So we’ve had a bit of a change around. No longer shall this series be called New Years Blog Thingy, instead we now have, Getting to Know You. Yes, all of the Rodgers and Hammerstein glory right here right now. I was going to call it Knockin’ Boots with... but not everyone I’ll have visit writes erotic romance. And maybe not everyone that visits wants to actually knock boots with you. I’m not saying you have bad hygiene or anything. You're probably a lovely sweet person. Hey, don’t get that way. No...come on. Calm down. If you behave, we might have a knockin boots series later in the year, just for kicks.
Anyhoo, today we have my mate Kylie Griffin visiting. Kylie not only has an awesome name but writes wonderful Fantasy/Romance. Her stories are beautifully crafted and if you haven’t read one then go to time out with your ereader, download one and get to it. NOW. Don’t make me tell you twice!
What did you learn in 2012?
Geez, where do I start answering this?!?! Great question though...
I've learned how to say no (politely, of course) and edcated those around me that writing is a job not just something I can drop and go back to when situations/events arise. I'm in a situation where I've been able to work part time the last couple of years, and this freed me up to commit full days to writing.
But I'm also a volunteer in a number of emergency service & community organisations and have given almost 20 years to most of them, so they are a huge part of my life (or were). Making more time for writing became a priority once I published, so learning to pull back or say "I'm not available" was a big thing, especially when it came to being unavailable for emergency call outs.
I'm a visual person (and probably, slightly, OCD *grin*) so I like having calendars up on my wall with dates blocked out with deadlines and other events, so I guess 2012 taught me to be even more organised and vigilant with tracking commitments as well as managing my time more efficiently.
Yet having said that, I've also learned that life can throw wobbly hurdles in your way - nothing you do to compensate and no action you take will stop them interfering and/or stunting your creativity. I struck two rather large life events last year that did this both times, and I struggled to write and meet commitments. I had to accept this can happen and to move on.
What were some of your highlights of 2012?
I became an aunt! I now have a 10 month old niece I get to spoil and hand back to her parents - heh, heh. Loving books as much as I do, you can guess what she's going to get for the next 18 years for Christmas and birthdays!
February 7th 2012 will be forever etched in memory - VENGEANCE BORN debuted worldwide, my first book ever to hit shelves! Words really can't describe that experience, suffice to say I wore the widest grin all day. And five months later ALLIANCE FORGED, the second book in this fantasy series, also came out, so a bit of a double celebration. Add to that the whole author career cycle of deadlines, marketing, blog tours, speaking at libraries, and juggling it all with my teaching - it was a steep learning curve but one I wouldn't swap for anything!
Another highlight of 2012 was attending the RWAustralia conference. There's nothing that beats a ballroom full of authors all talking, workshopping and sharing a love for a common passion. It was also wonderful to watch a good friend join the published author ranks (Michelle de Rooy) and collect her First Sales ribbon at the conference and I loved participating in the ARRA book-signing event (another first).
What have you got planned for 2013, publishing or otherwise?
Come April 2013, I have the third book in my Light Blade series being released. ALLEGIANCE SWORN will come out at the same time the mass market version of VENGEANCE BORN. Very exciting! At the moment, I'm in the throes of organising a blog tour & other promotional opportunities with my publicist. I'm also submitting a proposal to my editor for #4 & #5 in this series to my editor - so fingers crossed they'll get the nod.
I've set my sights on attending not only the RWAustralia conference in Western Australia and RWAmerica in Atlanta, Georgia (USA).
During the last few years, at the RWAustralia conference, some close friends and I have established the habit of meeting to make plans for world domination...umm, I mean set goals for the following year but this tended to happen on the Sunday night after the conference and we found the short space of time to talk about our personal goals etc. between then and heading home was limited. So, four of us decided we needed a Writers' Retreat, a halfway-to-conference-motivational/catch up. The retreat is we're happening March! Can't wait. :-) And maybe this will become a yearly tradition.
Personally, I'm going to be working part-time again in teaching. Having already spent a year juggling both teaching and being an author, I hope to be better at it this year!
Any movies, books and such-like being released in 2013 that you're really looking forward to?
Where I live, just ducking out to catch a movie at the picture theater isn't an option, so I usually wait for them to come out on DVD and then buy them so I can watch them in the comfort of my own home. On my hit list for 2013 is The Hobbit:An Unexpected Journey & The Hobbit:Desolation of Smaug, Star Trek:Into Darkness, Les Miserables, The Wolverine (who could pass up Hugh Jackman???), and Riddick.
My TBR pile has already taken a caning this year. I've read/caught up/winnowed about 10 books already. I hope to get a few more in before school goes back and I'm on deadline again.
I have a long list of books I'm looking forward to reading/owning - FLESH & SKIN being two I have a hankering to add to my collection (paperback versions, that is, fingers crossed) *VBG*. HEART OF IRON by Bec McMaster & her untitled third book in her London Steampunk series, EXHALE by Dakota Harrison (coming out in July), NIGHT RESSURECTED by Joss Ware (post-apoc.romance), IRON KIN by M.J.Scott (April 2013)...too many to name, I'm afraid.