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BIG Personal News + End-of-Year Wrap-up

Happy holidays, readers! I hope you all have been having a fantastic December. I know I have been. I've got lots of great news to share from this month, and I want to share my thoughts for moving ahead in 2024.

First, BIG personal news!

On Christmas Eve, Daniel Sage, my partner of nearly eight years asked me to marry him! We have been together since high school, and I have loved him forever. We were at the Grand Floridian in Disney World while visiting my mom and sister for the holidays, and we were headed to brunch at the Grand Floridian Cafe. The family stopped in the lobby to take some pictures by the giant Christmas tree, and before I knew it, he was down on one knee. Turns out he had planned this with the majority of my family and nearly all of his. I couldn't have asked for anything more magical than that. The ring is a white gold and tanzanite ring. (Tanzanite is this beautiful gemstone that alternates between blueish and purplish in different lights.) We picked it out together over two years ago now when I was a senior in college. We went shopping together in Richmond, VA after visiting my grandfather there; we only ever planned to try some rings on. But when I put this one on, Daniel and I both looked at each other and had that cinematic moment where we just knew it was the one. Daniel had been saving money for a very long time, and we bought it on the spot. I'm so happy that I finally get to wear it. And now, we have a wedding to plan!

That is... after my last semester of graduate school.... and graduation.... and getting a job and moving to a new state... and book releases! Speaking of...

Update on Ashes and Arrows

Ashes and Arrows is currently in a hybrid draft state where the majority of the book is ready for draft 2 edits and a few sections still remain in a draft 1 stage. Over the last week and over the next week or so, I will be getting the entire book through draft 2. I will say, I have noticed that this time around, my writing is much clearer than in writing previous stories. I think the plot is actually solid this time around! My biggest note on my own work so far is that I need to incorporate more fantastical elements into the story. While this is definitely not one of the more "magical" stories in this series in the traditional sense, I want to bring some more fantastical observations and worldbuilding details into the story. I have put a deposit down on a copyedit/line edit that requires me to turn the book in on January 15th! I scheduled this around Black Friday to help hold myself accountable. I also plan on starting the cover design shortly after the start of the new year. I'm working with my beta reader group to formulate good ideas for that.

2023 in Review

One of the most important parts of the end of the year for me is evaluating how my author business/career has fared over the last year. It helps put my work into perspective so that I can see how much I have accomplished and whether I have continued to move forward. That is always my goal: to move forward and do a bit better than the previous year.

Although the year isn't quite over yet, I have gotten a pretty good idea of where I stand, and I realized that I have surpassed my own expectations. Entering the analysis process, I was pretty nervous. I knew that I hadn't put out nearly as much written content as I wanted to this year, not even close. I promised books that didn't realise yet and had to take quite a bit of time off because of school, mental health concerns, and a car accident (to name a few things).

But despite this, I found great success. I sold nearly five times as many paid copies of my books than in 2022 and saw 19,392 downloads of Chasing Fae's free ebook (as of 12/26/23). This is in great part thanks to my BookBub Featured Deal in May that launched my book to the top of the charts. And of course, thanks to you, my readers, who continued to post reviews, recommend my books via word-of-mouth, and boost all of my social media posts. Because of this, I also earned nearly three times the revenue from royalties alone and funded Ashes and Arrows through a successful presale campaign! All of that means that my 2024 plans will be fully funded without having to do any specific presale efforts.

Plans for 2024

The primary goals for 2024 is to get Ashes and Arrows out before the spring solstice and to graduate my master's program! After that, it is the Ivy Labyrinth series, both serial episodes and volumes 3 and 4. The Chasing Fae prequel is also on my list of things to accomplish as it is in its editing stages. Essentially, everything that was supposed to be released this year, I hope to put out in the new year. We will see how my plans play out given that I have to take four classes this semester instead of three in order to graduate on time. But I am optimistic about the prospects, and I hope to have more information for you as I finish my 2024 business plan and calendar.

That's all I've got for now! Happy holidays, and I hope you all have a great new year. Happy reading!


Cady Hammer

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