On January 1, 2008 I resolved that I would write every day of that year. I only missed sixteen days and the results of putting the work and time into my craft are beyond what I could have imagined.
I started with Freeground on January 1, and I had no idea what I started. Five and a half more science fiction novellas/novels followed along with a non-fiction self help, two other books that will go unpublished as well as the full outline and treatment for a horror novel/screenplay that you'll most likely see this year.
My writing has improved, my plot craft has gotten sharper and I've fallen head over heels with the universe I've created over the last 365 days as well as the characters dwelling within. The Spinward Fringe universe is something that will persist whether people are interested or not. The good news is that interest is growing and Spinward Fringe is actually putting bread on the table and a roof over my head.
In August I launched the First Light Chronicles Omnibus and the first Spinward Fringe novella (Resurrection), on MobiPocket and the few people who had purchased them through Lulu.com were kind enough to post reviews there. The growing interest there since has shown me not only where my audience is but that there's actually a demand for what I'm doing. I love to entertain, I could easily say that it's one of my primary reasons for being and it seems the British love what I'm doing. Not to diminish my other readers, I appreciate everyone, but over 70% of my readers live in Britain. If this keeps up I'll have to make the trip to meet a few, but I'm still a little under funded for that I'm afraid.
Since then there have been rumors of a television series, another rumor that the whole book series has been put on hold because I've been picked up by a publisher and yet another rumor that I'm giving up Science Fiction for Horror. Well, none of those are true. If there's a television series coming (and I'd love it if there were), no one told me. I haven't been picked up by a publisher, but two agents have passed on me since I'm self published and I'm certainly NOT giving up Science Fiction.
It's true that I'll be writing a horror novel after Spinward Fringe Frontline, but only one and it's already fully outlined so it won't take very long. There are plenty of Spinward Fringe books waiting to be written and you'll see a few of them in 2009.
Here's something else that's true: I'm just a hair away from making a real living at this. No side jobs, no extra work here and there, just writing full time. Complete independence is a dream that not only my characters lust after, but something I've sought out my entire life and thanks to all of you I may be able to attain that goal. I'll have the opportunity to entertain with the written word a hell of a lot longer, hopefully for the rest of my life. In the meantime my primary donator and a couple much smaller ones have filled in financial gaps that I would have had to pick up a part time job to cover, I have to thank you especially. Just the fact that people are buying and enjoying my work is amazing, that someone actually invests a little (or a lot), more so I can keep producing is just incredible.
To think back to a time when I thought few (if any), people would be interested in what I was writing but I kept inventing and typing anyway really shows me how suddenly and surprisingly things have developed. I wrote for the enjoyment back then, and to be completely honest, writing is still a selfish act for me for one simple reason: I love what I'm doing. If I don't enjoy writing something, I simply don't do it. The fact that others are entertained by what I'm doing just makes me want to create better, more surprising and engaging fiction, thus increasing my enjoyment. It's a mental exersion that its own reward and I couldn't stop if I tried. Having said that, any movie, book, television or puppet show is always a lot better when you've shared it with a friend. So I'm truly fortunate to have a few hundred friends to share my favorite books with. When you have a cinema running in your brain 98% of the time it helps to have a few bodies in the seats.
Thank you all, I truly owe so much to everyone who has purchased one of my books, clicked on the donation button or passed the word.
You'll see some amazing, horrifying, and interesting things in 2009. After all, 2008 was just about getting started and 2009 will be all about making things bigger, brighter, bolder.
You ain't seen nothin' yet.
Happy new year!