Friday, 30 December 2016

2016: My Writing Year

So 2016, eh? An, uh, 'interesting' year for many of us... for reasons I'm sure you don't need me to remind you of.

But just judging 2016 based on what it meant for my writing, it was a good year. In terms of books published I looked very prolific, but in reality this was caused by the vagaries of small-press publishing schedules rather than anything else.

Trying To Be So Quiet 
A ghost story released as a (brilliantly designed) hardback - a first for me. Jim McLeod of Ginger Nuts Of Horror included TTBSQ in his Top 20 Books of the year, and Anthony Watson mentioned it in his 2016 Review post on his Dark Musings site. Sadly Boo Books are no longer with us, so I'll be looking for a new home for this one.

The Quarantined City
Finally the whole story could be told... stories, in fact. After 'publisher problems' prevented this being released episodically as originally planned, the brilliant Infinity Plus stepped in to release the whole novel. It's the book of mine I'm probably most proud of, and Anthony Watson picked it as his second favourite novel of the year, calling it a "truimph". And of course I'm going to be crass enough to mention again that this one got reviewed in the bloody Guardian.

Paupers' Graves
Part of the Hersham Horror novella range, this one stretched me as a writer, involving a fair amount of historical research (the setting is based on a real life cemetery here in Nottingham). Fortunately the hard work seemed to pay off, with Mark West including Paupers' Graves in his annual Westies awards; Horror Novel Reviews in this 2016 ListAnthony Watson mentioning it in his year end piece; as did Kit Power in his personal round up for Ginger Nuts of Horror.

The Hyde Hotel
My first book as editor, alongside Dan Howarth. I loved putting together this - thanks to all the stellar authors involved. And again, Anthony Watson (a man I owe a drink to, should we ever met) mentioned this in his roundup of the year.

Stories & Non-Fiction: 
Including reprints, I had seven stories published this year. The new ones were 'Hooked' (Thirteen Signs), 'A Glimpse of Red' (Great British Horror #1: Green &Pleasant Land) and 'Premonition' (Reflections). And although not released in 2016, Kit Power (a cracking writer in himself) mentioned 'The Man Dogs Hated' (from Falling Over) as one of his favourite short stories he read this year in his own annual round up.

I also had two pieces in the Writers On Writing series from Crystal Lake, both republished in the Omnibus Edition: 'Embracing Your Inner Shitness' and 'Fictional Emotions; Emotional Fictions'.

I attended more writing related events than ever before, and had a blast at all of them: Edge-Lit 5, Sledge-lit 2, Derby Writers' Day, Nottingham Library Local Writers Showcase, and of course the annual three days of talking books, eating food, launching books, drinking beer and buying books that is Fantasycon.

Coming Up...
2017 will see me hard at work upon a novel, as well as hopefully see some more short stories published. I'm tentatively thinking about what tales should feature in my next collection too, so hopefully they'll be some news on that.

See you next year, everyone!