2021 Roundup

Another barmy year, eh? A year of obsessively watching trends and numbers and graphs, of living carefully and hopefully. A year of feeling that life was getting back to normal, until it wasn’t. Another year of losing friends. And of doing the only thing a creative person can do, get the head down and continue to make things as best as you’re able.

Same as last year, in other words. More or less.

I had three stories published in 2021. Thirty-Two Tumbling Teeth, a creepy little slice of weird about what a maintenance man in a 24-hour laundrette finds in the driers, appeared in Black Static. This is the first of what I hope will become a series of stories about supernatural bequests, and with any luck you’ll see more of these appearing in 2022. I was also really thrilled that The Sound of Smoke, a story about the tension between inspiration and originality and a tribute to one of my musical heroes, Deep Purple’s Jon Lord, was featured in PS Publishing’s No More Heroes anthology.

And to top off the year, I have a novelette set in the surveillance-saturated world of The Memoirist coming out later this week. Look out for Neighbourhood Watch in the ParSec Magazine seasonal special which will hit the digital shelves on Christmas Eve.

Cover for ParSec Magazine Issue 2

Looking ahead into 2022, there’s another Bees story, A Moment of Zugzwang, slated to appear in ParSec, and my 1920s Scottish diaspora novella, The Packet, is also due to appear next year from Shoreline of Infinity/Stone Owl Press.

But best of all, the new novel, Queen of Clouds, is only three months away from hitting the shelves. Feels like I’ve been waiting for this one for a long, long time, and I’m just so excited I’ll be able to share it with you at last.

What else have I been working on? Well, I finally finished my seventies-inspired, urban folk horror novella, Charlie Says. It’s getting a last polish before I send it out into the world. More on that when I’ve got more to tell you. As mentioned above, there will be more of those supernatural bequests stories. I’ve been collecting ideas for them during the course of the year… and I’ve got about thirty now, so I’m not short of material. And keeping the supernatural theme going, I’m aiming to start writing a new novel about love, death and the power of faith in the new year.

As you can see, my mind seems to be in a more grounded, serious mode at the moment. I’ve still got the fantasy stuff on the go, but right now that’s where the muse is. Which is also evident in the music I produced during this year’s FAWM, which you can find in the new album, Monsterism. We even managed a cheeky wee video for the song, Zevangelism.

And suddenly I realise that it’ll be February again in a little over a month. So, I’d better get preparing.

It’s been a dark year, and at times a dispiriting one. I’m lucky to have kept the fires of creativity going, and I’m really grateful for that.

More of the same next year? That’s the plan.

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