I’ve had a good year. Not an amazing or an astonishing one. I’ve not won any awards or had a book optioned for film or TV or had anything else happen to make the SF&F world go wow! And you know, I’m absolutely fine with that, especially after the past few years that have been so hard all round.
I’ve had two books published in 2023: The Cleaving, and The Green Man’s Quarry. Both have won enthusiastic reviews from readers who’ve understood and appreciated what I was intending to do with those very different stories. I’ve done interviews about both novels, including a whole lot more video than I’ve been used to doing. I’ve been to enjoyable and interesting conventions where fascinating conversations with readers and other writers started with those books and spun off into any number of absorbing topics. Sincerest thanks and all best wishes for the fans and event organisers who devote so much time and dedicated effort to making SF&F fandom the best possible place it can be.
Those two novels bring my published total to 25 books in 25 years, since January 1999 saw the publication of my debut novel, The Thief’s Gamble. This is extremely pleasing. Looking back to that very different world as far as the book trade goes really makes me appreciate the friends I’ve made along the way, and the friends who were there at the start and who are still supporting me. It’s been two and a half decades of constant change, with some major ups and downs, and there’s no way I would still be writing if I was trying to do this on my own. Once again, sincerest thanks and best wishes to all.
I’ve revised a short story that will be published in a great anthology next year, and I’ve done the preliminary work on a shared world project that will be ongoing in 2024. Another very interesting prospect is on the horizon and I’ve spent the last month or so working on that. Plus I’m currently musing on various ideas for the next Green Man book. This is all very satisfactory, as I take a break from online spaces as well as from work until the New Year.
As I say, things are good here, and good shouldn’t be underrated. I am content to live in this moment, just for now. That doesn’t mean I don’t see things are not good for far too many people, for far too many reasons to count. Being in a good place isn’t something I take for granted. So I do what I can, where I can, to help out those who aren’t. Let’s hope for better days ahead for all.
And now I shall go and make some tea, and sit down to continue my first reread of Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising sequence in literally decades. I never owned these books as a kid, but read them from various libraries, along with many others. I have long promised myself that I would buy my own set one day. Last week, I decided that this was that day.