Michele: The Question of the Week for December 10th is what writing accomplishment that occurred during 2021 are you most proud of? Please don’t be shy. If surviving 2021 was your best moment, tell us about it. Surviving is quite an accomplishment and sharing about it can be inspirational. Brag all you want. It’s been a tough year (a couple of?) and we need to go into 2022 on a positive note.
I’ll go first and say that I’m proud to have published Tropical Depression, the third in the Sabrina Salter series. Encouraged by readers who pestered me mercilessly to continue the series. I am so grateful they didn’t let me quit on Sabrina or myself. I also completed a mystery set along The Wild Atlantic titled, The Boy They Left Behind, which is in editing. Finally, I finished an unnamed manuscript that needs to sit in a drawer for a while until the time is right. I will note that I wrote more than I read during the pandemic.
Alexia: I earned a Masters degree from the US Naval War College. I did a lot of writing in 10 months, all of it academic. I learned that I am capable of producing words, many of them worth reading, in a short period of time under intense stress.
I also managed to write two short stories, one for the Boucheron anthology and one for the Malice anthology, during this time.
Emilya: Well, I saw my debut novel get published, learned a lot of new words like “blog tour”, “giveaway”, “Netgalley”, and “Amazon monthly deal”. I finished my second novel, submitted it on time, and learned some new words like “Lifetime sales”, “Bookscan”, and “Synopsis for an unwritten novel”.
Michele: Since answering, Emilya’s second novel, Behind the Lie, received a starred review in Publisher’s Weekly. Very deserving of a bow!
Emilya: That’s great news Keenan! Fingers crossed
Tracee: Michele, I’m going to go with I survived. It wasn’t a year of loss, but it wasn’t a year of doing what I’d planned to do. Basically I sat it out (okay, I did a lot of stuff but much of it involved family and not profession). Proudest moment, over all not really, but perhaps what I needed to do. It was a re-set year for me, and in the end, that’s okay. Let’s just say I’m looking forward to 2022 no matter what it brings. This time, I’m ready.
Susan: This has definitely been a roller coaster year for me. On the down side, I wound up in the hospital for two weeks. On the plus side, I survived! And I’m thrilled to see my Maggie Dove mystery series out in the world, including a brand new one, Maggie Dove and the Lost Brides. I also placed a number of short stories in anthologies in which I am very proud to see my name. Then there’s my new granddaughter. I can’t take credit for her, but she is a constant source of joy.
Sharon: There’s no question about what my proudest achievement for 2021 was. I published my debut novel, In Deep, and the second book in the Fin Fleming Sea Adventures Thriller series, Sunken Death, comes out on December 31. I was lucky enough to get great endorsements from some stellar sources. Hallie Ephron called it “a stellar, pulse-pounding debut;” Hank Phillippi Ryan said the book is “instantly immersive;” Edwin Hill wrote “In Deep delivers on twists and turns while introducing a phenomenal new protagonist;” and our own Michele Dorsey contributed, “The Cayman Islands are exotic and alluring, yet tinged with danger. The underwater scenes and SCUBA diving details are rendered in stunning detail.”
Who’s luckier than me?
Connie: Great question, Michele. When so much is going wrong out there in the world, it’s really helpful to take a moment and celebrate our accomplishments. My best accomplishment in 2021, writing-wise, was finishing the manuscript and edits on my new Kate Hamilton mystery, The Shadow of Memory. The book won’t be released until May of 2022, but all the work happened in 2021. Truthfully, I often found it difficult to concentrate. I don’t think I’m alone in this, although it’s counter-intuitive. With all that time at home, I should have gotten more done. However, we’re focusing on the positive here! One of the things I like to do when writing is keep a spreadsheet of all the scenes. That way I can see where I’ve been and where I’m going. Here’s a part of the sheet I kept for The Shadow of Memory. The different colors mean different acts. Green for Act 1; lavender for Act 2… I’ve also included my cover, which I love.
Share with us what was your proudest moment in 2021?