How do, friends.
First up, the big news: Each Little Universe turns one year old at the end of the month, and to celebrate it is absolutely free to download for Kindle from today (Monday 26th April) until the end of the week. So download it! If you’ve already read it, I love you forever and I’ll love you even more if you review it and also recommend it to a friend; if you haven’t read it, I’ll love you forever if you read it.
I figured this’d be a good time to take stock a little bit of the past year, since if you told me, like, a bit over a year ago how much I’d have done by now, I’d have been like ‘THAT’S RIDICULOUSLY COOL’ and I want to take the opportunity, on behalf of my past self, to just quickly admit to myself that I’ve done alright, actually.
OK, so: April 30th, 2020, I published Each Little Universe, having done absolutely no real thinking about what I was doing. I just did it because I just wanted to get the story out there – I was at the point where if I didn’t share it with the world, I never would. So I did.
Then I started discovering how many like-minded writerly people there are on the Internet, which was pretty cool. A lot of them had great advice I wish I’d known before publishing ELU, but hey – if I hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t have discovered these folks, so I can’t be too mad. Anyway, because of whimsical interactions with those people, I ended up learning that there were all sorts of places I could submit shorter stories for, and that seemed like a cool way to, like, continue being a writer. So I did!
There are now four anthologies out there with stories of mine in, which is awesome. And that’s not counting the ridiculous adventures I’ve had with Skullgate Media!
So I won’t recount the full story again, ‘cos I’m pretty sure I’ve done it elsewhere, but one of the cool things I somehow ended up involved in was Achten Tan: Land of Dust and Bone: a unique anthology where all the contributors created a world together. I loved being part of that: the worldbuilding, the writing, the editing, all of it. As a result, and this is maybe the most bizarre thing that’s happened and that I couldn’t possibly have predicted, I became one of a few people from Achten Tan to form Skullgate Media, an independent publisher. Which, again, is just ridiculous.
Skullgate’s now published a second volume of collectively-created-world fiction, Under New Suns, and although I didn’t have a piece in that one I did get a credit as a ‘lead editor’, so I plan to introduce myself as ‘Chris Durston, lead editor’ until I die now. We also published Loathsome Voyages, a weird-fiction anthology that actually has my name on the cover as editor alongside C.D. Storiz. How cool is that?
So that’s… eight books. All in the space of one year.
Y’know, I have a real bad habit of continuing to move the goalposts of what I think ‘success’ is, but even I have to admit that that sounds pretty awesome. And it is, genuinely, just the start. There are two more fiction books that aren’t that far off being publish-ready-ish, and one non-fiction collection, plus I’ll keep doing awesome stuff with Skullgate and submitting short stories to places. And there’s at least one other collaboration that I really hope will come to fruition soon, ‘cos a lot of work’s gone into it and it could be Really Really Cool – like, the kind of cool thing I could never have done on my own, but with unbelievably talented friends and collaborators has the potential to be totally amazing.
So… yeah. That’s how my year’s been. It’s been tough for a bunch of reasons, as I’m sure everyone’s has, but it’s also actually been pretty great, now that I look back at it and properly assess what’s happened.
As ever, I owe it all to Hannah: without her, I just would never get it sufficiently together to do any of this.
And I am forever grateful to every single person who’s supported me in any way, from the ones who’ve just been cool to chat to right up to those who’ve helped out with proofreading and all kinds of things. I’m amazed that anyone’s actually bought and/or read ELU or anything else I’ve written, and I’m so grateful to everyone who’s left a review (and I’ve had some amazing ones that have really made me feel properly warm inside and stuff).
So yeah. What a year. To the many people I’ve met, or got to know better, this year: thanks, and you’re awesome, and I look forward to getting to know you even more betterer. And, uh, download ELU now ‘cos it’s free this week. Do it. Much appreciated!