Well, that was a year. Year Three of the Plague? Who counts anymore? What even is time?
At any rate, there were good friends and family around, and there were publications – even though as I contemplated making this post, it was with my usual “I did nothing” moroseness. But I did do things, quite a lot actually.
The Path of Thorns (Titan Books) is my love letter to Jane Eyre, Frankenstein and Dark Shadows – and and it made the Oprah Daily Top 25 Best Fantasy Books for 2022.
I got to do something I never thought possible, and write a comic with Mike Mignola, set in the Hellboy Universe: Castle Full of Blackbirds (Dark Horse Comics). The internal artwork by Valeria Burzo and the covers by Wylie Beckert were incredible. We also had amazing variant covers by Vanesa Del Rey, Marianna Strychowska, Evangeline Gallagher, and A. H. Szabla. If I never get to do another comic again (but I really hope I do!) then I’ll be okay with that because I love this one so much, and it was a dream experience.
The Bone Lantern (Absinthe Books) – thanks to Marie O’Regan for asking if I had anything for the 2022 Absinthe run! I got to put Selke in a wagon, travelling across the Sourdough world, meeting a werewolf, and telling tales Scheherazade-style to stay alive. It’s got a weird structure, and I’m working on the follow-up. The amazing cover is by the ever-amazing Daniele Serra.
“Solivagant,” Isolation, Dan Coxon (ed.), Titan Books. Dan asked for a story about isolation – I gave him something weird and lonely.
“Songs from Dark Annie’s Bower,” Gaslight Ghouls: Uneasy Tales of Sherlock Holmes, Monsters & Madmen, Charles Prepolec and Jeff Campbell (eds.), Belanger Books. I got another chance to bring Kit Caswell out to play with Holmes and Watson.
“The Woman Who Married the Minotaur,” Sunday Morning Transport Fran Wilde & Julian Yap (eds.). I was able to play with some favourite Greek mythology and write a sad love story.
What To Do When You Don’t Have A Book Coming Out & Even More Sage Advice (Brain Jar Press). The Brain Jar collected a bunch more of my profanity-laden essays for your reading pleasure. As ever, apologies for the assumption that all writers drink – they don’t, but I do like to joke about it (and will continue to do so).
It’s always a special delight to see your work getting translated into other languages. In 2022, Of Sorrow and Such (novella) was translated into Spanish by Duermevela Ediciones, and they produced a truly beautiful version.
All the Murmuring Bones will be translated into Czech, Hungarian, Italian, Turkish, Dutch, Bulgarian and Spanish.
And The Path of Thorns will be translated into Polish!
Award shortlistings are always fun and I had some great finalist berths this year:
2022 Shirley Jackson Award for Best Novel: All the Murmuring Bones
2022 World Fantasy Award for Best Collection: The Tallow-Wife and Other Tales
2022 Locus Award for Non-Fiction: You Are Not Your Writing & Other Sage Advice
2022 Aurealis Award for Best Collection: The Tallow-Wife and Other Tales
2022 Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Novel: All the Murmuring Bones
2022 Australian Shadows Award for Best Collected Work:The Tallow-Wife and Other Tales
I think the best “highlight finish” was the fact that David Samuels very kindly created a signature cocktail for The Path of Thorns, the Morwood!
And so to next year: in theory there will be a new short story collection (The Wrong Girl and Other Warnings – Brain Jar Press), and three short stories, including “Through the Woods, Due West” in Jonathan Strahan’s The Book of Witches and “The Tissot Family Circus” in Twice Cursed edited by Marie O’Regan and Paul Kane. I don’t think The Briar Book of the Dead (my next Sourdough novel) will make it out until 2024 (due to publishing schedules), but it’s almost finished, so it will be out. PS Publishing will bring out a paperback version of The Heart is a Mirror for Sinners, as well as a paperback of Black-Winged Angels.
I did a LOT of teaching and it wore me out, frankly, so any teaching
activities for 2023 will be minimal: The Art of Writing in Feb (taking a deep dive into Character), and Hidden Nerve at MARION in May. That’s it.
And that’s all, folks. Thanks to everyone who’s stuck around and been a support, and thanks to all the readers who keep me going!