It’s time for the first Round Robin of 2016, and this month we are to list “one or two writing projects” we have in mind for the coming year.
I really like the idea of goals. Even if I don’t achieve them, it gives me something to work towards, and – if you work by yourself, as most writers do – it’s important to give yourself some sense of direction, otherwise you feel as though you’re just floundering around.
Towards the end of last year, I had a strong sense of floundering. I have a couple of goals in mind for this year, but they’re relatively easily achievable and will still leave the rest of the year stretching ahead – which means plenty of time for floundering!
But first things first. Here we go with my immediate goals, and I’d appreciate some advice on them if you have time.
Writing goal number one
My most pressing goal is to edit and tidy up The Scottish Diamond – a romantic suspense novella I wrote as a sequel to last summer’s Palace of Deception.
Palace of Deception is a fairy tale romance in which the heroine, Lizzie, takes on the role of stand-in for a princess in danger. Lizzie is given a handsome bodyguard to protect her – and, holed up together in a fabulous palace in the Mediterranean prinicpality of Montverrier – inevitably they begin to fall in love.
In the sequel, The Scottish Diamond, the hero, Léon, leaves Montverrier for Edinburgh and a new life with Lizzie. But away from the romance and heat of the Mediterranean, how will they adapt to life together? When Léon is offered a job in Edinburgh Castle, guarding a fabulous jewel called the Scottish Diamond, danger from Montverrier follows hot on their trail. How well does Lizzie really know Léon? And who can she trust?
Here’s the part where I could use some advice. Take a look at the cover for Palace of Deception, which was created by my fabulous cover artist, Charlotte Volnek. I’m about to ask Charlotte for a design for The Scottish Diamond. Based on my brief blurb, what do you think should be on the cover? Léon has to wear a kilt for his job in Edinburgh Castle. I was thinking of having a man in a kilt on the cover, plus the castle, and a diamond. What do you think? Would it be an attractive cover, or can you think of a better idea?
Writing goal number two
Update my website. I’ve been running this blog for three years now. When I started it, I didn’t have a single book published. Now I have several to my name, as you can see from my Amazon page. I need to make my books more of a focus in the design of this website. (I appreciate this isn’t really a “writing goal” as such, but since publishing and marketing are all so much intertwined these days I’m counting it as one!)
Writing goal number three
My third writing goal is to start a newsletter. It’s rare that I write posts here about even my own writing life – I generally write things of general interest, eg last week’s post on books being adapted for film in 2016. I’d like to start a newsletter that’s more personal, eg with news of my writing, photos of my walks on the Yorkshire moors and trips to London, things I’m looking at for inspiration and books I’ve read and loved. It would have the benefit of being sent only to people who are genuinely interested in what I’m doing – unlike this blog, which is open to all – and also I’d have the security of knowing it’s under my control. Blogs and Facebook pages can be closed down without warning, and you risk losing all the following you have painstakingly built up. If I have a newsletter, I know I can always send it out, as long as I have an email service provider.
Advice required again: what do you think of author newsletters? Is a newsletter from me something you’d sign up to? Would you be interested in having more personal news? If you have any views on this at all, I’d be glad to hear them!
A couple more exciting goals I’m working on…
Finding a home for my latest novel, Felicity at the Cross Hotel. I’m in talks with a publisher about this book, and I’m very hopeful (and excited!) at the prospect of it coming out this summer. Watch this space!
Most important goal this year:
Write the next book!
As I mentioned, this post is part of a Round Robin. If you’d like to find out what my author friends have planned for this year, please click on the links below.
Victoria Chatham http://victoriachatham.blogspot.ca
Margaret Fieland http://margaretfieland.com/2016/01/23/writers-to-do-list-for-the-new-year/
Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea
Diane Bator http://dbator.blogspot.ca/
Beverley Bateman http://beverleybateman.blogspot.ca/
Connie Vines http://connievines.blogspot.com/
Bob Rich http://wp.me/p3Xihq-Bm
Rachael Kosinski http://rachaelkosinski.weebly.com/
Judith Copek http://lynx-sis.blogspot.com/
Kay Sisk http://kaysisk.blogspot.com
Anne Stenhouse http://annestenhousenovelist.wordpress.com/
Hollie Glover http://www.hollieglover.co.uk
Fiona McGier http://www.fionamcgier.com/
Rhobin Courtright http://www.rhobinleecourtright.com/
How about you? Are you a writer – whether published or unpublished – and do you have any goals for this year? If you’re a reader, do you have any suggestions regarding my questions about the cover and the newsletter? If you have any comments at all, I’d love to hear from you!