2019 – A Retrospective

A few thoughts on last year, both personally and as a writer.


  • Renewed a twenty year old friendship – what a blessing!
  • Welcomed another grandson (four grandchildren now)
  • Celebrated my younger son’s birthday, in person, for the first time in MANY years
  • Took on a PT job for several months to help with the bills
  • Moved to a different apartment with better amenities


  • Celebrated my two-year publishing anniversary in August
  • Experimented with some flash fiction/photo prompts on my blog
  • Published one full length novel and almost finished a second (see below)
  • Incorporated more show and less tell in my writing
  • Got really good at low-cost book promotions (!)
  • Added yet another genre and audience to my portfolio



My writing plans for the year fell apart! I published my second wolf shifter novel, Traitor’s Moon, in February. The idea was to keep going with book three, but I couldn’t do it. I was burned out and needed to write something different for a while. With no desire to commit myself to another long project, I decided to write a fantasy short story. This turned into a series of five novelettes spread out over the last ten months of the year!

With me so far? The initial idea was to publish them individually, thereby increasing my backlist and pull in lots of new readers with all the extra exposure. Not a bad plan – except it was too expensive. (I also tried putting the stories on my blog in serial format, but very few people read them.) There was no way I could afford to publish and promote five different titles, so what to do? The only thing I could do with a basket full of lemons – make lemonade!

RISE OF THE DRAMAN is a collection of all five books and is presently undergoing a final series of edits. I’m adding new material, replacing tell with show, and correcting mistakes. My beta readers are loving it, and I will end up with a much better novel by the time I’m done.

The cover for this one was another challenge. The designer I’ve been using all along just couldn’t come through for me on this title, so I was forced to look elsewhere. Fantasy cover art, particularly with dragons, is harder to come by and can be a lot more expensive. I finally found a few possibilities on a pre-made cover site, and with one slight change (which cost more), settled on one which will do, but just doesn’t POP the way I had hoped. Check it out here and tell me what you think! If things go as planned, I intend to publish RISE OF THE DRAMAN sometime in February or before.

Every book brings new opportunities to learn and improve, and this latest one certainly did! Overall it’s been a great experience. My biggest regret is not being able to publish the thing in 2019, as it puts me behind my goal of at least two novel-length works per year. If I work hard, maybe I can squeeze out three in 2020 to make up for it!



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6 responses to “2019 – A Retrospective”

  1. Theresa Avatar

    Well, you’ve had a busy year! I look forward to reading your dragon story. Just remember to follow your heart when it comes to your writing. Happy New Year!

    1. Alexander Elliott Avatar
      Alexander Elliott

      I appreciate your kindness and well-wishes. I’m afraid my heart wants WAY more than it’s going to get! Hope 2020 is filled with love, joy, and peace for you and yours.

  2. H.R.R. Gorman Avatar

    Looks like you had a big year! And I wouldn’t worry much about how much you published, just as long as you like and are proud of what you published.

    1. Alexander Elliott Avatar
      Alexander Elliott

      It was very BUSY, that’s certain! My eventual goal is four novel-length works per year, so two seems like a piece of cake. I’ll get there.

      1. H.R.R. Gorman Avatar

        Wow, 4 per year! That’s a lot! 2 seems like a reasonable goal, though.

  3. Alexander Elliott Avatar
    Alexander Elliott

    Well, four per year won’t happen until I retire. I have another decade to hone my skills and build up my backlist. I read a blog post last year which claimed that any author who wants to make money on Amazon must publish something new every 30 days! Sorry, but no one worth their salt can crank out that much material, even writing full time. The ones who do are using ghost writers or other cheats like switching genders on main characters in romances and slapping a new title/cover on it. I will never do that kind of thing!

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