Monday, June 29, 2015

Excerpt from A MURDER OF MAGES

AMurderofMagesA MURDER OF MAGES releases in eight days! Here's a preview excerpt to whet your appetite.

Satrine Rainey walked to the Inemar Constabulary House carrying a lie. It gnawed at her, every step she took across the bridges to the south side of the city. Taking it across the river would help it pass. The one person who knew the truth was up in North Maradaine, and he almost never crossed the river. The Inemar Constabulary House, on the south bank, might as well have been in another city.
The lie would pass. It was wrapped up in enough truth to pass.
The wind whipped past Satrine, cold and riddled with wet. She pulled her coat tight around her and quickened her pace, overtaking a pedalcart that trundled along one side of the bridge road. The path split on a tiny jut of rock in the middle of the river, the water below choked with sails and barges. Satrine turned onto the Upper Bridge, leading to the neighborhood of Inemar, the heart of the south side of Maradaine.
Satrine hated Inemar. She hated everything south of the river. Not that it mattered. She had to go. And if all went well, she would come back tomorrow, and every day after that.
The steps at the end of the bridge were crowded, people shouting at everyone as they went down to the street level. Dozens of voices selling useless trinkets, witnessing stories of saints, pleading for coins. Two newsboys from competing presses called out lurid stories over each other. Satrine pushed her way through the throng and pressed her way down to the street. She dodged through the traffic of horse carriages and pedalcarts, without missing a step. Muscle memory.
Gray stone dominated Inemar. Gray and tight, this part of the city didn’t waste an inch, buildings pressed up against each other. Not a bit of green in this neighborhood. No trees shading the walkways. Iron grates bordered properties instead of hedges. Even the weeds between the cobblestones were trampled and dead.
“Hey, hey, Waish girl! Waish girl!”
Satrine grimaced. She knew someone was calling her. Most people presumed she was Waish. Here in Maradaine, people forgot that red hair was a common trait in the northern archduchies of Druthal.
“Waish girl! I’m talking to you!” A hand clasped her shoulder.
People had no damn manners in Inemar.
Satrine spun around and swatted away the offending hand. Its owner was a young man with beady eyes and ratlike teeth, wearing a threadbare coat and vest and bearing a disturbingly wide grin.
“Not Waish,” Satrine said. “And not a girl.”
The young man didn’t blink, he just charged on into his spin. “You’re new down here, though, don’t know your way around, just crossed the bridge, am I right? You need yourself a guide and escort, am I right?”
“Not right.” Satrine had already said eight more words than she had planned to say to anyone on the street, and she turned to head back on her way.
“That’s all right, that’s all right.” The young man kept pace with her. “Even if you know your way about, it’s always good for a girl like—lady, I mean—a lady like you to walk with someone, don’t you know. Lot can happen in these streets, you know.”
“I know.”
“So there you have it, miss,” the young man said, crooking his arm through hers as he spoke. “You walk with me and—”
He got no further in his speech. Satrine twisted his arm behind his back, and a moment later she had him on the ground, face pressed into the cobblestone.
“I know where I’m going,” Satrine growled into his ear.
He only grunted in reply. Satrine released him and walked away at full pace, giving only a glance out the corner of her eye to see that the young man was not following her. He had probably slunk back to the bridge to harass another newcomer.
She pushed through the crowd, the usual diverse mix of folks seen in Inemar; most were Druth, with fair skin and brown or blond hair. There was a smattering of greasy-haired Kierans, tanned Acserians, and a handful of other exotic faces, having wandered out of their enclaves in the Little East.
The Constabulary House was only two blocks from the bridge, a small fortress of stone and iron towering over the corner square markets. The building itself had to be ancient. Inemar was full of relics, both buildings and people.
Satrine passed through a gated stone arch where two Constabulary regulars stood at attention, their dark green and red coats crisp and clean in sharp contrast to the gray and rust surroundings.
The regulars just gave her a nod as she passed. And why wouldn’t they? She was a respectable-looking woman, her hair tied back, her face clean. She wore what any decent woman in Maradaine might wear, though her canvas slacks and heavy blouse were hardly what anyone would consider fashionable.
Satrine entered the building itself, into a small lobby, where a wooden counter restricted Satrine from the cramped and crowded Constabulary floor. Desks and benches shoved into every corner, men in Constabulary coats on the benches, behind the desks, pushing through the narrow spaces. Some of the men were Constabulary regulars, some officers.
One woman pressed her way through to the counter. She wore the Constabulary coat, but Satrine noticed a key difference in her uniform. She wore a skirt that stopped just below the knee. It conformed to standards of decency, but it was more like what a schoolgirl should wear rather than a constable.
“Ma’am, can I help you?” The woman’s hair was pulled back tight, which matched the stress in her voice.
“I’m looking for Captain Cinellan?” Satrine asked.
“Second floor,” the woman said, pointing to a narrow corridor to her left. “The inspectors’ offices are up there.” Someone else dropped a pile of papers in front of the woman, and her attention left Satrine immediately.
Satrine went down the corridor, which ended in a tight spiral staircase, solid stone masonry. Satrine went up the steps, running her fingers along the cool wall, her thoughts filled with the paper that felt like it was burning a hole in her coat pocket.
She came out of the stairway to a wide room, bright sunlight streaming through the windows along the eastern wall. The far wall was lined with cabinets and slate boards, and there were desks sparsely placed about the floor, each one with an oil lamp—unlit—hanging above them. Men wearing Constabulary vests worked at the desks while a handful of boys ran through the room. Two boys bolted past Satrine as she came up, racing down the stairs.
A fair-haired woman at the closest desk—the only other woman Satrine saw on the floor—smiled brightly when Satrine approached. “Careful of them.”
“Fast runners,” Satrine said.
“Fastest we have. Did they send you up here with a report?”
“A report?”
“For one of the inspectors?”
“No.” Satrine took a deep breath. This close, the lie was a weight pressing on her chest. “I’m here to see Captain Cinellan.”
“All right,” the woman—Miss Nyla Pyle, based on her brass badge and lack of marriage bracelet—said. “Can I have your name?”
“Rainey. Satrine Rainey.”
Miss Pyle’s eyes flashed with recognition. She gave a small nod as she bit at her bottom lip. “This way, all right?”
The woman led Satrine through the inspectors’ work floor, past various men discussing the cases they were working on. Satrine only caught snippets of conversation before reaching the door with a brass plaque on it: captain brace cinellan.
The woman guiding Satrine knocked and opened the door simultaneously. Captain Cinellan’s office was dim, no windows, only burning oil lamps and candles on his desk. The man himself was hunched over the desk, the muscular frame of an old soldier, beat down and bent with age. Not that he was that old; his face had few lines and his hair untouched by gray. But he held himself like an old man. A tired man.
“Yes, Miss Pyle?” he asked.
“Missus Satrine Rainey to see you, Captain,” Miss Pyle said, putting a strong emphasis on Satrine’s last name. Captain Cinellan’s weary eyes glanced over to Satrine, and they sparked with sympathy.
“Yes, of course,” he said. He got up from the desk and crossed over to Satrine, extending his hand. “Missus Rainey, very good to meet you.”
Satrine took his hand and shook it, giving him a strong, solid grip. She wasn’t going to give him anything less, give him any cause to doubt her resolve.
Cinellan gestured to her to take the chair on the other side of his desk, despite it being full of books and ledgers. Miss Pyle grabbed them off the chair before anyone else spoke.
“Return these to the archives, Captain?”
“Yes, Miss Pyle. And, um . . . tea with—”
“Honey and cream,” Miss Pyle finished. “Anything for you, Missus Rainey?”
“Tea, yes,” Satrine said. “Cream only.”
Miss Pyle nodded and left the office as gracefully as possible with her arms full, deftly shutting the door with a swing of her foot.
Captain Cinellan sat down behind his desk. “So, Missus Rainey, let me just say . . . when we all heard about what happened to your husband, well . . . most of us didn’t know him down here on the south bank, of course, except by reputation. And when something . . .” He faltered, biting at his lip.
“Devastating occurs?” Satrine offered. That was the best word to describe what had happened to Loren.
Cinellan nodded. “Absolutely. It gives a man pause. Especially for all of us here in the Green and Red.”
“What happened to my husband was—is—tragic, Captain Cinellan, but I have to . . .”
“Yes, I know,” Captain Cinellan said. He dug through the papers on his desk. “I received word from Commissioner Enbrain that you would be coming here.”
Satrine’s heart jumped to her throat. If Enbrain had sent a letter here as well, then that would ruin everything. She couldn’t have that. Loren needed her to succeed. The girls needed it.
“He sent you my orders?”
“Orders, what?” Cinellan looked confused. “No, he just sent a runner with word you were going to be coming in here today.”
“So you don’t have the orders?” This was the moment. She forced the words out despite the rising bile in her throat. “You’re to give me a position here.” She pulled the letter out of her pocket.
Cinellan glanced at the letter, waxed shut with Commissioner Enbrain’s seal. Or, more correctly, an excellent forgery that Satrine had spent hours copying. Cinellan gave it no more than two seconds of regard before cracking it open and reading the letter.
“I’m to make you what?”
Satrine almost answered, but she bit her tongue before she revealed that she knew the contents of the sealed letter.
“This can’t be serious!”
“What is it?”
“According to this, I’m to make you an inspector.”
Inspector Third Class, to be precise. Satrine dared well enough putting that on the letter.
She had worked her expression in the mirror for an hour. Old skills, long unpracticed, but still in her muscles. She needed to convey just the right degree of pleasant surprise without approaching shock. She opened her eyes wide and drew her breath in sharply. She put her hand over her chest, as if her heart was racing, and asked, “And what would the salary be?”
“Salary!” Cinellan snapped. “Missus Rainey, do you have any experience related to investigative work?”
“Beyond having a husband who was an Inspector First Class?”
“That is not a qualification, Missus Rainey. My wife plays the flute excellently, yet I’m only thumbs.”
“Fair enough,” Satrine knew that wasn’t going to keep this wagon rolling. “Prior to my marriage, I was an agent in Druth Intelligence.”
Cinellan raised his eyebrow. “For how long?”
Satrine knew she had intrigued him, at least enough that he could be reeled in. “Four years.” She held her breath for a moment, letting a small smile form. “Officially.”
“I don’t suppose that’s verifiable.”
Satrine knew that was coming. “We don’t get tattoos like army or navy does.”
“You understand I can’t just take your word . . .”
“Of course,” Satrine said, pulling another letter from her pocket, this one completely legitimate. “I know it isn’t exactly—”
He gave it a quick glance. “I’ve seen enough ‘thanks for service to the Crown’ letters to know what they really mean.” Cinellan grunted in something sounding like disapproval. “Most inspectors have several years walking the streets first.”
“Do you need my whole history, Captain?”
“I need some reason why I should make inspector some—no disrespect to you, Missus Rainey—some random woman who walks off the street over the heads of several men who’ve earned the posting!”
Satrine had been expecting this. Her forgery, as impeccable as it might be, wouldn’t be enough to convince any captain worth the crowns he was paid to take her on.
“Leaving aside that I am not some ‘random woman,’ but the wife of a dedicated constable—a man who all but died for this city—I do have the skills and training necessary to serve as an inspector.”
“I’ll grant four years in Intelligence is nothing to scoff at. Even still, no formal training is a substitute for knowing these streets.”
“Streets of Inemar?” Satrine asked. She didn’t bother to hide her grin. “I grew up not three blocks from here.”
Cinellan chuckled. “You can’t try and trick me with that. You’re a North Maradaine lady if ever I met one.”
“Oy, that what you think?” Satrine slipped into her old accent like it was a comfortable shoe. “No surprise sticks like you never clipped any of us.”
Cinellan’s eyebrow went up. “What corner?”
“Jent and Tannen.”
“No chance! When I first got my coat, I knew every rat and bird in that part of the neighborhood. The only Waishen-haired girl back in the day was—”
“Trini ‘Tricky.’”
“Exactly! And she . . . she . . .” His eyes went wide. “Impossible!”
Satrine bowed her head gracefully. “It was another life.”
“I know for a fact that there is a report down in the archives on the investigation of her . . . disappearance.”
Satrine shrugged. “My recruitment into Druth Intelligence was . . . unorthodox. I didn’t have a chance to tell anyone I was going.”
Cinellan laughed out loud. He was warming to her. That was always her gift—to survive on the street, to thrive in Intelligence, she made people fond of her. She used to wrap herself in lies on a daily basis, but to sell one to a man like her husband, a man just doing his job honestly, it made her ill.
“I’m intrigued, Missus Rainey, and the commissioner notes that we should be giving more positions in the Constabulary force to women.” He shook the letter casually. The commissioner had written that very point, but as an argument to make Satrine a clerk. A position that paid five crowns a week. That salary would put her family on the street; she would never let that happen to her daughters. Her girls would never have to do what she lived through.
Miss Pyle came back in with a tea tray. Cinellan dropped his light demeanor while Miss Pyle was there, thanked her for the tea, and waited for her to leave before sipping it. He sat at his desk, teacup in hand, for some time in silence. Satrine picked up her own, but didn’t drink any, not yet. She didn’t think it would be particularly good, anyway.
“I’ll be frank, Captain,” Satrine said. “I’m not a widow, though I may as well be. I have two daughters whom I am putting through school, a husband who needs caring for, rent, city taxes, and several other expenses. If I’m not bringing home twenty crowns a week, then it all falls apart.”
“Standard pay for Inspector Third Class is nineteen crowns five.”
“I can start with that.” There was enough saved up—especially with what the boys at Loren’s district house gave when they scraped together—to last on nineteen-five for a few months. Come the summer, she would find some way to earn those last fifteen ticks.
“Ambitious, good,” he said. “Still doesn’t sit right, even with the commissioner pushing it.”
“I’d be happy to be put to the test.”
“Hmmph,” Cinellan snorted. “What sort of test?”
“Give me a week,” she said. “Any floor sergeants grouse, you tell them you got pushed by the commissioner.”
Cinellan tapped the letter on his desk. “Which I have.”
“If you don’t think I measure up at the end of the week, you send me on my way. You can tell the commissioner you tried and it didn’t work.”
Satrine’s heart pounded like a hammer, threatening to smash through her chest.
“Fine,” Cinellan said. “Though I got to tell you, it’s mostly so I can pull your old file from the archives and write in it that I solved a twenty-year-old case.”
“Thank you, Captain,” Satrine said. Most of the tension in her shoulders relaxed. Not all, not until she had the job secure. She took a drink of her tea. It was, as she had predicted, awful.
“Don’t thank me yet,” he said. “You haven’t met your partner.”

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Pessimistic Reasons Not To Write

On some level, there's nothing easier than not writing a book.  It's easy to come up with reasons.
1. I don't have the time, I'm far too busy.  Look, I'm not going to tell you how to live your life.  You make the choices about what you have to do, and what your priorities are.  But if being a writer is a goal you have, you have to make it happen.  Carve out the time. Choose it over X or Y or Z.
2. I'm exhausted, I can't write right now. I won't deny, I've had days were I didn't get it done.  Hell, I had a period way-back-when (before I even started Thorn) when I had days where I couldn't be bothered to open up the file of my work-in-progress. But the only way to get it done is push through the bad days and be consistent and regular about doing the work.
3. What I'm writing is crap, I shouldn't bother. Like any skill, it takes work.  Maybe it sucks, maybe it doesn't.  But practice is the only way to get better.  Lord knows I have plenty of stillborn manuscripts that never went anywhere, but that's part of the journey.  Embrace it, give yourself permission to be bad and learn from it.
4. I don't know where I'm going and the story is stuck.  All right, first: breathe. Take a step back.  Work on a different project for a bit.  Look at the outline and figure out what's the blockade.  Skip ahead and write a scene far ahead, and worry about the connective tissue later.
5. There's no point-- you can't get an agent or a publisher to notice you unless you've already made a connection or know somebody.  Not true.  Flat out: not true.  Whoever told you that is selling something (probably self-publishing services of some sort.)  I had no contacts, no "in".  I wrote, I queried, landed an agent after a lot of patience and then had more patience while my work say on editors' desks.  And I wrote more books.  I pushed through and did it because I devoted time and energy and patience to making that happen, with no "help" beyond the quality of my craftwork.
Write. Work. Push yourself. It can be done.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Someone Has A Case Of the Mondays

So, it's been a busy time, and I've got a lot on my shoulders, what with finishing The Alchemy of Chaos in time for the deadline.  You all want it to be on time, right?  Of course you do.
But I just got back from ApolloCon, which was a lovely time.  I had some good panels, got to see various writer friends that I only see at cons, got to meet fellow DAW author Jim Hines, read from A Murder of Mages, signed some copies of Thorn of Dentonhill, and came home ready to fall down.
Falling down isn't a luxury I really have, though.  See above, re: deadline for Alchemy.
Something has to give, though, so it's going to be today's blog.  But I have links!
  • really fantastic review of A Murder of Mages from Bibliosanctum.  "Marshall Ryan Maresca has a true knack for creating rich settings as well as characters that feel very real and well-rounded. There’s always something special to the people he writes about, whether they are mage students or constable inspectors. A Murder of Mages was another hit for me, a fantastic read from a new talent whose star continues to be on the rise."  Plus there's a giveaway for a copy of Murder that you can enter.
  • I was on a Worldbuilding Panel at ComicPalooza, and someone made it into a podcast.  Listen to it here.
  • A pleasant surprise: My niece's high school made a list of suggested summer reading, and Thorn of Dentonhill is on the list.   More surprising: neither my niece nor my sister had anything to do with it.  Which leads me to believe it might have made other such lists.  And being on a list of, "Things you should read" next to George R. R. Martin thrills me to no end.
That's all.  Off to the word mines.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

What I'm Reading, And Still To Read

11067670_10106019133839410_536921645369018382_nI have to confess, I tend to be a slow reader.  Especially right now, where I have a fair amount of projects and deadlines on my plate.  I usually don't get much chance to sit and read until the very end of the day-- and then it's maybe read a chapter.  Usually less.  So it takes me a while to get through a book, especially a big door stopper.
I've got two books that I currently consider myself to be "reading right now": The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu and The Clockwork Dagger by Beth Cato, though I'll cop most of my reading attention is on the latter.  Grace might be on hold until I can devote serious brainspace to it. But I'm enjoying both.
My remaining To Be Read pile isn't big, but given my reading speed it's as much commitment as I can handle right now.
A brief bullet list:
  • One Night In Sixes by  Tex Thompson
  • Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer
  • Gemini Cell by Myke Cole
  • City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett
  • The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley

And on my "books I intend to get and put on the TBR pile soon" list:
  • Dreams of Shreds and Tatters by Amanda Downum
  • Cold Iron by Stina Leicht
  • The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson
  • Time Salvager by Wesley Chu
And that should keep me plenty busy for the near future.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Early Reviews for A MURDER OF MAGES and ApolloCon Schedule

AMurderofMagesReviews are starting to come in for A Murder Of Mages, which I'm very excited about.
First, over at Mutt Cafe:
I love a well done classic fantasy, particularly when it’s combined with my other love, mystery. A Murder of Mages, Maresca’s debut Maradaine Constabulary novel, does just that.
Next, over at Books and Ladders:
I quite enjoyed Satrine. She was a badass and did what she had to in order to survive and provide for her family. I am looking forward to seeing more of her quick wit in action because she was a treat to read about.
Finally, Rashika at The Social Potato enjoyed it, but she wanted to see more of the world beyond the narrow scope of the Constabulary. Fortunately, that seems to be inspiring her to check out The Thorn of Dentonhill.
I just realized that there is another series set in the same world and the first book just came out this year… I GUESS I HAVE SOME READING TO DO.
Also, next weekend is ApolloCon.  Here's what I'm doing:
SATURDAY, 12 noon: That Old (Black?) Magic
Discussion of what makes magic believable and examples of magic systems that work well or don't.
SATURDAY, 1pm: What If We Really Are Alone?
Maybe the reason SETI hasn't found any signs of intelligent life is that there's nobody else out there.
SUNDAY, 11:30am: Reading
I'll be breaking out a selection from A Murder of Mages, so you'll want to check it out.
SUNDAY, 1pm: What I'd Like to Read (But I Won't Write)
Writers discuss what they'd like to read but aren't going to write.
SUNDAY, 2pm: Qa'Pla To You Too, Buddy!
From "Nanu Nanu" to "Valar Morghulis" geekdom has always spoken a language all its own. Where does our love for constructed languages come from, what distinguishes a true conlang form a random colleciton of syllables—and which are the best of the best?
Come on up and say hi.  I'll gladly autograph anything with my name on it that you shove in my hands.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Perils of the Writer: Collision of Writing and Life

I'm quite fortunate, in that I don't have a "traditional" day job, and can write "full time", even though that's not really the case.
It's especially not the case in the summer, where my regular life switches up and gets very close to having a "day job".  This is when my wife and I run a summer camp, so obviously that takes up a fair amount of my time for the next ten weeks.
AMurderofMagesHowever, right now the Writing Life is cooking along pretty fast as well.  I've got a fully stacked plate: final version of The Alchemy of Chaos is due at the top of July, and I'm working to finish the polished draft of An Import of Intrigue at the same time.  Plus A Murder of Mages comes out in less than a month-- and I've got a few events scheduled for that-- including a Twitter Chat on July 7th and a signing at Book People on July 9th.  I'll also be at ApolloCon, the Writers' League of Texas A&E Conference and ArmadilloCon, which I'm also running the Writers' Workshop for.
Which is a lot to keep me busy, and running the camp as well.
What I'm saying is, come August, I'm probably going to need a very long nap.
But I'll probably begin writing the books to follow up Alchemy and Import instead.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Perils of the Writer: When It Bears Repeating

There is power in repetition.
A key phrase or term of art used repeatedly in a work can become a totem, a mantra.  A key phrase repeated can set a tone.  "Winter is Coming" isn't merely a statement about the inevitability of the season; it establishes a state of mind.
A key phrase repeated can be an anchor for a piece.  It can bring the audience back to a starting place, remind them of a specific character or moment.  A key phrase repeated can elucidate a key theme or characteristic.  "Resistance is futile", including the repetition itself, tells you everything you need to know about the Borg.
A key phrase repeated can be a revelation.  In early repetitions, it can seem to mean one thing, but when it's presented in a new light, the meaning of the phrase transforms and explodes.  Some writers can really make this work.  Playwright Kirk Lynn is a master at this technique.*
But it's also a very easy thing to mimic in format without giving it purpose.  Anyone can repeat a key phrase.  The question is, why are you doing it?  What are you trying to say with the same phrase, repeated?  Does its repetition ground or enlighten?
Too often I've seen the form mimicked without understanding.  The line kept being repeated and I kept waiting for the turn, for the revelation.  Never came.  Again, this tended to be in plays rather than fiction, but the fundamental truth of it still holds.  I think there is a misunderstanding that the act of repetition alone gives the work some sort of mantra, and with that a degree of depth.  But its use is hollow, and it comes across as pretension instead of depth.
Not that I'm immune to the occasional repetition of a key phrase.  Hell, how often to I say I'm off to the word mines?  Which is where I need to be getting to.  So I'll see you down there.
*- Kirk's a master with regards to writing in general.  If you have a chance to see a Kirk Lynn play, run to it like a ravenous cheetah, and bring friends.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Nearby Con Events

So, I've got three cons scheduled in the near future, the Texas Trifecta* of ApolloCon, ArmadilloCon and FenCon.
ApolloCon is running June 19th-21st in Houston.  I'll be posting my schedule for that as soon as I have it locked down.  I'm looking forward to it, and I hope that this drive back from Houston won't involve tornado warnings and sideways rain.
FenCon is Sept. 25th-27th.  Last year I went armed only with cards for Thorn and whatever charm and handsome I could muster, and I had a lovely time.  This year both Thorn and Murder will be out, so I'm looking forward to talking up them both, as well as the 2016 books.
Those two, however, are the bookends to the big one for me, my hometown con of ArmadilloCon, running July 24th-26th.  With ArmadilloCon is the Writers' Workshop, which I am running this year.   We have got a great line-up for teachers this year: Ken Liu, author of what’s quickly becoming the most talked about book this year, The Grace of Kings; L. Timmel Duchamp, editor of Aqueduct Press; Stina Leicht, author of Of Blood And HoneyBlue Skies from Pain and this year’s upcoming Cold Iron; James Morrow, author ofGalapagos Regained and many more novels; also Skyler White, Steven Brust, Kathy Catmull, Rebecca Schwartz, Martin Wagner, Martha Wells, Derek Johnson and myself, of course.
Still time to sign up!  Deadline is June 15th!  Get on it!   You won't regret it!**

*- No one calls it this. Maybe we should make it a thing.
**- Non-regret not guaranteed. Void where prohibited.

Monday, June 1, 2015

A MURDER OF MAGES out next month, and other thoughts

June is shaping up to be a very busy month, which is good, except I haven't quite recovered from May yet.  If you weren't aware Austin had severe rains and flooding, which didn't affect us directly, mostly because I was in Houston for Comicpalooza when it was happening.  But that meant when I was done with Comicpalooza and ready to go home, there were serious storms between me and home, and they were heading toward Houston.
I was riding back with Stina Leicht, and she has already detailed our trip back rather well, so there isn't much I have to add to that.  But navigating our way through the storm and washed out roads was not unlike navigating through the process of querying and submitting to reach publication.  So our mindset was locked in: be patient, be careful, find a new route when one is blocked.  Keep moving forward because that's the only way to get to the goal.  (In this case the goal was Austin and our respective homes and spouses, which we both made it to safely.)AMurderofMages
So now what's ahead?  A Murder of Mages is out in one month, and I'm rather excited about that.  I'm hopeful that people enjoy Satrine and Minox as much as they've enjoyed Veranix.  This book has a different tone but much the same spirit.  A big thing I've been diving into, thematically, with all the Maradaine books (including the ones that are written but not yet slated for publication) is the nature of heroism, looked at from different perspectives.  Satrine and Minox are very much heroes, but very different in style from Veranix.
One thing of note, if you are one of the reviewers who received Murder through Netgalley: apparently the Kindle version of the Netgalley eARC was damaged in PDF conversion, including de-capitalizing letters in a lot of places.  I'm given to understand that it's being fixed, but if you are reading a Kindle eARC and are seeing that, please note that it's not some strange stylistic choice on my part.  Other e-versions do not have this problem.
But now, it's back into the word mines.  I need to finalize The Alchemy of Chaos and finish the draft of An Import of Intrigue, as well as kick preparation for the ArmadilloCon Writers Workshop into high gear.  See you all down there.