My 2012 Targets – How did I do?

Way back on January 1st, I set myself five work targets for the year ahead, goals that I wanted to achieve. Now is the time to look back and see how I got on…

1) Complete 12 short stories.

This was probably my most ambitious target, a short story a month. Did I set myself up for a fall? Probably, but lets see.

  1. 'Fairest of Them All' – a steampunk retelling of Snow White for Resurrection Engines, edited by Scott Harrison.
  2. 'The Demon Slasher of Seven Sisters' – my first ever Sherlock Holmes story for The Encounters of Sherlock Holmes, edited by George Mann.
  3. A yet to be announced short story for a certain fantasy RPG.
  4. 'Ice Scream', a short Skylanders short for the 2013 Annual.
  5. 'Bad Luck Bay' – another Skylanders short for the Annual.
  6. 'Vanishing Voices' – yup, another Skylanders Annual story.
  7. A yet to be announced short story for the 2014 Skylanders Annual.
  8. A second short for the 2014 Annual.
  9. 'Night of the Krampus' – A 8,000 words festive horror story that I wrote this month to try out a set of new characters. Not sure where or when that will be appearing – maybe as an ebook for next Christmas.

So that's got me to nine. Not bad. Now, I could probably make the list up if I include the Skylander's chapter books I've been writing? They're 15,000 words a pop – does that count? If so, Spyro vs the Mega Monsters, Gill Grunt and the Curse of the Fishmaster and Lightning Rod Faces the Cyclops Queen gets me to 12! So only cheating a bit!

2) Work up three proposals for children's books series.

Ah, the best laid plans of mice and freelance writers. This is one I'm going have to carry on into 2013. The reason it hasn't happened is that I've been so busy with Skylanders. Three chapter books, one quiz book, two annuals and a yet-to-be-announced extra book written for Penguin in 2012. I've also picked up work on another popular gaming franchise, which hopefully I'll be able to talk about soon.

All this has meant that the pitches slipped down the to-do list, but they will be pushed back up top next year.

3) Make at least one school visit.

Well, I did two. One at Hanham Abbots Primary School in February and then earlier this month at Oakfield Academy, Frome. I also set up author profiles at Start the Story and Contact An Author.

With two bookings already in the bag for 2013, I'm hoping to really build on this next year.

4) Get two new comic commissions.

Well, I got one, although I can't talk about it yet. A couple of near misses meant that I haven't quite hit this target. Another one to work on next year.

5) Get a new adult non-fiction book commission.

I'm pleased to say this happened. I can't say what it is yet, but Mark Wright and I delivered our first joint non-fiction book earlier this month. More on this when it's announced.

So there you are. 2012 also saw me working with Mark on a number of projects from Iris Wildthyme and Doctor Who to Blake's 7 and Counter Measures. In the world of magazines and websites I worked with Future Plus on a in-store mag for Tesco, wrote features and reviews for Doctor Who Magazine, tutorials for MacFormat, online walkthroughs for Advent Computers and received my first commissions for SFX in years.

It's been a busy but rewarding year and, as the world didn't end on 21st December (phew!), I'm looking forward to 2013 – but more about that tomorrow…

I hope you enjoy the festivities tonight, however you're celebrating New Year's Eve. Hootenanny!


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