Here were are, staring right at the end of the year. Holidays ahead, whether that’s good or bad. And inevitably, we reflect on the almost 12 months that have passed.
In terms of writing, 2019 has been quite an incredible year for me. I published two books, The Leaden Heart (Tom Harper) and The Hocus Girl (Simon Westow). Both have received glowing reviews from a number of people, and in the US each one received two starred reviews from different trade. That’s remarkable in itself, and actually quite humbling. After all, I’ve set a bar for myself that I can’t keep hitting every single time, although I will do my damnedest. After all, if you don’t try to make your next book better than your last, what’s the point? The only competition you have to beat is yourself.
On top of that, I was interviewed by one of the leading US trade magazines, Publishers Weekly. It didn’t just feel like a big deal, it was a big deal. The first commercial American press I’ve had, something ready by booksellers and libraries. So yes, I consider that major.
And I can look ahead to next year. It’s the 10 anniversary of me publishing books set in Leeds, and The Broken Token will be available again in paperback after being only in digital or audio for a long, long time. There will be a new Tom Harper, The Molten City, bringing us into the 20th century, a new Simon Westow, To the Dark. And after quite a wait, a new John the Carpenter next summer, titled The Anchoress of Chesterfield.
But, really, none of this would be possible if people didn’t buy my books or borrow them from libraries. To all of you, I’m hugely grateful. You allow me to sit here and keep telling the stories of people who are utterly real to me.
Whatever holiday you celebrate (or if you’re like me and try to avoid them all), thank you, and enjoy yourself. Be happy, be well in 2020.
And if you’re stuck for last minute gifts, historical crime novels are always greats presents.