A Year in Review — And What’s Coming in 2015

Well, it’s been one hell of a year.

2014 was my first full year as an author. Since I was in high school, I’ve made a habit of writing down my goals for the year, ranging from weird “bucket list” items to more serious goals. To give you an idea of the scope of these goals, two real winners from my 2012 list were “go vegetarian,” and “get Jillian Michaels’ arms.” (In case you’re wondering, the vegetarian thing didn’t really stick, and I will never have Jillian’s arms.)

However, I did manage to stick to my goals for 2014 for the most part. I published “Enemy Inside,” “The Last Uprising,” and “Recon.” I also finished writing book two of The Fringe and “won” NaNoWriMo by pounding out more than 50,000 words on my post-apocalyptic/paranormal crossover novel coming in 2015.

Three books published, three books written for a total of 286,268 words. Unfortunately, I did fall short of my goal of 350,000 words, but that may have been a little overly ambitious considering I had to spend several months in full editing mode. I also got the Defectors Trilogy into other retailers. It’s now available in the Apple iBooks store, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and many more. The first two are even in paperback!

2014 was also the year I had to start thinking of this as a business. I sold more than 11,000 books (not counting January sales and the thousands I gave away in Kindle promos) and decided I should probably get an accountant. It’s been a super exciting ride, and it’s all thanks to you guys.

Aside from the business, I was able to knock off a few of my bucket list items for 2014, as well. I visited a winery, found a new apartment, bought a new car (not on my list), and tried Krav Maga.

Actually, I didn’t just try Krav Maga. I fell in love with it. It’s gotten me in great shape and helped me write way better fight scenes. In fact, I recently had to go through and rewrite all the fights in Fringe II to make them more realistic. In a few weeks, I start the next level of Krav, where I’ll be sparring for real. I think in 2015, it might be fun to try some MMA classes. I’ve been binge-watching old seasons of “The Ultimate Fighter,” and it looks like a lot of fun.

So what’s happening in 2015?

1. I’m going to write Fringe III, IV, V and finish ICEHOUSE — my super-secret crossover project. (I’m not being coy about this on purpose. I’m just reluctant to give details because the concept is still a little rough, and I’m not sure if I’m going to publish it under my name or a pen name just yet. If you’d be interested in reading something from me that’s not strictly dystopian, drop me a line to let me know.)

My new word count goal is 350,000 words. Yes, I’m being ambitious again.

2. I’m going to publish Fringe II, III and ICEHOUSE. If everything goes according to plan, I’m hoping to have book two out in February and book three out in June or July.

3. I’m going to get everything in print. This includes “The Last Uprising,” “Recon,” and any subsequent releases. I originally started publishing with a digital-first model, but as the books have gotten more popular, I’ve realized this just doesn’t make sense. Hopefully, I’ll be organized enough in 2015 to get print and digital versions released simultaneously.

4. I’m going to read two books a month. In 2014, I read tons of books, but I have the bad habit of binge-reading for a month, then getting busy and not reading for a while. I want to be more consistent this year and mix in some nonfiction like “The 4-Hour Workweek,” “The War of Art,” “Thinking, Fast and Slow,” and “Outliers.” I’m also going to have to learn more about accounting and tax law. (It’s not all fun and games.)

Obviously, I have some pretty ambitious goals for the business moving forward, so expect some really exciting things from me in 2015.

To all you out there who have bought my books, sent me nice emails, and left great reviews, thank you so much. You helped me make this year awesome. Now let’s do it all over again.