2017 In Review


The last four years have been very good to this writer gal. I’ve published books, started my own website and Facebook page, and have generally made writing more of a job than the hobby it had been for almost twenty years. 2017 was by far my most productive year so far. By the time October rolled around, I was worn out and all those pretty words in my head had decided to hibernate. Indefinitely.

Thankfully, even though I couldn’t actually sit down and write anything worth reading, the ideas continued to come at me from nowhere (as they typically do). I have four (or is it five…) new story ideas lined up to begin working on… if my brain ever decides to engage again.

Here’s a snapshot of this past year:

I published three books; Taming Marco, Breaking Roman & Revealing Bella. I sent two other books off to the editor, and have three more scheduled to send to her over the course of this year. Somehow in the general craziness that was 2017, I managed to squeeze out two more manuscripts. How does she do it, you might ask? I don’t sleep much. Or at all, if you ask my husband.

In November when I published Bella’s story, it suddenly occurred to me that she was my 6th published book. MY 6TH!! I can remember a time not so long ago when I could only dream of that happening. Now I sit here and look at my books on the shelf in my office and I wonder how this all happened.

I let go of the fear?

I got tired of NOT trying?

I somehow managed to overcome the self-doubt and say, “what the hell, I’ll never know until I actually do it”?

Probably a bit of all three. I know it was my hubby who really pushed me and encouraged me to give self-publishing a chance. I know for certain that I couldn’t do this without him. As time consuming as the business of writing is, it’s also not cheap. I suppose it could be cheap, if you skipped things like editing, formatting and created your own book covers. I’m not at all creative in that regard, so it’s in everyone’s best interest that I hire someone to do the graphic design for me. Honestly…. I don’t care if I only publish one book every five years, but I would NEVER skimp on the editing costs. Editors aren’t looking at your manuscript to check for your typos, they are digging into the meat of the story and asking questions. Good questions. Questions that demand to be answered before you even consider releasing the manuscript to the masses.

I plan to be a smidge gentler on myself this year. I’d like to publish three books, but the reality is I’ll most likely publish two. I’m okay with that. I’m okay if I only publish one. The stories will be there next year, and the year after. And since I’m not planning on going anywhere anytime soon, I’ll keep plugging along, slowly gaining readers, and talking about writing with all my writer pals on Twitter.

Here’s what I do know about 2018:

  • I will release my first male/male romance and I’m planning to release it in June, which is Pride month. This will be book one of a four part series. And yes… all four manuscripts are completed. I can’t wait for you to meet my boys!

  • I really, really hope to publish “Educating Sophia”, which is the final installment of The Moran Family series. This series isn’t a series without baby sister Sophia’s story being told. And I desperately want to share her with all of you.

  • I hope to find a permanent cover designer. I had (what I believed) was a great relationship with my previous designer. She did some beautiful work for me. But life changes, which I understand. I do wish though that she’d been able to finish Sophia’s cover. Expecting another designer to step in at this point seems unfair, but I suppose that’s life.

  • I may not release blog posts every single week. In 2017, I didn’t seem to have any issues with posting weekly, but I do realize how time consuming they can be. If blogging was my only job, I’d be happy to crank out posts often. But writing is my priority (as is the darned day job I’m required to keep to pay all my writing expenses). Something has to give. I do vow to never stop posting the Recipes of the Month.

  • I promise to make my newsletters more exciting. Or at least I’ll try. Again, like the blog posts, it deters from the REAL job at hand. But I do have a responsibility to the handful of people who signed up to hear from me on the first of every month. I owe them something worth reading. Shameless plug…to sign-up for my monthly newsletter, see the Home page, and the link in the upper right-hand corner (I promise, no spam. Just one not-so-boring newsletter each month).

  • I’m going to take those ideas that I’ve got stashed and turn them into warm, loving, sexy stories for all of you to enjoy.

Along with all the writing stuff I accomplished in 2017, I read a lot of really amazing books by some of my favorite authors (and some new ones too). To see a list of my favorite books of 2017, check out the December 28th blog post, where I gush about all things book-related and those stories you simply MUST read.

Do you have a cool idea for a blog post, a recipe you’d like me to share, or something fun you think I should include in my next newsletter? If so, email me! I’d love to hear from you. Shameless plug #2….you can email me at: alexisjamesauthor@gmail.com

Thank you – all of you – for making 2017 such a wonderful year for this writer gal. I look forward to bringing you more of the same in 2018 (and beyond).

Hugs!

AJ

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