The there was The Rest of Forever, written for the Goodreads M/M Romance Group's 'Love is Always Write' event (and now also available in the eighth volume of the LiAW project). It is no exaggeration to say I was more nervous about that release than any other. Would anyone understand Jackson, or would everyone think he was a jerk who didn't deserve what he got? Some thought that, of course, but so, sooooooo many people got him, and I'm eternally grateful. Yes, he was a jerk, but he was my jerk, and he was sorry.
And now you're all looking at me expectantly, because I'm sure you've noticed that I haven't released anything new since May. I'm sorry, I'm sorry! I had grand plans for the second half of this year, but unfortunately sometimes life gets in the way. To every person out there waiting patiently (and not so patiently - I know who you are!!) for the third book in the Lost Realm series, I promise, promise, promise it's nearly finished. It's proved more difficult than I thought to wrap up this story arc, or maybe I just don't want to say goodbye. As well as Ash and Azrael, I've had Kali, Jack and Fenton clamouring to tell their stories, plus a number of new characters who I've fallen completely in love with. Fenton's story moves away from the main arc early into the novel, but his fans won't be left hanging - Fenton's Absolution is also nearly finished and will be released at the same time as the novel.
Is that the end of the Lost Realm? ...For now...
So what else have I got planned for 2013?
Well, Christo and Damien are getting a sequel. I wrote What He Wants as a stand-alone but always had half-an-eye on writing a sequel for them. In recent months they've been pestering me mercilessly, because as far as they are concerned their story isn't over yet. Expect more of Sam, Ali and Jess in the second book.
Another voice that's been whispering in my ear is the lonely bear from The Rest of Forever. I've made a start on his story, titled When Forever Ends. Not a romance, that one, but pure, unadulterated heartbreak. Sorry. He insisted I tell it anyway.
Finally I've got not one but two historicals on the go, both late Victorian. One of them centres on two very famous characters (hint); the other is completely mine. I'm sure you're all familiar with my rantings about formulaic romances and the conventions of m/m sex scenes, and these two books in particular will move away from the more familiar tropes of the genre.
An ambitious target I know, but I promise to deliver. In June I celebrated my first year as a published author and it's been an incredible ride. I am grateful to every single person who has bought, rated or reviewed any of my books. For every hit on my blog, for every tweet, for every like on facebook and every message saying that waiting for LR3 is just as bad as waiting for the last Harry Potter novel (especially the last one - I could barely get my head through the door for a week after that!!) I am eternally grateful. Seriously. You will never know how much all of that means.
Next year I'll keep writing, I'll keep ranting away on my lil ole blog, I'll keep reading and reviewing books on Goodreads (300 this year!). I'll be attending the M/M Romance convention in Manchester in the summer (local - woo!) and hope to see many of you there. I've promised several people that I'll introduce them to Manchester's famous Village during the course of the weekend, and more partygoers are always welcome!
I wish every one of you a Merry Christmas, a happy and prosperous New Year, and I'd like to remind you now that the Downton Abbey Christmas Special is on ITV at 8.45pm. Don't blame me if you forget!
Kate Aaron is the bestselling author of contemporary and fantasy gay romances.
Find all her books on Amazon, ARe, B&N, iTunes, SW, Sony & Kobo