That was so 2015


There are fewer than 40 hours remaining to 2015, and I’m wishing I was with a friend of mine who is currently trekking around Cambodia, if only so I could work in a bad it’s time to look back in Angkor, what? pun for the end of the year.

See what I did there?

It’s been an interesting year. Some great stuff and some maundering around in the abyssal depths stuff, both on a personal and a global level. I’ll just get over the personally abysmal first, because seguing from good things to hopeful futures is always so much cheerier.

It was a bad year, healthwise, for me. Thankfully, medical science is an amazing thing and with the assistance of a couple of surgeons, an awesome anaesthetist, some titanium tacks and assorted personnel and paraphernalia, I am now pretty damn tickety-boo. Plus – titanium! It’s all good.

Also unfortunate was being kind-napped by revolutionary tapirs and held in a location with unreliable bandwidth. It’s made me think about what I want to achieve this coming year, but it’s also why I haven’t been updating here as often as I would like. Still, that’s a story for another day.

And speaking of stories, 2015 was a great year in regard to writing. Last year, I went part-time at work for 12 months and resolved to finish writing a book. Any book. How about one of those eight books you’ve started, Louise? Yeah, how about that?

So I sorted myself out a bit, and then this time last year tried to give myself a kick in the backside and get on with it. But it wasn’t until April, when I went to Adelaide for Fiona McIntosh’s five day commercial fiction masterclass, that I got a proper kick from someone who knew what they were talking about. Best thing ever.

By the end of May, I’d finished my first draft. I actually finished a manuscript! While my lovely beta readers started on their feedback, I got stuck into draft novel #2. At the end of June I submitted the edited manuscript #1 to a publisher and kept working on #2. I finished the first draft at the end of August, and submitted the first 15, 000 words to a publisher’s open submission call. I started writing #3 on the 1st of September. In November, following another inspiring couple of days at GenreCon in Brisbane, I finished the edits on #2, revised #1 to fix a couple of things, and sent them both off to an agent.

And here we are at the end of December. I wish I could say I’d been offered a publishing contract this year, but I’m saving that news (hopefully) and the reward of finally devouring my masterclass Haighs chocolate frog, for 2016.

I know that the number of words doesn’t really matter (I could sit there typing All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy over and over again, and we know how well that would turn out). But I worked it out anyway and it looks like this:

#1  historical fantasy 118,800 (12/15) – 65,800 (01/15) = 53,000 words
#2  YA urban fantasy 84,000 (12/15) – 37,000 (01/15) = 47,000 words
#3  sequel to #1 83,000 (12/15) – 0 (01/15) = 83,000 words

That’s 183,000 words this year. More, really, once you take editing into account – woot!

And, better than that, I finished something. I started writing #1 in March 2011. I started writing #2 in 2007, while I was still living in Edinburgh. I’m really happy to have made 2015 the year when I could finally say I’ve written a book. Many, many thanks to my family for their support and encouragement, and to Fiona for inspiration and support.

So, what are my 2016 new year’s revolutions (tapir related or otherwise)?
Well, writing is good – I like it, and I’m sticking with it.
As for everything else … I feel a change in the air.

More on that next year.