Book 3 FIREWALLS and also polishing the SciFi novella I’d been working on for a couple of years.

I crowd-sourced the titles for both books on my social networks and the overall favourite for the SciFi was DISPASSIONATE LIES. WolfSinger Publications, who offered me my first-ever publishing contract three years ago for SCHRÖDINGER'S CAT, noticed the online discussion and solicited the manuscript for consideration. Once thoroughly edited and proofed, I submitted it and soon had a contract in my inbox.
With that work-in-progress taken care of, I proceeded with revamping FIREWALLS and preparing it for self-publication. This meant hiring my own editor, cover-designer, proof reader, formatter... It meant soliciting my own reviews and blurbs for the cover. My intent was to have the novel ready for the Christmas sales season and everything was moving along smoothly toward that goal when I got that phone call...

Extensive author tours are usually reserved for New York Times Best Selling authors, for authors signed on with big publishing houses, authors with agents. So you can imagine my feeling of unreality when the Northern Lights Library System (NLLS) phoned with an offer to sponsor an author tour throughout their system.

NLLS is one of Alberta’s largest library system, encompassing 52 communities within a 250 km radius of my home. Many of the libraries in the system operate as both school and public libraries, enhancing my opportunity to speak to teens about my young adult BackTracker series.
In November, with FIREWALLS in the final stages of production, I visited twenty-three of those 52 communities. Before it was all over, FIREWALLS eBook edition was up on Amazon and Smashwords and shortly thereafter, available in paperback. 

Then came December and Christmas—always a lively, busy time for our family. 

The New Year is also a good time to look forward. And with one of the coldest winters ever gripping my neck of the woods, a brief January respite in Jamaica to attend a friend’s wedding will be a great start. Then I must work on revisions to DISPASSIONATE LIES and help with cover design and such as we work toward a summer release of my thriller near-future SciFi.

There’s some more touring I want to undertake—revisit my SPAEC kids and introduce them to FIREWALLS and perhaps another visit to the children at the North Slave Young Offenders Facility.  Writing-wise, I’m not set in my plans as to what I want to work on in the second half of 2014. I’m tossing around ideas—perhaps find an agent, market my middle-grade novel, revise and edit the next book in the BackTracker series. Perhaps submit my adult novel that runs parallel to that series to potential publishers.

Maybe even start something brand new—like another SciFi...

Whatever I end up doing I know I’ll be happy doing it!

All the best to you and yours in 2014!


Liz Betz said...

January 1 is a fine time to reflect on the year past and state the goals for the year ahead. All the success in the world to you Eileen.
Liz Betz

Eileen Schuh: said...

Thank you for your wishes, Liz! All the best in 2014 to you, as well.