2012: A Year in Review

Greetings from Hilton Head Island, South Carolina!

It’s strange to look back on a year that seems to have gone by in a flash, and I’m fairly certain 2013 is set to move at an even more lightning pace. Despite its fast-pace, 2012 has been somewhat of an interim year, although that’s enabled me to accomplish some pretty major life and travel goals.

So to sum up 2012, I’m going to do a top 12 of 2012! Although as I’m listing them, it’s extremely hard to put them in order…

Honorary #13/12. The Lucky 13s 

This year wouldn’t have been the same (not even close) without the support of the debut authors who make up the Lucky 13s. It’s been fascinating to watch everyone’s different journeys through editing and revision hell, to be able to offer help/advice on publishing terms and to take it liberally on the finer points of swag and blogging, to know that we all going through something wonderful that is difficult to explain to non-writers… it’s been a lifesaver on many occasions. I encourage anyone who wants to find out about some brilliant new YA/MG talent for next year to check out the Lucky 13s blog – there are going to be some great posts in the future, and from what I’ve read so far on the excellent Luckies ARC tour, it’s going to be a stellar year.

11. London Olympics

Olympic Beach Volleyball

Olympic Beach Volleyball

The London Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee brought out a patriotic side in Britain I don’t think I’ve ever seen before! Heading to the Olympic Park for Paralympics Athletics, seeing the Beach Volleyball and Table Tennis, and all around just enjoying the atmosphere and getting into the competitive spirit made it an awesome summer.

10. Fun professional year

It’s been another great year for HarperVoyager (and you should head over to our website to get a full overview) but between opening our doors to submissions, publishing amazing new (very young) talent like Abigail Gibbs and seeing brilliant authors getting the recognition they deserve (like Earth Girl by Janet Edwards hitting Amazon’s best of YA 2012 list or James Smythe’s The Explorer garnering praise from all angles) is amazing, to name just a very, very, very few. And that leads on succinctly into #9…

I take the Iron Throne

I take the Iron Throne

9. Game of Thrones

Attending the Game of Thrones DVD launch party, meeting George R. R. Martin properly at Eastercon and having a party for him and our other Voyager authors at the Tower of London, seeing the series really take off and enter the popular culture vernacular… it’s been a spectacular year for Westeros!

8. Finishing another book I’ve been both sequel writing and other-book writing, and I finished other-book in November this year. It felt like a huge accomplishment, if only to sort of prove to myself that I can! (Yes, a two-book contract should be inspiration enough for finishing another book, but it was the sort of thing that I wasn’t sure I could do until I did it!)

7. Getting better at golf

Improving at golf has seemed like a far off dream, but this year I finally feel like I’ve managed it. It’s also been a long (far off) dream of my dad’s to be able to play a round on holiday with his family, and now that’s a reality… I even beat him on occasion! It’s one of those games that teaches you a lot I think – especially about patience and not losing your temper, two things I do quite often 😛

6. Canada road trip + Jess & Steve’s wedding 

A road trip through my home country with friends was definitely a highlight of this year. I absolutely love being able to show off Canada, and I saw some things (like a wild moose!) that I hadn’t before. I also met my Canadian publishers while I was there, and we spent Canada Day on the Ottawa streets, which was amazing. Then, only a couple of weeks later, I flew back to Canada to attend the wedding of one of my first high school friends to get married. It ended up being a kind of mini-high school reunion, and it was brilliant to see where everyone has ended up and how they’re doing. Plus, it was a beautiful, beautiful wedding. Congrats Jess and Steve!

5. Egypt/Jordan

Top Travel highlight of the year though, has to go to Egypt and Jordan. Visiting Petra was just… unbelievable, and the source of much inspiration for Book 2 of The Oathbreaker’s Shadow. I posted a lot of blogs about it earlier this year (check out the Egypt and Jordan tags) so I won’t bore everyone with a recap now!

4.  Juliet Mushens

My fourth highlight might seem like a strange one, but trust me, it’s a VERY well deserved spot! Juliet has helped make this year for me, by introducing me to her other amazing authors and creating an awesome little community, with her daily outfit shots and witty tweets, and seeing her take up the helm at The Agency Group where I know 2013 is going to be a stupendous year for her and all of her clients!!

3. Marathon

Of course, this year has seen my biggest ever fitness-related goal accomplished: I ran the Edinburgh Marathon in 4:42:59  in May of this year. I still find that quite hard to believe! I also ran my first sub-2hr half-marathon, which seemed like an impossible hurdle.

Finished the Edinburgh Marathon!

Finished the Edinburgh Marathon!

2. Seeing The Oathbreaker’s Shadow come to life

I revised it to the point of hating every word on the page, read it so many times my eyes bled, woken up in the dead of night in the cold sweat of some book-related anxiety dream, but it all just serves to remind me how much this damn thing means to me. Seeing it come to life – shaped by my editor’s hand, brought to life in the cover by an amazing artist and designer (I cannot WAIT to share in the new year), knowing that soon proofs will be out and in people’s hands… it’s been an insane/remarkable/emotional journey, and it’s only going to get more intense from here! I’ve started a facebook page for it, a youtube channel, a goodreads page, etc. etc. but all I can think about is that soon people will be really reading it and that is going to be the most exciting time of all.

1. Birth of Felix Christopher Miller 

So, what was the biggest event of 2012? For me, it’s undoubtedly the birth of my best friend’s baby, my main little man, Felix. Love at first sight never seemed to ring as true as when I first met him just a few days after his birth in Toronto, seeing him so surrounded by love (and music! and books!). Although I wish every day that I was closer to him to see him grow up, I’m living it through videos and photos and skype conversations where he looks at me with his huge eyes and demands to be hugged. I think his arrival into this world had such a huge impact on me because it reminds me again that all my friends are growing up and embarking on their own journeys, even bringing new life into this world, and that at the end of the day – despite negative reviews which feel like the end of the world, despite tales of publishing doom and gloom, despite angst and drama and whatever else that goes on, there is always something to feel so, insanely, extremely lucky for. And Felix is one of those things.

And that’s a wrap for 2012! I’m celebrating in the city of sin, Las Vegas, so that might just squeeze in to the top 12 as well if I strike it lucky on a slot machine, who knows?!

2013 will see my first novel being published (ahh!), the weddings of some of my greatest friends (Sarah & Woody, Natasha & Sam, I’m looking at you kids), and I’m sure plenty of unforeseen things I could have never expected… and that’s what I’m looking forward to most.

Happy New Year everyone!

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