Happy New Year!

So a lot of folks do these sort of end of the year roundup posts, where the list the things they’ve published and talk about stuff.  But, as you can probably tell from my very scant blog, I don’t like talking about stuff.  I don’t think there’s much to talk about.  I’m happy to answer questions, of course, and always respond to fan mail and tweets and comments and so forth, but just talking into the air?  Not really my thing.  I’d rather be writing fiction.

But, I’m trying to get better at talking and blogging and whatnot.  If I talk to all of you, you’ll talk to me, right?  And I want to know my fans.  I want to know who’s reading my books.  And I want you to feel like you can talk to me.  So my new years resolution is to try to blog more.  Feel free to pester me if I don’t do that.

As for this past year, I won’t lie, it hasn’t been the easiest.  There were some funerals.  But there was a wedding, too, and that was wonderful.  I had two books come out – Depth and Woundabout – both of which I’m really proud of, and both of which have turned up on best of the year lists and gotten great reviews.  I’m proud of them for other reasons, too, but different ones.

Depth I’m proud of because I feel like it’s exactly the sort of book I wanted to write because it’s exactly the sort of book I want to read, and which I don’t find much of.  It’s noir in a sci-fi world, and I love the mood and my characters and the world, and I especially love that I got to create what I keep calling a “female Bogart” – a hardboiled detective who is a woman in a noir, and where all the pretty young things around her are men.  I’m proud of it.  As books go, it hasn’t had an easy time of it, but it’s a good book.  And it was my first sale to the UK, where I’m told it’s doing very well.  In the US, I’m told it’s not doing nearly as well in terms of sales, but apparently it’s pirated A LOT.  Which is flattering, I guess?  But guys, if you’re pirate my book and you read it, like it, and want me to write a sequel (as many of you have emailed me asking about), go out and buy it, too.  Sales are what determines sequels, things getting turned into movies and tv shows, etc etc.  I have several more book ideas for Simone, but I’m not writing them if no one is going to buy them (and my publisher sure as hell ain’t publishing them if no one is going to buy them).  So, just keep that in mind.  If you like a book, buy it.  Tell other people to buy it.  Write a review somewhere in which you tell people how you liked it.  This goes for all books.  That’s how books get sequels and sell and authors write more.  Anyway, /rant.

Woundabout I’m proud of for different reasons.  For example, I’m proud of the fact that I haven’t thrown my computer out the window even though every time I type the title of my book it gets autocorrected to roundabout.  I’ve thought about it a few times, but I haven’t done it.  Yet.  I’m also really proud of the work I did with my brother.  That was an awesome experience.  And I think it’s a wonderful book for kids and parents to read aloud and talk about afterwards. That’s what I want most of all from that book, for kids to talk after reading it.  To discuss the ideas in it about change.  I think kids are doing that, too.  I’ve heard some are.  And that makes me really happy.

And I’ve done some writing this year, too.  I wrote and sold The Memory Wall, which will be coming out in September (I guess I really just edited it this year).  I think this one is going to get some attention, too.  I hope it’s positive.  And I wrote a short story called Riverside, which I read live on The Hour of the Wolf (which, just being on was a huge honor).  I’m still tinkering with it, but then I may send it out to litmags, or possibly just self-publish it on amazon, I haven’t decided. And I wrote a Young Adult novel, too.  Still editing it with my agent, but I like it.  It’s also the first of a trilogy, because I love a dead trend as much as the next guy.  I’m not quite up for talking about that one yet, but I’ll tell you it’s about teenaged spies and past lives.  Sort of.

I also did a lot of readings and interviews this year.  Quite a few radio interviews, too, which was fun, and a first for me, and made me wildly self conscious about my voice.  But I think the reading I’m most proud of was the HiFi reading I curated with two of my students – Cara Murray and Teri Clarke – and my dear friend Laura McGinley.  They are all going to be huge one day.  I have no doubt.

So, it’s been a long year, and I’m hoping 2016 will be better, but its had plenty of good in it.  And best of all, I had a wonderful New Years Eve, with good friends and good food and lots of joy in the room.  That makes me think it’s going to be a great year.

I hope you all rang in the New Years in style and surrounded by joy.  And I hope this coming year is wonderful for all of us.

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