Monday, December 31, 2012

Looking Back at 2012, Looking Ahead to 2013 #HappyNewYear

The end of the year is always a great time to reflect on all that's come and all that's yet to be. Here's where those reflections took me:

Looking Back at 2012:

Man, it was an absolutely incredible year for me. So many things happened that I never, ever would've predicted. Some highlights of the year included:

~ Hitting the New York Times and USA Today Bestseller lists in November with One Night with a Hero and Her Forbidden Hero, and earning a spot on the Romance Writers of America Honor Roll! Thank you to my readers and to Entangled Publishing for that amazing, humbling moment!

~ Having all of the following happen within the span of three weeks: get approached out of the blue by two New York publishers, get signed by an agent, whip up a brand new series idea (Hard Ink, contemporary romance), submit it to New York publishers and get multiple offers, and finally sell it in pre-empt, in a major deal, to a New York publisher (Avon/HarperCollins). All during the first three weeks of teaching after being on sabbatical last spring. Talk about a head-spinning, speech-stealing, dreamlike month! And talk about a whole lotta luck. I'm so incredibly grateful.

~ Publishing three full-length novels (Her Forbidden Hero, One Night with a Hero, West of Want) and two novellas  (In the Service of the King, Seduced by the Vampire King), and selling nine other books! It's an amazing feeling to be able to do what you love. Truly.

~ Engaging in my first co-authoring project with the ever fantastic Stephanie Dray (aka Stephanie Draven). And, heh, writing in a new genre to boot (historical fiction! yes, I know, it seems totally out of left field...and it sorta kinda is, except that I'm a historian by training...). This has been an amazing experience and I can't wait til we finish knocking out a draft! Steph rocks!

~ Cementing some incredible friendships with other authors, especially my Maryland Romance Writers partners-in-crime - you know who you are! xoxo!

~ With the help of Carla Gallway (<= made of awesome!) of Book Monster Reviews, getting a street team (Laura's Heroes) set up and off the ground - what an incredible group of ladies I have standing beside me! I appreciate them so much!

~ Attending the Romantic Times Convention for the first time ever! I had a total blast and am looking forward to Kansas City 2013 and meeting more of my fantastic readers!

~ Getting interviewed by my local newspaper for a feature, then learning the editor-in-chief had decided to run the story on page one, and then learning that the Associated Press had picked it up for national distribution. Gah!

~ Taking a leave from my day job to write full-time for the next year, and then maybe for good! *fingers crossed!*

Looking Ahead to 2013:

~ Here's what I know I need to do: write 3-5 full-length novels and two novellas. I'm trying not to think of these collectively, because I'm totally willing to admit to being overwhelmed by my writing schedule over the next year. So I'm trying my hardest to take these one at a time and keep as strictly as I can to my daily writing goal of 3,000 words a day. This is a good problem to have, I definitely get that. But I don't want to muck it all up! LOL

~ Here's some things I'd really like to do: finish drafting my historical fiction with Stephanie; take better care of myself physically and get back into a regular exercise routine; get way, way, WAY more sleep than I currently do; spend more time with my daughters and not feel pulled to go work; and not feel like every spare minute of free time should be devoted to some work-related activity => much of this could be boiled down to better BALANCE. I'm a work in progress where that's concerned.

~ Here's some things I'm really looking forward to: finishing the Anemoi series, the Vampire Warrior Kings series, and maybe the Heroes series - not because I want to be done with them, but because I know how much readers enjoy a completed series, and because I can't wait to see them all lined up on my shelves! *grins* I'm also nearly beside myself with anticipation to see my cover for HARD AS IT GETS (Hard Ink #1). I'm getting not only a cover, but a stepback, which is a second, inside cover with a different image. Meep!!! I'm also dying for this book to release (confirmed: November 2013), BUT, you know, first I have to write it!

I'm sure there are a million things I've forgotten to note as 2012 highlights or 2013 goals, but these are the ones that stand out the most. Overall, I find myself facing the new year filled with gratitude to all of you and hope and faith that more great things are yet to come - although, 2013 has its job cut out for it, because 2012 totally rocked! And thank you for that!

What do you see when you look back, and look ahead?

Thanks for reading, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!



Sandra Dailey said...

I don't have anything to compare to all that. Congratulations!

Melissa Kendall said...

Geez and I thought having a couple of novellas scheduled for publishing was exciting but your news is way better cannot wait to read everything you have in store for 2013

Victoria said...

You are one busy bee :)! Thank you so much for a fantastic year.

Happy New Year!

Sophia Rose said...

What an incredible year you had with the expectation of another even busier one. I hope you can do it from a fan perspective. ;D But I hope for yours that you can go full-time as a writer and spend more time with your family.

Laura Kaye said...

Thanks everyone! And Melissa, your news IS exciting! :)

Vickie said...

Congratulations on a great year Laura!! It has been fun getting to know you and read your wonderful books! I am also looking forward to the Hard Ink Series!!!

Aurian said...

Happy New Year Laura! And congrats on all that you have achieved already! Good luck with all the hard work ahead of you, I really hope you can keep up with it all. I do want those Anemoi books!

Dana said...

Happy New Year, Laura. Heartfelt congratulations for all of your accomplishments!

I remember thinking, "Wow, this lady is really going to hit big," after reading 'Hearts in Darkness' and 'North of Need.' It has been such a treat and inspiration to follow you over the last few years. Clearly you've worked super hard to hone your craft, get your work out there, and build a brand and name for yourself - all while keeping up with a day job and family life.

And your stories are incredible - that magic combination of heat and emotional depth isn't easy to achieve, but you've managed to do it beautifully.

I look forward to the next in the Anemoi series - just in time for summer vacation, hooray! And I look forward to following your move to the big time.

I wish you success in all of your writing endeavors!