The Year Ahead

2018 is in the history books. Done and dusted.

As a writer, 2018 was my most productive and successful year to date.

Imposter Syndrome, co-edited by James Everington and yours truly, was shortlisted for a British Fantasy Society Award. Unfortunately, we missed on the award (damn you, Mark Morris and your wonderful New Fears anthologies), but we were incredibly grateful for being nominated.

My story “Anderson” was recorded by the fab folks at The Other Stories podcast and released back in November.Check out their website to download or stream the fantastic twenty minute production. I’m really grateful to the team for their hard work and skill in producing this episode.

My story “Hide. Go Seek” was chosen by The Liar’s League in London as part of their Halloween season. The poet, Math Jones performed the story to a sold out audience. I gather it went down a treat! Check out the video of the performance on the Liar’s League website.

My story “The Fifty-Nine Sound” was published at Trigger Warning Short Fiction. This story is my ode to Brian Fallon and The Gaslight Anthem. I adore the artwork for this story and hope that you will visit the Trigger Warning website to read the story in full.

I’ve also had a couple of things accepted that haven’t been released yet so more news on those as and when. Whilst I haven’t had as many stories published as I would’ve liked this year, the quality of my rejections has been high and I’ve received some great feedback about my work. I’m taking the positives.

Overall in 2018, my productivity has been through the roof in comparison to previous years. Without delving too much into word count, I’d happily state that I wrote more in 2018 than every year (bar 2017) combined. I’m comfortable in my writing routine, I’ve set aside the time I need to write and I make sure my arse is in the chair and my brain is engaged.

My first novel Round Here, is finished. It needs A LOT of work before it can be sent out to publishers. It received good feedback from one editor and not so good feedback from another. I like elements of the story, but perhaps not the finished product. I’ll revisit Upheath one day and mold the book into something different, but right now, I’m happy with the lessons I’ve learned and to use those on the next project.

I’ve finished and polished a novella, Territory that I’m hoping to find a home for in 2019. It’s set in an isolated rural community in Finland and deals with the problems of isolation, nationalism and the encroachment of man into nature. Beta readers have enjoyed it, so fingers crossed on this one.

I write this blog having just started another novel. It’s New Year’s Day and what better time to start. I’ll share some details about it once the first draft is done. I’m taking my time with it. I’m a better writer now than when I started Round Here, I’ll use the lessons of that book to inform and fuel me as I move on.

Goals for 2019

To complete the latest novel – including multiple drafts and make some progress with getting published.

To maintain a steady, consistent writing habit and meet my weekly word count targets.

To get a couple of stories accepted for audio recordings and work towards collecting them together, perhaps with self-publishing in mind.

To listen to more writing podcasts, read more craft books and to develop as a writer in every spare minute I have.

All the best to everyone who reads this for the new year. I hope it is a happy, successful and healthy year ahead.