The year that was and the year ahead
Before I begin let me just say... how can we be staring down the barrel of 2019 already? I mean seriously, it was Christmas 2017 a week ago, right?
This time last year I was preparing to say goodbye to my daughter and her family as they packed up and moved 700 km’s away, and despite being happy and proud they were off living their own lives and doing the whole adulting thing, I was crushed. My granddaughter Harriet and I were (are) very close and I knew I was going to miss her terribly. And I did. Still do, to be honest, but the first few months of 2018 I was incredibly sad, and my creativity suffered. Writing was hard, and I lost my momentum.
Thankfully I found my way back and released books two and three in the Hell's Gate series and by mid year my first book in a multi-author project, Lick of Fire. There were twelve of us, and each author wrote three books in the collection and then alternated releasing them a week apart. I was putting the finishing touches to book two when my husband had a heart attack. Totally out of the blue and no warning signs up until the time it happened. He’s fine; he’s okay. It turns out he has a condition called coronary artery ectasia (CAE) which means two of his arteries are wider than normal.
So of course, that threw me for a loop – him too I’d imagine! Ironically the week before his heart attack we’d decided he’d put his business on the market with the expectation that it would take a year or more to sell — nothing like having a heart attack to move things along. He sold within three months, and now our new normal is having him home 24/7. I’ll keep you posted on how that works out.
Amongst all of this is my mum. She’s eighty-eight, and at her eye specialist appointment this week she was declared legally blind. She has always been an incredibly self-sufficient and independent woman, but this year I’ve watched her become frailer every day. She still lives independently, but I visit – a lot – and take her shopping, to her appointments, read her mail and try and make her as happy and comfortable as I can. With my brother living interstate that leaves all of mum’s care to me and I’ve had to shuffle and be more conscious of her needs this year. It’s true what they say. Eventually, the parent becomes the child, and the child becomes the parent.
With all of the demands on my personal life, I felt I needed a change in my writing, and wrote a cozy paranormal mystery. Witch Way to Mistletoe & Murder releases on 26 December – it is available for pre-order here: (note, I lost my pre-order privileges with Amazon this year, so no pre-order is available on Amazon)
I released six new books in 2018. (Click on the covers for more info about any of these books.):
- The Devil Inside, Hell’s Gate Series, Book 2
- Hotter than Hell, Hell’s Gate Series, Book 3
- Shadows & Secrets, Lick of Fire Collection (SIA Series), Book 1
- Dark Desires, Lick of Fire Collection (SIA Series), Book 2
- Bound, Lick of Fire Collection (SIA Series), Book 3
- Witch Way to Mistletoe & Murder, Witch Way Series, Book 1
PHEW, what a year! What's on the agenda for 2019? I’m currently working on Witch Way to Romance & Ruin with a proposed release date in February 2019. Exact date yet to be decided, it all depends on when I get it finished and how long my editor takes. I’ll let you know as soon as I know. Book three is planned out in my head, Witch Way Down Under is tentatively booked for April 2019.
At the same time, I’m also working on a brand new series – this one veers a little more into urban fantasy meets cozy mystery. I haven’t yet settled on a title for it, but a possibility is The Book of Lies. I haven’t come up with a series name either and usually when I’m stuck on these things I turn it over to my reader's group. Depending on how sales go, this could be a trilogy or a series.
At this stage, the only paranormal romances I have on the agenda are three books I’m slated to co-write with another author. Our schedule is tentative and fluid, and I don’t have any release dates yet – as soon as I know, I’ll let you know. Big hint – it’s going to be awesome and we will rapid release, so there won’t be a long wait between releases.
I’m hoping real life goes a little easier on me this coming year and I can write all of these books and maybe one or two others.
Jane in the wild
I’ve pulled back on the number of signings I originally had scheduled for 2019. With everything that happened this year, it all got very overwhelming, and I had to reassess where my time and energies were best spent. I will do one signing in May 2019 at Books by the Bridge in the Barossa Valley in my home state of South Australia. Sorry, no overseas signings are planned at this stage due to time and financial costs.
I am terribly excited to be attending an author conference in Bali in January where I will be networking and learning from big name authors. Be prepared for me to come home brimming with ideas as I felt like 2018 my career plateaued when I needed growth. This, I feel, will be the conference of a lifetime and I’ll write a blog post about the experience when I return.
PLEASE make sure you’re on my newsletter mailing list HERE, the best place to keep up with the latest news from me, including info about preorders on the above titles when they become available. Also, follow me on BookBub. They are great about informing readers of new releases and discounted books. And of course, follow me on Amazon for new release alerts.
I need to do a sincere shout out to the AMAZE-BALLS people who have helped me in my author biz this year, my editor Alicia from iProofreadandmore, my cover designers, Jacqueline Sweet (Lick of Fire), Fantasy Book Designs (Hell’s Gate), and Melody Simmons (Witch Way). Amanda Walker for lending me her amazing PA skills, Angie Arland, Jacqueline Sweet, and Stacy Garcia for branding, marketing, and cover graphics. I’m still trying to work out Photoshop, so without you ladies, I’d be totally screwed.
To my Little Devils (readers group) – I love you. Seriously, you guys are the best, and you made this year bearable for me. It’s my safe place, and I couldn’t do this without you and your unwavering support and belief in me. You are my book family. And a big luscious thank you to Misty for stepping up and helping with admin duties in the group; you are doing a magnificent job.
Finally, thank you to my incredible readers for reading my books and supporting me. I have certainly felt your love during this difficult year and have appreciated it more than ever. I’m excited for what’s ahead in 2019 and cannot believe I’m lucky enough to have such wonderful readers/friends come along on this ride with me. I’m so very thankful for every one of you.
Happy holidays to you and your families and all the best in the new year to you and yours.