Continuing our look back at the Archive year.
The big news for June was the publication of my debut western, The Tarnished Star. The novel had been sitting at the top of the Amazon pre-orders for westerns for the best part of four months. And I was nervous as people started receiving their books - thankfully the feedback was good and I was interviewed on many websites. The month also saw a Jack Martin weekend on the Blasck Horse forum and I spent an enjoyable few days answering questions. I did a book signing at my local Borders and was dismayed to find gaps in their usually packed shelves. As the year went on the gaps would become wider. The month saw the death of Michael Jackson and the Archive gave its own tribute to the troubled singer.
The big news in July was the first stirrings of a UK version on the Kindle. And in the western genre we had the launch of a new paperback imprint, BHE Books - western author Chap O'keefe had decided to launch his own imprint to allow him greater creative freedom. The Tarnished Star reviews kept coming and the Archive featured a student movie I'd starred in - Kenny Constricted. Marcus Galloway and James D Best were interviewed to keep up the western flavour. And silent movies were the order of the day with the Archive reviewing a number of Chaplin films as well as several Laurel and Hardy movies and the odd Harold Lloyd. And we posted the winners of the Bristol Short Story Prize. It was great to see a western amongst the winning entries - The Archive was thanked for its support of the competition with a free copy of the wonderful anthology. And we also launched a new social network for western fans.
August -Saw the announcement that Disney were to buy Marvel. The Archive ran a Paul McCartney feature which argued that he wasn't just the sloppy one. We also interviewed Chantel Foster who at age sixteen saw a story accepted for the Fistful of Legends Anthology - truly remarkable that one so young should feature alongside such seasoned western scribes. Well done Chantel. Horror master Shaun Hutson popped in for a chat and we looked at the history of horror magazines in the UK. Elsewhere the excitement for A Fistful of Legends grew as a full line up was announced which included yours truly with a story called, The Gimp. We ended the month with an interview with president of the Western Writers of America Johnny D Boggs. We were saddened this month to hear of the death after a long illness of western legend, Elmer Kelton.
September saw the Archive investigating the Jack the Ripper case. And we posted scans of some rare old comic books. The big thing this month was our Saint Weekend which saw us interview many luminaries connected in one way or another to The Saint. We also ran the digital first publication of an old Saint strip by Keith Chapman AKA Chaps O'keefe and the hits went through the roof. The big media news this month was the release of The Beatles past cataloug in new remastered format. The Archive were well impressed and there were many Beatle centric posts.
October saw 128 posts in total - the greatest majority of them western based. There was a lack of interviews this month but we did manage to talk to Nik Morton about the Fistful of Legends anthology. The news was given about our upcoming Sherlock Holmes weekend and in a major feature we asked, What's so good about these Black Horse westerns? The cover image for Arkansas Smith was posted for the first time. And overall the month was filled with varied items on popular culture. It was noted that the eBooks news was increasing as the Ereaders became more and more popular. The Archive also bemoaned the demise of Borders which we felt was on the way to destruction.
November - saw the Sherlock Holmes weekend repeat the success of the earlier Saint weekend. So successful were these two ventures that Jan 2010 will see the Black Horse Western weekend - believe me there is much to look forward to here. We interviewed Lee Walker and talked about his debut western - Gun Law which I'd had on preorder from Amazon for some months. The book did not disappoint and will be reviewed on the ARchive during the Black Horse weekend. We also interviewed the editor of the Commando comic book range Calum Laird and David Whitehead who writes for the line was also questioned. And of course no little thing but November saw another successful Wild West Monday. There'll be another some time in 2010.
December - saw us interview James Bond author, Raymond Benson. As well as post more news on the Fistful of Legends anthology - we even ran a special offer which you can still take advantage of....
To find any of the past year's features either look in the sidebar or type the required material in the search box at the top of the blog. I hope you enjoy looking back at the Archive's 2009.
Which leads us to... The future of the Archive. I hope the Archive continues to develop as a sort of mixture of a blog and a magazine - a blogozine so to speak. I hope to provide content that equals much of the paid for content out there. You regular readers can help by telling me what you like in the comments to this post.
Here's to the future....2010 and beyond