I know I’ve been AWOL here on the blog for the last several months, but I wanted to at least write my annual year-in-retrospect post. A lot of negative shit happened this year, guys, so instead of focusing on that hurtful stuff, I’m going to look at the positive things that happened.
I signed a two-book deal with Crystal Lake Publishing back in July, an arrangement that will actually spawn three releases for 2017. I am eternally grateful to Joe Mynhardt at Crystal Lake for taking a chance on these stories. I posted the cover for the first one last week, a novella I call THE FINAL RECONCILIATION. It will be released as a standalone eBook in February, and then in print as part of UGLY LITTLE THINGS: VOLUME TWO. I can’t wait for you guys to get your hands on the new material. I really think you’re going to dig it.
On the heels of the book deal, I was also invited to host an official videocast series for Crystal Lake dubbed “Beneath the Lake.” We’re four episodes in, and despite some technical hiccups, it’s been a blast talking to my peers about their work. I’m grateful for the opportunity, and I can’t wait to see what next year brings.
After nearly two years of work, I published Anthony J. Rapino’s collection, GREETINGS FROM MOON HILL, and laid the groundwork for future titles from Precipice Books. (FYI: We still have two hardcover copies of Moon Hill left, if you’re interested.) I’m extremely proud of what we accomplished with this title; furthermore, I’m extremely proud of my friend, Mr. Rapino, for working his ass off on this thing. I’m honored that he put his trust in me to publish something so close to his heart. Thank you, my friend. An additional shout-out is due for Erin Sweet-Al Mehairi, who stepped in at the 11th hour to help us promote this monster. Thanks, Erin!
I’ve committed to writing for three anthologies next year and subbing to a fourth—none of which I can talk about just yet. All I can say is they’re all quite unique and exciting, and I’m honored to be a part of them.
NECON 36. I wrote about it in depth several months ago, but I have to mention it again here because it was an amazing experience. I returned from that conference reinvigorated and driven to write. I enjoyed it so much that I plan to attend next year, and this time Erica will be joining me.
This was also a year of meeting up with friends, many of whom I either hadn’t seen in years or had never met in person before. Amelia, Mercedes, Nikki, Brian, Gard, Eryk, Kel, Craig, Elisa, Jim, Kelsey—I miss you guys already. Well, most of you. Craig’s 50/50. 😉
Erica and I adopted two kittens this year—Oberon (or “Obie” as we call him) and Ophelia. The loss of Lear is still felt in our household, but these two youngsters have helped ease that pain.
I made an effort to read more books this year. Here are some of my favorites:
- THE FISHERMAN by John Langan. This is my book of the year. Hands down one of the best cosmic horror stories I’ve ever read. Months later, I’m still thinking about it.
- STRANDED by Bracken Macleod. A tightly-woven speculative thriller that plays out like an extended episode of The Twilight Zone. A great book by a great guy.
- EXPERIMENTAL FILM by Gemma Files. There’s a good reason this won the Shirley Jackson award this year. Trust me, read this book.
- WE ARE MONSTERS by Brian Kirk. I’ll be honest: A scene in this book moved me to tears.
- GUTTED, edited by Doug Murano & D. Alexander Ward. An excellent anthology of horror stories that will move you, disturb you, and break your fucking heart. I’ll be shocked if this doesn’t win some awards next year.
Finally, a new EP by Nine Inch Nails was released last week. There’s a song on it called “Burning Bright (Field on Fire).” I’ve been listening to it a lot, especially in the time I’ve written this post, and it seems fitting as we prepare to wave goodbye to the year.
I am forgiven.
I am free.
I am a field on fire.
So let’s burn 2017 to the ground. Happy New Year, everyone.