Category Archives: 2014

2013 and all that…

This post has been delayed a few days due to a busy work period. It wasn’t quite finished ready for new year’s eve, and being the fastidious sod that I am, I wasn’t prepared to post it without doing my usual final checks (proofreading is everything, you know!) Still, better late than never…

It’s that time of the year when tradition dictates that we look back over the past twelve months and sum up what the year has meant to us. Last year, I had fun revisiting 2012’s highlights (and there were many) but I have felt less inclined to do so this year.

There are many words I could use to describe 2013, and not all of them are positive. I think many people have found it a challenging year for many reasons, and it has been the same for me and my family.

The passing of William’s wife, Sheila in March knocked the wind from our sails and made it very difficult for me to find the energy to continue with the Cypress Branches project. The launch of It Never Was You went ahead, albeit on a much smaller and quieter scale than I had hoped. A launch party seemed inappropriate, and with the momentum gone, I decided to leave the books alone for a short while and wait for the bug to bite again.

That short while turned into several months, and not much has happened in the intervening period since the launch. Happily, both Pegasus Falling and It Never Was You are still selling, with a handful of print and ebooks being plucked from the shelves each month. Hardly best-seller figures, but it’s something. It’s heartening to know that the books are being discovered by more readers, even without any real effort from me, and it gives me encouragement to up my efforts next year.

2013 really has felt like a transition year, but the changes that have taken place have been hard-fought and the road difficult to navigate at times. On a personal level, I have not only been settling into a new home, but also looking to start a new career, with most of my spare time this year taken up by updating CVs, applying for jobs, attending interviews and assessments and worrying about said interviews and assessments. All this has left me with little time or energy to devote to working on part three of the trilogy.

But happily, I can say with some confidence that things are looking up. A new chapter in my own life begins on 6th January when I begin training for a new, permanent, full time job (oddly enough, my very first permanent job, having been a freelancer all my working life so far!) For the first time in many years, I’ll have a steady income, a set number of hours (with the choice of whether or not I work overtime, rather than it being expected of me – and I’ll get paid for it!), plenty of spare time and consequently, plenty of resources (financial, mental, temporal) to finish the trilogy and promote it. It’s one of those odd paradoxes in life. I’ve not worked full time for over two years now, and have struggled to keep momentum going with the books. Now I’m looking forward to going back into full time employment so that I can spend more time on the project.

Having taken a break from the trilogy, obviously there is a backlog of work still to be done. Work is yet to begin on Part Three (and it still doesn’t have a name!) But I plan on starting that work as soon as I’m settled into my new role…probably late February.

I’ve already set out my plans for the blog (read the post here). I fully intend to put that plan into action, with new blog content, the website spring clean (which has turned into more of a reboot!) and exploring new ways to build the audience. The list of jobs is growing, and I’m looking forward to tackling them.

I know there are a lot of you out there who are waiting very patiently for the third part of the trilogy, and I know I keep saying that you’ll just have to be patient a little longer. I’d love to get it out there by the end of 2014, but I must be realistic and won’t promise anything, sorry. What I will promise is that work will begin again very soon. I will most likely go quiet again now for another month while I complete my training (three weeks of what looks like very intense learning!) but don’t panic, I will be back, then it’ll be all hands to the pump to get part three published (and named!)

I’ll sign off with a huge thank you to all of you who have supported and encouraged me during the past year. It really does mean a lot to know that you guys are out there, spurring me on and above all, enjoying the fruits of the Cypress Branches project. To all my family, friends, the readers, reviewers, bloggers, authors, colleagues and more…I wish you all a very happy, prosperous and fulfilling 2014.

It promises to be an exciting year, and I’m going to do everything I can to make sure it is.