2006 IN REVIEW–Swings and Roundabouts

It’s been a strange year. There’s been no middle ground.  It’s either been amazing or disappointing. A lot of things fell through this year. A small press publisher collapsed literally days after receiving a contract offer for my novel, We All Fall Down. A number of my regular markets closed their doors this year and I’m sorry to see them go as they’ve been greater supporters of mine. A lot of plans were canceled, whether it be book projects, speaking engagements or other writing related projects that took left turns at the 11th hour.  Also I had a tendency to miss the boat in ’06. I’d find out about a writing opportunity the day after it closed. I really took it on the chin short story-wise this year. The short story market is tight but there have been quite a few high profile anthologies out there this year. Unfortunately, I didn’t make the cut for any of them. Definitely, my poor showing in the short story world has been my biggest disappointment of ’06.

Of course, with every disappointment comes a pleasant surprise. Working Stiffs came out. It looked great and it picked up really nice reviews. I’m really proud of the book.  But the year’s highest points came out of nowhere. I couldn’t have predicted Dorchester Publishing would jump on Accidents Waiting To Happen, giving me my break in New York publishing.  Another novel deal has also been agreed to, but I can’t discuss details at the moment. So my novel writing career seems set for the foreseeable future, which is a big boost.

2006 is the year where I really overextended myself. I took on too many things, which left me working every spare minute of the day on writing in some shape or form. That will have to stop in 2007. I’m going to be much more selective about what I do in the future. A couple of little things woke me up to the fact that I need to do a little bit of stopping to smell the roses from time to time.

On a private level, the year has just been as unpredictable. Julie’s family took some hard knocks, some things I’ve mentioned and some I’m not going to mention. Our house keeps telling us it’s 50 years old and wants attention. And every time we find a penny, we drop a dollar. All I can say is that we made it out the other side and we’re doing fine, but we’d really like not to have a repeat in ’07.

On the whole, 2006 has been a mixed year. I’m very critical about everything I do. I have a lot to be thankful for, but the disappointments have dampened my successes resulting in the lows canceling out the highs. This is going to make me more determined next year.

So I go into 2007 in good shape. There’ll be two novels out in the calendar year and who knows where they will lead? Hopefully, those will provide a stable platform for more novel sales. There’s a lot of ricochet in writing. Events bounce off other events and novels create the biggest bounces, so I’m hoping the raised profile from the novel releases will create some new opportunities. Definitely, I need to assess my short story work and look where I can do better than I did this year.

This makes me sound a little grumpy and snarly. I’m not–not really. I’m annoyed and I’m going to do something about it.  Look out 2007. You’re coming with me.

Simon Wood

13 thoughts on “2006 IN REVIEW–Swings and Roundabouts

  1. Donna

    Simon, you NEVER sound grumpy and snarly. And you are a gifted writer who writes with skill and heart. I hope that 2007 brings you everything you want for yourself and more – both in writing and everything else. I hope Julie’s 2007 is better than her 2006. MUCH better. And I know I never manage to squeeze out a tear for you, but you never fail to make me laugh…and I DON’T mean just the times I am laughing AT you :o)Donna

  2. Naomi

    I think it’s good to do these annual career evaluations. And to celebrate the good and dissect the bad.

    The novels WILL create a big bounce for you. I’m sure that they will help in getting invitations for anthologies, etc. Participating in different genre events also results in more connections. Yes, sadly, sometimes it is who you know.

    And the penny/dollar analogy–our household can totally relate! May you gain many dollars in 2007!

  3. Alexandra Sokoloff

    Two novels out next year – you’re golden! But I’m looking forward to learning more about the short story market from you and G and MacLean.

    (Does this mean I have to do a year restrospective, too? Yike…)

  4. pari noskin taichert

    Simon,Thanks for the candid, anti-sappy review of 2006. You don’t sound grumpy or snarly, just pragmatic.

    I hope that 2007 surpasses your wildest dreams of success; you’re certainly doing everything to make it happen.

    My best,Pari

  5. simon

    Donna: You say the bittersweetest things.

    I think my year was summed up by 3 small earthquakes in 4 days, just before Xmas. Sort of fun-sort of sucky.

    In ’07, I need to do the shaking.


  6. spyscribbler

    Wow, what a year, Simon. Best of luck, really! I did a year in review the other day on my blog, and I feel like you. I accomplished a few things, failed at a few, and I’m looking forward to 2007 being a lucky year.

    That 7, you know? I think 2007 is going to be everyone’s lucky year!

  7. Lonnie Cruse


    Yeah, it’s pretty awful when a small publisher goes under, taking our dreams down with it, (and didn’t we share a life jacket when that particular ship sank?) but you are surviving well and moving on, and I’ll be happy to follow you around in ’07 as I have two books coming out as well. Good luck, Lonnie

  8. billie

    “Look out 2007. You’re coming with me.”


    I love that too.

    I agree that the 7 foretells a great year for all – may the force be with us. 🙂


  9. Robert W. Walker

    Hola one and all at Murderati — hope your New Year sings, swings, and has no slings or arrows fired at you unless…unless said slings and arrows will be fortunate ones that bring about great publicity as in headlines and reviews, as in Suspense Authors Flips Car — Comes Out Unscathed — While Celebrating 6-Figure Deal….who can blame the author?

    Rob Walker


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