Looking Back at 2017

Here we are with only a few days of 2017 still remaining.  Like most, I look back and think the months blasted past in the wink of an eye. Another year already? It seems impossible, yet 2018 will soon be ushered in with champagne toasts and confetti. As I normally do at this time of year, I like to reflect on the good tidings the year has brought with a quick breakdown.

As a writer, I signed a new three-book contract with Kensington Publishing’s Lyrical Underground imprint. After finishing my Point Pleasant Series, I thought I was done with deadlines, but I couldn’t say no when the publisher asked me to submit something new. Thinking about that still has me on a cloud, and I can’t wait to introduce everyone to Cusp of Night, the first title in my Hode’s Hill Series, which will release in June.

June 2017 saw the release of A Desolate Hour, the last book in my Point Pleasant Series. I was sad to say goodbye to those characters, but gained a sense of accomplishment for finishing my first series. A bit of a rush. 🙂

Book sales were up for the third year in a row (YAY!) but I’m  worried about the first two quarters of next year. I don’t have anything releasing until the summer of 2018, which is certain to impact what I earn. I guess it’s a good thing I work a full-time job. I have a feeling it will be years (if ever) before I earn a steady income from writing. Still, it’s nice to see a return from doing something I love and connect with new readers in the process.

Banner ad for A Desolate Hour by Mae Clair features Man standing in a dark mysterious forest with bloody lake in foreground

My short story, Family Tree, was accepted for publication in the time-travel anthology, Quantum Wanderlust. If you haven’t already picked up a copy, treat yourself to an early New Year’s gift as Quantum Wanderlust is free and contains an eclectic mix of stories from various authors.

Banner ad for short story time travel anthology, Quantum Wanderlust

It’s no secret I love to read. Each year I participate in the Goodreads Reading Challenge. Last year I surpassed the number of books I set for myself, but this year I fell short—probably due to the aforementioned writing deadlines. That said, I managed to read 60 books. My goal was 75. I guess I need to dial that back for 2018.

Goodreads gave me some other cool stats about my reading. The shortest book I read was Belle’s Christmas Carol, a 33 page novella. The longest? That would be Paul McCartney: The Life at 864 pages. Quite a difference. The average length of the books I read was 209 pages according to GR.

I gave my first author presentation in October, themed on folklore and urban legends. Afterwards, I sold books and made a number of connections. I considered the evening a huge success and can’t wait to do a presentation again. Who knew it would be such fun!

I met the membership requirements to join two professional writer’s organizations—The Mystery Writers of America and The International Thriller Writers.  I am so honored to be a member of these groups and hope to better utilize those memberships in 2018. Yet another step in my ongoing journey as an author.

The authors of Story Empire are such a blessing to me! I am thrilled to be part of a group blog devoted to writing and helping other authors succeed. This year, Story Empire was nominated for Favorite Writing Blog at Positive Writer. I just found out that winners will be announced in January, so we have our collective fingers crossed. Thank you to everyone who voted for us.

I know I speak for all of the SE authors when I say we are grateful to our readers for their support and the time taken to visit our small corner of the blogosphere. We have some new features planned for 2018 and I hope you’ll stick with us as we explore and share those together.

I don’t share a lot about my family on my blog, but I am so grateful for each and every one of them, especially my wonderful husband, who I met in high school. All these years later, he’s still my soulmate and my one-and-only!

We had some fun this year with a trip to Cancun in the spring, and one to Florida in the fall. No, that’s not hubs below, but the pic is from our first night out in Cape Coral—at an open air bar/restaurant called the Yacht Club. We liked it so much we went back twice. The Captain was there to greet visitors.

With a large statue of Captain Morgan outside of the Yacht Club restaurant in Cape Coral, Florida

We also did some major renovations on our house, installing zoned heat and air conditioning and completely gutting our kitchen and dining room—removing a wall and creating one large room. Someday I’m going to get around to sharing the story of remodeling….with a cat 🙂

Cute black cat looks into camera from unfinished cabinet section

Which brings me to Raven. She joined us late in 2016, and makes every day entertaining. Pets bring such joy, and I’m thankful we found her and she found us—even when she’s climbing into things she shouldn’t be!

Finally, a heartfelt thanks to my readers and wonderful circle of blogging friends. I value each and every one of you. Over the last five years, I’ve learned that writing is not for the faint of heart. I couldn’t do this without you guys. Who else would understand the triumphs and hurdles of a writer’s life? 🙂

I wish all of you a Happy New Year with good health and good cheer. Here’s to a fabulous 2018 for all of us!

New years eve celebration background with champagne and confetti. Wishes for a magical 2018 from author Mae Clair

71 thoughts on “Looking Back at 2017

    • Linda, that is a wonderful compliment. Thank you for lovely words. I’m cheering you on in 2018 as well. You are kicking butt with your blog and showing us all how it’s done!
      P.S….The Mothman sends along his thanks too 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Writing isn’t for wussies. You’ve had a strong year and accomplished a lot. Go, you! I understand your concern about the first half of 2018. My next book won’t come out until November–a year between books. I’m expecting to fade into the woodwork:) But once your book comes out in June, I hope you break all records! Wishing you a great 2018.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It will be a year between books for me too, Judi. Very scary. I did contribute to the anthology Quantum Wanderlust and that kept my name out there, but I’ve been gnawing fingernails expecting the first half of 2018 to be pretty dismal. Fingers crossed we both kick butt when our new releases hit the market. I can’t wait to see what you do with a mystery. Happy New Year!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You had a fantastic 207, Mae, you should feel very proud of your accomplishments! I recently read a blog post by the amazing Laura Drake; she encourages writers not to judge their successes by dollars, rather by effort instead. Going by that ruler, you’re rich indeed 🙂
    Happy New Year!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I like that thought, Jacquie, although I feel like I slacked on releases this year. Since 2012 I’ve released two book every year.This is the first that only saw one (although counting the anthology I contributed to that’s two). I think as writers we’re just naturally hard on ourselves. Ack! Hopefully, I’ll get over that in 2018. Happy New Year 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, D.L. And Raven is just into everything. I have had 4 cats in my married life, but never one as curious, bad, and sometimes destructive as she is. I keep telling her she is a “girl kitty” and shouldn’t be this bad. She has other ideas, LOL.
      Happy New Year!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Enjoyed reading about your year, Mae. Can’t wait to hear the remodeling story, especially if Raven is involved. Seconding your thoughts on Story Empire – you guys are a real blessing. Wishing you much success in 2018.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wishing you the same, Joan. Story Empire is such a pleasure.It’s wonderful being able to share with others who feel the same about writing as we do.
      And yes,I need to share Raven’s remodeling adventures.She was into everything, LOL!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Mae, I love your looking back at 2017 and taking stock of the successes and highlights. It’s important this time of year to revisit where we’ve been, and your post is a good reminder. It is always sweet to catch a glimpse of Raven, too. Wishing you even greater success and happiness in the coming year!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. What a great year you had, Mae! Wow! With remodeling on top of everything else, you have been a busy lady. Here’s a thought. If you don’t wait until June for a new release, self-pub something earlier in the year. 🙂 At any rate, I wish you only the best in 2018!! I treasure our on-line friendship!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jan, I was actually thinking of doing that. I’m just not sure I have the time to put something together but I thought a novella might work. I have a few short stories lying around that I could probably develop into something. I would love to have something to fill the gap in that first part of the year.

      Wishing you the absolute best for 2018 too. I too, treasure our online friendship. It has been such a pleasure getting to know you! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Mae, a wonderful and successful year for you! Congratulations on the book deal – that is fantastic and seems you like to work to deadlines too! I’ve just started your ‘Food For Poe’ and it’s terrific…I am so susceptible to anything with a hint of paranormal…this stayed with me last night. Can’t wait to read more today.Wishing you a very Happy New Year and may 2018 be one of joy and creativity. hugs xxxx

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi, Annika! I seem to have a love/hate relationship with deadlines. I panic over the pressure but they do motivate me to produce, LOL. And oh, I’m delighted you’re enjoying Poe. Most everything I write has a hint of the paranormal in it, and it was fun to combine the element with a Christmas story. Thanks for letting me know you’re enjoying the tale.

      Happy New Year and wishing you much success in 2018! {{hugs}}

      Liked by 1 person

  7. You have had a wonderful year, Mae! I’ve finally started A Desolate Hour, and I’m thoroughly enjoying it. And a three-book deal is so awesome–can’t wait until Cusp of Night is available. You’ve had a pretty full year–may 2018 be somewhat less busy. Too much busy means less time to just be. Have a Happy New Year!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Happy New Year, Julie! Thanks for letting me know about A Desolate Hour. I really did love writing that series, though I am finding much joy and excitement in my new one as well. And yes, I hope I can sit back and relax a bit more this year, but we’ll see. I’m already fretting over the next deadline, LOL.

      Wishing you all the best for 2018, my friend. Happy New Year!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much, Bette. Part of living this dream of being a writer is the wonderful and talented friends I have made online. Thank you for being one of those, and I wish you all the best in our New Year. *gulp* It’s hard to believe 2018 is here already! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. What a year! So much going on, I’m amazed you even had time to think about deadlines. That picture of Raven has a spiritual message in it somewhere. I’m sure she’s trying to tell us all something. Once again, though, a happy New Year, Mae – from success to success!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much Frederick. It’s always a pleasure to have you drop by for a visit. 2017 was insanely busy, but there was a lot of fun in there too. As for Raven, if there’s a message in there, I think she’s quite adept at straddling the line between good and bad. Despite her mischievous nature and all she is constantly getting into, there’s no way I can do anything but call her an angel.

      Happy New Year!

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Sounds like you had a wonderful year, Mae, with another one starting to roll along. I can relate to the anxiety about sales momentum, but I think it comes with the job – that pressure to produce! But how lucky we are to do what we enjoy. Best wishes to you for a bountiful new year. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Diana. Wishing you all the best as well. I know that some people think the pressure to produce sucks the joy out of writing, but it doesn’t for me. I’ve learned to balance them hand in hand. Happy New Year!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Aww, that’s so sweet of you to say about the new series. I’m excited about it, and knowing others are looking forward to reading it just adds to that excitement. Thanks so much and it’s great to see you in the blogosphere!


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