The Year of The Mouse

Posted on December 16, 2014

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So, 2014?  That’ll be a year I’ll not forget in a hurry. It was a year that started with an encounter with a mouse and, despite all of the good things that took place, remains characterised by a sort of skittish anxiousness.

In April, The Moon King was published. People came to the launches and were very kind about it, as they have been at the various conventions and reading events during the course of the year. It got quite a few favourable reviews too. To be honest, for a first novel, I couldn’t have asked for much more.

But with moderate success, comes a slight raising of profile, and in the wake of the novel’s publication this was the first year I really felt under scrutiny by the literary establishment. Like the mouse who pokes his head out of the hole, sniffs around, pretty sure there’s cheese out there but not sure where. I wasn’t entirely comfortable with it, but I guess it comes with the territory. You know they always say don’t read the reviews? I read the reviews. All of them I could find. The Goodreads ones and the Amazon ones. The effusive ones and the ones that didn’t get it at all. Again, the mouse, whiskers twitching at everything that might be tasty food.

In terms of short fiction, my standalone story A Piece Of The Moon, came out as a companion piece to the novel and my story, Arrhythmia, was reprinted in Chris Kelso’s This Is NOT An Anthology anthology. There are reprints lined up for 2015 as well. Something that really put a huge smile on my face this year was managing to return to the pages of Interzone. The Posset Pot appeared in issue 252, and The Golden Nose followed in the next issue. And, even better, to reflect that 2014 was the year of hugely wonderful and nervous uncertainty in Scotland I’ve got a little slice of what-might-have-been post-Indy Ref satire in Interzone 256, which is published in January.

Hugely wonderful and nervous…pretty much sums 2014 up for this mouse.

In 2015 the cheese is there for the taking.

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