2014 was the year that I moved from Swinton to Liverpool to be with the woman I love. A big decision, but one I'm still very happy about.
2014 was also the year in which we lost a lot of good people. I can't count the actors and musicians and writers that were taken from us, among them Graham Joyce, one of our best novelists. The first anniversary of Joel Lane's passing came and went, and I tried and failed to find something to say. And, this month, it hit closer still to home, when Cate's mum passed away.
I published a few stories, together with a serial that might possibly count as a new novel - and I still have that Very Good News to deliver (but that will have to wait until the New Year.)
I want to take the opportunity to thank the many people whose kindness and support have meant so much of late. My family, my friends - and the reviewers and fans too. A good online review, or a personal message on how much you enjoyed a story or what it meant to you, means one hell of a lot, and it's one of the kindest gifts you can give a writer.
Just a quick round-up, then, of my credits this year:
As White As Bone, published in Matter #13 (May 2014, allegedly. I'm still yet to receive either payment or a contributor copy.)
The Lowland Hundred, published in Dead Water, ed. Len Maynard and Mick Sims. (June 2014)
The Battering Stone, published in Horror Uncut, ed. Tom Johnstone and Joel Lane (October 2014)
Night Templar, published in Blasck Static #43, ed. Andy Cox. (November 2014)
It may or may not count as a novel - although it will be coming out as a single volume print edition in the future - but if it does, there was Black Mountain. The first episode went up on the Spectral Press website last Christmas as a free taster, before being published as an ebook in early 2014. Thanks to the eagle-eyed James Everington and Anthony Watson and to all kind souls on Amazon for noticing it and reviewing it. And to Simon Marshall-Jones for commissioning it, Graeme Reynolds for the proofing and formatting, and Neil Williams for that stellar artwork.
It was still a tough year professionally, with many crises of confidence. But I'm still here. And the work goes on.
Here's to a better 2015 for us all. Have a good - and safe - New Year, folks.