Wow. More than two months since my last post. Sorry about that. Sometimes, it feels like I spend more time apologizing for a lack of blog updates than I do writing blog updates. Interesting.
Anyway, 2013 is winding down hard. I figured that means it’s time for my pseudo-annual recap and promise to keep better track of things in the new year. Let’s dig in, shall we?
In retrospect, I suppose 2013 was neither good nor bad, just one of those mixed bags we find outselves in as we trudge through our adult lives. Honestly, that feels a tiny bit depressing. There’s a little bit of a “This is the rest of your life” feeling to it, but I’m self-aware enough to know the rest of my life will be what I want it to be, so I suppose there’s no reason to be bummed. Ha! Have at thee, feelings!
Professionally, it was a year that was somehow relatively slow, disgustingly frustrating, and amazingly powerful. It appears it was also a pretty good year for adverbs and adjectives. PALE HORSES, a book I’ve worked on for at least the past five years, was released in October. While I’ll probably write better books in the future, PALE HORSES is the best thing I’ve written to date. I mean that. At no other point have I written something with characters that sing like in this book. Of course, that’s just my point of view. What I’m trying to say is that I’m very proud of PALE HORSES. I sincerely hope you guys read it and enjoy it.
Four other books came out from me this year. Abattoir Press released THE PALE MAN, fifth in their Sam Truman series. Working on someone else’s property was a fun challenge. Sinister Grin released a signed limited edition of THE SLAB CITY EVENT, a zombie novel told as a series of short stories that proved to be an interesting experiment. Deadite Press released a trade paperback of my vampires attack a prison novel LIGHTS OUT, and they also released the paperback of SIXTY-FIVE STIRRUP IRON ROAD, a collaborative novel between myself, Brian Keene, Shane McKenzie, Edward Lee, Jack Ketchum, Wrath James White, J.F. Gonzalez, Ryan Harding, and Bryan Smith. Proceeds from that book go to benefit the great Tom Piccirilli, who is successfully recovering from a bout with brain cancer.
2013 was also the year I finally started working in kitchens again. Back in the late nineties, I worked in a casino buffet. After two years, I left that job knowing exactly as much about cooking as I had when I started, which is to say nothing. This year, I interned at a local Thai place (that sadly shuttered six week later). I learned more in six weeks than I had in two years at that casino. Most importantly, I learned that I really do love cooking and that I want to do it professionally. I’m happy to report that 2014 will see me start my first pro kitchen job, the kind where I’m really expected to cook instead of just shoving large amounts of chicken pieces in an oven and hoping for the best.
But what does 2014 have in store, writing-wise? Well, Thunderstorm Books will be releasing a new novelette of mine called SAFE HOUSE, and later in the year they’ll be releasing a signed limited hardcover of PALE HORSES. Sinister Grin will eventually release a paperback and ebook of THE SLAB CITY EVENT. After that, I’m not sure. I’m currently working on two novels, but I have no interest in trying to sell them until I feel they’re ready. I’ve reached a point in my writing career where I’m not worried about “Keeping my name out there.” I want to tell the best stories I can, to write as well as possible, and that takes time. How much time? We’ll see. I’ll let you know when I know.
So that’s 2013. It had its ups; it had its downs. Once again, I can say I survived the year relatively unscathed. Here’s to 2014. May it rule hard.