Let’s hope it’s a merry Christmas and a happy new year

I have to admit that 2018 has been a stinker of a year for me. My 87-year-old father died in July. Someone very close to me has been diagnosed with cancer and has had three operations and is now receiving radiotherapy. My book sales have been disappointing. I’m mired in debt. I’m depressed. I’ve put on a lot of weight. The future of my career looks bleak. And don’t get me started on Brexit . . .

But one of the things that has kept me going is the communication I’ve had with my readers, the reviews and emails you send me never fail to cheer me up. So thank you all for that! It really does mean a lot to me when a stranger takes the time to write and say how much they’ve enjoyed my books.

The other bright spark is that I have built a small one-bedroom cottage in the garden, which is now more-or-less complete. Well, I didn’t build it, I paid someone much more competent than me to do it – which is why I’m now so much debt. Turning the garden into a building site has massively interfered with my writing, too. But, with luck, we might soon be able to get some cash renting it out as a holiday cottage.

The other chink of light at the end of the tunnel is that in February my fantasy debut Gates of Stone will be published under the pseudonym Angus Macallan. I’ve been waiting a long time for this – I wrote it nearly two years ago – but I think it’s some of the best work I’ve ever done. You can pre-order it from Amazon here. I really hope you will enjoy it. Frankly, I just hope people will buy it in sufficient numbers so that I get commissioned to write another one. I could do with some good book sales news.

Anyway, that’s enough self pity. I really hope this Christmas is a good one, full of fun and love and that the new year is much happier than 2018. And I hope the same for all of you, my faithful readers.

To cheer us all up, here is a GIF of the cover of Gates of Stone, that my publisher created. Merry Christmas!

Comments (16)

  1. Alan Barley December 19, 2018 at 10:44 am

    I’m sorry you’ve had such a terrible year but keep looking forward.
    Your books bring a lot of joy to me & I’m so excited about the release of Gates Of Stone.
    I hope you & your loved ones have a great Christmas. Keep the faith Angus, a lot of us believe in you.
    Kind regards
    Alan (Big Al)

  2. Jenny Turnbull December 19, 2018 at 11:40 am

    Cousin Angus it was so lovely to meet you last month. I was sorry not to get to meet your father but it was lovely to meet your mother and I thoroughly enjoyed our chat. I hope that your friend makes a good recovery, and the cottage was not doubt an initial large expense but should turn into a money spinner – perhaps Hugh and I will visit one day!
    I’m sure that 2019 will be a lot better but meanwhile do contact me when you get time and we can discuss genealogy!
    Happy Christmas to you and the family

  3. Emma Hartley December 19, 2018 at 1:42 pm

    Sorry to hear you’re worried and anxious. It’s difficult to tell without talking, Angus, but the depression could be connected to your overall health: you say you’ve put on some weight but it sounds as if you have lots to look forward to! I can only offer what I’ve found to work for myself (and I’ve had a shitty couple of years too). Exercise has been the key to keeping an even keel. Sorry if that sounds glib and there may even be physical reasons why you can’t exercise: i’ve recently had a torn Achilles’ tendon and been diagnosed with a spot of arthritis so I know that feeling all too well. And yet, if you can make space for it, running, cycling or whatever can really be it’s own reward and has a truly remarkable impact on one’s outlook. I hope that’s helpful but realise it may not be x

    • admin December 19, 2018 at 5:52 pm

      Thanks Emma! I think you may be right – exercise is key. I shall be making that one of my new year resolutions. Merry Christmas!

  4. Scott Stoeckle December 19, 2018 at 10:36 pm

    Our lives are like the weather, Angus. Sometimes you think it will never stop raining and then, just a short time later, you can’t remember the last time it did. Your skies will clear and the sun will warm you once again, brother. Just keep moving (and writing!). All the best to you and yours and have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy New Year! Cheers!

    • admin December 28, 2018 at 5:48 pm

      Cheers Scott! To be honest, after a bit of a break from work and worries at Christmas I’m now feeling much better. Thank you and happy new year!

  5. John Murdoch December 20, 2018 at 9:59 pm

    Just know that when we’re having a rough time, your books cheer us all up with some escapism. Great reads and thoroughly look forward to the new one. Also I’ve been there whilst I was living in a house while it was being completely renovated, doing a degree and working full time…banging, drilling and loud workmen not helpful! Great once they were done though. Here’s to you and yours having a great 2019!

    Gach dùrachd,


  6. Nick Brett December 21, 2018 at 12:26 am

    Angus, sorry you have had a crap year and I really hope 2019 is a good one for you. Gates of Stone is fantastic and deserves to be a massive success and hopefully that will kick things off for you.
    Wishing you a great Christmas and a far far better upcoming year.

  7. Leonard A Caplan December 22, 2018 at 2:06 pm

    Hi Mr. Donald, I’m sorry 2018 has been so rough for you! It shows me that someone can achieve their writing dream and still have the same problems as anyone else. I’m sure your book sales will improve because your writing is so vivid and consistently great. It was great connecting with you in 2018 and even getting to chat with you a bit. I’ve been telling my friends about your books and hopefully they will tell theirs.

  8. Nick Britten December 23, 2018 at 1:20 pm

    Angus, you are not only one of the best writers out there (no matter what the sales say) but also one of the nicest. Here’s to a successful and prosperous 2019.

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