Reflecting On A Complicated Year From Within The State Of Ohio (or, Me: A Year In Review 2014)



Greetings from beautiful Sandusky Ohio. We surprised the kids with an overnight trip to a moderately sketchy indoor water park. We always decide at the last-minute to do these things during peak times which is why we usually end up facing weedy lots and abandoned gas stations. The room is pretty nice though and the kids love it which means I can get some work done.

And speaking of work, let’s reflect on 2014. I didn’t do one of these last year and regretted it. I do them more for posterity and to meet the curiosity of future me who loves to read through these old posts. Also, the end of the Christmas season is always depressing after such a quick end to months of buildup and thinking about the coming year helps transition me into a happier state of being.

So of course one giant aspect of 2014 sucked with me losing the Exhibit A job. But other than that, it turned out to be a pretty good year. For one, I *got* the Exhibit A job which was awesome while it lasted. I got a free trip to the UK, NYC, Phoenix, and a couple other places. I got to briefly work with some cool writers, and I got to pretend I was a big shot. That job also gave me a big leg up in getting my current job, which I also love and, in many ways, is a better fit for me in the long run.

Writing-wise, this is the yearly update I’ve been waiting to write for almost a decade. I finally got a book deal. A great book deal that went from a digital only deal to a paperback deal with great distribution and some amazing blurbs from some amazing people. It was also a two-book deal meaning I get to write another novel knowing that someone has already agreed to publish it. Now I just have to finish that second book.

I’d hoped this would be the year I started and finished the first draft of a novel in the same year, but alas, it’s not to be. Maybe next year. And next year I want to do a lot of writing. I want to finish that second book, I want to write another crime book not in that series, and I also have an urban fantasy novel I’d like to write. I also want to write some short stories. I will write at least one that digs into the back story of a major character from MURDER BOY because I want to do it as a giveaway for folks who pre-order MURDER BOY to help gin up early interest. But I have another story I’ve been wanting to write that I think I may have finally found a way into.

I don’t have an agent and I negotiated the MURDER BOY deal myself because I didn’t think I could have an agent while dealing with agents as the head of Exhibit A. But in 2015 I want to get an agent to help me sell these other books I’m writing as well as handling foreign rights and movie rights and theme park and calendar rights, etc. So if you’re an agent and reading this, expect to hear from me in 2015 and prepare your interns accordingly.

My reading was up this year from last year’s abysmal total. I had a goal of 24 books, or roughly two books a month, and I did meet that goal and will probably end the year a few books above it. My goal is always to read a book a week and end the year at 52, but it never happens. Next year I hope to be closer to the mid-40s I usually average. I hope adding some ebooks and audio books helps me achieve that goal.

On the family front, this was a great year. We had a happy, healthy, and beautiful new baby girl who is growing perfectly into her little personality. Spenser and Holly have grown out of the worst of their little kid traits and they’re fun to be around almost all of the time. I still want to spend more time doing stuff with them rather than just being in the same room as them, but I think I’ve done an okay job so far. Becky has enjoyed being a stay-at-home mom and I enjoy having someone at home baking and making my lunch and doing my laundry. I like to think I’m progressive, but something about traditional gender roles in comforting and fun as well.