The year that was 2015

2015 card

I’m kicking myself that I didn’t write or publish nearly enough in 2015. It was a strange year. I have been working diligently on a couple of projects but have little to show for it, yet. But I have laid the groundwork for future success, I hope. Some highlights:

  • In May, I released Children of the Tsunami, an extended  essay on the tsunami-ravaged parts of Tohoku that I could see and talk to folk about, squeezed in to a three-day family road trip. This was my first piece of published reportage since quitting the world of newspapers eight years ago, and my first ever published artwork. Watercolours no less. I’m happy with the resulting book, and readers seemed to like it.
  • In September, I released my first proper short story, I am not a foreigner, available exclusively to newsletter subscribers. I enjoyed the writing process and aim to write a lot more slice-of-life humorous stories.
  • Since June, I’ve been rewriting the second Hana Walker mystery. That project is thankfully nearing completion and I hope to get through the remaining editing process in time to publish her by Valentine’s Day at the latest.
  • Back in October, I re-published an old satirical essay, How to Write About Japan, with my own new illustrations on Medium, and blow me if it hasn’t been downloaded close to 15,000 times.
  • Another (never ending) project has been to boost sign-ups to my newsletter. Offering I am not a foreigner and the first Hana Walker novel Half Life for free have pushed subscriber numbers into the triple digits (just), which is great for a skinflint like me who never spends anything on advertising (or covers, ahem). If you’re not a subscriber, I encourage you to join the gang as subscribers get more love from me than anyone else I know who’s not related to me.

And that’s about it. I’ll save my plans for 2016 for another post, but if you are ever curious to know what I’m working on right now, I’ve added a Now page to this blog so that you’ll always know as much as I do (and probably more).

Thanks for reading.


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