Year In Review | 2019


It’s hard to believe it’s time for reflections and new beginnings again. It seems like I just wrote my 2018 recap only a little while ago. And yet, here we are. 2020. Here’s a look back at my adventures and accomplishments this past year:

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

On The Cobblestone Road celebrated its third anniversary with the release of the prologue for Book II: Phantom’s Mask. This was the first look readers got at the sequel, which is scheduled to be released on 07.08.20.

Author Sara A. Noë holding copies of A Fallen Hero published by IngramSpark and Barnes & Noble Press

Thursday, April 24, 2019

After reviewing several proof copies from IngramSpark in the first few months of the year, A Fallen Hero was officially released for distribution in paperback and ebook versions. This was monumental; when the book had been printed by B&N Press, it wasn’t available to any retailers outside Barnes & Noble, and even B&N stores wouldn’t carry it on the shelf because it was nonreturnable. IngramSpark opened AFH up to Amazon, Kobo, Walmart, Apple, and any retailers in their international network, including Barnes & Noble.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

My first book signing of the year kicked off at the Zine & Small Press Fest hosted by Lubeznik Center for the Arts in Michigan City, Indiana. The event was a wonderfully fun melding of zine creators, artists, poets, and independently published authors.

Sara A. Noë, author of A Fallen Hero, on her 2019 Barnes & Noble tour
Author Sara A. Noë posing with her publicist Kayla M. Ware outside Barnes & Noble in Evansville

May – June 2019

I had the privilege of completing my first book tour!

The 2019 Barnes & Noble book tour brought me to seven cities in three states. Some were solo events, some were author fairs, and one was a commentated author panel. A huge thank-you goes out to my publicist and event coordinator Kayla M. Ware for organizing the tour on my behalf!

Author Sara A. Noë with her novel A Fallen Hero at Barnes & Noble in Portage, Michigan
Sunday, May 5th
Portage, MI
Author Sara A. Noë with her novel A Fallen Hero at Barnes & Noble in Mishawaka, Indiana
Saturday, May 11th
Mishawaka, IN
Author Sara A. Noë with Dennis Dawson Elliott and Ronald Shelton at Barnes & Noble in Evansville, Indiana
Saturday, May 18th
Evansville, IN
Author Sara A. Noë participating in an author panel with Dave Ferraro, Michael Reid Jr., and editor Tim Hennessy at Barnes & Noble in Racine, Wisconsin
Saturday, May 25th
Racine, WI
Author Sara A. Noë with her novel A Fallen Hero outside Barnes & Noble in Fort Wayne, Indiana
Saturday, June 1st
Fort Wayne, IN
Author Sara A. Noë with her novel A Fallen Hero at Barnes & Noble in Battle Creek, Michigan
Saturday, June 8th
Battle Creek, MI
Author Sara A. Noë with her novel A Fallen Hero at Barnes & Noble in Lafayette, Indiana
Saturday, June 15th
Lafayette, IN

Friday, June 14th, 2019

A Fallen Hero received a 5-star rating from The Prairies Book Review, who wrote, “Noë’s excellent plotting and highly engrossing narrative grab hold of readers’ interest from the first page and keep them engrossed. The characterization shines as Noë skillfully takes readers into the intriguing supernatural world as Cato and his lab family make their harrowing escape. A superb debut!”

Read the full review HERE.

Tuesday, June 25th, 2019

AFH received another stellar review from Chronicle Focus Editorial: “Noë’s tactful narrative and deeply layered plotting offer a unique world that readers can fully immerse themselves in to walk alongside heroes and villains. Page by page, this debut novel will hold readers’ attention until the very end, presenting just enough resolution to leave them satisfied while unanswered questions will have them pining for more.”

Read the full review HERE.

Saturday, June 29th, 2019

My final June event brought me back to my hometown for a book signing at HotSpot Café in La Porte, IN with fellow local author R.A. McCaulley. Signed copies are still available for purchase here.

Thursday, August 1st, 2019

I launched a brand-new website for the Chronicles of Avilésor book series featuring fan photos, AFH bookstagrammers, fan art, a forum, and information about the novels.

Author Sara A. Noë holding her novel A Fallen Hero, the first book in the Chronicles of Avilésor: War of the Realms series

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Happy book birthday to AFH! The novel is one year old!

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Author Jacob Rundle featured my publishing journey in a spotlight on his website The Writer’s Alley.

“‘I want to be an author when I grow up’ was a sentence that was never uttered out of my mouth as a child. I was always a creative type from the moment my fingers learned how to hold a pencil—drawing, writing poetry—but writing a book? Never crossed my radar. I wanted to be a landscape architect.”

Read the full story HERE.

A line of the book A Fallen Hero, Chronicles of Avilésor: War of the Realms by Sara A. Noë

Thursday, August 29, 2019

The hardcover version of AFH joined the paperback and ebook in IngramSpark’s network, making it available on Amazon and any international retailers affiliated with Ingram in addition to Barnes & Noble.

September, 2019

My photography was exhibited at Southern Shore Art Gallery in Michigan City, IN during the month of September. This was my first time showing my work in a gallery setting, and I was thrilled when my photograph “Spiraling” won Best Still Life in the juried exhibit! “Spiraling” did not come home with me, as it was sold at the end of the show.

“Aftermath” (left), “Spiraling” (center), “Searching for Starfish” (right)

Copyright page of Phantom's Mask by Sara A. Noë

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

The Library of Congress Control Number (LCCN) was confirmed for Phantom’s Mask. The manuscript is now on file with the Library of Congress, which will receive a print copy once the novel is released for publication.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Lauren’s Boookshelf blogger and book reviewer posted a fantastic review: “I’m a sucker for found family stories and this one features a really strong found lab-family. These kids would do anything for each other, as is shown throughout the book, and I really can’t wait to see more of them all in the next book.”

Read her full review HERE.

Lauren later included AFH in her Top 10 List out of the 138 books she’d read in 2019!

Monday, September 23, 2019

My print “Nevermore” (original © 2010) was purchased and hand-delivered to its new home.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Sara A. Noe LLC was officially registered with the state of Indiana. Writing and art isn’t just a hobby anymore; it’s truly a business. I’m recognized as an entrepreneur with limited liability protection to keep my personal assets separate.

Monday, October 21, 2019

The final round of edits was completed on the draft of Book II. To celebrate the landmark, I released a special teaser on my website before sending the full manuscript to the first beta readers.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Book blogger Erika Davis gave AFH a 5-star review on her website: “I would recommend this book to anyone who has the patience to figure out a new world and the desire to fall in love with a few misfit kids. Sara A. Noë has created in A Fallen Hero a world that has the potential to be expansive and enthralling. Her ability to make lovable, worthy characters is breathtaking. I’m eagerly awaiting the next book! I need to know what happens to my babies!”

Read her full review HERE.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

A week later, Erika discussed AFH on her podcast “Read Together” with Doug Davis. This was a totally unexpected but thrilling surprise! See the clip featuring AFH below.

Saturday, November 02, 2019

The certificate of copyright registration for Phantom’s Mask arrived in the mail. The manuscript is officially on file with the U.S. Copyright Office © 2019.

Saturday, November 09, 2019

I visited the adorably quaint Indy Reads Books bookstore for my first Indianapolis signing event. I left a couple of autographed copies behind.

Saturday, November 09, 2019

I had the pleasure of returning to the Fort Wayne Barnes & Noble at Jefferson Pointe Mall for the second time. The staff was just as friendly as they were my first trip, and I recognized many of them who had stopped to talk to me before. I’ve always had a great time at this store, and I was invited to return when Phantom’s Mask is released later this year. I left a few autographed copies behind on the shelf.

Friday, November 15, 2019

I was granted gratis permission to reprint the song lyrics of “You Are My Sunshine” for Book II. The song first made an appearance in AFH, for which I had contacted the current copyright holder for permission as well.

With my protagonist’s memories in shambles, I wanted him to hum a mostly forgotten childhood song that could be easily identified by a tiny snippet of remembered song lyrics so the reader would immediately know the tune he was humming. “You Are My Sunshine” was a dear song my mom and grandma used to sing to me when I was young, and it was the perfect fit. I’m so thankful that Peer Music International has been willing to work with me and grant permission to incorporate the song into the War of the Realms series.

A Fallen Hero by Sara A. Noë copyright page

Monday, November 18, 2019

I negotiated with the font developer who created “Black Asylum,” which is the font used on the cover and title headings of AFH. KC Fonts agreed to let me purchase the rights to the font not only for Book II, but also for the rest of the War of the Realms series. Any standalone books in the Chronicles of Avilésor will need to be renegotiated if I decide to use the same font, but the seven books featuring Cato and the Alpha gang are secured.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

I opened a package sent to me from cosplay prop creator, author, and Youtuber Ken “Bring It To Life” Jutsu and displayed the ectogun prop from AFH that he had crafted. Prior to making the prop, he had requested a conceptual design of the weapon with extra details beyond what had been described in the book, leading to a blog post about the ghost-hunting weapon designed by Madison Tarrow. See my unboxing video below!

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

I was thrilled to hit the next milestone of the sequel’s publication a month ahead of schedule! Following beta reader feedback, Phantom’s Mask was released into the hands of my capable copy editor Kayla M. Ware of Chronicle Focus Editorial. Once I receive and incorporate her edits, the manuscript will be passed off to my line editor Nikki Mentges at NAM Editorial for final review.

The sequel received high praise from the beta readers! Here’s a first look on what the beta readers and I had to say about Phantom’s Mask.

Check out these stunning #bookstagram photos posted on Instagram in 2019 by book lovers, bloggers, and reviewers! Featured photographs were taken by Lauren @laurensboookshelf, Erika @bmbookcase, Ronyell @rabbitearsblog, Kimberly @theplumreport, Tina @readingawayreality, and Kayla @seekingwonderland.

A collection of Instagram photos of A Fallen Hero by Sara A. Noë
 | Website

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 three novels in my Chronicles of Avilésor: War of the Realms series have received awards from Literary Titan.

After some time working as a freelance writer, I was shocked by how many website articles are actually written by paid "ghost writers" but published under the byline of a different author. It was a jolt seeing my articles presented as if they were written by a high-profile CEO or an industry expert with decades of experience. I'll be honest; it felt slimy and dishonest. I had none of the credentials readers assumed the author of the article actually had. Ghost writing is a perfectly legal, astonishingly common practice, and now, AI has entered the playing field to further muddy the waters. It's hard to trust who (or what) actually wrote the content you'll read online these days.

That's not the case here at On The Cobblestone Road. 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! 🖤