At this time last year, I posted a blog regarding the many positive things I experienced in 2016. For me, it was a fantastic year for many reasons, not the least of which was publishing Warrior of Light in November 2016. Later, I posted a blog covering my upcoming plans for 2017. Well, it’s time to see how I did.

In retrospect, I’ll remember 2017 first and foremost as the year I discovered conventions. Last February, I attended Fargo-Moorhead Comic Con on a whim, and it turned out to be an incredible experience where I met wonderful people and forged lasting relationships. In April, I attended iMagicon in Minot, ND—which was my favorite convention this year—followed by O! Comic Con in Council Bluffs in early July, and Tampa Bay Comic Con in late July. I finished the year by returning to Fargo for ValleyCon in October, where I had the opportunity to participate on several panels with New York Times bestselling author Troy Denning. Of all the writing-related experiences I had this year, conventions were the most rewarding, and I intend to build on this in 2018.

In September, I had the opportunity to participate in a promotional bundle with several other writers, including Brandon Sanderson, R.A. Salvatore, and Michael Stackpole. This was a big deal for me—I’d have never guessed a year ago that I’d soon see my name listed right next to Sanderson’s! I even got a shout out on his blog, and I guess that’s not too shabby for a guy who’s been in print less than a year (at least, at the time I hadn’t been—Warrior of Light turned one on November 11 this year).

Next, in October I released my short story Malichon Manor as an e-book. I’d written a much earlier draft of this story about ten years ago, and at the time I didn’t like it at all. I tried a re-write about three years back, and still didn’t care for it, so this time around I approached it with some trepidation. After I torched the latest iteration, however, I finally managed to wrap my hands around the story I wanted to tell. Sales-wise, Malichon Manor has been lukewarm, so I’m not sure how much effort I’ll put into future short fiction releases, but I imagine I’ll do a few more during lull spots between novels. That said, if you’re interested in checking the story out, you can do so here.

I’ve also worked on growing my online presence. I’ve been pleased in the growth on my Facebook page (inching ever closer to 500 followers) as well as continuing to maintain my blog. Going into this year, I knew regular blogging would be my most aggressive goal, but I’m happy to say I’ve been able to consistently release posts every other week as planned. Some posts are writing updates, others are book or film reviews, and a handful are business and leadership related. Diversifying the blog helps keep me interested in the content, and hopefully it attracts a variety of readers as well. I intend to keep this momentum up into 2018.

Last but certainly not least, I devoted most of 2017 to writing a sequel to Warrior of Light. I had a head start on it going into the year, but I wrote the majority of the first draft between January and July. I completed my second draft just this week, and though I’m a little behind my anticipated schedule (I’d hoped for draft two completion by November 30), I should be able to make up time in January. As far as expectations go, I’m hoping for a November 2018 release, but if I can beat that in any way, I certainly will.

It’s been a heck of a busy year, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. As I post this blog, I’m in Alabama for the holidays. I’m passing the time by finally cracking open Way of Kings, the start of Brandon Sanderson’s epic Stormlight Archive, which he released after completing The Wheel of Time. The next few days should be great – reading, egg nog, deer hunting, a trip to the beach, and seeing The Last Jedi. I may not get much writing done, but it’s the perfect time to recharge and hit new projects next year. Tim and his friends are dealing with some seriously deadly challenges right now, and I won’t leave them hanging for too long.

Until then, Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

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