Here we are, almost a week into the 2020, and I’m happy to report that there have been no near-death experiences of note this time. So instead I’m writing the semi-obligatory “author year reflection” that everyone seems to do. I’ve never really done one of these before (not officially, at least) so bear with me. Alright, here we go!
In 2019 I finished writing two novels, a new record for me. The rough draft of Born in Darkness, my longest book yet even in the first draft, took eight months for me to write. That’s definitely a new record, especially since I’ve been in college! Born in Darkness also surpasses my previous books in depth (and I hope quality) and I pray that it is only the beginning of a new page in my writing career.
Speaking of college, classes are ramping up (I took my first 400 level class this past fall) and I’m only three more semesters away from the end (boy does that sound ominous). But I’ve managed to maintain and even grow my writing pace. Each week I look forward to my Friday mornings with nothing but me and my books (and much needed coffee), and I am very happy with how much I’m able to accomplish in those hours. My classes challenge me in more ways than I thought possible, and that along with some ongoing struggles in my personal life have caused me to grow tremendously in Christ, as a person and as a writer.
Now onto books: this year I finished the Secrets of the National Parks trilogy. There are more stories to tell in that world, and I hope someday to revisit this series, but for now it is finished. (You can find those books here)
I began a new project of faery stories (the stories I’ve released so far are found in these posts: Lost and Found, The Forest’s Queen, & Little Magpie. The links are at the bottom of the page). This project is still ongoing with no set release date. It’s more of a side project, but it is still active and I have at least one more story nearly ready to release.
My main project right now is editing Born in Darkness, the next book in my Agonizomai series (you can find the first book of the series, Frosted Fire, here). I’m hoping to release it this spring (before May, Lord willing). This series is going to be pretty long (I currently have eleven books listed for it) and it will be my main focus for the foreseeable future. I’m already beginning the next book in the series (which currently has no title and I wouldn’t spoil it for you yet even if it did). I’m aiming to finish it this year, but I’ll need to dig deeper into the project before I can give even a rough estimate.
Beyond that, only God knows what the future will hold. I have dozens of stories floating around in my head, but many of them are still growing. Writing is funny like that. I’ll have a story in the back of my mind for weeks, months, even years. It’ll be there, waiting, growing. Every once in a while I’ll revisit it to see if it’s ready, and there’s no telling when it will be. Some stories are given to me full-grown and ready to be poured onto paper. Others take years to mature. And many of them change so much in the growing that they’re hardly recognizable by the end.
Right now its the books in the Agonizomai series that are growing by leaps and bounds, coming to me and pleading to be written, telling me the struggles and triumphs hidden within and holding me captive in their thrall. Will another force itself into their midst, drowning out the others, refusing to lay still until it has been told? Maybe. Or maybe they will wait patiently on the periphery, content listening to the others until their time comes.
Reflecting on my journey as an author, it is so clear to me that I’m not the one guiding this process. I’m not the one coming up with these stories. I am the merely the scribe, sitting at the feet of my Master with my pen at the ready. I write what God gives me, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. So though I plan and estimate, I must add this caveat: all is as the Lord wills. I don’t know the future, and I’ve given the reins of my life to the One who does. I won’t take them back now. As we move into this new year I pray for God to guide me, and I pray that every word I write in 2020 gives Him glory.