Picking myself up, dusting off and gearing up for 2015

2014 was productive. I released 7 books and 1 novella under my name:

Finding_Me_Again_cover

headabovewaterfront

Betray_New_cover_frontBF-high

BreakThrough_ebooksm

summerwefell_front_high

cutsrundeepfront

ForTheWin-ebook

And 1 chick lit book under my pen name:

Confessions-of-a-Harried-Housewife-ebook-web-resolution EK Andrews

I have been a published author for 3 years this month. My first book PROWL released January 20, 2012.

Prowld

As I assess my successes, challenges, disappointments, and highs and lows of the last few years I’m left with these impressions:

1. There is nothing sweeter than hearing from a reader who really “gets it.”

2. There is nothing more disheartening than releasing a book that you love beyond reason, a book that you pour your heart and soul into, and watch it tank.

3. By the same token, it’s amazing when you release a book you’re unsure about and it climbs the charts.

4. Being an author is the best job in the world.

The past three years have been a huge learning experience for me. I went into this business pretty blind. The only thing I knew for sure was that I had to write. Stories were pumping through my veins, characters were filling my mind, plot lines were taking over my thoughts. I had no choice but to listen to the voices in my head, and share their stories with the world. For the most part, I write what I hear, I write what I love and then I publish it.

But 2014 made one thing painfully clear to me. That writing in lots of different genres, while fun, may not be the best decision for me financially. As much as writing is a labor of love, it’s also my job. Therefore, I’ve realized that I need to focus in on one genre this year. Last year I tried my hand at a few different genres. I took some risks artistically, hoping they would pay off. To be honest, I wrote what I think is my best work yet. I wrote books that were difficult, and took a lot out of me. I wrote books with crazy plot twists, books that were darker than my usual sweet romances, books that stretched me as an author and a person. And I don’t regret it. I think it made me better. But it didn’t pay off for me financially. In 2014, I realized that my readers like my sweet romances. It’s what sells. It’s what my readers want. And believe me, I’m not complaining. I’m just stating fact.

Taking this into account, I’ve put together my 2015 business/writing plan. My bestselling book of 2014 was FOR THE WIN. It’s become very clear that sports romance fans are awesome. Therefore, I’m dubbing 2015, the year of sports romances. I plan to release at least 5 more books in the PLAYING FOR KEEPS series. The first one, FOR THE GAME, will be the conclusion of London and Cooper’s story. After that I will begin FOR THE RUSH, a football romance.

I also have a secret project in the works. It’s a story my son and I have been brainstorming for the past 6 months. I’m keeping it to myself for right now, but I’m sure you’ll hear more about it in the future.

Thank you for supporting me. You allow me to keep living this crazy dream and I can’t tell you how grateful I am. Praying that this year is filled with possibilities, crazy characters, fun plot twists and happy endings!

Favorite Things of 2014

Usually this post is limited to my favorite books, but I decided to do it differently this year for a variety of reasons. Long before I was a writer, I was an avid reader and I still am. Reading is truly my favorite pastime. I read voraciously, and because of this it’s hard for me to narrow down the hundreds of books I read each year into a tidy little list of ten or twenty. Also, when I started listing my favorite books they weren’t attached to names and faces, lovely people I call friends. But now many of them are, and for this reason it’s hard for me to remain objective. So I figure this year I will share my very favorites in many different categories.

So here it is. My favorite things of 2014

Favorite Book:

tmoet

 

Alice Hoffman is my very favorite author in the world, so it’s no surprise that this is my favorite read of 2014. Her prose is beautiful, her descriptions lyrical and her tone haunting. Her books always leave an impression on me, and I enjoy every moment of them. This book was gorgeous from start to finish. I highly recommend it.

Runner up:

Okay, so in this category I felt that my second pick needed to be mentioned as well. Here is my second favorite book of 2014 –

the kitchen house

I’m not a huge historic fiction reader. And if I do read a historic novel it’s usually royal fiction by Philippa Gregory. But I read this book because a friend of mine urged me to. And I am so glad I did. This book seriously surprised me. The writing was fantastic, the plot interesting and suspenseful, and the characters engaging. I loved everything about this book!

Favorite song:

sweaterweather

Music is my second love and I listen to music constantly while I write. Therefore it was difficult to pick a favorite song. But when I sat down and really thought about it, I knew I had to pick SWEATER WEATHER by The Neighbourhood. I think I actually fell in love with it in 2013, but I’ve listened to it almost nonstop this year. It’s one of those songs that just never gets old to me.

Favorite Band:

civilwas

thenbhd

I couldn’t choose so this one is a tie. The Civil Wars have been my favorite for awhile. I love their sound, their uniqueness and their voices. They are perfection in my opinion. But The Neighbourhood swiftly stole my heart this year. Their sound is so different from anything out there, Jesse’s voice is amazing, and the dark quality of their music is so easy to write to.

Favorite Movie:

gonegirlmovie

This is an easy one for me. I’m not a huge movie-goer but this year I did watch more movies than normal. I think because there were so many books made into movies. But the best movie by far was Gone Girl. I read the book in 2013 and it was one of my favorite reads of the year. It was chilling and dark, and had a plot twist that blew my mind. I had worried that the movie wouldn’t live up to the book, but I felt like it did. The actors portrayed the characters with just the right amount of creepiness. They were perfect. And the plot twist was just as delicious on screen. This movie has haunted me ever since I stepped out of that theater.

Favorite TV Show:

nashville

I don’t watch much TV. In my downtime I would always rather crack open a book then turn on the television. Therefore I usually only have one or two shows I watch religiously. Nashville has been that one show for me for the past couple of years. I love the music, the plot, and the romance of course.

Favorite Wine:

wegat

 

I love wine. Red wine mostly. Lodi and Paso Robles have been my favorite wine regions for awhile, but Lodi has surpassed Paso for me in the last year or so. And this year my favorite wine is the 2012 Wegat from M2 Winery in Lodi.

Favorite new activity:

biking

Even though we live in a town that is very bicycle friendly with trails everywhere, I’ve never really gotten into biking. However, this year my family all got bikes and we started riding quite a bit. Now I’m kind of addicted.

Favorite writing moment:

#1a

FOR THE WIN was my bestselling release this year. And I was beyond honored when it hit #1 in numerous categories. Thank you to all the readers who picked up and read this book!

Thanks for indulging me. What were some of your favorites of 2014? Share them in the comments below!