My 2017 as a writer

I feel almost guilty about the fact that my writing life was splendid in 2017. It’s been such a garbage fire of a year in so many other ways, and so many of the people I love are ending the year in pain and worry. But I believe in joy, and art, and goodness, and I’m grateful for the year I’ve had. #sfwapro

My 2017 began with my 40th birthday, so it was a special year for me.

With the help of my great agent, I signed the contract with the great publisher ChiZine Publications for my first two novels: Armed in Her Fashion (coming in spring 2018) and The Humours of Grub Street (coming in 2019 or 2020).

I signed the contract for The Road to Canterbury, my first interactive-fiction project, with Choice of Games.

And at the end of the year, I signed two more really exciting contracts, which I’ll be talking about more in January (stay tuned!).

I published four original stories in 2017. “I Know All of His Names” in Liminal Stories, “Ad Infinitum” at Daily Science Fiction, “Not Valid for Spain” in 49th Parallels, and one-ninth of “Something On Your Mind?” at Kaleidotrope.

Three other stories found new homes as reprints: “The Wedding of Snow, Earth and Salt” in Augur Magazine’s preview issue, and “Cattail Heart” in Flame Tree’s Time Travel Short Stories, and “The Seven O’Clock Man” in Gallery of Curiosities. I sold quite a few stories this year too, so 2018 should have at least seven new Kate stories in it.

As for the writing itself, well, this was a busy year. With the help of my agent and some wonderful friends and family, I completely overhauled my current novel-in-progress. Twice. It’s a 135,000-word epic historical fantasy, so, uh, not a small project.

I have nearly finished my game, The Road to Canterbury, which is roughly 170,000 words and counting. I wrote four short stories this year, plus a few more flash experiments that went into the trunk.

In 2017, I served on a fiction award jury for the first time (the fiction jury for the Ottawa Book Award) and began my tenure for a second jury (the Sunburst Award novel jury for this year). A lot of work goes into judging books for awards, and  it’s eaten up most of my reading time this year (and next) but it’s a real privilege and a valuable experience for any writer, to get a snapshot of a particular section of the publishing world and hold private discussions about the literary merit of brand-new books with a few thoughtful peers.

2018 promises to be a busy year, with writing deadlines already approaching with alarming speed. This is the life I always wanted, and I’m immensely grateful to be living it.

 

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