Happy New Year, everyone! It’s the time of year when I like to look ahead, make plans, and dream big about the future. It’s also my favorite time to review the list of all the books I want to write someday—my book bucket list, so to speak. I first wrote about this way back in 2015. At the time, I only had three books on the list. Did I knock any of them off the list and get them written? No. In fact, I’m adding to it!
No, I’m not crazy to add more. Hear me out on this.
2022 was transformative for me as a writer. I learned just how much I struggle when facing a blank page. It sounds insane, but apparently having problems with the blank page is a normal thing for a lot of writers. I had no idea until recently. (If only someone had told me this years ago!) Now that I know, it’s allowed me to embrace other forms of writing like dictation—that’s right, I’m a dictator now!—and kick a lot of useless writing practices to the curb. Now I’m writing better, faster, more—and it’s time to dust off the ol’ book bucket list and see what I want to write in my lifetime.
So here we go, the updated list in no particular order:
- I want to write in a shared universe.
You know those enormous worlds belonging to movies, video games, and comics? I would love to contribute to one of those universes. I wrote my first novel as video game fan fiction for my friends. It was thrilling to find weird corners of the video game’s lore and build a whole story around it. It’s like going to a garage sale or a thrift store and finding obscure treasure that no one else wanted. I like that I can make something really special out of that. To be among other creatives and support the shared world would be a dream come true.
P.S. No, you can’t read my first video game fan fiction story. I never finished it, anyway!
[spouseditor here: send me cookies and maybe you can read it]
- I want to write a long mystery adventure series.
I love a good mystery. Growing up, they were all I read—and yes, I would stay up all night to read them. When I wrote the Mikelis books, I focused a bit more on the mystery and I absolutely loved it. I want to write more! Plus, I like that mysteries can wind up being really long series. Writing a really, really, really long series of mysteries is on the bucket list.
- A Kari Hunter spin-off series.
This is another one that’s been on the bucket list since the beginning. Over the years, I’ve had a lot of ideas about what this series could be and I’m excited about the possibilities. The Kari Hunter world is complex and there’s a lot more to explore. The choices seem endless, but I want to be very careful about where I go next—Kari’s stories explore deep magical mysteries, and we’re working toward a tangle of evil that’s only been hinted at. Avoiding all of that and exploring a completely different facet of the world is the challenge. But I might have found it. I just need to figure out when I have time to write it. Priorities.
- A video game novel.
I probably could have lumped this in with “writing in a shared universe,” but I chose to keep it separate because it’s much more specific. If the two items happened to combine one day, and allowed me to hit two birds with one stone, I wouldn’t complain. Writing comedic adventure video game fiction is where I started, and it would feel like coming home.
Although, given how many other items are on the bucket list, I might not be able to get to this one for a long time. So, in the meantime, I’ll just read a lot of LitRPG.
- More Kari Hunter books.
This one probably goes without saying, but I’ll throw it on here in case you were getting nervous. There are a lot of things I enjoy about writing Kari. But what keep me writing her story are the themes in the books—they’re always personal. I like that I’m always finding new themes to explore with her. It’s also helpful that there’s a broader story here that I hope to tell.
There you have it! My 2023 bucket list. Did I miss anything? Did I surprise you? What do you think I should write next? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
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