Surprising no one, I'm a massive Star Wars fan. I have been since I was 8 years old and saw A New Hope in the cinema, right back when it was just 'Star Wars'. It blew my mind and obsessed my imagination since then. Didn't enjoy the prequels that much (but who did) but I've really enjoyed all the new Disney films. So as you can imagine I was desperate to see Rise of Skywalker.
I saw it for the first time a few days ago and loved the experience as I watched it. It was so fast, it gave little time to think or catch your breath. I left the cinema a very happy man. But the more I thought about it, the more problems I had with it. Big problems.
I saw it a second time and those problems started to outweigh the enjoyment because my brain wasn't saying 'What's next?' but 'Huh?'
But was fun was had and I'll be just as excited when the next one comes around. Because I'm Star Wars for life.
rAs it one of those times for looking back, I thought I'd share my decade in writing.
2009: abandoned my third attempt to write a book
2010: Started writing Cry Havoc, concentrating on 500 words a day, after getting a kick up the backside from my wife.
2011: still writing Cry Havoc, wonder if I'll ever finish it.
2012: Finish Cry Havoc, submit to agents, get lots of nice rejections. Start writing Switchblade.
2013: Finish Switchblade. Submit to agents. Get nice rejections, then get an offer of representation but told Switchblade is uncommercial. "Can you write something else?" Yes!
2014: Start writing He Who Fights. Star this blog. Six months in, lose agent.
2015: Writing HWF. Get introduced to another agent, who may have a deal for Switchblade. Get ghosted by that agent when deal doesn't happen.
2016: Finish HWF. Submit to agents, nice rejections, etc etc. Demotivated. About to give up. Discover Bestseller Experiment Podcast. Start Writing We Are The Dead.
2017. Finish WATD, send to only one agent, sign with him. Hear Mark Dawson on BXP, release Switchblade. Proves to be uncommercial. Rewrite Cry Havoc. Get into the top ten in US, UK and Australia. Release HWF, get into top ten in US, UK, Australia.
2018. Sign three book deal with Gollancz. Write Cry Fear, sequel to Cry Havoc, and Cry Witch, a novella. Start writing A Fool's Hope. Think I've got this writing thing sussed. Then abandon first two drafts of AFH at 65,000 words each. Wonder if I'll ever write something good again.
2019: Turns out AFH is bloody difficult to write but get it done and everyone is very happy. Write and draw my first kid's book. Print only one copy for my daughter. Start writing Book 3 of WATD. Appear on a panel with my heroes. Appear on BXP. WATD goes to number 1 on Amazon. Sit back and think wow! This is an insane journey — and I'm so glad I didn't give up!
Happy 2020 everyone.