This is one of those mild brag posts, because there have been several really awesome things going on around Casa de Hartness lately as I work on revisions for Book IV of The Black Knight Chronicles. Yes, they’re late. Yes, I’m sorry. Yes, I’m a terrible person. No, I won’t tell you what happens. Yes, I still hope for the book to release this calendar year. No, it will not be ready for ConCarolinas 2013. 

So it’s important that we celebrate and recognize these milestones along our road to becoming world-famous authors chillin’ on an island in the Atlantic because some awesome donor just dropped a f-ton of money in our lap. For the record, I’d be in the Outer Banks of NC, probably on Manteo. Just wired enough for high-speed internet, but remote enough that you gotta really want to find me. 

The first big milestone comes up two weeks from yesterday, on the 14th day of August. That’s when we celebrate the 40th anniversary of me bursting forth squalling into this world, and I haven’t shut up since. Yup, my misspent youth is finally over and I should probably start acting like a grownup and achieving something. That’s why the emphasis on reveling in little milestones in our careers. Because the little ones are just as worthy of celebrating as the big ones, and all too often get overlooked. 

Last weekend at MonsterCon in Greenville, SC (great con, BTW, hope to see you all there next year!) I was talking with some folks about rejection letters. Yep, everybody gets them. Except self-published authors. We call them negative reviews. But anyway, I digress. The topic turned from rejection letters to personalized rejection letters, and how nice it feels when you realize that a personalized rejection letter isn’t a bad thing, but a sign that someone cared about your work enough to take extra time on it! 

MonsterCon was a personal milestone in that it was my first Guest of Honor gig at a con, and I hope that I was entertaining enough to make it worth their while having me there. I did see a few fans that were there because I promoted the con on my Facebook and Twitter, so I hope that my presence had some type of positive impact on the con overall. 

Another pair of personal milestones came this year through my work with Dark Oak Press. Both Gizmos (Dreams of Steam IV) and The Big Bad were hardback releases, so not only did I get my first hardcover release of and anthology I was in this year, but I also had my first hardcover release with my name on the spine (and Emily’s!). And there’s still something awesome about a hardback book. I didn’t even know I cared about having a hardcover release until it happened. 

Yeah, I’m totally lying there. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to have my books in hardback, especially because it’s an easier pitch to libraries. And I’m happy to announce that Dark Oak and I are working on a print-only deal to bring Bubba the Monster Hunter Season One – Scattered, Smothered and Chunked to print. I hope that will be available early fall. 

And in the midst of all that coolness I shot a commercial (another first!) and got a couple of Facebook pics from friends showing me Black Knight Chronicles books on shelves in local bookstores! That was awesome, because I’ve never done a signing at that store (yet!), so that means that the awesome folks at Bell Bridge Books are getting my work onto bookstore shelves, which broadens my reach and hopefully makes everybody a little money. 

Some of these are pretty big milestones, but the little ones are just as important. Writing is a lonely road, and our successes great and small are our mile markers. So today’s comments are all about the brag – what’s your latest accomplishment or milestone? I’ll go ahead and answer for one Magical Words alum and friend – it’s a book birthday for A. J. Hartley! The third Darwen Arkwright book is now available, so go pick it up!  Then come back here and tell us what awesome things have happened in your life or career lately. 

And if you want to buy me a present, my Amazon Wish List is here


11 comments to Milestones

  • OMGosh! We’re twins! (years apart…) I’m Aug 15! Happy BD big guy! Whoot! (And 40 ain’t old. Just sayin’.)
    And Whoot to the other milestones. You deserve them all. 🙂

    And whoot to AJ on the release. I’ll pimp that on my FB later today.

    My milestones… Ah! Audible bought all the Jane Yellowrock short stories that were available, and commissioned an exclusive, and actually paid me. That was tres coolio!

    And I am getting a new kitchen (waiting for it for years), and all the floors done on the ground floor. It’s been a PITA but so worth it. Milestones. Celebrate!

  • Congrats on the milestones! This really was a timely post; I just released my second book (23 Hours) today. Check it out ( if you have a minute.

  • Congrats on the milestones! I’ve been pushing hard for my next one — the release of SINGLE WITCH’S SURVIVAL GUIDE on August 13. It’ll be my first totally self-published book — my managing the editors, the proofreaders, the cover design, etc., etc., etc. And it’ll be available as an ebook and a print book — so I got to pass the milestone of figuring out print design!

    Happy (early) birthday!

  • Let’s see…milestones… I…finally got the lawn mowed! Hmm…Not quite a milestone.

    I was told I have an awesome singing voice? I already knew that.

    Hm, well, I did try out for a metal band and got accepted, but then gave it up when they wanted to keep me and get rid of my bast friend and band mate. And the music they wanted to do wasn’t what either of us wanted to focus on. So, I guess I tried out for and was accepted into a metal band…for a couple weeks. Ah well. Still, if a milestone can also be called a steppingstone, I’m one closer to being in a power/fantasy metal band. 😉 And it can also be considered a milestone because I sang in front of complete strangers and they wanted more. 🙂

    AH! I have one! I just created a blog/website for my alter ego, D.J. Davis for sci-fi and fantasy romance (who will have a sci-fi romance novella out mid to late 2014). 😀

  • errr…best. Need an edit function…

  • Congrats on reaching those milestones, John! Can’t wait to read Black Knight Chronicles 4 when it comes out. 🙂 I read Book 1 when I was in a terrible mood after leaving ConCarolinas 2012 to find that my flight had been changed and I barely made it on. Have been eagerly awaiting the next. And happy early birthday!

    I finished revising and I’ve started querying in earnest. I hope my next milestone is being able to announce that I’ve got an agent. Fingers crossed!

  • Razziecat

    Hey, have a Happy Birthday! And just wait…you think 40 is a big deal…there’s something very peculiar about the big 5-0 😉

    I haven’t had any milestones in writing, but recently I’ve been walking a lot for health reasons, and twice this week topped 10,000 steps a day. 😀

  • John – 40 is no time to start acting like a grown-up! There are at least a dozen, or a hundred, or maybe a thousand or even a million (or more?) people older than you. And most of us older kids would have to give serious thought to growing up ourselves if you young punks started doing it.

    Congrats to everyone on your milestones. I have a few, too!

  • quillet

    Okay, I guess this is a little early, but why not. *sings* Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday dear Jo-h-n. Happy Birthday to you! (Hope you have a good one.)

    And congrats to everyone on all the milestones!

  • Hepseba ALHH

    No creative milestones to report here, but we just bought and moved into our first house (with a yard too!) and I just took my first multi-day vacation (to paint) from my first real job (grad school can *really* extend the time it takes a person to acquire their first non-school-related job…)!

    And Daniel, for the truly hard-core fantasy nerd, Bast is perfectly legitimate short-hand for best(friend).

    Congratulations and happy to everybody!

  • You opened the door John! 🙂

    Congrazzi on all the stuff going on. This is totally awesome to see my friends with stuff to celebrate! I love it!

    I had a great day yesterday that added a milestone to my authorly trip.

    I found out that Jim Beaver (Bobby from Supernatural and Sheriff Shelby from Justified) is the voice on the forthcoming BLOOD AND BULLETS audiobook! It made me smile big time.