Funny thing is, though, none of that is likely to be what I'll remember 2011 for five years from now. Which, in the end, is possibly the strangest thing about a strange, strange year. As much as the larger part of it felt like a battle against crisis after crisis, I got to its end in a pretty good place. I have my first house. I have a new job. Giant Thief comes out in less than a month now, and it's clocking up the kind of reviews I'd never have dared dream of.
Another funny thing. While everything else crumbled, my writing career seemed more or less immune to the crazy stomping through the rest of my life. More than that - it flourished. And, maybe apart from the house thing, I suspect that's what I'll remember 2011 for: the nose-dive from hard-working amateur scribe to slightly shell-shocked professional. I mean, I know it's true. The SFWA say so.
So here, for the record, are the main reasons I'll be thinking of 2011 fondly in five years time when about eighty-seven percent of it was downright horrible at the time:
- I guess we have to start with the book deal, right? The offer of a two book deal with Angry Robot that got me an agent, who got that offer upgraded to a three book deal? Whichever way you look at it, that's pretty much the biggie for the year. Now here we are and Giant Thief is about to come out, Crown Thief is nearly finished, and Prince Thief is kicking like a feisty foetus at my brain. It's been a long twelve months, and I still can't quite believe all this has happened in it.
- For sheer buzz though, the highlight of the year has to have been being part of the team behind Match, the short film that picked up a whole host of awards in the 2 Days Later short film contest - not least, Best Screenplay, the certificate for which is currently suspended behind my head. And Match isn't the only screenplay I had a hand in over the last twelve months, either. My fingers, toes and a couple of internal parts that really aren't supposed to work that way are all crossed in that hope that 2012 will bring blogable news on the other two.
- Nothing I've done has taken quite so long to get off the ground as my comic script Endangered Weapon B. But all the delays turned out to be worth when the brilliant Bob Molesworth made it real and eye-smackingly lovingly and - crucially - signed on for more. Endangered Weapon is my love-child, and I'd arm-wrestle Ghandi to see it in comic shops. In the meantime, there's Endangered Weapon #0, available utterly for free. Ten thousand hits already, and still counting...
- Things even went pretty well on the short story front. I had my first and second commissions, for the Dark Tales of Lost Civilisations and Slices of Flesh anthologies respectively, both out soon from Dark Moon Books. I had my first best-of and my first year-end anthology appearances, my best year yet for sales, and stories out in the likes of Bull Spec, Digital Science Fiction, Abyss and Apex, Redstone Science Fiction and Electric Velocipede.
- Lastly, I got my first proper taste of the convention scene. I had a glimpse of Eastercon, and made it to (and through) what's been roundly proclaimed as the finest Fantasycon ever. There and elsewhere, I'm made new writing friends and acquaintances too numerous to mention - hopefully they know who they are! While it's a shame to single anyone out, no list of 2011 highlights would be complete without a mention of the hour spent drinking free wine with Mike Carey whilst anatomising his comics career in painstaking detail. Happy times! (And not just for the free wine.)