2017 Review

Publications

Only two things published this year, and none planned for the foreseeable future.

Soul Food was out in January, and the novella, The Book of a Thousand and One Destinies was out the middle of the year.

The couple of days spent trying to solicit reviews for Soul Food has yet to prove fruitful. I emailed thirty reviewers/sites. I had six replies. Four declining – mainly due to overfull to-read lists – and two expressing interest. Eleven months later, and still only one review from my arc reader.

There’s no point paying for advertising until I have more reviews, and I see no way of getting them. Or any likelihood of publishing anything else with expectation of more success. So for the moment I have no intention of going through the extra effort of preparing them for publication.

I’ve begun trying the traditional publication route, and submitted one story to an agent in October. They declined yesterday. I’ll try a few more now, and Angry Robot have an open submission period that ends in a few days, so I guess I’ll go ahead and query them (I ‘m going through a period of not expecting positive responses from anything, if I receive any responses at all – in my experience, not common in the publishing industry).

 

Writing

Writing has gone fairly well this year. Six novels, and part three of a longer piece, though most in first draft form. 450k new words written. Most of those words will have to be rewritten before I’m happy with them, but I have something to work from.

First of all was the third part of Dwimmerfall (working title). Which looks like it may be four parts. I’ve been working on it for a few years though, and have only vague ideas of what happens next. And a panel at this year’s Bristolcon gave me ideas to add to what’s already done, so I need time to properly consider how to implement them. But part three is done.

All Roads Lead to Hell is a short crime novel. Potentially the first of a series, though since it’s probably too short for the market I doubt it’ll sell, so probably won’t get around to doing any more.

The Border Guard is a urban fantasy novel. This is the one currently trying the submission route. While that was submitted, I started working on the sequel for what will apparently be a trilogy. I wrote book two for NaNoWriMo, and finished by the 9th of November. I spent most of the rest of the month planning the third book, and started that by the end of the month. So I now have rough drafts of all the trilogy to work from, and have made a couple of minor adjustments to the first one already. Now I just need to find someone interested in it, which is always a problem.

I also did the first couple of books in a (possibly) open-ended urban fantasy/crime series, Ghost Bullets. It’s an attempt to make a series I can avoid getting bored with by centering it on the Ghost Gun the first book is named after, with the mortality rate of its wielders being high. The basic premise is that the titular gun fires ghost bullets which kill any target they hit, their soul held by the gun, and their ghosts haunting their killer. Technically, no part of that is actually true, yet it still makes an accurate prĂ©cis of the idea. I have vague ideas of where the series could go, but want to tidy the first two stories up before pushing on any further.

 

Life in General

My depression continues in bouts, and a couple of times I’ve come close to breakdowns this year. I don’t see any change coming in that, and I’m worried it’ll interfere with my attempts to get published, since I am currently defeatist about it.

 

2018 Plans

Mainly revisions of the aforementioned, at least for the first part of the year. I need to try and finish Dwimmerfall at some point, since it has been in progress since 2015.

There are a couple of other long works I’ve been planning on doing for a few years now, but realistically I don’t see myself getting much done on them next year. Maybe some thinking, possibly even research, but most time I need to focus on clearing away my works in progress. Then I should probably look at sequels to them, where appropriate. Series are supposedly what the market seems to want, even though they don’t come naturally to me.

Not sure whether I’ll post here more often, but I tend to doubt it.