New Year Ruminations

2015 has been a good year. We’ve had good health, the kids have been well. My wife gave birth to our 4th daughter July 30th, and she’s going great guns – as of this writing, she’s trying to crawl. Time passes so quickly.

On the writing front, I landed an agent this year. I was signed by the wonderful Sharon Pelletier at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. I wrote a mystery/thriller with a supernatural element, and we’re in the process of trying to find a publisher for it. It’s written as the first in a series, and I honestly don’t think there’s anything like it out there.

I also published the long-gestating horror PAST DARK, and collaborated with Bernard Schaffer on his CONFEDERATION REBORN series. A collection of our co-written shenanigans can be found in THE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN KIRN available now on Kindle.

I worked with David Hulegaard on a little project of ours called PLAYLIST, in which we both wrote stories based upon our favourite music. We published our efforts and they’ve been favourably recieved by both our readerships. His mini-collection is titled DARK BEYOND THE BLUE and is based upon the music of Hammock. My own, CITY OF NIGHT, is based upon the pre-1980’s work of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.

Far From Home: The Complete Trilogy sells well. Combining all 3 series together in one huge volume, I think it is good value to readers in that they get a decent discount on the series as a whole.

Writing slowed down after the birth of Lola at the end of July, and I didn’t see that coming. But what’re you gonna do, eh? Life happens. I have written a few short things since then, but nothing I’m happy releasing right now. Maybe in the new year.

This year I upgraded to the PS4, and had a lot of fun playing METAL GEAR SOLID GROUND ZEROES, and the truly vast and epic WITCHER 3. I’m currently pew-pewing away at STAR WARS BATTLEFRONT. I think it’s an 8/10 game to be honest. It’s lacking that Storyline Mode, and I think that in certain other modes you soon run out of interest with it. But I’m hoping for some decent updates to it this year. We’ll see. I’ve not completed Witcher 3 yet, so I’ll probably return to that. Also on the cards (loaned to me by a friend) is SHADOWS OF MORDOR which I’m looking forward to.

On the movie front, there was THE FORCE AWAKENS, MAD MAX, CREED, and a few other things. BLOODLINE on TV was amazing. THE BLACKLIST is over the top but awesome. There was a lot of good stuff to watch. And I’ve still not watched Season 3 of ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK . . .

Musically, there was ROGER WATERS’ THE WALL LIVE, and THE TIES THAT BIND from The Boss. RATTLE THAT LOCK by David Gilmour was also a solid effort.

So on the writing front, I have a lot going on in 2016.

January sees the release of PLANET OF ICE by David Hulegaard and myself, which serves as the sequel to AGE OF DESTINY (in what we both hope is an ongoing collaboration. Indeed, there has already been some conversations about book 3, so watch this space).

In February, I’m taking the Far From Home series in a new direction with FAR FROM HOME CHRONICLES. The first book will be out by the end of the month, and is called THE COLD LIGHT OF STARS.

In March, that will be followed by THE EMBERS OF LOST WORLDS which also tackles the storyline of the abandoned BLACK NOVA serial, for those readers keeping track.

I’m hoping that Bernard and I get to work on more CONFEDERATION REBORN this year. I’ve really enjoyed what we’ve done so far. And the same can be said of working with David. Two solid writers who are a joy to work with. Also on the collaboration front, I’ll hopefully get around to writing the sequel to OPERATION CHIMERA with Matt Cox this year. It’s certainly long overdue.

For 2016 I’d like to have my thriller find a good publisher, and get to work on the sequel. I’d also like to write something a little more literary that I’ve had in mind for a long while. I’d like more readers to discover PAST DARK as I put a lot of work into that book.

My plan is to lose 100lb in weight this year. I’ll be recording what I’m doing, and keeping track of my loss, and will (if I manage it!) put all of this into a publication of some kind to help others looking to lose lots of weight. My weight has plagued me for years, and I’m currently at my biggest. So to hit that weight loss by years end will be fantastic, and I firmly believe that simply counting calories and having moderate exercise will do it.

Reading fell by the wayside a bit this year, for various reasons, but I’m hoping to get back on track in 2016. The best book I read was THE MARTIAN. It employed real, plausible science in a story that was thrilling and extremely funny. And Mr. Weir’s success in transitioning from an independent author to a big name in SF is to be applauded. It’s not luck, it’s the power of his work.

And for my fellow writers wondering when they’ll catch a break, I say this: hang on in there. Keep at it. The strength of your work, the power of something crafted with care and perseverance, will see you alright. Don’t be afraid to try new things; similarly, don’t feel that you can’t write to your audience and cater for demand. In my case, I have an established series (FAR FROM HOME) that’s doing well. I love writing those books. On the other hand, a book like PAST DARK hasn’t found its readership.

But that’s okay. It’ll happen. And it’ll happen for you, too. Exciting stories that are tight, controlled and have propulsive plots. Great covers that catch your eye. Ongoing series featuring characters readers can get to know and feel comfortable with. If you have these elements working in tandem, you’re onto a winner in my opinion. And in-between these books, you can experiment in other areas. Try your hand at romance. Or have a go at some non-fiction. Be fearless.

That’s what 2016 is going to be: The Year Of Being Fearless.

Why not join me?

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2 thoughts on “New Year Ruminations

  1. What a great year you’ve had – so many positives! Wishing you all the best for 2016, and hoping we can maybe work together again in the near future…

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