2011 pretty much kicked my ass, in some great ways and in other, um, less-great ways. I'd rather think about the good than the bad, so--
Meeting all kinds of authors, bloggers, and writerly people. I look at my FB friends list and my Twitter feed, and I see so many familiar names and faces. Most of them I probably won't ever meet in person. But so many have encouraged me, given me advice, made me laugh, and pimped my book, and the physical distance really doesn't matter because they do the things friends do for each other.
Finding a publisher. I don't consider myself particularly lucky. I've had to work my ass off for pretty much everything, and I've never felt like I was at all prone to so-called lucky breaks. Hooking up with StoneHouse Ink was the one epically lucky thing that happened in 2011 (haha, I said EPIC). And it was such a ridiculous stroke of serendipity that so easily might not have happened.
Working with book bloggers. As a group, book bloggers are some of the hardest-working, most dedicated, friendliest people I know. The time they put into book blogging astounds me, for reals. And they do what they do just because they love books that much. I spent a couple of months setting up something like 80 blog appearances (maybe more, I've lost track) for the release of Pyxis, and organizing and executing those tours was grueling in some respects, I will not lie. But the book bloggers I became friends with made it all so worthwhile, and so much fun.
Reviews and feedback from readers. I had absolutely no idea how readers would react to Pyxis. Really, none at all. When lots of reviews started rolling out, I was in full-on marketing mode and focused on trying to spread the word about my product (yep, the book was a product in my mind by then). But I remember a moment when it hit me that the book was in the hands of hundreds of strangers, and I realized it really didn't belong to me anymore... it was quite surreal. I am grateful to everyone who took the time to read the book and tell me what they thought, especially the early reviewers who didn't know who I was or have a clue what they were getting in Pyxis. The reviews and feedback have given me a sense of what I have to offer that's unique, and forever changed how I think of myself as a writer.
I expect that looking back later in my life, I'll consider 2011 a pivotal year, for many, many different reasons. Some great things happened, but I hope 2011 will turn out to be the year that began a transition away from some of the not-so-great things. Despite my occasional complaining and frustrated rants (which I usually manage to keep private... ahem), I'm deeply optimistic about 2012. I plan to publish at least two books, and start some other new ventures, too.
Happy New Year! :)
Author K.C. Neal :: Pyxis Series :: YA Paranormal