I spent yesterday writing the most enormous blog post about my year but realised it was not entirely appropriate. It was very therapeutic to write though so I'm glad I did but it went into too much detail about things that had happened during 2012. I slept on it and decided that it is a New Year and I am going to be as positive as possible.
The year did end badly as I lost my Dad in December. He had been diagnosed earlier in the year with Mesothelioma which is a rare cancer caused by asbestos. It has been a difficult few months and I am going to get back to work as a writer. My Dad would have wanted me to get back into it and things are piling up too much for me not to! I hope wherever you are Dad you are behind me all the way and I would appreciate your hand behind me pushing me onwards and upwards please.
When I look back on 2012 I am actually quite surprised just how much happened in those 12 months. I began my writing proper in January with Fergus and the Anastasia stories began. We self published them in March and continued to add more and more. I spent hours writing and, after Dad's diagnosis, found it a positive way to escape reality. It is hard to imagine that I wrote twenty nine Anastasia stories, self published them all, created Omnibus' for each series and also managed to write a story about a brand new character called Larry the Liger!
Obviously that is a simplified version of events because it doesn't take into account the hours of research, proofreading, editing, formatting, sourcing of illustrators, creating book covers, marketing the stories, running promotions, keeping a track of downloads, and meetings about websites and future stories etc. Phew!
I see 2012 as a milestone year for reasons beyond the obvious with losing my Dad. I became a self published author, my first born started school and I made my debut with a local drama group. Looking back I wonder if I crammed so much in because I wanted to show my Dad I could do it. I know he was proud and he loved hearing about the downloads, etc.and he got to see me in my debut prancing around the stage in a fluffy bra!
In June we had a family holiday to Majorca which didn't quite go to plan after all our cases were left off the plane! Not the best way to start a holiday. Then my youngest got very ill which was a worry. It was really nice to get home! 2013 will probably find us holidaying in the UK so we can drive I imagine.
The New Year has brought a new addition to the Anastasia stories and that is the website! It is now live and so I would like to introduce you to it. www.anastasiabyrachaelphillips.co.uk or www.anastasiabyrachaelphillips.com It is brand new so will have more added as time goes on.
The photos of Kent were kindly provided by Steve Payne, a friend I have made since I began writing about Anastasia. He takes wonderful shots of Hawkhurst and surrounding villages and countryside. Very appropriate as Series I and II of the Anastasia stories are set mostly in Kent. Many thanks Steve :)
There are also photos of some of the Boughton Lodge horses which is very exciting to see them in the flesh, so to speak. More will be added in the future too.
So what will 2013 hold? Well, I am taking things mostly one day at a time because it is still early days in many respects with things. I will go with the flow. Imagination allowing, I have Anastasia Series IV to write. This Series, like Series III, will be aimed at teenagers/young adults but will move away from the world of trafficking as Anastasia heads in pursuit of her ambition of starting up her own fashion label. She is yearning to be a teenager with more usual pursuits but I have no doubt she will end up with her fair share of mysteries to solve. We shall see how she gets on in the near future. I also have more Larry the Liger stories to write. If you haven't met him yet then you should know that his father was a lion and his mother was a tiger! He has proved a big hit and I can't wait to see how his future goes. I want to thank all those in the US and India as there were lots of sales in December from across the pond and some from UK. Many thanks :) Check out all the books on Amazon www.tinyurl.com/7pgubvz (UK) or www.tinyurl.com/bwu7rtz (US)
Well, I had better get to work I guess. I hope you all enjoyed the stories so far and please consider leaving a review. I'm back in the saddle and am going to work as hard as I can to realise my dreams.
Happy New Year everyone. I wish you all good health, peace, success and happiness. Onto the next chapter of the journey...