I hope this post doesn’t come off as smug and annoying, but I can’t help but feel a little pleased at what I’ve achieved from a writing perspective this year. I am the kind of writer who sets very clear, long term goals, and whilst I don’t always achieve them, it is great when I do.
Back in January, on New Year’s Day to be precise, I said I would release two, possibly three novels this year. I ended up releasing three, because I finally summoned the courage to cut the umbilical from Children of the Folded Valley, my first “grown-up” novel, and without a doubt my most “personal” work to date.
Children of the Folded Valley was an unexpected success (in relative terms), proving again that sometimes it is best to trust one’s instincts. This was a novel that came close to mainstream publication, though in the end that didn’t quite come off, partly due to certain compromises I wasn’t prepared to make. Furthermore, I had great doubts over the subject matter, first person narrative and ambiguity of the finale, all of which kept me clinging onto the manuscript, fearing what people might think of it. Yet in the end, all such George McFly style worry proved ill-founded. Given the fantastic reviews on the Amazon page, it seems readers have well and truly embraced the novel.
Of course, Children of the Folded Valley wasn’t my only output this year. Dr Gribbles and the Beast of Blackthorn Lodge and The Birds Began to Sing were also released – the former a scary, outrageous adventure for young and old alike, and the latter a gripping mystery thriller for grown-ups.
In between these releases I have been writing in earnest and have penned another two novels, including the (probably) final entry in the George Hughes series, George goes to Neptune, which will be released next year.
I also wrote The Thistlewood Curse, a supernatural mystery for grown-ups that takes place entirely on Lundy Island. I am not sure whether I will submit this one for mainstream publication or release it myself, but I will probably decide one way or the other next year.
So that was my 2014, writing wise, in a nutshell. Perhaps it did sound a bit smug in the end. As for what I am up to in 2015, watch this space…