This has been a weird writing year for me. I’ve written only a couple of new short stories. One of them pitted Vikings against not western monks but Shaolin Monks, and not just any Shaolin monks but Elder One worshiping Shaolin monks. The other is a horror story set in Oslo with a Sumerian god driven mad over the millenia hunting and killing poor Norwegians. Neither have sold yet, even though one was specifically requested for an anthology.
I cut down the amount of short story submissions in half–most years I submit to 60 or 70 markets. This year I subbed to less than 30. It takes a lot of time to research markets, to format queries and get stories to appropriate word counts. I probably saved more than a day’s worth of time by not submitting to as many markets. At the same time, I haven’t had a single short story sale all year, for the first time since 2009.
But it was a slightly different case for long fiction. I finished writing Beneath the Mantle and should have finished but have not Squamous Stumptown, my kaiju novel set in Oregon. Look for it early next year.
Mantle is the best thing that ever happened to me, writing wise. It sold very well (by my standards) and for a while was up with Old Man and the Sea and Moby Dick. (It’s classified as a seastory for some reason on Amazon.) It also got up to 93 in Bestselling ebooks, ahead of some noteworthy novels (and some of my favorites of all time–check out 95, 97 and 98!)
That was a brief ascension of course and sales have slowed way down. Still, Mantle has gotten more reviews than all my other books and anthologies put together, and also earned more money.
I also got to interview Lord GrimDark himself, about grimdark and violence and fantasy. I also read slush for a major magazine, 3-4 stories a day for about 6 weeks, which I actually really enjoyed.
But a lot of my energy this year went into a new found love of RPGS. I discovered the OSR movement and Death Frost Doom and Red and Pleasant Land and Slumbering Ursine Dunes and Yoon-Suin and so on and so on. I read a lot and wrote a few campaigns and have pages and pages of notes. So that’s what I’m most excited about for 2016–making more RPG supplements.
But I will have plenty to do, including finishing some stories I’ve been half-working on for a few years, finish the Kaiju novella, finish my Indian subcontinent fantasy novel, and maybe even find an agent. So 2016 should be an interesting year.