A Town Called River was at Sferakon!

I was at Sferakon this past weekend, and let me tell you, it was a delight to once again attend a proper con in real life, meeting people face to face, listening to lectures, going to quizzes, hanging out.

(We’d had a few online cons in these past three years and there were a few live ones as well but those were to various degress somewhat subdued and/or limited in scope due to Covid-related restrictions)

Some of those people I literally haven’t seen live in years and it made me so very happy not just to see them but to see that they’re doing well. 2020 and 2021 were shitshows, together and each on its own – and 2022 is keeping them good company – and while some of us had it way easier than others, this weekend none of us were those people we’d hung out with in 2019. New normal, sure, but even with all that, still the same crazy, wonderful, weird in the best way possible guys, gals and non-binary pals.

It was a little therapeutic, I won’t lie.

(Just to rub it in retrospectively, 2019 was a great year for cons in Croatia. But we’ll get back to that level, I have no doubts about that)

Sferakon was also my first real life presentation of A Town Called River at a convention! We’d done a couple presentations at various events, but this was ATCR’s first con appearance.

How was it?

Good. Great, actually! We did the clever thing and camouflaged the presentation as a “talk” about urban fantasy, just to rope in some unsuspecting vict – potential readers. And the ruse worked, because there were people listening to me and Vesna, my amazing editor, talk about urban fantasy for a full hour and then they bought copies of ATCR without being pressured or threatened. They all asked for my signature, some even asked for a dedication because they were gifting the book to a friend!

I’ve had people buy ATCR before, online and live, but this was the first time *total strangers* bought it *in front of me*. People I don’t even tangentially know, people who I can’t tell myself bought it just because they know me, like me, want to support me. Dear self-doubt goblin, these people are proof positive you’re wrong, so back into your little cave you go, shooo.

So, what next? Well, A Town Called River will be doing the rounds at various other cons this year, that’s the general plan myself and my intrepid publishers made. And I’m elbows-deep in the guts of the first draft of the sequel, still with a tentative release date of Autumn 2022.

Until next time, stay cool and sassy 🙂

2021. – kratka retrospektiva

2021. je svakako bila… zanimljiva godina. Nemam ni želje ni potrebe posebno komentirati sve gluposti i grozote kojima smo svjedočili, osim što ću reći da mi je drago što su ljudi kojima sam okružen ipak i nakon *druge* godine pandemije ostali normalni i nisu zabrazdili u ravne ploče, čipove, galaktičke federacije i slično.

Nego, dobre stvari koje su se dogodile!

Prevodio sam i to puno i svačeg zanimljivog i zabavnog te čak poučnog. Osim ako se izdavački planovi ne poremete na tektonskoj razini, sve što sam preveo 2021., a što nije već izašlo, trebalo bi svjetlo dana ugledati tijekom 2022.

A kad smo kod izdavačkih planova, evo svih mojih prijevoda izašlih 2021.

12 komada, od toga 10 romana i 2 stripa

Nije loše, ha? I moram vam reći, kad se ovako sve stavi na jedno mjesto, osjećaš zadovoljstvo vlastitim radom.

A kad smo kod zadovoljstva vlastitim radom… 2021. je bila godina kad mi je izdan moj prvi roman! I to na engleskom! Urban fantasy smješten u Rijeku! Dostupan u elektroničkom izdanju i tisku na zahtjev, sve preko stranice mog izdavača.

Ne mogu se nadiviti naslovnici. Korina Hunjak, 5+ ❤

Roman je prvi od tri planirana i prva polovica 2022. već je odavno bezecirana za pisanje nastavka. Okvirni datum objavljivanja rečenog nastavka je kasna jesen 2022., ali nećemo dalje od toga da se ne ureknem.

Ove sam se godine spisateljski većinom bio posvetio A Town Called River, ali ipak sam uspio i napisati jednu priču, naslova Sakupljač. Ista je bila objavljena u sferakonskoj zbirci Svjetla dalekih obala. Također mi je ove godine (nedavno, dapače) u ruke napokon došao i tiskani primjerak zbirke Decameron 2020., online projekta kojim smo za vrijeme prvog lockdowna na proljeće 2020. održali zdrav razum bivajući kreativni – u njoj se nalaze hrvatske verzije mojih priča Kutija i Obješeni muškarac. Tiskani primjerci su nažalost ekskluzivni samo za autore, ali ako ste u Rijeci i okolici, rečeno mi je da će par primjeraka biti dostupno u gradskoj knjižnici.

Priča Obješeni muškarac, objavljena u sklopu Decamerona 2020 osvojila je 2021. dvije žanrovske književne nagrade: SFERA (koju dodjeljuje udruga SFera iz Zagreba) i Artefakt (koju dodjeluje udruga 3. zmaj iz Rijeke). Kakav je osjećaj, pitate? Vrlo cool.

Zadržat ćemo se još malo na temi izdavaštva jer moram spomenuti da je Morina kutija, online časopis koji sam pokrenuo s Antonijom Mežnarić i Vesnom Kurilić 2021. izdao svoj prvi broj, a osim ako nešto ne pođe jako po krivu, 29.12 trebao bi se na stranici pojaviti i drugi. Privukli smo i objavili kako nove, tako i već etablirane pisce iz šireg područja nekadašnje Jugoslavije, zbog čega nam je iznimno drago. Planovi za 2022. su: još ovog što smo do sad radili te, naravno, neki novi poduhvati.

Što se tiče nekih donekle osobnijih ciljeva, ove sam godine ponovno puno čitao, čime sam jako zadovoljan. Mali life hack koji želim podijeliti s vama: odaberite si neku policu ili stol ili bilo koju drugu lokaciju u životnom prostoru na koju ćete na hrpu slagati knjige koje ste pročitali u tekućoj godini. Em vam služi kao motivacija kad ju tijekom godine pogledate, em na kraju godine imate krasan osjećaj postignuća.

Nije loše, nimalo…

Ja inače ne pjevam dobro ni pod razno, ali to me nije spriječilo da sudjelujem u Wellerman community projectu, gdje je glazbena skupina The Longest Johns tražila od svojih fanova da se snime kako pjevaju njihov veliki hit “Wellerman” i onda svih nas šest plus tisuća ubacila u isti spot. Tražio se jesam više puta, ali pojma nemam gdje sam u moru ljudi na ekranu. No poanta je u ovome: bio mi je to veliki izlazak iz zone komfora i jedan od dražih mi trenutaka 2021.

Što se tiče nekih drugih osobnih ciljeva, nisu se ostvarili, ali znam zašto i znam kako raditi na tome da ih ostvarim u 2022. Samodisciplina i unutarnja motivacija su, uvjeren sam glavne stvari na kojima 99% osobnih poduhvata uspijeva ili zakazuje.

I uz taj vas mali grumen zadravorazumske i iznimno očite životne mudrosti puštam do sljedećeg čitanja 🙂

A Town Called River coming November 2021!

My first novel is coming out in less than two months, courtesy of Shtriga Books. Am I excited? Oh yes.

It started with me coming up with the title after explaining to foreigners that Rijeka, the town in question and my birthplace literally means “River” in Croatian. A town called river, now that sounded cool to me. So when I went to scratch an itch and try my hand at urban fantasy, and when I decided to set it someplace that isn’t the US or UK, that title popped back up and that was it.

For a bit more about the novel and also about me, check out the interview on my publisher’s webpage.

Here’s the back copy:

Returning to his hometown of Rijeka, Croatia, to wrap things up after his grandmother’s passing, Paul gets more than he expected in terms of inheritance—way more than just a stuffy old apartment downtown. The legacy of his grandmother’s work as a krsnik—a traditional magic user tasked with keeping the thin line between the humans and the things that prey on them—falls on his shoulders, threatening to change everything he thought he knew about life, the city he left behind so long ago, and himself. As the line keeps getting thinner, it’ll soon be up to Paul, with help from some unexpected (and witchy) places, to prove worthy of his legacy while fighting for the city’s humanity, and trying not to lose his own along the way.

Here’s the cover by the amazing Korina Hunjak.

So pretty *.*

ATCR will be available in e-pub and print on demand from this November. There will be a chance to pre-order in late October, more info on that as I get it. Meanwhile, you can find the book on Storygraph and Goodreads.