2012 : My Writing Year In Retrospect

Hello gentle reader,

I have been writing for 15 years but to me 2012 was the year I became a writer. Here is how it happened…

January: I am sitting on top of a pile of unpublished manuscripts in a castle in England, when my friends and family unwittingly suggest “Why don’t you try and get one of those published?” and I say, well, why not?

Downton Abbey - Dowager Countess

February: I read several books about getting published. I have a hunch this won’t be easy. I decide on focusing on my YA High Fantasy THE LAST QUEEN.


March: I start my blog. To my surprise, people other than my father follow it.


April: I attend the London Book Fair. I realise there are many would-be-published writers out there and this “get a book published” endeavour might not be as easy as I thought. I decide nothing can stop me now. I start the “A Round of Words in 80 Days” writing challenge.


May: I send a query to 3 agents, get 1 request, then a final rejection. I decide it’s time I take this vampire writing thing seriously.


June: I join in JuNoWriMo (June Novel Writing Month) and find out writing a book in a month is not for me. I decide this sort of challenge can’t be for everyone.


July: I take part in the Hookers and Hangers Blogfest (hosted by Falling For Fiction) and I post the first and last lines of THE LAST QUEEN on my blog. I get good feedback as well as a record number of comments, and I connect with many awesome people.


August: 3 words: Write On Con. More critiques, more awesome people, more connections, more motivation.


September: my blog is 6 months old and for some reason it is taking off.


October: with the help of some wonderful CPs and beta readers (especially Aimee L. Salter and Jessica Montgomery) I revise THE LAST QUEEN in depth. I have conversations with people about my MC Elian as if he were a real person. He thinks it’s odd too.

Pillars of the Earth - Eddie Redmayne

November: I start querying THE LAST QUEEN, for good this time. I send out ten queries and get a full request within one week.


December: everyone is on holidays, including the agents I queried. I am sitting in a castle in England and working on a new manuscript. I have writerly friends on Twitter, Facebook, There And Draft Again, and my blog. Life is good.

Gosford Park Elsie

That’s it for me in 2012! How was your year? Leave me a comment below and have a fun New Year’s Eve tonight!

See you next year…

17 thoughts on “2012 : My Writing Year In Retrospect

  1. Thanks so much for this. I’m sitting on a shorter pile of manuscripts with 2013 as my year “to get serious”–I’ve been partly encouraged by blogging and digital friends, but also steeling myself against the feeling of impossibility. We will see!

  2. Yael Itamar says:

    You live in a castle? Cool.

    Good luck with all the writing and querying!

  3. Kat Ellis says:

    2012 has been a fantastic and busy year for you! I hope the new year brings good agenty news 🙂

  4. carlarcher says:

    I love all the pictures accompanying the synopses. Best of luck with your publishing endeavour. 🙂

  5. beckireads says:

    It sounds like 2012 was a great year for you! I hope the new manuscript goes well, and that 2013 is a brilliant year for you!

  6. EM Castellan says:

    Awe, thank you! 🙂

  7. Wow, you’ve had a busy year honey!

    Wishing you much fun and success for 2013!


  8. sugaropal says:

    If you’re getting that many requests for so few queries, clearly you’re GOOD. So keep at it and an offer will arrive before you can climb down from that pile of manuscripts.

  9. EM Castellan says:

    Keeping my fingers crossed! 🙂

  10. What an awesome year in retrospect! Talent and drive make for a good combination. Can’t wait to read next year’s recap!

  11. What a fantastic way of going through your year. Love it.

  12. EM Castellan says:

    Happy to hear you enjoyed it. Thanks for following my blog!

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