Monday, 31 December 2012

2012 Gratitude List

A lot people on my Twitter stream are giving thanks for the great things that happened in 2012. It would be churlish not to get in on the Feel Good Action, so here’s mine:

Number one with a bullet has to be a three book deal I signed with Gollancz (July) . I’d always hoped to get some fiction published but never dared think I might make a publisher as prestigious as Gollancz. Thanks to Simon Spanton, Gillian Redfearn, Jon Weir and the team for the warmest welcome.

Hot the heels of the book deal came an agent (Sept). Juliet Mushens has since helped  turn my novel The Boy with the Porcelain Ears into something I’m truly proud of. Her structural and line edit notes were great, as is the energy and enthusiasm she brings to the project.

I’d be remiss for not mentioning the test readers for my novel. Round of applause for Matt Rowan, Lizzie Barratt and especially Matt Lyons. Thanks guys.

Being asked to contribute a story to any anthology by Anne Perry and Jared Shurin is always a pleasure. Admittedly it’s usually a pleasure mixed with a certain amount of stage fright. A Town Called Pandemonium boasted some serious talent but I’m pleased to say my story, Red Hot Hate, is one I’m really proud of. I can’t explain why, just that I really like it, which is an odd thing for writer to say about their own work (we’re notoriously self-critical and cagey as a species).

The Fizzy Pop Vampire was unleashed on the world. As if all the other projects weren’t enough I also saw the first of my children’s books released (iPad only so far). A second one is in the works, all thanks to Sarah Langton for art duties and her tireless work getting Fizz off the ground.

Being adopted by the Young Adult writers of London Town – borne largely out of my friendship with Tom Pollock, I’ve gone on to befriend James Dawson, Kim Curran, Tanya Byrne, Liz de Jager and Amy McCulloch. They’ve all been lovely, supportive and encouraging to me. I hope to spend more time with you guys in 2013.

My mum. Yeah, yeah, I know, I know. But my mum (aside from her usual levels of awesomeness) gave me a place to get my head down and do some serious editing during the final stages of writing the War Manuals for Gollancz.

FantasyCon (Sept) – I went to this convention with few to no expectations and had a great time. Thanks to everyone who had a hand in managing this event.

November saw confirmation of French foreign rights for the War Manuals, further reasons to be cheerful. C'est fantastique!

I should probably mention Blackwell’s bookshop on the Charing Cross Road, who let me scale back my hours to four days a week. A very large part of the reason I turned in the aforementioned War Manuals before deadline (Humble brag).

Cool books – Joe Abercrmobie’s ‘Red Country’ and Daniel Polansky’s ‘Tomorrow the Killing’ are my two favourite reads this year. Tom Pollock’s ‘The City’s Son’ has to be one of the most vibrant debuts of recent times. 

Music saw releases from Bat for Lashes – The Haunted Man, Nest – Body Pilot (EP), Holy Other – Held, Brambles – Charcoal, and my favourite film had to be The Artist, which was probably the most charming thing I’ll ever see on a cinema screen.

Lots to be grateful for, and hopefully more to come in 2013. See you on the other side.

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