Well, here we are again. The season to be merry has come and gone (indeed, and as I can testify, if you were in Britain this Christmas it probably swept past, borne along by flood waters). Crackers have been pulled, embarrassing Christmas jumpers have been worn, and unwanted presents have been stowed in the attic. That slightly depressed, nauseous, hungover feeling can mean only one thing: the New Year is upon us!
My Authors Electric colleague N M Browne recently raised a toast to the spirit of New Year’s past in this lovely post. It reminded me that we’re all haunted by the ghosts of our pasts, but that creative people perhaps have a slight advantage in dealing with them. Those spectres, even the most bothersome ones, can help to propel our creativity. Many a self-help guru recommends letting go of the past, and sometimes they have a point. Why cling to something painful, when it would be easier to, if not forget about it, at least relegate it to its proper position as just one of the many events that make up a life? But our pasts, even at their most awkward and inglorious, help to make us what we are. If we lose our own history, we lose ourselves – not to mention, if you’re a writer, a rich source of raw material.
New Year blues notwithstanding, I’m looking forward to 2016. I have plenty of ideas swimming around in my overheated brain and, while I’ve no idea whether or not they’ll come to fruition, they at least provide me with a sound framework upon which to build. I’m also planning to become a better blogger. Like many of the bloggers I speak to, my blog stats vary, with visitor numbers ranging from “reasonable” to “dismal”. Is it true, as some people have suggested, that the blog is dead? I hope not, as I personally prefer blogging to tweeting or posting Facebook updates. Over the coming year I’m going to be conducting a number of experiments to see what, if anything, you can do to get a share of that vital traffic. I’ll keep you posted as to the results.
Finally, for those wanting to kick off the New Year with a good read or two, subscribers to the Authors Electric newsletter will, throughout January, have the chance to download two short stories by AE authors Bill Kirton and Katherine A Roberts. Here’s a little something to whet your appetite…
Empire of the Hare
This short tale of Queen Boudicca’s rebellion, told through the eyes of her eldest daughter, is being published as part of Katherine’s signature list for older readers. It tells the story of Iceni princess Ralla, whose heart is torn in two when her gentle Roman lover tries to stop her mother’s army… can there be a happy ending for the girl forced to drink blood in a Druid grove?
1840. Out in the cruel German Ocean. Beating hard into the wind as they sail from Kristiansand to Aberdeen, the crew of the Christian Rose are faced with a menace even greater than those hurled at them by the wind and seas. It seems they have evil itself as a passenger. One by one, men are brutally murdered or disappear into the black waves. Those on board seem powerless to defend themselves. By the time they reach the safety of Aberdeen harbour, they have lost four to the killer’s savage fury. And they still have no idea who or what is responsible.
To subscribe, click here. Happy reading!