Archive for December, 2015


So, I’ve already posted about 2015, a year some suckage leavened by some nice things. So, what’s on board for 2016?

First of all, I won’t have a new novel out. That’s mostly because I didn’t complete one in time to have a novel out in 2016. From the time a novel is sold, a publisher usually needs at least nine months and often more than a year to get it ready for release. And by “ready” I mean not just editing and printing, but also positioning it with a marketing campaign and finding an advantageous slot for it in the release schedule. So, for me to have a book out in 2016, I would have had to finish writing it sometime in late 2014 or early 2015, so an editor could edit it, so I could revise it, so an art director and book designer and cover artist could make it pretty, and so on. Unfortunately, taking care of two elderly parents was more than a full-time job that didn’t leave much physical or emotional energy for new writing.

And I did actually write a new book in the last months of 2015, but it won’t be ready to go out on submission until early 2016. And then I’ll start another book, as one does if one is the sort of person who does that.

Am I bummed not to have a new book in 2016? Not really. I released three new books in 2014 and 2015, and three books in two years isn’t half bad. And I do have a few things slated to come out in 2016, such as a paperback release, a short story in April, and possibly a comic book project or two. (The comics stuff is in very, very early stages of development, but I’m hopeful.) And I’m thinking of a direct-to-reader project or two to fulfill the requests of folks who have been asking me for sequels to Norse Code and The Boy at the End of the World. We’ll see if that’s something I want to do and if it makes sense to do it.

Other than career stuff, we’re planning another trip to the UK in summer. And possibly another in winter. There will also be hundreds of beach walks, dozens of sunsets, and probably no sunrises because holy crap who wants to get up early enough to see a sunrise? If the sun’s there when I wake up, then I’m happy to leave the sun to its morning business without my supervision.

Mostly, 2016 will contain a lot of who-knows-what, because that’s the truth about every life and every year. We don’t know what’s coming down the road. But we drive forward anyway, because we hope a good portion of the unknown things are good things. So, sunglasses on, windows down, tunes blasting, slightly exceeding posted speed limits, and let’s have fun and hope we don’t get a ticket.



A look back at 2015, with thanks

Firstly, secondly, thirdly, and all other numbers through lastly, thank you. Thank you for the emojis, commiserations, alcohol, hugs virtual and real, and all of the other countless ways you gave me boosts when I needed them this year.

Holy crap, this year. I mean, just, daaaamn. I mean HOLY CRAP, 2015.

In January I moved my parents into assisted living, sold their house, and then my mom died. It was more complicated than that sounds, because of ER visits and multiple facilities and other added degrees of difficulty. Also, the day after my mom died, I went out on a multi-city book tour.

Then in May my dad died. Again, added degrees of difficulty and multiple healthcare providers and lots of stress.

So, yes, much crap and a great weight of sadness.

And I’m not even going to mention other family crap that I don’t even wanna go into here. But holy crap.

But. That wasn’t all that 2015 was. It was also getting to see friends, and accepting support and love from them. Again, thank you, friends. I know many of you are dealing with so much — health issues, financial stresses, difficulties both acute and chronic. I hope I can do half as good a job helping you with stuff that you might be going through as you did helping me with mine.

Special shoutout to my cousins Michelle and Nicole for helping me move my dad. And to the caregivers and hospice nurses and workers who deserve to be paid millions for what they do.

And, as always, to Lisa. She was my rock. The kind of rock who gives you reasons to smile at least a few times a day and keeps you company during the worst kind of errands, and also reminds you that even in crap times, it’s still possible to have fun

In 2015 there were also dogs. HOLY CRAP, MY DOGS. They are so funny and cute and weird and entertaining. I seriously don’t know how I ever got through life before I had dogs. Dogs. They are awesome.

And there was a week in London, which we loved so much we’re going back next year, along with Edinburgh, Bath, and Oxford.

And did I mention I published two novels, Pacific Fire and Dragon Coast? And wrote a draft of a new book? Even wrote a short story or two?

So, there was much good in 2015. Some huge, major awful stuff, yes, but as the Eleventh Doctor says, “The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice versa, the bad things don’t necessarily spoil the good things or make them unimportant.”

Thank you all for being in the pile of good things this year. You are important to me.