Tuesday, 1 January 2013

New Year's Excitements and Writing Resolutions: 2013

Dear readers, welcome to 2013! In the words of my friend Alice, I've got a good feeling about this one.

Because it is January 1, I thought I'd ring in the new year by mentioning a few of the amazing new books that I'm looking forward to getting my hands on in the months ahead. Not mentioned, of course, are all the books I don't know that I'm going to fall in love with yet. I especially can't wait for those.

- In just TWO DAYS the whole world will finally have the chance to read Jack Wolf's debut The Tale of Raw Head and Bloody Bones. I reviewed it for The Bookbag last year and was absolutely blown away by it. Get out there and buy this book! Unless you don't like the Gothic. In which case, there is no hope for you.

- In February, there's a new Andrew Taylor novel, The Scent of Death. It's Andrew Taylor. It's historical murder. What else do I even need to say?

- In March there's a new Fred Vargas, The Ghost Riders of Ordebec. I am DANCING IN MY SEAT about this one. I am so excited. Her books are creepy and quirky and totally charming. And weird. Her last crime novel was about real vampires, for heavens' sake.

- In May the second in Stephen Gallagher's (that link is to his Q&A for Litro, he's great) series about Detective Sebastian Becker, The Bedlam Detective, comes out in the UK. I read the first one for The Bookbag (again) and loved it, so I can't wait for the next installment. I want it now.

- In June there's (finally!) a new Neil Gaiman novel, The Ocean at the End of the Lane. I saw Gaiman speak last year, and he signed my copy of Stardust and I said thanks and cried a little bit out of sheer love. Basically, whatever this is about, I will read it.

I must be missing loads. What else is coming up? Please chip in.

And now, for something a bit more personal: my own literary resolutions for the year ahead. This year, I will achieve! Probably. Unless I don't. We shall see. Anyway...

- I will finish the book I am writing, edit it, edit it again and begin to query it. I will be rejected, and emerge refreshed.

- I will continue querying my crime novel like grim death until I get an agent for it.

- I will get at least 25% of the 1001 Books list read before the year is out. (I am currently at 20.78%, so this has to be achievable. It has to be.)

- I will not be a snob about the literary merit of any book unless I have actually read at least a part of it.

- I will write, something, every day. I will try to write fiction every day, but reviews also count.

- I will actually plan my books before I write them.

- When a scene gets boring, I will listen to Raymond Chandler and send a person bursting through the door with a gun. Indeed, I will remember that when I am bored by a scene my readers will be too.

- I will remember that I am not under a contractual obligation to put a dog into everything I write.

- Along the same lines, I will at least try to write something that does not in any way feature a murder. That said, when I do feature death...

- I shall not murder any prostitutes in anything I write. Those poor ladies of the night! What easy victims they make. But enough already. I will only kill rich people, preferably men.

- I will write more short stories. They are good for me and good to do.

- Sort of continuing on from that, I will enter more (also known as: any) literary competitions. Because it is no good writing things if I don't let anyone else see them.

- I will get a pet lion. No, wait. That one was a joke. I hear those things are expensive.

So, onwards! To 2013 proper. We can do this.

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