All in all, I have to say I definitely enjoyed 2021 more than 2020. It's tough sometimes to see the positives and find the little wins when something as big as covid is going on in the background.
In this blog, I'm going to focus only on my wins and my plans and dreams. All the negative stuff can take a running jump or I'll shove it in a box and barricade the lid!
So, let's begin!
In January, I published my first book! It's something I'd dreamed of for a such a long time. I learned that publishing is just the start. Once that book baby is out it the big bad world, there's no getting it back and you have to be prepared for all its wonderful successes but also accept that not everyone will love it as much as you.
In March, I published book 2. This one had a special place in my heart because it was one that flowed from start to finish. The story hardly changed from first draft to end result (and that's usual for most authors!). Beth and Murray were the enemies who were made for each other and I loved bringing them together.
In May, book 3 burst onto the scene. This one became the middle child when the full season was published and it's sometimes still the overlooked one! But I'll always love Fraser, the kilted tour guide, and Kirsten, the bus driving island girl. If you've read this one, show them some love and leave a review 🙏
In August, I brought out book 4. This was actually the one I wrote first but when the series was born, it fit more naturally here than in the beginning. I was very excited when lots of people fell in love with Autumn and Richard. They've always been one of my favourite duos and their interactions were just brilliant to write.
October brought book 5! A festive end to the season. This one was a Christmas Cracker and became my most successful release so far. Who doesn't love a Christmas book? And everyone who's read the series wants to know what happens to Georgia, the friend who's always there for everyone else. Will she get her happy ending too?
And that's that, right? I mean publishing five books is a pretty decent achievement. But that's not all that happened this year. There's plenty more been going on behind the scenes. Last November I took part in NaNoWriMo (National novel writing month), where the aim is to write a book in 30 days. The result was this: A Flight of Fancy.
I didn't plan this book as meticulously as usual because I left it a bit late and really just wanted to get started. Because of that, I decided to use a character who already existed. The story focuses on Magnus Hansen who is the brother of Carl from book 1. I'd always planned for him to have a story, I just wasn't sure where. As the book evolved, I realised it had to be part of the series... So, I dreamed up a whole second season!!
Here's the set of mood boards I created to help me brainstorm season 2. So, you get a sneak peak at what's to come in 2022.
I didn't just brainstorm the other books, I wrote them. They are just four very raw first drafts but they exist. And if you know the famous quote 'you can't edit a blank page', you'll know how important those first drafts are. One of them is now fully edited and almost ready to be formatted into book 7. The next one is currently being beta read, ready for the next round of edits and the others are waiting to be edited. That gives me a lot to do in 2022, but I'm excited.
And that's got to be a wrap, right...?
I've also written two more books this year, bringing my total to six books written this year. These two latest books are the start of a brand new series in a new location but with some connections to the current series. I'm not going to say too much about it as it'll probably be this time next year before those books go out and I want to introduce the new series properly. But there's lots to look forward to. Busy and exciting times ahead.
All that remains is for me to thank everyone who has helped and supported me this year. My family and friends are amazing and I appreciate everything you do for me every day whether it's in person or via messenger. My editor and beta readers are invaluable in making my books shine. And to all the wonderful readers, I've connected with this year, I hope you continue to enjoy the books! Tell your friends and point them this way, the more the merrier.