The future unblogged, GayRomLit Retreat & more on Puppet Boy

So it occurs to me that my blog post yesterday about Puppet Boy is actually my first posting since May, and that the post I made then was a quick announcement about Saints and Sinners, prior to which there had been nothing since February.

Hi. My name's Christian, and I'm a shitty blogger.

"Hi Christian!"

Now, I have huge respect for authors who do blog regularly and keep readers entertained with juicy tidbits of new books, contests, signings and so forth. But while I'll be trying to do this a little more in the lead up to Puppet Boy's release (and hopefully beyond), I am conscious of my strengths, and this ain't one of them. With that said, I do want to talk just briefly about my blog silence, what's changed for me personally, and the state of play creatively going forward into what's shaping up to be a very exciting 2015.

All while doing my best not to descend into navel gazing, I promise. Stay with me.

First of all, GRL. GayRomLit Retreat 2014 'Chicago' (Actually... not Chicago, since hotel rooms there seem priced to suit those willing to remortgage their house and very few others). Short story? I will not be there, mostly due to my relocation back to Australia, at least for the time being, after calling Toronto home for the last two years. The move was not by choice, and it's obviously disappointing for me as I was looking forward to catching up with my readers and fellow writers, but things happen, and there will I dare say be a GRL2015, when I will also most likely have new stuff to show.

About that. One question I've been getting since the news broke last week is "Is Puppet Boy an unofficial sequel to The Beast Without?" or "Is there a sequel to The Beast Without?" My answer to these is an emphatic no, and a steady yes, respectively. A sequel to The Beast Without has been in the works for a little while, but Puppet Boy has been occupying most of my time over the past couple of years.

Also, no. Puppet Boy does not contain supernatural or fantasy elements of any kind, so let me just relieve you of that suspense upfront. They are completely unrelated stories. You can certainly expect some strangeness to be going on, but there won't be a vampire, werewolf, ghost et al in sight.

For me personally, after an amazing May of travelling through Europe, then some of the US, including the fantastic experience that was Saints and Sinners, I landed back in Sydney at the end of the month, and have spent most of the time since then immersed in reconnecting with the city and working on new stories.

It's been an interesting experience. One of my personal fascinations is comparing cities in different parts of the world in terms of their culture, attitude and values, and coming back to Sydney after a two-plus year absence has certainly fed into that. In some ways it's sharpened focus for me that this is in many ways a very goal-oriented city. It's competitive, expensive, increasingly corporate, risk-averse, and terminally insecure, and I stand by something I've occasionally said in the past, that Sydney aspires to the glamour and surface-obsession of LA while being unwilling to release the tail-skirts of London.

For all its faults however, there's still a lot I love about this city. Hello, 15-20 degree (C) winter! There's a beauty and natural elegance to it that's almost invigorating if you're willing to let that cynicism and big city-big business attitude slip away, and it does seem to work its way into a lot of my writing. So obviously there's a connection there that kind of eludes glib comparisons or cold number splicing. The city does have a heart, even if it sometimes feels a bit 'BYO defibrillator.'

Oh, and the coffee snob in me cannot begin to express his gratitude at once again having an unending range of good options.

So moving back has been a time of adjustment and reassessment, but also a time in which a lot of work's been done and I'm excited about what's coming up. Hopefully I'll be writing more about it as I try to reconnect with the blog over the next few months.

If not... well, that silence is probably the sound of more story being written.


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