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It’s typical. The moment I decide to start moving away from doing these year-end reviews, I suddenly have a year full of stuff to report. Not that I’m complaining!

Even though 2011 was easily the biggest and best year of my writing career to date, I’m going to try very hard not to ramble.

The high point of the year was attending the World Horror Convention in Austin, Texas, where ChiZine Publications announced they were buying my first book, a collection of short stories due out next fall called Every House Is Haunted.

Shortly after returning from Texas, a new publishing company called Stonebunny Press released a Weird Western novella I wrote called Deadstock. This also marked my first e-book as Deadstock was made available for the Amazon Kindle.

I had a Felix Renn story called “My Body” published in the all-Canadian horror anthology Chilling Tales, edited by Michael Kelly. There were three (!) launches for the book, one at Bakka Books, one at Ad Astra, and one at the World Horror Convention in Texas. Lots of books were sold and it was nice to introduce new readers to Felix Renn and the Black Lands.

Speaking of which, later in the fall, Burning Effigy Press published my third Felix Renn chapbook, “Black-Eyed Kids.” Twice as long as the first two entries in the series, BEKs was a much deeper, and darker, exploration of Felix Renn and the Black Lands. It also makes a nice transition piece between the novellas and the series of novels that I’m working on right now.

This year was my busiest in terms of conventions and appearances. In addition to attending Ad Astra, World Horror Con, Readercon, and Word on the Street, I also took part in the Chiaroscuro Reading Series (where I read “Aces,” a selection from my forthcoming collection) and was one of the co-organizers (along with Joel Sutherland and Michael Kelly) of DarkLit Fest of Durham. With my wife Kathryn, I organized a reading/signing event for Mike and Linda Carey, in promotion of their upcoming ChiZine Publications book, The Steel Seraglio (written with their daughter, Louise Carey). I also did a reading in support of “Black-Eyed Kids,” along with fellow Burning Effigy authors Jeff Cottrill and Tobin Elliott.

I’m currently working on stories for a Felix Renn collection due out from Burning Effigy Press next fall, and soon I’ll begin the edits for my ChiZine collection which will be published around the same time. And, while all of this is going on, there’s the first Felix Renn novel.

So yes, 2012 is looking to be a very busy year for me. But I don’t mind. I’ve worked hard to be this busy. Now if I can just get some big publisher interested in a series of Felix Renn novels, or maybe sell a Black Lands TV show to HBO, I’ll be on easy street. Stranger things have happened.

Until then, I’ll try to keep things interesting around here. I hope everyone has a happy and productive new year.

See you on the flip-flop.


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Random Writing Quote

\"Beware of self-publishing. You want the chance to work with editors in established markets, even if it means taking chump change (or no change) at first. A few people have published directly to Kindle or iBooks and made millions. We hear all about them, all the time. We hear a lot less about the tens of thousands who e-publish, sell six copies to their relatives, and never develop their craft, because they never tried to sharpen their tools against the whetstone of a competent editor’s mind.\"
Joe Hill

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