2020 was the year of people saying, “I didn’t know you wrote!”. But I do! And now my mother has books to prove it.
Flyaway, my Australian Gothic… novella or short novel, depending on how you count, was published this year. It was my very first book all of my own, and close to my heart because it was about the places I loved when I was small, and how I learned to see them through stories. And secrets and murder and bone-horses too, of course. It was published by Tor.com in the US and Picador in Australia (and I’ve written about it a fair bit on here), and illustrated by me, and there is an audiobook (read by Felicity Jurd, whom I interviewed here).
A few months after Flyaway, my second book came out. Travelogues: Vignettes from Trains in Motion is a chapbook of… well, it looks like poetry. It began as tweets. It’s a collection of moments of description from 9 train journeys in the USA and the UK (it’s also not illustrated, but here are some I thought about doing for it). It was surprisingly lovely to revisit those this year. I was also delighted to be one of Brain Jar Press‘s first authors — keep an eye on them! They’re doing interesting things.
Tor.com reprinted my story “Undine Love“, a tale of broken promises and bagpipes first published in Andromeda Spaceways in 2011. It’s related to Flyaway, and I made new illustrations for it, in keeping with the illustrations for Flyaway.
Strange Horizons published my (actually short) story “The Present Only Toucheth Thee“, which is either about soul mates or serial killing, depending on how you look at it. They also published an audio version of it, which was the first audio I’d had done of one of my stories.
And on December 5, Egaeus Press brought out a very limited edition anthology of poison stories, Bitter Distillations, including my story “Not To Be Taken”.
In addition, I sold three stories which are to be published next year: “On Pepper Creek”, “The Wonderful Stag, or: The Courtship of Red Elsie”, and “Gisla and the Three Favours.” More on those in due course!
In a more academic vein, my paper “Contracts and Calcifer, or “In Which A Contract Is Concluded Before Witnesses”: the transactional structure of Howl’s Moving Castle” was printed in The Proceedings of the Diana Wynne Jones Conference, Bristol 2019. Another paper was accepted for publication in February 2021: “Heyer… in Space! The Influence of Georgette Heyer on Science Fiction”, Georgette Heyer, History, and Historical Fiction, ed. Samantha Rayner and Kim Wilkins, UCL Press.
I also wrote and contributed to a number of articles, blog posts, interviews, and podcasts. Some of them are listed on the Flyaway page. Longer pieces included “Illustrating Flyaway: Kathleen Jennings on Creating Art and Prose Together” on Tor.com, A Conversation with Kathleen Jennings (about illustrating the QLA winners) for SLQ, and “What I’m Reading” on Meanjin.
I’d also been wanting to post more here (prompted in part by Austin Kleon’s reasoning, which held true for me). I posted 274 times here, and 124 times on patreon.com/tanaudel. And quite a few of the posts on here were about the observation journal, which I think counts as one of this year’s writing achievements — I kept it from mid-January through to the week before Christmas, and am now taking a deliberate holiday for a couple of weeks (but I miss it).