Friday 16 January 2015

A Belated Happy New Year!

How was 2014 for you? It was pretty diverse for me. I published my translation of Casanova's Story Of My Escape. It's a book that people seemed to be waiting for, and I had some lovely nice feedback from people who have been waiting years to read this adventure in English.

Still, if Casanova was "important", then my story in Sanity Clause Is Coming was necessary. Pantocrime was written in Autumn 2012, but finally came out in time for Christmas 2014. It's the least seasonal book I could ever plug in mid-January, but if you fancy a reminder of the hangover of Christmas Past, there's no finer collection of festive horror on the market.

Away from writing, I appeared in one play and two smaller shows in 2014. This included wearing a fantastic shirt as Malcolm in Bedroom Farce:

And wearing a fantastic mask in what can only [politely] be described as Kafka meets the Brothers Grimm, Twelve Angry Pigs. I also played a Victorian architect in a piece called The Fall, about a church spire which collapsed in Sheen in the 19th Century.

The theatrical fun continued when I directed a show for the first time ever, Puss In Boots. This was harder work than I ever imagined (and I didn't think it would be easy), but the company put on a great show, and we raised a bunch of cash for charity, hurrah! And my sister in law, the very talented Rachel Lawston, designed this brilliant poster:

I also took on a new day job, Advertising Manager for a membership organisation. That meant I was able to walk to work, which is utterly brilliant. After a while I moved to a new flat ten minutes up the road, meaning I can now walk to work ten minutes quicker.

The new job, and its walking-based commute, has been particularly good for coming up with ideas, and for thinking about writing. Over the course of 2014, I wrote three complete short stories, a dozen drabbles, three pieces of flash fiction and, as I know that doesn't look like much so far, I also translated a complete 80,000 word French novel that has never before been available in English.

As a result of all that writing activity, I won three competitions, at either end of the year. First up was a New Year's Resolution competition on drablr,com. I won first prize with the imaginatively titled New Year's Resolution. There were no runner up prizes, but it's possibly worth mentioning that I also came in third place with the slightly more imaginatively titled New Year's Resolution 2.0.

Then in December, I won two prizes on The Cult Of Me. That blog runs regular competitions which to date I'd failed in spectacularly. In the space of three days though, I learned that I came third in the December short story competition with my piece Hansel & Grendel, and had been selected as one of the Twelve Drabbles of Christmas with The Santa Nick Hordes. That story was posted on New Year's Day 2015, a great way to start a new year.

So, on to 2015. I think it will be a busy year for me as a writer. There are two anthologies coming out with my stories: Grimm & Grimmer 4, and A Time Lord For Change. In the former, I have a science-fiction retelling of The Frog Princess, called The Frag Prince. In the latter, I have two Doctor Who drabbles. It's all for charity, and this also represents my first published Doctor Who stuff since Pierrot le Who back in 2008's Shelf Life, so it's terribly exciting.

I've also got a new collection of short stories in the final stages of being collated, edited and formatted. And that novel I translated still needs to be edited, it's in something of a rough state at the moment (try having a character called Frida in your book in this auto-correcting age). I'm not sure when that will be out, but it's going to be worth looking out for. On top of that I'm hoping to release a few novellas later this year, at least one of which will be under an alias for reasons. Some of this will be the zombie material I've talked about here before.

Mostly, this will also be the year I get married, which is terribly exciting, and possibly also the reason why I've stepped up my writing schedule a bit - I've got a wedding to save for!

Anyway, procrastination blogs aside, I should probably get on with some writing. Have a very happy 2015!

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