2022 Year-in-review: Stepping back to breathe.

by | Jan 4, 2023 | 1 comment

I find it helpful when I get to the end of one year to look back at what I’ve written. In the past year, like 2020 and 2021, I wrote six works of fiction. Four novels, one short novel, and one novella. I haven’t counted up the words but that totals quite a few words.

I also self-published (with the help of my wonderful narrators and audio production team) six audiobooks. Five full length novels and one novella. I’m really pleased I finally was able to finish audio for The Bone Scroll, which came out in 2021, and was able to produce all the Elemental Covenant books so far.

Suffice to say, I’m tired. I’ve spent the past three years of the pandemic writing at a pretty breakneck speed for a number of reasons that include both personal and professional goals. I’ve also taken research trips, helped my son with school (a little, he’s very independent), and somehow run a household and garden with the help of my excellent husband.

It has been a full three years, but this year, I am cutting back. Not a ton because I really love writing and my family knows I’m kind of a grouch without it. That said, I’m starting on a new series this year with The Thirteenth Month, and I’m taking my time with it. 

In some ways, this new series is a departure for me because it delves into time travel, but it’s also just a new fictional world, and that takes time, attention, and patience to create. I’ve been slowly building this world since 2019, so it’s well-developed in my head, but as any new project will, as I sit down to write it, things will change, and I don’t want to rush them.

But if you’re a fan of my older series (and I hope you still are!) don’t despair. I’m taking a break from paranormal women’s fiction for a while, but I’m continuing the Elemental Covenant series and Bishop’s Flight will be my next project after The Thirteenth Month is finished. I’m guessing that will be out in mid-summer of this year.

I’ll also be returning to the Cambio Springs series, which has had a lovely resurgence over the past couple of years. The last one of those books, Waking Hearts, was published in 2015 and I was sad that the series never seemed to find its audience. Luckily, with independent publishing, nothing ever goes out of print and I don’t need a big publishing contract to revive a series that gains popularity, which Cambio Springs has done! I’m excited to bring Dust Born to you this fall. That series MAY get a new set of covers, too. It hasn’t been updated ever, and I think it’s due for a refresh.

I’m also leaving room for whatever strikes me, whether it’s another Ben and Tenzin story, a return to the Irin Chronicles, or something completely off the wall. I don’t want to schedule too far in advance, and I want to leave room for that great idea that jumps into my head and won’t leave me alone.

Audio production will be taking a break for a while. While it’s a popular format, it is pricey to produce well, so these books will need to pay for themselves before there’s more room in the business budget to record more. And that’s fine. I think all of the series are in good places to leave room for a pause.

All in all, I just want to slow down and leave myself a little more breathing room. My son is graduating this spring and will be going off to college in the fall, so the time I have with him is precious. I want to be able to visit our family in Ethiopia again and have time for life there. I want to dig in my garden and breathe a little deeper.

And I definitely will be spending less time on social media. With every year that passes, the pressure in online life becomes more intense, more breakneck, and more prying. I think I’ve come to a time in my life and in my career where I want my work to speak for itself. Readers who know me, know who I am, what I believe in, and I think that’s very evident in my books.

I’m not dramatically exiting any social media channel because I find fun things about all of them! I love the newsiness of Facebook and the wonderful interaction in Hunters’ Haven, my reader group. It’s like a big fun book club of like-minded people, and I value that. I love the adventure of Instagram and the ability to share photos from my travels or the cuteness of my dogs. I love the hilarity of TikTok and I cannot lie, I am obsessed with car-detailing videos. They’re so satisfying.

But in the last year in particular, the pressure to do more, put it online, film it, share it, you-have-to-go-viral, post post post has turned me off. I will be frank, this kind of pressured interaction KILLS creativity, at least for me. I am not an actress, a comedian, or a public person. I am a writer.

My rule for online interaction was ALWAYS that writers should do as much social media as is fun for them, and nothing else. Well, in the last couple of years, I’ve broken that rule for myself and given into the “common wisdom” that I had to put more and more of myself online in order to remain relevant. 



I don’t want to do that anymore. I’ll be posting about my books, but while I enjoy sharing about my travels, my garden, or my dogs, the pressure to get personal and share more than I’m comfortable with is intense and frankly, intrusive. I want to maintain a personal and private life, and I don’t owe readers access to all of it.

I have gotten into the habit of more regular newsletter posting and I am really enjoying it. I hope you’re liking it too. I feel like it’s a better way for me to keep in touch with you about what’s going on and what you can look forward to. If you haven’t subscribed to my newsletter, I’ll put a form at the bottom of the page.

Thank you for sticking with me. I know there are so many amazing writers out there, and I appreciate your time and attention. I try very hard NEVER to take that for granted. I’m off to write the rest of this week! I hope you have a wonderful start to your year, and I wish you the best for 2023.

Thank you for reading,


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1 Comment

  1. Jas

    I just finished The Irin Chronicles and the books absolutely did it for me in every possible way. I just found this blog- and this post, and possibility of more Irin books makes me ridiculously happy, even if it is in the distant future. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of your stuff now, thank you for sharing your wonderful talent. I hope the new year brings you much happiness and rest.


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