2015 end of year round-up

Turns out 2015 was pretty busy for me, and included a number of firsts! So here’s a quick run down of what happened…

I had three books out this year:

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Elementary: The Ghost Line came out in February, and was my first tie-in novel, for one of my favourite TV shows. One to tick off the bucket list! Two more Elementary novels are on the way, with the second one – Blood and Ink – out in April 2016.

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The Machine Awakes was out in April, the second in my three-book space opera series. The final volume, The Dead Stars, is out in Summer 2017.

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And this was the big one – Made to Kill, the first book in The LA Trilogy, came out in November. A lot of stuff happened with that book – it was an Indie Next Pick for December and I did two book tours on that back of it. You can read more about the adventures of Made to Kill here.

This year also saw my first pro comics work, with the first issue of The Shield dropping in October from Dark Circle Comics, the superhero imprint of Archie Comics.

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The Shield is co-written with Chuck Wendig, with art by Drew Johnson, colours by Kelly Fitzpatrick, and letters by Rachel Deering. Issue two is due early 2016, and hopefully we’ll be on a more regular schedule after that.

Writing-wise, I was so busy this year I kinda lost track. I know I wrote Elementary: Blood and Ink, The Dead Stars, and the first novel in another tie-in trilogy I can’t talk about yet, as well as issues of The Shield with Chuck, and about a dozen or so pitches and proposals for other comics. It was all a little crazy and nearly broke my brain, but hopefully that work will all pay off.

As I mentioned, a lot of stuff happened with Made to Kill, which resulted in a number of other first-time experiences and some amazing opportunities. In July, I went on my first book tour to support the book – which was still five months away – starting with the Locus Awards in Seattle, travelling down the West Coast, and ending up at my first San Diego Comic Con.

Me and Daryl Gregory and our Hawaiian shirts at the Locus awards.

That trip was amazing – I met booksellers and toured their stores, I signed roughly five billion ARCs at the American Library Association expo in San Francisco…

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…having negotiated my way through the amazing pride parade (the Supreme Court having just ruled the ban on same sex marriages unconstitutional, so you can imagine atmosphere and the crowds!), and I had the most incredible SDCC experience.

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Actually, SDCC was probably the highlight of my year. I was braced for sheer insanity and a mind-numbing volume of bodies… and I loved every minute. I had a Made to Kill ARC signing with a queue that had its own queue. I was on an SF panel in a ballroom packed to standing. I was on the Dark Circle Comics panel. I met hung out with Mixmaster Mike…

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…I was pushed out of the way by Guillermo del Toro’s bodyguards, and I met loads of friends I had only ever known online, and me and Chuck got to admire The Shield in person. Kinda.

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Oh, and I saw Rey’s speeder!

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But it was also a very businessy con – more than I had expected. I did at least four interviews, two of which were on video, one of which was for the SyFy channel. I had meetings on meetings, including one scheduled for midnight as that’s how busy everyone was.

I think I’m hooked for life.

In November, I did a second book tour, this time hitting the East Coast. Made to Kill was published on November 3rd, and we kicked it off with a joint Shield/M2K launch party at KGB in NYC. Then I headed up to World Fantasy in Saratoga Springs, before a multi-city tour that included my second television interview (this time on the breakfast news on CBS6 in Richmond, Virginia) and bookstore events with Max Gladstone, Chuck, and Mur Lafferty.

And to go with the tours and all the Made to Kill goings-on, my publisher created my first book-specific website, and even made a trailer!

And I’m forever grateful to them – my editor Miriam and my publicist Patty, and everyone else who supported Made to Kill, for the opportunities that came along. Book tours are increasingly rare, and the efforts that went on behind the scenes to give this novel the best launch possible were gargantuan. I’m very lucky, and I know it.

Finally, I rounded off the year with another little book deal, this time for a novella for Tor.com – Standard Hollywood Depravity, a Ray Electromatic Mystery, will be out around September/October 2016, and will set the scene for the second novel, Killing is My Business, which is out in January 2017.

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So that was 2015. What about 2016?

The first bit of next year is going to be busy – if not busier – than 2015 was, but one of my goals is to slow down a little. This year was too busy, and there are a couple of upcoming projects I need to stretch my legs on. If I can hit the middle of the year and have stayed on target, then it’ll be golden.

I have three books out in 2016:

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  • Elementary: Blood and Ink is out in April.
  • Also out in April (I think) is the first of another tie-in trilogy that I can’t talk about yet, so you ain’t seen me, right?
  • October/November is the Tor.com novella, Standard Hollywood Depravity.

I also have some more comics coming:

  • The Shield continues, with issue 2 coming in the early part of the year, and then, as mentioned, hopefully we’ll hit a more regular schedule.
  • I have another one-shot on the way. Can’t talk about it.
  • I have two other projects on the go, both creator-owned. I’m not entirely sure either will appear in 2016, but I’m hopeful. And no, I can’t talk about those either.

Writing-wise, there’s a lot to do – a novella, at least five novels, however many comic scripts, a rewrite, and a half-done novel to resurrect and finish. Err, yeah, should keep me busy. With that in mind, one of my New Year’s resolutions is to be more organised – I am quite well organised already, but there is more I can do in that regard.

I’ll also be travelling a fair bit – I’ll be at Phoenix Comic Con, San Diego Comic Con, and if I can swing it, New York Comic Con. I’m not sure about UK events yet, although EasterCon is practically on my doorstep next year so I might go along.

Phew! I hope everyone has a good New Year’s Eve, and I’ll see you in 2016!