So it’s the last day of 2018, and it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster year for me. Good things have happened, things that were supposed to happen didn’t, and some things I hoped would happen never came to fruition. But I’m overall happy with 2018. It didn’t let me down.
2018 was the year I finally got DODGE & TWIST out as an audio drama, with a stellar cast attached. In January this year I had all but given up on it, after two years of slow movement from @AudibleUK – but in May there was a sudden flurry, and by October it was being recorded, twelve years from my first pitch back in 2006, and out on release by December. But that wasn’t the only audio joy I had this year – in January I was offered the chance to write a full-cast audio drama for ROBIN OF SHERWOOD, thanks to Spiteful Puppet / ITV Studios – and by December it was out, recorded and gaining great reviews. This I think almost beats D&T as a personal highlight, simply because RoS was the show that not only got me into Robin Hood, but also folk tales and esoteric and spiritual traditions altogether.
And I got to meet all the original cast while as a guest at a convention and reconnect with @markryanofficial, who I hadn’t seen for almost twenty years. Which again was rather nice.
Talking of conventions, I ran the LFCC’s Comic Zone again, with the help of some awesome people – and not only gained more guests and artists alley spaces than in 2017, but also began the LFCC Symposium, a series of micro-lectures that were aimed purely at creating the next generation of comic creators. Thanks to one and all for doing that. And I got to hang out with @PrideofGypsies in a cool North West London pub that Tom Cruise suggested. The guy is an utter legend.
And of course, talking of legends, I was invited to be one of the hosts at Destination Star Trek in October, where I got to interview legends like Walter Koenig, Bill Shatner, @therealjasonisaacs, and pretty much almost the whole casts of DEEP SPACE NINE and DISCOVERY on stage, where I learned that every single one of them is cooler than you can ever imagine. Especially @marythechief, and @mr_Kenneth_mitchell who are both two of the most massively underrated actors in the world, utterly gorgeous and if I had my way I’d have them both cast in everything I ever write.
I also learned that @aron_eisenberg is one of the funniest men in Star Trek.
It was also great being able to invite my brother Chris (aka @cpl43uk) as a guest, due to his position as Chief Scientist of the UK Space Agency, which I believe means that he’s now the new Quatermass. And, a personal highlight there was being able to introduce Chris to Apollo 13 astronaut Fred Haise.
But conventions weren’t everything this year. I had eight (count them, eight) graphic novels out from @wattsandwayland_books / @HachetteKids this year – as well as an ashcan of DARK LINES OF LONDON at LFCC. My short film with BoxFly, CROWTOWN: ROLLING SIXES premiered in London, and is now on the festival circuit. THE BAKER STREET IRREGULARS was optioned for live TV. (Although DANGER ACADEMY was dropped by NBC/Universal.)
I was hired to write a musical with Phil Pope. Two old screenplays of mine were returned in turnaround after years of nothing happening, allowing me to give them a new lease of life in TV. Two of my screenplays in development gained directors. I sold two ongoing comic book series. I gained the option to a book I’ve been hunting the rights for 15 years on. I attended the BBC TV Writer’s Festival for the first time as an accredited BBC writer.
Sure, I lost some pitches. Sure, work I had planned fell away at the last minute when companies collapsed. These things happen. But at the same time you have to keep moving on.
Workload meant that I reduced the amount of school talks I did this year, but I still ensured that I could attend whenever asked – as inspiring reluctant readers is still important to me. And I taught Graphic Novel writing in London, LA and Birmingham.
But none of this would be possible without @Literary_Rose and my dog / Editor Fosco by my side. They’ve put up with a lot of stress from me this year, long days and weekend working, constantly stressed out and overworked. I’m the luckiest man alive to have these two amazing females keeping me grounded.
So what about 2019? Well, PIRATE QUEEN will finally come out from Walker Books, DARK LINES will be out from Markosia, ARMY OF ONE will appear near the end of the year (publisher to be announced, probably at SDCC) and there’s another book in the line that might see life in 2019. There’s another Audio drama already written and waiting to be recorded that I can’t announce yet, I’m already starting to work out LFCC 2019, and fingers crossed, two of my films will go into production in the summer.
Add to that the pitches, the developments, the meetings and the conventions, and 2019 is shaping to be quite a big one indeed.
Let’s see what happens together, eh?