I’m doing my year-in-review piece in January so it doesn’t get lost amid all the others. Why? Because 2019 was a special year for me, and I want everyone to take notice.
The numbers were wonderful, with about 40 short stories published and a similar amount of sales, as was the income, my best year yet.
But even more than that was the experience of being a writer this year.
I got to do three things I never thought I’d get to do.
Chronologically, the first was to attend the prize ceremony for the Jim Baen Memorial Award thanks to my runner-up finish in the contest. This contest is a big deal put together by a major publisher, so it was an honor to be among the winners.
After that, I got to launch a book at WorldCon in Dublin. That is probably the coolest thing I’ve ever done as a writer. To be able to stand up in front of a group of fans and talk about my book and my writing process was a true honor. My publisher, Guardbridge Books was super-supportive, and are absolutely wonderful.
While still in the UK, I got confirmation that I am now an active member of SFWA. This has been a long time coming, and was one of those career goals that looked incredibly far away when I was starting out. It’s the one thing that, in my mind, always separated professional authors from the ones still working to get there. Getting that approval was huge.
In addition to science fiction and fantasy, I also published a literary book entitled Love and Death, which I am inordinately proud of. It’s the one book I can recommend to any of my readers regardless of what genre they read in. It talks to everyone’s experience, and sometimes, leafing through it, I can’t believe I wrote it.
Finally, my bestselling book of 2019, launched before the other two, in March, was a creature feature which surprised most reviewers by actually being well-written. A mad adventure in Antarctica, it found a welcoming audience and sold a bunch of copies which makes me both happy and able to purchase beer with the proceeds (someday I hope to say “able to purchase yachts with the proceeds” but that day is not today).
Anyway, a great year, and one that I will remember for a long time.