Wow, what a year… good and bad.
Being a single parent is never easy. Being a working single parent comes with a whole new set of stresses. But this year took stress to a whole new level. My eldest is in her final year of school and under a lot of pressure to do well in her GCSE’s, but she is a strong kid, much stronger than most of the adults I know, and she is dealing well with the pressure. My youngest, on the other hand, has been finding every day that much more of a struggle. Finally, this summer, we got a diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome and I’ve gone from working single mum at the start of the year to homeschooling a teenager at the end! It comes with its own set of problems but we are slowly working through them and I’ve no doubt that she’ll go on to do great things.
And that’s my home life, but when I say I’ve given up work, that’s not entirely true. I’ve given up going out to a job that demands set hours every week, but I do work from home as a freelance editor and that’s been taking off like crazy this year. I’ve got to work with some amazing people and being an editor and proofreader for Horrific Tales Publishing has been a blast as always. Among others, I got to work on Jasper Bark’s amazingly sickening novella, Stuck On You, and was introduced to my favourite client, Chantal Noordeloos, back in the spring. Chantal is an absolute sweetheart and a true storyteller (not something you see a lot of these days), and I am so proud to have worked with her on Pride, Alleria, Angel Manor, and the Coyote series.
Of course, with everything going on, something had to give, and that has been writing. I’ve had stories in two anthologies this year with a third due out at the end of December, but that’s it. Hopefully things will calm down and I can find the time to write again at some point, but bills have to be paid first and foremost.
Then there’s the social side… Yes, they do let me out occasionally! The highlight of my year, as always, was Fantasycon. It was in York this year, and it wasn’t the best place for something that’s meant to be social. Overpricing at the hotel drove most people to the local pubs but I did get to hang out with Graeme Reynolds and Fiona (crazy Irish name that I can’t seem to type, you know who she is, haha), as well as lots of other wonderful people I get to call friends (Paul Woodward, Mark West, Phil Sloman, Andrew Coulthard, Jasper Bark, and the force of nature that is Pixie, to name a few). I also got to meet Jim ‘Gingernuts’ Mcleod and Chris Barnes for the first time. Jim was funny as hell, especially after too many drinks on the Friday night when he put the world to right as only the Scottish can do, and it was lovely to see him finally meet people he’d reviewed and interviewed for his website in person for the first time.
For me, though, the highlight was Chris Barnes. I’m not the most sociable of people, and I find it hard to meet people I can really connect with. Chris turned out to be one of those. Not only is he a fantastic narrator and an extremely talented guy, but he’s also funny, enthusiastic, honest, and humble. In the space of a few short months he has gone from being a person I spoke to occasionally online to being part of my family and I love him to bits.
And these few short months have produced a lot more than that. Some of what is happening I’m keeping to myself for now, both workwise and personal, but it is all good. What I can now tell you about is an idea that first entered my head over a year ago. It’s something that I’ve been thinking about and slowly piecing together, then Graeme Reynolds approached me with an offer along the same lines… to set up an erotica imprint. On January 1st, Sinful Press will be opening for submissions. Our aim will be to produce high quality erotic fiction from both new and established authors. You can find the Sinful Press website by clicking the picture below:
This does mean I’ll be limiting my editing and proofreading services, but I will still be able to take on one novel length or two novella length editing jobs a month, plus proofreading. I’m fully booked until the end of February but if you are interested, please check out the ‘Editorial Services’ link at the top of this page.
And that’s it for now. Christmas is just over a week away and I’m looking forward to spending quality time with my girls, and December 31st is going to bring with it the start of the life I’ve always dreamed of.
So I’ll raise a glass to you all and wish you all the happiness in the world as we move forward into a new year.