Happy New Year

There hasn’t been a year like it. From global pandemics through to political divisiveness, it’s been a calamity, wrapped up in a catastrophe making most of us think a zombie apocalypse might have been less challenging.

To all those who’ve lost loved ones to the horrible illness that’s plagued the planet, I’d like to offer my sincere condolences. To those who’ve been struggling with mental, physical or spiritual health due to the constraints of quarantine, lockdown or the impact it’s had on earnings, I’d like to give you my congratulations on having made it to this point and wish you every success for the future.  And to those of you who, like me, have simply stumbled through this year, narrowly avoiding each dodgeball that 2020 has thrown, I’m going to raise a glass and congratulate us all on our dimwitted perseverance.

When lockdown first began, I started looking at self-publishing. As many of you know, I have several novels placed with a broad range of publishing houses, along with articles, poems and short stories.  However, rights had reverted to me on a handful of titles and I thought it might be interesting to pursue self-publishing. I lecture in creative writing and students often ask me about the process of self-publishing, so I figured it would be interesting to learn through firsthand experience.

I’ll be blogging more about this over the coming months. Please subscribe to my mailing list if you want to learn more or read about what I’ve done and what I’ve tried to avoid doing.

This year, I’ve published my collection of poetry: Old People Sex (and other offensive poems). I was speaking with someone recently who said she’s bought a copy for her father as a Christmas present, and he now keeps telephoning friends and reading poems to them. Personally, I call this a truly successful outcome to the publishing adventure.

I also republished my horror novels Death By Fiction, Payback Week, Raven & Skull and Doll House as the rights on all four titles had reverted back to me. A former student told me earlier this week that he and his partner had been reading Doll House before bed and had genuine trouble sleeping. Again, this is why I write horror: to give people sleepless nights.

These republications have been followed by the publication of the new, original title: Blackstone Towers, which has been enjoying some very favourable reviews. I’ve followed this up with two novellas, Fearless and Unearthed, which are set in the same fictional location of Innsmouth – a location that owes a nod of acknowledgement to HP Lovecraft. I’m currently working on a third title in this series which is labouring under the working title of ‘The Explorers Club’.

And the year has finished on a high point where I received an honourable mention in Publishers Weekly for a short story I had included in Maxim Jakubowski’s excellent anthology of short stories: The Book of Extraordinary New Sherlock Holmes Stories.

I’m hoping to write more in 2021. I’m hoping, if you’re reading this, you’ll enjoy what I produce and you’ll tell friends and family members about my stories. And I’m hoping, 2021 brings you all of those things that we’ve all missed so dearly during 2020.

Happy New Year.

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