Hello and welcome yet again to my ongoing blog post series for December 2019, in which I am taking a look at the past decade and all of its ups and downs, and at the end, I’ll be taking a look forward into the future with at least the next year’s plans. This is part four in a series of posts. If you missed the past parts of the series you can read them here: Part One | Part Two | Part Three
Hit the link below to continue reading the fourth part of this series!
So now we have arrived in 2015. Permuted Press released two books that had been in the pipeline and completed for quite some time: The Becoming: Redemption and a collection of novellas that we titled The Becoming: Origins. I never really intended to do a novella collection; that hadn’t been the plan. In fact, I’d intended for an entire novel to happen between The Becoming: Under Siege and The Becoming: Redemption. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately? I’m not sure which), the story I had planned ahead of time ended up wrapping up way faster than I had initially anticipated; as such, the story I had intended to tell stopped at the end of book five. After a discussion with the publisher, since I was under contract for six books, not five, we ultimately decided to put together a book that served as a novella collection for the novellas I had written in that universe.
Meanwhile, I had a literary agent. I had actually acquired her back in 2013, which I think I forgot to mention, and she had taken my urban fantasy series The Unnaturals out on the road to attempt to sell it to a publisher. Unfortunately, she had no success managing to sell it—part of the problem was timing, as usual; the urban fantasy market was saturated at the time, and a lot of publishers weren’t taking much urban fantasy on unless it was from someone who was a known entity. And I was definitely not a known entity. So we ended up putting it on the back burner while I started work on something else.
In the meantime, because I really wanted to see The Unnaturals Series out there, I ended up self-publishing the first version of The Unnaturals. Then I…didn’t market it. In hindsight, this was a terrible idea, obviously. But it was also something I didn’t even give a thought to. You see, back when I first self-published The Becoming, the Kindle thing was so new that people were buying without you really having to market. There was also less competition (though I hesitate to use that word; I don’t see myself as competing with other authors). Regardless, it was much easier for readers to find your books organically on Amazon. By the time 2015 rolled around…not anymore. But I hadn’t recognized that, because I didn’t do my homework to see how the marketplace had changed before releasing a new product. So the end result was a really good book that languished for want of attention and readers.
On the job front, 2015 was also the year that I changed jobs…sort of. I had a bad habit of injuring myself on calls when lifting patients, and by this point, I had filed multiple worker’s compensation claims. I felt bad about it every time I had to, because the company I work for couldn’t help the fact I was a clumsy idiot who couldn’t walk ten feet without running into a wall. In August of 2015, though, I ended up injuring my right knee. This was actually something that happened off the clock, for once, but it put me off the ambulance for over six weeks while I got physical therapy and attempted to recuperate. By this time, I had transitioned into being a full-time college student, still trying to finish those degrees I was working towards (by this time, I’d changed to a double major in English and History). Also, this is the same semester that my boss decided that I was hurting myself way too much on the ambulance—not that I faulted him for this decision; I was, thanks to some weird joint issues I was having—and he decided I’d be better off being shifted into the newly established dispatch call center that they were forming in the administrative offices. So that’s where I ended up by the end of that year, which gave me more than ample time between calls and other duties on the overnight shift I worked to do my homework and to write.
So then we enter 2016. I call 2016 my dead year, which is why I lumped three years into this part of the retrospective instead of the two years I’ve been doing. Not a lot happened in 2016 that I can actually recall. I continued going to school full time. I think that was the year I made the dean’s list on one of those semesters, which was an achievement for me, because I’d (shamefully) never actually landed on the dean’s list before.
The only other real thing of significance that happened in 2016 was the self-publication of the first version of Hellforged, the second book in The Unnaturals Series. And, of course, I still hadn’t learned my lesson, because I was still doing the spaghetti method of book releases (throwing things at walls and seeing what stuck). So that just sort of sat there and languished there, as the first book did.
Now we come to 2017. I didn’t release any books in 2017. I was mainly focused on my last semester of college, and in May, I managed to complete my Bachelors degrees in both English and History, something that I’m still insanely proud of, because I never thought I’d actually finish college (which I had started waaaay back in 2003, for perspective).
This was also the year that I started taking my freelance editing a little more seriously. It was a nice little side hustle, extra income that I really needed, but it was also something I was good at, and it’s something that I genuinely enjoy doing, which was a great incentive to start focusing more seriously on it. I began picking up more work from some small publishers that I freelanced for, and I began building up a little bit more on the indie client side, which has been a great source of reading for me over the years!
So that was my 2015, 2016, and 2017 in a nutshell. As you can see, not a whole lot happened in 2016 and 2017. But a lot of that is going to change in the next part, which will cover the years 2018 and 2019, alongside a look forward into 2020! So stay tuned and be sure to check out next week’s post, which will be the final part in my Decade of Zombies retrospective!