2013. It rained a lot, didn’t it? But other stuff also happened, not always so wet and unpredictable, sometimes bookish, sometimes triathlon-ish. Generally it was a good year, although with too many sad moments and friends lost.
Here’s what happened in my world.
I had four books published this year:
Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi––Into the Void hit the shelves in May, climbing onto the New York Times bestseller chart and being generally well-received. Praise wasn’t universal, but then I wasn’t really expecting that. And I used ‘cuss-words’ … which people in that long-time-ago galaxy, it seems, weren’t supposed to do. I had so much fun writing this book and seeing it out there, and I’m really hoping I get to make the jump to light speed in the Star Wars universe again.
Toxic City: Reaper’s Legacy and Contagion were both published, rounding off the trilogy set in a devastated London. These books have been received well and sold OK, and I’d love to write more YA novels. The TV series with ABC didn’t quite happen — it was exciting for a time — but that doesn’t mean to say it won’t happen elsewhere.
Still Life, my novella with Spectral Publications, was launched at the excellent, manic, exhausting World Fantasy Convention in Brighton in November. Yes, true, it’s based on the Iron Maiden song of the same name, and I think it’s one of the best novellas I’ve written. I love writing novellas … and there’ll be at least one more surfacing in 2014.
I also wrote a brand new thriller on spec, Endure, and I’m hoping for some news on that in the New Year. Watch this space! Not only is it one of the first things I’ve ever written without any fantastical elements, I also think it’s one of the best books I’ve ever written.
Looking ahead book-wise … I’m writing The Silence for Titan, the Star Wars book will hit the shelves in paperback, and my Alien novel Out of the Shadows is released early 2014. I’m also delighted that Coldbrook will get its US release through splendid publishers Titan. My own digital publishing enterprise Dreaming in Fire Press will launch in 2014 with six of my novellas, with more novellas, novels and collections to come. I’ll be writing the final draft of my screenplay My Haunted House, a spooky animated kids’ movie. The script Playtime (written with Stephen Volk) is under option, and I’m also hoping for forward movement on a couple more movie projects. I’m writing a graphic novel with my Canadian bro Brett Savory. And I’ll also be working on another new novel. Exciting times!
Now then, non-writing stuff, and the highlight of the year had to be racing my first Ironman! If 2011 was my Three Peaks year and 2012 was my marathon year (I ran two, actually), then 2013 was definitely the year of Ironman. It dominated the first 8 months of the year, both mentally and physically, and the big day itself was definitely one of the most amazing days of my life. I’ve written about it at length elsewhere … if you’re interested, check this out.
I also did several other great races, and 2014 is shaping up to be an even more challenging year. My main race will be Ironman Wales, one step up from Ironman UK in difficulty (it’s in Wales, even the swim is uphill!). I’ll also be racing the Windsor Triathlon, Outlaw Half, and Long Course Weekend, as well as several 100+ mile sportives and a 50k mountain bike race. And they’re just the ones I’ve signed up for!
2013 also had too many sad moments, and the writing community lost some of its finest voices, some of them good friends. I’ll miss them all.
A day away from 2014, I’m eager as ever to get there, and as determined as ever to make it bigger and better than ever. My kids continue to make me proud, my wife continues to put up with me, and I’m lucky to have the friends I have.
If you’ve read this far, thanks for taking the time, and thank you to everyone who continues to read and appreciate my work. I’ve now been writing for a living for over 7 years, and without the continued support of readers that just wouldn’t be possible. I’ll keep writing them if you keep buying them! There’s plenty more to come.
I’d like to wish you all a happy, peaceful, and rewarding new year.