2018: The Year in Review

2018 in Review

Hi, everyone. As we come up on the end of the year, I thought I would take a look back at 2018.

My most popular post this year was Been a Long Time Since I Rocked and Rolled, wherein I talk about the architects of modern rock music. I was fortunate enough to see Jerry Lee Lewis perform twice this year, once at Viva Las Vegas and once in our local area. You all know what a big part music plays in my life and in my books, so no great shock that I was thinking about how we’re losing these heroes.

I attended two author conferences: Writers for New Orleans, and InDScribe. I met some wonderful authors, took great courses, and made new friends. In other words, I branched out for the good of my career. I had a really good time, despite some trepidation. I toward introversion, like so many authors, so being on panels in front of, and with, total strangers was a big stretch — and it paid off.

I also did an escape room in New Orleans, which was a brand new and splendid experience. You learn a great deal about teamwork, even when you fail to escape (as our group did). Laughter and good fun were had nevertheless.

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That’s me, second from the left!

I joined Romance Writers of America, as well as three individual chapters (From The Heart, Silicon Valley Romance Writers, and Hearts Through History). Once again, I found myself making new friends and getting some great education. The Silicon Valley chapter membership saw me doing a book signing at a major book store for the first time!

I read 154 books, ranging across genres and subject matter. I plan to read 100 in 2019, and if I exceed the challenge again that will be great.

I wrote a lot … and found that my original project just didn’t work out as I’d planned. However, it wasn’t all bad. I pulled the best parts out and created the Pocketful of Stories series, three of which have been released. If you want the first one, Last Stop: Storyville, for free, you can join my mailing list here.

One of the tales from that original project, “Ghosts of Tupelo,” came in 4th in the Word Weavers competition, and was one of the selections for the Dark Visions anthology.

I am currently working on a new novel, featuring Harmon Boudreaux (you may remember him from Bayou Fire) getting a second chance at love. Of course, nothing is going smoothly for Harmon and Hope, but that’s half the fun!

Finally, I continued to face health challenges due to Hashimoto’s disease and the complications that autoimmune disease brings to the table. I know that things could be a lot worse, and I’m grateful for every day that I have. I’m also grateful to every one of my readers and fans/friends. Those of us who tell stories are always thankful for those who listen.

 

Weekend Reads: “Dark Visions”

As you all know, this is the anthology that features my award-winning tale, “Ghosts of Tupelo.” I finished reading Dark Visions in its entirety a little bit ago and wanted to share my thoughts.

Dark Visions: an anthology of 34 horror stories from 27 authorsDark Visions: an anthology of 34 horror stories from 27 authors by Dan Alatorre

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Disclosure up front: my award-winning story, “Ghosts of Tupelo,” is in this book. My review applies to the other tales contained therein.

It’s been my experience that anthologies are uneven. Some of the stories will blow you away in a good way, some will leave you cold, and others will be “just okay.”

Well, Dan Alatorre has curated a collection of tales that will keep you reading “just one more” for hours. The tales range from gory (but not too gory) to around-the-campfire spooky. Settings range from New Orleans to England and just about anyplace you can name in between.

My favorites in the collection were “The Doctor’s Walk” and “Click and Clack: An Eldritch Twins Story.” They were good, spooky fun with some unexpected twists and turns along the way.

If you are looking for a good Halloween read, this book is for you.

View all my reviews