2016 has already garnered a few controversies. The annual awards season began in earnest with the Golden Globes, and Ricky Gervais did himself proud by living up to his reputation and insulting a good number of showbiz names who, let's face it, wouldn't get their names in the papers without him. The Oscar nominations were announced, and there's a huge brouhaha going on about the lack of diversity this year, with just one token black nominee. Although, it beggars belief all the fuss that's being made about it, the latest being suggested that Chris Rock should step down from hosting duties in protest. It's sad really, that in this modern era, there are still issues between cultures and race. I think the arguments that are raging are a diversionary tactic, to take away focus from the fact that there just weren't that many good films produced last year. It's not a black or white issue at all. But if Chris Rock does step down (which I doubt he will as he needs the pay cheque), I can think of no one better than Ricky Gervais to step in. Brash and fearless, he'd be in his element ruffling a few feathers within Hollywood's glitterati, maybe another quip at Mel Gibson's expense... shalom!
In my first blog of the year, I championed that 2016 was going to be a great year... and for many, I hope, it still will be (alas, sadly not for Mr Bowie). Personally, I have two novels out this year - books two and three in The Girl in the Mirror series, with The Sons of Gyges being released on (BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!) 29th March, and the third, as yet untitled novel, scheduled for publication in late-November - so it could be a good year for me, certainly rewarding as far as personal goals go.
Over the past couple of weeks I've had people emailing me asking for news on The Girl in the Mirror, and for updates as to what I've been up to (in the absence of any social media posts - sorry, been busy, my bad!), but in reply to those kind enough to enquire, I've been very busy finishing The Sons of Gyges, rewriting parts of it (on the suggestion of my editor) and preparing it ready for Wildboar Publishing to publish it. Between rewriting, I've still been actively promoting the first book with behind-the-scenes conversations with the media and liaising with a leading bookseller trying to organise a book-signing event (yet to be agreed), and also talking with the UK's network of libraries about stocking my books. Some fantastic news this past week, The Girl in the Mirror is now being stocked within many of the libraries within the UK! Of course, I'd rather you buy my books, but if borrowing books is more your thing, go on-line and reserve my book from your local library and check it out; the more people who want to read it, the more copies they'll order in. And if you like it, I'll forgive you for reading it for free, just as long as you order a copy of my follow-on book when it becomes available. Of course, if your local library doesn't have it, put in a request. Unless their local council is penny-pinching, they should be able to get a copy in for you.
Finally, I can't go without mentioning Star Wars: The Force Awakens. (SPOILER ALERT!!) Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. Thank you JJ Abrams for delivering a worthy sequel to restore my affection for this franchise... but boo to Disney for announcing delays to episode VIII, albeit only by half a year. On the plus side, at least they've killed off one of their oldest characters, so if anything (God forbid it) happened to Harrison Ford in the mean time, they didn't need to worry about recasting the role, or (I shudder) having to use the 'magic' of CGI to fill in. Now to speculate, who will they kill off next time? I apologise if that seems morbid, but my Money is on Luke Skywalker...