Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Day

The New Year arrives early in New Zealand, thanks to our position close to the Date Line. So it's already eleven hours old as I write this. 2010 has got off to a pleasant start, including leftover m├ęthode champenoise for breakfast.

Musing over 2009:
- I substantially edited Sentence of Marriage, removing most of what made up the first five chapters and reducing the word count by over 20,000. I also tightened and polished the three later books.
- I joined Authonomy in November 2008, so I've been a member for all of 2009. Sentence of Marriage has been in Authonomy's top 40 for the last few months. More importantly, I've received useful feedback and real encouragement, and have had the chance to read some fine manuscripts. I've also had a lot of fun there.
- I put my books on Smashwords, which has itself made huge progress this year as an increasingly high profile e-book provider. Sentence of Marriage is currently at number 15 on Smashwords' Top 100 list, and has had almost 3,000 downloads.
- I've had fine reviews on WorkingGirlReviews for Sentence of Marriage and Mud and Gold.
- I've made some progress on my WIP, most importantly in getting to know the characters who make their first appearance in this volume.

Looking ahead for 2010:
- I'd like to see a completed first draft of my WIP by the end of the year. It will take the series from 1912 to the mid-1920s, so will include the years of the First World War (though from the point of view of those left at home, not at the Front), a new area of research for me. The whole book is going to demand much research, a thought I relish.
- I'm hoping for more reviews (Sentence of Marriage was accepted for review by a site specialising in historical fiction on 31 December), and to gain more visibility for my books.
- I have a list of ideas for future books that keeps expanding, much to my delight.
- I hope to keep growing and improving as a writer (which, as Mr Collins said to Lizzie, perhaps I ought to have mentioned earlier).

Happy New Year to everyone reading this.


  1. Have a wonderful 2010, Shayne. WithSentence of Marriage you have not only shown what a great writer you are, but what a canny marketer you can be in your own quiet, humble way. I really hope it bears the fruit you want this year,

  2. Thanks, Dan - and the same to you. Marketing is not something that comes naturally to me (partly a "Kiwi thing"). What motivates me is the *delight* when my writing speaks to someone else - I'm greedy, and want to get that feeling over and over again :-)