It might be said that 2013 was a big year for me. It may have been the biggest year of my life. It certainly was on a professional level.
My first novel, Promise of Blood, was released in hardcover, ebook, and audiobook by Orbit Books, the science fiction and fantasy imprint of one of the Big Five publishers. So that's a major life goal accomplished right there. We've sold the rights to Promise of Blood in Hebrew, Bulgarian, and Russian, as well as the rights to the whole Powder Mage trilogy in Polish and French.
I also signed on for a second series with Orbit (bringing the total to six Powder Mage Universe books).
In terms of sales and recognition, Promise of Blood did far better than I could have ever hoped. I was stunned to see it be voted to #10 on Goodreads' "Best Debut Goodreads Author of 2013" and #15 on Goodreads' "Best Fantasy Books of 2013." It wound up on a list of the "Twelve Greatest Fantasy Books of the Year" on Buzzfeed (a list that got over 405K views). It won an /r/fantasy Stabby Award for "Best Debut Novel of 2013." Just the other day it showed up on Fantasy Faction's "Best Fantasy Books of 2013." It even wound up as a finalist for the RT Award for Best Epic Fantasy alongside industry giants Mark Lawrence and Robin Hobb.
In 2013, I also released Powder Mage short stories, "The Girl of Hrusch Avenue" and "Hope's End," both of which have been received favorably. I sold a third, "The Face in the Window," to Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and it will be released in February of 2014. I've even got two more short stories in the works.
I finished writing my second novel in the Powder Mage Trilogy, The Crimson Campaign. Even though it was harder to write than Promise, my agent and editor both thought it was even better. It will be out on May 6th, 2014.
I started work on the third book in the Powder Mage Trilogy, which I imagine will be out sometime in the spring of 2015. Most of the book is written already, so I should have it finished up and submitted sometime this winter/early spring.
I got my first piece of fan-art, done by a friend of mine from high school:
Of course, with all the ups there are bound to be downs.
It's easy to scoff at the emotional roller-coaster that is being a published author. After all, I've accomplished my dream. What could possibly worry me? Poor reviews. Being late with manuscripts. "Meh" reviews. Release date changes. Good reviews with nasty caveats. Managing money. Of particular note, I was baffled by how many epic fantasy lovers dismissed my book out of hand because "guns don't belong in fantasy."
But the good outweighed the bad by far. I'm delighted to start on this journey of being a published, full time author, and I hope to continue on for many, many years. I hope you'll all come with me.