It’s another hat-trick today! Boxing Day bonus! Earlier today, Tana Collins reviewed her year, now it’s Josie Moon‘s turn.
My thanks to Josie for her introspective, honest account of her year. Check back later for our final guest today.
This year has been particularly exciting and memorable because of the Fish Tales Tour with the Alan Barnes Octet. We’ve performed the work nationally at a number of jazz venues and events and it has been a wonderful experience.
Having set up La Luna early in 2017 I am thrilled that we have produced three quality publications this year and that the fourth is scheduled for release in January 2018. Fish Tales, Fish Tales for Juniors and In Case of an Emergency are books that I am personally proud of and which reflect the work I have done this year as a writer, performer and editor. The website will have a shop window by early 2018 and all of the La Luna publications will be available to purchase directly from there.
This year my reading has been focused on psychology, recovery and trauma for personal and research reasons. One little book that I keep dipping into and which has been a great source of comfort and inspiration is When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron. It has been my go-to book on those days of feeling overwhelmed.
I’ve stopped bothering with cinema because I love the depth of storytelling in quality TV productions. This year it has been all about Twin Peaks, the Return. The combination of uncompromising aesthetics and storytelling made it a peerless piece of televisual art. I’ve also enjoyed The Hulu adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale and Stranger Things.
I run a community choir which has a membership of 70 delightful and enthusiastic adult singers. We’ve given concerts and performances throughout the year and have developed our repertoire over the course of our weekly rehearsals. I have to say, my favourite song of the year is the choir performing Cold Winds Blow, a song I co-wrote with Pat McCarthy, a fabulous jazz musician who I work with a lot. Jo Townell, the choir’s accompanist and arranger wrote a glorious choral arrangement of the song and we just love performing it.
Every year has its downsides. I have had many personal struggles this year. Everyone has them, everyone has trouble. My troubles have been heavy and hard going at times but all things pass and without challenge, change and darkness we don’t appreciate the light.
In 2018 I will be writing new material for a jazz and poetry collaboration plus new music for the choir. I am working on a huge piece of new work which is under wraps for now and I am excited about forthcoming La Luna publications and projects. My resolution for 2018 is to live authentically in the clearing of being with my best human and to always look for the light
Today our guest is Mike Craven. I honestly can’t remember the first time I met Mike but he is a great laugh and is so supportive of other writers. I’m really pleased to hear of his successes this year – but I’ll let him tell you about them.
My thanks to Mike for taking part in the 2017 Reviews.
Do you have a favourite memory professionally from 2017?
Without a doubt my favourite moment was a signing a two-book contract with the Little, Brown imprint, Constable. Little, Brown currently publish most of my favourite crime writers (including Mark Billingham, Chris Brookmyre, Val McDermid, Michael Connolly and Robert Galbraith) and Constable have a sterling pedigree with crime fiction.
Other highlights were when my second Avison Fluke novel, Body Breaker’s first print run was sold out before publication date, when I met with a major TV production company and they optioned the Washington Poe series and when my agent secured me some cool foreign rights deals.
But there were other highlights that weren’t necessarily about me. My friend Graham Smith’s first Jake Boulder novel became an international bestseller – that made me happy. My friend and former colleague Noelle Holton finally bit the bullet and left probation for her dream job (she’s also bitten another bullet and finished a first draft of her first novel as well). And last, and definitively least (he keeps having me as drunk in his books) Michael Malone wrote a simply superb book called House of Spines which I was lucky to beta read for him. Another mate, Les Morris, got a publishing deal for a great action-thriller book. Think it’s going to do well.
And how about a favourite moment from 2017 generally?
Seeing the first heatbound pre-publication proof of The Puppet Show. It’s going to look beautiful when it comes out in hardback next June. That was pretty special. Oh, and I also managed to (finally) see Iron Maiden.
Favourite book in 2017?
Spook Street by Mick Herron.
Favourite film in 2017?
Favourite song of the year?
Powerslave by Iron Maiden. They sung this at the Newcastle gig and it was a pretty special eight minutes.
Any downsides for you in 2017?
In February I fell coming back from a punk gig and shattered my ankle. I was in hospital for a week and now have more metal in my left leg than Robocop. It put me out of action for over three months and it’s still not healed.
Are you making resolutions for 2018?
To stop writing behemoth first drafts. Washington Poe 2 finished at 139K. I trimmed it down to 92K . . .
What are you hoping for from 2018?
That I repay all the money and effort that has gone into the first Poe book and that it’s as successful as my editor hopes it will be.
Posted in End of Year Reviews, Review of 2017
Tagged agent, book, Books, crime, crime fiction, draft, editor, hardback, Newcastle, novel, publication, publish, publishing, read, writers, writing, wrote
I briefly met Casey Kelleher at Harrogate in July this year. She’s a lovely lass and I’m really happy to have her on the blog to review her year. Thanks for being involved, Casey!
Do you have a favourite memory professionally from 2016?
In April this year I signed a three book deal with Bookouture, which I am over the moon about. My editor Keshini Naidoo is just fantastic, and she really gets my style of writing and characters. So far we have released ‘The Taken
‘ in October ’16, and ‘The Promise
‘ is due for publication in February ’17, with the final book looking likely for publication in May.
And how about a favourite moment from 2016 generally?
We bought a new house! We’re actually moving a week before Christmas so everything is very hectic in our house right now, but I cannot wait. I will finally have my very own office, and room for a gigantic bookshelf, I’m ridiculously excited about that!
Favourite book in 2016?
It’s not out until 2017 but I received an advanced copy of Sarah Pinborough’s ‘Behind Her Eyes‘, and wow! It’s a really great read. Very different, with a mind blowing twist.
Favourite film in 2016?
‘Bridget Jones Baby
‘, as I’m a massive fan of Bridget
. Helen Fielding is such a fantastic writer, and it’s as if Renée Zellweger was made for the role.
Favourite song of the year?
Ohh, far too many to choose from. Anything by Sia. The woman is a genius. I’m loving ‘Human‘ by Rag’n’Bone Man too at the moment.
Are you making resolutions for 2017?
I’m a bridesmaid next year for my sister-in-law’s wedding, and we’re also going to Tuscany for another of my good friends weddings so I’d like to get a bit more in shape.
What are you hoping for from 2017?
I’m hoping that myself and my family have a fantastic year. Lots of quality time together with our friends and family. That we enjoy our new home, and village life, and that my books continue to do as well as they have been.