I had hoped to keep this blog as a kind of review/reflection entry, but unfortunately a situation I thought over has reared its ugly head again. Some of you may remember (were you reading carefully? were you?) that after FCon this year, there was some unpleasantness over Allyson Bird’s Bull Running for Girls winning best collection.
[Note: I’ve removed this section of the blog, not because I had a problem with what I’ve written – I don’t – but because I’m aware that people are coming here as a result of a link from a review of the Sixth Black Book of Horror. Whilst I stand by what I said, i would like it if people could just Mark and my stories as stand-alone pieces, rather than in light of the disagreement we had. I’ve read Mark’s story, and it’s very enjoyable, as (I hope) is mine – just groove with the tales, folks].
It’s been a hell of a year! I went back and read my first few blog posts this week, and it reminded me of lots of stuff that’s happened. I started the year in a good place, and am happy to report that I’m ending the year in the same way! Different good place, but good place nonetheless. Looking back, I was very excited about my Ghostwriter collection and some of the other things we were planning, and I still think it’s a shame how that situation turned out. However, I’m also still convinced it was the right decision, made at the right time. Since leaving them, I’ve heard from other GWP authors who had the same kind of concerns that I had, and the company appears to have pulled itself back from most of the product it originally intended to put out to concentrate solely on chapbooks. In its defence, I’ll say that there are authors still involved with GWP who are no fools and whose work I like, so maybe things have improved since I was there – I hope so, and I wish them all the best. Losing the GWP collection, however, did me a huge favour and freed my stuff up for an Ash Tree Press collection. I mean, how cool is that? Really? An ASH TREE PRESS collection! We’re four stories away from a complete and final edit, I’ve seen my proposed cover (I have. it’s fantastic, and exactly what I wanted). So, all’s well that ends well.
Other notable successes this year were getting stories into Gaslight Grotesque, Exotic Gothic 3, Black Static magazine and The Black Book of Horror 6 , so overall this year has been a positive experience (despite some struggles outside of the writing, including having to take a proper job…), but it’s not been without its downsides. I didn’t make the cut for the Tartarus Press Strange Tales 3 or a couple of other anthologies, which was a shame, but you can’t win them all. I’m still waiting for feedback on the novel chapters and the last month or so the writing has gone slow while my brain recovers. Still, a life with no negatives would be a little strange, I think, so I’m good.
And what next? Well, the novel may still be a go-er and if not, then I have another novel idea brewing. I have a long WIP list of stories I want to do, and will definitely be pitching a second collection (I’m at the point where I have almost enough stories). I’ve been invited to contribute to two anthologies, which I’ll definitely do, and of course the ASH TREE PRESS collection, Lost Places, comes out in time for World Horror 2010, in March. How exciting will that be? Very, I tell you, very. I’ve got another short collection almost sorted (no details yet as it’s not definite, but it’s looking hopeful – soon as I know I’ll let you know). But, mostly, you know what? I’m going to keep on enjoying the writing and the worlds I create, and I hope that you might enjoy them as well.
Right, that’s it for the year. Have a great Christmas and New Year, Lords and Ladies, and I’ll see you in 2010!!!