‘The end of a story is not the point of a story… but you have to get to the end to understand the point of the story.’ Veny Armanno, Year-of-the-Novel, QWC 2007

New Year’s Eve always feels more like a beginning than an ending. I’m usually running on a full tank after Christmas, eager to hit the road, and discover what’s dancing on the shimmering horizon. I have to force myself to slow down, pull over for a minute, ponder where I’ve been, before plotting a new course. The horizon shimmers in every direction; it doesn’t help to fix your eyes on a mirage…

The past twelve months has been a white-knuckle roller-coaster ride. My first manuscript became my first novel halfway through the year; and two months later I sold my publisher a novel I hadn’t yet written, based on three chapters and a synopsis.

Twelve months ago, I would have lacked the confidence to contemplate such madness. Sometimes I still wonder if it was ignorance or arrogance that led me to take the chance on myself, to believe that I could deliver an entire manuscript, fifty-thousand-odd words, to someone else’s deadline. But in moments of peace, I like to believe that I’ve learned to trust myself and my writing instincts.

Whichever is the case, Henry Hoey Hobson met his deadline, rose to a new level through revisions, survived the rigours of the copy edit, and is now with the typesetters and cover artists. Like my firstborn Dust, he will be released on July 1st, to make its own way through the world of reviewers, booksellers, teacher-librarian networks, and into the hands of his readers.

It has been a mighty year and I can’t help but feel grateful to all those who helped turn my wildest wish-fulfillment fantasies into reality. My gorgeous husband and children, treasured family and friends, my wonderful publisher Leonie Tyle, editor Sarah Hazelton, publicist Yae Morton, and all the booksellers, teachers, librarians, and readers whose support has been both gratifying and humbling over the past year. Thank you, and may the new year fulfill its promises to you all.

PS. I do have a new year’s resolution: I will finish The Lonely Dead in 2010. That is my promise to myself and to you all. Hold me to it. And Happy New Year. 😉

  1. Hi Chris,

    It has been so wonderful to see all your head work and dedication pay off. You inspire me so much to try harder,work harder and believe one day that it could be me, too. I can’t wait to read Henry and hope to be cheering from the sidelines again when he makes his grand
    entrance into a chilly Brisbane evening in July.
    Have a wonderful new year.
    Blessings to you and yours,


  2. And your hard work, too, Chris. iphone keyboards and screens are SO tiny…I’m sure all your head work was worth it -too. ( I’m still laughing – this is perhaps my most profound typo yet!)

    • chrisbongers says:

      Lynn, I loved the typo! One of the sub-groups of ‘treasured friends’ which I probably should have spelled out is the new writing friends I have made in the past year. I am so grateful to writerly types like your good self who have given me so much support and encouragement. May you and all my writing pals write the stories of your dreams in the new year. xx

  3. jason nahrung says:

    Huzzah! Bring on the lovely dead!

  4. It has been an excellent year for you, Chris. All the best for this new one too and for the birth of Henry HH.
    Looks like 2010 might just be a good year for all of us 🙂
    S XX

  5. Debbie Terranova says:

    Hearty congratulations on your wonderful achievements in 2009. Can’t wait to get my hands on The Lonely Dead … so you simply MUST finish it.

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