It’s been a while since I took a good look at what is next for me. The last 6 months have been huge and it’s time to assess where I am.
I am now a novelist, for real and for true. My book is out in two formats and, although it might have been a freak occurrence, an award nomination indicates that I am at least competent at what I do. I was very nervous about becoming a part of the broader spec fiction community in Australia but people seem to know me and know of my work. This has opened doors to me and I am feeling good about it. For context, I started trying to sell Bloody Waters in 2006 and, as proud of it as I am, I believe my newer work is better.
My comics career continues the way it has been for a while. More McBlack, of course, and I should have some new work available to the broader comics world again late this year in The Sixsmiths volume 2–not a sequel so much as a completion of the project. Hopefully some new projects, too.
I’m now trying to sell my second novel, which, after many years of struggle, I think is finally done and dusted: Faerie Apocalypse, a dark and postmodern fantasy about the destruction of the Faerie Realms by a succession of mortal adventurers. Now that that’s ready for submission I’m going to roll into my third novel,XDA Zai: a genre-bending book about an assassin who executes missions in worlds that don’t exist, which presently exists as a complete second draft. The story and structure is all there but it needs a lot of cleanup. I will talk more about both of these projects int he nearish future, you may rest assured.
But really, these are existing projects. Now that I can finally see my way clear to some genuinely new work it’s time to really start planning what I’ll do next.
A lot of people I have spoken to recently have asked me if any of my new projects will be a series. I love series… I’m a comics writer… but I honestly haven’t given it much thought. It’d be lovely to sell a series of books, but I’m restless, too. I have a number of very different projects that I want to do–as always–and a series would tie me down. Do I have a grimdark fantasy trilogy in me? Yes, absolutely. Maybe a grimdark comedy, because that’s how I roll. Just don’t ask me when I’ll do it or what it would be about, because that’s as much thought as I’ve given it.
Will there be a sequel to Bloody Waters? Well, now. I know what happens next and there could well be, but once again, I don’t have any plans to sit down and write it at present. If I had a compelling reason to do it–a new book deal, perhaps–I could probably start working on it tomorrow, but in the absence of that I want to do some other things. I do, however, have three or four short stories set in that universe sitting here in various states of disrepair and I could very easily be persuaded to write some more.
What can you not expect from me? I’m not going to write a Young Adult book. I just have no affinity for it: I skipped over this category when I was in the appropriate age group to consume it and I think that was then a deliberate choice. By the time I was ten I was reading almost exclusively from the General Fiction section of the library. This was partly because I was an advanced reader, partly because I wanted to get my teeth into the SF/Fantasy section, and partly because I didn’t want to read books about characters my own age. I’m not saying never, but for right now it’s not even a consideration.
My next big comics project? We’ll see. I have a lot of irons in various fires there. My next longform prose piece will certainly be XDA Zai, but after that?
Well, I have some ideas. Hopefully none of them will be the ones you expect.