The good news doesn't stop there. 2019 has a lot in store for the little town of Aviario: including a new series name, a fresh new genre to call home, and most importantly, a new novel!
This is all a very, very big endeavor for me. When I started this blog back in 2014, I had no idea the amount of work I would have to put in beyond writing. At first, self-publishing was overwhelming: so much marketing, design, graphic work, and networking needed to be done on top of doing the actual novel writing that I was worried I had bitten off more than I could chew. For a little while, when life outside the pages and screens got particularly rough, it seemed like I had. But looking at my characters, and hearing the stories they still want me to tell, I know that I still have a lot more work ahead of me. More importantly, I know that it is work that I want to do, work which excites me and makes me come alive more than any I could do for a "living wage" paycheck at a cookie-cutter desk job.
So as soon as I finish cutting cookies, at the end of the day, I'm going to come home and keep up the real work. More than ever, the last few months have taught me the importance of creativity and imagination in surviving when the going gets tough: whether it is through enjoying the creative works of others as a reader, or through adding to that creative ocean so that others can find the room to dive in and immerse themselves in something that brings them joy of their own.
But in order to make sure that my creations get the best mileage possible, I need to really get a grip on the steering wheel that is marketing. Most of what I have done up to this point has been shaky and self-taught, but over the last year and a half, I've done a lot of reading, a lot of research, and had some long, wonderful conversations with women who run their own businesses or pursued their dream careers, and love what they do for a living. They've taught me so much, and this is the year I'm putting it all into action. My work is going to get what the folks in "the biz" call a brand refresh. Some might call it a fresh coat of paint. I think of it a bit like that one scene in The Mask, when Jim Carrey's titular character bursts into the garage of some swindling mechanics, holding an oversized muffler in each hand: "Hold on to yer lug nuts, it's tiiiiime for an overhaul!" Why? Well, mostly because I'm a child of the 90s, a self-proclaimed dork, and my brain goes to the closest available pop culture reference as often as possible. But there's another reason, too, and that reason is road metaphors.