2014 Year Review


Here in New Zealand it’s the last day of 2014, and like every year, I do a post about how it all went.

2014 has been a hell of an interesting year! It’s been absolutely full on. There were a number of things that I wanted to achieve this year… and at the end of the post I’ll give you an update on how I went. It started off with me contracting for a number of different companies, the big clean up in the Marlborough Sounds after the fire – heartbreaking, but something that absolutely had to be dealt with. And of course, trying to finish writing Tijuana Nights.
10483159_10152324488416589_1757398327218221908_nI absolutely couldn’t believe it when I finally typed The End. It was a whirlwind of an ending to the book that I had been plotting and mulling over for a couple of years, and as the tears rolled down my face, I managed to finish it.

Once my editor got her little mitts on the book, she held the literary gun to my head and told me to write the very beginning of Mack’s story in London Dusk. And so I did. A few weeks later, my editor had that in her hands as well. Meanwhile, I was working my ass off in a contract, as well as trying to raise Abby, and do everything else that life demands.

Soon after, I was offered another role, this one a little longer than the others, and so I took up the challenge to working for a company that had just undergone a major restructure. It was an interesting experience. Lots of redefining roles, responsibilities, as well as working out solutions for problems the company had been facing for years.

Featured Image -- 2311Just as I started my role there, I decided to publish London Dusk, and then two weeks later, Tijuana Nights. Wow. Never again will I do two book releases within two weeks of each other. Far out. I was operating in full throttle for days, and by the time Tijuana Nights released I was goddamn exhausted.

Right at that point of time though, I found out that my mother had fairly serious cancer. There were times when I would just have to get in the car and go to her. Other times I would jump on a plane. She’s an incredibly strong and positive woman though. And after a twenty-hour surgery, she came through it all. It’s so hard watching your parents sick. They are the people who are always meant to be the strong ones, for you as their children. It’s tough having that care role reversed. She’s still not 100%, and has another surgery in a few weeks. But things are on the mend, and there is finally light at the end of the tunnel again. Fingers crossed they sort the last of the issues out.

Inks 2014Our annual Inklings Retreat happened with my wonderful writing team. J.C. Hart, T.G. Ayer, Melissa Pearl, Brenda Howson and I all got together to spend a weekend drinking wine, eating good food, and talking all things writing related for a whole weekend. I love these women more than I can possibly explain. We are all so passionate about the literary world, and all of the creativity that lies within. It warms me so much to spend time with them, and wish more often than not that we all lived in the same area. These women are the people I can say absolutely anything to, and they actually understand. They know. They all have families and massive challenges themselves, and the support I get from this incredible circle is one incredibly dear to me heart. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I started writing Venice Nights in August. So far, it’s been a very stagnant writing approach to it, mainly because life has taken over and impacted a lot on my writing time. I’ve had a load of design work to get through, as well as my Ev20141030_082012il Day Job, raising Abby, keeping an eye on Mum, being a wife, as well as all sorts of other things that happen in daily life. A lot of these days I just wished I could hide from the world, and actually have some time out. I just also know that I wouldn’t have been able to get through this year without the support of my Mother in Law, who has been doing a fantastic job of looking after Abby and running my household while I have been away, working, or anything else. Her help and support has been amazing.

1609569_10152508869966589_1540518400903003187_nWe went to the Gold Coast to celebrate my husband’s 40th birthday in October. We all desperately needed a holiday, away, without the hassles of the rest of the world impacting on us. This year has just been a heck of an emotional ride. Time out together was exactly what we all needed. I drank far too much wine, and probably spent far too much money. But damn it was fun.

As soon as I came back, I was away for work quite a bit, as well as seeing my oldest friend get married. Meanwhile, Venice Nights was still being written at a snail’s pace, and design work was still flooding in.

abby making breakfastChristmas was great. Mother was with us, and while she’s still in a lot of pain, she’s coping fairly well. Abby was spoilt rotten, as usual, and I could finally have a few days off. Now all is silent in my house, for once, while I type out this post on the last day of the year. I look back on 2014, and just honestly feel exhausted. Nothing has stopped and stood still even for one minute. It’s been hard keeping up. But I succeeded. And that’s honestly the best feeling. I made it through an incredibly tough year, and kept my head above water. I also achieved my dream of finally publishing. Abby is growing up fast and learning so much. Nothing makes me prouder than seeing her achieve even the smallest of things. And f course my husband and his tenacity towards everything. I’m so impressed with how he makes a decision and just owns it. His support over the year has been one of fierce love. Every time I have been close to falling over and crumbling, he has picked me back up , dusted me off, and pushed me back out there to face the challenges.

10647062_10152421288301589_6241527860181032091_nSo – as promised – the review of the goals I set myself this year:

  1. Read 30 books for the 2014 Goodreads Reading Challenge. – Achieved! I finished up on 54 books for the year, so I blasted that number out of the water.
  2. Build up the business for Dwell Design & Press. – Achieved! I should probably look it up, but I have no idea how many book covers I did this year. I know that it was a lot! Dwell Design & Press seems to be coming more and more known out there.
  3. Finish Tijuana Nights! – Achieved! And published! As well as writing another book and publishing that too!
  4. Re-plan and write Venetian Nights. – Achieved! I have re-planned the whole book, and rewritten the original opening scenes. I’m nearly there, and expect the book to be finished early January 2015.
  5. Release The Mediterranean Source. – NOT-Achieved. However, after some lengthy conversations with my editor, we have decided that it can be released in 2015. Needs further work, and since I wrote the book back in 2008, it needs to be bought up to standard with my current line and quality of work that I’m producing.

In early 2015, I’m going to release the new list of goals that I’ve set for 2015. Again, this coming year looks like it’s set to be another big productive one in terms of writing. Fingers crossed the rest of life settles around me a little for that to happen.

Thanks for being here with me, and thank you for all your support.

All my love, and happy new year.


Happy New Year hd wallpaper 2015


Leave a Comment

  1. Hi Leigh, I found Tijuana Nights via the kindofbook website and just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed it. I’ve pretty much read it in one go as I couldn’t put it down.

    Can’t wait to read Venice Nights in January!

    When I liked your FB page just now, it took you up to 300 I think.

    Keep writing,



    1. Hi Rachel!
      Oh, I’m so pleased you enjoyed it! Seriously, as an author that is honestly the best sort of feedback someone can have. Thanks for letting me know know it was on kindofbook as well! I didn’t even know, so that was a lovely surprise!
      I’m wrapping up the ending of Venice Nights now, and my editor is nearly breaking down my door to get me to finish it. Nearly there! I’ll make the big announcement here and on Facebook once it goes live. One again, thank you for reading Tijuana Nights. It was fun to write.
      Leigh 🙂


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