Looking for more from Sean McLachlan? He also hangs out on the Midlist Writer blog, where he talks about writing, adventure travel, caving, and everything else he gets up to. He also reproduces all the posts from Civil War Horror, so drop on by!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

My writing year: a look back and a look forward

This year has been an important one for my writing career. I had two military history books published, Armies of the Adowa Campaign 1896: the Italian Disaster in Ethiopia and Ride around Missouri: Shelby's Great Raid 1863. Both have received positive reviews on Amazon and on various blogs and magazines. The Adowa book has been especially well received because it’s the only book in English that covers this campaign in detail. That’s one of the fun things about working for Osprey Publishing—you get to break new ground.

I have a book on the James-Younger gang’s Northfield raid coming out from them next year and I’m starting a book on Wyatt Earp. There may be more Osprey projects in the works for 2012 but those aren’t finalized yet.

I also continued to blog for Gadling and wrote a series on living in Harar, Ethiopia. I’ll be continuing my regular postings this coming year as well as writing a series on the Orkney Islands and hopefully another visit to Ethiopia.

My biggest advance in my career was publishing my Civil War novel A Fine Likeness via Kindle Direct Publishing. I’ve blogged about why a traditionally published author would choose self-publishing.  The novel came out less than two months ago so it’s too soon to see if this is a good career move, but it's already garnered some sales and positive reviews. A couple of weeks ago I followed up with a short story collection called The Night the Nazis Came to Dinner, and other dark tales.

So what’s in store for 2012? My focus will be fiction. Of course I’ll continue to blog for Gadling and write for Osprey because that’s where I earn 90% of my income. The big change now, however, is that my fiction career has finally started. After waiting for months or even years for rejections from publishers who kept telling me how much they liked my writing, I’ve taken my fiction career into my own hands. I have several old manuscripts I’ll be polishing and publishing, as well as works-in-progress that I’ll be finishing, editing, and publishing.

First order of business is getting a print edition of A Fine Likeness prepared. This will be followed in short order by four fantasy novels, a novella set in Viking Greenland, a historical fantasy novella set in an 18th century Germany where paganism never died, and the as-yet-unnamed sequel to A Fine Likeness. There may be a few other surprises in store. Writing has a tendency to surprise even the writer!

Of course I’ll also be keeping this blog up to date, so check in regularly or add an RSS feed.

See you in 2012!


  1. Very impressive, my friend!!
    Happy New Year, Sean - and wishing you much success in 2012.

  2. Wishing you a very blessed and prosporous New Year!

    T Denise Clary :-)

  3. Awesome stuff Sean...congrats!


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