2017 has been a busy year for me. I was involved in a lot of book projects, all of which are now complete, and in the case of those due out next month, all uploaded to the printers and ready to go.

Immanion Press is holding a launch event on December 7th in Stafford UK to celebrate the publication of six titles.

Two of the new releases are hardback limited Collectors’ Editions of the Grimoire Dehara series – Book Three Nahir Nuri, which I co-wrote with Taylor Ellwood, and also a reissue of the hardback of the first volume Kaimana, which came out in 2005. While the first volume’s text hasn’t been expanded or changed, (other than a few errors corrected), it does include several extra illustrations from artist Ruby, and one by the late Billie Walker-John, who did quite a few Wraeththu Mythos illustrations back in the 90s.

The new Grimoire Dehara book is also being released in paperback at the same time.

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On the fiction side, we have ‘Dark Dance’ by Tanith Lee, the first in her Blood Opera Sequence, (long out of print), featuring an introduction and interior illustrations by me. The second volume, ‘Personal Darkness’ will be released in early 2018, and will feature an introduction and interior illustrations by Freda Warrington. The third book in the series, ‘Darkness, I’, will be published one to two months after the second volume, and will feature an introduction by Sarah Singleton. All three books will have cover art by John Kaiine.

I’ve written about the other two releases quite a lot already on this blog, but briefly they are ‘The Darkest Midnight in December: Ghost Stories for the Winter Season’ and ‘Songs to Earth and Sky: Stories of the Seasons’ – the latter being a Wraeththu Mythos anthology. ‘Darkest Midnight’ has cover art by Danielle Lainton and interior illustrations by me. The cover for ‘Songs to Earth and Sky’ is by Ruby and also includes interior illustrations by her. The full line up for these anthologies can be found on our web site www.immanion-press.com

So, now that all the projects are wrapped up, it’s time to think about what comes next. I have a few short stories to write for various anthologies, but hope to begin work on a novel in the New Year. I’m not taking on so much work next year, because 2017 gave me little time for my own work – at least not enough to embark upon a full-length novel. A non-fiction book about the ‘darker’ goddesses I was working on with Andy Collins has had to be temporarily shelved, as he too has been super busy with lots of projects, some of which involved lengthy foreign travel. His schedule for next year is also already filling up with trips abroad, so I can’t give a date for when we might be able to get back to our book. Hopefully we’ll be able to complete it at some point next year.

There will also be a new ‘Para’ anthology – ‘Para Spectral’ – and I’ve already had some stories in for that. These are Wraeththu ghost stories – as most of my readers will know, I’m a passionate fan of ghost stories!

I’ll be reading submissions for another weird fiction anthology I’m editing, to be published through NewCon Press, but the publication date won’t be until 2019 – so at least I can take my time with it. Titled ‘Shadows on the Hillside’, this collection will focus upon weird landscapes, including urban landscapes.

But mainly I want to get back to writing a novel – and I haven’t made up my mind which idea to go with. I really want to finish two books I started, and they are very different. The first is a story I began around 15 years ago, concerning an author whose characters begin to leak into reality, and who discovers that some of her fans have set up a sinister cult inspired by her work. The problem I have with it is that I’d have to rethink some of the ideas, because the internet and social media are far more prominent and sophisticated now than when I began to story. I’m not sure it’d work in quite the same way now – similar to how my 1999 novel, ‘Thin Air’, wouldn’t work as a post-millennial piece: ‘Jay looked everything up on the internet’.  In the original, she had to resort to solving the mystery of the story by driving round the country, interviewing people who would talk to her and resorting to the use of phone books to find them. Nowadays, most of what she uncovers would take only a short Google search. So ‘Thin Air’ is officially an historical novel!

The second idea is another Wraeththu story – a sort of follow on from ‘The Moonshawl’, but involving a different supernatural mystery for harish sleuth Ysobi to solve. I’ve written a fair bit of it, but am conscious I’ve not completed a full-length work outside the Wraeththu mythos for quite some time, so maybe the other idea should come first. But I suppose, it’s down to whether I can engage with that story again and rediscover its heart.

Thanks to everyone who helped with this year’s works in one way or another: Danielle Lainton, Louise Coquio, Debbie Cartwright, Yvan Cartwright, Graham Phillips, Ian Whates, John Kaiine, Jamie Spracklen, Donna Bond, Nerine Dorman, E. S. Wynn, Wendy Darling, Fiona Lane, Suzanne Gabriel, and all those who contributed stories to ‘The Darkest Midnight in December’ and ‘Visionary Tongue’.

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