At the end of 2011, I wrote about what a tough year it had been on a personal level, what an unexpectedly triumphant year it had been for my writing, and how everything had somehow ended in a weirdly positive place. So I guess I can't just say the same again this year, right? No? Well, okay then.
Anyway, looking back, it feels a lot like stating the obvious. Any year where you try and write a publishable novel from start to finish around a more-than-full time day job is never going to be easy, and any year where both your first and second novels are released is going to have its moments of pure unadulterated awesomeness. It's almost impossible to look back at 2012 right now and believe that I managed to cram so much of either into it; that this time twelve months ago I was putting the finishing touches to Crown Thief, waiting for Giant Thief to come out, and getting ready to move to London to start my new job.
Now London is my second home, Giant Thief's release seems an awfully long time ago, even Crown Thief has been out for a while, and all my energy is going into finishing the second draft of Prince Thief and ending a story I started five years ago, with no idea at all of what I was getting myself into. For me, 2012 has definitely been the year of Easie Damasco, and I'm deeply glad that for every reader who's failed to get on with the despicable reprobate there have been plenty more who've taken him into their hearts. It's more than he deserves, frankly, but it's still pretty amazing to realise that my books are out there in the world and that Damasco, in however small a way, has broken and entered his way into the minds of complete strangers. Hard work it may be, but this novel writing lark definitely has its rewards.
But what's really surprising is all the other stuff that's happened. I didn't expect to get much else done in 2012, all things considered, and I was reconciled with letting the other strands of my writing - all those many, many strands! - fade into the background for a few months. What a nice surprise, then, to win my first writing contest, via This is Horror and Spectral Press, and as a result to have my first chapbook published, meaning I ended up with not two but three whole books out in one year. And how unexpected it was that I managed to get a bit of short fiction out there, and even, just as the year began to expire, to make a few good sales.
Now I get to look forward to 2013, and to think hard about where I go after Damasco and I finally part ways. I know I should have at least two new books coming out, in the shape of Prince Thief and, (in some more not-entirely-expected good news), the first Endangered Weapon B trade paperback - not to mention the German edition of Giant Thief and the audiobook of Crown Thief. But who knows what else might happen? The same goes for my planned projects; right now, my agenda for the coming year involves finishing Prince Thief and the second volume of Endangered Weapon for the end of March, then writing a science-fiction novella, then writing at least one draft of a new, as-yet-untitled novel while simultaneously rewriting my second book War for Funland more or less from scratch, plus putting together a short story collection and likely writing a second graphic novel that's been at the drawing board stage for a while now.
But good plans are made to be unplanned, right? And really, I'm mainly saying this so that I can look back on this post in twelve month's time and feel stupid. Because, as the bloke from Stingray so famously never said, anything can happen in the next twelve months.