Another year almost done and dusted. This one actually felt pretty… normal? I know the Covid pandemic has changed things in so many dramatic and complex ways, but here in the UK we’ve had no lockdowns at all this year, and things like hybrid working and optional masking have become a part of everyday life.
As for me, I moved out of shared housing and into my own flat that I only share with the rats in the walls (Bristol housing for the win). As someone who’s spent most of her adult life living alone, I really feel the need for my own space. But yeah, this place is not ideal. Gonna pretend I’m a writer in the olden days, wasting away from consumption in a mouldy garret.
Which brings us to…
I got two things published this year.
VOCSS is my first attempt at a proper horror story, and I managed to get it published in Electric Spec. Give it a read if you’re in the mood for vampires.
My poetry chapbook 16 Flavours of Ghost was published by Lapwing Publications. If you’re in the mood for ghosts, have a UK address and a spare £8 (postage included) I’d love to send you a copy. Just message me on Twitter @corastillwrites or Instagram @badfanartforgoodbooks.
I spent most of 2022 working on the first draft of my supernatural mystery novel The Redmaid Witch. I had that completed by November, so instead of doing NaNoWriMo, I did NaNoEdMo and spent the month doing some much-needed edits.
I’ve now handed it over to some beta readers and am anxiously awaiting their feedback. My first beta reader already got back to me and gave the story a big thumbs up, so I just need to hang on to that when the others give me a mile-long list of things that need fixing.
Alongside The Redmaid Witch, I managed to squeeze in three short stories. I was clearly in a Fantasy mood, because two of them involve characters travelling to fairy realms to retrieve stolen items/people. The third one took a slight departure and involves a young woman dealing with the fact that her dad is a serial killer.
I’ve read 26 books this year, exceeding my modest target of 24. A large chunk of my reading consisted of historical fiction, and a large chunk of that consisted of nautical fiction. I’m thinking of creating my own nautical fiction reading challenge for 2023, so if you like adventures on the high seas, watch this space…
I’d love to hear about your writing and reading shenanigans this year. Favourite book? Least favourite? Wrote some poetry? Got anything published? Read 60 books and want to brag about it? Tell me in the comments!
3 thoughts on “2022 Wrap-up”
Since you asked: I finished and published – after 7 years (the first took 15) – the second book in my mainstream trilogy, Pride’s Children: NETHERWORLD. This time, due to surgery in late September, I obtained help with the cover and formatting, with my own ideas executed ably by Bill Peschel of Peschel Press to my exacting and nitpicking standards (so I’m responsible for everything).
It’s coming along slowly, accumulating nice reviews incrementally, as mine do, but I am very happy with it, no one has objected to the ending, and I can’t wait to tackle the final volume, which starts only a few hours after this one.
That, seeing the kids at an airbnb for a week in late spring at Lake Tahoe, and the aforementioned surgery, have basically consumed a whole year.
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Big congrats! It must be so satisfying to have your book out in the world after seven years of work. It must be a relief that readers are satisfied with the ending too – personally I find endings the trickiest part of writing anything.
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I’m an extreme plotter and a VERY slow writer due to illness, but I’ve known about the ending of Book 2 since 2000 – just had to take courage in hand and tell myself we were going there, even if no one but me liked it. It must – and Book 3 is left with a large and different part of the mess to sort out.
You can’t back away from something your gut says is right; you hope readers will go along and get it.
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