A couple of months ago, I finished up at a day job to see what I can make of a full year of writing full time. I’m keeping track of things during these blogs, which used to be on Friday but have been nudged to the weekend, and previous installments are racked up here.
At the moment this freelance year is all about works in progress. Most obviously, I’m currently writing the second of two novels I want to have finished on or before December 19th. You can follow along with that one if you like, by clicking The 20 Day Novel link at the top of the page. This particular novel is destined for the submission desks of publishers, rather than being self-published (though if none of the four or five publishers I’d like to work with are interested, I’ll probably publish it myself anyway).
At the same time, I’m also starting work on the late January release of The Flesh Market, which I’m definitely releasing myself. The cover is in the final stages of tweaking and colouring. I actually approved a version the other day, only to have Emma slap my wrist and tell me she wasn’t done playing yet. It’s a reassuring sign that you’re hiring good people when you tell them they can stop working, and they refuse because they’re not quite happy with what they’ve done. Above, I offer an exclusive peek at the current version. I bet you’re glad you dropped by now.
The manuscript is currently out of my hands, and being looked at by a couple of pre-readers (thank you!) and the book’s editor. It’s a relief to have it away. The end of January seems a long time off, but it isn’t really. On December 19th I fly off with my family and some friends to the Philippines for xmas (which in light of recent events may be a slightly different sort of break than I imagined when we booked it…), and I won’t be back until the first week of 2014. By then, the book has to be in its very last stages of design and preparation (no pressure then), to make the late January date.
I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to having the book out. Since quitting the day job, all of the work has been in my head and on the page, with nothing new to hang the year’s efforts on (Craven Place was the last of the unfinished business I wanted to clear before the leap, so isn’t really part of it).
Before I go, I’ll have contacted a few reviewers and hopefully sent them a next to final version of the book to look over. I’ll also have sent the ebook to everybody on my email newsletter list for free. You should sign up now, and make sure you get a copy when that happens. I think it will probably go out on December 18th. Miss it at your peril. Not only do you get to read the book a month and a half before anybody else on Kindle, but because I usually keep the book exclusive to Amazon for three months before it launches in other formats you’ll get the book four and a half months early if you have Nook, Kobo, or some other device. Seriously, there’s no catch. Go and sign up – top right of the page.
I also have The 52 to attend to. The first story of the year, based on your photos, will be posted on Monday 6th January. Several people have asked if I’ve forgotten this project, but I haven’t at all. It’s been quietly coming together in the background, and I’m very pleased with both the photos you’ve sent and the stories that are building around them. There’s still time to send stuff, if you want to play. I have enough images for about two thirds of the year right now.
With all that going on (new novel to finish, The Flesh Market to prep for release, short stories for The 52), I’m stretched pretty thin. Last night I went to bed at 8pm, and slept through until morning. I don’t intend to have a proper day off until the holiday either, although there are and will be days like today when I’m mixing bits of work with other stuff (our last German xmas mela in India is on the cards, as is finally sitting down and watching the Doctor Who anniversary episode).
I don’t intend to be working quite so hellishly hard in the new year, as a lot of this current push is about getting the twelve months off to the best possible start. On the other hand, this year remains a unique opportunity, and I don’t want to look back at too much wasted time when it ends.