Happy New Year!
Before I dive into today's topic, I want to thank you for joining me here and on social media. I only send out newsletters once a month or so, and occasionally I get sidetracked and forget all together. But know this: I'm always thinking of you. My real-life family, my social media fam and my readers all have space in my head, rent free. Basically, I love you guys and I'm grateful for your support. In a word, you ROCK!
Now, here's what's on my mind today.
I think we can all agree that 2020 felt like it was 17 years long! I'm personally happy to wave goodbye to the year from hell and look forward to a more calm 2021. To those who have lost loved ones this year, my heart goes out to you. Please, please hang in there, even though it's hard.
2020 in a nutshell: We had some unexpected things happen, some were fabulous and some were just plain shitty.
T.J. short list:
Fabulous: I was able to have my grandkids here for 6 months while COVID was out of control in their home state. So they were safe and finished the school year here.
Shitty: They went home in July to California where the virus has resurged with a vengeance. I worry for them.
Fabulous: This year we started dipping our toes into audiobooks, FINALLY! The entire Twilight Teahouse BDSM series and a contemporary fantasy book made it out to the audio world! In addition, we found the most amazing narrators for Gathering of the Storms and we start working with them in January! Woohoo!
Shitty: One of our audio projects is EXTREMELY late. We'd expected it to be finished the first week of November and learned a couple of days ago that the narrator hasn't even started on it. Ugh.
And my Linktree for quick access to other links
Fabulous: I had the chance to have a video call with the fabulous Beverly Jenkins!! She's as amazing in person as she is online. She reminded me that I have to do things based on my timeline and what's going to work for me. It isn't about putting out a novella every 2 months trying to keep up with other authors. I must take time to rest (I have a demanding day job) and plan for the 'long game' so I can eventually write full time. So I've been able to spend time plotting a huge fantasy series for next year and I'm loving it.
Shitty: I didn't release any new books in 2020. I'm having a hard time dealing with that because it's the first time since I was published by Ellora's Cave back in 2006 that I've not released a single book in a year. It's hard.
Fabulous: We finished Christmas and holiday shopping by Thanksgiving, so no pressure! YES! We had a fabulous cajun-themed dinner at home and it was nice and quiet.
Shitty: Three businesses just didn't deliver good customer service. When people scream "Please support my business so I don't go under this year", but can't manage to ship a December 1st order until December 22nd, it makes me look at them sideways (2 pkgs arrived on the 29th, and as of today we're still waiting for the last one). Plus, they blew off all of our emails asking if they would be able to keep their 'by Christmas' guarantee, so you can be sure I'll never do business with them again.
One of my publishers has just set up a Authors Direct account so that we can sell and give away audiobooks from right here! They're adding a few finishing touches and we'll send out an announcement as soon as it's ready. I'm excited because I have a ton of giveaway codes!
What's next next?
I don't usually do New Year resolutions because I tend to set goals throughout the year. Once I've met one, I move on to a new one. This year was just freakin' overwhelming in every way, so I didn't meet all my goals. And rather than stressing out (like I usually do, which is BAD), I've decided to take a deep breath, sit down somewhere and chill.
I hope you are all doing well and ringing in the New Year safely. To you, your friends and your family, we wish you a very Happy New Year!