Monday, December 20, 2010

A Year in Review...

We're getting to the end of the year. Only a couple of weeks until 2011. It's natural for us all to consider our yearly achievements as December comes to a close. Since I did something similar last year, here's a list of the exciting things that happened in my writing life and here on The Cozy Page:

January's Cowboy Lovin' - This time last year I was brainstorming how to get all my favorite western romance writers together in one place to have the ultimate western romance extravaganza! Friends and readers came to The Cozy Page in numbers to participate in cowboy-themed giveaways, see their favorite western guest authors, and join in the cowboy round robin. It started 2010 with a bang here at the ol' blog and I loved seeing all the western romance supporters coming together to celebrate the sub-genre. In fact, I'm thinking about doing something similar in Spring 2011. Stay tuned ;)

Back-to-Back Releases and Goodbye to the Ridges - In early January while we were throwing down with Cowboy Lovin', I marked the launch of the second book in my Wayback Ridge trilogy, Bluest Heart, which to date is the bestselling book in the trilogy. Two months later, in March, I had a parting of the ways with all those entertaining Ridge family characters when the final book in the trilogy, Bet It On My Heart, was published by The Wild Rose Press. That same week, it was voted Book of the Week by readers at Long & Short Reviews. This release was the most bittersweet I've experienced. I worked on the three Wayback Ridge novellas for nearly two years and didn't want to say goodbye. The occassion, however, was an especially sweet one not just because Blackest Heart, Bluest Heart, and Bet It On My Heart are my most successful titles to date or because Bet It On My Heart was one of the last titles published under TWRP's much-loved Wayback, TX series. I became the only author with three books in the multi-authored series, and I'm still thrilled that the editors at TWRP thought these works worthy of such an honor.

Best Book of 2009 Nomination - In February, I learned that my historical romance, Forever Amore, was nominated for Best Book of 2009 by the reviewers of Long & Short Reviews. I do believe the hero and heroine, Charles and Lucille, are still beaming with pride - as, of course, am I!

3rd Paranormal Romance Completion - March and April weren't easy months. Among other things, my beloved laptop, Keats, died in an electrical surge and I was without a computer for several weeks. For a writer, there is nothing worse than not having the proper technological channel for creative venting. As it happened, I was in the midst of my third paranormal romance - all of which I thought had been fried on the hard drive with other works in progress. I was devastated until a saintly computer specialist (who shall be receiving a Christmas card this year from these grateful peeps) recovered the files. Meanwhile, my parents gave me a desktop that had belonged to my sister on which I completed the third paranormal. It came out to be a whopping 107,000 words - my longest manuscript since completing Forever Amore's first draft in December 2004, which came in at 140,000 (later revised and published at 75,000). This also marked the mid-way point for a five-part series I officially began work on in November 2008.

Literary Representation - In early May, six years of searching for an agent as passionate about my work as I am came to a close. Many thanks and heartfelt wishes go out to Joyce Holland and the D4EO Literary Agency!

The Ridges Go Audio - When I learned that TWRP would be selecting several titles to be published in audio book format, I had no idea that the Wayback Ridge trilogy would be among them. In July, I received the news that the Ridges were going to be strutting their stuff in the audio-verse! It was such a pleasure to work with AudioLark and the Ridges again. The audio book collection launched in September, becoming my first foray into audible and capping off my first publication triad - paperback, ebook, and audio!

Sweethearts of the West - In October, I was invited to become a part of a new western romance grog called Sweethearts of the West along with several authors from The Wild Rose Press and Harlequin/Silhouette. I blog with the Sweethearts once a month, usually around the 3rd, and I'm having a lot of fun discussing my favorite subject - cowboys and western romance - in more detail.

Social Networking Surprises - My author profile on Facebook reached 500 friends this winter! Similarly, I also reached 300 Twitter followers and may even reach 400 before the New Year. Thank you to those who have connected with me via social networking. I promise to be just as, if not more so, interesting in the new year ;)

As for non-writing related notables, I watched oil wash onshore at my local beaches in May and my favorite college football team is going to a national championship for the first time in 50+ years. On a more private note, I experienced a lot of things I never thought I would have to go through and learned quite a bit about myself and others along the way. It's been a turbulent and remarkable year in equal measure and I'm looking to the new year with much anticipation!

Merry Christmas, Cozies!


Annette Snyder said...

Amber...have emailed you through the email you gave me and not received a response. I'll need your post for my Fifty Authors from Fifty States blog or I can just pick and choose from here or I can find a replacement for your spot. I'd contact you thru a spot here but there isn't one. If I don't hear from you, I'll assume you're no longer interested. Thanks and have another great year.

Amber Leigh Williams said...

Annette, I have answered a couple of your emails actually. My question for you is when my post will go live on your blog as well as what kind of post you would like: word count, pictures, etc.