Author’s Year in Review | Reflecting on 2022


My “year in review” posts have become a tradition since I started this website back in 2016. If you’re feeling ambitious and want to relive the journey over the years, you can read my 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, and 2017 review posts.

2022 was destined to be a big year, but I had no idea just how big it would be. Although it wasn’t my initial plan, I ended up going all-in and committing to running my business as a full-time career. That meant lining up a BUSY event calendar to make it happen.

Unfortunately, with my busy event schedule, the audiobook launch, and new business responsibilities, Book III didn’t make its anticipated 2022 publication. Which means that 2023 is going to be starting off with a bang!

But, before we start looking at what’s coming up in the new year, let’s take a sec to reflect on everything that happened in 2022…

Saturday, January 15, 2022

After weeks of listening to narrator auditions, I signed the contract for the audiobook production, officially committing to moving forward with A.J. Shuck and Mia Hutchinson-Shaw as my narrators for A Fallen Hero!

I sent the narrators the manuscript, a pronunciation video, and character profiles so the narrators would know the ages, genders, accents, demeanors, etc. of the more important people in the book. Behind the scenes, I was still working on assigning an ISBN and other distribution-related tasks.

Monday, January 17, 2022

Blood of the Enemy started off on schedule. I spent the first part of January working my way through the manuscript’s first round of edits, finally wrapping them up on the night of the seventeenth. I then had to make all of those updates in the digital version of the book so I could print out copies for my beta readers.

Saturday, January 29, 2022

These are the first photos ever taken of the three books—A Fallen Hero, Phantom’s Mask, and Blood of the Enemy—together. The first draft printed in the binder is my copy marked with edits and revisions.

A Fallen Hero audiobook cover

Also on this day, Patreon subscribers got the first look at the audiobook cover, which was later released on social media.

(Psst… patrons get early access to a lot of content, including book cover reveals, scenes from upcoming novels, new merch designs, and more. Check out the membership tiers and perks here.)

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Special delivery! I bundled up to deliver copies of Book III to my beta readers on a cold night before a snowstorm blew through the region.

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

The Chronicles of Avilésor series joined Discord! The server is a one-stop-shop for CoA content. Members get links and updates about the series, my latest blog posts, announcements, upcoming events, and more. They can also share fan art, cosplay photos, book reviews, and merch while engaging with other fans. Level 2 and 3 Patreon subscribers get access to an exclusive channel for new posts and patron-only polls.

If you haven’t already joined the CoA Discord server, here’s your invite: 

Thursday, February 24, 2022

My online merch store finally got a proper subdomain: (much better than the former URL).

I also launched the Read Banned Books collection on the store.

ALSO new: stainless steel water bottles were added to some of the existing collections.

The Alpha Collection:

The Alpha Crew Collection:

February 2022

The Chronicles of Avilésor website got a major update with a new homepage design.

Friday, March 04, 2022

I released the map of Avilésor on social media, while Patreon subscribers got to go behind the scenes and watch me draw this map by hand in a patron-only timelapse video.

map of the ghost realm Avilesor from the Chronicles of Avilesor series art by Sara A. Noe

Friday, March 11, 2022

I released an exclusive sneak peek at the collectible pin designs for Book III on Patreon. Once the buttons arrived, my followers got a chance to see them on social media and at events.

Blood of the Enemy pin designs by Sara A. Noe

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

After going through binders and digital notes from my beta readers, I updated the manuscript and sent Book III off to the line editor for the next phase.

Saturday, March 19, 2022 – Sunday, March 20, 2022

I started my event season with Shipshewana On The Road in Valparaiso, IN. It ended up being a wonderful experience, and I have some SOTR shows lined up for 2023. During this event, I debuted the new Book III button designs and a framed copy of the Avilésor map as part of my display.

Saturday, March 26, 2022

On The Cobblestone Road had its five-year anniversary!

I had Event #2, which was BookCon at the St. Joseph County Public Library in South Bend, IN. I met other local authors there, and several of us continued to cross paths at other events throughout the year!

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Mia Hutchinson Shaw and A.J. Shuck Chronicles of Avilesor audiobook narrators

I had the opportunity to interview my audiobook narrators on my blog to virtually introduce them. This special post was also the public reveal of the audiobook cover, which I designed myself.

Friday, April 01, 2022

Old Soul Artisan rebranded the Avilésor candle as “Ghost Realm.” No worries… it’s still the same fragrance everyone loves!

After going back and forth on the idea with the founder, this was a mutual decision we reached to make the candle more appealing for people who aren’t familiar with the series (and therefore have no idea what Avilésor means). I settled on Ghost Realm as the new name because it’s still unique to the series while offering plenty of intrigue even without that connection.

If you have a candle with the Avilésor label, don’t throw it away! It’s no longer in production, so it’s a keepsake worth hanging onto. Who knows… could be worth something as a collectible item someday!

Sunday, April 03, 2022

I finally sat down and drew a character sketch of Cato, the protagonist in the Chronicles of Avilésor: War of the Realms series.

(Patrons can watch the timelapse video to watch me create this piece from start to finish.)

Thursday, April 07, 2022

The Kit emojis that I designed for the CoA Discord server arrived as stickers! These waterproof, die-cut vinyl stickers are for sale at most of my events.

I also introduced them as a new perk for my Patreon subscribers at the Kálos (2) and Alpha (3) levels. Patrons in the middle and upper tiers receive the complete Kit emoji sticker collection, which means they also receive any new designs that I come up with.

Saturday, April 09, 2022

Event #3: The Bearcat Spring Fling Craft Show in Valparaiso, IN. This one-day event was the first time I displayed the Kit emoji stickers.

Saturday, April 16, 2022

I finished listening to the audiobook for the first time. The goal was to listen for any mispronunciations or other minor errors, but I was blown away by how my narrators brought the story to life! Listening to someone else read my book was a surreal experience…

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

As I prepared for my first con, I branched out and expanded my inventory selection to include animal ear cosplay headbands. I started with neutral colors as a trial run, but later in the year, I added fun fantasy colors to the mix when the ears ended up being a hit.

Saturday, April 23, 2022 – Sunday, April 24, 2022

Event #4: My assistant and I traveled to DeKalb, IL for the Visually Odd Con.

The two-day event was a success, and the Wolf Hollow Gift Shoppe in Rockford, IL stocked autographed copies of A Fallen Hero and Phantom’s Mask after the con!

Saturday, April 30, 2022

I released a sketch of what a squirrel in Avilésor might look like. This was a fun challenge. I realized that all of the sketches I’d done of Ghost Realm creatures were fantasy beasts. But what would a common animal… say, a squirrel, look like?

(Level 2 and 3 Patreon subscribers can watch the timelapse video of this art piece.)

Saturday, May 07, 2022

Event #5: I set up at the Taste of Nappanee for my first outdoor event of the year. It was a sunny but windy day, although I couldn’t complain too much (you never know what to expect in early May in the Midwest).

Thursday, May 19, 2022

I submitted the audiobook for distribution. It didn’t go live immediately… there was lag time for the distributor to go through the quality control process and approve the audio files, then send the information out to more than 40 retailers who had to upload the metadata into their systems. But, once I completed this landmark step, the audiobook was officially out of my hands and on its way into the marketplace.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Event #6: Book Warehouse welcomed me for a local signing in Michigan City, IN.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

I added another new product to my inventory lineup. My artwork and photography were transformed into puzzles! Each one comes in a tin keepsake box. The puzzles are 252 pieces and measure 10×17 when assembled. They ended up being much more popular than I anticipated at events!

Friday, May 27, 2022

The OG Kit emojis joined my merch store in the new Kit Emoji collection.

Sunday, May 29, 2022

For my next character sketch, I decided to take a stab at drawing Jay, the steadfast and loyal leader of the Alpha gang from the CoA series.

(Patrons at the Kálos and Alpha levels can watch the timelapse video.)

Sunday, June 05, 2022

A Fallen Hero officially became available as an audiobook download on Nook (B&N), Scribd, Kobo,, and BingeBooks. It also launched on Author’s Direct, which allows me to manage special promos (and avoid retailers taking giant cuts, so authors are actually able to earn real royalties).

These were the first retailers to carry the audiobook. Others, including Audible, Google Play, Apple, etc. were still processing the data and made the audiobook available later.

Friday, June 10, 2022 – Saturday, June 11, 2022

Event #7: The Strawberry Festival in North Liberty, IN. This was… an interesting event. My cosplay and overall booth setup received some mixed responses from locals. (I promise I was just there to sell fantasy books and art… I was not casting hexes or summoning demons…?)

Surprisingly, despite the overall reception, the Strawberry Festival ended up being one of my most successful events of the year! And I met people there who ended up becoming some of my most loyal fans and patrons.

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Event #8: I traveled to Peoria, IL to attend my first indie author book expo. My assistant and I ended up befriending the author next to us, and we’ve attended multiple events together since!

Saturday, July 02, 2022

Event #9: I returned to the Independence Day Festival in Mishawaka, IN! This was the very first festival I did in 2021. I had absolutely no idea whether people would be interested in fantasy books during a Fourth of July festival… and I was pleasantly shocked to learn that YES they were! In 2021, I SOLD OUT of paperbacks for Book I.

This year, I was more prepared. It was a good crowd with a beautiful firework show to end the day.

Watch the TikTok video

Friday, July 08, 2022

Happy birthday! Phantom’s Mask celebrated its second anniversary.

Saturday, July 09, 2022

Often, I have a vague idea for what I want to draw. It’s not until I start looking at photographs online to study an animal’s details and proportions that the vision starts to piece itself together in my head.

Valdenar's Bow pencil sketch thumbnail by Sara A. Noe

That wasn’t the case with this piece. I’d been thinking about this one a lot over several weeks. I knew exactly what I wanted to draw, but I needed to find the time to sit down and do it.

Well… almost. The dripping texture along the bottom was a last-minute experiment (that luckily turned out looking amazing but could have easily ruined the whole piece).

Patrons not only got to see the timelapse video on this one, but they were also treated to behind-the-scenes background information about “Valdenar’s Bow” and some of the techniques I used.

Tuesday, July 12, 2022 – Monday, July 18, 2022

The audiobook went on a virtual tour. Bloggers, bookstagrammers, and reviewers featured the audiobook on their websites and social media pages. Content features varied depending on the hosts but could have included reviews, author/narrator interviews, excerpts, guest blog posts, and other fun features such as the “dream cast” if AFH were to be filmed as a live-action movie or television show.

I was very busy putting together a ton of resources for the tour, including in-depth character profiles and extensive interview questions (for both myself and Cato), among many other tasks and content requests. Most of the content was used in the tour. The Spotify playlist I created for the audiobook didn’t get featured, so that was shared on Patreon in a patron-exclusive post.

Saturday, July 16, 2022

Event #10: Pride Fest in Battle Creek, MI. This fun event took place in Fantasy Forest (how appropriate is that?) at Leila Arboretum. We had a blast!

Watch the TikTok video

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Event #11: Kogan Con in Grand Haven, MI.

We took a bit of a road trip to attend our first anime convention! The Chronicles of Avilésor isn’t manga, but the fan base does have a lot of crossover (especially because of Kit… cat-girls are a common anime trope).

At festivals, I’m the only one cosplaying, so it’s fun to see other people in costumes at these types of events! Also… I battled a wizard.

Watch the TikTok video

Saturday, July 30, 2022

I created “Nymphalidae.” I’m not quite sure what prompted this piece. I was short on time, so I thought I’d do something small and simple, like a butterfly. And then I decided to have it perched on an open hand, which isn’t exactly small and simple. It ended up being a good drawing exercise!

Patreon subscribers can watch me create this piece in a timelapse video.

"Nymphalidae" pencil sketch of monarch butterfly in open hand by Sara A. Noe

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Event #12: After all the traveling, I stayed local for a while and set up my tent at the Dockside Artisan Market at Millennium Plaza in Michigan City, IN.

Saturday, August 06, 2022

Event #13: I set up my new and improved tent outside the Co-Op Shoppes on State Street for their sidewalk sale in La Porte, IN.

Reminder—this local shop carries autographed copies of A Fallen Hero and Phantom’s Mask (and soon, Blood of the Enemy). If you’re in the area and missed me at an event, you can pick up signed copies here!

Watch the TikTok video

Sunday, August, 07, 2022

A Fallen Hero turned four years old! It was released on 08.07.18. And what a journey I’ve been on ever since!

To celebrate Book I’s birthday, I launched a new emoji design in Discord and on my online merch store. The Peek-A-Boo Kit emoji instantly became a favorite!

Monday, August 08, 2022

In May 2021, I participated in the On-Ramp Creative Entrepreneur Accelerator program, which included a fellowship that partially funded the production of my first audiobook.

In August 2022, I had the pleasure of reuniting with On-Ramp alumni for a follow-up session about marketing and business scaling. It’s a great program for Hoosier artists, and I can’t recommend it enough!

You can read more about my experience with On-Ramp and how it helped my business in this blog post I wrote.

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Event #14: I joined several other local authors for Author’s Night at Fox Park in my hometown of La Porte, IN. We listened to live music and chatted about our books. (That’s my mom in the photo with me.)

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Event #15: I participated in Second Saturday in La Porte, IN. Small businesses set up tents in the plaza across from the farmer’s market.

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Event #16: I returned to the Dockside Artisan Market in Michigan City, IN.

Afterward, my assistant and I had some fun with an impromptu photoshoot…

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Event #17: I gave a presentation about audiobook production and self-publishing at the La Porte County Public Library Exchange.

I also talked about the On-Ramp Creative Entrepreneur Accelerator program and how it benefits Hoosier creators.

Saturday, August 20, 2022 – Sunday, August 21, 2022

Event #18: My assistant and I traveled to Hamlet, Indiana for the Yellowstone Trail Festival. This year’s theme was Back to the Future.

It was quite an experience! We played with a flamethrower, had The Whip Guy crack a whip around our waists… and sold some books, of course.

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Event #19: I returned to the Dockside Artisan Market in Michigan City, IN one last time for the season. I debuted the new Peek-A-Boo Kit and Starstruck Kit emoji stickers at this event.

Watch the TikTok video

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

I asked my Alpha Patreon subscribers to vote for the next character sketch… and they picked RC!

Which honestly surprised me since RC is still a somewhat minor character who hasn’t had a chance to tell his story yet (although you’ll learn more about him in Book III).

RC admittedly wasn’t at the top of my list because, as I noted in the video, I was feeling uneasy about attempting to draw his hair. But I think he turned out pretty good!

Level 2 and 3 patrons can watch the timelapse video to see RC brought to life on the page.

August 2022

The Ghost Realm candle was so popular after its rebrand that Old Soul Artisan started offering it in a GIANT 16oz size!

If you can’t get enough of the mystical forest fragrance of cedar, apple, and chrysanthemum, the 16oz has an impressive 90-100 hour burn time (in comparison, the 9oz is 55-60 hours and the 4oz is 25-30).

Friday, September 02, 2022 – Monday, September 05, 2022

Event #20: Oktoberfest in Michigan City, IN was the first four-day event I’d ever done. Needless to say, I was in need of some R&R for a couple of days afterward! I was grateful and pleasantly surprised to have a photo featured in the local paper.

Watch the TikTok video (part 1)
Watch the TikTok video (part 2)

Thursday, September 08, 2022

New products arrived! The Kit emojis, book covers, and some of my artwork and graphics were transformed into acrylic keychains. Patreon subscribers got the first look at the keychains when they arrived, but I didn’t share the news on social media until I debuted the products at my next event.

(Although it isn’t a listed membership perk, I celebrated the arrival by sending each patron a keychain of their choice.)

Friday, September 09, 2022 – Saturday, September 10, 2022

Event #21: The Middlebury Fall Festival in Middlebury, IN introduced us to an amazing librarian (since the event just so happened to be set up right next to the library). And, of course, the keychains made their first appearance.

Watch the TikTok video

Sunday, September 11, 2022

I hit 500 followers on my official Facebook page and surpassed 680 on Instagram! Thank you to everyone who follows me and engages with my posts. Some days, it really helps to see the support and encouragement.

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Event #22: I had the pleasure of returning to the Sunflower Fair in La Porte, IN for the second year in a row. This event has been incredible both times, and I’m always blown away by the support for a local author here in my hometown. Considering my order of paperbacks didn’t arrive in time for the fair, I was thrilled to still have a very successful day.

Watch the TikTok video

Friday, September 23, 2022 – Sunday, September 25, 2022

Event #23: Falloween in Walkerton, IN reconnected us with fans and a fellow local author we’d met at the Strawberry Fest earlier in the year… and we made a few new friends there, too! It was a fun-filled three days of vendors, food, carnival rides, and more.

Watch the TikTok video

Monday, September 26, 2022

At Oktoberfest, I met the owner of the Rising Phoenix Art Gallery in Michigan City, IN. In September, I dropped off some of my canvases and matted prints for the gallery to display and sell.

To my surprise, I was invited to have my photographs “Aftermath” and “Searching for Starfish” featured in the upcoming Out of the Shadows exhibit.

Thursday, September 29, 2022

New products (again)! Throughout the year, I experimented with new ways to engage with consumers and present my artwork. Ear headbands, puzzles, keychains… and now, glass cutting boards of my artwork and photography. Check out the unboxing video below:


New products just arrived! My most popular art and photography prints are now available as glass cutting boards!! 😍 #artist #artistslife #artistsoftiktok #artok #art #unboxing #artistatiktok #artista #artistontiktok #cuttingboard #cuttingboards #arttok


Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Three new emojis were added to the Discord server: wow, high-five, and the seasonal “Spooky Kit,” which became an instant favorite.

Kit emojis

Friday, September 30, 2022

Event #24: Out of the Shadows art exhibit.

I joined other local artists for an artist reception at the Rising Phoenix Art Gallery in Michigan City, IN. The room was filled with friends, family, artists, and local art enthusiasts. It was a wonderful reception with lots of the community support!

Saturday, October 01, 2022

Event #25: Pumpkin Festival in Westville, IN. This was my second year in a row attending this festival (and thankfully, it didn’t rain on us like it did in 2021). However… it was the first Saturday of the month… which means the tornado sirens get tested at 11 am… and they happened to be literally right next to us. The tower was yards away from our tent. I never want to be that close to the sirens when they go off again!!

Watch the TikTok video

Sunday, October 02, 2022

In anticipation of an upcoming event, I wanted to draw a new owl piece. This is “Looking Back.” Most of my work is done almost exclusively in mechanic pencil, sometimes with a whiteout pen for snow or light reflections in an eye. For this piece, I used a combination of markers, pencils, and pens.

Kálos and Alpha patrons have access to the timelapse video.

Monday, October 03, 2022

Stickers of the new emojis arrived! Wow, high-five, and Spooky Kit joined the sticker collection, and Patreon subscribers received the three new designs so their collections were complete.

Saturday, October 08, 2022

Event #26 brought us back into Michigan for the Geeky Experience Comic-Con in Holland, MI. This was my very first Comic-Con event! I had fun seeing other cosplayers and reconnecting with an author I’d met at Kogan Con earlier in the year.

Watch the TikTok video

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

I wanted to create an alternative version of “Looking Back” with a rougher, woodsier edge to it. So, I experimented with a charcoal overlay.

I took my Patreon subscribers along with me during the experiment. In the video, they had the opportunity to watch me work and listen to me talk through my thought process as I explained what I was doing and why.

Friday, October 14, 2022

Event #27 was the Franklinstein Horror Fest in Michigan City, IN. This was a fun one with live music, an open bar, a costume contest, and more!

Watch the TikTok video

Earlier on this day…

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Event #28: Spook-Fest in Rolling Prairie, IN featured local businesses, crafters, vendors, raffles, games, a costume contest, candy stations for kids, and more to get everyone in the mood for spooky season.

Watch the TikTok video

Sunday, October 16, 2022

I introduced an exciting new perk for my top-tier subscribers on Patreon! It’s still in a trial phase, but if you’re an Alpha-level patron for a minimum of three months, I will incorporate your name into a future book.

It could be either a place or a minor character. There’s no guarantee the character will be a good guy (or even survive). Only your name will be used—I don’t base characters off real people. Any shared physical or personality traits are purely coincidence.

Your name may or may not reoccur again in a future book since I don’t always know if places/characters will return. I want this to be a fun perk for my subscribers, but I can’t risk affecting the quality of the series by trying to force too many names into every single book.

Check out this article for more information about this new Patreon perk.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

New keychains arrived! In addition to the three most recent emojis, my wolf artwork “Selenophile” joined the keychain collection. Other big sellers, including Peek-A-Boo Kit, “The Raven,” and my cat’s paw print, needed a restock.

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Event #29: The Festival of Owls in Valparaiso, IN

This is the event that inspired “Looking Back.” That piece, along with “Snowy Flight” drawn in 2021, were my key features at this owl-themed festival. The Humane Society had live owl demonstrations going on throughout the day!

Watch the TikTok video

Sunday, October 23, 2022

After polling the Discord server, voters unanimously agreed that the “Spooky Kit” emoji should be added to my merch store.

However, this was a seasonal design, and after several months available in my merch shop, the design was removed. It’s not currently available, and I haven’t decided yet if I’ll bring it back to the store in the future.

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Event #30: We returned to Michigan one more time for the Pumpkin Festival in Battle Creek, MI. Tons of trick-or-treaters came out to show off their costumes and collect candy! This was the first event where I used my art display rack so people could easily flip through prints.

Watch the TikTok video

Saturday, November 12, 2022 – Sunday, November 13, 2022

Event #31: Dark Art & Oddities in DeKalb, IL took place in the beautiful Altgeld Hall Castle. We caught up with author, artist, and audiobook narrator friends from past Illinois events, plus met Santiago Cirilo from The Walking Dead and world-famous Disney animator Philo Barnhart.

Watch the TikTok video

Saturday, November 19, 2022 – Sunday, November 20, 2022

Event #32: Valpo Holidaze in Valparaiso, IN quickly put us in a festive mood for the holidays! I brought back my gift boxes for the season.

Watch the TikTok video

Friday, November 25, 2022 – Sunday, November 27, 2022

Event #33: Starbase Indy! We traveled to Indianapolis, IN for this annual Star Trek-themed sci-fi con.

Yep, I wielded a bat’leth and faced off against a group of Klingons! We met with old friends and made some new ones. It was a fun three-day event!

Watch the TikTok video

Sunday, December 04, 2022

My final character sketch of the year was Ash. I decided to have her looking over her shoulder so her pose would be similar to Cato, her scouting partner. As a woman with long hair, I knew firsthand that Ash’s wouldn’t be neat and tidy; it would be unkempt and tangled, and I strove to capture that wild, windswept look.

Level 2 and 3 patrons got to watch me draw Ash in the timelapse video.

Half of the Alpha ghosts are done! My goal is to draw Finn, Reese, Axel, and Kit in 2023 to complete the lab-family.


Do you know which CoA character this is? Subscribe on Patreon for more art timelapse videos and behind-the-scenes content. ✨️ #art #artwork #timelapse #timelapseart #patreon #patreonartist #artist #artistsoftiktok #artistontiktok #artistoftiktok #bookart #characterart #fanart #fantasyart #artwork #chroniclesofavilesor

♬ cardigan – Taylor Swift

Thursday, December 08, 2022

Patreon subscribers got an early look at the author photo I chose for Book III. They also got behind-the-scenes details about the previous two author photos for A Fallen Hero and Phantom’s Mask. Each photo was taken by a different photographer.

The photos were later posted on social media (but only patrons got the stories behind the photographs).

The color version will be printed on the hardcover jacket. The black-and-white version will be printed on one of the last pages in the book.

Friday, December 09, 2022

Event #34: After recovering from an unfortunate bout with COVID (and getting a negative test to be sure I wasn’t contagious anymore), I attended a small holiday show hosted by the Market on 12 in Michigan City, IN. With this one being only a few hours compared to some of my 11+ hour multi-day festivals in the summer, this was a good one to ease back into doing events again since I was still fighting the cough and fatigue.

Watch the TikTok video

At this event, I debuted ANOTHER new product… mouse pads! Because my booth space was smaller than expected, I had to condense my setup down to one table, so I didn’t get to highlight these as much as I wanted to.

Saturday, December 18, 2022

Event #35: My final event of the year was a holiday market at Rio Park Events in South Bend, IN. Live music in a nice venue, a booth next to author friends from past events, and friendly holiday shoppers supporting small local businesses made this a nice way to end the 2022 event season.

Watch the TikTok video

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

After spending a couple of weeks hard at work (in between holiday activities, of course), I released a patron-only early sneak peek and timelapse video of the map of Phantom Heights on Patreon.

This post was the first of an upcoming series that will take patrons deep into the worldbuilding of the fictional Midwest town. I’ll be discussing the town’s design, the research that went into the planning, my process for creating the map, and more. Only Level 2 and 3 patrons will have access to this.

I shared the map on social media as my final post of 2022. It’s one of the last pieces that needed to fall into place for Book III’s publication. All I need to do now is finish the Saros Manor floor plan, and the book is ready to be submitted for the first proof copies.

The Year in Review

35 events?! No longer this blog post turned out WAY longer than I’d expected (and longer than any of the other previous years).

Although I technically fell short of a major goal by not getting Book III out in 2022, I’d still say this was a successful year. I hit some major landmarks that weren’t even on my radar.

My business ceased to be a side hustle and instead became my full-time career. I brought in enough income to pay personal bills with revenue from my own business… and that was an accomplishment I thought was still years away.

Honestly, I didn’t feel like I was ready to cut the lifeline of a day job. But I sort of got pushed off the cliff and had to react. The thought of sending out job applications again was beyond depressing. I realized that I was tired of spending so much of my precious time working on making other people’s dreams come true when I really wanted to be writing my own books, making my own art, and building my own business. I didn’t want to work for someone else. Becoming my own boss was terrifying yet satisfying.

However, that put a lot more responsibilities on my shoulders. Running the business meant pulling time away from working on Book III. The audiobook’s delay (it was supposed to be released in 2021, but COVID pushed On Ramp back a year, which delayed the audiobook by a year) meant it landed right on top of Book III’s target publication.

Not only did the audiobook require more of my time and attention, but it also went over the estimated budget, which did affect Blood of the Enemy because self-publishing is expensive. All of those costs come out of my pocket, and I no longer had a day job supplementing my revenue stream. I had to cover personal bills and business expenses from my own revenue, which wasn’t flowing very well in the beginning since I hadn’t anticipated needing to rely so heavily on it. I didn’t have the time, funds, or capacity to manage both of these massive projects at the same time. Thus, Book III’s publication kept getting bumped back in the schedule.

But I promise… it’s almost there! Which means 2023 will have a BIG and exciting start!

2022 Blog Posts

  1. Author’s Advice: 15 Tips to Write a Compelling Fiction Book Blurb That Sells
  2. Lessons of the Ocean (Sandcastle 15.07)
  3. Mark Your Calendar! 2022 Literary and Book-Themed Holidays
  4. Behind the “Read Banned Books” Merchandise Collection
  5. Cover Reveal + Meet the Audiobook Narrators
  6. How to Make Money: 7 Extra Revenue Streams for Indie Authors
  7. Tips for New Authors: How to Overcome 5 Common Fears
  8. 162 Different Writing Genres & Subgenres for Fiction Authors
  9. Spring Photography | May in Bloom
  10. Self-Publishing a Book: 8 Facts & Hacks You REALLY Need to Know
  11. 10 Free Tools & WordPress Plugins to Make Content Creation Easier
  12. A Fallen Hero Audiobook | Chronicles of Avilésor
  13. 6 Lessons About Audiobook Production You Need to Know
  14. Author’s Experience: IAC’s On-Ramp Creative Entrepreneur Accelerator
  15. Author’s Perspective: Pros & Cons of Investing in an Audiobook
  16. Unpopular Opinion: Word Count Isn’t Really That Important
  17. Art News: Gallery Exhibits, New Products, & More
  18. What To Do If Someone Wants Your Art as a Tattoo
  19. The Line Edit is Done! Next Steps for Book III
  20. Self-Publishing 101: How to Purchase & Register an ISBN
  21. Bookworm’s Holiday Shopping Guide: Gifts for Readers & Writers
  22. Top 13 Best Book Subscription Box Recommendations
  23. 2023 Literary and Book-Themed Holidays for Your Calendar

2022 Newsletters

Did you miss any of 2022’s newsletters? Catch up with all of the year’s newsletters below, and don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter list if you aren’t already on it!

January 2022 On The Cobblestone Road newsletter
February On the Cobblestone newsletter
Yellow daffodils March On the Cobblestone Road
April On the Cobblestone Road Chicago photography by Sara A. Noe
May On the Cobblestone Road newsletter by Sara A. Noe
June On The Cobblestone Road
October On the Cobblestone Road newsletter by Sara A. Noe
November On the Cobblestone Road apple and book with fall leaves
Book and Christmas lights On The Cobblestone Road newsletter

I wish everyone a happy, healthy, positive 2023!

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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 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! 🖤