Tuesday, December 6, 2022

The End of 2022 in House Maresca: Eligibility, Social Media, and the Future

 We're at the end of another year, and friends, this one was a blur.  Honestly, I don't even know where it went.  But I did do quite a few things throughout the year, so here is my humble reminder of the things I have done in 2022 for which I am eligible.


I put out three whole books this year!  Well, two novels and a novella, but still.  Despite publishing challenges, especially with Assassins & Quarrygate, I'm proud of the books themselves and the work I did.

So I'm eligible for:
Best Novel: THE ASSASSINS OF CONSEQUENCE
Best Novel: THE QUARRYGATE GAMBIT
Best Novella: THE MYSTICAL MURDERS OF YIN MARA
Best Series: THE MARADAINE SAGA*


And of course, also:
Best Fancast/Podcast: WORLDBUILDING FOR MASOCHISTS

So if you are empowered and inclined to nominate me for any of those categories in any awards, I would greatly appreciate it!

*-So, as we know, the rules about Best Series are designed to keep the same thing from being nominated every single year, with another two volumes and 240K being necessary to be eligible again.  Which is a pretty good rule, it even takes Seanan two years to fulfill that one.
BUT for 2022:
The Assassins of Consequence    105000
The Mystical Murders of Yin Mara    37000
Quarrygate Gambit                            101800
TOTAL                                               243800
Admittedly, it's a completely academic point, as it wasn't like I was otherwise ineligible this year, nor likely to be nominated.  Still, it's a nice, if silly accomplishment.


In other news, despite the near-collapse of Twitter, it does kind of remain my preferred location for daily musings and whatever else is going on with me.  But I will likely be using my blog more often!  Not my pre-2018 levels of twice a week, but more often.
But if YOU are fleeing Twitter (or were wise enough to never get on it), here are other places to find me.

Linktree: https://linktr.ee/marshallryanmaresca
Website: http://mrmaresca.com
Mailing LIst: https://tinyletter.com/mrmaresca
Insta: https://instagram.com/mrmaresca/
Mast: @mrmaresca@wandering.shop

I'm trying some of the other social medias, but.... not really vibing on any of them.  But most other places I'm likely "mrmaresca", so if you are trying to find me other places not mentioned above, that's a good bet.  I mean, "Marshall Ryan Maresca" is a unique name-- you look it up, you find me.  For better or for worse.


So, what's next for 2023.  As I mentioned elsewhere, it will be something of a "re-building" year where I won't have much scheduled to come out.  BUT I am working hard on a number of things, including making good on the big announcement from last month.  Along those lines, you can expect the Maradaine Saga Short Hultichia to come out early 2023.  More details on that to come, but it will be a novelette length, featuring another secondary character from the Thorn series in a starring role.

A mysterious and disturbing summons brings Aurien Pemmick, novitiate with the Church of Druthal, to Kellirac, the peculiar and suspicious country on the eastern border.He is determined to find his old mentor, no matter what threats Kellirac throws at him.But since Pemmick arrives at the eve of Hultichia, a night where the locals claim the dead will walk, Kellirac proves to be a place of dangers beyond the natural realm. Pemmick’s faith is tested against Kellirac superstition, even as his mission threatens to drag him into madness, and the darkest night of his life falls.


That's all from this end, more news for you soon.

Monday, November 14, 2022

Maradaine Phase Two Announcement

 

All right, I've held my tongue long enough, and in light of recent news, there's no reason not to tell you all my full intentions for Phase Two of the Maradaine Saga.  After all, both The Assassins of Consequence and The Quarrygate Gambit have come out, and if you've finished those books, you've seen the tease for what comes next.

So, without further ado:

Yes, that is a lot!  So what can I tell you about all of this?   I've already told you about the Saga Shorts, though there might be some timeline shifts there (Hultichia will probably come out in early 2023, rather than trying to squeeze it in among the holidays.)

But the rest?  Let's go through it!

Satrine investigates a serial killer, while Minox’s time in restricted desk duty nears its end, and he hopes to be reinstated as he works on learning how to control his magic.  But when Minox’s cousin Evoy goes missing, he's thrown into turmoil as his search dovetails into Satrine’s investigation.  As they both track an Uncircled Mage they suspect is the killer, the real danger may closer to them than they ever thought.

Dayne and Jerinne face ratcheting tensions in the city as the political trial of Tharek Pell launches a radical movement, and the plans of the Grand Ten come to a head.  The entire Druth government, from the Crown to the Parliament, could be unraveled as plots and secrets come to light.

The chaos of the Fenmere empire and the Aventil gangs is only intensified by a new leader taking command of the Sons of Tyson, making war on all parties.  Veranix is determined to keep out of it and focus on his education, but all the magic students are recruited to help hunt this new "Thorn". Veranix finds himself pressed on all sides, and he must finally decide which part of his life has his true loyalty,  before everything is burned down.

Asti and Verci work to pull together every ally they have, using every clever plan and gadget they can put together, for one grand scheme to dismantle the financial and political forces behind the Andrendon project, before their entire neighborhood is destroyed.

Minox and Satrine secretly work together to bring down the ringleaders at the heart of the conspiracies plaguing the constabulary, finding themselves completely without allies. Everything they believe in is put to the test as they discover the tendrils of corruption continuing to spread through Maradaine.

Dayne and Jerinne work to expose the real truth of the Grand Ten, forcing them to confront the lies that the nation was built on, while striving to hold onto the very spirit of Druthal that they believes in.  To defend everything they love about the country, they might have to become rebels against the crown and parliament.

 

FINALLY, I'm often asked this question: will there be another book for Corrie Welling and the other Displaced Daughters?  The answer is a tentative yes, and it will likely have the same sort of "interlude between phases" placement that An Unintended Voyage had.  But title, format, etc. is still in flux.  So more news when that's a little more solidified.

This, combined with the other projects I've got working, should keep me pretty busy for a while.  I won't make a timeline-based announcement for these titles, but let's tentatively say that 2023 will be a rebuilding year, and we'll start to see real momentum in 2024.

Thank you all so much for your continued support.

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Quarrygate Gambit Release Day, And News of the Future

 Today is the release day for The Quarrygate Gambit, and it’s somewhat bittersweet this time around. This will be the last Maradaine novel published with DAW Books. I’m not done writing them, but I have no further contracts publishing them with DAW.

See, The Quarrygate Gambit, the fourth Streets of Maradaine novel, much like The Assassins of Consequence back in March, is being released as e-book only. Which has been a thing this whole year that I’ve been reticent to really dive into. But it’s time to talk about it.

Coming out and talking about this publicly brings me absolutely no joy. The last thing I wanted to do was complain, especially since, in comparison to so many in the publishing industry, I’ve been incredibly fortunate.

But these two books coming out as just e-books has harmed my ability to reach readers. I can’t take further contracts without certain guarantees, and I don’t currently have an agent to fight for that for me. I’ve parted ways with my agent for various reasons.  I won’t detail said reasons because I have zero interest in publicly dragging, and they stemmed largely from other circumstances in his life taking priority, and nothing of malice or harm. I’m not angry with him, he’s a good guy who just couldn’t do the job anymore.

The point is, I’ve left my agent, and have the unenviable task of having to find a new one while everything else here is happening. Which means not just having to pivot right now, but possibly do a hard reset on my whole career.

And this is on me for having, perhaps, too much ambition in what I was trying to do. I mean, I put out four intertwined trilogies that came together in the twelfth book, and then had the audacity to say, “And that finishes Phase One.”

I don’t think I’m talking out of turn to say that the marketing and promotion for my work never reached the same level as my ambition. PRH fundamentally never understood what Maradaine was in the first place, and they’re who handled DAW’s marketing.  In not understanding that, they never knew HOW to promote it. Here I am, with a book that is, all at once: Book Four of a series, Book 15 of a Saga, and the second book of Phase Two. How DO you promote that?  Is it even possible to sell that if you haven’t already communicated what the Maradaine Saga is to your potential audience? If you haven’t bought into that yourself? PRH never did, and therefore I spun further and further down the proverbial “death spiral”.

Thus, the decision, imposed by PRH, that THE ASSASSINS OF CONSEQUENCE and THE QUARRYGATE GAMBIT were to be ebook only. Last year, PRH decided a number of books on the upcoming DAW slate weren’t worth printing. Part of this is tied to the death of the Mass Market Paperback as a format, I’m given to understand. The point of MMPB was that they were cheap to print, and that’s no longer the case.

So what could I do about it? I wanted to believe that things would work out in the long run. That this was a rough patch due to PRH, and there would be something better on the other side. The other side is now DAW being part of Astra, and I hope that’s good news for them and the future. But, the decision to keep AOC and QG– as well as any Maradaine in the future– as only ebooks, well, that decision stood. So I have to walk away.

If you’ve been following anything with DAW and the industry in general for the past few years, you know that I’m not the first to face this type of decision. You saw it with Michelle Sagara. You saw it with Cass Morris. And you won’t see me as the last, I can tell you that.

To be clear, I’m not angry with DAW or Astra or Sheila Gilbert. Phase One of Maradaine, Velocity of Revolution, and An Unintended Voyage are great books that I’m proud of, and proud of the work we did together. I’m walking away, but on good terms.

So what does this mean for me and my ambition? First off, I ended both ASSASSINS and QUARRYGATE with specific promises for the future, as well as making an overall promise regarding Phase Two of Maradaine.  And I’d like to think my track record of 16 novels from 2015-2022, not to mention four years of a Hugo-nominated podcast has earned me enough benefit of the doubt in terms of my ability to get it done. Because, frankly, I’m too stubborn and too ambitious to quit now.

SO: I’m making that promise to you all, and I’m a man of my word. I will finish Phase Two of the Maradaine Saga, and get that to you all. It will take me a little longer than I had originally hoped, but I will get it done. How and where, and especially WHEN– that’s in the air. As this thread indicates, I’ve got a lot of things to sort out. Both with the future of Maradaine, and other writing endeavors. I’ve got some brand new projects in the works that I’m very excited about.

I’ll be talking about these things more when it’s more concrete. But 2023 is going to be a rebuilding year for me. Lots of work to do, and I’m looking forward to it.

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Quarrygate Gambit!

 I've been quiet of late, a lot of things going on that I hope to tell you about soon.  Including: THE QUARRYGATE GAMBIT is coming out in just two weeks!  I've been juggling so many balls it feels like it just snuck up on me.  

Mixing urban and high fantasy, the fourth Streets of Maradaine novel follows the crew of outlaws led by the Rynax brothers as they struggle to protect the city they love.

After having thwarted some of the forces responsible for ruining their lives, reformed thieves Asti and Verci Rynax and the rest of the Holver Alley Crew had mostly settled back into sedate lives as upright citizens of Maradaine.  But when they are suddenly arrested in mysterious circumstances, they find themselves in Quarrygate Prison, which tests the limits of their cunning and skill.  While Verci struggles to keep their friends alive and safe in the prison, Asti gets pulled into a mysterious scheme in the underbelly of the prison, teaming him up with some of the most dangerous people in Maradaine.  The cracks in Asti’s tenuous sanity get torn open as he is thrown into a cat-and-mouse game with one of the city’s most infamous killers.
 
Meanwhile back in their neighborhood, Verci’s wife Raych is desperate to help him and Asti and get them home. When her attempts to go through proper channels fail, she accepts a ludicrous deal from the local crime boss: Verci and Asti’s freedom in exchange for her pulling off a daring, nigh-impossible heist that would challenge even seasoned thieves. Raych doesn’t know how a simple baker like her could hope to succeed at such a task, but she will use every trick and wild idea she has to help her family.  None of the Rynaxes will rest until they are free from Quarrygate and together at home again, no matter the risk, no matter the cost.


Please pre-order at your favorite place:  AMAZON | B&N | BOOKSHOP | INDIEBOUND


And, yes, like Assassins of Consequence, this one is e-book only.  Will there be a paperback version?  As with Assassins, I'm working on that, and you'll all be he first to know, just as with other news.

So what else is happening?  Well, there will be a BIG Maradaine Phase Two announcement very soon, as well as announcing other things in the future.  I know I've been saying that for a while, but this one really is coming in just a couple weeks.  But in the meantime, keep your eye out for the next Maradaine Saga short, Hultichia.  This one is a novelette!

Also, as I've noted below, I will not be appearing at World Fantasy like I previously planned.  With the A Lot Of Things, if I also traveled next weekend, I'd fall over.  None of us want that.

Talk to you all very soon.

Thursday, July 28, 2022

ArmadilloCon & Mystical Murders of Yin Mara Release!

 

It's just about time for ArmadilloCon!  I'm very excited about this year's Con, as I got very hands on with programming this time around, which gave me the excuse to bring together some of my favorite people in SFF.  Including putting myself, Cass Morris and Rowenna Miller in a room together for the first time!  That's extremely exciting, and we're doing a Worldbuilding for Masochists live panel to celebrate.  I'm thrilled.

(And just as a reminder, Worldbuilding for Masochists is nominated for a Hugo, and you can still vote for the Hugos up until August 11th (https://chicon.org/).)

But if you want to know my ENTIRE schedule, here goes:

Book Release Party! Fri 9:00 PM
Texas authors Sim Kern and Marshall Ryan Maresca release their latest books! Come for celebrate with them and their new books, REAL SUGAR IS HARD TO FIND (Kern) and THE MYSTICAL MURDERS OF YIN MARA (Maresca).
Britta Jensen, Sim Kern, Marshall Ryan Maresca 

Tiffany and Steve's Fantastical Adventure: The Fallacy of Authenticity Sat 11:00 AM
Too often in historical and secondary world fantasy, we are challenged with the idea of “authenticity”, but what actually IS authentic? What happens when authentic feels wrong? What happens when "wrong" feels authentic? And what even IS "wrong" when you're creating it from scratch?
Cass Morris, Marshall Ryan Maresca, Skyler Gray, Natania Barron, Rowenna Miller, Steven Brust

Kaffeeklatch - Marshall Ryan Maresca Sat 12:00 PM
Kaffeeklatch with Marshall Ryan Maresca

Cross-Genre Capers Sat 2:00 PM

A discussion of capers and heists in fantasy and SF.
Lauren C. Teffeau, Marina Lostetter, Mark Finn, Marshall Ryan Maresca, Jon Black

It Was The Best of Times, It Was The Worst of Times: Fantasy Movies of the 80s   Sat 5:00 PM
The decade gave us Conan the Barbarian, but also gave us Conan the Destroyer. Not to mention Krull, Ladyhawke, Legend, Red Sonja, Beastmaster, and a whole host of other fantasy movies that are somehow both Not Good and Deeply Beloved. Join us in a discussion of this canon of 80s Fantasy films, and how they shaped our ideas of the genre, for better or for worse.
Mark Finn, Jon Black, Marshall Ryan Maresca, Natania Barron, Stina Leicht 

Worldbuilding for Masochists Live Podcast Sun 11:00 AM
Hosts Cass Morris, Rowenna Miller & Marshall Ryan Maresca do a live episode of Worldbuilding for Masochists, where they'll dig in deep to some worldbuilding ideas, answer audience questions, and help everyone build until it hurts.

Signing Session Sun 12:00 PM

This Is The End Sun 2:00 PM
About ending a long story, wrapping up trilogies or longer series, or just the final line for a short story.
Marie Brennan, Eugene Fischer, Marshall Ryan Maresca, Fonda Lee, E.A. Williams

And, yes, we are having the official release party for The Mystical Murders of Yin Mara at ArmadilloCon. I'm thrilled to team up with Sim Kern and their new book, Real Sugar Is Hard To Find, which is a fantastic short story collection.  GET IT.  Or come to ArmadilloCon, come to our release party, and get both out books signed by us!

If you aren't able to come to ArmadilloCon and still want to get The Mystical Murders of Yin Mara, there's a few ways!  For paperback, right here.  And for ebook, you can get it here, currently with a pre-order discount price of $1.99!

Hope to see you at ArmadilloCon, or if not, hope to hear from you soon.
 

Friday, July 1, 2022

Big Announcement! The Mystical Murders of Yin Mara, and more...

 I've been sitting on this for a bit, but I'm thrilled to announce I will be doing a mini-series of Maradaine adjacent novellas and novelettes to go with the Phase Two novels (and stay tuned for some announcements with that very soon).  The first of these will be THE MYSTICAL MURDERS OF YIN MARA, which comes out on AUGUST 2nd!

So, what is THE MYSTICAL MURDERS OF YIN MARA?  I'm so glad you asked.

Phadre Golmin and Jiarna Kay are perfectly matched. Both astounding intellects, sharing a passion for academic pursuits and each other. Traveling from the University of Maradaine to Trenn College in Yin Mara, they are excited for the opportunity to study the magical and mystical theory with the famed Professor Salarmin. So when they come across a dead body that defies all logic, they should leave it alone.

But Phadre and Jiarna tasted adventure in Maradaine, so the discovery of similar victims, paired with their scientific curiosity, makes the situation far too intriguing to ignore. Knowing that they alone have the knowledge to unravel the mystery, Phadre and Jiarna are determined to resolve it, no matter the cost to their academic careers.

Yes, it is the Phadre & Jiarna adventure I have been whispering about for some time.  I'm really pleased to finally be getting it out into the world.

What's the best way for you to get it?  Well, for paperback, right here.  And for ebook, you can get it here, currently with a pre-order discount price of $1.99!

OK, so, what are the other Maradaine Saga Shorts?  Very glad you asked:

A mysterious and disturbing summons brings Aurien Pemmick, novitiate with the Church of Druthal, to Kellirac, the peculiar and suspicious country on the eastern border.He is determined to find his old mentor, no matter what threats Kellirac throws at him.But since Pemmick arrives at the eve of Hultichia, a night where the locals claim the dead will walk, Kellirac proves to be a place of dangers beyond the natural realm. Pemmick's faith is tested against Kellirac superstition, even as his mission threatens to drag him into madness, and the darkest night of his life falls.

Hultichia is a novelette length piece, in which I'm anticipating for late 2022.

 

Dabugo should have died the day he was born, left on the beach to be taken by the waves. Instead he miraculously survived, and his village decided his life must serve some greater purpose, and raised him out of obligation instead of love.  As soon as they decided he was grown enough, he was cast out to survive on his own.  With only a fugitive as a companion, Dabugo must face the harsh elements of his island, learn how to harness the power growing inside his twisted body, and face the destiny that he survived to fulfill.

The Withered Boy is another novelette length work, which will come out early 2023.

Lt. Fredelle Pence and the other women of the Royal First Irregulars are elite soldiers, skilled in their weapons of choice to the level of art. But the Royal First Irregulars aren't treated like elite soldiers, but as a sideshow.  Sent on a "morale tour" across Druthal, they're ordered to travel from base to base, using their skills only in staged performance, to entertain “the real soldiers”.

However, life on tour brings opportunity, as Fredelle and the other Irregulars become aware of a band of marauders terrorizing the countryside. They defy orders, going after the raiders, to prove once and for all just what they are capable of. But proving that becomes more of a test then they ever suspected, and the cost to them will be high for all of them.

The Royal First Irregulars will be a novella-length work, due for mid-to-late 2023.

Everyone has heard the rumors about Lady Melania Landron. After all, she doesn't quite fit in with polite society.She always seems so bored at parties, and she takes delight in only the strangest of preoccupations. And she clearly has no interest in marriage or ceasing to be a burden on her uncle's estate.Of course, what happened to her as a child was a tragedy; she was never properly educated, never a part of society.

Lady Melania knows the rumors are true. She doesn't fit in, she is bored, and she is burdened to remember every moment of every day, including her childhood tragedy, with perfect clarity. But she does take delight in one thing: danger.So when she hears of a hunt for an escaped criminal, she jumps at the opportunity, and soon finds herself starting a most peculiar career for a young, unmarried noblewoman: bounty hunter.But little does she know how dangerous some prey can be.

A Proper Lady of Society will be a novella length work, anticipated for 2024.

I'm very excited to be doing this, and hope to have some specific Phase Two new for you very soon, but for now, it's still this:

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Travelers of Maradaine and More

 So I've been saying that I have some announcements coming up, and the first one is a small one, but one I'm definitely excited about: a Patreon exclusive series of epistolary microfiction:


This is something of a worldbuilding experiment, where I use an epistolary format to show the journey of a group from Maradaine as they explore the wider world around them.  So every installment will be a letter or journal entry from one of the travelers along their trip.  I think this will be a fun way to explore the wider world around Maradaine without having to get too bogged down in things like "plot".  

I will do free previews of the first three installments, and then future installments will be at the $3 "Red Rabbits" tier and higher.  There will be additional sneak-peak content at that tier as well! 

As you can imagine, this will be appearing on my Patreon. so please check it out.

I will have more news as the summer continues, and I'm very excited to tell you all about it when I'm able to!