Hogmaballix and into 2014

 

I love Midnight (oh alright, 9pm) Mass on Christmas Eve and the walk home up the big hill with the boys, and the year we pretended the red light of the aircraft warning beacon atop the TV mast on Divis Mountain was Rudolph’s red nose. Neither of our kids wondered why Rudolph was clearly motionless and why he hung there the other 364 nights of the year too, but that’s kids for you – loveable dickheads.

 

Then there’s New Year, where you’ve been eating and drinking and doing piss all for the week since Christmas and because a calendar resets you’re supposed to go out or have a party or at least get shit-faced drunk and go hooray, it’s January 1st. Hooray, Christmas is over. Hooray, I’m going back to work soon. Hooray, I was paid ridiculously early so I now have to wait 6 weeks between paydays. New Year seems to break the fourth wall of life – oh, you thought you were getting somewhere, did you, through the slow parade of the months? Nope, go back to the start, go directly to the start, do not pass HO HO HO, do not rack up debts of significantly more than £200. January is what October, November and December would be if we didn’t have Christmas there to look forward to. Suddenly the TV loses all sense of sanity and instead of ads which actually show, you know, wintery scenes and coldness and people wrapped up warm, now you’re looking at half-naked arseheads on beaches lolling about whoring the latest Caribbean cruise or irritatingly skinny and fit people extolling the virtues of rye bread or Weight Watchers. It’s television that hates what you’ve become, you fat useless turkey-flavoured lump sitting there with your new socks and your shiny gadgets. You make it sick, now fuck off and do some Zumba.

 

Having said all that though, I am rather looking forward to 2014. Not to the January part of it of course, that would be insane. But 2013 was a good year for me. I ticked off one of those life milestone thingies of being able to walk into a shop and pick up a copy of one of my books. It’s hard to overstate how big a deal that is for me. I would have been happy to accomplish that the week before I passed away at the grand old age of 187, to be honest, let alone to have done it at 32. Of course life being life you get used to that and then the next week or so you start worrying that it’s not selling enough copies and what can be done about this or that, but now and again I really do have to punch myself and go “you’ve got a book out in the shops you knob, just drink that in for a second will you?”.

 

I went to my first ever sci fi convention in September 2013, Titancon in Belfast, where I learned that I’m fairly good at reading from my own stories, which came as a genuine shock to me, and that people can respond well to Folk’d when it’s read aloud, which came as an even bigger shock. I had the book launch itself in October and walked out onto the top floor of Forbidden Planet in Belfast to see 80-odd people staring back at me, which made the first two shocks seem like a balloon rubbed up and down a jumper, and found myself expected to deliver a speech with zero preparation and following three excellent speeches, the one immediately previous to  mine from the Lord Mayor of Belfast. No pressure.

 

2014 is shaping up to be even better, though. I’m getting married in October, which seems like a sort of an end-season finale episode, even though we’ve been together for (what will by that time be) 12 and a bit years, so I highly doubt an epic shindig and a bit of paper will change much – and I bloody well hope it doesn’t. By that stage books 2 and 3 of the Folk’d trilogy should be out in dead tree format, so that could be another couple of launches to look forward to, and things are looking good to potentially go along to another few conventions this year, including the Emerald Garrison event in March.

 

All terrifying stuff, but the thing that scares me most about the writing side of things is when it comes to thinking about what comes next; all of the Folk’d books are already written, albeit still to be edited – what do I do next? I have loads of ideas; a superhero team that’s my own riff on Watchmen where each member of the team grows out of their own origin short story in the first half of the narrative to form a novella in the second half of what happens when they finally get together; a book for kids about what happens in a world where they have to protect their parents; some potential novels growing out of my short story backlog accumulated over the years. I suppose at some point I shall think about whether to go back to the Dannyverse, but the way I feel now I’m not fussed on the idea. Hopefully by the time Completely Folk’d is edited and released in the UK people will be satisfied that Danny and Ellie’s story is complete, and I think fiction (especially in TV and movies) is rife with far too many examples of trying to draw water from a dry wellspring.

 

So come on, 2014. Show me what you got...

 

 

You can purchase Folk'd in the UK and Ireland in dead tree format from all good bookstores, or here on Amazon UK.

 

Outside of the UK and Ireland (american, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy etc., etc., etc.,) you can read digital versions of the entire Folk'd trilogy on Kindle, iBooks and Kobo.   Following are links to the US Kindle versions:

 

Folk'd

 

Folk'd Up Beyond All Recognition

 

Completely Folk'd

 

Read, review, get in touch!

 

 

 

 

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