Susan Vaughan here. I don’t generally do resolutions. Whenever I’ve tried, they never work out or I realize I’ve made the wrong ones or I break them before January is over. So usually I just move on into the next year without plans. This year I’ve come up with some, let’s call them goals. Two are related to writing and two to life in general.
We published writers need to promote our books, but too often personal appearances, Twitter and Facebook posts and yes, let’s be honest, blog posts get in the way of writing that next book. Whenever newly published authors ask more seasoned ones what they should do to sell more books, the wise old guard reply, “Write the next book and make it better than the previous one.” Absolutely true, but promotion and marketing are essential too, and no one can say what exactly works to sell more books. And all too often, creating a graphic for Twitter or Facebook, like this one–
–diverts me from what I ought to be doing, writing. Keeping all that in mind, GOAL #1 is to write first before I do promotion.
Yup, that’s pretty general, so coming up next is a specific one. Two years ago, after writing a totally new series, I started writing a mystery, a traditional mystery, not romantic suspense. But editing and revising the new romantic suspense series demanded my time, brain, and creativity, so the mystery sat on the computer’s virtual shelf. My Devlin Security Force series was published in 2015, and now it’s time to return to the mystery. How much have I written? I estimate it’s about half finished, about forty thousand words. It’s set on a Maine peninsula I used previously in Once Burned and features the detective from Primal Obsession. So GOAL #2 is to finish the mystery, so here’s my villain.
Now for some non-writing goals. This one came from my husband, so I’m tagging along. GOAL #3 is to enjoy live music once a month. The mid-coast of Maine offers many opportunities for a wide variety of music. The Rockland Strand presents concerts by well-known musicians. We have tickets in February to a concert by guitarist and songwriter Richard Thompson. For this month, we can have coffee or a glass of wine at the Highlands Coffee House in Thomaston and tap our feet to jazz or have a burger at the Quarry Tavern in Tenants Harbor and listen to soft rock or country or oldies. I’m on it!
Last is a goal for all of us. GOAL #4 is said best by writer Neil Gaiman: “May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art—write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.”
*** My latest release is Always a Suspect, the prequel to my Task Force Eagle series. The Devlin Security Force series consists of On Deadly Ground, Ring of Truth, and Cleopatra’s Necklace. Nearly completed is a companion wedding novella, to be titled “At Last.” You can find more information about my books at www.susanvaughan.com.