For me, this has been a professionally exciting year both as a journalist and as a novelist. The year began with Pyr (imprint of Prometheus Books) acquiring my novel The Apothecary’s Curse in February. Although it’s my second book (third, if you count the chapters I wrote for another book), it’s my first novel.
I am so incredibly grateful to have found (actually, my agent did the hard work) such a wonderful home for Gaelan Erceldoune’s story. It’s a tough market, as I am well aware, and to have found a perfect imprint for Apothecary with great distribution (by Penguin-Random House), I could not be more pleased and excited for its success. It’s only been out since mid-October, so here’s hopin’! (And, by the way, I’d be most appreciative of your thoughts on the book!)
I’ve continued my position as Executive Editor and Publisher of Blogcritics Magazine with my terrific partner Jon Sobel. We’ve continued the magazine’s tradition of excellent writing, thoughtful reviews, compelling (if occasionally controversial) commentary, and insightful interviews. Because of the compressed publishing schedule for The Apothecary’s Curse, I cut back in 2016 on my writing for Blogcritics, but still managed to publish several interviews, among them: composer Bear McCreary (The Walking Dead), Frank Spotnitz (The X-Files, and his new project Medici: Masters of Florence), Daniel Percival (The Man in the High Castle), Eddie Kitsis and Adam Horowitz (Once Upon a Time), Rod Rodenberry (Gene’s son) on the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, and Adam Nimoy on his documentary about his famous father Leonard (Mr. Spock).
During 2016’s insane presidential election season, I upped my contributions of political opinion pieces (okay, so some of them were rants!), most recently a short piece on Donald Trump’s New Year’s Eve Tweet, which will hopefully be the first of a new series of opinion pieces called Trump Tweets.
I’ve had several lovely speaking gigs, including two sessions at this year’s Chicago area MENSA convention, where I spoke about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his passion for fairies, and at Chicago’s WindyCon, where I moderated a session on setting and authenticity in genre fiction. I also did numerous readings and signings at various places in the Chicago area (if you’re interested in having me speak or do a signing for your venue or book club, please use the contact form below!)
I continued to serve as president of the Midwest Writers Association, a professional association of non-fiction writers, while joining SFWA (the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association) and HWA (The Horror Writers Association) as a full professional member.
Now, to 2017!
What’s on the horizon?
I’ve just set up a Patreon page, which I will be filling out with content as the weeks go on. So please check it out. I’ll post publicly to it and post some content (short stories, deleted scenes, behind the scenes stuff from Apothecary’s Curse) that will be by subscription.
My big project is to finish the sequel to The Apothecary’s Curse, which continues the story, and extends it to new and hopefully exciting places. My hope is to finish my first draft in the next couple of months (I’m about fifty percent of the way there now).
I have two or three short story ideas out there. I’d never thought of myself as a short story writer, but after writing “Balulalow” for Literary Escapism (the story exists in the universe of The Apothecary’s Curse), I’m going to make short fiction an important part of my writing life.
One of the things I hope to do (and it will probably be on Patreon, rather than on my site) is to annotate parts of The Apothecary’s Curse, expanding on some of the mythology, science, and history of the story.
I will also be doing more writing about writing. I’d started to post articles about the process of writing The Apothecary’s Curse and I got time-crunched. But it’s my hope to complete that series, and post on Patreon or on Blogcritics.
As we move into year one of Donald Trump’s presidency, I also expect to do more opinion pieces on Trump’s Tweets and other quirks. Those will be posted at Blogcritics Politics.
I plan on starting a new podcast on the Blogcritics Radio Network on Writing and Reading, talking about new books and the craft. I’ll let you all know when that happens.
Meantime, I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for more good press for The Apothecary’s Curse, more readers and hearing back from you all. I’d love to do a live Q/A on Twitter or some other platform, so let me know if you’d like that.
So that’s it for now! Happy New Year, and may 2017 bring you and your family health, happiness, courage and success!