Thursday, March 23, 2017

Perils of the Writer: The Toil and the Joy

Friends, I won't lie to you: I love writing, I love that this is my life, but there are times when it's a grind.  There are plenty of times where the idea of going into a manuscript just makes me want to go lie down.  
Right now, I've had to put drafting Parliament of Bodies to the side for a couple weeks.  Largely to focus on Holver Alley promotion, Imposters of Aventil copyedits and a whole lot of home/business/Live the Language stuff that required the forefront of my attention.  Now it's time to get back into Parliament.
And getting back into a book once you've been out of it for a chunk of time can be a real grind.  If the engine is cold, it takes a bit to get back up to full speed.  
Part of the process, for me, involves printing out what I've got and reading through with a red pen.  It helps get me back in the mindset, and see where I might be starting to lose the plot or go off course.  
This part isn't always "fun", though, so it helps to have a couple other things to mix it up and keep it fresh.  A big thing I do to help this is engage in a secondary project for a bit, to be a palate cleanser.  I'll also do long-term planning, big picture work.   
And all this is why, this week, I've been making hand-edits on the first part of Parliament, working a bit on The Secret Project, and updating all the Maradaine spreadsheets.  And doing that stuff is, frankly, a lot of fun for me.  Especially after a couple weeks of household bookkeeping data entry.  Oh, taxes, such a joy.  But that work is done, at least.
How about you?  How's your journey in the word mines this week?

Monday, March 20, 2017

First look at THE IMPOSTERS OF AVENTIL

Now that Holver Alley Crew is out there, it's time to look ahead to what's next.  And it's what a lot of readers have been eagerly anticipating...
THE IMPOSTERS OF AVENTIL
Blending vigilante justice with epic fantasy, this third Maradaine novel finds student Veranix Calbert returning to fight crime • “Veranix is Batman, if Batman were a teenager and magically talented.” —Library Journal

Summer and the Grand Tournament of High Colleges have come to the University of Maradaine. If the heat and the crowds weren't enough to bring the campus and the neighborhood of Aventil to a boiling point, rumors that The Thorn is on the warpath—killing the last of the Red Rabbits—is enough to tip all of Maradaine into the fire. 

Except Veranix Calbert, magic student at the University, is The Thorn, and he's not the one viciously hunting the Red Rabbits. Veranix has his hands full with his share of responsibilities for the Tournament, and as The Thorn he’s been trying to find the source of the mind-destroying effitte being sold on campus. He’s as confused as anyone about the rumors. 

When The Thorn imposter publicly attacks the local Aventil constables, the Constabulary bring in their own special investigators: Inspectors Minox Welling and Satrine Rainey from the Maradaine Grand Inspectors Unit. Can Veranix find out who the imposter is and stop him before Welling and Rainey arrest him for the imposter’s crimes?
COMING October 2017
Goodreads Page for THE IMPOSTERS OF AVENTIL
Available for Pre-order at AmazonBarnes & Noble, and more!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Books are out, Drinks all around!

I've got a lot on my plate this week, including: I just appeared on Writing on the Air (The March 15th episode).  And sometimes when you're busy, you need to just stop and have a cocktail.  And if you stop by here, you can get the cocktail of the house.
My wife sometimes calls it the Maresca Mule, though I think Mexican Mule is the better term.
How do you make the Mexican Mule?  Glad you asked!
Take a cocktail glass, and run a lime along the rim, and then salt the rim with Chilito.  Add crushed ice, a shot of tequila, juice of half a lime, and then top it off with ginger brew.  It's spicy, strong and delicious.    
Have at it.

Monday, March 13, 2017

HOLVER ALLEY CREW Initial Response Roundup

So, THE HOLVER ALLEY CREW is out in the world.  So far the initial response has been excellent, and I'm thrilled that people are falling in love with the Rynax brothers and the rest of the crew.
From the Bibliosanctum:
Certainly, fans of caper stories should be making The Holver Alley Crew their number one priority. A strong start right out of the gate, this series opener is a well-written and brilliantly executed example of the fantasy heist genre, and of all the novels written by Marshall Ryan Maresca so far, this might be my favorite one yet! The Rynax brothers and their crew are so good at their jobs that they will steal your heart from the very first page, and I simply can’t wait to see what the gang will be up to next.
Maresca crafted a fresh and thrilling heist story that moves at a great pace. This is the type of book you just feel the need to read cover to cover, looking/wishing for the pause button on real life until you finish.
This is my first book from Marshall Ryan Maresca and I loved it. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next books in the series. I will be on the lookout for Maresca’s other books too.
Now that Holver Alley Crew is out in the world, I've decided to launch a mailing list.  It's going to be a simple, modest thing, I'll probably only mail about once a month, but you can sign up here:
Also, on Wednesday, I'll be appearing on Writing On The Air.  You can listen live at 6pm Central Time, or after they put up the podcast version.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Procrastination; or, Trying To Get Things Done In A Release Week

If you haven't noticed, I've got a pretty intense writing schedule.  The Holver Alley Crew just came out, and The Imposters of Aventil is out in the fall (Pre-order now!), and Lady Henterman's Wardrobe next year, and... you get the picture.  I don't have a too much wiggle room in there.
But that doesn't mean I don't have days where I'm all, "Yeah.... writing.  Need to ... words... or something."
I definitely have days where I I whiff it.  ESPECIALLY right now, when a book has just come out, and all my brain power is used by "BOOK!  OUT!  ARE PEOPLE BUYING IT?  ARE THEY LIKING IT? WHAT IS HAPPENING?"
This is my fifth book, and it's still pretty much like the first one.  I've curbed some of the less-healthy behaviors (refreshing Amazon ranking constantly), but it still is occupying a heck of a lot of brain space.  My head is a spinning rainbow wheel.
Procrastination is part of how things go, it's a natural part of the process.  And as much as I try to make progress on a daily basis, I have bad days.  I have days where I can't get my head into my primary project (current primary project: drafting A Parliament of Bodies), and that's why you have secondary projects.  (Though now some of those are in my agent's hands, and thus I'm on NEW secondary projects-- one that's been a back-burner tertiary project for a while.)
But right now, I'm in that happy-distracted place about the release of The Holver Alley Crew.  Have you picked it up yet?  Then GET ON IT.  Meanwhile, I'm going to get on the writing.  Soon.  Any minute now. 

Monday, March 6, 2017

HOLVER ALLEY CREW Releases Tomorrow

This week is the release of THE HOLVER ALLEY CREW!  That means we've got reviews and guest blogs all over the place, and it is time to get that pre-order in while you still can.  (Because after tomorrow, it's just ordering.)  And as of right now, it's being sold at a 19% discount at Amazon.  Why 19%?  I have no idea, but run with it.
RUN AND GET THIS BOOK AND GET IT INSIDE YOUR BRAIN.
Here's some of the stuff out there people are saying about it.  Also there's guest blogs from me about it, excerpts, all sorts of things.
ENCHANTED ALLEY has an interview and gives it a 5-lantern review.
A DREAM WITHIN A DREAM gives you an excerpt.
SCI-FI CHICK has a giveaway and an guest blog on my influences.
FANTASY BOOK CRITIC has a guest blog as well.

Mixing high fantasy and urban fantasy, The Holver Alley Crew is the first novel of Maresca’s third interconnected series set in the fantasy city of Maradaine.
The Rynax brothers had gone legit after Asti Rynax’s service in Druth Intelligence had shattered his nerves, and marriage and fatherhood convinced Verci Rynax to leave his life of thievery.  They settled back in their old neighborhood in West Maradaine and bought themselves a shop, eager for a simple, honest life. Then the Holver Alley Fire incinerated their plans. With no home, no shop, and no honest income—and saddled with a looming debt—they fall back on their old skills and old friends.
With a crew of other fire victims, Asti and Verci plan a simple carriage heist, but the job spirals out of control as they learn that the fire was no accident. Lives in Holver Alley were destroyed out of a sadistic scheme to buy the land.  Smoldering for revenge, burdened with Asti’s crumbling sanity, the brothers lead their crew of amateurs and washouts to take down those responsible for the fire, no matter the cost.
Goodreads Page for THE HOLVER ALLEY CREW
Available at AmazonBarnes & Noble, and more!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Worldbuilding: The Forgotten Details

It would be impossible-- and also pointless-- to cover every possible element of worldbuilding.  You would have to gain a decent mastery of dozens of disciplines, including but hardly limited to geology, biology, meteorology, ecology, zoology, botany, astronomy, sociology, anthropology, architecture... the list could go on.  And that's just the fundamentals.  
Of course, all that is if you're doing a full-on, from-the-bottom-up worldbuild, which you'd have to be some kind of lunatic to even want to attempt.  (Yeah, I kind of want to...)  
No matter what, there will be all sorts of details that will be left out.  It's inevitable.  And there are any number of fine-points that you'll gloss over in your worldbuid that I could address.  I'm going to delve into a specific one: the history of the world.  Most of the time any worldbuilder will outline the big points: the wars, the revolutions, the queens and kings, the founders and the traitors.  
But what about the less obvious things?  What about the philosophers, the scientists, the creators?  What about the people who guided the culture to where it is?
In your worldbuild, ask yourself: who is the Euclid?  Who is the Newton?  Who is the Aristotle or Socrates?  Who is the Homer or the Shakespeare or the Michelangelo?  The Martin Luther or Adam Smith or daVinci?
Or on a different scale: who founded the nation? What is their Magna Carta or Constitution and who wrote it?  Why did they write it?
Now, do you have to answer all these questions?  And if you do, do the answers have to end up on the page? (No.)  But I think there's a lot of value in thinking about these things, that it can add a richness to your worldbuilding that will translate to your writing.

Only a few days left to pre-order Holver Alley Crew!  I'm really excited about this new series.  
Mixing high fantasy and urban fantasy, The Holver Alley Crew is the first novel of Maresca’s third interconnected series set in the fantasy city of Maradaine.
The Rynax brothers had gone legit after Asti Rynax’s service in Druth Intelligence had shattered his nerves, and marriage and fatherhood convinced Verci Rynax to leave his life of thievery.  They settled back in their old neighborhood in West Maradaine and bought themselves a shop, eager for a simple, honest life. Then the Holver Alley Fire incinerated their plans. With no home, no shop, and no honest income—and saddled with a looming debt—they fall back on their old skills and old friends.
With a crew of other fire victims, Asti and Verci plan a simple carriage heist, but the job spirals out of control as they learn that the fire was no accident. Lives in Holver Alley were destroyed out of a sadistic scheme to buy the land.  Smoldering for revenge, burdened with Asti’s crumbling sanity, the brothers lead their crew of amateurs and washouts to take down those responsible for the fire, no matter the cost.
Goodreads Page for THE HOLVER ALLEY CREW
Available at AmazonBarnes & Noble, and more!