Wednesday 30 December 2009

JG's Review of the Writing Year

2010 is almost upon us, so I thought I'd take a look back over the year and see how I've done writing-wise.

Well, first off, this was the year of two Fighting Fantasy gamebooks. Having not written one since 2006-07, January saw me writing Stormslayer, lined up as the only new title in Wizard's relaunch of the series which took place in September this year.

Next up on the writing roster was the Official Doctor Who Annual 2010, of which I ended up writing about a third (getting the longest writer credit in the book, if you care to look). That was great fun and meant I had to watch a lot of DW re-runs "for research purposes". Ah, life is hard...

Then came my fourth Pax Britannia title for Abaddon Books - Evolution Expects. This saw print in the summer and included the original novella Conqueror Worm, which I had also written this year. (I also wrote a very short short story which is still waiting to see print...)

During the summer I managed to write a short story for Black Library (Games Workshop's publishing imprint) which was the first work I had done for them in about five years - and there's more to come next year. The Relic, a Black Templars/Armageddon story, won't see print until April when the Warhammer 40,000 anthology Legends of the Space Marines is published.

I also managed to squeeze in writing a Decide Your Destiny gamebook for the Star Wars The Clone Wars franchise. It's called Crisis on Coruscant and is due to be published in January. What's exciting about this book is that it has a certain degree of unique online content that's been developed to go with it. (Look out for more news on this and links in the New Year.)

This autumn saw me writing my second FF gamebook of the year (and my seventh to date), Night of the Necromancer, due to be published on 1 April (I kid you not). This was a lot of fun to write, partly because ace artist Martin McKenna agreed to illustrate it, and seeing what he produces from my art briefs is always a joy.

And then came Blood Royal, the fifth Ulysses Quicksilver/Pax Britannia adventure and the first in a new story arc for the dandy agent of the throne. It was due to be published in time for Christmas, but for various reasons (including a change of book distributor in the US) it's now slated for an April release (with the sixth UQ/PB book - Dark Side - out two months after that).

I was expecting to spend November and December writing another book for a popular franchise, but due to a bit of a 'jobs for the boys' situation (the first I've knowingly encountered in my writing career so far) I missed out, which was a shame. Instead I put my mind to work on various proposals, including something wholly original, and as a result I'm suddenly finding myself inundated, with not enough hours in the day to manage everything I've been asked to do.

What is definite for next year is two more Pax Britannia novels, three novellas, another Warhammer 40K short story and a new non-fiction book. Beyond that, it's too early to say, but my New Year's writing resolutions are going to include showing my original idea to a few agents/publishers, trying out again for a popular periodical and simply being more efficient in my writing - so I can get more done!

So, to sum up, this year I have written five books - two FF gamebooks, two novels and a Star Wars The Clone Wars DYD - a third of an annual, a novella, a short story and numerous blog posts.

As I said, I've got plenty lined up already for 2010 (I never was very good at saying "No" to paid work) and hope to write between two and four novels, a non-fiction book and possibly my first... but it's too early to talk about that really.

So, in the meantime, here's to 2010 and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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