Daniel I. Russell is the author of Entertaining Demons, Samhane, Retard, Come Into Darkness, Critique, The Collector Book 1: Mana Leak, Mother's Boys and the huge collection Tricks, Mischief and Mayhem. Daniel is a HWA active member and represented by the Tobias Literary Agency, NYC. Daniel has also been the vice-president of the Australian Horror Writers' Association, special guest editor of Midnight Echo, associate and technical editor for Necrotic Tissue, and Shadow Awards judge.
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Friday, January 01, 2010He gets his forehead from me...
HAPPY NEW YEAR
I feel cheated. Really cheated.
We didn't go out to celebrate New Years last night as 1, we have three children, and 2, can't be doing with drunken arseholes. So we did what I've done for the past ten years or so: got in pizza, beers and movies. The pizza was great, the movies were good and I had...one beer. Yup, just the one.
Then why I am I so exhausted this morning? I'm sat at the desk yawning with a coffee in my hand, searching for a couple of matchsticks to prop my eyelids open as I write the first blog of the year. I'm cheated. I feel like I've partied hard. I didn't get to earn this tiredness!
I remember last New Years very well, so it's great to see what's gone on between then and now. What a year it's been...
LIFE. OH LIFE OO-OH LIFE. OH LIFE. LIFE. OH LIFE. OO-OH LIFE...AND SO FORTH.
Always hated that song.
Three major, life-changing events took place for me in 2009. I emigrated from England to Australia back in February to be with my partner full time. In almost a year, we haven't had a crossed word once (well, we have, but never raised voices. In fact, it always becomes a surreal farce...). We're nice and settled in the south west and despite some tough times (mostly administrative...which led to financial) we're doing great. I'm confident that the move was the right choice, despite missing my family and friends back in Blighty.
We also have that cheeky chappy in my hands there, our first child together, Tobin Ian Russell. It was a roller coaster pregnancy, but thankfully all turned out perfect in the end. He'll be two months old tomorrow, and despite the sleepless nights and the less time to write, I love him to pieces. Hopefully I can make him proud and be a good father as he grows up.
Finally, after a few years working for law firms (Calculus conmen and sweet sweet Stephensons) 2009 saw me return to the career I'm actually trained in. Yes, after a few years off, I'm back in the classroom! Following a nightmare of paperwork that took up most the year to get sorted, my degree was finally recognised in Australia, and I started to teach in the small Bridgetown High School, overlooking the scenic valley. Very nice. And the kids aren't too bad. I haven't seen one knife or any spitting. Yay! Still, not as much work as I'd like (we want a bigger house now that we have Tobin) but we have a plan for 2010...sell the other two kids! Bwahaha! Can you buy a house with a couple of camels as a downpayment?
I once told Amity I was going to sell her for camels. She smiled, ran to mum and exclaimed: 'We're getting camels!' She had the hump for a week when it didn't happen (drum fill). Another true story. Manji Towers, a new sitcom coming to GWN...
HOW MUCH WRITING CAN YOU DO IN A YEAR?
Lots, if it's 2009.
A record amount of sales and words on page for me this year. A novella, now titled Come Into Darkness, was completed and sold to Skullvines Press for release next...hang on...THIS year. I've also got a brand new novel about 85% completed (and I aim to get this finished in the next 2-3 weeks). There's been lots of short stories written, more so specifically for themed anthologies. Here's 2009 successes:
Prosthetics (2009) Malpractice: Anthology of Bedside Terror
By the Banks of the Nabarra (2009) Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine
Night of the Anals (2009) Tabloid Terrors 3 from Skullvines Press
A Picture Tells (2009) Tales From the Cauldron from Library of Horror Press
Living Haunts (2009) Midnight Echoes 3
Feakishly Picky - poetry (2009) Bandersnatch Publications
Weary Walls - poetry (2009) Bandersnatch Publications
Stitches - poetry (2009) Fear and Trembling MagazineNovember Vapours - poetry (2009) Bandersnatch Publications
Yes, POETRY! First time I've ever attempted poetry and already I've chalked up 4 pro sales. Something else I aim to pursue in 2010.
Am I missing anything out? Of course! Necrotic Tissue!
2009 saw me get the gig of associate editor at Necrotic Tissue horror magazine, and despite the hard work and at times late nights, it's an honour to work for such a publication. Submissions are open again this month! We expect to see a record number of submissions in the next 30 days. I'm thinking of writing a screenplay called '30 Days of Slush', where a small group of Necrotic Tissue editors are stranded in a desolate Alaskan town and everywhere they turn, submissions leap upon them, sinking their staples deep and sucking out our time, patience and respect for fellow writers...
Only kidding! ;-)
Oh, and please vote for us in the Preditors and Editors poll: http://www.critters.org/predpoll/fictionzine.shtml. You just need to provide an email address to confirm your vote. PLEEEEEASE VOTE! Last year, NT tied in 6th place with Australian childrens' magazine Cherububble, and R. Scott McCoy has had to put with unicorn related barbs ever since. Vote to save his soul! www.necrotictissue.com.
Stygian, the publisher behind NT, has also picked up my novel Samhane for release this year...in paperback! Thank you so much to the people who bought, read and commented on the ebook version, especially those that left feedback on www.goodreads.com. I hope you'll stay with me. I love my fanbase. It's so small I know people's individual names. Ah, such a personal level rarely seen from a published novelist!
And while I'm doing thanks: Thank you to the readers who regularly stop by this blog and for those that take the time to send me a message telling me they enjoy it. It means a great deal to me. Apart from the last message I got, which was from 'Busty Escorts'. That was just weird... (true story! It's here in the blog comments somewhere. Do I come across as needing a Busty Escort? Be honest...)
BOOKS OF 2009
My top 10 reads. They weren't all released this year, just ones I got my bassist fingers on.
1. The Kult by Shaun Jeffrey
2. FEAST by R. Scott McCoy
3. The Association by Bentley Little
4. Ritual by Graham Masterton
3. Naomi by Douglas Clegg
6. Duma Key by Stephen King
7. Mama's Boys and Other Dark Tales by Fran Friel
8. Offseason by Jack Ketchum
9. The Talisman by King and Straub
10. Hellbound Hearts by various
Don't agree? I see what you're up to...
I think, for now, that's about it. I'm still very, very tired and the coffee did nothing. I've promised the family a full English for breakfast too, so I better load up on the caffeine and get gone. Happy New Year, everyone!
PS - Anyone else got a Wii Fit? We got one for the family for Christmas, and it's been a lot of fun. However, it says I'm overweight. I'm officially overweight. Too much writing, not enough exercise? When it gives me a fitness age, my Mii becomes a skeleton. A fat skeleton. Is this good? Enquiring minds want to know. I have no idea why I've put weight on. Anyway, time to cook this breakfast. See you sooooon!