At last, I have something nice to report! Hang on a moment, ‘nice’ is far too insipid a word for this.
I have something fabulous to report: I have signed a two book deal with Ace/Roc for my new sci-fi novel and a follow-up (not a sequel per se). The first novel is called Planetfall. I am so damn chuffed about this!
I started writing Planetfall in June last year. I needed a break from evil Fae and mad sorcerers after working on the Split Worlds series for years. I wrote it in the nooks and crannies I could find between launching those books, going to ALL the conventions and then an incredibly stressful house move. I finished it in January, writing the last chapter as the floor shook from building work being done on the house!
It was one of the most difficult things I have ever written. It could not be more different from the Split Worlds – not just because it’s pure sci-fi instead of urban fantasy – but because it is a first person POV and a very different kind of story. Planetfall is a stand-alone novel and you know, I am pretty damn proud of it.
So… this year…
I’m not going to lie; this year has kicked the shit out of me. I had various disappointments at the start of the year when things I tried to get off the ground didn’t happen for one reason or other. Then I had major surgery followed by a catalogue of complications and resulting health problems that lasted four months. Then just as I was getting back on my feet, my poor Mum was diagnosed with breast cancer and is currently going through chemotherapy. Just as I came to terms with that and started working again, my best friend died unexpectedly. There are a couple of other incredibly stressful things going on that I’m not at liberty to talk about.
I had plans for the last quarter of this year that I was so excited about. I was going to Kickstart the fourth Split Worlds novel (I finished the video and writing up all the materials for it about half an hour before the call about Kate’s death). I was going to finish writing that novel and get it out there early next year. I was going to take control of my life again.
Now I know it’s not going to play out that way. There’s no way I can work on anything to do with the Split Worlds at the moment. It’s too painful. And there’s no way I have the resources to run a successful Kickstarter campaign. I need to focus on caring for my Mum and my son, who is very close to her and struggling with this too, in his own way. I need to replenish my own reserves and rediscover the joy in the creative life again. And I am. Slowly.
So I am quieter than usual online at the moment and these are the reasons why. I’m sorry the Split Worlds series has to pause right now. I hope that those of you who love the books can wait. It will be finished, I promise. Just not now.
Onwards and upwards
There has been an awful lot of pain, grief, stress and worry in my life this year. But it hasn’t all been terrible. There was the Hugo nomination for Tea and Jeopardy for one thing, and the love for the show has been palpable at various conventions. The live show we did at Fantasycon was one of this year’s highlights and our Patreon doohicky is doing far better than I ever thought it would.
I had to pause the show over October as I was in the Grieving Lands (bloody awful place, not recommended). But I’m back now and there will be two shows this month – the first of those is out now – and we have some really quite silly and ambitious plans for December that I hope will delight and entertain you.
And then there’s this new book deal. Honestly, I cannot express how much I needed this vote of confidence in my work. I spent all of my teenage years reading nothing but science-fiction and it’s my favourite genre of all. Writing it was like coming home and to have Ace/Roc want to publish it? Well, it feels incredible. I mean, they publish Frank Herbert, William Gibson and Ursula Le Guin for heaven’s sake!
But above all else this year there has been a lot of love. I have felt held by my community, loved by friends and cherished by family. I could not have got through this without you all.
Watch out 2015. I will be rested and ready to take you on. You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.