Okay, so I’m not going to bore you with a long and meandering introspective piece on what went well and not so well for me over 2013. But I do think it’s important for us all to pause for thought, on occasion, and look back and this is my pause.
2013 was a year of more book releases (PLASTIC JESUS, INKUBATION) and more WIPS (I’ll get back to that in a moment), as you might expect. In addition, my bestselling zomie novel, FLU, saw serialisation via Sirius XM’s Book Radio.
There have also been some brand new developments.
First of all, I started podcasting. Always a fan of podcasts, as a listener, I never thought I had it in me to maintain one of my own. A co-host spot on the Zombiehamster Podcast crashed and burned for one reason or another, none of which I want to get into, but I came out of all that with a bit of technical know-how and an appetite for doing more. Now, I’m part of two brand new podcasts: a co-hosting spot with extreme metal show, DOOM N’ GLOOM, as well as my own show on writing and genre-related stuff, HACK. There’ll be lots more of both in 2014.
I also got back into journo stuff; writing music reviews for the awesome LAIR OF FILTH, as well as some features for SKIN DEEP TATTOO MAGAZINE. Both of these will carry on in 2014.
2013 also saw me helm my first convention, as co-host of the SCARdiff Horror Expo with Mike Allwood/ Fantasy Events. It was a roaring success and new co-producer, Rebecca, and I are very much looking forward to announcing the date and new venue for the 2014 event.
Back to those WIPs and my plans for 2014 are as follows:
Final draft on vampire novel.
Write/ release final entry to the FLU series.
Final draft on sci-fi/ dystopian novel.
Commence writing on new sci-fi/ horror.
Final draft on slasher horror novel colab with fellow hack, Andre Duza.
I’ve a refurb planned for the website. And there’s other stuff going on in the background which I’m very excited about but can’t talk about just yet (I know, I know… that old cliché!).
Okay, I’m out of here. But before I go, just want to say a HUGE thanks to everyone who’s supported any of my ventures over 2013. It’s appreciated more than you know. Particular thanks to Dave, Daniel, Rich and everyone else over at the facebook page for being awesome, to Agent Gina for having my back, and to every editor/ publisher who’s believed in my work enough to put it out there. I never take any of that for granted. Thank you.
New book PLASTIC JESUS sees its official release this weekend. It’s available from all good online retailers and should be appearing in store very soon at your local Waterstone’s or indie bookseller.
Here’s a summary of some of the cool stuff out there on the book right now…
Starburst Magazine are running an interview feature in their December 2013 edition, issue 395, and had this to say in their review:
‘Plastic Jesus is an unrelenting look at the near future. Simmons skilfully comments on the current state of society and without stretching credibility, manages to give us a peek at where we may be headed. Believe us, the view isn’t a particularly inviting one but what it does is provide a stunningly realistic and relatable backdrop for a story that’s as gritty and violent as it is intriguing.’
Skin Deep Tattoo Magazine are running an intereview in their new Sci-Fi Bookazine (available now at WH Smith and all good newsagents or online) and a competition in their latest magazine.
And then there’s this, from my piece, BLADE RUNNER: MISERY-FEST OR MASTERPIECE, part of a series on dystopia by Litro Magazine.
‘And here’s the rub: for true dystopia, you need a failed attempt at utopia. It’s the contrast that makes the whole thing work. With Blade Runner, it was the basic cyberpunk hook: man invents machine; machine turns against man. With Plastic Jesus, it’s about religion: man invents religion, religion turns on man. Man tries to rebrand and reinvent religion using machine and… needless to say, things don’t go according to plan.’
‘Plastic Jesus reminded me of the moodiness of Blade Runner and the drug-fueled plot and stylistic writing of Jeff Noon’s Vurt, but with a unique quality all its own. Dangerous and atmospheric, Plastic Jesus is a futuristic thrill ride with unexpected heart.’