2018 … my writing year

December 21st, 2018 • Posted in News |

2018 has been another busy year for me, and the twelfth year that I’ve worked as a full-time writer. Working from home has always been something I enjoy, especially as I’m lucky enough to have my own office/library/den. I’m often asked about motivation and discipline when I tell people I work at home, and I usually say that I’m quite good at settling down to write once my wife’s gone off to work. I guess it does work out––I get the books written, and I’m still earning a living, despite the ongoing trials of being a professional writer––but for me there’s always an accusing voice at the back of my head when I’m not actually working at my desk. It’s quite draining, because on the other hand I know very well that a lot of what a writer does isn’t actual writing. There’s thinking time, prevarication (thinking time), exercise (thinking time), dog walking (thinking time) … you get the drift. So for 2019 I’m trying to shed that guilty voice. It’s not all about getting words out every single hour. It’s about the end product, and however lazy I feel I’m sometimes being, I still write a couple of novels per year, short stories, treatments, screenplays … In short, I need to allow myself to believe I’m doing things right.

Sometimes, though, disruption happens that can’t be avoided. This year we had some work done to our house. It took about 6 weeks in total, maybe a bit more, and that was a really disruptive time for my work. There’s not only the noise and chaos, but also drinks and biscuits for the workmen, chatting to them, and the mental disruption that goes with that. I’m quite happy writing in the hustle and bustle of a coffee shop (where I’m writing this!), but when I’m at home I need peace and relative silence (apart from music). It’s even tough sometimes when my family are home. So those 6 weeks were pretty unproductive.

And yet … 2018 was a good year. I wrote three novels this year (well, maybe two and three-quarters), which by any standard is pretty good going.

The first is still unannounced (more details soon, watch this space in the New Year).

The second was The Edge, the third book in the Relics trilogy. Wrapping up that story was hard work––any trilogy is tough to write, and I’m honestly not sure I’m going to rush into one again soon. But I’m delighted with how it’s turned out, and it’ll hit the shelves next June.

The third novel was Firefly: Generations which I delivered to Titan just days ago. There seems to be a lot of buzz about these new novels, so it’ll be great to see that one out there sometime next year.

I also continued working on Playtime, the script I’ve written with the excellent Stephen Volk, and which is still in development. Hopefully that’ll move forward on 2019.

Books published this year were Blood of the Four (with Christopher Golden), The Folded Land (Relics book 2), and the novella Rime from PS Publishing. Diversion Books in the USA reissued the four Novels of the Hidden Cities (again in collaboration with Chris). I also had quite a few short stories published in anthologies such as Hark! The Herald Angels Scream, New Fears 2, Phantoms, and This Dreaming Isle/

I had a fantastic time at the International Vampire Film and Arts Festival in Transylvania along with my partners in crime Rio Youers and Christopher Golden. It’s a beautiful part of the world and we couldn’t have been made to feel more welcome. I also attended FantasyCon (of course) in Chester.

Next year I’m Guest of Honour at EdgeLit in July, and there are a couple of other conferences/festivals where I might be a guest, I’ll post details as and when they’re firmed up.

2019 is looking to be very exciting indeed. First and foremost, the movie of The Silence will be released! I can’t say much more yet––announcements coming soon––but it’ll be great to see it out there, and Titan will be releasing a movie tie-in edition of the novel. Books due out include The Edge (Relics book 3) and Firefly: Generations. I’m also hopeful that My Haunted House, the spooky animated kids’ film I wrote, will go into production.

I’m developing a spec TV pilot, which will be my first job in the new year, and I also have a screenplay I’m itching to write.

I’ll be working on a new novel, and for a bit of a change I’ll be writing it longhand. I’ve spoken with friends who do this and it really appeals to me. I wrote my novella Rime longhand a couple of years ago, and it was a really freeing experience. I’ve got notebooks and fountain pens at the ready, and once I begin I’ll be moving around, spending more time out of the house writing, and leaving the damn phone at home!

So, it’s been a good writing year for me, and 2019 is looking to be very exciting indeed. I hope you’ll come along for the ride. It’s the readers who make all this possible, and I sometimes still pinch myself when I realise I make a living out of daydreaming. I pinched myself even more, and even harder, when I recently watched The Silence (it’s brilliant)! So thank you for continuing to read my work.

Lastly, a big thanks to Tim Love who maintains my website, keeps the news up to date, and blogs about stuff when I forget!

Season’s Greetings to you all, and I’ll see you in 2019.

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