My last year in review was titled “Is it over yet?” because there was just SO. MUCH. And the vast majority of it (can we say all?) was good.
Well, 2015 was easily the opposite of that.
The year opened with death. Lots of death. That is, relatively speaking, if you’ll pardon such a morbid pun, lots of death for me and my family. It was more than we could handle in a 6 week period, and it got the better of us in a lot of ways. Perhaps we could have done better if it was spread out over a few months, but nobody gets a say in these things and we have to take it as it comes. And so as things spiraled around us and we fought to maintain control of our lives, and keep moving forward.
Around this time, my Kickstarter obligations fell by the wayside. I managed to get all the books sent out (if I’m wrong, and god I hope I’m not, then please let me know!). The other rewards turned out to be more difficult to fulfill and most of those have gone unfulfilled. To those who are reading this and wondering what happened, know that I haven’t forgotten. I’ll be in touch.
There’s more that happened in those months that have dogged me into 2016, too, but most of them are addressed already so there’s no use in dwelling on mistakes that are already fixed.
And so we keep moving forward.
2015 saw my book placed in a few more shops. I made several appearances at Steel City Con, and I was a guest at ConCoction (which I’m aggrieved that I won’t be able to attend this year for scheduling reasons as I’ll be in New Orleans).
“The Horrible Plan of Horace Pickle” received some very nice reviews in 2015.
Horace Pickle is a ridiculously silly book that is taken even more ridiculously seriously. It’s short and doesn’t tell a massive blockbuster sized story, but that honestly helps in standout among superhero tales with dozens of people flying around and shooting lasers at robots. (http://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R3C7NCXHQR7IDW/ref=cm_cr_pr_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B00NP67U0O)
Book accomplishes what I thought unlikely; takes elements from genres that aren’t ordinarily found together—but that are often appreciated by the same audience—and successfully blends them. Story has bits of crime fiction, superheroes and a dash of British wordiness humor along the line of Douglas Adams. (http://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/RHRWOQIC8X7VC/ref=cm_cr_pr_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B00NP67U0O)
Interesting. Very quirky. Somewhat reminiscent of Terry Pratchett. The character-building and multiple points of view were done extremely well. (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1111446948?book_show_action=true)
The premise is intentionally a bit silly, but that doesn’t stop it from being a well-paced action/detective/superhero story. I’ve seen a few other folks compare it to the works of Terry Pratchett in overall tone, and I can certainly see where that comparison is apt. (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1173246827?book_show_action=true)
I mean, wow, talk about motivation to keep writing, right?
And speaking of writing. 2015 also saw tremendous progress on the sequel to “The Horrible Plan of Horace Pickle.” I’m still working away on the book now, and I’m excited about some of the fresh ideas that are allowing me to give a significantly greater look into the world of Windsmith City. We’re not just looking at more, different super heroes and villains in the next book, but also normal people whose extraordinary contributions come purely from within.
The other side of the coin for 2015 has been my increased involvement in an organization known as the Society for Creative Anachronism, or SCA. I probably won’t write about it much here, but it’s a thing happening in my life. I’ve taken up historical fencing in the SCA and my family and I have been traveling around to different events. Honestly, it’s one of the things that really kept me afloat through what was clearly not an enjoyable early 2015. It at least deserves an honorable mention.
So now on to 2016, eh? Well there’s lots more progress to be made on the next book, and I’d like to increase my attendance at conventions as well as placement of my book in stores around the country. And of course I need to wrap up business from 2015.
To sum up, 2015 was tough, but I’m tougher. 2016, bring it on!