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Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Out with the old and in with the new

I think I'll be glad to see the back of 2013 - it's got that 13 at the end, you see. Bad vibes and all that. On a professional level the year's been pretty good. I saw my fifth Black Horse title, The Afterlife of Slim McCord published, as well as another two books in the Granny Smith series. And I signed a commission with Pen and Sword books for a World War One non fiction work which will see publication in 2014 (Still got a lot of work to do on that one) and also I'll be writing a book for a western series that I'm not as yet able to give any detail on, but I'm excited by this. I've also got the last quarter of a new western Johnny Jerusalem to complete. So the first few months of 2014 will be busy busy busy - a western to complete, a western to write and the World War One book to complete. I also intend to bring my detective, Frank Parade back this year.

A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other

On a personal level the year started off quite scary when I was diagnosed with basil cell cancer- a small tumour on my forehead. Cancer's a scary word -  it makes your bowels loosen but thanks to the brilliance of the doctors I was reassured. There's no such thing as a good cancer but if there were then my form was it. I had an operation in September which left me looking like Frankenstein's monster, but the cut healed well and the scar is now fast fading. A fortnight ago I was finally discharged by my surgeon.I am now free of the illness but will have to take care in the future - high protection sun screen and all that.

I've not paid as much attention as normal to pop culture this past year, but I was delighted by the excellent Django Unchained and disappointed with both The Man of Steel and the commerce driven Hobbit. I've not yet seen the Hobbit 2 nor do I intend to -I'm not sitting through two hours odd of nonthingness again just to get a hour or so of good stuff. 2013 also saw The Lone Ranger bomb at the box office even if it was a good movie.Looking ahead to 2014 it seems like we have more superhero movies to come - oh bliss! Mind you the news that Tarantino is to make another western is something to get excited about.

Dear Luck, .....can we be friends in 2014 Please? 

 Doctor Who was big in 2013, what with the 50th anniversary and the departure of kiddie doctor and Peter Capaldi becoming the new pilot of the TARDIS. Mind you, other than a few brief moments, we'll have to wait until late 2014 to see how Capaldi handles the role. Mind you in 2013 there was one TV show to rule them all - Breaking Bad ended its excellent run this year and just maybe my favourite TV series of all time. In other TV I thought Homeland finally jumped the ship with its third season and I don't think I'll be watching that again. The Walking Dead went into its fourth season and managed to mostly keep up the quality.

What about books? Well Piccadilly Publishing went from strength to strength and are now possibly the finest digital publishing house for westerns. We got a new James Bond book, a new Jack Frost Book, and even a new Jeeves book. Stephen King have us a follow up to The Shining and James Herbert gave us the long awaited Ash. The joy though was mixed with sadness when Herbert died in MARCH.

. eBooks continued to flourish during the year and physical books held their own in an increasingly competitive market.

Amazon of course continue to rule the eBook market and their dominance seems assured with their new Kindle Paperwhites, which are likely the best eReaders on the market.

Anyway ring in the old, ring in the new....

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