Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Year Looking Back, And 2012 Goals

he clock is winding down on 2011, but it was a good year on the writing front.  A great year, really.  And from what I can tell I certainly wasn’t alone.  Many of my writer and publisher friends and acquaintances also had productive years.  Some sold a boatload of new stories; others got the green light to write novels.  Others built upon previous successes and seem poised to climb the next step on the great pyramid of writing success.

I sold a number of new horror and SF stories, and saw several reach print.  A couple of older stories were reprinted.  I completed my first commissioned novella, which I’m eager to see move toward publication next year.  I was very excited to sell a story to Black Static for their August #24 issue.  Andy Cox and TTA Press publish perhaps the most beautifully designed, full-size print genre magazine in the market, sister to the equally stunning Interzone.

I successfully pitched an idea for a novel to a respected indie book publisher, and I’m working away to complete it before the first of the year.  Canadian editors seem to like me, and two sales were made to UK markets.  I love Canada and Great Britain right back.

I sold a couple of new stories involving the undead (one also featured my interpretation of Mothman), a werewolf tale (coming soon), and a “hard SF” story to an anthology due next April.  I also got to meet and get to know a lot of fellow writers I respect, like Gary McMahon, Peter Straub, John Everson, Weston Osche, Joe Hill, Scott Edelman, RJ Sevin and his wife, Julia, Colleen Anderson and the ChiZine bunch.  I also reconnected with older pals like John Skipp.  World Horror Con in Austin was a blast, and I’ve already made plans to attend again next spring in Salt Lake City.  There’s a long list of friends I’ve made by web and email that I’m hoping to meet in the flesh in ’12, including Jason Sizemore, James Roy Daley, Maggie Slater, Andrew Clark Porter and Eugene Johnson, to name a few.

So the hard work to write more often and push myself seems to be working.  So it’s time to set some goals for 2012:

  1. I want to finish the first draft of WILDFIRE soon, let it rest, and then complete a second draft so I can float it to the interested publisher.

  1. I have two competing ideas for a second novel, one decidedly horror and one a blend of contemporary SF and horror.  I should prepare a solid outline and pitch at WHC 2012.

  1. Sell another story to Black Static.

  1. Sell a story to Shock Totem.

  1. Sell another story to Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine.  I sold four or five stories to AHMM in the ‘90s and I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for this venerable mystery digest.

  1. Write and sell more science fiction.  The sale to ROCKET SCIENCE has given me a boost in confidence that I can break through with some of the SF markets like Asimov’s, Interzone, Analog or Lightspeed.  So my goal will be to sell at last one or more new SF stories next year.

  1. Continue to network and get my name and work out there so I hopefully get more private invites to submit to anthologies and projects not generally open to all submissions.

  1. Target and attend at least one Midwestern or East Coast con so I can meet some of the folks in person that I mentioned.

Maybe I’m biting off more than I can chew, but I’m a firm believer that you should set your goals a bit high, and forge ahead.  Happy holidays to all!