It’s all over! What a fulfilling year.
Here’s what happened.
I signed my first book deal with Autumn Arch Publishing for Naevia-18 in January. It was a perfect fit! We undertook editing over the summer, and Aaron’s help has made me a much better writer. We just released it recently, and it’s been a dream come true. I’ve had all sorts of positive feedback from people, and I’ll be starting 2019 with an author event on January 18th at the Barnes & Noble on University Ave in West Des Moines.
I also completed a first draft for my (still unnamed) work in progress in February. I’ve started to revise it off and on in between other edits and writing projects and reading. I’m pretty stoked for this project though. It’s a neat mix of Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy X, and Mistborn. The story centers around childhood friends Tem and Neema. Tem is separated from Neema as a teenager when he is forced to join the king’s mindless army. In the years after, Neema joins the rebellion in hopes to loosen the king’s crushing grip on society. But when the dreaded, fire imbued yurdrak attacks again, Neema is reunited with a mindless Tem that can’t remember her. Somehow, they’ll have to work together with Neema’s new squad to end the cycle of yurdrak attacks and quell the king’s oppression. But there are other characters at play in the shadows, and Neema needs to be careful of who she trusts.
Early in the summer, I found out about local clothing company Made4Mankind’s local artist of the month feature. I applied, hoping for a win, but not expecting anything. Well, it turns out I was named their August Artist of the Month!
In between writing and editing and all other things life, my beautiful wife and I went on our dream vacation to Paris, France. What a cool place! There are things to see on every corner, from beautiful centuries old sculptures, cute little shops and cafes, or a random museum containing priceless works of art. All of this is backdropped with the beautiful Parisian architecture, street life, and big name spots to see. The Eiffel Tower, Sacre Coeur Basilica, Notre Dame Cathedral, the list goes on and on and on. In short, Paris is beautiful. We’re going back someday!
We also went to Disneyland Paris while we were there, finishing up our trip and celebrating our fourth wedding anniversary. This was our first time at any Disney park, and again, Paris’ entry to the Disney park list was beautiful. My wife and I are big Disney fans, and we loved these two parks.
For NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month – November), I started a first draft of a sequel to Naevia-18. I toyed around with the idea for awhile, but as Naevia-18 was being edited there were so many little things that I wanted to expand on and dive further into with this world. Naevia’s story is not over yet. I didn’t make it to the fifty thousand word mark to win NaNoWriMo, but I did get a good start (I’m about 18K words in). I’m not going to say much about it, but just know that this story is going to be CRAZY. So much is going to happen to Naevia’s world, and her and her friends might not be ready for it all. Everything they know will be tested, and the stakes are even higher than before.
Here’s to 2019. I’m planning on making more dreams come true this year. What are YOU going to do!? I’m sitting in a coffee shop right now finishing up this post, and my coffee cup at Caribou says, “The world needs more explorers. Life is short. Stay awake for it.”
Get out there and explore!