The Year in Facts and Figures

Books/stories written:

  • “The First Star to Fall” [10k]
  • Omega City [50k]
  • One & Only (w/a Viv Daniels) [75k]
  • unfinished novella* [20k]
  • Sweet & Wild (w/a Viv Daniels) [40k, plus whatever I manage in the next few days]

Total wordcount for 2013: 195,000**

* Despite revising this novella multiple times, I could never get it to gel. It took longer to write than a full-length book. In the end, I was forced to shelve it.
** I also revised 105,000 words

Books/stories sold:

  • Omega City 1,2,3
  • “The Last of the Unicorn Hunters”
  • “Huntress Sinister”
  • (Plus several foreign deals and reprints)

Books/stories published:

  • For Darkness Shows the Stars, extras paperback
  • Foretold, paperback
  • Under my Hat, paperback
  • “Sharper than a Seraph Blade” in Shadowhunters and Downworlders
  • Across a Star-Swept Sea
  • “The Last of the Unicorn Hunters” in When the Hero Comes Home, vol. 2
  • One & Only (written as Viv Daniels)

Book festivals/conferences/attended:

  • New York Teen Author Fest
  • Frederick Book Festival
  • DC AwesomeCon
  • BEA
  • DragonCon
  • Baltimore Book Festival
  • Capclave
  • NINC

Plus another dozen unconnected signings. It was a busy year for events.

Writing Retreats Attended:

  • Chicago with Simone Elkeles and Mari Mancusi (August 2013)
  • New York City with Mari Mancusi (November 2013)

Miscellaneous:

  • After years of only self-publishing reprints of short stories, I not only self published an original short story (“The First Star to Fall”) but I also wrote and self-published a novel! I’m officially a hybrid author!
  • I sold my first trilogy! (Yes, it took me this long to even write one.)
  • I added two new genres to my resume with the above entries: Middle Grade (or action adventure, or both) and new adult romance. It’s fun to write things that aren’t SFF sometimes.
  • For Darkness Shows the Stars, already on the Capitol Choices (DC Area) Reading List, is also on the Lonestar Reading List!
  • Across a Star-Swept Sea got a starred review from VOYA.

____________________

That’s all the good news. The bad news is that while I was doing all this, I forgot to take care of myself. It’s been a very stressful few years–2013 might be the worst of the lot–and my health has taken a hit. As I’ve read the accounts from fellow writers like Stephanie Perkins, Lauren DeStefano, Jessica Spotswood, Andrea Cremer, and others who have struggled with health issues, I’ve seen too much of myself in their posts. (And a few weeks ago the YA community lost Ned Vizzini, who wrote wonderful books about his own struggles with depression.) When I read the blog of the fabulous and indomitable Susan Donovan and learn how one of the reasons she’s alive today is because she was so very healthy and active when the infection hit, I know that I’ve been too much of a lump. My friends and family have seen it, too. I read the articles about the increased rate of depression in writers, I hear the jokes about how we’re all miserable, alcoholics, and drug addicts, I see the cartoons like this:

drunken vagrantI’ve started thinking it’s too close to true. So though I’d like to set out goals for next year, I have only one priority, and it’s to get myself back together again. I used to be the girl who went hiking with my dog for three miles every day. I used to be the girl who grew a garden every year, who liked cooking and crocheting and home improvement projects, who kept foster dogs and volunteered at the zoo and wanted to travel. And I tell myself, well, you have a kid now, some things are going to have to give. But what shouldn’t give is me.

Of course I’ll still be writing; it is my job. I have edits due in January, not to mention two books to write, a short story to expand, and two books to publish in 2014. Still, my MG and NA novels are shorter books, not the 120,000 word doorstopper that Star-Swept ended up being (watch out, George R. R., amirite?). But I think I will be pulling back majorly on events and concentrating on my health and achieving a work-life balance.

On that note, I’m off to celebrate a kid-friendly “GMT New Year” with some friends-with-kids. Happy New Year to all, and to all a good night.

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2 Responses to The Year in Facts and Figures

  1. Alexa S. says:

    *whistles* That is an incredible amount of accomplishments for one year, Diana. I bow down to your writing/touring skills of awesome. Congratulations on everything! I also wish you luck on your goal for 2014 — it will happen.

  2. Leandra says:

    Holy smokes! That’s a lot of words! And here’s wishing you success on finding a healthy balance as well.