I’m always telling students at my creative writing workshops that there is nothing more daunting than a blank page, and that the best thing to do is just roll your sleeves up and write on it. You can edit poor work, but you can’t edit a blank sheet of paper. But here I am staring at this page and wondering how I should fill it.
So, taking my own advice, let’s start with news.
It has been a good year for me as a writer. It started with my finding out that I’d won a prize in the 2021 Eyelands International Book Awards, for the second year running. Do you know the Eyelands Awards? They are an organisation based in Athens, and their annual book awards attract writers from all around the world. Check them out.
A little later in the year, I signed a contract with Neem Tree Press for my first adult novel, The Red Tunic. They will be publishing it in 2024 and I’m very excited to be working with such an excellent, inspirational publisher.
Things got even more exciting when I signed a contract with ZunTold for my series of upper MG/teen adventures set in Victorian London. They’re called The Mudlark Mysteries and I can’t wait to see them in print. I’m currently working on the third one and hope to write 4 or 5 of them.
Just a couple of weeks ago, my young adult fantasy, Icarus and Velvet, was released and I headed to Manchester, Stockport and Liverpool for some book-related events. I loved writing this. It’s influenced by Romeo and Juliet and The Hunger Games, among other things. What’s not to love? I hope to be writing the sequel next year. Watch this space for more news.
My final bit of good news was that Icarus and Velvet has been shortlisted for this year’s Eyelands Awards! Can I make it three in a row? I’ll tell you next time.
In the meantime, happy new year and keep reading!