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2017 writing summary, plus plans for 2018

2017 wasn’t a big year for publications: one new short story (“Royal Daughters” in Sword & Sorceress 32), three reprints, and three history/historical fiction book reviews in the Renaissance Magazine “Tomes of Lore” column. Three completed short stories are in the pipeline for 2018–one in a reprint anthology and two new short stories in themed anthologies. No firm publication dates have been announced for any of these yet. I also finished an as-yet-unsold short story and heavily revised an old “trunk story.”

My primary focus in 2017 was researching and writing what will be my first new novel in several years. It’s set in a fantasy version of Elizabethan England in the years 1566-1567, and it focuses on many of my favorite things: music, magic, books, swords, folklore, history, complicated elves, treacherous fey, and lots of intrigue. It’s full of characters whose company I enjoy, and I’m having a ridiculously good time writing it. The first pass is finished and I’m working on the revised first draft. 

In writing-related news, I attended Gen Con as a guest of the Writers Symposium and joined the Horror Writers of America. I’ve set up a Patreon account to be launched in 2018, and I’ve started drawing again. A cartoon illustration of “Family Matters,” the first piece of flash fiction in my Patreon, will be posted in January.

On the personal front, I walked over 5 million steps in 2017, which works out to about 2330 miles. That’s longer than the Appalachian Trail, though admittedly with far fewer mountains.


Looking ahead to 2018!

I plan to have the first draft of the novel ready to submit in February. After a short break to write and submit a proposal for a Mythos-themed novella, I’ll be working on the outline for the second and third historical fantasy books, diving into book 2, and creating a website for the project.

For Patreon, I have enough stories and writing articles for the first few months. My goal is to publish, at minimum, one of each throughout 2018. How much additional time I can devote to Patreon content will, of course, depend upon the level of interest and support it inspires.

For conventions, I will be attending Boskone in February and South Coast Game Fest in March. An event schedule will follow shortly. I have been invited to participate in the Writers Symposium at Gen Con 2018 in August, and I’m open to invitations from other cons.

November writing summary

In a nutshell:
Finished a (very) rough draft of my historical fantasy novel, working on the first draft.
Summary:

Publications: 1
Submissions: 2
Acceptances: 0
Rejections: 1
Projects currently in circulation: 6

Publications:

  • “Royal Daughters,” a short fantasy tale set in the tumultuous border country of Scotland during the infancy of Mary Queen of Scots, published in Swords & Sorceress 32. 

Submissions: 

  • Submitted a proposal of the novel-in-progess to a literary agent.
  • Submitted a flash fiction story to Market #5.

Rejections: 

  • Flash fiction declined by Market #5.

Work in progress:

  • First draft of a historical fantasy novel.
  • Waiting for editor’s revision notes on a short story solicited for a themed anthology

Writing related:

  • Attended a meetup of the New England Speculative Fiction Writers.
  • Drew, inked, and colored the first draft of a cartoon illustration for the flash fiction tale “Family Matters,” which will be part of my upcoming Patreon launch.

Books read:

  • The Elizabethan Secret Services by Alan Haynes
  • Patronage, Culture and Power: The Early Cecils 1558-1612 edited by Pauline Croft
  • Elizabeth & Leicester: Power, Passion, Politics by Sarah Gristwood
  • The Hollow Girl by Hillary Monahan
  • The Witch’s Tree by M.C. Beaton
  • Secrets in Death by J.D. Robb

Books Reading:

  • William Cecil: The Power Behind Elizabeth by Alan Gordon Smith

Renaissance Magazine Issue #112

The latest issue of Renaissance Magazine is out.  There’s lots of castle lore, a comprehensive listing of Renaissance Fairs, ads for all sorts of intriguing stuff that’s hard to justify purchasing because you (mostly) live in the 21st century, and the Tomes of Lore column. In the latter is my review of Allison Weir’s latest historical novel:  Anne Boleyn: A King’s Obsession.

I’ve been writing articles and reviews for this periodical for several years now. It’s a fun publication that appeals to RenFaire enthusiasts, as well as people who enjoy popular history and historical novels, games, and music.  And since I’m spending a great deal of time in the Renaissance these days, I have several more reviews in the pipeline, most of them for recently released histories.

The reason for this historical immersion is that I’m currently writing a novel set in a dark fantasy version of Elizabethan England.  More info coming soon!