2020: Good night and good riddance

Well, everyone’s doing year-end wrap-ups, so here’s mine. What a strange year 2020 was – starting out so promising, trudging through a long slough of existential despair, and finally ending on some sort of promise again…!

In January I presented the WGGB award for best videogame writing to Jon Ingold for his work on OVER THE ALPS…

…and was lucky enough to spend much of the evening chatting with the wonderful Sandi Toksvig (sometimes it’s okay to meet your heroes!). I had two books coming out later in the year, and everything was looking rather peachy.

Until suddenly it wasn’t, and we all know the rest. But those books were still released, marking the year’s major events for me: THE TEMPUS PROJECT in May, and THE ORGANISED WRITER (for which I also narrated the audiobook) in October. That month also saw a US edition of THE EXPHORIA CODE.

The other big announcement was of course Red Planet Pictures picking up THE EXPHORIA CODE option for TV, just last month.

So, not a bad year despite everything, right? Well, no… but there was also a lot more going on under the radar, as it were.

This year I’ve actually written 1.5 spec novels (both still works in progress); two short stories, FOOD BY HAND and A DECENT COUNTRY; finished work on one videogame, consulted on another, and began work on a third; and wrote and directed CROSSOVER POINT, a short film made entirely during lockdown, starring Moisés Chiullán and Casey McKinnon.

I also outlined the third Brigitte Sharp novel; finished the draft of a card game I’ve been working on for some time (but of course can’t now easily playtest!); rewrote a bunch of the Crime Writers Association’s website content for its planned 2021 revamp; and wrote SHELTER IN PLACE, the coronavirus thriller parody.

I also launched WRITING AND BREATHING, a new podcast where I chat with other writers; composed a new SILENCAEON album, Shelter / Place, to help new at-home workers focus better; and acted in an Incomparable Radio Theater show for the first time.

Finally, I spent time doing ‘virtual pitches’ for a couple of film projects; I was elected to the CWA’s board, and helped organise the virtual Daggers award ceremony; plus I gave online Organised Writer talks, with more scheduled over the coming months.

So, somehow, I managed to stay pretty darn busy. I’ve barely left the house since March, which is depressing as all hell, but frankly that’s how I stave it off – by making things.

2021 should be calmer. There’s Brigitte book #3 to write, as well as the videogame; talks/workshops to conduct; and hopefully the EXPHORIA TV show. I have nothing else planned for the year…

But as always, let’s see how that goes by next December 😅

Meanwhile, in real life, I hope you all stay as well and healthy as you can. Take care of yourselves, and your loved ones, and here’s hoping we can all get together again in person some time soon.

Happy new year, everyone!

– Antony

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