I'm still off work, as I have been all year, trying to find a way back through the anxiety maze. It's bloody draining; that's the most frustrating thing about it. One day you can schedule a series of tasks and stick to them, and think you're progressing - the next it all falls apart, with panic attacks, random general anxiety or general debilitating knackeredness kicking in. I do not recommend it, at all.
Most of last year was spent completing the final draft of one huge novel I've been revising on and off for the better part of a decade; my then agent enthused about it, but then took a job as a commissioning editor. Still, the Huge Novel was ready to be sent out in the hope of securing new representation, so towards the end of last year, out it went...
...at which point I should probably mention that it's about a devastating global pandemic that collapses civilisation. I have a certain knack of timing!
Luckily, one agent liked it enough to ask to see my next book. I've completed two novels so far this year (one begun last summer) and am hard at work on a third. The first one has now gone out into the world.
Despite everything, I'm managing to write 1000 words every day, with very very rare exceptions, and that ensures steady progress gets made. I used to write a lot more than that per day, and still think it wasn't enough, always in a hurry to get somewhere else; now, a thousand words seems plenty. It frees up time and energy to work on more than one thing at a time, and more importantly, it helps make the book about the journey and not the destination.These Foolish and Harmful Delights really should.
The fantastic illustration at the top of this post is by Reiko Murakami, for the cover of Ellen Datlow's Best Horror of the Year #12. As always, it contains a roll-call of fantastic authors, including Gemma Files, Laura Mauro, Nathan Ballingrud, Stephen Graham Jones, Sarah Read, Paul Tremblay, Sarah Langan and Joe Lansdale. My story 'Below', from Paul Finch's Terror Tales of North West England, is included therein.
Best Horror of the Year #12 is released on October 6th, and you can preorder it here.
October will also bring the first of two all-new novellas, brought to you by that fine gentleman SteveBlack Shuck Books. The second one will be out next year; the first, all being well, should see the light (or the dark) on Halloween. More details to follow soon.
So October's looking like a good month, but then so does September, with Flame Tree Press bringing out an original, non-themed horror anthology, After Sundown, edited by Mark Morris. The successor to the Spectral Books of Horror and to Titan Books' New Fears, After Sundown features stories by a host of amazing writers -- too many to list here, but just take a closer look at the cover for a full roll-call! My story 'We All Come Home' is included.
After Sundown is out on September 15th, and can be preordered here.
And that's all the latest news from Castle Bestwick. Have a good weekend, everyone.