Lunar New Year and other things

Feb 5, 2024

This is my latest newsletter that just went out to subscribers.

Hi Fiends

How are you doing? Man, January was a long year, huh? Anyone else get that vibe? It felt like January went on for way longer than any month has a right to. But here we are in early February and the year is very much underway.

For me, being involved in Chinese Kung Fu and, by extension, Chinese culture, this is another new year for me. The western new year of January 1st is one thing, but around the end of January/start of February is when the lunar new year rolls around. Traditional kung fu schools are heavily involved with providing lion dance celebrations, so this is an incredibly busy time of year for us. And this lunar new year is set to be a tumultuous one if you’re of a superstitious nature. I’m not a superstitious guy, but I do love these kinds of mythologies from a storytelling point of view. I wrote a whole thing about this lunar new year on my Patreon – it’s free to read whether you’re a patron or not. Go and have a read of that here: https://www.patreon.com/posts/year-of-wood-96694703

Otherwise not so much has been happening on the professional front lately. Which is ironic, in a way, because on a personal level this summer (since a little before Xmas and still ongoing now) has been one of the most hectic and tumultuous I’ve ever known. Maybe there’s something to this Wood Dragon business after all… except that year hasn’t started yet. Oh no.

Anyway, I’m fine and things will be okay, but it’s a truly bonkers time for me right now.

I’m staying as focussed as possible on work during this time. I’m about 83,000 words into the first draft of the new novel and it’s looking like it’ll be quite a big book, because I’m only just heading into the final act now. I’m not entirely sure how it’s all going to go down, but I’m enjoying the journey. I’m really pleased with how the story is shaping up.

In the meantime, I’m chatting a lot with Cemetery Dance about Blood Covenant which comes out at the end of May. Really exciting things happening there that I’ll talk about more as I’m allowed to. We’ve got another Francois Vallaincourt cover (he did Sallow Bend) and it’s truly epic. I can’t wait to show you that.

The other big change that’s happening right now is that my novel, Devouring Dark, my second collection, Served Cold, and the three Eli Carver novellas are no longer with Grey Matter Press. All of those books are currently out of print and looking for a new home. I’m chatting with my agent about possibilities there. GMP made wonderful books of all of those and I’m really pleased with the first incarnation they had. Hopefully they’ll find a new berth soon and go on to even greater heights. I think all of those books are great and deserve a wider audience. Fingers crossed there. If you want hard copies of any of them, I have a few (are they rare first editions now?) so give me a shout if you’re keen. Otherwise, watch this space for news about re-releases in the future.

And on the subject of signed books, I’ve had some event stock come back, so I have extra copies of Sallow Bend, The Gulp, The Fall and The Leaves Forget available. Details here:

https://alanbaxter.com.au/signed-books-get-em-while-theyre-hot/

Of course, if you want any of my books signed, just drop me a line.

 

What I’ve Been Enjoying

We’re always on the look out for TV series we can enjoy as a family – which means things that appeal to both us parents and the 10 year-old. Years ago I loved the Joe Hill graphic novels, Locke & Key, and we saw there was a Netflix adaptation of that. We binged the series recently and absolutely loved it. I highly recommend it.

And on the Joe Hill front, I read his novel, Heart-shaped Box, recently. It’s a great book. It felt to me like it went on a little bit too much, but the ideas and the characters are great. Well worth a read. I’ll be checking out more of his prose stuff for sure.

Another book I can’t recommend highly enough is Maeve Fly by C.J. Leede. I knew nothing about this book except I kept seeing it recommended all over the place. So I gave it a go and I’m glad I did. Try to do like I did and go in without spoilers. I heartily add my own recommendation to all those others.

 

Okay, that’s about all from me for now. As always, feel free to drop me a line. I’ve been posting a bunch of cool stuff on Patreon, so have a look there. And I’ll send another newsletter in a few weeks that will hopefully have a lot more stuff about Blood Covenant.

Until then, take care and be good to each other and especially yourself.

Al

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