CONVERGENCE is Available To NetGalley Readers Until Feb. 20

Convergence - Michael Patrick Hicks

Calling all sci-fi/cyberpunk/thriller NetGalley reviewers – my debut novel, Convergence, is available for request until Feb. 20 right over here.

I’m happy to say I recently received my first bit of feedback from this site, and feel a good deal of relief. Putting work out there is always a bit scary, so it’s tremendously rewarding to know readers are digging it. Reviewer ‘kim r.’ gave Convergence a 4 out of 5 stars, writing, “I really loved this book. …vivid futuristic society and the idea of the main character taking memories makes for an interesting read.

It’s funny how good a positive review feels. Even though Publisher’s Weekly has already called it a “smart splice of espionage and science fiction. … frighteningly realistic. Well-drawn characters, excellent pacing, and constant surprises make this a great cautionary tale about technology and its abuses.” And never mind that one of my peers, fellow sci-fi author Lucas Bale, said, “Hicks writes like Philip K Dick and Robert Crais combined, making for clean, exciting prose. He focuses on the story and never let’s go.

Making readers happy is a top priority for any writer, I think, and I hope that if you check out this book you’ll dig reading it as much as I loved writing it (and it’s follow-up, Emergence).

And if you’re not on NetGalley, you can pick up Convergence for only $3.99 at Amazon. Be sure to post your thoughts for other readers, too!

Original post:
MichaelPatrickHicks.booklikes.com/post/1337866/convergence-is-available-to-netgalley-readers-until-nov-20

CONVERGENCE is Available To NetGalley Readers Until Feb. 20

Signal Boosting, Reviews, and Accolades

In December, I was a part of two anthologies – Crime & Punishment and The Cyborg Chronicles – which means it’s time to give them a bit of a signal boost! If you haven’t gotten these two books yet, now’s the time!

The Cyborg Chronicles is only 99c for a LIMITED TIME! Act fast!

I had a lot of fun writing for these two anthologies, and it feels wonderful to see readers responding so positively to these books as a whole, as well as my efforts within each.

My Crime & Punishment story, The Marque, is a weird western that has gotten a few nods from readers, who call it:

a powerful yet bleak vision of our future. Michael Patrick Hicks’ story completely swept me away-I found it hard to put down.

scary, creepy, and exciting

Samuel Peralta does the foreword on this one, and it’s a sublime bit of short fiction in its own right. If it were up to me, and if it were such a thing at all, Karma would get a Foreword of the Year award. It’s just brilliant. So brilliant, in fact, that author Anthony Vicino named it one of this Top 7 Short Stories of 2015 over The Leighgendarium!

Over in The Cyborg Chronicles, I wrote a short story set in the DRMR series, which is the focus of my two novels, Convergence and Emergence. Preservation is completely separate from these two books and presents all-new characters in a wildly different setting from the main books, so it can be enjoyed entirely as a stand-alone solo adventure.

Readers are calling this one:

An action-packed thriller with a heart…

Page turning carnage ensues, the kind I’ve loved in this author’s other works. If you can find anyone better at writing an ultraviolent action scene, let me know who they are. …this story struck the perfect chord with me.

My Favorite story in the groupWhat kept kept me immersed in it was Mr. Hick’s fine style. I am notably impressed.

Revolver eBook

Finally, although it came out in August, I’m heartened to see Revolver getting some love! Author Edward Lorn named it Best Novella 2015, and Anthony Vicino included it in his round-up of Top 7 Short Stories of 2015 for The Leighgendarium.

Anthony calls Revolver

a lesson in authorial bravery… a truly gut twisting, heart wrenching, sphincter squeezing tale of loss and abandonment that stuck with me long after the last page.

While Edward writes in his Amazon review,

An Instant Classic On Par With “1984” and “V for Vendetta”

The piece is multi-layered and utterly thought provoking, but the writing is really the prize-winning pony here. Hicks writes with the confidence and prose of a seasoned professional. I don’t know how long he’s been writing, but I’m impressed. There are writers who’ve been putting words to paper for decades who don’t write this well.

Revolver aims at the world we live in and blows its head off.

You can find these books for sale over at Amazon right now!

Signal Boosting, Reviews, and Accolades

2015 Writing In Review (plus a shameless plea and a peek at 2016)

Last year was a banner year for me in terms of sheer accomplishments. 2015 was definitely my best year as a reader, my wife gave birth to our son (OK, so this is more her accomplishment than mine, but I’m at least 50% responsible for her enduring 9 months of morning sickness, back aches, heartburn, and the random thumping, kicking, and punching of various internal organs, that all resulted in our little bit of awesomeness that is a tiny, hilarious human who deprives us of much-needed sleep), and I was at peak productiveness writing-wise. It’s this last part I’ll be writing about today because this is, largely, my silly little author blog.

So, 2015 in terms of writing – I was in three anthologies, released a solo novel, and published a short story that originally appeared in one of these anthologies.

I also finished the manuscript for a novella, tentatively titled Mass Hysteria!, of approximately 50,000 words. I’m estimating this brought me to about 180,000 words of fiction written across the year. This is an awful lot of writing for me! I also wrote 141 blog posts, figure those are about 500 words each, a nice conservative estimate which gives me an additional 70,500 words written. *Phew!*

In terms of sales, 2015 was a definite improvement over my first year as an author-publisher, but still fairly insignificant in terms of income and paid sales. Income doubled over 2014, but not enough to off-set expenses put toward self-publishing my work, which means my indie career is still a far-cry from being a successful endeavor and I’m starting off 2016 heavily in the red. Expenses in 2015 were also double those of 2014 thanks to larger promotion efforts and editing (Emergence is a bigger book than Convergence, and more words means more money spent to edit).

A successful writing career is built on hard work, talent, and a whole lot of luck. Although I’ve got a few dedicated and devoted readers (thank you!), I haven’t yet gotten lucky enough to really break through. Although, in its first week of release, Emergence outsold the entire previous year’s worth of sales for Convergence, it was not enough to break-even on the expenses generated by editing, formatting, cover design, and marketing. I did run a couple free promos for Convergence, which were pretty damn successful in terms of volume, but had little impact in terms of carry-over toward more sales of Emergence or my other works. I gave away about 7,000 copies of my first novel, which is awesome, but I suspect a very large number of purchasers were simply collecting a free title. I saw little in way of new reviews and only about 4 percent of those ‘buyers’ went on to pick up my other titles. It’s a bit distressing, but also a lack of simple, pure luck. I just haven’t found my audience yet. That said, the word of mouth surrounding the solo release of my controversial short story, Revolver, generated a good amount of interest and sales, but it’s definitely not a best-seller by any means. Furthermore, Revolver is a very unsubtle and highly polemic work that may not exactly be the best entry-point for my work; I have to expect that title to maybe turn off a lot of new readers, actually. The good news is, those that do like it seem to be enthusiastically supportive of it, which is freaking awesome!

Unfortunately, all this means that a lot of the big stuff I had wanted to do in 2016 will likely have to wait. This comes down to easy economics, since I can’t spend money on making more art without that art making money to spend. One project I had wanted to tackle was producing audiobooks of my DRMR novels, but this is a very expensive undertaking and could easily set me back several thousand dollars. This would be on top of getting Mass Hysteria cover art and edited. And I’ve begun working on another sci-fi novel that I should be able to finish sometime this year, but finding the time to really sit down and write is getting more difficult (psst – having a kid can be a huge time drain! Who knew? But seriously, he’s awesome and it’s worth it. But still.), so everything is still kinda TBD on that front.

This means that some plans for 2016 are being shifted around a good deal. I’m seriously considering shopping around Mass Hysteria. If I can hook even a small publisher with this title, it’ll save me a lot of money in terms of editing and artwork. It’s an apocalyptic horror story, and there’s a few horror houses that I think it would align pretty well with. Kindle Scout could also be an option, but kind of a last resort for now since they require a completely finished book for submission, which still leaves me on the hook for editing and cover design costs. So we’ll see what happens there.

I’m determined to get Mass Hysteria released in 2016, but the when of it all is very, very murky at this point. Those two December anthologies have also given me two more short stories that, in about six-months time, I’ll be free to release as stand-alone titles, which means The Marque and Preservation will need an extra bit of work to get ready for their individual debuts. Again, though, I have zero idea what kind of timeline I’ll be able to operate on with those, and that’s a little bit scary and disheartening. I wanted to have a solid timeline to plan out releases for this year, but the financial aspects are seriously cloudy. So, hey, if you want more books from me, get buying them! Tell your friends to buy them! Buy copies for your friends, family, loved ones, enemies, neighbors, pets, dolls, future readers, strangers at the bus-stop, pantsless subway riders, your reading club, whatever.

One bright spot, and I need to keep in mind that it’s still early, but my inclusion in The Cyborg Chronicles, the latest release in Samuel Peralta’s acclaimed series of The Future Chronicles anthologies, looks to have given my profile a slight boost. In 2015 I went Kindle exclusive and have stayed there for a while. In the wake of my Chronicles story, it seems a few more readers are borrowing my DRMR books, so that anthology could be a nice entry point for new readers to find me.

Diversification is key, really. Readers weren’t finding my solo works, but look to be discovering it a bit more now that I was fortunate enough to get invited into a release as large as The Cyborg Chronicles. I may be appearing in a couple more anthologies in 2016, but the ink isn’t dry enough for me to discuss those details yet and anything can happen. For instance, I was slated to be in a fourth anthology last year, but the publisher dissolved before the book could be released. So, for now I’m only focusing on my cli-fi novel currently in progress. I’ve got a good 5,000 words built up there at the moment and plenty more on the way.

Cli-fi, sci-fi, what is this? What’s this about? Again, too early to discuss, but it’s a future-Earth story set in the days after humanity has firmly wrecked the world and climate change has significantly altered the geographic landscape. It’s a bit of a seafaring story with rogue military squads, pirates and salvagers, and mermaids. Wait, mermaids? Maybe mermaids. We’ll just have to see about that.

2015 Writing In Review (plus a shameless plea and a peek at 2016)

Newsletter Exclusive Incoming! Get Your Free Copy of Debts of Blood &Flesh!

The holidays are coming up fast (or already here, depending on which ones you observe), and I thought I would share something a little special.

It’s hard to believe I’ve been at this author gig for nearly two full years now. In that time, I’ve had the honor of being invited to submit stories to several anthologies. In 2015 alone, I was a part of three anthologies (No Way Home, Crime & Punishment, and The Cyborg Chronicles, due out on 12/28!), and, very nearly, a fourth.

Unfortunately, due to the dissolution of the publishing house that was planning on releasing Undaunted, this anthology never materialized. There were a number of terrific authors involved, with stories uniting around the theme of fantasy noir.

The cancellation of Undaunted left me with a finished story called Debts of Blood & Flesh, but one that has sadly since been orphaned. So here’s the deal: I’m making this an exclusive to my newsletter subscribers (you can sign up right here).

I don’t know when or if this will ever get a solo release; I may self-publish it one day for a wider release. For now, this is going to be a freebie to subscribers of my spam-free newsletter. These mailings only go out about once a month, at the most, and are often contingent on what, if any, releases I have coming out. I promise you will not be bombarded.

So if you’re interested in getting your exclusive, free copy of my fantasy noir short story, Debts of Blood & Flesh, sign up for the newsletter. Later this week, you’ll get this story, no strings attached. And if you don’t want to stick around afterward, no worries, you can unsubscribe at any time.

About Debts of Blood & Flesh
The search for a missing woman ignites a decades-old plot of revenge. Blood soon stains the streets of Dyysahaek, and a lone, scarred Judge is the only man standing between encroaching madness and an ancient enemy that was thought defeated.
Newsletter Exclusive Incoming! Get Your Free Copy of Debts of Blood &Flesh!

Finished With Mass Hysteria!

Mass Hysteria! is done!

Or at least the first draft is. There’s still plenty of adjustments and edits that need to be made before it goes off for formal development and edits sometime in 2016. But for now, it’s finished.

You may recall I mentioned writing a short companion piece to this story in an update last month, but I think I may hold off on that one for now.

I’m itching a bit to get back into the sci-fi groove, but I’m also a bit too burned out on all the real-life horrors of late to want to continue writing about cannibals and humans decimating one another so completely and so viciously.

Since my last blog post on my writing affairs, and in between finishing Mass Hysteria! right after Thanksgiving and today, we’ve seen terror attacks on Paris, on a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado, and in San Bernadino yesterday (some refuse to call these last two terror attacks, but I’m calling it like I see it.). In the US, we’ve now had more mass shootings than we’ve had days in the year thus far (336 days, 355 shootings. But it’s still fairly early on the Eastern Standard Time zone at the time of this writing. Those shooting numbers will go up again soon, if not today then by week’s end, no doubt).

So, no. I’m not in a particular mood to write about yet more horrors at the moment. Mass Hysteria! took a bit of a toll on me, and it got brutally dark in some areas. For now, then, any more stories in this world are off the table.

Mass Hysteria! is a complete story all by itself, so no worries there. Whenever it does release, you’ll still get the complete arc and know everything you need to know. The story I had tentatively titled Checkmate was little more than a subplot I had to drop and which was not working well with the central narrative of the story proper. I’m also becoming of the mind that…well, I dropped it for a reason. It wasn’t working. It just was so not working. Maybe rather than trying to shoehorn a separate short story out of it, it’s better to just move on. I’m not even in a particular rush to edit, which is probably a good thing (and besides, I can’t afford it right now, so that helps, too). I need to come up for some fresh air for a little while and get some distance between myself and the work.

And then there’s that itch for sci-fi again. Science fiction is where I made my dent with the release of Convergence and Emergence. There’s a third book to be done, eventually. Maybe not right now though. Not until I’ve gotten my head into a little bit better of a space for the long-term commitment it would require.

The idea I’m tossing around now is, actually and funnily enough, post-apocalyptic. And although that doesn’t exactly inspire all kinds of happy thoughts, I think the kernel of the idea carries with it a certain amount of hope for mankind as a whole. We are, as a species, survivors, and it’s important to remember that, even when things get as bleak as they are at the moment, and especially as anger threatens to consume us. It’s easy to be angry, less so to be hopeful (at least for me).

And that’s what I need to write about right now. Survival. Change and adaptation. But most of all, a little bit of hope that can shine against the darkness.

Finished With Mass Hysteria!

Black Friday Sale: Get CONVERGENCE For FREE

Featured Image -- 3583Today’s the day – head over to Amazon get my debut sci-fi thriller ebook, Convergence, for the low, low price of totally free!

This offer is good for today only, so act fast!

If you prefer the physical format, you can buy the Convergence paperback and save 30% by using the code HOLIDAY30 at checkout (terms & conditions here; offer good until Nov. 30).

If you’ve already read Convergence, please take a moment to leave a review and let other readers know your thoughts. It doesn’t have to be long at all, and I’ve seen reviews as short as “It’s great!” on other book pages. It will only take you a moment, but it can have a tremendous influence on other readers out there.

Here’s the synopsis:


Jonah Everitt is a killer, an addict, and a memory thief.

After being hired to kill a ranking officer of the Pacific Rim Coalition and download his memories, Everitt finds himself caught in the crosshairs of a terror cell, a rogue military squadron, and a Chinese gangster named Alice Xie. Xie is a profiteer of street drugs, primarily DRMR, a powerful narcotic made from the memories of the dead. With his daughter, Mesa, missing in post-war Los Angeles, Everitt is forced into an uneasy alliance with Alice to find her.

Mesa’s abduction is wrapped up in the secrets of a brutal murder during the war’s early days, a murder that Alice Xie wants revenged. In order to find her, Jonah will have to sift through the memories of dead men that could destroy what little he has left.

In a city where peace is tenuous and loyalties are ever shifting, the past and the present are about to converge.

Publisher’s Weekly* called CONVERGENCE a “smart splice of espionage and science fiction. … frighteningly realistic. Well-drawn characters, excellent pacing, and constant surprises make this a great cautionary tale about technology and its abuses.”

“From the opening page of Convergence I was hooked. The dystopian world building is well done and the descriptions are vivid. The technology is imaginary and different…great characters and plenty of suspense/action.” – Nicholas Sansbury Smith, author of Extinction Horizon and the Orbs series

Convergence is fast-paced, full of action and a thrilling ride from start to finish. There is violence, depth of feeling, explosions, car chases and tenderness. The book has everything and is perfect for those who like their SciFi gritty, edgy and realistic.”
J.S. Collyer, author of ZERO

“kept me on the edge of my seat the WHOLE friggen time! The writing is tight. The world building is incredible, and the story itself is pretty compelling! A+”
-Melissa “Book Lady” Caldwell, Must Read Faster

“A cyberpunk thrillride through a future America under Chinese rule. The conflict between the humanity of the main character, Jonah, and the things he has had to do to survive in this harsh new world makes ‘Convergence’ an absolute pleasure to read.” – SciFi365.net

Also available: Emergence (A DRMR Novel, Book 2) for only $3.99.

Emergence-800 Cover reveal and Promotional

The Thrilling Sequel to Convergence

Still recovering from the events that befell her in Los Angeles, Mesa Everitt is learning how to rebuild her life.

The murder of a memorialist enclave changes all of that and sets into motion a series of violence that forces her into hiding.

Hunted by a squad of corporate mercenaries, with the lives of her friends and family in danger, Mesa has no one to turn to, but she holds a dark secret inside her skull. She has no knowledge of that secret, but it is worth killing for.

The ghosts of her haunted, forgotten past are about to emerge.

“Hicks writes like Philip K Dick and Robert Crais combined, making for clean, exciting prose. He focuses on the story and never lets go.” – Lucas Bale, author of the award-winning Beyond The Wall series

“It has all the gritty Cyberpunk of the first book plus a more fully-realized world in which to immerse yourself. Excellent.” – SciFi365.net

“Excellent, fast-paced thriller with fantastic world building. Mesa is a troubled yet strong heroine that captivates you from the first page.” – E.E. Giorgi, author of Chimeras

Click here to buy Emergence!

Black Friday Sale: Get CONVERGENCE For FREE

In Which Author Anthony Vicino Interviews Me.

I promised the other day to be a little more timely in my self-promotion and stumbled across the posting of this interview conducted by author Anthony Vicino. I’ve gotten to know Anthony a bit thanks to Facebook and Twitter, and he was gracious enough to read and review Convergence, alongside Ted Cross’s cyberpunk title, Immortality Games. (Ahem: Ted’s book just so happens to be on sale for 99c right now!) So, when he approached me about doing an interview for his site I said yes, and we spent a couple days going back and forth over e-mail. Our conversation is now online and ready for consumption.

Anthony is the author of Time Heist, which has a terrific premise and is in my TBR pile (if you ever saw my TBR pile you’d understand, and perhaps even commiserate as to, why I have not yet read this one. Readers are digging it though, and I encourage you to pick up a copy ASAP!). Coming out soon is book 2, Mind Breach, the cover for which was recently unveiled and looks FREAKING AWESOME.

But rather than rest solely on his authorial laurels, Anthony has also become a writer for the Hugo Award winning website SF Signal. Definitely check out his first article for them, Where Are All The People of Color in Sci-Fi/Fantasy?, and if you’re brave enough to endure the comments you’ll find a mixture of rational discussion as well as posts that will make you weep for humanity.

So, onto our interview then. Just follow the link below!

Michael Patrick Hicks Interview.

In Which Author Anthony Vicino Interviews Me.