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No Decorations Up = None To Take Down

Now the dust has settled on the New Year, and we just have to navigate the annual nonsense that is the completely made-up Tabloid concoction of Blue Monday. However, in true January spirit, I thought I’d put together my top 25 books, films and albums from the last year.

Only kidding. Who wants that?

So, let’s get cracking with the newsletter.

SLATER’S PIT has had a nice start, though I know a few people did find the change of genre a bit of a surprise. But, unfortunately, I think that more of that is on the cards. I mean, I like all kinds of genres, and I hope that if I have a story to tell, then I won’t be restricted by “staying in my lane”. I’m really proud of SLATER’S PIT, and it certainly helped me scratch an itch I’d had bouncing around my head for a good few years now.

Of course, having said all that, the next book is most definitely the third Grace story, which started as an answer to the question “why did they leave London?” and, as always, took a few left and right turns to end up heading in the direction it currently is. I am still very much a “pantser” of a writer, especially on the first draft, so it was a huge relief when, staring at the ceiling during a bout of insomnia, I think I have found my ending, which had completely eluded me up to now.

I’m not sure how soon until the book is finished, but I think the optimistic part of me would say in the next two or three months, though I’m certainly not wedded to that.

I’ve got a few other plates spinning. Long-time readers will know that I’ve put together a few comics scripts over the past few years, and to start the year, I’ve fired off a couple of new ones, and have had some good feedback so far, so all being well, I’ll be able to tell you about those in the upcoming weeks. Writing comics is a completely different discipline to writing prose, and the structure of it is very much at odds with how I usually write – so, the idea is that some new skills will develop in one medium, and then drift over to the other, and vice versa. Everyday is a school day…

Okay, I give up – I won’t do a top 25, and these may very well not be the best things from 2022, but here are some favourites that I’ve enjoyed lately, and are fresh in my mind.

Music – big cheat this, as I only heard this in the last week, but Jairus Sharif with Water & Tools. I got this from the wonderful themed polls run by Tom Ewing over on the Twitters, and this is from the 2022 Best of Poll. It just crashed into my ears while writing, and I was really taken with the atmosphere of it.

Books – I read The Vorrh by the sadly late B. Catling last year, plucking it from the never-ending “to read” pile. I’ll be honest – it’s complicated and I did find it hard to keep on top of the plot, but Catling has such a wonderful, poetic grasp of language, that every page had a sentence to treasure.

Film – Mank, directed by David Fincher. Now, Fincher is a real favourite – one of those names that demands your attention, with a catalogue of classics under his belt. I’d sat on this film for a while, but watching it, gave Old Craig a right telling off for not being more proactive with it. It’s fantastic – it looks great, the pastiche elements give great tone, and the dialogue is absolutely phenomenal, all the while never forgetting the golden rule of “make them all interesting”. I absolutely loved it.

Okay – that’ll do it for now. Please do consider leaving a review for SLATER’S PIT – reviews really do help a new book find their feet, and every review (alright, the good ones) really are appreciated.

Take it easy, and catch up soon – feel free to drop me a line as well.


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