Tuesday, 20 December 2016

End of Year Round-Up 1/2

Craig! Craig!


What the hell have you been doing all year?

There's a nice way to ask that, you know. And there's a nice way to answer it...which this ain't. It's the...dum-dum-dum...End of Year Round-Up...PART ONE!

(There's a jingle with that. It's inaudible, though...unlike...segueeeee!)


Three are out so far - The Dead Boy, A Home by the Sea, and RAIN. I've received Vigil (Lee David Foreman) and The Love of the Dead (Molly King) for approval, so it won't be much longer until those stories are unleashed. It's interesting to see how well audiobooks sell compared to paperbacks...they sell more, for me. Others, maybe not, but it's added revenue that'll buy a bag of coke every now and then. Erm.


All stories which reverted to me are out again, with new covers. All the ones I want in paperback are done, too, and all those I want in audio are either done, or contracted to be done. The only paperbacks I still want to issue are the fantasy books, and that's just taking so long it's a downer, man. Let's talk about upbeat stuff instead, shall we?


This is, I guess, part of 'the craft' now. I'm not an artist, but I'm improving, and I'm happy with the covers I have (apart from the Rythe Quadrilogy, but I'm not ready to release the fourth book yet anyway, and when I do I want everything right - paperbacks, too, so I can draw a line under this saga). If you want to have a look at the covers as they stand (and I ain't changing 'em n'more), they're all updated in the 'sample' section above.

If you don't want to look at my spiffing covers, here's a picture of a squirrel:

New work

I released The Dead Boy at the start of the year. UNIT 731 (a novella) came out from DarkFuse earlier in the year, too, but mostly it's been about short stories, getting older work sorted so I can move onto greener (newer) pastures, and learning some new (boring but essential) skills.

A few people asked me for shorts for anthologies, and I wrote a lot for charity - 'Pigs in Blankets' and 'To Knit a World, to Darn a Life'.

Also published: 'Another Painted Bauble Falling from a Dead Tree' on Meghan Hyden's blog, because she asked and I like her enough to write a story for her.

I've a few more coming out which I can't talk about, because the publisher will announce the line-up nearer the time.

Bad Apples came out, with my story 'October's End'. So, that was nice. Ooh, and 'Those Borrowed Faces' came out in 'What Goes Around'. Ooh, and 'The House of Oak' was published by DarkFuse, online.

I think I might have been paid for those. I might have bought some new socks. I needed socks, so that's possibly true.


Loads - mostly, it's been a tedious year - one I needed, but nonetheless...zzzzzz.

I hate editing old work, but some needed doing so I could get the paperbacks shipshape. Bookshape. Whatever. Shut up.

And, because of this (learning how to format a paperback) Iain Rob Wright's A-Z of Publishing (an online, subscription-based resource) proved invaluable this year. Good man, and a very useful place to learn what you're doing, even if you've been doing a while (like me) - there's a whole hell of a lot I didn't know I didn't know...

Rejections and Acceptances

I didn't get rejected at all this year. I had an acceptance or two, and a few people asked me for short stories, which is a lovely thing indeed.

Why didn't I get rejected? Because I barely sent anything out...

Good trick, that.

Finished Work

PIG, with Edward Lorn. Moved on a very little with novels, but I did write a shit ton...just not on anything new. Insert squiggly non-committal emoji here.

The Business

I'm out of Kindle Unlimited. I'm making roughly the same amount as I was before, and to be honest, I don't miss farting around with free/99p promotions at all. As I mentioned earlier, Iain Rob Wright's 'A-Z of Publishing' has been a massive boon to me this year, with regard to learning more of the 'back end' of self-publishing (yes, yes, pfnarr pfnarr).

Out and About

Only got to one convention - Horror in the East. A cosy, small affair, but it was nice as I had a good natter with David Moody and met the actual, incomparable Simon Coleby.

The Craft

Don't write 'he thought to himself'...for fuck's sake. Repetition and redundancy are on my mental checklist for second drafts, as is passive voice - but I didn't have a mental checklist when I wrote the earlier fantasy work. Wish I had. Would've saved a ton of time. Also, on my mental checklist for future work, I've added, 'Don't fuck it up.'

In part two, I'll write about successes and failures and my plans for next year. I think. I don't actually know what I'm going to write, or say, until it's too late.

Love you. x