2013 was a rollercoaster year. I went from being a freelance writer and housewife to a published author. I took part in literary festivals, did my first ever book signing, saw my name listed on the Waterstones’ website, and watched my book hit the top 1% of sales on Amazon Kindle, before plummeting down and then soaring back up. I finished writing the sequel, as well as a third (unrelated) short novel, and starting a fourth. I was featured on several blogs that are highly sought after by new authors and gave interviews to newspapers and a radio station. Suddenly I was no longer “Rebecca and William’s Mum” in the playground – I was Charlotte Howard, the romance novelist.
But it wasn’t just my professional life that was a whirlwind. My personal life has seen some dramatic changes as well. One of the happiest moments had to be the birth of my nephew in April. I can’t describe how happy we all were to welcome him into the world. Unfortunately, as with everything in this world – balance is needed, and 2013 also saw the death of my grandad, someone I admired and loved with all my heart.
September brought more pride and happiness though, when my son started primary school. With him being my second child, I was prepared for it, and managed to go the whole day without shedding tears. It was a bit odd to begin with, not having him sat on top of me while I tried to write, or clinging to my leg while I did the housework, but seeing how he has blossomed and proved his intelligence makes it all worth while.
For Christmas, we went up to see the Nottingham side of the family. We also discovered that a week is not enough time to travel around the Notts / Lincs / Derby counties to see absolutely everyone. But nevertheless, it is certainly going in the books as one of the best Christmases we’ve had. Despite the empty metaphorical chairs, there were plenty of physical bums on seats. I was able to reminisce with my cousins about times gone by, and watch as my children were spoiled by their aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins.
It’s definitely been a noisy year, and even seeing in 2014 didn’t go by quietly. Somerset is one of the many counties currently suffering due to the relentless wind and rain. Okay, so it’s nothing compared to the storms that are seen around the world, but we’re a small island and not prepared for floods! (Although we really should be since it happens every year). So as I write this, and plan for 2014, I am also wondering how the heck I am going to get out of the village since the roads are all closed either due to a severe amount of water, fallen trees, or landslips.
2014 promises to be just as exciting. Starting this month, I will be working tirelessly with my publisher and her amazing team of editors and designers to get the long anticipated Four Letter Words published. Once it is out, the work continues as we do the marketing and advertising – hopefully with more interviews lined up. (Make sure you check out my website: http://www.charlottehowardauthor.co.uk for all updates.)
But Four Letter Words isn’t the only book I wrote last year. I also wrote a shorter novel (currently without a title), which is in need of editing and hopefully publishing. I’m also currently about a third of the way through a fourth novel (currently entitled The Black Door), and have every intention of writing yet more novels. And here’s a small exclusive – I will be adopting the pen name of Lark Dumas and writing a fantasy series. (More on that when it actually happens.)
I will be attending more events as well this year, with Smut by the Sea already booked. I am also hoping to get a book signing event set up in South Somerset at some point. (email: Charlotte@Charlottehowardauthor.co.uk if you are interested in helping me out there!!)
And what of my personal life? Well, I start working as a midday supervisor for a local school as from Monday. And R W Books has not been forgotten – the business plan is still being created, and the money is still being saved. I also have friends getting married and having babies, so lots of exciting times ahead.
As always, I have made a list of New Years Resolutions. The top one is the same as each year; cut down on the takeaways, eat more healthily, and start exercising. **Scoffs** Yeah, like that will actually happen. But it’s the 2nd of January and we haven’t given in yet, which is further than we get most years. My main resolution though, is to focus more on my family and appreciate what I have.
Following the death of someone I went to school with, only a few weeks before Christmas, I came to realise just how short and fragile life is. For the past 7 years I’ve been saying “We’ll go back to Jersey and grab that drink.” We never did get that drink, and now it’s too late. Yes, we have long-term plans and goals, but we’re also going to live for the moment. No more moaning about things we’re unwilling to change. No more putting things off until tomorrow. 2014 is about living for today.