2017 has been my most eventful year as a writer, and even though I tell myself that I am no multi-tasker, I’ve done nothing but work simultaneously on a range of projects since 2005. I also anticipate more juggling in 2018. But in 2017 my eighth horror novel, Under A Watchful Eye, was published in January (my first hardback from Pan) and then in paperback in July. The reception has been favourable and I’m pleased with what this “back-to-roots” supernatural horror novel ultimately became (and far more than I began with). It’s the most Jamesian or traditional supernatural horror story I’ve written at this length in a while, but one that I’ve blended with my own contemporary ideas.
I also went “through it all again” in 2017, from February onwards, in order to publish my second collection of short horror fiction, Hasty for the Dark, through my imprint, Ritual Limited. This full collection gathered together seven years of my later horror stories, written up and into 2016 and was augmented by the free eBook sample collection, Before You Wake: Three Horrors (if you don’t have the free book, it’s available from a wide range of online book retailers).
The critical path for Hasty’ progressed slowly (with minor explosions at various third parties that I used to produce the various editions) until the collection was ready for launch and release on Halloween in hardback, paperback, eBook and audio. Around the publishing of Hasty’, I’ve also managed to write the first five drafts of a new novel. A book that requires a couple more rewrites until I’ll be satisfied, but I hope to be sending a final version to my new agent in early 2018.
Beyond the writing and publishing, I also hit the road in 2017 for a book launch and guest author appearances at five conventions in which I had the privilege of meeting so many readers for the first time. Some Will Not Sleep, to my genuine surprise, also picked up Best Collection at The British Fantasy Awards in Peterborough in October.
At the same time Imaginarium’s The Ritual adaptation hit the big screens in the UK and Ireland. I’ll admit, the size and scope of eOne’s publicity campaign took me by surprise, as did the mostly favourable critical response.
I believe the film will be available on DVD February 12th, and for download from February 5th, 2018, worldwide from Netflix. But check out the film’s Facebook page for future scheduling details.
October was a blur and I struggled to keep track of everything film-related (all the advertising for the film was pulled at one point due to the Las Vegas mass shooting), but the film had a run lasting for the best part of three weeks at the cinema. A tie-in book edition was also released and topped several Amazon charts; the last time the novel topped any charts was back in 2011, so it’s been very satisfying to see this book get a second bite this year. Last week the tie-in paperback went into a fourth reprint since October. The Ritual is my second bestselling novel to date but is closing fast on Apartment 16.
In closing, I want to thank all who check into this blog, and those who have supported my various publications and associated activities throughout 2017. You make it all worthwhile.