Review: The Harvest (The Heartland Trilogy, Book 3) by Chuck Wendig

The HarvestAbout The Harvest

Blood will water the corn…

It’s been a year since the Saranyu flotilla fell from the sky, and life in the Heartland has changed. Gone are the Obligations and the Harvest Home festivals. In their place is a spate of dead towns, the former inhabitants forced into mechanical bodies to serve the Empyrean—and crush the Heartland.

When Cael awakens from a Blightborn sleep, miles away from the world he remembers, he sets out across the Heartland to gather his friends for one last mission. As the mechanicals, a war flotilla, and a pack of feral Empyrean girls begin to close in on the Heartland, there isn’t much time to make their next move. But if they can uncover a secret weapon in time, Cael and his friends might just find themselves with the power to save the world—or destroy it—resting in their hands.


About the Author

Chuck Wendig is a novelist, screenwriter and game designer. He’s the author of many published novels, including but not limited to: Blackbirds, The Blue Blazes, and the YA Heartland series. He is co-writer of the short film Pandemic and the Emmy-nominated digital narrative Collapsus. Wendig has contributed over two million words to the game industry. He is also well known for his profane-yet-practical advice to writers, which he dispenses at his blog, terribleminds.com, and through several popular e-books, including The Kick-Ass Writer, published by Writers Digest. He currently lives in the forests of Pennsyltucky with wife, tiny human, and red dog.


My Thoughts

[This review is based on an advanced copy received from the publisher through NetGalley.]

Chuck Wendig returns to the Heartland one last time to wrap up his cornpunk opus in grand fashion.

The previous novel, Blightborn, left our MC, Cael McAvoy in seriously dire straights, but Wendig wastes no time in resolving it and jumping right into the action one year later. Tasked with a mission by the Maize Witch to recover a decades-old weapon that could destroy the Empyrean empire for good, Cael and his Obligated, Wendy, are off to save the Heartland! Along the way, familiar faces from past novels return to reestablish the cast of friends and enemies as the tyrannical rule of the evil skylords grows ever more constrictive. As the Heartland inches closer to war, McAvoy and his old crew of Sky Scavengers are simultaneously reunited and torn apart by conflicting loyalties, emotional turbulence, and a devastating attack by the Harpies, a band of teenage female warriors with self-inflicted scarring across their faces.

Across three novels, Wendig has expertly plumbed the emotional depths of his cast of characters, thrusting them into uniquely dark situations that make their hard-scrabbles lives all the more difficult and turbulent. The Harvest is no exception as, come hell or highwater, these new adults are forced to make very mature choices as they find their way in a very old world, fighting against a system that seeks only to oppress and dominate. The stakes are higher than they’ve ever been, particularly for Cael who, previously, had no ambition to change the world but to simply make his small part in it better for him and his. With adulthood thrust upon him, Cael is learning that the world is larger than he imagined, and much bigger than merely himself.

The world-building and mythology that has been developed in this series is utterly top-notch, drawing its cues from real-world food politics, comic books (I couldn’t help but sense shades of X-Men‘s Dark Phoenix Saga in one character’s progression through the story), and epic works, like Star Wars, which Wendig’s trilogy, and The Harvest in particular, have drawn multiple allusions to and several loving odes. Naturally enough, the Lord and Lady has seen fit to have Wendig author an upcoming Star Wars title, which is due out soon and will most definitely be hitting the top of my TBR stack upon release.

While I would certainly love to see Wendig return to this world in some capacity in the future, I’m quite happy with the time I was able to spend among the Sky Scavengers. I suspect my appreciation and fondness for this body of work will only grow stronger in the coming years, and I’ve grown a certain affection for this series across the three books. The Harvest is not only a solid work in its own right, filled with plenty of action and flotilla’s worth of heart and genuine emotion, but, equally important, it serves as a fitting finale to The Heartland Trilogy. There’s a sense of darkness to the proceedings here, but also a promise of hope and brightness. Fair warning, though: not everyone gets a happy ending, and not everyone walks away unscathed. But, that’s just life in the Heartland.

Buy The Harvest At Amazon
Review: The Harvest (The Heartland Trilogy, Book 3) by Chuck Wendig

Review: The Pearl Diver (Seven Worlds Saga Book 1) by S. Elliot Brandis

Pearl_Diver_FinalAbout The Pearl Diver

I’m Elsie, from the planet Caelum.

It’s 96% ocean, but that’s okay. Out of all six planets (or seven, if you believe the myths), we’re the only people with gills. I can breathe underwater for minutes at a time, discovering the secrets of the deep-sea. Diving is my first love.

But not everybody understands.

Each year they run a competition—a single black pearl is dropped into the ocean, and graduating students dive to find it. It sounds easy, but it’s not. The ocean is a dark and dangerous place, with caves, crevices, and flesh-eating creatures. Some years, not everybody survives.

It’s how my brother died.

My parents won’t let me compete. At times it seems like the whole island is against me. I don’t care. I will enroll, win, and gain the ultimate prize—a job diving on the head planet of the entire system. I’ll do whatever it takes. I’ll fight for a better life, out there in the stars.

I will be the Pearl Diver.

Or die trying.


About the Author

S. ElliotBrandis is an engineer and author from Brisbane, Australia. He writes post-apocalyptic and dystopian fiction, often infused with a variety of outside elements. He is a lover of beer, baseball, and science fiction.His novels are about outlaws, outcasts, and outsiders.

To find out more visit:

Web: http://selliotbrandis.com/
Facebook: http://facebook.com/selliotbrandis
Mailing List: http://eepurl.com/PsmMv
email: s.elliot.brandis@gmail.com


My Thoughts

S. ElliotBrandis’s opening volley in his latest series, Seven Worlds Saga, offers up a promising start to what could very well become a high-water mark in the author’s oeuvre.Elsie dreams of becoming the winning pearl diver in the annual competition that will score her a one-way ticket off her planet and to the central world of Dunamis. In the wake of her brother’s death in a prior tournament, her parents viciously oppose her, forcing her to rebel.

I won’t say much more in regards to the plot, but to say Elsie gets more than she bargains for is putting it mildly.

Brandis delivers the goods when it comes to Young Adult dystopian fiction: there is a well-defined and atrocious threat, impossible odds, and a very strong, determined, and capable heroine. Elsie is just a terrific character and honestly written. It’s utterly impossible not to root for her, and, frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear her name-dropped alongside Katniss Everdeen some day soon.

After having spent the last few days fully submerged in the world of The Pearl Diver, I’m now left eagerly waiting for the next installment in this series. Do yourself a favor and buy a copy of this book ASAP.

 Buy The Pearl Diver At Amazon
Review: The Pearl Diver (Seven Worlds Saga Book 1) by S. Elliot Brandis

Review: A Shroud of Night and Tears (Beyond The Wall, Book 3) by Lucas Bale

shroudAbout A Shroud of Night and Tears

If war shapes the universe, truth destroys it.

A criminal becomes a leader, hiding a tiny colony of survivors from the savagery of twisted men.

A smuggler harbours refugees from a brutal attack on their defenceless village.

A young boy, wracked by loss, now seeks revenge.

A servant of the Magistratus, a lawman who once believed in justice, searches for the truth behind the planet his masters will kill to hide.

A stim-addicted navigator, haunted by her past, wants answers. Why she was chosen to ride with a salvage crew destined to die in a remote, nameless part of space.

And a spy is blackmailed into informing against those he serves. What he knows could bring about the end of the Republic.

All will be drawn together by hidden forces, and their lives shattered by cataclysmic events they can neither predict… nor escape.


About the Author

Lucas Bale writes the sort of intense, gripping science-fiction thrillers which make you miss your train. Stories which dig into what makes us human and scrape at the darkness which hides inside every one of us. His bestselling debut novel, THE HERETIC, is the gateway to the award-winning BEYOND THE WALL series, an epic hard science-fiction space opera about the future of humanity and the discovery of the truth of its past. He wasn’t always a writer. He was a criminal lawyer for fifteen years before he discovered crime doesn’t pay and turned to something which actually pays even less. No one ever said he was smart, but at least he’s happy. He blushes when people mention him in the same sentence as Iain M. Banks or George R. R. Martin, bless him.

website: http://www.lucasbale.com/


My Thoughts

[Note: I received a copy of this book from the author for review. I have also collaborated with Lucas Bale on the anthology, No Way Home.]

One of the great joys in discovering a fresh, new voice early on in their career is being able to watch and read how they have developed as an author over time. When I met Lucas Bale a year ago on KBoards and became familiar with his work via The Heretic, his first release, I was impressed with the crisp writing and clear authorial voice, as well as an engaging story that held so much promise for future works. I was eager to see where he would go, and I absolutely loved his second book, Defiance. And I’m not saying all this because I consider Lucas a friend, nor because we’ve worked together in the past and will again in the near-future. I’m approaching these works as a reader, first and foremost, as well as, now, a fan.

As such, I hope it is with a measure of trust between us, dear reader, when I say that A Shroud of Night and Tears is by far his most accomplished work. In fact, I feel somewhat urged to not give this book five stars, simply because Bale gets better and better with each work. I could rightly give this title four starts knowing full-well that, in all due likelihood, his next book will top this. If I keep giving him five stars, where the hell does he go from there? This is likely a problem many of his fans face, as well, so perhaps there is some commiseration to be had. Still, I’m giving it those coveted 5-stars because it’s easily one of the best sci-fi titles I’ve read this year, and one of the strongest space opera books I’ve read in ages. It is, in short, phenomenal!

Those readers that were disappointed by the sudden change in characters in Defiance and the brief pause to tell a new story with the lawman, Weaver, and his prey, Natasha, will be heartened to know that Shepherd, Jordi, and the preacher from The Heretic all make their return here, in addition to those fresh, new faces introduced in the previous book.

A Shroud of Night and Tears provides an awesome landscape in which to unite these disparate figures, pitting them together in a scenario that remarkably shifts the series’ overarching threat into something far grander than I had initially expected at the outset of Beyond The Wall. I know this sounds vague, but I’m trying to avoid spoilers, because there is such a huge plot development in this penultimate work that twists everything I thought I knew about what was happening into something very, very different.

In addition to elevating this developing story to a higher plane, Bale also manages to up the ante on a personal level, as well. There are threats galore, and back-stabbings aplenty, in addition to attempted murder by backpack bombs, and a few other surprises that I shall not spoil. Let’s just say that uniting all these various personalities from the prior two books under the umbrella of a larger, looming nightmare does not make everything all hunky-dory. These are characters with conflicting personalities and personal agendas of their own, which provides a strong, tense backdrop to the proceedings. I really liked the espionage-like tone that Weaver’s mission took on in the book’s latter half, giving it a sort of Mission: Impossible vibe that I truly dug.

So, there’s one more book to go in this Beyond The Wall series, and I fully expect it to be wrought with peril and adventure. How Bale will tie everything up is the big question, and I can only hope there isn’t too long of a wait.

Buy A Shroud of Night And Tears At Amazon
Review: A Shroud of Night and Tears (Beyond The Wall, Book 3) by Lucas Bale

Review: Apex (Nexus Arc Book 3) by Ramez Naam

Apex-144dpiAbout Apex

The Explosive Conclusion to Nexus and Crux

Global unrest spreads through the US, China, and beyond. Secrets and lies set off shockwaves of anger, rippling from mind to mind. Riot police battle neurally-linked protesters. Armies are mobilized. Political orders fall. Nexus-driven revolution is here.

Against this backdrop, a new breed of post-human children are growing into their powers. And a once-dead scientist, driven mad by her torture, is closing in on her plans to seize planet’s electronic systems, and re-forge everything in her image.

A new Apex species is here. The world will never be the same.


About the Author

Ramez Naam was born in Cairo, Egypt, and came to the US at the age of 3. He’s a computer scientist who spent 13 years at Microsoft, leading teams working on email, web browsing, search, and artificial intelligence. He holds almost 20 patents in those areas.

Ramez is the winner of the 2005 H.G. Wells Award for his non-fiction book More Than Human: Embracing the Promise of Biological Enhancement. He’s worked as a life guard, has climbed mountains, backpacked through remote corners of China, and ridden his bicycle down hundreds of miles of the Vietnam coast. He lives in Seattle, where he writes and speaks full time.


My Thoughts

[Note: I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley.]

I was instantly captivated by Ramez Naam’s sci-fi debut, Nexus, and have loved reading how his characters and this near-future Earth have responded to the burgeoning transhuman movement. With Apex, Naam picks up the story threads left at the end of book two, Crux, and delivers a highly satisfying conclusion to his series.

Apex is a large book, in both page count and scope. The advanced brain enhancement technology of the NexusOS has been causing a political stir for quite sometime, and it all comes to a head here. There are political coups, conspiracies, terrorism, riots, the rise of AI, and the threat of nuclear warfare.

This is a dense novel, with multiple subplots revolving around the birth of the PLF, a pro-transhumanist terror group, technological heists between China and India stemming from the viral load of the once-human Su-Yong, and disputes over the US presidential election, and so many other moving pieces intersecting these various subplots that the book feels much longer than it really is.

And that, really, is my only gripe. While Amazon lists the page count of this book at 608 pages, it feels twice as long and makes for a bit of a ponderous read. There is just so much happening, and so many characters involved, that it’s hard not to feel the weight and pressure of the story. I recall the prior two books being rather briskly paced and energetic, whereas this one is more of a massive pot-boiler. While it took me some time to get through, it was certainly well worth it. There’s also the issue of information delivery, with segments of the story being told in large chunks and then abandoned for a long while to focus on other issues, before circling back to pick up the threads on something else.

All that said, I did find Apex to being a strong finish to the story with the characters meeting their natural conclusions and, in some cases, a few surprises along the way. I do wish more would have been done to make Sam less one dimensional here, as she’s been a strong character previously with a very interesting background and journey throughout. It’s a bit of a shame to have her reduced here to a simple worrywart, mother figure with little else to do. I was happy to see Ranjan Shankari with a more integral role this time around, though, and Kade’s steps toward becoming a leader was very well done.

Naam is due tremendous applause for keeping all the gears turning in this massive tome. As I said, there is an awful lot happening here, with a lot of spinning plates to keep an eye, but the author does a fabulous job of tying up the various thread and delivering an energetic and compulsively readable finale to not only Apex, but to the series as a whole.

If you’ve been following the Nexus series thus far, then grabbing a copy of Apex is a no-brainer and it brings the series to a close with a rollicking finish replete with serious tension and action. If you haven’t been, then I highly recommend you start at the beginning, where you’ll likely find yourself becoming a fan in no time.

Buy Apex At Amazon
Review: Apex (Nexus Arc Book 3) by Ramez Naam

Promo Postmortem

This post is going to look pretty heavily at the business end of my writing affairs, so if this is of no concern to you, feel free to move on (no hard feelings!).


convergence                Emergence-800 Cover reveal and Promotional

Last week, my latest novel, Emergence, released. This one is a sequel to my prior novel, Convergence, and I thought I could use the nature of this series as a solid base to build my audience. So, my promotional efforts were largely focused on Convergence, since it’s Book 1, rather than the newly published sequel – although, Emergence did get some central attention in a few areas.

The Interviews

In order to ramp things up a bit, a few writer friends, some of whom were also collaborators on the No Way Home anthology, were kind enough to interview me for their blogs – and, by all means, check out their work as well!

Nadine Matheson at Spectrum Books: http://www.spectrumbooks.co.uk/#!Spectrum-Books-interviews-Michael-Patrick-Hicks/cu6k/55462a000cf24874170861ad

SW Fairbrother: http://swfairbrother.com/reading/author-interview-michael-patrick-hicks/

Ted Cross: http://tedacross.blogspot.com/2015/05/interview-with-author-michael-patrick.html

The ARC and Reviews

Here’s where things got a little more difficult.

I had hoped to launch Emergence with a handful of reviews (I had hoped for between 5 and 10), but the final ebook files came in a little bit later than I had anticipated and I was really itching to make my May 4 launch date. This only gave my reviewers and newsletter subscribers, who all got a free ARC, maybe an entire week to read and write their reviews. And that was if they all dropped everything to help me out, which is a pretty unfair and unrealistic expectation.

Next time around, I’ll plan on getting ARCs out sooner and shifting the release window if necessary. Although I didn’t hit my hoped-for numbers I did get four reviews pretty early on, which were spread out between May 6 – 8, and the early response has been very positive. I know there’s also at least one more on the way soon, too.

You can check out the reviews at Amazon and the blogs of Franklin Kendrick and Books & Such. I’m truly grateful for their kind sentiments and their help in spreading the word!

As an added bonus, Emergence even got picked up as Book of the Week (May 8 – 15) by SciFI365.net, an honor granted upon Convergence back in December. Very cool!

The Promotional Nitty-Gritty

In an effort to drive more readers toward these two books, I ran a week-long free run on Convergence and priced Emergence at 99c. A short while back, I made the decision to make Amazon my exclusive retailer so I could try out KDP Select.

One of the big perks of KDP is the Kindle Countdown, as well as the option of setting a free run. I also layered a few advertisements, kicking the week off with freebooksy on Monday, and bargainbooksy on Tuesday for Emergence. In between, there were ads in Book Barbarian, Betty BookFreak, SciFi365.net, and assorted others sites via eBookBooster.

The freebooksy advertisement on Convergence paid off immediately, with “sales” climbing throughout the day and hitting a peak of 2,889 downloads. The drop-off in sales from there was pretty steady as the week wore on, but the book was still getting downloaded for free into the early hours of Saturday morning before Amazon was able to revert the title back to its normal price in all regions.

KDP-FreeRunI’m really happy with the results of the free promo, and by week’s end nearly 7,000 copies had been downloaded. The promo also helped push Convergence into some foreign territories for the very first time, with buyers popping up in Germany, France, India, Brazil, Australia, and even one in Italy and Japan! Safe to say, this is the largest reach my debut has enjoyed to date.

On the ranking end of things, these downloads pushed Convergence into the #44 slot in Amazon’s Top 100 Free store, and landed it in the #1 slot for both the Science Fiction category, as well as the Cyberpunk and Hard Science Fiction subcategories.

Emergence also performed above my expectations, which I admittedly tend to keep pretty low, particularly since I’m pretty new to the indie author game. Although the click-through rate between those who bought Convergence and also bought Emergence was very low, the sales were satisfactory enough. In fact, during this week-long release window, Emergence actually outsold the entire first year’s worth of Convergence sales.

EmergenceSaleEmergence started out strong on Monday with an even 60 sales. Tuesday, though, actually outperformed this, which I’m chalking up to the bargainbooksy ad. Unfortunately, sales had a pretty steep fall-off from there, dropping nearly by half every day following. Tuesday was the high-water mark with 69 paid sales, then 36, 20, 13, 6, and so on as the week continued.

Still, I can’t complain. Emergence made it into the Hot New Release charts for Cyberpunk titles and was even sitting at #1 there for a while (at the time of this writing, it’s #8), and has been pretty tenacious in holding on to its ranking in the Top 100 for the Cyberpunk subcategory. At one point it even broke into the Top 10 for its subgenre, and appeared on the subcategory of Genetic Engineering.

Another benefit of being enrolled in KDP is that it gives Kindle owners access to the Lending Library, and also makes it eligible for borrowing through Kindle Unlimited.

KDPBorrowsWhile these are not record-breaking numbers by any means, it does look like the promotion caught the attention of borrowers, particularly in the days following the sale’s end. This past week and early Monday morning (the time of this writing) has seen a handful of borrows for Emergence, and even a couple more sales for both titles.

As an added bonus, my perpetually under-performing short horror story, Consumption, even got a little bit of attention as a result of the promo and got a few borrows (five, to be precise). It’s been difficult to find an audience organically with that particular story, and I don’t do much in the way of advertising for it, so to see a little bit of activity surrounding it was a nice surprise. I’ve taken the liberty of raising the price point for this one and will be running a countdown deal on it next month (likely unadvertised, since much of my promo money went to scheduling ads for Convergence).

Furthermore, not only is Emergence still hanging on to its ranking in the Cyberpunk subcategory, but Convergence has even reappeared there in the wake of its return to the paid store. The borrows and post-sale purchases has put it (again, at the time of this writing) into the Top 50 Cyberpunk books in Amazon, and even caught an additional five-star review.

Top50Final Thoughts

When I decided to enroll in KDP in March, it was in anticipation of the release of Emergence and my plans for promoting the DRMR novels. All in all, I’m pretty happy with the pay-off and am eager to see how the rest of the month goes. This was a solid release week, and the fairly steady growth in borrows gives me hope that there is an emerging audience (forgive the pun) that is finding and enjoying my work.

Now, back to writing my next novel, this one for the Apocalypse Weird line of books.

Promo Postmortem

Emergent Thoughts, Or What I Learned About Writing While Writing EMERGENCE

Emergence finally released this week, and it’s looking like my hard work has paid off! The book is currently ranking near the top of the charts in Amazon’s Sci-Fi > Cyberpunk category, as well as that category’s Hot New Releases chart. To say I’m thrilled is a bit of an understatement!

But, man, getting to this release week? It’s been a bit of a slog. A good slog, but a slog nonetheless.

Now that I’ve come out on the other side of another finished product, here’s some random thoughts on the book, in no particular order.

writing1. Writing a sequel is fun!

Your mileage may vary. For me, writing was Emergence was, mostly, a lot of joy. This is a story I had in mind for quite a while, and one that, in order to get to, I had to write Convergence first. That book lays the basic groundwork for a lot of the things that happen in Emergence and sets up the characters. In Emergence, I’m able to take those characters and knock them around, manipulate them, leave them bruised and bloodied in a way that I couldn’t necessarily do in Book 1. Book 2 is where I get to go apeshit on everybody.

Emergence is also a lot more action-oriented, and the stakes are larger and more personal. I also wrote this one as more of a chase thriller, so it’s got a little bit of a different feel than the prior entry. It’s sort of like the Alien/Aliens dynamic to the sequel framework, and I wanted to push these characters into harsher directions with big, hard-hitting impacts.

2. Control Your Authorial Voice.

Every writer puts a bit of themselves into their characters, or puts pieces of themselves on the page (hopefully not literally). So while writing this book was fun, I also couldn’t get too comfortable, and I had to rein in a lot of my own influences that got laid down on the pages and in the character because those words weren’t necessarily true to the characters themselves. Sometimes my own personality worked its way into the story or thoughts of the leads, and it was a bit of corrupting influence.

When Emergence went through developmental edits, my editor, Laura, pointed out something to me that took me by a bit of a surprise. There’s a scene in the book where Mesa is going through a seedier part of Nevada, populated by gamblers and hookers, and she remarked that she could practically hear the crotch crickets. Laura noted, rightly, that isn’t really something that Mesa would say or think. It’s the kind of off-hand remark I might make, though. But not Mesa.

A little too much of me bled through. Yeah, I made Mesa, but she’s become very much her own person, separate from me, in my own mind. And while she can be foul-mouthed at times, I’m not so sure that she’s so blatantly vulgar.

So, there were a few instances where I needed to reign in my own peculiarities as an individual who was writing, and let the characters talk for themselves.

3. Writing Is Learning

Seems a bit like a given, but let me elaborate a little.

There’s certain rules to writing – things like tense shift and maintaining point of view. Convergence was a first-person work, and in that first draft I shit all over things like keeping it directed in first-person. Thus, there was a good amount of heavy lifting when it came time to edit. The editing experience with that book also gave me a huge list of no-no’s and things to avoid – phrases like “it was” or a list of crutch words, such as “like” or “just,” two massive crutch-words in my first drafts.

The editing process in Book 1, taken as a whole, paid off a lot when I was ready to get to work on draft two of Book 2. I could let the first draft be bad, because the writing was the most important part; just getting the work done was my primary focus. When it came time to edit, though, I felt a step ahead of the game, having gotten schooled on the ins and outs of content edits the prior time around. I was able to rewrite more effectively before the manuscript was sent off to my editors, which made their feedback all the more critical and necessary. I wasn’t hampering them with petty stuff, and they were able to focus on and scrutinize the more important things, like structure and content, and it helped make the line edits stronger.

4. Stick The Landing

Endings are important. Some books just kind of fizzle out, or come to an abrupt ending. In the first draft of Emergence, I really rushed the ending, which was stupid. It needed to have a proper come-down and a fitting resolution to what had come before.

Laura smartly suggested that I take the dual concepts that had formed the original ending and elaborate on them, giving them each their own chapter. And she was dead-on correct. The new finale is so much stronger, and such a better fit to the book itself. I’m really proud of how well this revision worked, and it prompted me to introduce a new character that could potentially have an impact once the dust settles a bit more and I start working on book 3.

5. Diversify!

While Emergence is book 2 in a series, one of the most crucial things I’ve done over the last year is getting involved with other projects. Writing, and the entire process that goes along with it on that path to publication, is time-consuming. Saying no to things – even beneficial things – can be awfully tempting. Let me tell you, though, that saying “yes” can be even far more rewarding.

The DRMR series is likely going to be the backbone of my early career, but I also want to have a number of other, smaller, strong works out there. The key to that is to dabble in other projects and dip your toes into unfamiliar waters.

When Lucas Bale approached me to take part in the No Way Home anthology that he was curating, saying yes was a no-brainer. I was enjoying Bale’s solo work and when I got word of what he was intending with the collection, I knew I had to take part. My story was a bit risky and has been largely well-received, if not a touch controversial given the current political winds in America. Taking part in Bale’s second curation, due out later this year, was an obvious and easy choice.

Last month I was invited to take part in another anthology, this time revolving around urban fantasy. I had a great idea for it, but unfortunately I absolutely did have to say no due to saying yes for another project – writing a book for the Apocalypse Weird series (you can read my announcement on that here).

The key, I think, is to make your name visible across a few different platforms and try to hook in various readers through a number of quality projects.

This is also important because it helps keep me from getting burnt out on writing the same characters in the same series time and time again. I need to do some non-series work in order to dive back into the DRMR books fully refreshed and recharged. And hopefully you, and plenty of others, will join me in these other adventures!


EMERGENCE eBook Launch Special: 
  1. Buy CONVERGENCE (A DRMR Novel, Book 1) FOR FREE. amzn.to/1E2ZphG
  2. Buy EMERGENCE (A DRMR Novel, Book 2) for 99c: amzn.to/1GDsFx8
Offer valid Mon., May 4 thru Fri., May 8. Normal price for each title is $3.99
Emergent Thoughts, Or What I Learned About Writing While Writing EMERGENCE