Welcome to 2024: New year, new calendar, new thoughts.
I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions, but around this time last year, I said that I wanted to focus on what has come to be known as “Swedish death-cleaning”—a rather noir term for dealing with all that stuff your kids won’t have any idea what to do with, and will cause them to send hateful thoughts in your direction if you get run down by a bus. And I can report that indeed, I’ve taken some steps in that direction, giving away books and clothes, filling bags for Goodwill, and even finding a home for the “Russell archives”
(a grand name for a whole lot of filing boxes full of notes, first drafts, and such.) Loads left to do, but it’s a start!
As for 2024, The Beekeeper’s Apprentice turns 30 this year, which seems as good a time as any to think about this job of mine.
Don’t worry, I don’t intend to stop writing. In fact, I’ve signed a contract for two new books, so it’s either write or hand back the advance. But what about all the peripheral stuff, the time-consuming extras that can just eat up a writer’s life?
I suspect that this may be the last year I travel to any great extent for book events.
This year I have four day-long Russell & Holmes events that are going to be enormous fun, but are also going suck up a whole lot of time and energy. I have book events for The Lantern’s Dance as well—not many, but frankly, publishers are pulling back so much on author tours, new books in the future won’t have the same in-person attention as they’ve had in the past. Plus those, I’m doing a LOT of virtual library events to celebrate The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, and even a zoom meet takes a slice out of my writing day.
So, no, I’m not planning on pulling up the doormat and becoming a full-fledged hermit, and I’ll probably continue going to one or two conferences a year, but if you’re looking to chat with me, take a selfie, or get me to sign your books,
you might want to focus on 2024. My events page has it all—and I hope we get to meet up, somewhere on the road.
And I wish you all the very best in 2024.