A Personal Look Back at 2015 by Mae Clair

I normally wax poetic when the New Year rolls around, but I’m feeling too punchy for that this time. I dug into my photo files for this post (something I don’t usually do) and got a kick out of these. I hope you do, too. Don’t forget to check out the captions.

As years go, 2015 gave me some great achievements, providing a few giddy highs, but it tossed in a few low balls, too. I suppose that’s to be expected with the mix.

Of the high notes, MYTH AND MAGIC released in June, then enjoyed a brief best-seller run on both Amazon and Barnes and Noble in October. I was giddy.

Author, Mae Clair holding a copy of her novel, Eclipse Lake

Holding the first copy of the first book I ever had in print, Eclipse Lake!

ECLIPSE LAKE hit new high notes thanks to a freebie promo I ran in June that exposed me to a host of new readers. Best of all, the book stayed strong with sales months after the promo ended. I’ve run some other freebies, but none have enjoyed the success Eclipse did. I wish I could bottle and repeat whatever I did to make that one work so well.

FOOD FOR POE released in November, and despite only minimal promo from me, made a nice splash. Using my newsletter to reach readers was probably instrumental in what it did achieve. I wish I would have done better promoting Poe, but December proved to be a challenging month with commitments that kept me mostly offline.

Overall, my backlist titles (Twelfth Sun, Solstice Island, and Weathering Rock) also performed well in 2015. I think I’m finally starting to see the result of what happens when you have multiple titles available for purchase and gain loyal readers. I’m still nowhere near where I want to be as a writer, but I’ve noticed a definite uptick in sales over the previous two years. A HUGE “thank you” to everyone who made that possible. You guys rock! 🙂

Looking back at my end of year post for 2014, I set specific goals for myself to accomplish in 2015. I thought I’d share how I did:

Submit my manuscript for A THOUSAND YESTERYEARS to Kensington Publishing

Author, Mae Clair

Point Pleasant, WV 2013. My first venture Mothman hunting. How do you like the hat? It says “Mothman Search Team.”

Done, and I’m delighted to say, the book releases on April 26, 2016. Not only that, but Kensington gave me a three book contract *CARTWHEELS*

Look for a cover reveal on A THOUSAND YESTERYEARS in the next few weeks. The first in my Point Pleasant Series, Yesteryears is also my first release with Kensington’s Lyrical Underground line, an imprint devoted to the mystery/suspense genre. I’ll be bringing you the Mothman, murder, and mystery. I hope you’ll like it. 🙂

Launch a newsletter
Another item I can check off my list. My newsletter is up and running. I sent out two in 2015, and will likely do 3-4 in 2016. Thanks to a few promos and blog hops I participated in, I garnered a surprising amount of subscribers (thanks!). If you’re not a subscriber and would like to join the fun, click here to sign up. I promise not to bombard your inbox! 🙂

Hold my first book signing
Unfortunately, this one didn’t see the light of day, but not for lack of trying. I made the mistake of attempting to set this up with a chain bookstore. Although the bookstore was happy to work with me, the corporate powers of said store could not. No biggie though, because I’m already on the roster of authors slated for a book signing at my local library in April 2016. So, although it became a bit delayed, I’m finally going to get do a book signing. *happy dance*

Reading Goal
When I discovered Goodreads, and realized I could set a “books read” goal each year, I started participating. For both 2013 and 2014 I read 65 books. This year I read 77, two more than my goal of 75. Granted, there were several short novellas in the mix, but there were also plenty of 500+ page epics, so I think it balanced out. So many books and so little time! Especially, because of . . .

Learning Spanish
This one wasn’t a goal from last year, but after taking a trip to the Dominican Republic in November, I decided to learn to speak Spanish. Uh…not that I don’t have enough to do already between working full-time, blogging, writing, and being committed to book contracts with deadlines. *sigh* Sometimes I can’t help myself.

So, my reading has suffered a bit as I devote a portion of that time to nightly Spanish sessions. I’ve been using the app Duolingo along with some books I picked up. I’m also eying the Rosetta Stone, but since Duolingo has been getting the job done, I’m not ready to plunk down the $$$ Rosetta wants. If you’ve used Rosetta, I’d love to hear what you think.

Cool thing about Duolingo for anyone who might be interested—the app is free and it includes multiple languages, not just Spanish. I highly recommend it for a fun and easy learning experience. You can check out their website at https://www.duolingo.com

~ooOOoo~

Ok…New Goals for 2016: 

Author, Mae Clair

Do I look ready to set some writerly goals? Bring on 2016!

Hold my first book signing
That one is already in the works

Keep on track with the submission deadlines for my Point Pleasant Series
Fingers crossed. I’ve got some tight deadlines but I’m working my tail off to meet them.

Indie pub a novella
Since 2012 I’ve managed to pub two titles a year. I know that might not seem a lot to some, but it’s a challenge for me. As it stands, book 2 of my Point Pleasant Series is scheduled for publication in December 2016 which would give me two titles for the year, but I’d still like to indie pub a novella. Either a book of short stories, or a short tale. Just a vague idea at this point, but I’m listing it as a goal. 

Author, Mae Clair

When it comes to learning Spanish, I’m not sure the smiles will last. Those $@&* verb conjugations!

Learn more Spanish
¿Está impresionado puedo escribir esto en español?

Reading Goal
I’m going to cut myself some slack and go with 50 titles this year. If I top that, it’s all icing.

So…I’ve shared my accomplishments for 2015 and my goals for 2016 (plus, I’m out of hat pictures).

Want to share some of yours achievements and your plans for the coming year? Let’s celebrate together and bring in 2016 with an authorly/readerly/writerly bang!

Cheers, everyone!

30 thoughts on “A Personal Look Back at 2015 by Mae Clair

  1. I’m wow’d by your accomplishments! What an exciting year. 🙂 And the hats are really cool.
    I was really on a roll at the first of the year, but an unforeseen circumstance resulted in a cascade of other circumstances and commitments that I’m just now crawling out from under. May the light shine brighter in 2016 🙂

    • Wishing you a productive 2016, Susan! I think it’s so easy to get off track with all authors juggle in addition to writing. Sometimes we just have to cut ourselves some slack and tackle things at a later date. Happy New Year…oh, and glad you liked the hats, LOL!

  2. A fabulous list of achievements and a catalogue of well deserved success for hard work and dedication. I wish you well for 2016, Mae and thank you for the pleasure reading your books has given me. I also appreciate your kind support.

    • Those sentiments are returned in kind, Daisy. Wishing you the very best for 2016. I’m looking forward to more of your entertaining stories.Thanks for your friendship and your support. You’re a gem!

    • Thanks. 2015 had some rough spots so I’m hoping 2016 is better. Oh…and I just joined Rave Reviews and put you down as having referred me. It will be something new for me to get accustomed to in 2016. There’s so much on that site to absorb!

      • That’s wonderful. It appears more intrusive than it is. I participate in things I choose to participate in. Sometimes I give an event a pass. They’ve helped me a bunch.

  3. Wow, Mae! I think you’re awesome and the achievements you’ve made are jaw dropping. I predict 2016 is going to be even better 🙂 Best of luck to you my friend in all your endeavors!

    • I love swatting the task list into submission, LOL! That 3-book contract was probably the highlight of 2015 but it does have me VERY nervous. I’ve never had to produce by deadline before *gulp* Mr. E. has some magic to work 🙂

      Happy New Year, Julie!

  4. Congratulations on all your achievements!
    And, as a teacher, I will grade you with the highest which is 10 in Romania!
    You were a diligent student.
    May your wishes for the next year get life, too!

    • Ooo, thanks for that, Carmen. I’ll take the 10 and see if I can reproduce it in 2016. 🙂
      Thanks for your wonderful support, my friend. Wishing you the very best for 2016!

  5. You are so awesome! I’m so happy for you. I know you work really hard, and you’re an inspiration to me. I didn’t fair so well in 2015, but I have lofty goals for 2016. I wrote them on my white board! Which means nothing if I don’t get them done. I’m amazed at your reading goals. My goal was to read 36 books this year. I’m on book 33 right now, and it just happens to be Food for Poe. Great job on this story. I’m continually surprised at the twists. I plan on having it finished this year. So, I’ll keep my reading goal of 36 books for 2016.

    I miss your great feedback on my work. You have helped me so much and I truly wouldn’t be the writer I am without you. Thanks and have a wonderful New Year.

    Mary E. Merrell
    (PS. I don’t know if I told you I found a black kitten in September and he’s a real hoot. I named him Jethro Gibbs, but he goes by Jethro mostly. : )

    • Hello, my friend! It is so great to hear from you and to have you drop by. It sounds like you’re doing great with your reading challenge, and I’m so glad you’re enjoying Poe. I’ve missed our critique sessions too. Maybe we can get back on track on the new year. Hugs to you you and to Jethro. I will want pics of the new guy 🙂

      Happy 2016!

  6. Mae, it sounds like a wonderful year! In fact, I feel like a total slacker in comparison. LOL I’m happy for all your success and accomplishments, and excited to read even more of your books in the upcoming months. (You may have to hold my hand during the scary parts. LOL) Anyway, wishing you a very happy 2016, and here’s a toast to all you’ve accomplished in 2015. 🙂

    • Happy almost 2016, my friend! It is so great to hear from you. You’ve had some major accomplishments in 2015, too. Your books have kicked butt, especially that #1 run with your Regency box set. Can’t wait to see what you do in 2016. And no worries about the scary stuff in my books….I think you’ve probably figured out my ratio of frights vs. mystery from Myth and Magic 😀

      Cheers!

    • Hi, Sandra. So great to have you drop by and say hello. And I’m thrilled that you’re enjoying my books! It has been wonderful getting to know you this past year. I look forward to continuing our friendship, and look forward for more incredible reads from you, too. Cheers and Happy New Year, bud! 😀

  7. Oh, it’s Spanish, all right! You did remarkably well with your goals, and I like the way you carry on with logical ones in 2016. Very admirable. I hope to heal and get my act back together before too much time flies.

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