HAPPY NEW YEAR!
As is customary on this blog, time for a quick glance back before looking ahead.
2022 was a political pantomime of giant horse costume proportions, and I live in hope of a General Election in 2023… Aside from all that, it was a great year for creativity, and for reconnection with others, but an absolute stinker for illness as we all started circulating once more after the lockdowns. Covid finally caught up with me in June, and it hit me real bad, but I was grateful to have gotten over the worst of it after a couple of weeks. Yuletide gifted the Winter vomity bug, which was as unpleasant as it sounds, but I recovered just in time for the obligatory glass of Guinness on NYE.
My big news of the year was of course the publication of Damnation: The Gothic Game (the official novelisation of my favourite board game of all time) on Halloween. The re-vamped (yes, pun intended AGAIN, sorry-not-sorry) game will be unleashed in Spring of 2023 after a few inevitable delays, along with the game’s soundtrack, so that’s already something to look forward to. Thanks again to Kris Rees & Blackletter Games for the opportunity, and to the Gothic Game’s co-creator Robert Wynne-Simmons, who also published an official novelisation of his own, the most excellent Blood on Satan’s Claw, which I was only too happy to support on the Unbound platform. It was a fanboy thrill to see my name in the book’s end credits!
I completed my PhD thesis in 2022 and will have my viva voce in early 2023 (not sure if that’s something to look forward to or not, i’ll let you know how it goes!). My short story Ill Met By Moonlight was republished in Castle of Horror Vol. 7, and my historical horror novel The Skintaker returned in paperback thanks to the wonderful people at Crossroad Press/Macabre Ink. My film The Stay went from strength to strength, picking up another five awards on the festival circuit, including Best Horror in Austin & Hollywood, and Best Mystery Thriller in sunny Cyprus. I’m so grateful to all the festival organisers and audiences for supporting my film, and as ever to my cast, crew, and backers for their hard work and belief in the end product.
In-person events were back on the menu, and I had such a blast at Chillercon in Scar(e)borough, meeting horror heroes old & new, almost selling out of books & blu rays, and finally getting to sit on Bram Stoker’s bench (another ambition fulfilled). My thanks to organisers Marie O’Regan and Paul Kane, and to all the awesome guests and attendees. As hoped last year, The Cure did indeed go on tour in 2022 and I was lucky to see them in Birmingham and London (times three) bringing my show tally up to a respectable 42 since my first Cureshow on December 6th, 1987. 2022’s Shows of a Lost World Birmingham gig was on December 7th, so 35 years and a day since my first! No new album yet, though we were treated to five of the new songs, so that’s also something to look forward to in 2023 (we hope!). It was a pleasure to return to teaching in-person creative writing classes at Brunel University and to see my students graduate at the first offline ceremonies in three long years (not a dry eye in the house!).
And in the spirit of looking forward, I have my first ever Blake’s 7 story published early 2023 in a charity annual endorsed by series star Jan (Cally) Chappell. I’m looking forward to presenting Writing Horror at University of Hull’s Faculty of Arts, Cultures & Education later this month. One or two other things are in the works, but I’m not at liberty to say anything about them (yet!). Who knows what else 2023 will bring? Come what may, I hope yours is a happy and healthy one.
Thanks again for all your support & best wishes,