On just taking the leap, and what I’ve achieved in 2021
The end of the year is a classic time for reflection and taking stock, and that’s always one of my favorite activities! A lot of writers right now are posting their #AwardsEligibility posts on Twitter, which is a great tag to follow if you’d like to check out new works from authors in SFF. I only have one book published, and I feel a little foolish joining in with just that – but thinking about the whole concept prompted me to compile a list of everything I managed to accomplish as an author in 2021. It’s a lot!
Step right up and claim that [participation] award
First and foremost: I published a book!!
My debut novel, In Sleep You Know, was published in May 2021. It is eligible for any of the awards for fantasy novels including first novel awards.
Tags: fantasy, hope, community, fae, music
Merrick Moore is just a regular guy with dreams of making it big with his garage band, but not much else – until he crashes a party thrown by reclusive eccentrics.
He gets more than he bargained for: new powers, a girlfriend who can visit him in his dreams, and a seven year bond with the local Fae court.
When the mortal enemies of his new friends show up to his band’s first gig, Merrick finds himself trying to prevent the start of a war that will have consequences for everyone, Fae and human alike.
Get on the other side of fear.
Here’s the thing: I don’t expect to win an award, not in the least. That’s not keeping me from listing this accomplishment, though! It doesn’t matter if I win anything at all. The win was getting this story into the hands and minds of readers!
This whole year has been a series of leaps of faith for me. I started the work on publishing ISYK in 2020, because it takes a while to publish a book, especially a debut book. And especially one that’s being self-published by someone who is a hard taskmaster on herself and desperately wanted to get it right.
I have—quite publicly—suffered from impostor syndrome. I have been really open and public about it, because I know that I’m not the only one who goes through this or will in the future, and I think it’s really important to normalize talking about things that make us uncomfortable or make us feel weak or vulnerable. [I recommend my Twitter feed if you want to catch posts about those subjects. I am openly oversharing there!] I’m scared all the time, but I close my eyes and jump, or hit enter, or make the call. If I don’t, I won’t even get the chance to get the things that I want.
I decided that although it’s ridiculous for me to expect to win anything for ISYK [and that’s okay!] it is a powerful thing to compile and share a list of everything I achieved in 2021. So without further ado, here’s my list!
2021 Author Successes
💜 published In Sleep You Know, my debut fantasy novel
💜 wrote, edited, in the printing process for Cast a Shadow of Doubt, the sequel for ISYK. [launch date 02/2022]
💜 started work on my third novel, A Third Kind of Madness
💜 working on a collaborative novel, details TBA
💜 author readings at Baltimore Faerie Fest [virtual], Mythmusica [in person], Fae Productions
💜 vending at Baltimore Faerie Fest, Balticon, Shore Leave, Mythmusica
💜 book was represented at When Worlds Collide’s virtual author table
💜 attended [virtually] as an first-time author at Farpoint, Nebula Conference, Readercon, When Worlds Collide
Other Notable Achievements
💜 Joined Broad Universe and Maryland Writers’ Association
💜 Became a member of The Badasses writing/support group
💜 My books are now available to borrow in Maryland at Baltimore County Public Libraries, the Enoch Pratt library system of Baltimore City, and the Washington, D.C. library system
💜 My book will be available to purchase in person at The Ivy Bookshop in Baltimore, MD
…whoa. That’s a lot for my very first year as an author officially!
Here are my questions for you, readers: where would you love to see me show up next year? What is a new book that you read in 2021 that you would recommend? [Piranesi by Susanna Clarke is amazing] And what’s something that you achieved this year that you’re especially proud of and want to share?