Queries

So back in 2013-2014 I sent out a bunch of queries to about 20 different agents, then got started writing Grip of Dust. So much has happened since then, and yet here I am two years later back at the drawing board doing the same: querying for agents! What a time to be alive.

Nowadays, agents can quickly access prospective clients’ social media platforms to get a quick gist as to who we are, what we do, and how impressive our friends lists are. Having this website in tip top shape should – nae must – be my top priority outside of production. So I thought to myself, “What would I want to present for an agent coming to scope me out?” Having less handsomeness than approximately 5 years ago, the answer did not come immediately.

Perhaps a simple WELCOME is in order. I don’t quit on things and I’m working on Book Two. I hope my query has piqued your interest. I love epic fantasy, role-playing video games, character design, cartography, rock music, hockey, armadillos, and TV shows that end in AME OF THRONES.

I seem friendly enough on social media. All the best in your search for the proper gem.

JM

Holiday Book Haul

book-haul

Closing out 2016, I put together a pretty impressive book haul. Then I displayed it with beauty! If only my time was as free as my staircase to imagination.

It is my goal to read most of these in 2017… but the problem is I will likely get hooked on most if not all and then try to push ahead in those before reading others. Not to mention re-figuring Forge of Darkness before tackling Fall of Light. My pace on my current read has not exactly been impressive. What I want and how the cards fall never seems to align. What happened to all those summers I had as a kid where I had all day to do whatever I wanted day-in, day-out? Sacrilege, as they are lost.

I enjoyed Forge of Darkness, so I should be more excited for Fall of Light than I am. I think my hesitancy stems from the fact that for years – years – I read a diet almost exclusively Erikson/Esslemont, with a dash of Abercrombie. Now, after the initiation of Purge of Ashes, my horizons have broadened considerably and I relish new books, new authors, new opportunities. Plus the aforementioned recollection required.

Lawrence I’m keen to start in on his second trilogy, if just to see how I take it not being a Jorg fan from the start. I’m keen to read some of his clever wordplay for myself and not just hear it out of context from his Facebook account. Sounds like Osheim is amazing, too, so it’s easy to get going on.

Gwynne, meanwhile, I’ve never heard a bad word about and his books are big and beautiful. I am more confident I will enjoy his series than anything previously unread. But it’s a lot of reading if I get hooked into that one, as I’m certain I will. I still have a baby and threenager at home, if no longer a newborn and toddler.

Then GGK. Some of the most beautiful writing I’ve ever read is in his previous books. I missed an opportunity to meet him at a book store earlier this year, and I want to get myself back into his vein. Tigana is often considered his best, and as such I am certain it will delight with a majesty even superior to The Lions of Al-Rassan (which my dad pitched to me, oddly enough).

Django Wexler’s Book 1 I picked up on a whim, and the fact it was recommended by an Indigo staff member. It was just sitting there alone on a little pedestal and I recognized his name from Reddit and the like. I read the back and the final few lines sold me to it. I look forward to trying something unprecedented. Last time I did so I read Sean Rodden’s Whispers of War and look at me now: eagerly awaiting his sequel Roars of War and the rerelease come April. Oh, gods! More to read! Eek!

Finally, Neil Gaiman. Just heard too much to not pick it up.

Wishing everyone a lovely end to 2016 and dawn of 2017. May books come swiftly to your enemies!

(So they can learn something and smarten up!)

JM.

The Best Reason to Skimp on Site Updates

So this announcement has been pending for some time, but I went and had a baby boy back on July 14th. Coupled with my two-year old girl life has been busy and unpredictable!

Abby & Sebastian

Now I’m just softening you up. Is there a cuter pair? Doubtful.

Lots has been happening with regards to Imbalance, and a more business-minded follow-up to this post is forthcoming, but hey, as Aronan would say, ‘Family comes first.’ As it stands, this is a pretty good reason for the site’s silence in June and July (and likely August, I’m on very little sleep and the place is a mess).

JM

Grimdark

Just a quick post to note that the Grimdark Fiction Readers and Writers group is doing a wicked online AMA session today featuring some of the best current fantasy authors – and even giving away signed copies of some of their excellent books!

I already missed Michael R. Fletcher, but I’m excited to pop in for Marc Turner and Jeff Salyards.

In the meantime, I have been working on Grip of Dust as well as a few other things, but with my wife due in under a week things will be pretty quiet on the site. I will, however, post a link to my final Dork Shelf Fan v. Fan videos at some point.

JM

BEHOLD!

Front Purge of Ashes Cover

You can now purchase Purge of Ashes for your Kindle (and we think other eReaders work fine, too)

Could not be more proud. Epic cover epic content… what’s not to like? If you stumble upon my little corner of the net, please take minute to think to yourself: “Do I need to buy the big container of spinach? It will cost $5 and probably go bad.” Then think to yourself instead: “No, I will spend the same money on a novel that WON’T go soggy” – and then buy my book. It’s that easy.

And hey, it’s got a cool cover, right?

JM

One Step Backward, Two Steps Forward

Yeah, we got a wicked cool banner up there now – but alas the Birth of Imbalance will have to wait another day while issues with the cover are repaired. Not what I had in mind, but necessary in the grand scheme of things.

Dear everyone! Thanks for all your enthusiasm today. Producing books is an exhausting and tricky business – or so I am finding – but producing a novel with a cover that doesn’t make me grin ear to ear is doing the book a disservice, and I would rather put off the fanfare for another day than commit myself long term to something that does not make me proud.

As such, Purge of Ashes is now slated to be released… tomorrow. After a touch more polish tonight. In the meantime… enjoy the banner!

JM

Best Practices

…to borrow a phrase from my teaching background.

This post was popular on my Facebook page, so I thought I’d repost it here:

Lots of people want to know how to best help me out as there are numerous manners to acquire the novel.

For starters, picking up the book ASAP is the most important thing as ‘frequency of purchases’ is what pushes a book’s ranking on Amazon. The higher the ranking, the more likely strangers are to find the novel when searching – and more likely a novel will show up on Amazon’s search algorithm. These both mean more sales, which then pushes a book even further. The week of the book’s release is the best week to accomplish this ascension because the initial pointed interest spikes sales numbers. It’s about getting launched as high as you can and then retaining momentum. Here is a purchasing breakdown for what helps me most:

1. Buy a physical book ($19.95) at the Release Party or from Amazon come April 5th. It will be quite pretty I assure you.
2. If you’d RATHER read an eBook but still want to support my fledgling efforts, when you purchase a softcover you ALSO get an eBook version for (I believe) the Kindle for FREE.
3. Buy an eBook ($3.99) from Amazon come April 5th. If you don’t know me so well / are hesitant not to physically shelf a book you’re not SURE you love, this is still wonderful. The cost of a burger and it won’t gnaw at your bowels!

No matter how you acquire the novel, one of the most helpful things anyone can do for an author is write a review of their book, typically on Amazon. Reviews mean a lot to people online who know nothing but the author’s pitch. They assure people what they are buying is not garbage. Even better are reviews that take the time to explains their reasons – lots of reviews with barely any content implies they’re ‘bought’ reviews more or less.

If the book does the trick, this part is very honesty and easy.

JM

30 Days of Balance #22: Birthday Promo!

I turned 34 at 6am.

I slotted this post to be a simple promotion so I would not have to work too hard. As it stands, I may have to abort my ’30 days’ deal due to my efforts being required for the creation of the book itself and the managing of the release party. I had not anticipated having so much to do in the final week before release. So: the skinny.

PURGE OF ASHES, Book One of the Imbalance

RELEASED: April 5th on Amazon

BLURB TO END ALL BLURBS

SAMPLE PAGES

Boom. Done. I’m out.

JM