Friday, December 28, 2012

2012 in Review

The year is winding to a close, and I see many authors posting their yearly retrospections.  Who am I to resist peer pressure?  So I'd like to talk a little about writing books in 2012.

I've been writing since the 1990s, and 2012 has been a banner year.  You bought over 100,000 copies of my books this year, bringing me to a lifetime total of 150,000 sales.  I'm still amazed -- and probably somewhat smug -- that you bought so many of these silly dragon books.

2012 began with some questions.  At Christmas of 2011, I released my novel Light of Requiem, and third volume of my Song of Dragons trilogy.  After a few years of writing obscure standalone novels, Song of Dragons became rather successful, selling over 100,000 copies.  When 2012 began, I found myself wondering:  What next?

Briefly, I debated whether I should write a fourth Song of Dragons novel, stretching the trilogy out into a longer series.  I decided against it; I generally dislike series that ramble on for too long.  I felt that wouldn't be fair to my readers.

And so, I decided to write Dragonlore -- a new fantasy trilogy set in Requiem, the same world as Song of Dragons.  To keep things fresh, I fast-forwarded three hundred years and created a new cast of heroes and villains.

On hindsight, this was the right choice.  So far, the first two Dragonlore novels -- A Dawn of Dragonfire and A Day of Dragon Blood -- are doing well.  While the earlier trilogy had a strong action-adventure feel, this time around, the books are darker -- less A New Hope and more The Empire Strikes Back.  This allows me to keep expanding Requiem and also, I hope, evolve as an author.

One fun moment in 2012 came when A Dawn of Dragonfire (the first Dragonlore novel) reached Amazon's Top 100 bestsellers list.  This made it the #1 bestselling epic fantasy on Amazon, just ahead of George R. R. Martin's latest novel.  Now, this ranking only lasted for a day (and George is again running way ahead), but what a day it was!

But my favorite thing about 2012 was meeting great new people.  I loved hearing from all the readers who emailed me, liked my Facebook page, or followed me on Twitter.  I try to reply to everyone who contacts me.  If you messaged me in 2012, and I failed to answer, please try again.  Your message might have gotten lost in my inbox, but I definitely want to reply to everyone.

So what's next?  What will happen in 2013?

First of all, I'm working on A Night of Dragon Wings, the third and final Dragonlore novel.  This one will be the longest, darkest, most complex Requiem novel yet.  I hope to release it in February or March of 2013.  I can't wait to hear what you think about it.

After that, I'd like to continue expanding the world of Requiem.  I hope to write a third trilogy set in this world.  The way Dragonlore begins three hundred years after Song of Dragons, this third trilogy will also skip forward to a new generation.  It will tell a story for both new readers and old fans.  I hope that, in 2013, I can release the first of these new novels.

As a final thought, I'd like to thank everyone who helped spread the word -- whether by telling a friend, posting an Amazon review, or simply sharing a Facebook post.  These books could not exist without your support.

Thank you, dear readers, for making 2012 a success.  I hope you keep reading in 2013.  I look forward to another year full of dragons.