The Year in Review

Wherein I reflect on the achievements of 2021.

Read to the end to find out how you can score a free digital comic (based on characters from my upcoming novel) and gain entry to win a $500 Amazon gift card!

I’m not sure that I achieved my goal of writing more for my website this year. It wasn’t so much a New Year’s resolution as it was a promise to myself. Be more proactive, I scolded. Take an interest in your own writing career and others will too, I insisted. I took my own advice, though reflecting on the achievements of 2021, I could have done so much more.

Isn’t that always the way? The end of the year appears like a snow storm, threatening to bury everything green and thriving under ice. All my achievements become hidden in the snow. They seem distant and meager when faced with the vast white nothingness ahead. This article is my snow shovel. Under the hardpack of the new year, there are glimmering gems. There are memories and ideas worth digging for. So I dig, hunched and trembling in the cold, frost building atop my shoulders as if threatening to bury me along with the rest of 2021.

Horror Writer’s Association (HWA)

Late this year I submitted an application to the HWA and was subsequently granted active status among their ranks. I’ve been sitting on this bit of news for weeks. This is the third time I have become a member of the HWA (having let my membership lapse in the past due to a variety of reasons), but the first time I have ever been an “active member.”

Liminal Spaces Anthology
Liminal Spaces

Those who follow me closely know that this year marks my return to writing short stories after having completed two novels back to back. There were a couple duds as I found my sea legs, but I eventually wrote “The Black Door,” which you can now read in the truly excellent anthology, Liminal Spaces, edited by Kevin Lucia.

Tommy and the Order of Cosmic Champions

One of the aforementioned novels I wrote is Tommy and the Order of Cosmic Champions, based on a story idea by Anthony Grate. Let’s get the big news out of the way first: This novel will be published in the fall of 2022! For those who have been following Tommy’s journey from way back in 2019, you’ll be excited to know that the book is already deep into final edits and formatting, preparing for the 2022 release. Leading up to the book release, there will be tons of merchandise and promotional materials to look forward to. But first, the announcement trailer:

I’ve been revealing most of the merchandise as it was created, but you can also view everything in the OOCC shop, including action figures, soundtracks, mini comics, and more. Most of these items will be available closer to our release date, but you can snag an OOCC t-shirt right now.

For those who missed previous announcements, here are a couple more videos that Anthony Grate put together for our project. The first is an animated version of the characters from Tommy’s favorite cartoon, Order of Cosmic Champions. The second video is for the novel’s theme song, written and performed by none other than Stan Bush.

I wish I could take credit for all of these amazing promotional materials, but all credit goes to Anthony Grate of Retro-Daze. As I was writing the novel, he was hard at work pulling together an incredible team of artists and musicians to create an entire universe of supplemental material for our novel. Truly, if you decide to enter the world of Tommy and the Order of Cosmic Champions, you may discover the lines between worlds are not as solid as you thought.

I highly recommend you sign up for the OOCC newsletter over on the official webpage so you don’t miss any of the amazing things to come: (Subscribe for updates and you’ll get access to the FREE digital mini comic and be entered to win a $500 Amazon Digital Gift Card!) Once on the website, you’ll notice there’s also a Discord server you can join, where both Anthony Grate and I are online and happy to answer any questions.

I’m suspicious of these uncovered achievements. I feel as though there are more lurking just beneath the next snow drift. I am certain I haven’t dug deep enough or long enough. And yet, here we are. My hands are cramped and my face is chapped from the cold winds. The end of the year approaches swiftly now, and there’s a hot cup of coffee waiting for me inside.

As 2022 closes in, I’m left planning my next moves. I have a few ideas for stories I want to write, another novel simmering in the recesses of my brain, and the notion that a few quiet moments with friends and family is time well spent.

Happy holidays, one and all. I wish you a wonderful new year.

8 thoughts on “The Year in Review”

  1. From the outside looking in, I think you accomplished a great deal in 2021. Perhaps third time lucky with your HWA membership?
    Best wishes for 2022!

  2. Tony, you are a phenomenal writer and a talented artist. I am happy to hear you have ideas simmering in your cauldron. Thank you for keeping us updated, enjoy the Twilight Zone marathon and have a happy New Year!

  3. It looks to me that you accomplished quite a bit this past year. I am looking forward to seeing what’s next.
    Enjoy the Twilight Zone marathon. I’ve been watching most of the day.

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