2014 had been an incredible year for me. I started writing and had immediate success with the publication of ‘Airshipshape & Bristol Fashion’. 666 copies sold so far!
My intention after that was to satisfy myself that it was more than luck that that happened. Could I do it again?
In 2015 I was published in ‘Avast, Ye Airships!’ with a story called ‘Beneath the Brass’.
I enjoyed working on this book and learnt a lot about hard editing decisions. I had to discard a portion of my story and although I didn’t really want to, I learnt a lesson about tightness of plot and about the need for the editor to keep her vision for the whole book – not just my own story.
I had four stories appear in the Far Horizons e-magazine. I’m very grateful to all those involved in that excellent magazine for giving me the chance to get my work out and also to learn from working with very good editors.
I was over the moon to appear in ‘Toys in the Attic: A Collection of Evil Playthings’. My story about a toy typewriter was called ‘Against Type’.
Next I was lucky enough to be published in ‘Sins of the Future’ with a story called ‘Highly Strung’. I was particularly pleased with this story. Inez and Victoria, the people who usually read my work before I send it off, were so positive about this story. It really gave me a lot of confidence that I might be improving.
After that I was thrilled to have a story called ‘Distant Drums’ published in ‘Kaiju: Lords of the Earth’. I was pleased on two counts with this one. One, it’s giant monsters and I love the genre. Two, my wife told me it was good!
So, those were the published books but still to come is Jurassic Attack, The Adventures of Dayton Barnes (I should have four stories in this one), Forever Hungry and Wax & Wane: A Gathering of Witch Tales. So if nothing else happens 2016 will at least match 2015.
I had a piece of flash fiction published online with Silverbirch Press called ‘Learning To Fly’. I was really pleased to have this accepted, given it was outside my normal kind of writing. This was about a song and how it can provoke a memory.
The annual flash fiction competition that my local writer’s group runs each year ended with me coming third. I was over the moon, since I found the theme inspired little in me this year and the final tale I wrote was done with real graft, as opposed to my usual flow.
Outside of my actual writing I also used 2015 to work on my nerves whilst doing public readings. I attended my local ‘Speakeasy’ group. I’m very grateful for their kind and welcoming membership. You never feel intimidated (well hardly ever) and it is great practice.
I even attended a steampunk day at Truro Library. There I was the resident author and spoke to various children about writing and steampunk. I learnt a lot that day – mostly about being prepared. My stories were not child friendly but I got there in the end.
Just last month I appeared on a local radio station, Penwith Radio. I read my flash fiction competition entry ‘In the Line of Fire’. I actually found this easier than speaking to a few people in a room. More training, more preparation. Baby steps!
I had four rejections in 2015, although three were for the same story. Every rejection was friendly and positive, so I take heart from them.
I attended the Penzance LitFest and BristolCon. It is attending these events, my local writing group, and the people I now know on Facebook, that reminds me the biggest benefit that has come from my writing is meeting such very, very nice people. Varied, interesting people that I might never have gotten to speak to otherwise.
If you’ve been with me on the journey so far – Thank You! If you are just joining – Welcome!
Here’s to 2016. I hope it will be a great year for you. For me, I’d just like to get a little better at this writing malarkey and then see what happens.