Friday, 4 December 2015

End of Year Round-Up Part 1/2

I didn't write as much as I usually do. Life kind of got in the way. But that's OK - I think that's what life's supposed to do - remind us it's not just words on paper.

Going to split this post into Reissues, Published Work, Out and About, and The Craft.


Rights to a load of novels and novellas revert to me this year. I'm a hybrid author, which I didn't really get until this year. The publishers, Grand Mal Press, Crowded Quarantine Publications, Evil Jester Press - all of them took a chance on my work and they're brilliant and lovely, still. But that's a ton of back catalogue I can promote on my I'm doing that. I reissued every novella and novel on my own: RAIN, The Estate (renamed to 'Damned to Cold Fire'), The Love of the Dead, A Stranger's Grave, A Home by the Sea, and The Walls of Madness, Spiggot. I also release five doubles packages, as a new line from me, called 'RED LINE HORROR'.

I probably forgot something else. Nevermind.

Published work:

Flesh and Coin, Masters of Blood and Bone, and Left to Darkness all came out with DarkFuse. Spiggot, Too and Death by a Mother's Hand I issued all on my own.

I wrote a short story which is in an anthology put together by Matt Shaw. The anthology's still #1 seller in horror anthologies - that's very nice. Doesn't make me a #1 bestseller. No.

I wrote and submitted some other short stories, too. Some have been accepted, some I decided to publish on my own. The Dead Boy will be out in January, and that's all mine. UNIT 731 will be out from DarkFuse in January, Highwayman will be released (DarkFuse) in December 2016. All cool.

I got rejected a few times this year, which perhaps sucked...but did it? You know those memories from days gone by Facebook offers up from time to time? My wife posted one that reminded me it's not all sunshine and rainbows being a writer, and rejection is part and parcel of it. Here's the photo, and it's a damn good reminded to not be such a whiny plonker about someone turning down a story:

Thinking 'oh woe is me' doesn't cut it. Wrote my first novel around 2004, spent bloody ages submitting that and others and frankly, doing it all wrong. But trying really hard to learn because it was what I wanted to do. I was doing it - just wasn't very good at the writing bit or the submitting bit. I got nowhere, until I got somewhere. This is my first published novel, RAIN. Since this first print, it's on a third edition. And this photo is from 2011. I've got something like thirty novels and novella out now. No, I'm not being a knob. I'm happy about it, yes, but I've a point, and it's this: Don't give up. Also, don't be a whiny baby about rejection. Boo-hoo, nobody loves me. But worms taste shit, so might as well work harder, eh? :P

Still got a few other submissions out and about, but only a couple of short stories and one novel. I'm holding the novel back because I'm ahead on books owed. I'll let you know how they go. Which leads nicely to...

Out and About:

What? How does that lead nicely to FCon? It doesn't. Possibly the worst segue in the history of this blog. Who cares? I don't. Do you? No. Well, here's a short bit and a picture.

FCon was the only convention I attended this year - there's a round up of that already, if you want to glance back over some of the older posts. But here's my favourite picture of the weekend, because friends.

The Craft

Never really wrote about this before. Never really considered it. I always thought writing was kind of like any innate skill - think about it too hard and you'll fuck it up. I know I've got better - that's not a boast - I really have and it was revisiting the first novel I ever wrote that drove it home. I wrote it (Rythe Awakes) around 2003-2004. I've long known it needed sorting out. I didn't know until this year just how much work it needed. Then, it took a year to write. I wrote it lunchtimes and evenings, fitting it around a full-time job and a ton of weed. This year, I lost around two months solid work on it, rewrote it from top to bottom. The story was sound, but 12 years ago I just didn't have the tools, or the skills, for the job. I know more now...but enough?

No. I don't think it's ever going to be enough. I'm learning again, though, and that's a good thing. Feel like I've learned more this year since my first novel acceptance in 2010.

In 2/2 I'll write a bit about successes, failures, the business, publishing and plans for the future and as every year hope not only that these round-ups help people starting out, but me, too. Sometimes it's good to look back.

Love you, as always x

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