I made a couple of plans for myself at the start of the year, and with one notable exception, I haven't really made much progress. I'd decided that if I was going to write about South Africa, I should go to South Africa, and I'm afraid that I'm no closer to having a ticket today than I was a year ago. Part of this is cowardice on my part, I'll make clear now. I hear different stories about Johannesburg, the city close to where my story is set - some say it's an excellent place to visit, some say unsafe - but I'm still very keen to go. I'm now planning Japan for 2015 so it's likely that I'll get to Jo'burg after the book is complete. Not ideal, but hopefully my research and my beta readers will see me through.
So what went well in 2014? Lots of things! My partner Melissa Brown completed a Kickstarter campaign to fund costs related to her first YA book, 'Becoming Death'. My friend Lesley Smith completed her first full novel, 'The Changing of the Sun' and my twitter friends were enjoying their own successes too. Jennie Davenport completed her novel, 'Hemlock Veils' and Rena Olsen got herself an agent, so hopefully that three book deal will be just around the corner. Thrillingly, I also got to meet Ivan Vladislavic and my favourite author, JM Coetzee (I may have stuttered like a fool at the signing...)