The Writing Year That Was…

The year is drawing to a close. In a short while, we’ll be bidding 2016 goodbye. I’m excited about starting new projects and setting new goals in 2017, but it always helps to look back over the previous year. 2016 was a tough one, but it was also very good to me. Many thanks, my friends, for taking the journey with me. Here’s my personal look back, and a wish to all of us for continued success in the year ahead!

Holiday thank-you card surrounded by open fountain pen, and red and green decorations . Gold ink

I wrote and delivered three manuscripts—two full length books, and one short story. Not too shabby for juggling a writing career with a full-time job, but I will be more than happy to wave goodbye to contract deadlines.

A great year! Book one of my Point Pleasant Series, A Thousand Yesteryears released April 26, and book two, A Cold Tomorrow, released December 20. Tucked in-between, my short story, The Lady Ghost, was part of Macabre Sanctuary, a free anthology of Halloween-themed stories that released on September 30. That book is still free, so if you haven’t grabbed a copy yet, don’t miss out!

I kicked off 2016 as a brand new member of the Rave Reviews Book Club, an experience that has been a highlight of my online journey. Not only did I discover great authors and fabulous books, but I’ve made many wonderful and supportive friends as a result. And talk about fun! The Back to School Blog Block Party was the standout for me, but there were plenty of exciting events taking place throughout the year.  Please see my RRBC page to learn more about this fantastic club and how it can benefit you. I’ve already renewed my membership for 2017.

Myth and Magic was a RRBC book-of-the-month club selection in May. I picked up many new reviews as a result and was able to participate in a club discussion regarding the novel. Can we say “jazzed?” 🙂

I did two local book signings this year (one in April and one in October), and although neither resulted in a plethora of sales, I did sell copies, and had a lot of fun in the process. I also got to network with a number of other local authors and made some great connections.

What started as brainstorming ideas about promotion with a few other authors, evolved into a full blown website. I’m delighted to be part of this fabulous online group which also includes Staci Troilo, Craig Boyack, Harmony Kent and Sandra Cox. If you aren’t a member of the Empire, we’d love to have you follow our blog where we talk craft, writing, books, and even run off-the-wall promos. Look for more from the SE group in 2017. We’re always dreaming up something!

For the second year in a row, I hit bestseller status on Amazon, this time with
A Thousand Yesteryears, which peaked in the paid store at #1 in mystery/thriller/suspense paranormal and #1 in sci-fi/fantasy magical realism. Yes, I took screenshots. Ranking higher than Stephen King, for however brief the stay, had me floating! If you haven’t read A Thousand Yesteryears yet, now is your chance to pick up a copy for .99c for a limited time.

I set my Goodreads Reading Challenge at 50 books this year, thinking I wouldn’t read as much as normal with my contract deadlines. I ended up reading 82, which proves I can’t keep my nose out of a book, I guess. My reads come from a mixture of mainstream novels, novels written by friends and RRBC members, plus others I stumble across on Twitter or book blogs. As a member of RRBC, I’m required to read 4 books a year by other member authors. in 2016, 30 of my 82 books were RRBC reads.

beautiful black cat with a glossy coat nestled in an open cardboard boxRAVEN
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my cat, Raven, adopted the end of September. Cats are curious creatures, and yes, she gets into many things she shouldn’t, but she’s a joy. And boy, has she grown! That’s her at the right on Christmas Day. Notice the new toy in the background (just one of many). Like a typical cat, she’s more interested in the box. She does, however, have a “Santa mouse” that she loves. 🙂

For those of you might not know, 12 is my favorite number. Just recently, I discovered A Thousand Yesteryears made book reviewer, Jennifer Thomason’s, top twelve reads of 2016! I was thrilled to find my novel included, especially given the amazing talent in the group. You can see all twelve books on Jennifer’s blog, Dandelions Inspired. If you love to read, click “follow” while you’re there. I think Jennifer probably reads more than anyone I know! And if you’re an author, check out the review submission guidelines on her blog. She’ll give you a fair shake.

Like camping? Like to read? Lyrical Underground tagged me on Facebook this week, alerting me they’re doing a giveaway to celebrate A Cold Tomorrow. I wouldn’t mind having these goodies myself. Hop over to see what they’re giving away! I love that they’re always doing something.

My best year yet!! I’ve heard it usually takes several years to see results, and I’ve finally reached the point where that’s happening. Hopefully, I can continue to build on that momentum going into 2017 and beyond. A HUGE thank you to everyone for the support you’ve shown me. You have made my author’s journey a blessing.

Wishing you all a fabulous New Year! Cheers, and let’s head into 2017 together!    

52 thoughts on “The Writing Year That Was…

  1. Congratulations! Higher than Steven King! No wonder you’re floating. In that position, I would just float away into La La Land. Haven’t picked up the final version of A Thousand Yesteryears, but I will presently. Congratulations again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Hank! What a pleasure to have you drop by. And yes, I was pretty jazzed by that bestseller ranking. King was #5 and I was #1….of course, it only lasted for a few days, but I enjoyed it while it did 🙂

      I hope you enjoy A Thousand Yesteryears. I’m sure you’ll recognize the opening from critique group 🙂

      Happy New Year!


  2. I’m SO happy for you! What a great year! I went to the Dandelioins Inspired top twelve, and she gives great reviews. Congrats for making it into the top twelve. That’s a real honor since she reads so many books. I hope you’ve built lots of momentum and just keep finding more and more readers! Happy 2017,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for all those well wishes, Judi. It was a hard year, but paid off in the end, so that helps, LOL. Dandelions Inspired is a great blog and Jennifer reads like crazy (more than double what I do!). I was super excited about the Top 12.

      Wishing you an awesome 2017 in return, with many more readers and many more books! Thanks for sharing in my own journey 🙂


    • Thanks, Stanalei. A look back is something I try to do each year. It really helps to see what I managed to accomplish, especially when it feels like utter chaos at the time, LOL.

      Sending you wishes for a spectacular 2017!


    • Hi, Jacquie. 2016 seemed like chaos when it was happening, but now that I look back on it as a whole I realize I had a lot to celebrate. Thanks for sharing in my journey this year. So glad we connected. Sending you wishes for a fantastic 2017 and a Happy New Year! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This just makes me smile! I’m soooooo glad I met you through RRBC and discovered such a gifted writer. Your generous support for fellow writers never goes unnoticed as well. It’s been an absolute joy celebrating your journey’s success with you. Cheers to a fabulous year and another exciting adventure in 2017! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • And, Natalie, that comment made me smile so in return! 🙂 I am so delighted to have met you! Thank you so much for your kindness and support. I’m thrilled you love my stories!

      Thanks for the cheers. I look forward to another fabulous year with RRBC and more beautiful poetry from you. Happy New Year!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Woo-hoo! Sounds like a banner year for you, Mae! Two books and a short story? Wow. Amazon Bestseller–yay! Well deserved, IMO. Haven’t started A Cold Tomorrow yet (working through a novella by my writing teacher), but I can’t wait! May 2017 be more productive and fruitful than 2016. Haven’t joined RRBC quite yet, but that’s on my list for this year. Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Happy New Year, Julie. When it’s time, and you’re ready, I think you’ll find you’ll love RRBC. They’re a great group. And I hope you enjoy A Cold Tomorrow (and meeting Mr. E., LOL), too. My TBR is always towering so I fully understand all the books out there to read 🙂


  5. Congratulations for a busy but highly successful 2015! Well deserved harvest!
    May 2017 be filled with health, prosperity, joys and new great projects for you and dear ones!


  6. You’ve motivated me for 2017, Mae -you’ve accomplished so much this year! My cat did the same thing with his Christmas toy – just give him a box and he’s happy. Congrats on your successes in 2016!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was a jammed-packed year, Teri, but it all turned out good in the end, LOL. Here’s to both of us for moving ahead in 2017. And Sarah is going to be my first read of the New Year. Getting ready to start it tomorrow and looking forward to it. Happy New Year!


  7. Wow! What a year it has been, Mae–congratulations & best wishes, no only on your writing accomplishments, but on Raven, your darling new addition too. Thanks so much for all the support and encouragement you extend to this novice. May your 2017 top this year’s chart! 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bette, I hardly think of you as a novice, LOL, especially when Dog Bone Soup ranks as one of my best reads of the year.

      Raven has been a treasure (bad as she is), just one of the many blessings I experienced in 2016. Thanks for sharing in my journey and for your friendship. It has been a delight getting to know you. Wishing you the very best for 2017!


      • Thanks again, Mae. I know about and delight in kitty treasures. Our Midnight, the black kitty who adopted us (long story…) keeps us entertained and inspired. Her Christmas tree (3 foot tall) on her grooming table will stay up through January–she’ll have it no other way. As for empty boxes, log bags and baskets, she claims them as her own. In our house, Midnight rules–and we’re more than happy to be the servants. Have a wonderful 2017 and enjoy all of those magical moments with Raven. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • I love her name–Midnight is perfect for a black kitty. I had to chuckle about how she rules and you’re happy to be her servants. That is so like a cat…and so like the owners of a cat, LOL. Thanks for sharing about her. I have OCD (obsessive cat disorder) and love hearing tales about these beautiful creatures!


    • Ahh, I do, Frederick! I have those moments when I think “why am I doing this?” but they normally don’t last long. I’m ready to tackle new projects in the new year. Wishing you a fabulous 2017!


  8. Well, I’m behind in visiting, but you had quite a successful year! Congratulations! Love the photo of Raven – my cats also love boxes.

    Best wishes for a wonderful 2017 filled with lots of success.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Joan! No worries….I get behind plenty of times, too, LOL. Thanks for dropping by to check out the post….and Raven had lots of fun in that box 🙂

      Sending you wishes for a successful 2017 as well!


  9. Pingback: Hootsuite, Twitter Lists, and Tweeps #MondayBlogs | Story Empire

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