Looking Back on 2018, Planning for 2019


2018 was my most productive year yet. My focus on Pulp Speed has paid off, allowing me to write and publish more stories than I thought possible. Unfortunately, not everything went according to plan.

In 2018, I published a novel and 14 short stories. If the short stories were compiled by theme, there is probably enough material for a book-length anthology or two. In addition, I signed on to Silver Empire’s Heroes Unleashed initiative, a shared superhero universe project. While I’m pleased with the result, I felt I could have done more.

After all, I wrote five novels in 2018.

The first was Prince of Shadows, the third book of the Covenant Chronicles series. The second was Hollow City, my first entry in the Heroes Unleashed universe. Both books are presently with the editor, and therefore out of my control.

The last three books was my pet project of 2018. Titled Dungeon Samurai, it tells the tale of Yamada Yuuki, an ordinary Japanese college student with an extraordinary hobby: the classical Japanese martial art of Kukishin-ryu. One evening, a demon transports his dojo to an island teeming with monsters to serve as its entertainment. To survive, Yamada and his friends must cooperate with other humans kidnapped from across time and space to conquer the world-spanning dungeon and confront the demon that lurks at the bottom of the dungeon.

Dungeon Samurai is one part historical military fantasy, one part OSR D&D campaign, with samurai, Crusaders and other warriors banding together to battle the horrors that lurk in the deeps. Originally designed as a single long web novel, after I completed the first draft, I realized that with some expansion, I could convert it into a trilogy of light novels.

Just as well that I did. I had planned to publish Dungeon Samurai as a daily serial on Steemit, and then to republish it on Amazon and other ebook distributors. But by the time I was done, I noticed a sharp drop in Steemit earnings — and the beginnings of the 2018 crypto bear market.

It simply wasn’t worth the additional time, effort and expense to format Dungeon Samurai twice. I suspected that in web serial form, it wouldn’t even earn out the production costs. So I chose a different tack.

In 2019, I will launch a crowdfunding campaign to publish Dungeon Samurai. The story is complete; all that needs to be done is to commission the cover art. I’m treating the crowdfunding campaign as a presales campaign, and if there is sufficient demand, I will also commission audiobook versions of the trilogy. More information will be forthcoming in future posts.

In addition to Dungeon Samurai, I have prepared my next writing projects. I am presently editing the first draft of Unmasked, my second entry in the Heroes Unleashed universe. Once that is out of the way, I will start work on House of War, the fourth novel in the Covenant Chronicles series.

As you can tell, I seem to have the uncanny ability to write faster than my publishers can get books out the door. Which is why the next major project after House of War will be a self-published series.

This project will be my moonshot, my attempt at going pro. It will be a military science fiction / cyberpunk series with a touch of fantasy, spanning at least 8 novels and 1 short story. It is my most ambitious project to date, and I pray it will live up to your expectations.

All in all, I plan to write at least 9 novels, possibly more. It will take an entire year, possibly longer. But I’m confident that at the end of the process, I will have enough material to jumpstart a full-time fiction career.

With this emphasis on novels, I will be taking a step back from short stories. Quite simply, publishing short stories on Steemit no longer earns as much crypto as it used to. It is no longer time- and cost-effective to publish short stories on Steemit with the expectation of financial gain. I do plan on at least three more short stories on Steemit, and I will remain open to writing for magazines and publications, but otherwise my fiction writing will be focused on my novels.

This emphasis on fiction also means my nonfiction has to take a step back. As much as I enjoy blogging, I need to prioritize producing material that pays. I will still blog whenever I have time and energy to spare, but I foresee myself having less of both in the coming days. It’s a bit of a shame, but a man has to prioritise what he can and must do before working on side projects.

Writing aside, I’ve also set myself other personal goals. These include:

  • Regain lost muscle to reach healthy weight and meet SAF fitness standard
  • Establish proper sleep, nutrition, hydration and rest regimen to achieve optimum health
  • Spend more quality time with loved ones
  • Build a network of fans, writers, and friends
  • Gain proficiency in the basic principles of Pekiti Tirsia Kali
  • Grow in faith

2018 didn’t unfold the way I wanted it to, but the year is already gone. There’s no sense dwelling on it now. I’ll just make 2019 better than last year.

Happy New Year, and may 2019 be filled with bigger and brighter tomorrows.

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Before Prince of Shadows is released, catch up with the Covenant Chronicles by reading the previous book, Hammer of the Witcheshere.

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Looking Back on 2018, Planning for 2019
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