There have been ups and downs this year for sure, but most importantly, 2018 is the year I’ve finally shown myself that it’s possible to make a living writing fiction. That’s a huge deal for me, and it’s been an interesting journey, one I’m determined to continue on for many years. Things are always changing, and there are always more books to write. Thank you for taking this journey with me, lovely readers.
Let me give some background here. I started “publishing” in May of 2015 with The Wandering Empath, which was first titled Soul Seer: The Hidden Lights. I say “publishing” because I honestly had no idea what I was doing. All I knew was that I wanted to finish a book, edit it, make it the best quality I could, and publish it. I did that, and I’m proud of myself for it. I wrote the next book, and I fell in love with writing. That was when I knew I could do this, that I have tons of stories in me.
I’ve always loved stories. It’s been the driving force behind all of my creative endeavors, and I was always a writer, but The Wandering Empath was my first BIG accomplishment that way. It was a 40,000-word story and a genre mash-up of things I love. I had no idea how to market it or anything, though. As expected, the books were sleepers, books that never really extended beyond family and friends.
I quickly learned that there was no way I’d be able to make a living that way, so I started learning. A lot. It’s well and good to write books for myself, but to make a living as an author, I have to write books for readers. I looked at a bunch of genres I thought I’d be able to write well and enjoy while keeping those readers in mind. Because, in the end, I want you readers to enjoy these stories too, right?
My first step in that direction began with These Immortal Vows, originally called Undying Love. I meant to write adult paranormal romance series with angels and demons. It quickly turned into young adult. I’ll admit, YA is my go-to genre, so in hindsight, that was inevitable. Likewise, the paranormal romances I was reading to research the genre all turned out to be more YA than adult.
As you might have guessed, I messed up communicating who I wrote those books for. At the time, I was sure they straddled the line enough to be considered adult for some reason. Looking back, I have no idea why. That series, as Undying Love, was my best attempt at writing fiction in a hard and fast genre that readers would love, but I still fell short because my marketing and product didn’t line up. That kind of combination spells out a bit of a disaster, but hopefully not too big of one since adult and young adult paranormal romances are still paranormal romances. Some readers genuinely enjoyed those books.
This condensed retelling has now brought us to Kamryn Hart. Her Brave Wolf, published September of 2017, was my first REAL adult paranormal romance. And I went with shifters. If you know me at all, or you’ve looked at my books covers, you’ll see I have a slight obsession with shifters. Luckily, a bunch of lovely readers do too. Her Brave Wolf was my best launch by far at that point. I had a solid product in a solid genre with solid marketing and a solid audience in mind. It made a big difference. I think it’s safe to say it’s one of my most loved books to date because of that.
My writer heart combined with readers hearts, and it was amazing. It IS amazing. And it’s grown from there. My biggest “hit” to date? The Lost Princess of Howling Sky. That happened this year. I got an agent this year. I got an audiobook this year. I stopped using a pen name so all of my books would exist under the same name so my readers could pick and choose for themselves if they wanted to go beyond the genre they love and try something maybe a little different. I got so many readers this year and kind messages and I love you all, and I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed my books. That’s what they’re for.
I want to keep moving up. I want to continue giving you the best stories I can. I want to grow this business so it can hopefully hit a steady point of income that’ll sustain my needs and keep my rate of production high while giving the best quality I can manage for all of you.
I have so many stories planned it’s kind of ridiculous. I’m going to start 2019 off with Valentine’s Day Tigers and then Queen of Werewolves. It’s going to be hard saying goodbye to both of those series, but the characters won’t be going away if I have anything to say about it. Their worlds aren’t finished.
Thank you again. I wouldn’t be here without you.
What have you accomplished this year? I’d love to hear! Let’s spread positive vibes and close out this year on a high note.