And so 2020 comes to a close and with it, the government here in Ireland have announced LOCKDOWN #3 until January 31st... which is the icing on the cake of what was a really shit year worldwide. Since March, the wheels came off my writing career. When I cast my mind back to March, I think about all the things I had lined up for the year and one by one, cancellations added to the growing list of disappointment...

StokerCon in the UK was only a month away when the pandemic hit Ireland and the UK. I was due to preform a reading at the event and raise a glass with many of my writing colleagues, some of which I was meeting for the first time after months/years of chatting online. Missing out on it really was a hammer blow. At the time, I really didn't think this virus would still be an issue come New Years Eve...

After StokerCon, many gigs I had tickets for were cancelled and I struggled at home with the isolation, which is ironic because during 2019 it was all I wanted so I could finish some writing projects... a classic case of Be Careful What You Wish For don't you think?

Anyway, during the summer, the bottom really fell out of this whole writing game when my friend, Matt Hayward, went and done some things that I'm not going to get into now (It's well documented online if you want to search it yourself). In the aftermath of that, I felt adrift from the writing/horror community. Both he and I had big plans for upcoming events and publishing, all of which, one by one, went up in smoke and my motivation plummeted to zero. I lost all interest in reading and writing and that lack of desire continued into Autumn...

So, about 3/4 months ago, I made a decision to take a 12 month hiatus from writing and focus on other things. And that's pretty much how things have been going right up to today. I hope you'll join me when I say this; Fuck 2020!

However, thankfully there is hope on the horizon... and I'm not talking about vaccines... because during the Christmas holidays something clicked with me and all of a sudden I was back writing again. From out of nowhere, I slotted back into my old (pre-Covid) writing routine and the fucking Muse decided to show up after nearly a year of being M.I.A...

I managed to re-engaged with two projects and am glad to say that both are coming to a close... More will be revealed in the new year, but expect at least two (a novella and a collection of novelettes) new books from me in 2021 through my own publishing imprint and I also have an anthology appearance, which I'm pretty excited about, whenever that gets released.

With this new found energy, I'm out of hiatus and am looking at the next lockdown as an opportunity to keep the head down and dive deep into my work. I have stories that need finishing and I'm also looking to expand my publishing platform to make hardback and eBook editions of my books available across all online retailors in the new year. So, keep an eye out for updates on my social media accounts and my email newsletter... more giveaways coming up too!

In other news, I am humbled to see my name on the front cover of the latest issue of Phantasmagoria Magazine. Which also includes an interview and an exclusive excerpt from The Blackening. It is available to buy now from Amazon and Forbidden Planet.

During the holiday's, I made an effort to catch up on some films and TV... I'm currently enjoying The Mandalorian and struggled to stay awake during The Midnight Sky on Netflix. But what I'd highly recommend is The Vast Of Night on Amazon Prime Video. I haven't raved about a film like this since I was blown away by Moon all the way back in '09. If you like your Sci-Fi... get on it now. My, hands down, film of the year!

So that rounds off my end of year post... It's been shitty, but ending with hope. The vaccines began rolling out here in Ireland today, so hopefully come this time next year, we are all in a better place and some sort of normality has returned. For now, stay safe, be mindful of others and I wish you and yours a Happy New Year.


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