I’m not a big fan of New Year Celebrations. I’ve had more than my share of seeing out the old year – usually with a huge sigh of relief – and dancing into the new one shouting, ‘Well, it can’t possibly be any worse that the last one,’ and the universe takes enormous pleasure in proving me wrong. Usually round about lunchtime on January 3rd.
So I tend not to bother very much. These days I’m usually in bed with a good book by midnight. Not one of mine, I hasten to add. And this is a Big Thing for me. I don’t know if other authors have this problem – if there are any out there who are still coherent – or even conscious – after their probably very lively celebrations last night, do let me know – but does anyone else find it impossible to read their own work? I don’t mean grabbing a copy off the shelf because you can’t remember how you described a particular character or place, but a real, toe-curling, can’t read your own work personality disorder. I tell myself it’s because if I’ve made a mistake or got something really wrong then it’s too late to do anything about it so it’s better not to know, but I don’t think it’s that. I just can’t read my own stuff.
I have a copy of all my stuff, obviously, because I need the sales, but it all sits, either on my kindle or my bookshelves, untouched and unread. Am I weird?
Well, I think we all know the answer to that one, so moving swiftly along – my new year is taking shape already and I have a few dates for your calendars. I had a fit of efficiency in November and bought my 2018 calendar in good time. Obviously, I’ve lost it since then – I think it’s gone down the back of my wonderful duck-egg blue filing cabinet. And yes, I’m having a relationship with a piece of office equipment, but it keeps my papers in order, doesn’t talk during The Big Bang Theory, doesn’t eat my chocolate and never wants to watch the football, so as far as I’m concerned, it’s damned near perfect. Anyway, I think that’s where my calendar has gone, leaving me with the decision – put my back out shifting the cabinet or just buy another.
Why am I maundering on about filing cabinets and calendars? Yes. Dates. Here we go.
13th January – I’m at Octavo’s Cafe in Cardiff Bay, reading an extract from White Silence, and hanging around for a chat afterwards.
16th January – I’m on Radio Gloucester with Anna King. I think the programme starts at noon. I must check – but I’m actually being interviewed, just like a proper author.
20th January – I’m at Waterstones in Gloucester, signing books, if anyone wants to pop along for a bit of a chat.
I think White Silence comes out in official paperback this month. Previously, it’s only been available as Print on Demand, but now it’s out in its dramatic new cover.
April’s a busy month. There’s a short story, provisionally entitled The Battersea Barricades, which should be out on St George’s Day, April 23rd.
And I’m at the Llandeilo Litfest as well. I went last year and appeared with Jasper Fforde, which was a huge treat for me – probably slightly less so for him, but he was quite charming so we’ll never know – and surprisingly, they’ve asked me back this year. If anyone gets the chance, you should go – to the Litfest, I mean. The whole town is given over to the festival and the atmosphere is great.
And, yes, I’m teasing you, because after the New Year festivities, you’re all in such a sunny, fun-filled mood (!) aren’t you? Yes, the next St Mary’s full length novel is published this month. An Argumentation of Historians. Both it and the short story should be available for pre-order on Amazon some time in February.
May – always assuming we get that far – I’m at Cardiff Comicon again. This is always great fun. We turn up with a ton of books, admire the costumes, meet some really interesting people, drink oceans of tea, and laugh and gossip the day away. Accent Press usually have some sort of collective neural event and reduce the prices and the world does not end.
In July (I think – but as I said, my calendar’s down the back of the filing cabinet) we have the sequel to White Silence – provisionally entitled Black Light. It’s not quite finished yet, but I’m getting there.
And then there’s the traditional St Mary’s Christmas story which just might, this year, be a little different. I’m only half way through it at the moment, and frankly, I haven’t a clue what’s going on and anything could happen. I’m thinking of calling it, And Now for Something Completely Different, just to spread alarm and consternation.
That’s it – so far, anyway. I hope to be able to meet a good number of you over the coming months and I’d like to wish you all happy reading and a very Happy New Year.
Oh, and I almost forgot Just One Damned Thing After Another is getting a French release on February 8th!