New Year, New Me.

Hello all! Happy 2022!

We’re almost through January and already this year has been excellent. Due to a number of reasons from family health to my flat being laughingly uninhabitable I’ve been living with my parents since March 2020. While this was great in a lot of ways I work best with less distractions, such as Family Meals, Loving Interactions and a very cuddly cat. But I have a new place to live now that I moved into a few weeks ago and it’s almost set up. And let me tell you, this place is amazing and I’m already more focused. I’m really looking forward to getting a lot of work done.

So what have I got coming up this year? Well I’m glad you asked.

Writing!

Last year I managed to put up a fairy tale almost every month and I’m continuing it this year. The final fairy tale in the series, Season’s End, had to delayed but it will be going up on Friday! And next month we’ll be starting a new anthology. Something new. Something….different.

That aside I am an author and it’s been too long since I published a book. That’ll be the next priority, working on a novel, getting it polished and sending it off to places. The first draft is already written but it needs a lot of work. I’m hoping to get it into a good state over the next few months, at which point I will be submitting and doing some other stuff while I wait for a response.

I’m also planning on having monthly group writing sessions on Twitch. The general idea would be that I put up a picture that can inspire people to write a short story. Then we all work on it while chatting away and at the end I will read out my own work and anyone else’s that feel comfortable. I’m imagining it slightly like an episode of Bob Ross’ The Joy of Painting. I think it’ll be a lot of fun, though I have to get everything set up first so it’ll probably be starting in March time.

Reviews!

Reviews and word of mouth is really important for all authors and it really helps if you write them. It was for this reason that I used to spend an hour every Sunday writing reviews and posting short summaries of them on Twitter. However for a number of reasons this was quite restrictive and I wasn’t happy with the reviews I was producing. There’s also the problem that I tend to binge read series of books. It finally came to a head last January when I spent an hour writing reviews for Ben Aaronovitch’s fantastic Rivers of London series and composing tweets for each one, trying to make them short but different and informative while also not posting any spoilers. Adding together the main series, some spin off novellas and comics that was twelve books and by the end I was done. I decided that I’d find a different way of doing things and then that plan got lost in the general chaos that was 2021.

But as I said, reviews are important and so I’m going back to them this year. The currently rough plan is having an archive of them as part of my website, where they’ll all be easily searchable by category and there’ll be author profiles, with certain books and/or authors featured each week. That’s going to take some setting up though, between working out how to actually do that and writing reviews for the 284 books currently in my to review backlog. I’m aiming for mid-April/May before that’s up and running.

School visits!

I love doing school visits but, understandably, they’ve fallen off a bit in the last few years. I really want to get back into them though so I’m offering five free school visits to any schools in Scotland, either in person or online, for this semester. If you’re interested in this email me on skaldstavern@gmail.com. Also better move quickly, one of the spots is already taken.

Secret Projects!

Just like all authors and creative people I’ve got a ton of ideas that I’d love to work on in the near future. These include, but are not limited to, entertaining videos essays, other collections of short stories, interesting websites, cooking videos, audio dramas and more. However I really, really don’t like talking about ideas before I start on them for a variety of reasons, mostly in case they never come to fruition. But I’m still going to be working on them in the background. Which means that all the stuff above is just a taste of what I’ve got coming.

So keep an eye on this website. This is going to be an exciting year and I can’t wait to share it with you all.