This year, for the first time in many, I haven’t made any new years resolutions. Is not that I’m shit at them, lasting but a few weeks mainly, but because life is too complicated and regimented enough without feeling obliged to chuck in a resolution or two for the sake of tradition. I have stealth resolutions, if you will, ones that I adhere to for the sake of my art, my health and general sanity. Ryan David Jahn has a good set of writers resolutions up on his blog, and I realise that I pretty much do most of these by default anyway, though admittedly I need to be healthier when time allows it. I walk a lot, so it isn’t all bad, and anyone who knows
Those who have visited the blog before (and I should start 2011 with an apology to regular readers who may have noted a dearth of blog entries here – sorry folks, but a man has got to write his books to get by, right?), will know that in 2010 I completed the first attempts on two projects: the third Secret War novel (The Traitor of Light) and the start of a new series of books called Purgatory. Both projects were difficult to write, being completely different beasts to each other and written under tough writing conditions. I was happy with these attempts but with Purgatory I knew it was a roughly hewn rock even then, than a polished attempt at a new story. So after discussing the project with my agent, it’s been left to gestate underground for a little while longer, before the sediment settles and I can get a better diamond out of it.
The Traitor of Light is a different – ahem – story altogether. I’m very happy with how this has gone and it doesn’t need as much work on it as Purgatory, but I’m very much aware that the Secret War is a series without a home and rather than knuckle down for a year writing something that will not see print for some time, we’ve come to the conclusion that starting afresh, as I have done with The Black Hours, would lay more groundwork on snaring a publisher for the Secret War books. That doesn’t mean the Secret War series is dead, it’s just sleeping, as vulcanologists put it (- damn, I should stop with these geology references!).
What this means, is that 2011 will be the year of THE FIXER OF CLOCKS, a novel that will be a new direction for me. For one, it’s the first book I’ve written for about 15 years that is set in the 21st century (though it will be one that leans towards the 1980’s in tone), and for another it will be more science fiction than historical fiction or horror or fantasy. It’s quite a different animal, quite grim as well, with a very downbeat conclusion, but then I think it’s healthy to pursue different directions in ones writing, to kept it fresh, you know?
As for my writing regime, well due to various pressures both in my domestic and day-job life I’ve had to cut down on the publicity side of things (as is apparent from my lack of blog entries here) and there are things going on in the background to secure more time for family life as I balance everything whilst getting this book to you, the faithful reader.
There are no resolutions here, just the norm. Just the same 10,000 words a week I do during any other project, and THE FIXER OF CLOCKS will be no different.
But we will see what the year brings as change is something I’m used to. I know that other projects in the pipeline (including a proposal to Black Library) will change much in the coming months if they go ahead this year, including pointing me towards the exit in my day-job – which can’t come any sooner for both myself and my long-suffering writing-widowed family – and would secure a future for my books to come.
Like 2010, 2011 will be an interesting year. Unlike 2010, this year will be better managed and even though the outlook for authors and publishers alike is far from rosy, people still like to read books, and hopefully they’ll want to read the next MFW Curran novel – whether that’s The Black Hours, The Fixer of Clocks or The Secret War book 3.
Happy new year to you all