A lot has happened this year. But that goes without saying, right? If you’re feeling anything like I am, you probably can’t wait for 2016 to be over. There’s always something cathartic about a new year, even if the individual days remain pretty much the same. It’s the time for reflection, reinvention, and improvement. A chance to move on from all the troubles that came before. And we’ve had a lot of troubles this year, wherever you are in the world. Too many atrocities to count. Too many dead legends. Too many ill-informed decisions made by people who genuinely thought they were doing the right thing. I live in hope they prove correct.
2016 hasn’t been a complete bust. I – at some point, I’ve forgotten exactly when – made the decision to break into self-publishing. I’d tried about two dozen agents, of course. Most of them said, “Thanks, but no thanks.” A few said, “Good luck.” One said, “I love it. I wish I could read the whole thing. But I have no idea to market it.” And I know exactly why they said it. Perhaps that was the best I would get from a commercially-minded literary agent. But 2016 has proven that there is a need for a niche urban-fantasy about celebrity cattle and a time-travel addict.
This year I’ve been overwhelmed by the response Déjà Moo has received, both from friends and strangers alike. The amount of readers around the world who have given the book a chance – and loved it – has been incredible. The generosity of strangers who have taken the time to promote, share, and bolster the reputation of Déjà Moo with reviews across Amazon, Goodreads and their own blogs, has been greater than I had ever hoped. And I’ve endeavoured to return the favours. In summer, I started beta-reading for other writers in similar positions, and I’ve spoken with some fantastic people this year. The online reader-writer community has proven a powerful force, thriving on cooperation and continuing to challenge the traditional publishing structure. If I’ve learnt one thing this year, it’s that in order to succeed, you have to pay it forward.
With that in mind, what can I offer you in the coming year?
- Short stories! As we speak, I’m planning a series of short stories that will build upon the Lawmowers, Inc. universe. These will be released for free, right here at www.dejamoo.co.uk.
- Writing tips! I’m going to be writing up my thoughts on every aspect of writing, from dialogue to plotting to editing, and sharing these periodically as well. Whether you’re a writing newbie or a curious reader, I hope these will be both informative and entertaining.
- Beta-reading! I love reading works from other writers like myself. If you think you are ready for a second (or third, tenth, hundredth!) pair of eyes on your work before you release it, have a look at my beta-reading schedule and claim a slot now!
And as for the future of Lawnmowers, Inc.? I’m pleased to confirm that work is well underway on a sequel entitled Bovine Intervention. I hoped to complete the third draft for NaNoWriMo, but alas, life got in the way. New job plus long days equals tired author. Not only did I fail NaNoWriMo but I failed to complete the novel. Still, I succeeded in taking my own advice, and 60,000 words in two months is better than no words at all. And I’m still going. Lawnmowers, Inc. is very much alive, and it will return before you know it.
That’s all for now, but expect more updates soon. Wishing you a very happy new year,