Happy New Year everyone!!! It’s 2015, and another year of possibilities is ahead of us!
Last year on New Year’s day, Strega was only 3.5 weeks old. As 2014 began, I looked back at 2013 with amazement because I had actually written a book (and published it). It was a big dream, and I had accomplished it. Holy Shitake!!! In my blog entry last New Year’s, I thanked everyone for making the launch of Strega such a success. Everyone had been so supportive those first few weeks, buying paperbacks and Kindle ebooks on Amazon, spreading the word to friends, and taking the time to write reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. And we were just getting started!
Now, as I look back at 2014, I’m amazed again.
By January, Strega had hit all major book retailers and the paperback was available to order via all local, national, and online bookstores. Kindle, iTunes, and Nook versions of the ebook were online. Strega was registered with the Library of Congress, and it started popping up in markets across the globe. My very first Goodreads Giveaway contest ended, and I sent signed paperbacks into the world for the first time. Five winners in Australia, Portugal, New York (2), and New Jersey received those very first shiny paperbacks wrapped in shimmering copper wire. Strega was chosen as the January book of the month by the Lovers of Paranormal group on Goodreads, and the group conducted my first Author Interview.
In February, Strega was chosen as a finalist in the ForeWord Firsts Book Awards competition. Strega paperbacks landed on their very first physical bookshelf at Gibson’s Bookstore in New Hampshire, and it was chosen as Ryan’s staff pick for February. Reviews of Strega started popping up everywhere online: Foley’s Fiction Farm; Pebble in the Still Water; Bit’n Books; Saad’s Book World; and The Hellvis Compendium to name a few. Strega also made Foley’s Fiction Farm 2014 year-end review top 10 books. I opened my Strega-centric Pinterest account and began collecting historical and magical tidbits that relate to the Strega Series storyline. With more than a thousand repins and just as many connections with awesome boards and pins, it has taken on a magical life of its own!
In March, Piece of Cake PR put together my first press release.
“A pathway to the darkest and the most beautiful parts of the human experience, ‘Strega’ is a Young Adult novel of incredible power, and a true testament to the author’s electrifying talent for creating new and exciting worlds for readers to explore.” — Piece of Cake PR
In May, The San Francisco Book Review published their four star Review of Strega.
“The writing and storytelling in Strega are gorgeous…Strega is an outstanding start to a clever fantasy trilogy.” — The San Francisco Book Review
Throughout the year, Goodreads activity was booming. Thousands of people entered each month’s Goodreads Giveaway contest, and I sent signed copies of Strega to winners in Germany, Algeria, Australia, Philippines, Mexico, England, Ireland, India, Netherlands, Portugal, Greece, Canada, and the United States. By December, Strega had received 115 ratings with a 4 star average, and more than 10,500 people had added it to their bookshelves. Also, my Twitter Author page had hit 950 followers, and my Facebook Author Page was just shy of 300 Likes.
2014 was also a huge year for research. I finished Professor Grant Voth’s lectures on Myth in Human History; Hesiod’s Theogony and Works and Days; Ovid’s Metamorphoses; Professor Elizabeth Vandiver’s lectures on The Iliad of Homer and The Odyssey of Homer, followed by the heavy hitters themselves – the Iliad & Odyssey; Vandiver’s lectures on Classical Mythology and Herodotus; Professor Jeremy McInerney’s lectures on Ancient Greek Civilization; and in December, I started Professor Harl’s lectures on the Peloponnesian War.
As I kick off 2015, I am filled with gratitude and the motivation to make this year just as epic as its predecessors! This month, I’m wrapping up my research and shifting my focus back to writing. I’ve drawn in loads of inspiration, I’ve got the momentum of a growing fan base behind me, and I’m ready to finish Book II.
Whatever your goals are this year, ride the New Year wave and go get ’em! 2015, here we come!!!!
Photo courtesy of Vincent Kaczmarek/Flickr.