2014 Will Be Amazing

Enough of this shit.
You can't predict how a year will go. I know this. But 2014 WILL be amazing. It will be amazing, because 2013 was so shitty that I am not going to accept anything less than a stellar and vast improvement, and I'm going to go to great lengths to ensure that it happens. I never really would have guessed that after a relatively mild 2012 that 2013 would have been so damn terrible. To me, it will always be the year my beloved cat Angus died suddenly from a respiratory illness. It will also be the year several of my friends and family members suffered unimaginable loss of loved ones or received horrible medical diagnoses or lost their jobs or experienced financial disaster or were victims of someone else's incompetence. While I know these things happen to everyone every year, they seemed particularly concentrated in my neck of the world in 2013. The level of negativity has at times been overwhelming.

But it wasn't all bad, of course. We got a sweet little dog in September who helped me find my laugh again after months of it being buried under grief and ennui. And while early in the year we were forced into a hasty and costly move because our previous landlord decided he wanted his shitty house back in the middle of February, we ended up finding a place that is bigger and nicer and much more of a pleasure to live in. And of course, things took a big turn when my debut novel STRINGS released on my birthday, and the book has so far been very well received. Word of mouth has been simmering about it in many circles and I feel like things are on the verge of reaching a full boil with it.

I also began work on book two in that particular franchise in November and feel pretty confident I can get the first draft finished sometime in late January or early February. I feel even more confident that this book is better than the first in every possible way and that people are going to love it. The publicity push for Strings will also begin in full earnest early next year as well. Due to the holidays and NaNoWriMo happening pretty much right after the release, it has been difficult to schedule events, but I'm ready to hit the ground running in January. I have one radio show booked for early February, and I'm looking to do several signings, concentrating my efforts in the tri-state region here and into Chicago (and eventually beyond), as well as a second blog tour. I will also be releasing a print version of my book COLT COLTRANE AND THE LOTUS KILLER in January and will be doing a signing circuit on that one as well, which will include the Gem City Comic Con in April with the cover's illustrator (and my dear friend) Justin Wasson. Finally, the folks at Hobbes End will also soon be starting the final production process for the next novel in the release queue, THE LAST SUPPER, which will be dropping in the spring. I'm particularly excited about that one.

Three short stories are on the burner for completion in early 2013. The first one is "The Red Lady: Kali's Story," a supplemental for Strings that will detail a little more backstory about the mysterious woman who lived in the Ballas mansion. That was supposed to be a  December project, but I was railroaded by illness and more than a pinch of burnout from the high pace of early fall. I also plan to finish "Love Feast," the conclusion to my "Consumption Trilogy" (which includes stories "Taste" and "Sweetness"). Finally, I have my story "The Jade Box" to complete for the Sekhmet Press anthology, WRAPPED IN WHITE, which is slated for release in March.

Apart from the Strings sequel, the novel writing projects I have planned so far include:

1. The novelization of my short story "Dust."
2. The third book and final book in the current Strings arc
3. The prequel for Strings.
4. Completing my quirky crime novel, Static.
5. A novelization of my short story "Devil Riders."

I realize not all of these will be finished in 2014. It really will depend on a number of factors. If the Strings series manages to break through into the mainstream, that will obviously be my focus for the year. If Colt Coltrane takes off after it gets a bit more publicity, I'll start considering the next book for that as well.

And I don't doubt that there will be a whole slew of new projects and ideas slapping me in the face at inopportune times as I make my way through 2014. That's the nature of this changeable beast.

All I know is that 2013 was a year comprised largely of pain and negativity and inertia, and I'm ready for all that to end right now. I'm chomping at the bit to make some big changes and take some bigger risks. I'm ready to bite off a huge piece of the world and chew it up and say, "Hey, this world tastes amazing!" I've never liked sitting by the wayside and letting shit happen to me. That's never really been my bag and I'm not about to start. My motto has always been, "If shit sucks, do something different." It's time I get on that. I have a list of other goals I'm not listing here, but I plan on checking them off one by one.

It's only mid-December right now, but I figure I'm going to get a head start. Back to work on Strings II!

This is better