It’s all a bit of a blur really, so a look at my handy-dandy diary is quite helpful.
So in brief:
I started writing full-time on 28 January – and on 29 January I sold a story and received an approach email from a UK agent, so those things felt like good and positive signs.
Lisa L Hannett and I wrote the majority of a 105,000 word collection between February and the end of June – that would be Midnight and Moonshine, which got a Publishers Weekly starred review before it even hit the shelves. We launched it in two cities, Brisbane and Adelaide, and have been most pleased with reader responses. After the Adelaide launch, David and I attended Lisa and Chad’s Most Excellent Engagement Party.
I had a woefully low short story appearance rate, but that’s because I was writing (a) Midnight and Moonshine, and (b) the ten short stories I did write were sold to anthologies that will be publishing them in 2013 (that includes a Spectral Press chapbook, Postscripts, the British Fantasy Society anthology and a few other secret projects that I am not yet allowed to mention).
I taught a lot (crafting through critiquing is my speciality) for Queensland Writers Centre, in Brisbane, Cairns, Townsville and Toowoomba. I did writers surgeries for QWC members and did my usual amount of unofficial mentoring of other writers, and some official mentoring for a couple of QUT’s MCI students.
I went to Adelaide for Writers Week, stayed with Lisa and we caught up with Rob Shearman, Jason Nahrung, Kirstyn McDermott, Kate Eltham, Sean the Blogonaut, Brendan D Carson, Kelly Link, Gavin Grant, Margo Lanagan, Sean Williams and Ian Mond. We listened to Michael Crummey talk about his wondrous novel Galore, Megan Abbot about being an intruder on the rights of men (thanks, Ms Spender) in writing pulpy detective fiction, and Rob S and Ian M talked through Rob’s fabulous Dr Who episode Dalek.
I graduated in July with my PhD at last and can now insist forcefully on being referred to as ‘Dr’.
I spent the month of May in the UK and Paris with my Significant Other, including a fantastic trip to the Orkneys where we fell in love with burial mounds (yes, we’re weird like that).
I won a British Fantasy Award for Best Short Story for “The Coffin-Maker’s Daughter” (from the lovely A Book of Horrors edited by Mr Jones and published by the wonderful Jo Fletcher Books).
I spoke to Waleed Aly on ABC Radio National’s Drive Time.
In June I flew back from the UK, rested at home for a few days then got on a plane to Melbourne for the NatCon, which was Continuum 9. I then left a bit early so I could come back home and participate in if:book’s 24-Hour Book Project. This saw me, Nick Earls, Steven Amsterdam, Krissy Kneen, P.M. Newton, Geoff Lemon, Rjurik Davidson, Christopher Currie, Simon Groth, and Keith Stevenson (Editor) take over QWC’s digs at the State Library of Queensland for a word-filled, caffeine-fuelled twenty-four hours as we wrote, edited, typeset, cover designed and published (in ebook and paperback), Willow Pattern. Booyah!
I wrote 40,000 words on a new collection. The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings, which I thought was going to be a sequel to Sourdough and Other Stories, but has since turned out to be a prequel. This means the sequel will be getting written in 2014, I guess.
I did a workshop with Kelly Link in April, which confirmed me in my belief that no writer should ever stop learning and relearning her/his craft.
I did a writers panel at Logan Library with Kirstyn McDermott and Jason Nahrung about writing ‘the darkness’.
I launched the Australian Writer’s Marketplace at the Brisbane Writers Festival.
I wrote new words and edited old ones on the Novel-Formerly-Known-as-Brisneyland-by-Night, which I am now referring to as Hallowmass, and I’m now working my way through the new half of that novel. I have planned and plotted the second and third books in that series, Vigil and Corpselight.
Lisa and I kicked off the Lair of the Evil Drs Brain series, starting with China Miéville in footy pyjamas. Art by Kathleen Jennings, who wishes it to be known that we forced her to put Dr China in footy pyjamas.
So, every time I think I didn’t do much in 2012, I think I need to read over this post! All in all, 2012 was busy, sometimes hard to get through, but pretty much worth it in the end.
Here’s to a productive 2013.