It’s that time of year again, the time when everybody on the internet makes a list of the cool things they’ve done during the year so that you can read about it, feel a little envious, and hopefully get some good ideas for next year. So here it is, my post looking back at the craziness that was 2013.
It’s been a good year for me on the publications front. I’ve had a number of short stories published, and have even pushed a few of my previously-published shorts out as self-published stories on Amazon.
Tiger, Tiger is available right now in Ugly Babies, a creative and entertaining mix of art, poetry and short stories all about the ugly babies from your worst nightmares. I wrote this story specifically for this anthology and it was a pleasure working with Sydney Leigh, the editor. She saw the vision I had for the story and helped me to realise it. Of all my stories, this one made me cry the most while writing it. There’s a lot of emotion that goes into this art and I put all of it into Tiger, Tiger.
The Colour of Tears will shortly be in an upcoming edition of SQ Mag, this speculative fiction magazine is available completely free of charge and they publish wonderful, thought-provoking and intelligent fiction. It’s well worth a look! Tears is the result of a writing prompt from the Writing Excuses podcast, the promp was to write a story with an art-based magic system. I added a greedy magician, his debt-collector and a little girl to make another emotional story. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Letters From The Devil will appear in Dark Fairy Tales Revisited by Horrified Press in early – mid 2014. This dark story was inspired by a Brother’s Grimm fairy tale about a young woman who’s father accidentally gives her to the devil. My favourite line from my story is “It’s heart-out time, mother.”
Apart from the three new short stories listed above, I have completed the first draft of The Dance of the Dead this year (I’m currently working on the first re-write of this dark fantasy novel). I’ve also started the first draft of a historical fantasy novel set in ancient Egypt. To round it off, I also completed two more short stories that are currently out on submission – hold thumbs for me!
It’s been a good, productive year for me.
Wow! I have read a lot of books this year! I’m including audio books as books I’ve “read”. These are five of my favorites.
The Lions of Al Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay. This is one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read. It was my first GGK novel and I am well and truly hooked. Five out of Five Stars!
Theft of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan. So much fun! This rollicking adventure story had me hooked and laughing out loud from early on. Don’t let the apparent simplicity of the story fool you, Sullivan has a complex plot set in a very well-realised world for you to enjoy in the Ryria Revelations.
The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie. Holy monkey! The Blade Itself was a revelation to me. Abercrombie not only shows me how much I still have to learn as a writer, he also makes me see how good fantasy can be. The Blade Itself blew me out of the water. I am humbled. I am awed. I can’t help but see the amateurism in other books now. Thanks Joe.
Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan. I loved Promise of Blood. I also won it in a giveaway on Reddit. Score! Another book with surprising depth and wonderful characters, and a really interesting magic system.
Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. Mistborn was my first Sanderson and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s fun, interesting and well realised. And, of course, Sanderson’s magic system is worth reading the book for all on it’s own.
Those were my favourite books of the year, I read (and listened to) many other books throughout the year. Unfortunately, not all of those books hook me the way the five above did. I have a special place for these books, it’s my Stopped Reading Before the End shelf on Goodreads.
The worst offender (for me) this year was Joe Hill’s NOS4A2. I tried, I really tried to read and enjoy this book, but I gave up around 80% of the way through. For a book of this size, that shows remarkable commitment to reading it. Ah well, there’s always more Abercrombie.