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Looking back at 2017 and forward 2018

What a ride 2017 has been.

On January 1 of this year, I became a full-time writer. Well, mostly full time. I divested myself of my final software development duties at some point in late February if memory serves.

Way back then (you know, 12 months ago) I had a goal of writing five novels in 2017. This was a huge step up for me, as I’d written four over the previous five years. It seemed reasonable, yet back at the beginning of the year I had trouble finding a new rhythm and began to wonder if I’d hit my goal of five.

But I did not despair, and worked up a plan—one that I told myself I’d stick to it no matter what. I got busy and declared that the summer of 2017 would be the Summer of Aeon 14!

The year kicked off with New Canaan releasing on April 1, and then Destiny Rising (the Outsystem & A Path in the Darkness extended edition) in May. From there things really stepped up. The first Pew! Pew! anthology came out at the tail end of May along with Close Proximity (my first co-authored book).

June closed out with Orion Rising and The Gate at the Grey Wolf Star hitting the shelves, and pushed things forward even faster. June was my second best month of the year, selling just shy of 10,000 books and seeing 3 million pages read in Kindle unlimited.

My initial plan had been to do a big push in the summer, and then ease off in the fall, but after the great reception to the books thus far, I decided to keep up the pace.

July saw the release of my 2nd co-authored book, Lyssa’s Dream, as well as the 2nd book in the Perseus Gate series. August was the month that Rika Outcast came into the world, as well as the 3rd Perseus Gate book, and Strike Vector.

What I was amazed to find is that I could write at a pace I’d never imagined, and my editors and readers told me that my quality was improving. There are a variety of reasons for this, but some of it is just the old “practice makes perfect” adage—or closer to perfect, at least.

October was a killer month, I had to write a quarter of a million words to meet my deadlines, but I pulled it off and we got four books in November as a result. The one-two punch of Collision Course and The Scipio Alliance made November the top month of the year, beating June by a healthy margin.

It was great to see how enthusiastic all of you were for those books, and the warm reception you gave them inspired me and my co-authors to keep up the pace and keep bringing you great stories.

The year rounded out with two books in December, plus a host of short stories that fed into a variety of collections. Even with the metric crunkload of books that come out in Nov/Dec, we’re still going strong and all of you have made 2017 an unbelievable year.

Your excitement for the books, and the characters has been truly inspirational. I know a lot of people say this, but I’m going to say it too, and mean it from the bottom of my heart: Thank you. I could not have done this without you.

Aeon 14 began 2017 with 4 novels and one anthology of stories. The tally is now at 25 books, 10 novellas/short stories in various anthologies, and 4 omnibus editions.

And I’m just getting warmed up!

Some folks have wondered why I’ve branched off so much from the initial Tanis storyline, while there are several answers to that, the main one is that I wanted to ensure the books didn’t get too complex.

I bet some of you are thinking that it’s more complex this way (with all the parallel series), and it may be in some respects, but the scope of the overarching story is so vast, with so many characters and locales, that if I tried to put it in one linear series, you’d only see a chapter of each character in any given book.

But with these smaller breakout series, like Perilous Alliance, Rika, and the Perseus Gate stories, you can get a deeper dive into a given set of characters, and their situation.

By and large, I think that’s been a good thing. For those of you who have been taking this journey with me, it may be a bit more confusing than it is for those who come later. They’ll have the advantage of being able to start at the beginning and read everything through in a linear fashion.

That being said, I really want to thank everyone for putting up with some of the hopping back and forth that’s been going on. It’s mostly over—at least within the Orion War era. We’re still going to spend more time back in the Sentience Wars era, as well as Tanis’s younger years, and what happened in the centuries leading up to the FTL Wars.

My current goal for 2018 is to release 40 – 50 titles, bringing Aeon 14 up to roughly 75 books all-told. My current roadmap extends all the way out to June of 2020 when the Tanis storyline wraps up. The Sentience Wars storylines will be wrapped up by then too, though the FTL Wars stories will probably still be going strong. Chances are that there will be some small Age of the Orion War stories that will take until the end of 2020 to wrap up too.

Then what, you ask?

Fear not, I have a plan for that too—not that I’m going to spoil it or anything, you’ll just have to see what comes in the fall of 2020.

But back to the immediate plans for 2018. Firstly, you’re going to see some stories wrap up! I know, this is a new thing for me. Currently the only series that has ended is The Intrepid Saga, and I think that everyone can agree that it didn’t really ‘end’. Today the final story in Perseus Gate: Orion Space (season 1) has released, and that’s an end of sorts as well, but season 2 starts up in February.

So, what really will end? The Sentience Wars: Origins will wrap up some time in late summer, though it will then kick off The Sentience Wars: Solar War 1. Perseus Gate: Inner Stars will begin and wrap in 2018, and I suspect that the Tanis Richards: Origins series will begin and wrap in 2018 as well.

Rika will keep going strong, and I believe that Kylie and crew will keep things going as well in the Perilous Alliance series. Katrina’s initial story will be done, and then we’ll jump forward to the 89th century to finally find out what the heck she was doing in the Transcend!

Other great stuff coming your way will be a new series called Machete System Bounty Hunter, co-authored with Zen DiPietro; a series about a Hand assassin, co-authored with T. G. Ayer; Vexa Legacy will also come out, a series that follows Ellen Jansen (one of the Marines from Outsystem) in a new adventure, coauthored with Andrew Gates.

We’ll also see The Empire series that follows Empress Diana and Petra from Scipio, as well as The Sol Dissolution series that will follow Williams and Katelyn.

Whew! I should be terrified, or tired-in-advance at the thought of all this, but I’m not! I’m stoked, and I can’t wait to get going.

Here’s to 2018 being the year of Aeon 14!