This has been a strange year.
Amazing things have happened to me in 2014. ‘When Charlie Sleeps’ was reprinted in “Best British Horror 2014”, an incredible honour and an achievement which saw me reading with three fine gentlemen – Stephen Volk, John Llewellyn Probert and Reggie Oliver at Waterstones in Covent Garden. Incredibly surreal and nerve-wracking, but also my best memory of the year. I had the privilege of meeting authors I’ve admired for a long time – and I really need to learn how to actually speak and interact with people instead of just gawping and gibbering like a nervous schoolgirl at a One Direction concert.
And in October I took part in Manchester Metropolitan University’s Gothic Festival, reading ‘Ptichka’ in Manchester alongside Tom Johnstone and Rosanne Rabinowitz – another fantastic experience, and in a lovely city to boot. I owe Johnny Mains and Tom Johnstone huge thanks and quite possibly some kind of cake for the opportunities they’ve given me this year.
I still feel somewhat of an imposter, masquerading as an ‘author’ when I’ve got a mere three short stories to my name…I’m going to assume this is normal. I am, after all, a ‘baby writer’ in the grand scheme of everything. And my resolution, such as it is, is that in 2015, I’m going to write as much as I can. Try to improve my skills, become a better writer and, hopefully, get more stories out there. I hope fervently that I won’t end up a one-hit wonder, but I’m going to have to work for it!
This has also been a tough year in many ways. Among other things, I lost my grandad. The world is a duller, darker place without grandad Pat, who had the most wicked sense of humour, and whose love of second-hand book shops almost certainly had a huge hand in the amount of reading I did as a kid. I miss him very much.
5 Best books of 2014
– The Girl With All The Gifts – M.R Carey
– The Republic Of Thieves – Scott Lynch
– MaddAddam – Margaret Atwood
– Brown Bread Boys – Delilah Des Anges
– The Language Of Dying – Sarah Pinborough
5 Best short story collections of 2014
– Gifts For The One Who Comes After – Helen Marshall
– The Moon Will Look Strange – Lynda E Rucker
– Dead Funny – edited by Robin Ince and Johnny Mains
– North American Lake Monsters – Nathan Ballingrud
– Year’s Best Weird Fiction – edited by Laird Barron and Michael Kelly
(I’d have put Best British Horror 2014 on here, but it feels a bit cheeky including an anthology I appear in)
5 Best TV shows of 2014
– Hannibal (NBC)
– Constantine (NBC)
– Psycho-Pass (Gen Urobuchi)
– Space Dandy (Shinichirō Watanabe)
– Game of Thrones (HBO)
Here’s hoping 2015 is an exciting, fun and positive year for all of you. Happy new year!