December 16, 2018 by Philip Fracassi
2018 was a strange year, but – looking back – a blessed one.
On the personal side, I married my best friend, watched my only child graduate high school and start college, spent an incredible week in Paris and had some fun times at a couple horror cons I won’t soon forget.
Publishing-wise, in contrast to 2017 – during which I had a story collection come out along with a novella, a handful of stories in assorted anthologies, magazines and what-not – the past year has been much more about what went on behind-the-scenes. With very little new work hitting the marketplace, it makes for a somewhat dull 2018 show-and-tell.
Spinning it a bit more positively – it was a Year of Great Preparation.
While 2017 was “a lot of being published”, 2018 was simply “a lot of writing” and, if I can say it, a lot of starting over.
In the last year I’ve written 80,000+ words of a novel that may never see the light of day, a feature film script and a television pilot that might never get produced, two original stories (one skinny, one fat) for a couple anthologies that might (or might not) come out next year, a massive novella (over 44,000 words!) that is part of a new collection that, realistically, might not get sold, and a pretty crappy short story for kids that will never leave my hard drive. Hey, it happens.
And while that seems like a lot of work for very little short-term reward, it’s still WORK. And you can’t have a bakery if you don’t make the donuts, right?
So… donuts made. Who’s hungry?
In more backroom drama, I torpedoed an agent, split with a publisher and started fresh on both fronts. I signed with New Leaf Literary and Janet Reid, which pleases me greatly and will hopefully open some doors moving forward. Or at least some windows I can sneak through. The good news here is that I get yelled at a lot less these days, which is nice.
In real-world physical publishing news, a few good things did happen to author-me in 2018:
I published my first-ever book review in Black Static Magazine (with another due in January), and found a side-gig writing horror articles for a cool little website called Globe Book and Film. Non-fiction – who knew?
My story collection, BEHOLD THE VOID, was translated into two languages and released in Spain (as CONTEMPLAD EL VACIO) and the Czech Republic (as HLED, PRAZDNOTA). I’m so thankful to the publishers who took on the Herculean task of translating 100k+ words of my stories and created such beautiful new products from my debut assortment of horror.
I did have a few original pieces squirm out into the world this past year, and am grateful to Unnerving Press, Lovecraft eZine and Dark Discoveries for publishing, respectively, OVERNIGHT, SHILOH (which includes a bonus story: “Soda Jerk”) and my short story “Ateuchus“. I’m very proud of all three publications and I hope you’ll check them out.
In addition to the new work, I was insanely grateful to receive some very warm, and very generous, recognition. I was delighted that BEHOLD THE VOID was named “Short Story Collection of the Year” by This Is Horror, and also receive the Charles Dexter Award for “Favorite Collection” from the folks at Strange Aeons.
Further, it was an honor for my story “Fail-Safe” to be selected by Ellen Datlow for BEST HORROR OF THE YEAR VOLUME TEN. Being included in this publication, of which I am a long-time fan, was never – ever – something I thought possible. Such a thrill.
One last, year-end piece of excellent news was finding a new home for the English edition of BEHOLD THE VOID (working with my friends at Lovecraft eZine) and I am beyond thrilled with how the new book turned out. I think folks are going to really enjoy the look and feel of this edition, and I couldn’t be more thankful for all the hard work and belief that went into creating this newly illustrated, perfected version of my first book. As of this blog post, the book is at the printers and should be rolling out soon.
As for 2019, the only thing I have penciled-in, at this time, is the release of a new novella, THE WHEEL, as part of Cemetery Dance’s Signature Series, hopefully hitting the streets next summer (with illustrations by the legendary Glenn Chadbourne!).
And so that’s my year in a nutshell. I want to thank all the readers and supporters, and I hope I’m able to share some of the donuts I’ve made this past year with all of you very soon. I’m grateful and humbled to do what I do, and to have a few people interested enough in the work to follow along is mind-blowing and heartwarming on a daily basis.
Lastly, I want to say what great fun it is to watch all my friends produce wonderful art and create such amazing things that go out into the world and bring such pleasure to so many people. Your paintings and music and poems and blogs and books and scripts and spoken records and films and designs and podcasts and illustrations and games… my god, it’s staggering to see the output. I’m humbled to be in your company.
I look forward to seeing you all – and all the great things you’ll do – in 2019.
God bless, and godspeed.