I think I sneezed and suddenly I ran out of 2010. I mean, really, WTF? Looking back, it's clear a lot has happened. A lot of good and some bad, but mostly good.
Writing-wise I've seen the print release of both my Khepera novels this year, which are also both available through Exclusive Books (one of South Africa's big book retailers). Not many snapping-on-the-heels-of-the-big-fish authors can boast that.
Editing-wise, since I've purchased my very own laptop, I've been able to keep a closer handle on my deadlines. How I managed to cope last year bouncing between machines at home and elsewhere, I don't know. I'm also really pleased to report that some of my debut authors have gone on to having their second novels contracted to Lyrical Press, and my oh my, have some of them are shining with their writing. I'm looking forward to seeing how their novels will do when they release next year.
In the same breath, I'd like to add that I'm currently open to queries from authors in the urban fantasy, steampunk and paranormal romance genres, as well as actively seeking BDSM stories. I'll also consider contemporary and historical romance if a story has a bit of added "something else" (grit). If you've an idea, you're welcome to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org after visiting http://www.lyricalpress.com/ for its submission guidelines.
Stuff I like: vampires, pirates, vampirates (okay, being silly here **grins**) but as a guide, my favourite authors include Storm Constantine, Jacqueline Carey, Neil Gaiman and Poppy Z Brite, while I have to dip my hat at William S Burroughs and Hunter S Thompson. That should give you a pretty good idea of what I'd love to see in submissions.
But equally exciting has been my decision to start writing outside of my chosen genre: going the erotic romance route. Even better is realising how much I enjoy writing these stories because, to be honest, it really does show when an author isn't comfortable within a particular genre. I view my romance writing, under the name of Therése von Willegen, as a vacation between my "serious" projects. If you want to keep up to speed with that particular "brand", do follow the Von Willegen blog: http://vonwillegen.blogspot.com/
Although I cannot sit back and look at this year with any sense of satisfaction (I can always do better), there have been some exciting achievements.
My husband's indie filmmaking is really taking off. BlackMilk Productions walked off with the award of "Best Local Short" at this year's SA HorrorFest. We're awaiting (with bated breath) the results for the Auteur awards happening at the start of December. They've been invited to screen some of their films at the Cult event happening in Johannesburg this weekend.
Although I've suffered a personal tragedy in one of my best friends passing away, I've nonetheless had the opportunity to say goodbye to dear Shaen, who was like a brother to me considering my own dysfunctional relations with with whom I share DNA. As an aside, Shaen was one of the people who influenced the conceptualising of South Africa's "wickedest" man.
But, back to the writing...
My next romance novel, Hell's Music, is currently under consideration with a publisher. I'm also meeting with a literary agent in December (in South Africa, yes, I know) and, although I don't expect representation (ever the experienced optimist) I'm very interested to hear what she has to say about my steampunk novel, The Black Goat, and how I can improve it. I've yet to put that one on the submissions mill and am planning extensive revisions during the festive season. But I've had a very positive response from a well-known South African author who absolutely loved it, so I know it can't be completely rotten.
And, lastly, my paranormal sort-of romance novella, The Namaqualand Book of the Dead, is now in its final editing stages. Busy finishing a last round of post-line edits and, after that, galley. This releases in April through Lyrical Press.
On top of that, I'm busy with the first draft of another paranormal romance-ish yarn (with fang), entitled What Sweet Music They Make. I promise that my vampires don't sparkle, and hark back more to a mix between Lost Boys-style combined with vintage Anne Rice. (With only a dash of wangst, okay?)