Well, it was definitely an interesting twelve months. A lot went down in 2014, professionally and personally, and overall I’m pleased with where I am as we ring in a new year.
Things didn’t start off on the highest of notes, as we were forced to say goodbye to one of our dogs, Dixie. A shelter rescue, she’d been with us for a lot of years and having to put her down was even more difficult because of the kids. We said goodbye to a few friends, as well, including a couple taken from us at far too young an age.
The better days began early in the year when we finally completed the sale of our old house and moved into our new Ward Manor. The house is larger, the girls each have their own rooms and there’s plenty of space for everyone. The neighborhood is nice and comes with several amenities, and the girls get to play with the same kids they go to school with, which for me was the big win so far as relocation went.
Professionally, the year’s biggest news had to be me making the bold choice to walk away from a regular day job and instead take on the challenge of writing full-time. If not for my wife, I likely wouldn’t have made the decision, but she’s got my back, and I don’t mind saying that mentally I haven’t felt this good in years. The stress of trying to hold down what basically amounted to two full-time jobs was definitely taking its toll, and something was going to give, sooner or later. As things stand now, I’m very happy with where I sit as 2014 winds down and I look ahead to the new year.
On the writing front, the year began with learning that my Star Trek novel Peaceable Kingdoms had hit The New York Times Bestseller list. After the fun I had working with fellow writers David R. George III, Una McCormack, David Mack, and James Swallow to develop The Fall, that all of the books sold so well is just gravy. As for what it’s meant for me personally? It’s not like I’ve got concubines feeding me grapes or anything, but I certainly have no complaints.
For Star Trek, the biggest thing for me this year was the launch of the Star Trek: Seekers series. Two years of plotting, planning, and writing on the part of Dave Mack, Kevin Dilmore, and myself, along with our cover artist, Rob Caswell, and truly top-shelf support from our editors and other good folks at Pocket Books and CBS saw to it that we kicked off Seekers in stellar fashion. As I write this, Dave has delivered his manuscript for the third book, and Kevin and I are madly working away on the fourth book.
In and around all of that, I opened a couple of new doors in 2014 so far as working with other publishers and editors. Back in the summer, I had my first essay published by the Sequart Organization, in New Life and New Civilizations: Exploring Star Trek Comics edited by Joseph F. Berenato. Since writing that piece, I’ve written for another Sequart book, The Sacred Scrolls: Comics on the Planet of the Apes, and I’ve recently agreed to write two additional essays for future books.
Also back during the summer, I was approached by Tor/Forge Books to basically take on a dream project: writing a book based on one of my other favorite television series, 24. Getting to write a Jack Bauer adventure has been on my Bucket List forever. That manuscript will be delivered this spring, but I’m not sure yet at this date when the book itself might be published.
On the lighter front, we hit the milestone 100th “Ask Dayton” answer, part of an ongoing gag for friends Nick Minecci, Terry Lynn Shull, and Mike Medeiros over at the G and T Show. What began as a lark has become something of a regular writing prompt for me, often calling for me to (try and) be funny on a deadline. Jury’s still out as to whether that’s actually working.
My 2015 writing plate is already filling up quite nicely. I’ve signed contracts with Pocket Books to write two more Star Trek novels–one a sequel to From History’s Shadow, and another to be described and named later. It’s also looking like still another Trek novel is in the offing, but contracts have not yet been signed for that one. And if that’s not enough, I’ve got a couple of ideas for other projects to send Pocket’s way.
Elsewhere, I recently finished a short story for an anthology which I don’t think I’m allowed to identify just yet, and another short is waiting in the wings for me to tackle before spring. Also, I’ve just begun talking to an editor at another publisher for a project that also will be a tie-in of sorts. We talked briefly just before Christmas, and I expect the discussion to continue after the new year. Dare I hope that this might be the beginning of another beautiful friendship? We shall see.
And there may be a couple of other fun things, too. Stay tuned.
So, 2014 can safely be described as a “year of change.” 2015 is definitely shaping up to be a year filled with neat and fun things, and I’m thankful for my good fortune, my family and my friends for making it possible. I’m also immensely appreciative of my editors and sincerely grateful for my readers, who really are the reason why I was able to take such an audacious plunge into writing full-time. I’ll be working to show all of you that you backed a good horse.
All right, 2015: Let’s do this.