A Writer’s Year In Review | 2018


The sun has set on 2018, and with multiple publications added to my résumé, it was a year to remember! Looking back on my accomplishments, I’m excited to see what’s around the next bend of my journey. 2019, I’m ready to make some waves! Here’s a recap of my adventures and accomplishments this past year:

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

My short stories “When Time Stands Still” & “Redemption” were quarterfinalists in the 2017 ScreenCraft Cinematic Short Story competition.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Redemption” went on to the semifinalist round!

Friday, February 23, 2018

The Northwest Indiana Literary Journal published my fantasy short story “One Wish,” a tale of a young woman who steals a Charm and makes a terrible wish she can’t undo.

Monday, March 26, 2018

On The Cobblestone Road celebrated its second anniversary with the release of the ScreenCraft quarterfinalist story “When Time Stands Still.” This year’s anniversary post will be a special release…you won’t want to miss it!

Saturday, April 21, 2018

The Sandcastle Writers of Lubeznik Center for the Arts published their first literary journal and debuted it at the Zine & Small Press Fest. Voices featured my memoir “Falling Stars” in the collection of poetry, flash fiction, and short nonfiction, and my photograph “Aftermath” won the honor of being selected for the cover art! The journal is available for sale in Lubeznik’s gallery gift shop.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Lubeznik hosted a Voices release party to celebrate the literary journal’s publication. It was a wonderful gathering of writers, friends, family, and fans with hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, and readings from Sandcastle Writers who had contributed literature to Voices. Rather than read my memoir “Falling Stars” from the journal, I shared a short piece called “Home” about the cover photo taken at Edisto Beach in South Carolina. My nerves were hard to tame; this was my first live reading in front of an audience!

Photo credit: Kayla M. Ware

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The day before my 26th birthday, I passed
A Fallen Hero into the capable hands of my line editor Nikki at NAM Editorial.

Tuesday, August 7th, 2018

The summer was busy, working first with Nikki on the manuscript, then revising and sending it off to my final proofreader Megan from the Inkwell Council I’d worked with the year before. The official publication date was 08/07/18, and the first hardcover proof arrived ten days later for review.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

The hardcover became available for public purchase on Barnes & Noble’s website.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

For the early birds who listen to WIMS 95.1 on the way to work, you probably heard me on the air! The radio station invited me to call in and talk about the book’s release and upcoming signings.

Saturday, October 06, 2018

My first book signing was everything I had hoped it would be! My biggest fear was that no one except a few family members would come, leaving me sitting alone at a table watching the door and waiting. That was not the case! I was ecstatic to sell thirty hardcovers and see so many friends, family, co-workers, old acquaintances, and new fans come to support me. I had people drive all the way from Indianapolis to attend! I finished the year with a total of eight book signings. (Post: New Author’s First Book Signings)

Left to right: 10/06/18 at the Co-Op Shoppes (La Porte), 10/13/18 at Jazzercise (Michigan City), 11/24/18 at Temple News Agency (La Porte), 12/01/18 at St. Joseph County Library (South Bend), 12/07/18 at Lubeznik Center for the Arts (Michigan City), 12/08/18 at Rogue Xtrme Fitness (Michigan City), 12/15/18 at the Co-Op Shoppes (La Porte)

Saturday, October 27, 2018

For the second year in a row, I attended the Steel Pen Writing Conference in Fair Oaks, IN. The most memorable moment of the day was at the end of the conference when I approached keynote speaker Michael Poore to autograph his latest book Reincarnation Blues. I was over the moon when he bought a copy of my book and we traded autographs!

Friday, November 09, 2018

Nicholas Adams interviewed me on his Laughably Inane Blog. It was an honor to join the ranks of authors in his archives and share my experiences. This was also the day the first paperback proof arrived for review.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

A hardcover copy of A Fallen Hero was shipped to the Library of Congress to complete the registration process and be stored in the archives.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

The paperback became available for public purchase on Barnes & Noble’s website.

Friday, December 07, 2018

Lubeznik Center for the Arts invited me to join John Records Landecker (author of Records Truly Is My Middle Name) and Rebecca Sive (author of Vote Her In) for their “Give a Book” First Friday event. My nerves were a little more stable when approaching the podium to give a speech on writing in the scifan genre and read an excerpt from the novel. Read the full blog post here: Writing Science-Fantasy.

What a whirlwind! My goals to tackle early in 2019 are to finish formatting the ebook for release, expand outside of Barnes & Noble’s base to reach Amazon and independent bookstores, travel farther from my local hub for book signings and events, and sit down to start buttoning up the sequel for the first round of beta readers.

I’ve already had quite a few people inquire about the expected release date for Book II: Phantom’s Mask. Although I don’t have a publication timeline yet, the first draft is already 90% completed. It’s not likely to hit the market in 2019, but I’m hoping to be well into the editing and revision process by the end of the year with a target release date of early 2020 in mind.

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I'm an award-winning fantasy author, artist, and photographer from La Porte, Indiana. My poetry, short fiction, and memoir works have been featured in various anthologies and journals since 2005, and several of my poems are available in the Indiana Poetry Archives. The first two novels in my Chronicles of Avilésor: War of the Realms series both received the Literary Titan Gold Book Award in 2020.

After working as a freelance writer for a time, I was shocked by how many website articles are actually written by paid "ghost writers" but credited to a different author. It was a jolt seeing my articles presented under the name of a high-profile CEO or an industry expert with decades of experience when in reality, I had none of those credentials. Just a talent for writing and the time to research topics. Ghost writing is perfectly legal and a VERY common practice.

You won't find that here on my website. I do not and never will pay a ghost writer, then slap my name on their work as if I'd written it. This website is 100% authentic. No outsourcing. No ghost writing. No AI-generated content. It's just me... as it should be.

If you would like to support my work, check out the Support The Creator page for more information. Thank you for finding my website! 🖤

One thought on “A Writer’s Year In Review | 2018

  1. Sara – what a great year you’ve had – I am truly thrilled at your awards, your stories, your progress. You ROCK! Keep me in the loop, and maybe we’ll see you up at The Clearing again sometime.

    Meanwhile – my Jensen play got some legs! [https://doorcountypulse.com/feature-jens-jensen-returns-to-door-county/]

    My best, Roger

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