I don’t usually do these year-end wrap-ups (except for my annual list of the books I’ve read, which is coming soon), but I thought this year I’d give it a shot. Let’s start with the big stuff: novels!
This year, my novel Die and Stay Dead came out from St. Martin’s/Griffin, the sequel to last year’s Dying Is My Business. The reviews were pretty snazzy, too. The novel garnered me my first starred review in Publishers Weekly and a glowing review in Rue Morgue, which is my favorite magazine ever. This year also saw the re-release of my Gabriel Hunt novel, Hunt at World’s End, by Titan Books. From what I hear, it’s selling a lot better than when Dorchester/Leisure originally released it back in 2009. You can tell Titan actually cares about how well their books do because they’re putting a little PR behind them, while Dorchester…well, they probably already knew that their doors would be closing soon, so they didn’t do squat to promote the series. Now that World’s End is in better hands — and actually has my name on the cover instead of the house name Gabriel Hunt — I saw royalties from it for the first time, and for a pretty hefty amount, too.
This was the year I also tried my hand at e-book self-publishing for the first time, releasing my 2007 Bram Stoker Award-nominated novelette General Slocum’s Gold for a number of different e-book platforms. So far the sales numbers haven’t set the world on fire or anything, but it was an interesting and rewarding experience. I would definitely consider self-publishing more e-books in the future. Maybe even new stuff.
I spent pretty much all of 2014 working on Only the Dead Sleep, the third volume in the trilogy that started with Dying Is My Business, due to its rather epic length, so I didn’t write any short stories. I did have one published, however, which I wrote in 2013: my Rocketeer story “The Mask of the Pharaoh,” which appeared in The Rocketeer: Jet-Pack Adventures from IDW Publishing. I had a lot of fun writing that one and learned a lot about Hollywood history, thanks to editor Jeff Conner’s incredibly detailed notes. I hope Rocketeer fans enjoy it.
I had a lot more non-fiction out there in 2014 than short fiction. My essay “Hardboiled Horror” was published by Nightmare Magazine. I wrote an article about demons titled “Beyond The Exorcist: Demons of a Different Type” for SF Signal. I was interviewed by The Book Plank and Crime Thriller Fella about the re-release of Hunt at World’s End, and by Blood Rose Books as a featured author. I was interviewed by The Big Thrill, the online magazine of the International Thriller Writers, about the release of Die and Stay Dead. I wrote about the story behind Die and Stay Dead for Upcoming4.me and wrote about my favorite bit for Mary Robinette Kowal’s blog.
In April, I launched my own blog feature, “The Scariest Part,” to showcase new works of horror, dark fantasy, dark science fiction, and suspense by authors, filmmakers, comic-book writers, and game creators. It’s still going strong, which is great, but so far it’s been 99.9% authors and .1% comic-book writers. I suppose that’s to be expected, but I’d love to get some filmmakers and game creators in there, too. Perhaps in the coming year. You can see past installments of “The Scariest Part” here.
I did a few readings and signings over the past year. In January, I signed books at Dark Delicacies in Burbank, California, alongside Christopher Golden, Amber Benson, and Jonathan Maberry. In May, I read with Chandler Klang Smith and Karen Heuler at the Hi-Fi Bar in Alphabet City. October was my busiest month for readings (hello, horror writer!): I read at WORD in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, with Laird Barron and L.A. Kornetsky; at Writers Read NYC in Alphabet City with Gene Albertelli, Marcia Loughran, and Malcolm McNeill; and at The New York Review of Science Fiction Reading Series in SoHo with John Langan.
I was at Readercon in July, where I hosted my first Kaffeeklatsch, gave a reading, a spoke on a panel about horror for diverse audiences. Also in July, I was a Guest of Honor at NECon, along with Amber Benson and Michael Koryta. There, I was on a panel about non-fiction and a panel about erotic genre fiction, and was interviewed by Toastmaster Jack Haringa. I was also roasted. Ahem. In October, I attended New York Comic Con, which was amazing if utterly overwhelming. In November, I attended the World Fantasy Convention in Washington, DC, where I was on a very fun panel about dragons and saw many, many friends from faraway places.
And that, my friends, was 2014 in a nutshell. Less productive than I would have liked in some respects, but more productive in others. I hope your 2014 was a good one, and that your 2015 will be even better!