Everybody is slagging on 2016 in social media, myself included. But the truth is that while 2016 was a dumpster fire of a year when it came to politics and celebrity deaths, it wasn’t a bad year at all for me personally or professionally.
On the work front, I wrote a novel (FIELDS OF FIRE, out in February from 47North), and saw the release of the one I had written in 2015 (CHAINS OF COMMAND). CHAINS earned out its advance in the first week of release, which was very nice, and I hope that FIELDS will continue that trend because it means they’ll buy more books from me and let me keep paying mortgage and school tuitions.
I also wrote a novella called STRIPES, which will be part of a WILD CARDS novel next year (hopefully, depending on Tor’s schedule for the book it’s in, called LOW CHICAGO).
Jet City Comics brought out the Frontlines: Requiem graphic novel, a tie-in I did with Gary Erskine and Ivan Brandon. (Gary did the art, Ivan the script, and Yel Zamor the ink. I gave them the characters and general storyline, and they just went to town with it.)
I ended the office rental experiment and gave up my cool little private eye office near the kids’ school because it wasn’t working with my writing schedule. And I did a metric ton of research and groundwork for the next series I’ll be writing after Frontlines comes to a close. All in all, it was a normal year for me as far as output goes–I seem to be a novel-per-year writer right now. For 2017 and beyond, I would like to see if I can increase that output to at least two novels a year.
For travel, I got to go to Detroit in January (ConFusion), Orlando in February (took the kids to Disney), New York City twice (taking family members sightseeing), Quebec City in April (writing retreat of sorts), Chicago in May (Nebulas and Book Expo America), Minneapolis in May (author guest at MantiCon), New Mexico in July (WILD CARDS event at GRRM’s Cocteau Cinema and visiting with friends in Los Alamos), Delaware in July/August (vacationing with kids and friends), Kansas City in August (Worldcon), Martha’s Vineyard in October (Paradise Regained VP reunion), and Raleigh, NC at the end of October (Honorcon, where I received two Rampant Manticore awards, one for Best MilSF novel, and the inaugural H. Beam Piper Memorial Award). That was a lot of travel, and it’s crazy to think that this year was a lighter travel year than 2015…
For the coming year, FIELDS OF FIRE is coming out in February, and I’ll be finishing the sixth Frontlines novel, called POINTS OF IMPACT, hopefully in time for a 2017 release as well. For travel, I’ll be in Lincoln, Nebraska in April for ConStellation as author Guest of Honor, then Manticon again as author guest in May in Minneapolis, and then Worldcon in Helsinki in August (which I will combine with a nice kid-free jaunt to other parts of Europe with Robin). I’ve also committed to being author guest at Honorcon in Raleigh at the end of October again. That’s what’s solidly on the calendar right now, and I’m sure there will be a few other engagements popping up throughout the year.
Lots of work on the schedule for 2017, and plenty of travel. This is a strange and crazy job, even if much of it consists on sitting in a chair and looking at a screen. But it beats the hell out of every other job I’ve had in my life.
Let’s just hope 2017 isn’t going to turn out in a way that will make us remember 2016 fondly…