Hello, everyone!

I’m notoriously bad at keeping time. Partly because I like to play with my watch strap, and so keep taking the watch off, and leaving it all over the house, and forgetting where I put it. I am a watch-owning individual, but for days on end I walk about London with my wrist completely watchless, because I left the watch somewhere underneath a pile of papers or in the cupboard with the breakfast cereals.

However, even I can tell that it’s now 2013. Happy New Year, all! I hope you’re enjoying it so far, and it’s shaping up to be a good one. And that you’re prepared to continue this mad little journey I’m making through this short story project – I’m grateful you’re out there, reading them. A story is nothing without an audience – it’s just a bunch of words until someone engages with them.

I love writing these stories. But they require a degree of self-absorption that is almost supernatural. I was walking around the city with my notebook during the London riots and didn’t notice anything untoward was going on at all. I’ll come in from a good afternoon’s bash with my notebook (I do love writing outside), and only when my wife points out to me that I’m soaking wet, or shivering cold, or bleeding profusely, does it occur to me that it’s been raining / snowing / hailing jagged pieces of meteorite.

It’s a happy place, writing. It’s also a naturally selfish one.

Three months ago I was blindsided somewhat by family illness. I kept on expecting I would be able to write, and carried around my notebooks with me most dutifully – but the truth of the matter was, the illness was serious enough that it required all my attention, and I was needing to act as carer. I don’t want you to feel alarmed, or send words of awful concern – things are going to be fine. Recovery is taking place – it’s slow work, but it’s happening. But up until now I’ve not been able to get back to writing. Even email has been tricky (so apologies to those subscriber friends who have been wondering why I’ve not been in contact – I will soon, I promise).

All of this is not in any way asking for sympathy, or trying to make elaborate excuses. It’s simply an explanation of why this project has taken a little longer to resume this New Year than I’d anticipated. I’m back writing now, and I’m enjoying it, and I think the stories coming out are good ‘uns. And this blog will resume some time in the spring, and I hope you stick around to read it.

I can promise you, I think, lots of merriment in these remaining 40 stories! Or, if not, merriment, at least great swathes of oddness.

In the mean time, and because it’s still so cold outside…! I was rather honoured over the Christmas period to discover that one of my short stories has been adapted into a prog-rock song! My stuff has never inspired anything musical before. It’s taken from a rather strange little tale of mine called ‘Cold Snap’, which you can find in Everyone’s Just So So Special published by Big Finish in the UK, or in my new best-of horror anthology, Remember Why You Fear Me, published by ChiZine in Canada. So, to tide you over for the little while longer before I give you new stories, is Alex Newsome’s wonderful song of snow and ice and evil Santa Clauses.

Enjoy! Thanks – and apologies – and thanks again. See you soon.

Rob xx