What can you say about a year in which you have your first two novels published by one of the ‘Big Five’ publishing houses?
Yup, pretty much covers it.
Seeing DARK RUN released in June was a truly magnificent feeling, and I still get a kick out of seeing things like this:
It was also great to read people’s reviews. It obviously wasn’t some people’s cup of tea, which I can quite understand, but when you have someone like Stephen Baxter saying it’s “great fun… Golden Age chic” then you have to be pleased.
In August I attended Nine Worlds in London, which was unquestionably the best possible introduction I could have to conventions. I not only enjoyed it as a punter, but thoroughly enjoyed my short talk on Bisexual Erasure and taking part in the panel on Disability & The Apocalypse (it’s just a shame the queue was too long for Rock Karaoke…) I’m going again next year (assuming they ever work out where they’re holding it) and I’ll hopefully see some of you there!
Also in August I managed to (finally) drop down to four days a week at work, something made possible by the money earned from my publishing. As a result of this I’m not really earning any more than I was before, but I have more free time to devote to writing (or other activities that are best done on a week day), and that’s an incredibly freeing thing because I still view writing as an enjoyable hobby I happen to get paid for, rather than as work.
In November DARK SKY came out, and that garnered reviews such as this one which had quotes like “even better than the explosive original”. Thank you, I’ll take that very gratefully. Plus, my friendly local Waterstones in Nottingham were busy pushing it for me:
Towards the end of 2015 I had a bit more fun where four friends and I checked into Stuck On A Name studios and used one Saturday to create a large amount of noise disguised as a punk album. So not only did I release two novels in 2015, I also recorded an album. A pretty good year, indeed.
One sad note at the end of 2015 – I’m losing Michael Rowley, my Del Rey UK editor, who’s left the company to go off and do his own thing freelance. Michael was the person who persuaded Del Rey to take on DARK RUN and DARK SKY (having previously tried and failed to get them to take on my Irregulars urban fantasy novel), and his support and guidance has been invaluable. I heartily wish him the best of luck in his future endeavours and who knows, I may get to work with him again at some point. I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone else at Del Rey for their hard work in making the books look and read as good as possible. It means a lot.
So, what will 2016 hold? It’s hard to say, but one thing it will definitely hold is the North American launch of DARK RUN (out June 7th). Saga Press are releasing it as a hardback, which is incredibly exciting and I’m truly grateful to Joe Monti and the team for having that much faith in it. I’m hoping that my eclectic crew including their Mexican captain and his Afro-American business partner will gain a new audience over on that side of The Pond, and reinforce the increasingly prominent message that science-fiction doesn’t all have to be about White Guys (even if the guy who wrote it is definitely white). That ties in with the monumental success of The Force Awakens and the impact made by Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Oscar Isaac, so here’s hoping that the imaginary worlds we create continue to have casts as diverse as those worlds deserve.
You know, Oscar Isaac would be a pretty good Ichabod Drift, even if he’s not quite the 6’4 that I’ve always written the character as…