I have not posted here for some time. I would apologise, but I’m not quite sure if there is anyone here to apologise to! Anyway, that aside, I have a reason for being absent from the blogosphere, which is that I’ve been busy writing. As can be seen from the website update, I’ve had my first novel published, and it is a tremendously good feeling, I must say. To think I can share my cherished characters with SFF readers out there is, while slightly nerve-racking, also incredibly satisfying, and I would remis not to thank Space Wizard Science Fantasy at this point for making that possible, and for their dedication to and belief in my book.
This time last year, I was basking in the warm feeling of having my first published work out in the world; my stories “Dew Diligence” and “The Bibliothek Betrayal” in Space Wizard’s Distant Gardens anthology. I experienced many wonderful and highly motivational things that make writing such a rewarding experience, like hearing reader feedback from reviews, discussions with other writers at conventions, and holding in my hand something I had helped to create.
Last year held numerous other highlights: appearing on Mary Robinette Kowal’s “My Favourite Bit” was an honour I will never forget, to be able to share my feelings about the excellent authors that my stories appeared beside was a great pleasure. Then I experienced the camaraderie of the Vendors’ Room at the Satellite 7 convention in Glasgow. It really was great fun to be in that compact and supportive space with wonderful booksellers like Elsewhen Press, Luna Press Publishing, Guardbridge Books, and Shoreline of Infinity: lovely people all.
All these fantastic experiences enable me to say to those writers out there who are still pursuing that elusive first publication, keep going, never stop, don’t give up. There are different routes to publication, not always obvious. Keep writing, keep talking about writing and looking for new groups and suitable forums and formats to get your work out there.
But back to my apology. The reason I have not posted here for so long is that I’ve been writing, and editing, and reviewing, and rewriting, then editing some more, because Space Wizard wanted my novel, and now it’s here, The Mandroid Murders, Quirk & Moth given flight, spreading their wings, out in the world. And this new and heady experience, having a first novel published, is every bit as stimulating and energising as I had hoped, bringing new and very exciting opportunities and some surprises. How could I ever have dreamed, all those years ago, of being ‘Liked/Retweeted’ by a successful author or two who I greatly respect and admire? How could I have imagined being ‘Followed’ by an agent? Me?! Me, appearing with an article on John Scalzi’s “The Big Idea”. Wow.
Not only this, but now I’m peddling hard trying to keep up with commitments. Now I’ve signed two contracts for stories (TMM being the first). I have work to do, I have 10,000 words to edit (again) for the second Space Wizard anthology in October, and then SWSF want the second Quirk & Moth novel for 2023. Where did all the writing time go? Certainly, blogging has been knocked down the pecking order somewhat, but that’s all good. A sign that things are moving forward, and that I need to run to keep up. More conventions, more new discoveries. I’ve offered to moderate a panel at BristolCon, I plan to do a reading from TMM to post on here. FantasyCon is fast approaching with more opportunities to push the boundaries of my writing.
So, never stop. Always, Be, Contending. Things like this can happen for you too. Keep writing, keep looking, and keep talking.