Thursday, December 26, 2013

Best of 2013

On the way home from Christmas Eve service I asked my kids for their favorite memory of 2013, something they really enjoyed. My son said he really enjoyed going to Maine (with his friend) in the summer and hoped that our family could go there in 2014. My oldest daughter (middle child) said she liked going backpacking. And my youngest said she liked going to the beach. My son then had to point out that we went to the beach two years ago and that it didn’t count for this year. (She has no concept of time.) As we got back home I started thinking about all the things that I enjoyed about 2013, so I made a list. (I tried for 10 but settled on 12.)

Number 12...  Going toGRL. This was my first experience with a conference and it gave me confidence that I can go to more on my own. And I plan to hit four conferences in 2014! (See previous BLOG for the list.) Yay!!!

Number 11... Signing a contract for Names Can Never Hurt Me. Especially signing it on the first go-around. ONE submission and it was accepted. This was HUGE!

The 10th most awesome thing of 2013... Being nominated for SEVERAL Choice awards on Goodreads including “Favorite All Time Author: WADE KELLY” that is/was very flattering. 
But also: 
Favorite M/M book of all time: WHEN LOVE IS NOT ENOUGH
Fave Anthology: 50 GAYS OF SHADE
Best Book of the Year: THE COST OF LOVING
Best long Story: THE COST OF LOVING
Best story that SHOULD have a sequel: MY ROOMMATE'S A JOCK? WELL, CRAP!
Best Contemporary: MY ROOMMATE'S A JOCK? WELL, CRAP!
Best Law Enforcement: THE COST OF LOVING
Best medical profession: THE COST OF LOVING
Friends to Lovers: MY ROOMMATE'S A JOCK? WELL, CRAP!
Best Hurt Comfort: THE COST OF LOVING
Best tear Jerker: THE COST OF LOVING

(Note: The winners have not been announced yet, but it is fun to be nominated.)

Number 9… Finishing another novel. Names Can Never Hurt Me took over a year to write. (Sorry.) Completing it felt like a big achievement. I had lots of distractions this year with the flood in my basement and reptile mites, but finishing it made me feel like I haven’t lost my ability to follow through. It was very long, but I think it has a great story. I can’t wait for it to come out in 2014.

Number 8... Signing a contract for The Cost of Loving. I had worked on this one SOOOOOO hard. I spent loads of money on editing and I was nearly going to just self-pub and be done with it, but it was finally good enough for a contract with the same publisher as Book #1 in the series.

Number 7... Winning 3rd place in the Rainbow Awards for Best Romantic Comedy for My Roommate’s a Jock? Well, Crap! Very cool indeed given these are not by popularity but by merit, writing, and a point-system done by judges. Very Cool!

Number 6 in the BEST OF list... An “Unmentionable thing” related to JOCK. This was awesome news and exciting and I cannot wait to announce things that are going on. Just know it is fun and very cool! But the e-mail about it ROCKED, so I had to put the thought of it on my list!! I'll give details when I know details.

Number 5... Meeting a fan named Raevyn who said she read When Love is Not Enough 7 times! That sounded insane to subject ones self to THAT book so many times, but it was extremely flattering. Thank you Raevyn :)

Number 4 on my list has to be... MEETING PEOPLE. (In relation to #12, but different.) Meeting authors and fans in the flesh not only on the Internet was very exciting. I went to GRL to meet Eric Arvin and Kade Boehme specifically, but I met so many more!!! It was awesome. I met authors Michael Chulsky, TJ Klune, ZA Maxfield, Eden Winters, Mary Calmes, Amy Lane, Andrew Grey, Shira Anthony, Venona Keyes, Madison Parker, Ken Murphy, Sara York, Tom Webb, Will Parkinson, K-Lee Kline, Piper Vaughn, Rhys Ford, David Warner, Cate Ashwood, Kaje Harper, Jordan Hawk, Ariel Tachna, Poppy Dennison, Anne Tenino, Geoff Knight, Ally Blue, Jade Buchanan, Ben Thomas, Silvia Violet, Lynley Wayne, Jeff Adams, J.P. Barnaby, Rick Reed, Damon Suede, Devon Rhodes, William Cooper, LC Chase, Seymour James, Will Prater, Taylor Vaughn, Kiernan Kelly, Max Vos, Heidi Cullinan, Rachel Haimowitz, Rowan Speedwell, Zarah Owens, and I KNOW there were more but this is off the top of my head. I also met authors Andy Gordon, Treva Harte, Greg Payne, Marguerite L.,  in DC and they were each super fun to meet. Along with AUTHORS, I also met NON-authors. (@ GRL and in DC.) People who are fans or reviewers or other Internet personalities that now are more REAL since I’ve hugged most of them. (I’m a hugger.) Mel Leach, Lena Grey, Lynn S, Monika V., Joyfully Jay, Elisa Rolle, Jackie M., Mary Grzesik (and Thorny), Frances, Becky C., Claudia J., Gwendolyn H., Scott Burkett, Marc W., Nick A., Tinker Teri, Leigh Ann, Kris Jacen, Amy Peterson, Raevyn M., Bev S., Laura P., Tim Faul, Nessa Waren, Shannon Shell, Mary G., Erica Pike, And sooooo many more wonderful people. **Sorry if I forgot your name. Please remind me if I met you. And next time, don’t hesitate to take a picture with me or something for reference. I am going to meet a lot of people next year, I am sure, and I will forget some unfortunately.

Number 3... “Coming out” to my pastor about what I write and hearing a completely different 180 reaction from the previous pastor who wanted to condemn me. His acceptance and support of my vision and passion was not expected in such an understanding way and I am grateful for it. This opened the door for me to be honest with others in my life and I kept “coming out” to others as time moved forward. Learning to be myself was a great achievement for me as I have hid myself for a very long time. 

Number 2... When Mel asked me to sign her book. (WLINE) This was the first time a fan asked me to sign a book and I was overwhelmed and cried. Definitely a lovely memory! I am a crier anyway, but it was the idea that she loved the book so much and wanted me to sign it. GREAT memory!

Drum Roll…. And the NUMBER ONE THING ON MY BEST OF LIST FOR 2013…. When My Roommate’s a Jock? Well, Crap! hit #1 on Amazon for Gay Romance and stayed there for 12 days!! Very awesome indeed. I had no clue it would be that popular. JOCK got my name out there. JOCK got me thinking about writing more and being committed as an author. Books that sell definitely give an author something to shout about. It also influence my husband to rethink his support of me. (Money talks I guess.) So THANK YOU to all who bought this book and then looked around for the others I wrote. There will be more to come this year. I promise! Writing is my passion.

As far as non-writer related highs...

#2 - Learning to be myself and making friends who love me AS I AM. That is huge!

#1 in LIFE and not Book-related…. My son told me I would always be his #1 girl. That was seriously great to hear especially since he is adopted as a teenager and I am insecure sometimes in our relationship. I love that boy soooooo much. (and blogged about it on Andrew Gordon's blog HERE.) My son is MY JOY!

Well there you have it. All the highlights I could think of for 2013 that have happened to me. I am sure there are more, but this is what I came up with today. 

Thank you all for being a part of my life!

In 2014… Hmm, you will have to wait until next week's post to see what I think about that. :)

~Wade Kelly

PS: Do not forget to pray for Eric Arvin and Tj Klune today. Eric's surgery is probably taking place RIGHT NOW. Love, joy, peace, and healing to Eric!! We love him dearly.