So here comes 2017. What is it I want exactly out of the coming year?
First, some obvious things. Like be healthier. I am signed up to run two 5K races (with a third likely as soon as registration opens) so my hope is that with these races looking me in the face, I'll actually "train" ... meaning get off my fat ass a few times a week and ease off the potato chips.
A more difficult question is what exactly is next for my writing career? As a writer, I usually have to strike some kind of balance between "the projects that currently excite me" and "the projects that pay the mortgage." Sometimes I'm fortunate when these things coincide. If you know me, then you know I juggle novel writing and comic book scripting. I'm also dabbling in screenwriting, and while there are some glimmers of optimism on the horizon, I'm not counting screenwriting as significantly contributing to my income.
I will also continue to throttle back on comic book work. One of the reasons for this is that comic book publishers are not exactly ringing my phone off the hook with offers ... although the fact is I'm not calling them either. Don't get me wrong, if DC called and said they really needed me to do Batman ... But that's not happening, and that's fine because the only comic book work I'm really eager about is some creator-owned stuff. For example:
Will we have some more of that? I think so. Stay tuned.
But mostly, I will be moving back toward novels. I love the "team effort" of comic book writing, but often getting an artist and colorist and letterer all together only to find that certain publishers want you to pitch but prefer to pick their own artists ... ugh. It can be a headache.
My fantasy trilogy A Fire Beneath the Skin has reached more readers than all of my other novels put together. (I haven't actually run the numbers on this ... but it's close.) Furthermore, fantasy is where my head is right now. So it's a no-brainer that I would continue to write in this genre. The one thing I'm struggling with is if I should return to the world I created for my trilogy and write more Ink Mage stories ... or if I should start with a clean slate on something else. I just don't know yet, but I'll need to figure it out soon.
And of course I'll be writing other things too. I'm fortunate to be able to write for a living, but I'm not one of those authors that can leisurely work on one book at a time. I need to have other irons in the fire at all times. I'm currently grinding hard to deliver a thriller, and I will be looking ahead to the next thing even as I'm writing my next fantasy novel. I have a handful of things optioned, so there's always the chance of some giant Hollywood check ... in which case why would I write anything I didn't want to? But experience has taught me not to hold my breath for such things. Who knows?
In the meantime, I need to think fast about what's next. The novel I'm currently working on will be done soon. And then ...?