Thorium: Goodbye 2016; Hello 2017


Goodbye 2016; hello 2017. I want to take a few moments to let everyone know how the year went, and where it’s going from here. The biggest event for Thorium Publishing and my authorship was simple:

I started the marathon and hit “publish.”

2016 was a year full of events: personal, professional, and in authorship. Trips to California for work, supporting NATO in Norway for the Navy Reserves, being selected for promotion to Commander, getting the sailboat out on the Middle River, getting a small group Bible study up and going, vacation in Gatlinburg, TN, and hosting Christmas at our place for the whole family! The end of 2016 at Thorium was a special treat over the holidays. Here’s how that panned out:

What I accomplished

In 2016 I continued to finish the 1st person perspective change to Ascent of the Fallen. I got contracts in place for editing and coverart, and pushed hard to finish the work necessary to hit “publish” on Amazon. This included registering the business, taxes, and all of that jazz. I was also able to get Exiles of Heaven‘s first draft completed. The sequel is also told through the eyes of Lord Fallondon Breck, and required a lot of work to complete. I had a number of placeholders (I use the editorial mark-up [TK] where I don’t know what’s going to fill the space) that required fleshing out. In the end, Exiles of Heaven came in at 52,000 words, almost a third longer than Ascent of the Fallen.

I also worked on many aspects of the business at Thorium Publishing. The website has become more active, with a nominal posting schedule of something out every Monday. My Amazon author pages, both U.S. and U.K., as well as Goodreads profile, are up and populated. I have a Facebook page. I have content. Want to help? Head over and follow or friend me!

There’s a lot coming down the road. I won’t commit to dates or even time frames at this point, but I want to share as much as possible for prospective readers. I’m adding graphics and write-ups to the “Buy my Books!” page on the site. Hint, hint.

I was able to get several professional development activities under my belt as well. To be honest, I was pushing hard in other areas of my life, including finishing a 2nd masters degree, which consumed a lot of effort. I did manage to keep up with some of my favorite writing podcasts, like The Creative Penn, and went back to The Story Grid and Productivity for Creatives whenever I could. Steven Pressfield’s “Writing Wednesdays” was particularly helpful, and I spent time each week digesting his wisdom.

Once I hit the button on December 20th (4 days ahead of the book going live), I listened to Joanna’s 2016 wrap-up podcast with Mark Lefebvre from Kobo. They both articulated a point I think worth repeating: it’s no use lamenting over starting late and wishing you started years earlier. It’s a great time to start right now, because in 10 years, there will be someone else looking back thinking, “I wish I started in 2016.” It would have been nice to publish in 2014 when I was finishing up deployment in Africa. It would have been nice to publish last year when the story was complete. But I’m happy I published this year and put in the hard work necessary to do things as well as I could. I’m still learning. I want to get better. This is the start of the marathon!

What’s coming down the road

2017 is going to be great! There’s lots of change in the air, which means lots of opportunities as well. We’ve got a lot of good things going on as a family. I’m particularly excited to continue my authorship and get more out there for you! In 2017, I’m trying to get the following activities complete:

Publish Exiles of Heaven by Easter

The book is complete, I just need to finish the editing and work of publishing. I think it’s a great sequel, and almost wish I could have published them both together so you could read the true “pilot” in one swipe. I’ll do my best to get it into waiting hands soon!

Exiles of Heaven

Publish Map of the Stars:

I made a wager to ship book 3 this summer. Watch out Ken, there’s no way I’m wearing my Three Wolf Shirt for a week or letting you write the dedication. I’m gunning for you, brother! Map of the Stars excites me because we get introduced to some of the female protagonists in the series. I hope I can do them justice.

Map of the Stars

Continue producing content for Thorium Publishing:

I’ve had failures to launch in the blogosphere before, but I hope to keep a consistent schedule with the website. For those who subscribe to the newsletter, I’ll have a quarterly update for you all, including exclusive looks at new material and additional stories only available to you, my readers.

Book 4 in the Chronicles of Outremer:

If I can manage publishing Map of the Stars this coming summer, I may be able to get book 4 out by Christmas 2017. I have several working titles and need to narrow that down, so stay tuned for where the story goes!

Maturing Thorium and myself as an author:

I’ll probably provide some insight into my other series in production, either as teaser chapters or short stories available here. I may also try to find some fantasy fiction outlets to provide material to for more exposure. We’ll see.

I intend to get through at least two or three new books on writing craft, and will try to review at least two I already own. I’ll also continue to learn from some of my favorite existing sources, like Sterling and Stone.

2017 is going to be a great year! Can’t wait to share more of my work with you, hear your feedback through Goodreads, Amazon, and this website’s comments, and continue to grow the Thorium brand. Cheers!

** Cheddar: For anyone interested, let’s talk about how well Thorium did this year. I’m well in the red. That’s not surprising. Ascent of the Fallen, my only income-producing asset, released late in the year and still needs to earn back its production costs. It’s fun to watch the Amazon rankings change, but I’m trying to avoid the magnetism of those metrics and focus on producing the next story, and the next story. I intend to provide some form of annual wrap-up as Thorium matures, so stay tuned for next year’s update.


Photo credit: Claire Rowland

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