Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Guest Post: ISOBEL STARLING-Gratitude: A Quick Glance Back at 2016

GRATITUDE: A quick glance back at 2016

The ending of another year brings out insecurities in us all.  2016 has been like sitting in a rollercoaster car with a mischievous child at the controls, and no seat belt.  Personally, my writing career has hurtled along at break-neck speed.  This has had positive and negative points.  Honestly, I can’t believe I’ve released my eighth book, M/M Rom Com “Detective Fox and the Christmas Caper”.  It’s baffling to me that I have EIGHT books out in the world, and all of them getting good reviews - and “As You Wish” particularly, getting to #2 in the Amazon Gay Romance chart.  I’m so touched, seeing as I have only been at this for three years.  What is more bizarre and wonderful is that I’ve signed publishing deals for my “Shatterproof Bond” series to be translated into French and German.  I am amazed that readers love Sam and Declan and really can’t wait to see a paperback copy of each of the books in French and German, even though I can’t understand them.  I will look for the sex scenes, read them out loud, and have a giggle.  

My biggest publishing downer for the year was that after a drawn out, fraught negotiation, I followed my gut feeling and walked away from an Italian publisher I just didn’t trust with my series.  I’ve chatted to so many authors who’ve been messed around because they signed dodgy contracts.  It’s so depressing when I hear that friends haven’t been paid for YEARS in some cases.  This Italian contract was covered in red flags and no matter how I tried to be comfortable with it, I just couldn’t do it.  So, therefore my year one of a year of ups and downs, with zero social life, zero holidays and lots of hard work.  

Within the M/M genre the amount of infighting this year has been horrible... and generally pointless.  I am not one for leaping head first into social media arguments,  but US politics is one thing I have fought over, and will continue to do so.  I will fight for my LGBTQI friends not to have the progress of the last few years stripped away.  There are dark days ahead and we need to support one another.  

Writing this post has made me think and take stock of the year.  I want to give thanks for all of the positive things that have happened and not let negativity rent space in my brain.  So I have decided to write a list of things I am thankful for. 
  • I am thankful for my supportive family who STILL don’t know what genre I write in.  It’s been three years and I’m chuffed that this is still a secret as it allows me to write without wondering if any of them are reading my naughty thoughts.  I think my Machiavellian character Sir James Aiken would be proud of me… and possibly give me a job!
  • I’m thankful for those readers who have supported me, purchased my books, and have left reviews.  Reviews generate sales, and sales keep me from surviving on bread and water, (no joke) so I’m grateful for those readers who take the time to leave a few words.
  • I am thankful for the wonderful bloggers who help so many of us indie authors to be discovered.  I have worked with some really lovely bloggers this year (and blacklisted a few, but that’s another story )  
  • I am thankful to my fellow authors on social media who can rise above the infighting and give each other support and advice on publishing.
  • I am grateful for all of the amazing books I have read this year.  My Goodreads Challenge target *may* not be reached.  It was a highly ambitious total of 150 books, but when I chose that number I didn’t take into account that I would write FOUR novels myself this year.  At the time of writing this I’ve read 117 books in 2016.  That in itself is pretty amazing, so I’m not going to beat myself up if I don’t make it to 150 books.
  • Finally I am thankful for the days when I feel well and can write.  I am glad I write books that make people laugh.  After all, laughter is the best medicine in a stressful world.  
Have a peaceful holiday.  And let’s make 2017 the year for taking the power back!
My latest release “Detective Fox and the Christmas Caper” is available here:

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Thank you so much Isobel for stopping by the blog today! We're looking forward to reading more from you in 2017!

Check out Carra's reviews for Isobel's SHATTERPROOF BOND Series and DETECTIVE FOX AND THE CHRISTMAS CAPER here on the blog!

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