New Year, New Aspirations

Happy New Year! The beginning of a new year is always interesting. It’s a time to reflect, plan, eye one’s holiday paunch, and join a gym(!) 2013 promises to be an interesting year for yours truly as I conclude The Tapestry and move on to new projects.

As I write The Red Winter, it’s a bittersweet feeling. I’m both excited to bring the tale to a satisfying close and sad to say goodbye to Max, David, Mum, Bob, Cooper, Hannah, and the innumerable other personalities that populate the little world I’ve created. Max has come a long way since his trip to a Chicago museum and the end of his tale will also conclude a significant chapter of my life.

But life is about moving forward, isn’t it? Even as The Tapestry comes to a close, I’ve been busy developing some new projects. There’s a broad range of stuff that interests me — everything from fantasy series to screenplays to adult novels and even a picture book (having a kid does that to you — you come across some terrible picture books and decide that you could do better). The leading candidate for the next endeavor is a series of fantasy novels that would take place in the distant future, but incorporate the same world and history that I’ve created in The Tapestry. Essentially, it would be a really fun opportunity to imagine how things might evolve and develop over the centuries following the events of The Tapestry. I’ve already got pages and pages of notes and ideas on everything from characters and storylines to social structures, cultural practices, economic institutions, new factions, etc. It’s world building at its best and one of my favorite things to do.

Of course, the next challenge is getting someone to publish it. We’re only in the very early stages of even letting people peek at the concept, but it seems like there might be some interest. Nothing’s ever official, however, until there’s an offer and a contract and all of those small (but crucial) details, but I’m optimistic that the concept will see the light of day in some way, shape, or form. I’ll certainly let you know if and when anything happens.

In the meantime, I’ll also be dusting off my resume and looking for work — either tutoring or consulting or some new challenge to help ensure that our son goes to college someday. Unless one is J.K. Rowling or Suzanne Collins, writing is not nearly so lucrative as many imagine. Very few published authors can support themselves with their writing alone. I’ve been fortunate enough to do so for the past few years, but until I sell my next project, I’ll need to find another way to provide for my family. That’s the cold, hard truth of being an author — you’re only as good as your next contract.

But hey, that’s why life is fun — there’s always a new challenge just around the bend. I’m a big believer that one needs to reinvent themselves now and again or risk stagnation. I’ve always thought of my life as a series of five-year chapters and “The Tapestry” chapter will close in 2013. I can’t wait to find out what’s next. Hopefully, it will be something inspiring and rewarding — something to keep me relatively sharp and spry as I try to keep up with a little boy who’s out to conquer the world.

How about you? What’s the next big thing you’d like to do in your life?

p.s. The image is a tiny snippet of The Red Winter cover! Excited? I am!