Well, 2013 is here, all shiny and new and wanting our attention like a hyperactive puppy.
But before looking to the future, take a moment to reflect on the past 12 months. What kind of a year was 2012 for you?
For me, it was a mad year, a one-off never to be forgotten year. Full of incredible hard work, a lot of stresses, but some truly amazing highs.
The year started in a chaotic fashion. I’d literally moved house two days before Christmas. Having bought the last scrawny looking tree for £8 in B&Q, I was putting it up Christmas Eve amidst a sea of boxes! Although moving house is always exciting, the Christmas of 2011 was a difficult one. Everything that could go wrong with the house did. We lost our electricity, had no central heating, the oven imploded, the plumbing leaked if it worked at all…basically we were cold and hungry, oh, and we had no phones until the second week of January. It’s weird, but you never know how much you rely on phones and the internet until you have none, especially at Christmas time!
But you know what? It doesn’t matter. Things get fixed, better than they were before. Our money pit of a house turned into a dream home and my gorgeous white wolves have never been happier!
But 2012 really kicked off with my childhood dream of becoming a published writer coming true…!
And of course, I started this little unassuming blog on January 26th, as a way of charting my life and experiences to date, my journey towards publication, sharing writing tips and ideas, poems and stories, little life lessons learnt etc. Writing, fantasy, epic storytelling, life, creativity and everything in between!
THAT was my motto and still is.
Well, in less than a year that ‘little unassuming blog’ has enjoyed tremendous success with over 8,500 views, far beyond anything I could have envisioned!
2012 rolled on…and with each passing month came a new milestone.
My first book, my first interview, then my second and third and fourth and so on. Long before my debut novel, White Mountain, was even published the pre-orders started pouring in. A HUGE thank you to all those wonderful early supporters, my Dragon Friends, thank you thank you thank you!
Then came blog awards, newspaper articles and feature interviews. The momentum had taken on a life of its own.
Then, a few weeks after my birthday came the day I’d been waiting for since I was a 5 yr old kid. My first novel, White Mountain – Book 1 of The Darkling Chronicles, was published 30th September 2012. A date indelibly imprinted on my brain and SUCH a good time to publish, part of that magical infamous Autumn push!
A week later and I had my book launch at Octavia’s Bookshop in Cirencester, a very prestigious independent bookshop which was voted runner-up in the Best Small Shops in Britain Awards by The Telegraph and was then shortlisted for Best Children’s Independent Bookshop in The Bookseller Industry Awards. It’s owner, Octavia Karavla, is a real mover and shaker in the book business and was shortlisted for Young Bookseller of the Year and has just been named one of The Bookseller’s ‘Rising Stars’. http://www.octaviasbookshop.co.uk
Well, despite my nerves at my very first book signing event, the book launch was an enormous success and we SOLD OUT in just under two hours!!!! Not a single copy left! I just couldn’t believe it. Customers had to have their orders taken by Octavia and make do with a chat from me and a look at my illustrations!
More interviews, more newspaper articles, a listing in The Cotswold Life Magazine, then I was approached by Readathon UK, a national reading charity supported by the likes of Roald Dahl, Michael Morpurgo, Michael Rosen, Anthony Horowitz, Julia Donaldson etc. THEY were interested in talking to me? Really? http://www.readathon.org/blog/2012/11/author-teacher-joins-forces-with-readathon/
I was dreaming…
The first reviews started coming in, no family members or sock puppets, no, genuine reviews and they were all loving the book. At one point and to my utter delight, White Mountain even found itself at no.9 of Amazon’s epic fantasy books!!!!
A hugely successful Waterstones book signing tour followed with high sales, a growing following and a real buzz about the book…my wildest dreams had come true!
That was my 2012…wow! I’m still waiting to catch my breath. 😀
Now to the New Year.
I’m not one for making New Year’s resolutions…do we ever really keep them? But amongst the chaos, I’m busily writing Book 2 of The Darkling Chronicles due out this Autumn, then the whole crazy game starts over again! 😀
Another goal for the year I’m intent on keeping, is to keep blogging.
So what will 2013 bring to YOU?