It’s December and I’d like to take some time to look back over this past year. In January, I wrote about how New Year’s resolutions weren’t really my thing. Well, taking stock of a year was also never my thing. But this year has been a year of firsts for me, so here goes.
I started the year by posting Between the Push and Pull, a story about two porn stars who fall in love but couldn’t overcome the baggage they brought to the relationship.
In March, I wrote a short 18k story with the idea that I’d self-publish it. I eventually got a professional editor to take a crack at it and she suggested I take the story in a completely different direction, turning it from an M/M into an M/M/M. I loved the idea, but it means a complete re-write. I haven’t come back to it yet, but that’s on my list for 2018.
In April, I participated in Camp NaNoWriMo and wrote a 77k story about a humanitarian aid worker struggling with PTSD who meets an overachieving journalist. Over the summer, I pitched this story to a handful of agents, all of whom turned it down. It was difficult to receive rejection after rejection, especially from my dream agent. I know a handful of agents isn’t a lot when most authors pitch to 100+, but rejection is never easy for me.
I was all set to self-publish it when I figured I’d submit it directly to a LGBTQ+ publisher just to see what would happen. Turns out they loved it, and in November, I signed a contract with Riptide Publishing to publish it in June 2018!
In September, I entered an excerpt of this story to a sex scene writing competition. I thought I'd get dropped after the first round, but I made it into the semi-finals! That was due in large part to the wonderful people here at GA. So
I also submitted this story to a contest run by Pink Kayak Press for unpublished romance manuscripts featuring underrepresented and diverse characters. At the end of November, I was selected as a finalist! The winner will be decided by the end of this year; I’ll announce it here if I win.
In May, I posted Stepping Out in Faith, about a closeted priest and the man who helps him come to terms with his sexuality. It was previously posted on another site, but I revamped it and got it edited for GA.
In June, I started writing the sequel to Push and Pull, called Embracing the Tension, to give Ryan and Erik their happily ever after. This one has taken me some time to get through as I often got distracted by other writing projects. But it’s finally been edited and I’m taking one last pass through it. It should be ready for posting before the end of the year, but I may wait till January and start it the same time Push and Pull started!
In July, I participated in Camp NaNoWriMo again and wrote a 45k story set in Hong Kong. It’s about a Canadian man who is sent on a three-month assignment to Hong Kong and he meets a local, sophisticated lawyer. This was written specifically for Dreamspinner Press’ World of Love series and it was contracted in October. It will be published in June/July 2018!
In August, I wrote a 12k short story about an ESL teacher who falls in love with a refugee from Ethiopia. This story is a departure from my typical style—written in first person, sweet, no sex. But despite it being a little off-brand, I really enjoyed taking a different approach to my writing. This was written specifically for NineStar Press’ Teacher’s Pet Anthology and it was contracted in October. It will be published in February 2018!
In October, I wrote an 18k erotic short story featuring my first female character in a very long time. She’s a high-powered lawyer in a not-so-friendly rivalry with her co-worker, a bisexual man. This story is intended for Carina Press’ The Dirty Bits series, but I still need to edit the heck out of it before I can submit it to the publisher for consideration.
At the start of this year, my New Year’s resolution was to become a published author. I knew it was going to be a tough road, but I threw everything I had into it. I found a great group of writing friends who have encouraged and challenged me. The people I’ve met on GA have been incredibly supportive. While I will end 2017 still unpublished, I still consider the year a resounding success.
Over the next few weeks, I will be setting goals for 2018. Apparently, there’s something to this New Year’s resolution thing.