This isn’t going to be one of those “here’s everything I did in 2014” updates. Partly because my brain is full of squirrels, who like to carry off relevant bits of information, hide it, and forget where they put it. I could probably reconstruct most of my year by going through my Facebook updates, but yeah, not gonna do that.

Writing-wise, it was a good year. I got a lot done, both in my freelance work for Shadowrun and for my own personal stuff. Here are a few highlights (some of which need to be vague since they haven’t hit the world yet):

Freelance bits and bobs:

  • Novella for an upcoming ebook
  • Short story for Run and Gun sourcebook
  • Short story and chapter for Run Faster sourcebook
  • Another project I can’t talk about yet

By far my biggest bit of news from 2014 freelancer-wise, though, was the news in August that my proposal for a real, honest-to-goodness dead-tree Shadowrun novel had been accepted! This is something that has been a dream of mine pretty much since there were Shadowrun novels, and given that I became a fan of the game in 1989 when it came out, that’s a long time. It always seemed like I was in the wrong place at the wrong time when the novel line got one of its periodic reboots, so the news that the stars had finally aligned and I was on the schedule made me a happy camper. I immediately put aside my personal projects and focused on the novel, turning in a first draft in December, 3 months early (yeah, I was a little motivated!) Now it’s in the hands of the Powers that Be, so the next step is to wait for editorial comments, get them incorporated, and go from there. I can’t really say much else about it since none of it has been announced, but fingers crossed, it’ll be out sometime next year.

Personal Stuff – Stone Chronicles

Lots going on in the personal department last year, mostly centered around my original urban fantasy series, The Alastair Stone Chronicles.

The series was a little weird to start with, because I already self-published two of the books when I originally thought it was going to be a trilogy. But then I started writing more, and realized that the trilogy had become a series. That would necessitate some rewrites in the two that were already published, to make them fit in better with the rest of them.

I also had the problem that I’d submitted the first book in the series, House of Stone, to Angry Robot Books’ Open Call at the end of 2013, and was waiting to hear whether they wanted it or not. They said that took around 6 months, so I figured I’d have my answer sometime in the summer. No such luck–the company was sold, and that put them far back in their schedule for reviewing submissions. That meant I couldn’t really move forward until I had an answer. I didn’t get the answer until late November (it was a no–I pretty much expected that, but hope sprang eternal). In the meantime, I:

  • Completed the fifth book in the series, Faces of Blood.
  • Completed the third book in the Forgotten Trilogy (and the fourth book in the series), The Source.
  • Edited The Forgotten (first book in the Forgotten Trilogy, second in the series) to make it fit in better with the rest of the series.

So now I’ve got five books done in first draft form, which leads me to the next bit of good news:

I have a professional editor! John Helfers, who’s the editor of all sorts of pro-published anthologies including the Shadowrun Returns Anthology, as well as the new Shadowrun novel line, has graciously agreed to find time in his schedule for my books! He’s got House of Stone right now, and I plan to submit the others to him whenever he has time available.
I’m also going to have some new, unified covers for the series. I’m really excited about that. Michaela Eaves has done beautiful covers for the first editions of Forgotten and Threshold, but she’s got a busy schedule and I made the decision (which she’s cool with–I asked her) to switch to a different approach for my covers.

Sooo…this year I’m hoping to really start making the push to get the series out there where people can read it, and I’m tremendously excited about that. Look for House of Stone probably some time in the first quarter of 2015, depending on how long it takes me to get all the editor comments incorporated and get the cover squared away. I can’t wait!

Personal Stuff – Other

I’m trying to branch out a bit and connect with other writers. I’m very proud to have been accepted into the Stanford Online Certificate Program in Novel Writing, where I get to interact with writers from all over the world as I work on yet another Stone Chronicles novel. I’ve finished the first course already (got an A!) and had a great time with it. The next one starts soon. It’s a two-year program, with lots of cool and useful stuff coming up!
Aside from that, I’ve also joined a local Meetup group for writing critique, and just joined the South Bay Writers, another group of local writers that’s been around for many years. I’m hoping to make some connections and maybe find some new channels for selling my books.

Con-wise, Dan and I attended the San Diego Comic Con with some friends. I got to be on the panel for the SCRIBE Awards (given to media-tie in writing). That was very scary, but a lot of fun. I definitely felt out of my league among all those published authors, but I didn’t make too much of a fool of myself, I hope. I also got to meet Jim Butcher, which was a highlight of the trip, and get a sneak peek at the pilot episode of Constantine.

Went to Gen Con, where I attended numerous seminars for the Writers’ Symposium, had a chance to chat with John Helfers about writing, publishing, and the industry, and hung out with the folks from Catalyst Game Labs, who make Shadowrun. Had a great time–Gen Con is my favorite convention, and it’s always over too soon.

Well. This has been a bit windy, hasn’t it? I promise, the blog entries won’t all be this long. But I do want to try to update the blog more often (wouldn’t be hard, since I haven’t been updating much at all). I hope everybody has a great 2015!

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