What I’ve been up to in 2011

NotebookIt’s time for a round-up of my writing year … plus a quick look forward to what I’ve got cooking for 2012. I may as well kick off with dragons, since it’s almost twelve months to the day since I started work on a novel called The Dragons of Bloodrock, a prequel to my earlier Dragoncharm books. I blogged regularly about my writing process as I went along, starting with this first post announcing the project in January (when it still had the working title The Spiral Skull). Nine months, many blog posts and 105,000 manuscript words later I posted this to tell you I’d finished. Certain parties have shown interest in the manuscript but, as yet, there’s no offer on the table. As soon as I’ve got further news on the fate of project, you’ll be the first to know.

After wrapping the dragons, I found myself circling back to an idea I’ve had knocking around for years: a fantasy/horror novel called The House on Memory Street. I revealed a little about it in this blog post from October, and made a decent start on the manuscript. But things have moved on and the project’s currently on hold. The reason for that goes back to the summer, when I sent my agent several pitch ideas for new novels. Just a few weeks ago I learned that a publisher has expressed interest in seeing something more complete than the outline-and-chapter-samples we sent out. In this context, ‘more complete’ means the whole damn book. So that’s what I’m writing now. I’m keeping quiet about the story – you’re not even getting the title – but I can tell you it’s one of those ideas that crosses a couple of genre boundaries. First draft should be done by March. So again, I’m afraid you’ll just have to be patient.

Concentrating on novels and pitches has taken its toll on the short fiction. I did manage to write a new novelette called The Voyage of the Plastic Beagle which I’m very proud of but has yet to find a home. Another story called Rusalka has found a home. But the sale’s not officially confirmed so you’re going to have to wait before I tell you about it. Again.

If all this wait-and-see is all too frustrating for you, let me tell you the good news, which is that my series of fantasy detective novelettes The String City Mysteries has now started rolling out of the powerhouse that is 40k Books. If you’re a regular follower of this blog you’re probably sick of me banging on about it, so I’ll just direct you to the first story in the series: The Wooden Baby. It’s available as an ebook from Amazon and iTunes, or direct from the publisher, and the second story – Dead Wolf in a Hat – will be following along soon.

Stepping aside briefly from fiction, back in May I posted the first of my blog articles about the visual effects journal Cinefex. Since then, I’ve written so many of the things I’ve had to start collecting them together in one place. And here they are. I’ve been blown away by the popularity of these articles – special thanks must go to my new friend Don Shay for his unlooked-for support and enthusiastic commenting. Rest assured the series will continue into 2012, starting with issue#13 and Return of the Jedi.

So what else is coming in 2012? Well, publication of the The String City Mysteries has caused me to dust off another manuscript I wrote recently. It’s a novel set in the same strange metropolis – and starring the same dimension-dabbling detective – as the novelettes. The working title was (not surprisingly) String City, but I think that needs to change. Also, the first chapter’s a mess. With a little work, however, it might turn into something good. I’ve also got a simmering pan of ideas for a sequel called Big Picture. If that one comes together, it’s going to be a real doozie.

That’s all for now – for this year, in fact. Thanks to all of you who subscribe to this blog. Don’t forget to tell your friends. Many of you follow me on Twitter too, so thanks again. If you’ve gone a step further and actually bought one of my books, then you are officially my best friend in the world. Yes, I mean you. I’ll be posting here again early in January. In the meantime … Happy New Year!


  1. Thank you, Kevin. With luck, the financial rewards will mean I may actually be able to heat up the soup next year rather than eat it cold. Luckily I’m in this for the love 😉 Good luck to you in 2012 too.

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