The Mid-Year Writing Review
… A lot has happened in six months…
Wow! It’s hard to believe that we’re fast approaching the middle of the year already. So much has happened in the last six months, that it feels like it was only yesterday that I was writing to you with a wrap up of everything that had happened in 2018.
Although I’ve been fairly quiet on the blogosphere since May, an awful lot has been going on here in the little prison-study that I call home. So, without further ado, let’s bring you up to speed with the Rob Gregory Mid-Year Writing Review 2019!
JANUARY. The start of 2019 saw me frantically working on the final edits to my epic revenge thriller ‘Yogol’s Gold’. Weighing in at just under 115,000 words, it was the longest piece of work that I’d produced to date and probably the one with the most difficult gestation. After scouring the Internet, looking for literary agents, I finally began sending out queries at the end of the month, in the hope of securing a traditional publishing deal. So far, the response has not been encouraging, but still, the year isn’t over yet, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
FEBRUARY. This part of the mid-year writing review was dominated by all things related to The Lucius Chronicles, the compilation of the DATS Trilogy, which was my first offering to the literary world. Despite saying that I wasn’t going to bother much with self-publishing anymore, I found myself spending hours on Amazon and Smashwords, not to mention Facebook and Twitter, making sure that the book was formatted to perfection and given the best chance of making it. I even revised the front covers of the original books in the trilogy and made Death and the Schoolboy, the first instalment, FREE on Smashwords.
MARCH. The launch of The Lucius Chronicles. Despite applying just about everything that I had learned about self-publishing during the previous year, the response to the launch was more than underwhelming, despite masses of self-promotion and discounting on my part, in order to spike some interest among readers. Needless to say, I was left feeling rather deflated and began digging into the dark side of self-publishing. What I discovered there was truly appalling and has tainted my view of the industry forever. It will be the subject of a future blog, but if you’re interested, you can check out one very enlightening article about shady practices here.
Despite the failure of The Lucius Chronicles to set the world alight, I did manage to begin work on a novella, set in Northern Thailand, provisionally called ‘Turning the Tide’. It was nice to get stuck into something a little different and more gritty than contemporary fantasy and it must have had some effect on me, because it was done, dusted and out for review by early April.
APRIL. At this point in the mid-year writing review, let me say that I’d reached something of a crossroads. With one novel out for query with literary agents, another doing very little on Amazon and Smashwords, and a 52,000 novella being tested by beta reviewers, what was I going to do? The answer turned out to be simple. Write another story! So, I set about creating a book of short, interlinked, fantasy tales, with a humorous twist, using some of the characters from my first novel, Drynwideon.
At the same time, I decided to make my Fotherington-Tomas series available on Amazon and Smashwords, under what is known as a rapid-release schedule, i.e. one story each month or thereabouts. For those of you who don’t know, Fotherington-Tomas is England’s greatest secret agent, super-detective, appointed by Her Majesty the Queen no less, to protect the good name of the monarchy and British Empire. A mixture of Sherlock Holmes and Harry Flashman, he’s an old school hero, dropped into the modern world, with highly amusing results.
Oh, and I also kicked off the first in my series of author interviews, focusing on the lovely Shauna McGuiness, from America.
May. Lovely May. With summer just around the corner, I spent a fair bit of time editing the four books that comprise The Lost Tales of Landos, for their owner, British author, Chris Whyatt. It was one of those all-consuming tasks, made all the more pleasant by the fact that I enjoyed his writing immensely. In fact, I now understand that he’s in the middle of writing the fifth novel, so watch this space for details.
June. And so, we arrive at the here and now, which is also the end of the mid-year writing review. A few days ago, I finished the first draft of the fantasy short stories I’ve been working on and will shortly begin the editing process. Then, that will go out for beta review. If anyone is interested, then drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Following that, I’ll be finalising Turning the Tide, in readiness for another round of agent querying, before starting work on yet another book. I’m not sure at this stage, whether it will be my much-anticipated comedy Sci-Fi novel or another Thailand book, but whatever, you can bet that it’s going to be good.
So, there you have it. Not a bad effort for six months of work if I say so myself. Let’s just hope that it starts to pay off in the closing half of the year!
Thank you, as always, for your continued support and check out my books, especially the Fotherington-Tomas series, if you haven’t done so already!