Tuesday 31 December 2019

Review of the Decade - 2010-2019

I've not done one of these before, but inspired by Twitter's Decade Challenge I thought it might be fun to consider what I've achieved over the last ten years, as well as considering the ups and downs of life.

Starting with the downs, I started the 2010s living in a four-bedroom house, but by the end of the decade I now find myself living in a three-bedroom flat*. In fact, during the last ten years I've lived in four different properties, and have gone from having a dedicated office space to a desk in my bedroom. At the start of the decade I was a full-time freelance writer, for three years I held down a full-time teaching post whilst still writing, and I currently have a part-time job, but on the up side I'm earning more from my writing now than I was in 2010. I also lost my Mum last year.

However, in the space of the last ten years I have had fifty books published - everything from colouring books and gamebooks, to steampunk omnibuses and Doctor Who tie-in novels. I have also compiled and edited three short story anthologies, and have had over forty short stories of my own published in various formats.

It seems mad to consider that my last Fighting Fantasy gamebook was published in 2010, while in 2020 I will be writing my twenty-second interactive adventure, Dracula - Curse of the Vampire.

In the 2010s I organised three Fighting Fantasy Fests and attended numerous other events as a guest, including the Frankfurt Book Fair. I've travelled a fair bit, to be honest, as far west as Canada, as far north as Norway, as far south as Gran Canaria, and as far east as Vienna, in Austria**.

I've worked with talented artists such as Martin McKenna, Pye Parr, Simon Coleby, Kev Crossley, Russ Nicholson, and Tony Hough, and I've started my, I am pleased to say, ongoing relationship with publisher Snowbooks. Talking of whom, within the last five years that I have created my ACE Gamebooks series, which is published in the UK by Snowbooks, and which has, to date, been taken up in one form or another by six foreign language publishers and counting.

I had my first creator credit in 2000AD, and I've even had an editor's credit appear in a comic books series/graphic novel, and I will be continuing with my editing work into the next decade.

I've read a fair few books and comics, and I've seen a fair few films, but I have also run nine successful Kickstarter projects, the most recent of which was for 'TWAS - The Roleplaying Game Before Christmas.

So not a bad decade all in all, and it will be interesting to see what the next one brings. Certainly in terms of writing and travel, hopefully more of the same.

What have been your highlights of the last ten years?

* I know - #FirstWorldProblems.

** So not very far east.

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