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It's been a busy few months. Here's to Spooky Season, and beyond
In which I celebrate some Neverbury stuff, talk about the future, and start getting ready for Christmas.
It's been a while since I posted an update an here because, well… it's been a busy few months.
When I started my journey to Neverbury in February of this year, it was just a game. It was a challenge to flex my writing muscles and a break from a writing project that was proving difficult to complete.
I didn't expect to write a whole book.
I didn't expect to release that book.
I didn't expect to have a paperback or an audio version.
And I didn't expect it to become an Amazon Bestseller.
Welcome to Neverbury, an Amazon Bestseller?
Yes, you read that right. Friday 13th was a landmark day for Welcome to Neverbury. After a marketing push to make use of the unluckiest day of the year (Friday the 13th in October? How could a boy resist?) the “little book that could” made the jump from languishing in position six across three categories:
to landing in position 1 in the “British and Irish Short Stories” category.
I’m nothing short of delighted to be able to share this with you. It’s a huge achievement for any writer, even more so for an independently published book up against some serious competition. There is something rather satisfying about seeing my creepy little book standing proudly above some very cosy looking titles but… it is spooky season, after all…
I’ve no ideas how long I can hold on to the top spot, but that’s not what matters.
We got there.
So, the most important part of this newsletter is this - thank you all, from the deepest pit of the darkest recess of my shrivelled and blackened little heart. There is no “Welcome to Neverbury” without its readers. You are the real villagers, and the real townspeople. Some of you may even be on the village council…
Thank you all.
So, what next?
I’m happy to report that Neverbury Book 2 is underway. I’ll confess, I am feeling a little bit of “second album syndrome”, even through this is actually my eighth book and not even my first sequel. Reading the reviews of Neverbury and understanding just how much people seem to have loved it adds a lot of pressure to the writing process.
In short, I’m feeling a strong “Don’t screw this up” vibe.
But! I’ve already written the first two stories and, if I can hoodwink Mrs. L into editing duties, I’ll release the first story as a free download for newsletter subscribers as close to Halloween as possible.
And, Christmas is just around the corner
Sadly, spooky season will soon have passed. That does mean, however, that Christmas is drawing near and another of my writing traditions will need to be observed - The Lucy Wilson Christmas Story.
For the past few years I’ve written a Christmas story every year featuring Lucy Wilson, the granddaughter of the famous Brigadier Sir Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart, her best friend Hobo, and her extended family. They’ve been shrunk down to the size of Christmas ornaments, travelled through time and alternate dimensions, discovered a machine that makes stories come to life, and even met Krampus.
Last year, Candy Jar collected three of my Lucy Wilson Christmas stories (they are really more like novellas because, basically, I don’t know when to stop writing) into a special collection called “The Best Christmas Ever”. It was a bold piece of marketing, but I felt up to the challenge.
Originally only available direct from Candy Jar, the book is going into “general release” this year and is currently available to (pre)order on Amazon.
If you’ve only ever read Welcome to Neverbury, this book is a bit of a change of pace as it’s written for ten to twelve-year-olds (or at least what I think a ten to twelve-year-old is like which, as it’s based on my own kids, is probably wildly inaccurate). However, for the little sci-fi fan in your life, I’d like to believe it’s a rather lovely little collection of things both scary and festive, with the kind of heart warming ending that such things deserve.
And, with that in mind, I’m off to start writing the next Lucy Wilson Christmas story, even though nobody asked me to yet. Seriously though, how could anyone refuse?