Welcome to 2014.
As promised, things were quiet here for the past month, while I worked on various things — mostly a new Levi novel called INVISIBLE MONSTERS and two new interconnected novels called THE LOST LEVEL and HOLE IN THE WORLD. I also wrote an essay called “Children Playing With Guns” (about the Second Amendment, gun control, growing up in a rural setting, and school violence) for a Battle Royale slam anthology edited by Nick Mamatas. More on that later.
Right now, I’m deep into rewriting and revising INVISIBLE MONSTERS, so that I can get it turned in on time. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to get better with deadlines again. I used to be known for meeting them. Then I became a father again in my mid-forties, went through a divorce, followed by economic ruin at the hands of the Dorchester Publishing fiasco, then began suffering from chronic pain via carpal tunnel and arthritis and old battle wounds, and then discovered how constant alcohol and pain pills keeps that chronic pain at bay. Somewhere in the midst of all that, my deadlines got way ahead of me. None of these things are excuses. They simply are. Or rather… they were. And meeting or beating deadlines again is something that will be.
I’m also happy to report that ALL Lifetime Subscription books have shipped to Thunderstorm, where they will be sorted, packaged, and shipped to you. I’ve learned some lessons that will help me streamline this process and make it faster in the future (like ordering the books myself with my own money rather than waiting for contrib copies, etc). Expect more frequent shipments in 2014. That’s another resolution.
I’m also happy to report that I’m making solid, demonstrable progress on the few remaining manuscript reviews. Those that remain here in house I’m either a) Talking to various publishers I think you might be a good fit with b) Writing you an Introduction, Afterword, or Cover Blurb, or c) Both. My goal is to have all of them back in your hands, along with publisher suggestions, by the end of the month or early February. That’s a third resolution.
My month-long sabbatical was pretty much spent doing those things. In addition to writing, I had a nice, low-key Christmas with my sons, spent a day with Mary SanGiovanni’s family, and had some writer and filmmaker friends over for a New Year’s Eve party here at the cabin. Other than that, it was head down and nose to the grindstone. Oh, and there was an incident involving ice and gravity which led to a sprained wrist and tailbone, but I wrote through that shit with one hand.
So, what’s ahead for 2014? Well, in the immediate future, I intend to finish the things listed above, in this order: INVISIBLE MONSTERS, manuscript reviews, THE LOST LEVEL, and HOLE IN THE WORLD. After that, I’ll focus on SUBURBAN GOTHIC, a project code-named THE BIBLE that I’m co-writing with J.F. Gonzalez, the second volume in the Complete Short Fiction series, and THE SEVEN (The Labyrinth, Book One). Later this year, Scott Weinberg and I will be producing an EARTHWORM GODS audio project, and Bev Vincent and I will be collaborating on a book together. Those are all resolutions.
I’d previously said “No” to many other projects for 2014, because at the time (as reported by Bleeding Cool and The Outhousers), I was meant to be one of the writers for a weekly comic series from DC Comics launching later this year (I’d also been in talks to take over Animal Man at the end of Jeff Lemire’s run, and possibly do something with Booster Gold). Unfortunately, two months into the weekly project, I decided that I wouldn’t be a good fit. Professionalism dictates I say no more than that, but the split was amicable, and I’ve nothing but respect and good regards for those still involved. However, it does leave me in a unique position. I’d declined to take on other work for this year, anticipating the churn of writing a weekly comic book series. So, now I find myself able to truly look at the list of books I’m already contracted for (mentioned above) and confidently say that I can complete them all this year…
…unless I get hit by a bus or something. But that’s not a resolution.
You’ll probably see more Blogging here, and less interaction on other social media platforms (with the exception of Twitter). I know some other authors, including Neil Gaiman, have announced similar goals for 2014, and they’re ones I wholeheartedly agree with. I’d planned on using Tumblr as a resurrection of Hail Saten, but a few weeks into that, I realized that 95% of Tumblr is populated by absolute pinheads, so fuck that noise. I also hope to be able to gain access to the forum again at some point. My account doesn’t work, and if I set up a new account, it won’t have Admin status, nor can that status be granted by one of the other mods. The host company is supposedly working to correct this issue. In truth, I haven’t checked in with them about it in the last month for reasons listed above.
Anyway, hi. My name is Brian Keene. I write novels, comics, non-fiction, and other things for money. I have been away for some time, but I’m back now.
Let’s do this.