I guess this post is more for my own benefit than the interest of readers, but what the fuck? They say blogging is dead anyway. Actually, it’s not, by a long way, it’s just changed. But still. I’d like to think this post might also serve as some kind of inspiration. After all, it’s been a hell of a good year for me, writing-wise, and I’ve been working my arse off for a long time to get to this point. Maybe others can draw strength from that. I started to take being a professional writer seriously in 1997, after all. That’s 16 years ago now. Shit, eh? Where does the time go? We’re all getting older, life’s a bitch and all that. But 2013 was a fucking good year for me, so maybe it can inspire others who are trudging this long road to keep going. One more step. Then another. Art hard and don’t give up, motherhumpers.
After all, a successful person is a simply a failure who refused to godsdamn quit.
And you know, the longer I work at this gig, the more true that becomes. I’ve talked before about how success is basically hard work, luck and determination. It’s really the determination that’s the key. If you’re determined to keep going and keep working hard, you’ll get better. If you get better and stay determined, you’ll get more luck. More opportunities will come along if you’re busy working hard. You just have to notice and take them.
So, professionally, what’s happened this year for me? In short fiction, I’ve had the following publications:
“Not the Worst of Sins” – Beneath Ceaseless Skies #133 (October 31st, 2013)
“Roll the Bones” – Crowded Magazine issue #2 (August 2013)
“The Beat Of A Pale Wing” – A Killer Among Demons anthology (Dark Prints Press, June 2013)
“The Fathomed Wreck To See” – Midnight Echo Magazine, issue 9 (May 2013)
“On A Crooked Leg Lightly” – Dreaming Of Djinn anthology (Ticonderoga Publications, May 2013)
“Quantum Echoes” – Next anthology (CFSG Publishing, April 2013)
“A Time For Redemption” – Urban Occult anthology (Anachron Press, March 2013)
“Tiny Lives” – originally published in Daily Science Fiction (25th December 2012) this was reprinted in the Year’s Best Australian Fantasy & Horror 2012 (Ticonderoga Publications, August 2013)
That’s seven original stories and a reprint published already, including two pro sales (5c/word or more). I’ve still got three more publications due out this year, all in December:
“All the Wealth in the World” – Lakeside Circus 1, due any day now.
“It’s Always the Children Who Suffer” – Midnight Echo Magazine, issue 10, Winner of the 2013 AHWA Short Story Competition (due end of December, 2013)
“Exposure Compensation” – Midnight Echo Magazine, issue 10 (due end of December, 2013)
So that’s 10 original stories published and one Year’s Best reprint. Which is pretty awesome. And you’ll notice one of those originals is the winner of the 2013 AHWA Short Story Competition, another great high point for the year. I’ve also sold a couple of stories already that will be out next year, so it’s good to get a start on that.
Also published this year was Dark Rite, the short horror novel I co-wrote with David Wood. That’s some good, pulpy, Hammer-esque horror fun if you’re into that sort of thing, and barely more than a novella, so a quick, easy read.
All the anthologies, magazines, novels and so on I’ve talked about here, and all the others I’m involved with, can be tracked down via this page: http://www.alanbaxteronline.com/books/
I’d be very happy with all that as a year’s work on its own, but of course, I’m saving the best for last. A couple of months ago I signed a three book deal with HarperVoyager Australia, and they’re publishing my trilogy The Alex Caine Series between July and December next year. That’s not only the high point of the year, it’s the high point of my career to date. I couldn’t be more excited about it.
And on top of all that, my son was born at the end of October.
Oh yes, 2013 is going down as one HELL of a year. It’s hard work all the way, but it’s paying off. I’m getting better all the time, I’m staying determined, I’m working hard and I’m starting to see real results.
You can too. Go for it!