As my first full year in retirement draws to an end, I look back in wonder at how much my life has been transformed. The move to Kythera combined with the freedom to pursue my writing as my principle (rather than secondary) activity has opened for me new prospects that I had not dared dream about before. My days are filled with meaningful activity and my future plans are many and exciting.
Most important, my books are slowly moving out of the "indy world" and increasingly into more mainstream publishing.
The highlights of this year as a novelist were the release of A Boy of the Agoge in polish, the sale of the Greek rights to all three books of the Leonidas Trilogy, and a deal with Pen & Sword for two non-fiction books on the crusader states. In addition, I released the second book in the Civil War in Outremer series, The Emperor Strikes Back and also published an ebook edition of Are They Singing in Sparta? under the title A Song for Sparta.
Meanwhile, Rebels against Tyranny won three accolades: Silver for Spiritual/Religious Fiction from Feathered Quill, "First in Category" or "Finalist" for the Chaucer Award from Chanticleer and Best Christian Historical Fiction 2019 from Readers' Favorites.
Looking forward to 2020, I'm excited to start writing and delivering to Pen & Sword Beyond the Sea: The Story of the Crusader States. I will also be undertaking a major revision and re-release of Knight of Jerusalem to accommodate new insights and understanding gained in six years of continued research on the Ibelins and Outremer. Last but not least, I hope to continue work on the third book in the Civil War in Outremer series, The Lion and the Hart.
None of this would be possible without the discovery of a fabulous new editor, Rhonda Shore, and a new graphic designer Hazel Horne to help me with maps, architectural drawings and more. I look forward to working with both of these consummate professionals in the years ahead.