I'm still considering whether I want to continue posting teasers for Mother of Souls now that it's out. They don't serve the same purpose now that people can actually go read the book, and it's getting harder and harder to pick interesting selections that don't include significant spoilers. So while I'm thinking about what I want to do with Writing Blog Tuesday, it seemed a good time to do a year-end summary of what I've produced this year. At this point, everything that's going to be published is out there.
Within the SFF community, this sort of post evolved as an "award eligibility" reminder--a convenient place to list all the publications of the year for the convenience of those who are contemplating their award nominations. I don't know how useful this post will be for that purpose. I've only published one thing that's solidly SFF this year: Mother of Souls. But there's still a usefulness in reminding myself that I have accomplished some writing goals (even if I'm berating myself internally for not having the next novel solidly in process yet).
So here are what I consider my writing accomplishments for 2016. Many of these are on-going projects, which makes it more awkward to treat them as a "2016 publication." They also don't have a clear unifying theme (other than "stuff Heather writes"). As usual, doing cross-genre work means I don't really have a clear identity in people's minds as "an SFF blogger" or "a lesbian blogger" or "a history blogger", just as my fiction defies easy genre categorization. That's not something I have any plans to change, but it tends to make my work more invisible, I think.
ETA (2016/12/09): I've drawn up a much expanded list of my online non-fiction writing for the year. I really hope that anyone who swings by this current post follows up on the non-fiction link because I'm really very proud of the scope and extent of my blogging and I'd love it if more people were aware of it and found it useful or entertaining.
Mother of Souls - The third novel in the Alpennia historic fantasy series. The ensemble of familiar characters from Daughter of Mystery and The Mystic Marriage are joined by two new protagonists, and the stakes of Alpennia magic expand to take on a sorcery that threatens half of Europe. But the unlikeliest factor is a widowed music teacher who aspires to write an opera about the philosopher Tanfrit.
The book is still too freshly out for me to be able to point to prominent reviews and whatnot. I hope that at least some people read it in time to consider whether they'd want to include it in award nominations.
"The Mazarinette and the Musketeer" - A historical romp, pulling together an assortment of outragous late 18th century women for an adventure that involves a lot less invention in it than you might think. I put this out as a free e-story on my website for a variety of reasons, some more relevant than others. It's hard to say whether that was a mistake and it might have gained more readers if I'd gone ahead and tried to find somewhere to submit it. The major problems with that are that it isn't SFF (the markets I've researched), novelettes are an extremely difficult length to place, and the market for non-erotic lesbian historicals is functionally nonexistent. I have fun writing it, but I'm not sure that it served the purpose of attracting new readers and fans.
The Lesbian Historic Motif Project - I covered 27 new publications for the project so far this year, for a total of about 80 separate posts. (I'll do a round-up post at the end of the year listing them all.) I made a couple of new contacts for publicizing the project from the SFF community where there's a lot of interest in resources for writing diverse characters. Relatively little interest from the lesbian writing community, though, which is a continuing disappointment. This year saw a major overhaul in the format of the project as the new version of the Alpennia.com website came online, with a lot more back-end tools for managing and accessing the material, though some of those tools are still having the bugs worked out.
Queer Fantasy Roots - In August I started doing a mothly column at the Queer Sci Fi website entitled "Queer Fantasy Roots" as a sort of spin-off from the LHMP, looking specifically at historic and literary themes relevant to fantasy, but with a broader scope than just lesbians. Topics covered so far include m/m shapeshifting pregnancy in the Mabinogi, gender change in Ovid's Metamorphoses, queer themes in the fantastic fiction of Margaret Cavendish, and the changing perception of Amazons in fantastic literature.
The Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast - Another new project I started in August is a monthly podcast supplement to the LHMP, hosted by The Lesbian Talk Show, a magazine-style podcast with multiple contributors. I hope that as part of a continuing podcast feed it will introduce the project to a larger audience that might not otherwise stumble across it. My current plans are to use it to focus on "human interest" stories and to present some more extended excerpts of texts than would fit well in the blog. Requests are always welcome (if they fit in the scope of the project).
I'll wait until the end of the year to do a round-up of all my reviews, including my extended analysis of Frances Hodgeson Burnett's A Little Princess. Suffice it to say that I've maintained a schedule of reviewing some new item every week.
Civil War Source Material
A reader might possibly find connecting themes among all the above material. My new Wednesday project sticks out as a bit of an odd duck. I've returned to the project of formatting my great-great-grandfather's Civil War diaries and correspondence for the web. (My mother did the original transcription and editing.) This project does connect in with my interests in history and especially the everyday history of ordinary people.