As promised, a much-overdue round-up of some of the exciting things I’ve been up to this year, and what’s on the way in 2015…
My first audio script The Prime of Deacon Brodie, originally released as download only, gained a shiny disc to itself as part of The Confessions of Dorian Gray – The Complete Series One & Two.
Lots of people seem to have liked “Brodie”, including this review from Third Eye Cinema.
My genre-mashing Holmes story ‘The Strange Case of the Displaced Detective’ – which contains the unlikely line “do not tantalise the Tyrannosaurus, you will only give it indigestion” – was published in Further Encounters of Sherlock Holmes (edited by George Mann). I also took part in a reading at The Virginia Gallery for LGBT History Month.
My second novel Werewolf Parallel was published by KelpiesTeen, alongside a new edition of Daemon Parallel. Kirkus Reviews thought it “clever, creative and fun”, while Matt Cresswell “figured out what the [Parallel] series reminded [him] of: a Scottish Neverwhere.” (click book titles for loads more reviews. Or go mad, buy a copy, and discover Cameron, Morgan and Eve’s adventures for yourself….?)
Launch events took place in Edinburgh at Riddle’s Court (image above by Chris Scott) and at Merchiston Castle School, while I spoke at Edinburgh City of Literature’s monthly salon on the joys of Young Adult Fiction (alongside author Keith Gray and agent Lindsey Fraser). I was especially happy – as a fan of audio – that both Parallel books gained a simultaneous audiobook release by What Noise Productions, available via bandcamp, audible, amazon and direct from What Noise themselves (click – here be Daemons. And Werewolves)
A new experience for me: I was interviewed about Werewolf Parallel and YA fiction by none other than Phil Jupitus on BBC Radio Scotland’s The Culture Studio. Fellow KelpiesTeen author Lari Don narrowly avoided getting a bottle of water knocked over her, such was my enthusiasm for the topic at hand…
I also blogged for Scottish Book Trust on the challenges of writing a sequel.
I took part in quite a few events over the spring and summer, including for Forthview Primary and for Kirstin Zhang’s Story Detectives at St Columba’s School. I took to the stage at CoastWords and at the Edinburgh International Book Festival (opposite horror/comedy writer Barry Hutchison), and ran workshops for a broad range of groups from Sixth Year students starting work on their Advanced Higher creative writing portfolios to a Primary 7 class taking part in the Green Pencil Awards.
I wrote a fantasy casting blog for the Author Allsorts – although I’m still waiting for someone to make that movie…
I was also pleased to meet up during the Fringe with writer/Big Finish producer Joe Lidster (to talk matters Dark and Shadowy – but more on that later…). We were joined for a drink by the very lovely and mad Katy Manning (Jo Grant in Doctor Who, and sometimes Iris Wildthyme too!)
My story “Generations” was collected in a new anthology Out There (Freight Books, edited by Zoe Strachan). Great to appear alongside so many writers I admire, including Ali Smith, Damian Barr and Louise Welsh.
More events, including Dundee Literary Festival – with the lively Lari Don, still dodging flying water bottles – and a panel discussion in North Lanarkshire on the topic of power and YA (again with Lari and joined by Gill Arbuthnott).
Another confession for Dorian Gray – I was properly delighted to be asked back by showrunner Scott Handcock. My adventure ‘We Are Everywhere’ pits Dorian against a remorseless serial-killing stalker (played with sadistic grace by Blake Ritson. This picture of Blake and star Alex Vlahos seems to be the most popular thing I’ve posted since being lured onto tumblr…). Lots of lovely feedback via tumblr and twitter so far – @cesarges reckons “hands down, [We Are Everywhere] is one of my favorite episodes of not just the third series, but overall… A fine mix of poison and wine”- and for the new series as a whole.
Finally, my essay ‘Sequels and Parallels: Seven Impossible or Contradictory Things to Believe when Writing Your Second Novel’ appeared in issue twelve of the British Fantasy Society Journal.
Next year should, I hope, see at least four new pieces of writing released, in one form or another (he said mysteriously). So far announced – Dark Shadows: Panic.
And if you’ve never heard of Dark Shadows, try to imagine a mad cross between Buffy the Vampire Slayer and early Doctor Who – shot as live in a tiny television studio in New York in the 1960s by fabulous actors: a soap opera serial featuring werewolves and ghosts and vampires and time travel and parallel universes and…
But that’s a story for another time.