This is more than likely my last post of the year. It’s been another eventful twelve months (okay, I mean awful) globally, and a relatively quiet one personally. I’ve watched a lot (more TV than movies, for the first time), read a lot (but still not enough), and travelled a fair bit. The year seems to have disappeared in a flash. I’m not sure whether that’s because of age-related acceleration, because I’ve been pretty much constantly occupied throughout, or a combination of both.
In terms of writing, 2023 was frustrating. As I’ve alluded to on more than one occasion recently – probably more than a hundred and one occasions actually – there’s something big rumbling along in the background. I still can’t talk about it, and a year of (completely necessary) industry strikes seems to have delayed things further. I’m at the point now where I just want to know if/when it’s going to happen, because that decision impacts the direction my writing ‘career’ is going to take. There’s a part of me itching to get the rights back to all my books and give them the Infected Books treatment, and I have new novels in the pipeline that I desperately want to release out into the wild.
As it stands, I’m planning to release a new book – SHADOWLOCKED – in late April, and, if the stars align, another novel – DIRTY DAY – in October/November 2024. DIRTY DAY is a prequel to my long-mooted THE SPACES BETWEEN series, and I’m planning to continue work on the series, as well as another new novel, in 2024.
I did manage to wrap up a couple of projects this year. AUTUMN: THE LONDON TRILOGY turned out EXACTLY as I’d planned, and I’m really pleased with the reception the books received. The omnibus edition was a nice bonus I hadn’t originally envisaged, but which started to make sense as I pieced the overall story together. On the subject of that colossal release, CHRIS HALL of DLS REVIEWS followed up his great reviews of AUTUMN: DAWN, AUTUMN: INFERNO, and AUTUMN: EXODUS with a superb, 10/10 review of the omnibus which you can read here.
“What we have with this beautifully presented deluxe omnibus edition of ‘Autumn: The London Trilogy’ is nothing short of an absolute triumph in zombie-apocalypse fiction. It’s a heavy tome that’s been carefully crafted to produce a massive, all-encompassing storyline, running at over eight-hundred immensely-engrossing pages. It’s epic in its delivery, yet still holds the characters at its core. Another true masterpiece of post-apocalyptic fiction to add to the author’s already impressive catalogue of end-of-the-world achievements. Honestly, this is such a magnificent read. Truly breathtaking.“
I also completed the first year of my 12STORIES project. That’s been a revelation for me, both in terms of chipping away at my backlog of writing prompts and ideas, and also because it’s allowed me to experiment with new techniques and styles. I’m a creature of habit, and need to be regularly evicted from my comfort zone. There will be more stories in 2024, though not with such regularity as other work is having to take priority.
So, that’s about it for 2023. As always, I wanted to thank you for your ongoing support and interest in my work. It’s always appreciated, and never expected. I can’t believe I’ve got away with it for so long! To my surprise/horror, January 1 2024 will mark 30 years to the day since I sat down at my computer and wrote the first page of STRAIGHT TO YOU. More about that in the New Year.
Until then, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, I wish you and your friends and families the very best for the upcoming holiday season. Complements of the season!
And finally… I mentioned that the 12th of this years 12STORIES was available, and here it is. WISH I COULD BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS is a bit of festive frivolity that I had far too much fun writing. As I’ve mentioned in the introductory comments, I wasn’t sure whether to go down the RICHARD CURTIS rom-com or dark folk horror routes. Decide for yourself after you’ve read it.