It’s been a busy year for the Scriptors, lots of writing and editing between all our members. Here’s what we’ve been working on all year, plus our plans for next year!
What writing did you work on in 2015?
Rachel: I wrote, edited, rewrote, and reedited Conscious (YA Paranormal). I wrote the in between novella Greener on the Other Side (YA fairy tale retelling). It’s from my Blue Moon series. I wrote The End Diary (standalone YA dark contemporary). I completed NaNo 2015 by writing most of my standalone NA Romance title Unrequited.
Rick: I published Episodes Three and Four of The Minus Faction as well as Volume One of the Omnibus, which collects Episodes 1-3. I also made good headway on Episode Five before getting diverted to my other project.
On my other project, I published the third course of The Heretic Arcanum and am wrapping up the fourth (of five) now.
Finally, I launched a new project with Lisa Cohen that’s been a little slow to get going but should see a lot of traction next year.
Andy: I spent 2015 creating a rough draft of Werestory 2, the sequel to Of Fur and Ice, revising it a little, and revising Love and Sorcery, a romance involving a magic user. I also edited and headed publication for my husband’s most recent novel, A Midwinter Night’s Dream, which was released last spring.
Daniel: I am working toward finishing the draft of Etheric (sequel to Orison) and getting it into the hands of my editor. We’re hoping for a release in 2016.
Lisa: 2015 was a busier year than I realized!
Between Fall of 2014 and early Winter 2015, I drafted and revised Ithaka Rising, book 2 in my Halcyone Space SF series. It was published in July of 2015. In addition, I worked with a wonderful producer/audiobook narrator to produce audiobooks for both Derelict and Ithaka Rising in 2015.
And, finally, I wrote (and completed) the first draft of Dreadnought And Shuttle, book 3 of Halcyone Space.
So two novels completed, two novels published, and two audiobooks produced. Whew! All in all, I probably wrote 150,000 words of long form fiction, dozens of poems, and close to 100 blog posts, between my own blog and others.
Brooke: It was a big year for me. I edited and published both The Brass Giant and The Mechanical Theater in the first half of the year, then wrote and revised the second novel in the Chroniker City series, The Guild Conspiracy, which has a 2016 release date. I also worked a bit more on Dark Lord in Training and dabbled in another side project currently titled The Court of the Viper Queen.
What are your writing plans for 2016?
Rachel: In a Blue Moon and Conscious are on their last round of querying. If I receive no bites after this, I intend to self-publish both of those titles next year. They are part of two separate trilogies, so depending on when I publish them, I might be busy writing the sequels and in between novellas.
Ideally, I’d love to finish both The End Diary and Unrequited. I also have two other standalone books I’d love to revamp and publish next year, but I’ll see where everything takes me. I plan on completing NaNo again for 2016, but which story I’ll write is still up in the air.
Rick: I will complete Episodes Five and Six of The Minus Faction, which will wrap up that series, and produce Volume Two of the Omnibus. I’ll also release the final completed paperback of The Heretic Arcanum after completing the fifth course, Bright Black. Lisa and I will also do our darndest to publish our collaboration.
Andy: Over the next year, I hope to revise both Werestory 2 and Love and Sorcery to a publishable form and publish at least one, if not both, of them. I’d also like to work on revising the serial novel I completed in 2014. And there are a few new stories bouncing around my head that I may start to tackle if all the revising leaves me too desperate to create a new world.
Daniel: Starting Semblance, the next book in the Lotus Throne series, and finishing Beneath the Broken Sky, a stand-alone novel set in the same universe about another young woman running afoul of a dragon. But it’s a very different tale.
Lisa: I’m on track to have Dreadnought And Shuttle published in Summer of 2016.
Writing-wise? I’m turning to something new – a collaboration with Rick Wayne on a weird thriller novel that I absolutely cannot wait to start writing in earnest.
I have a short story due in mid-February as part of an anthology of female lead characters in SF and I’m planning on brainstorming and starting book 4 of Halcyone Space later in the year.
Brooke: I expect I’ll spend the first part of the year revising The Guild Conspiracy and getting it ready for publication in the spring. Once that is turned over to my publisher, I plan to pitch them a steampunk novella, and if they like the concept, I’ll work on that next (no title yet). Hopefully, if all goes to plan, we’ll be able to squeeze that into a 2016 publication. Otherwise, I’ll be writing the final novel in the Chroniker City series (for now), wrapping up the story that began in The Brass Giant, which will likely be published some time in 2017.
In addition to my traditional contract obligations, because I am ambitious, I also want to finish revising my Persian-inspired fantasy novel The Wizard’s Heart and either query or self-publish. I haven’t decided yet. And last, I want to finish the first draft of Dark Lord in Training and have the whole novel up on Wattpad by the end of the year.
What books did you read this year that you think are must-buys for the holiday season?
Rachel: I finished the Jasper Dent trilogy by Barry Lyga, and I was blown away by every single book. If you are looking for a dark YA mystery/suspenseful book, read it immediately.
The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh O’Brien is a bit of a mashup of a ton of genres, and I have a hard time placing it in one. The book took a bit to get into, because her description is vivid and thorough. However, the ending made the journey worth everything. I cannot wait to pick up the next book in the series.
Finally, if you love werewolves or shifters and want fantastic rainy day reads (light romance, easy to read, and cozy), look up our very own Andrea Brokaw for Of Fur and Ice (the MC goes to a school for weres) or indie author Skyla Dawn Cameron for River (the MC is a wolf, bitten by a human and turned human).
Rick: Fiction: Crooks & Straights by Masha du Toit
Non-fiction: A World History by William McNeill
Andy: Fiction: Winter by Marissa Meyer, the conclusion to the very excellent Lunar Chronicles. (note: It doesn’t really stand alone too well, so if you don’t know if the giftee has read the other books, you should probably go with the first book, Cinder.)
Nonfiction: Chasing the Scream by Johann Hari, a history and scathing condemnation of the War on Drugs.
Lisa: I discovered Masha Du Toit’s South African fantasy novels this year and want everyone I know to read them! Crooks And Straights and Wolf Logic rocked my world. I describe them as Pan’s Labyrinth meets A Wrinkle in Time. Magic Realism, deftly handled.
Unfortunately, I didn’t read as much this year as I usually do, due to family illnesses and the death of my father. I did find myself reaching for the comfort of poetry many times this year, reading a lot of Mary Oliver’s work, which I highly recommend.
Brooke: I didn’t read as much this year as I normally would, but what I did read was fantastic. I highly recommend The Iron Ring and Iron and Blood by Auston Habershaw (available bundled as The Oldest Trick), an amazing start to a new fantasy series. Also, A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab, The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg, and Among Wolves by Nancy K. Wallace were some of my favorites, and some of the most imaginative novels I read this year. But the absolute best book I read had to be Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. I didn’t know how much I needed that book in my life until I read it. It might be one of my favorite books of all time.
And now that it’s the end of the year, we would all like to say a big THANK YOU to all of the readers and writers we’ve connected with throughout the year, and we hope you’ll stick around to see what we accomplish in 2016. Happy Holidays and onward to the New Year!