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Zara Keane

I write contemporary romance with a Celtic twist, and darkly sensual urban fantasy. My first book will be released in 2014.

2013: A Retrospective

On Christmas Day 2012, I nuked my old website. I’m not sure if it was the trifle we had for dessert, or the glass of port afterwards, but I managed to delete two years’ worth of blog posts and content with a couple of keystrokes. Depressing, no?


Fast forward to Christmas 2013. I finally got off my arse and put together a new author website. It doesn’t contain much in the way of content yet, but I’m working on it.


With the New Year mere hours away, I’m in a reflective mood. Last January, I swore 2013 would be my Year of Productivity. And it was. In comparison to many of my writer pals, I’m a snail, but completing two full-length contemporary romances and one urban fantasy novella in twelve months is my current record.


2014 will mark the start of a new adventure. I’ve decided to self-publish my series of Irish contemporary romances. Over the past few years, I’ve written five stories set in the same small town. (Technically, I’ve written six. I ended up scrapping the first book and starting from scratch. Same characters, same setting, different story.)


Next year, I’m planning to release two novels and one novella. My tentative release date for Love and Shenanigans is May 2014. It’s merely a guestimate at this stage. I have my work schedule in place, and booked slots with editors and proofreaders. However, this will be my first time preparing a book for publication, and I prefer to err on the side of caution.

What I can say with certainty is that the three stories I’ve slated for release in 2014 are already written, and are at various stages of revision. I’m currently on the third draft of Love and Shenanigans. I got my developmental editor’s notes back a couple of weeks ago, and I’m busy incorporating her suggestions into the manuscript.


On the reading front, 2013 was a mixed bag. I read a lot of non-fiction. For the first time since I left university, I read far more non-fiction than fiction. For whatever reason, I find it near impossible to read romance for pleasure while I’m in first draft mode. And as I was in first draft mode for most of the year, the number of romance books I read was at an all time low.


If I can push the envelope on genre definition, I read and enjoyed Karina Halle’s Artists Trilogy. I devoured Miranda Neville’s historical romance backlist. Sandra Schwab’s Betrayal is a lovely old-style historical romance. Lexi Ryan’s Text Appeal is a fun contemporary romance.


I started listening to audio books a couple of years ago, and I’m a huge fan. I listen to mostly crime fiction. Here a few recent favourites:


  • The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith
  • Strange Shores by Arnaldur Indridason
  • Redemption by Jussi Adler-Olsen
  • Phantom by Jo Nesbo
  • I Hear the Sirens on the Street by Adrian McKinty
  • The Man in the Brown Suit by Agatha Christie

How was your 2013? Did you do anything spectacular? Or read anything amazing?

Source: http://zarakeane.com/?p=1