2013: The year that was…

4799_looking_backIt’s that time of year again, when the days are growing longer and hotter (though my Canadian instincts tell me they should be getting shorter and colder) and I’ve baked enough caramel and truffles to know that the Christmas holidays are here.

2013 has been a busy year, hence the complete falling away of updates on this website. Alas, I’ve always been of the mindset that if words are going to appear on any page in my spare time, then it is best for all if that page is one that makes its way to a publisher… So when time ran short — as it tended to do this year — I had to sacrifice hanging out with you lovely folks here, and simply keep my head down, nose to the grindstone.

Having said that, it’s nice to take stock of what’s been keeping me away, if only to remind myself of what a whole heck of a lot has changed since this time last Yule.

First and foremost, I sold my first novel!! This is news that most of you know by now, but is still MAJORLY EXCITING nonetheless. Lament for the Afterlife will be published by the amazing ChiZine Publications in 2015! I love love love CZP books, so I couldn’t be happier that they are publishing mine!!

Angela and I signed a contract to cap off the incredible Twelve Planets series of collections (published by Twelfth Planet Press) with our co-written collection, Baggage. Keep an eye out for it in 2014!

Because I spent most of this year focusing on Lament for the Afterlife, I have had a slower time, short story-wise, than I have in the past couple of years. Even so, I had five stories out in wonderful venues in 2013:

  • ‘The Coronation Bout’ appears in Electric Velocipede‘s final issue (and I’m honoured to be there at the end of this great magazine!)
  • ‘Another Mouth’ appears in the inaugural issue of The Dark (also honoured to be there at the beginning of this one!)
  • ‘Morning Passages’ appears in Shadows Edge, an anthology of weird/dark fiction edited by Simon Strantzas
  • ‘Snowglobes’ appears in Chilling Tales Two, an anthology that does what it says on the can, edited by Michael Kelly
  • ‘By Blood and Incantation’, a story I co-write with Angela Slatter, appears in One Small Step, a great anthology edited by Tehani Wessely.

‘Sweet Subtleties’, which was published in Clarkesworld last December, was selected for the Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2012, as was ‘Bella Beaufort Goes to War’, which appeared in Midnight and Moonshine. And ‘Bella’ made another appearance in Imaginarium: Best Canadian Speculative Fiction 2012!

Midnight and Moonshine, which Angela and I had published last year, was shortlisted for the Aurealis and Ditmar Awards for 2012 — and Kathleen Jennings won the Ditmar for her cover illustration for M&M!

P1050589I had the pleasure of attending (and reading at, and participating in panels at) the NSWWC Speculative Fiction Festival, thanks to Kate Forsyth; and Natcon/Conflux; and the World Fantasy Convention in Brighton (where I had the great joy of hanging out with some of my favourite Canadians, Brett, Sandra, and my adopted sisters, Helen and Laura Marshall); and I was a guest reader in London after the convention — and even though my iPad locked me out right before I was due to go on stage for my reading, things all turned out well (thanks to my dear friend Nick, who rescued me with backup iPaddery!)

I became a columnist for This Is Horror in the UK this year — and though my monthly columns went on hiatus when I was overwhelmed with dayjobbery in Semester Two, I’m aiming to get back to the team for quarterly articles next year.

Speaking of dayjobbery, this was my first (almost-)full year of being a full-time university lecturer. I’ve taught in four topics, convening three of them, and have supervised some brilliant Honours and postgrad students this year. I had great fun presenting a paper at Kim Wilkins’ most excellent ‘Australian Genre Crossings’ symposium in Queensland, and then had a blast at the ‘Weird’ conference at the University of London in November. AND THEN, I had the MOST FUN OF ALL doing research for my next novel, which is set in the Viking period, by visiting Copenhagen and Roskilde in Denmark for the first time. (The picture inset above is from the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde.) AND, I’ve just been told that I’ve received a grant for next year, which will help me to turn my PhD thesis into a proper book — while simultaneously doing research for my novel.

It’s been a challenge this year, working out the balance between full-time teaching, academic research, and fiction writing — but I’ve had an awesome time. Next year will bring more challenges and, no doubt, just as much awesomeness along with it!

Best wishes to you all for a happy and healthy holiday season! See you (hopefully more frequently) in 2014!


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