On the face of it you'd think I'd had a successful writing year. With Living Cruelty Free out in Kindle and paperback, my zombie novel Dead Bastards astounding me by coming out before Christmas (thanks to the remarkable editing skills of my publisher Terry Wright) and Hell to Pay written and in the hands of my publisher (and more Die Hard for Girls books planned), it does sound good.
But, sadly this year has been a complete nightmare and one I'll be glad to see the back of, for a number of reasons -
1. Because of a Facebook page I set up for my bullying book, I found myself being cyber stalked by a crazy person and their family who'd send me harassing messages even when I blocked them.
2. Writing Living Cruelty Free meant looking at horrific images of man's inhumanity to man and animals. Some of those images and research I had to look at gave me nightmares. I sunk into a deep depression it took me months to get out of.
3. I found myself working 15 hours a day to promote/edit my books - yep, even on Christmas Day. I now find it difficult to sleep and my agoraphobia's got worse.
4. Sales of the books my publisher Need2Know decided to give away, free and unlimited (without telling me) for w YEAR have fallen through the floor. Before, one in particular, was selling steadily. No sales mean any royalties. No wonder I have to decide which room to heat. Anyone has this illusion of writers being wealthy should think again.
5. Thanks to the sock puppet scandal, I've had reviews from people who bought my books taken down on Amazon without explanation. The reason - they said in their reviews they were writers too. Like writers don't/can't read? It's hard enough to get reviews at it is without that happening. Ditto people who were bought my book as a gift because they weren't verified purchasers. Well, they wouldn't be - the books were bought by someone else for them.
Not that top authors who’ve already made a name for themselves will be affected; it will just be us little guys who don't have big publishing houses and the might of their publicity budgets behind us.
And, that's just my writing life. Oh, and the year started with a 3 day power cut - in an apartment, with no gas or coal fire.
So, let's raise a glass to 2013, may it bring us all better days.