Greetings everyone. My name is Paul Crilley, and I’m yet another of the new Magic District bloggers. I’m afraid I’m not off to a very good start. I was supposed to write my first blog on the tenth of January, but that date seems to have come and gone with little to show for it except a couple of extra holiday season kilograms and a desire — no, a need — for the new school term to start. I had a list of excuses ready, the main one being that my internet was down, but truth to tell it completely slipped my mind. I’m terrible like that. My office is filled with post-its, my white board scrawled with barely legible reminders and notes. It’s entirely possible that I did write up a reminder, but I can’t seem to read my writing so we’ll never know for sure.
I suppose a little bit about me would be appropriate at this point. I’m a 34 years old Scotsman living in South Africa with my partner and our two kids. (Who are amazing, despite my aforementioned desire for the holidays to be over. Like, now.) I’ve always wanted to be a writer, ever since Mr. Davidson, my English teacher, gave me an A for a short story I wrote back when I was twelve. I’d always liked making things up, but that little hint of encouragement made something click in my head, and that was when I decided I wanted to do this for a living.
It took a while though. When I was 16, I wrote a fan letter to Margaret Weis asking for advice. She told me that it takes either a million words or ten years of writing before you can produce something good enough to be published. That number was spot on for me. When I was 26 I sold my first short story to the DAW anthology, New Voices in Science Fiction.
Over the past eight years, I’ve had another dozen or so short stories in print and had two books published. (But I’ve sold five. Three of them are still in the pipeline.) I’ve also written for local television, working on sitcoms and dramas, and even dabbling in soap operas. (Not so much fun, that last one.) Last year I got to do something I’ve always dreamed of when I freelanced on Bioware’s upcoming MMO, Star Wars: The Old Republic.
On the prose front, I write the Abraxis Wren series for Wizards of the Coast. The stories are mystery/crime novels set in the fantasy world of Eberron, and Wren is a consulting detective inspired by Sherlock Holmes. But this year is the year that I get my own stuff out there. The first book in my Young Adult series, The Invisible Order comes out on September 28th from Egmont USA. The book is called Rise of the Darklings and follows the “thrilling adventures of Emily Snow and Spring Heeled Jack as they stumble upon a hidden war being fought between faeries and mankind on the streets of Victorian London, adventures that will force them to stay one step ahead of secret societies, evil faeries, and ancient legends come to life.” Ooh. Doesn’t that sound exciting?I’m really proud of the series, and hope it does well. (Which, I suppose, goes without saying.)
Anyway, that’s enough from me, as I’m starting to even bore myself. Truth to tell, I still feel like I’m incredibly wet behind the ears. I’m learning new things every day, and don’t really feel I know enough to dole out any secrets of writing. I’m still trying to discover that for myself, so if any of you have any secrets to share, I’m all ears. But what I can do is bring you along for the ride, and if anything noteworthy happens on the road to publication, I’ll be sure to talk about it here. And any questions you have, I’ll try my best to answer them.