Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Onward to 2022: The First Two Books of Maradaine Phase Two

 So, last week at ArmadilloCon, I had the pleasure of having a Special Guest interview, conducted by Thomas Wagner of SFF180, which we also recorded and he put on his channel.  I had a great time talking with Thomas about my process, the path of conceiving and writing Maradaine, Velocity of Revolution, and everything beyond that.  

And talking about beyond that, at the end of the interview, as well as immediately afterward on Twitter, I announced what the next two books are for 2022.  So let's talk about what those are going to be.

First off, we have coming in the Spring, The Assassins of Consequence.  While we've seen Veranix Calbert in The Fenmere Job and People of the City, we've not seen anything centered on his part of the city since The Imposters of Aventil.  So, here we return to the University, Dentonhill and Aventil, and the team surrounding Veranix as he continues his war against Willem Fenmere.  

The autumn semester at the University of Maradaine is underway, and Veranix Calbert is doing his best to balance the new responsibilities of being a fourth-year magic student under the militant Altarn Initiatives, while still acting as The Thorn, the street vigilante deep in a personal war against the drug kingpin Willem Fenmere.  With the help of his friends Kaiana, Delmin and Mila, he’s been able to strike real blows against Fenmere’s empire.

But Veranix’s fight has earned him more enemies than just Fenmere, including the mad alchemist Cuse Jensett, the imposters Erno Don and Enzin Hence, and the Deadly Birds Magpie and Jackdaw.  These five killers join forces to escape Quarrygate Prison and offer an alliance to Fenmere, bringing with them the perfect leverage to seal the deal: the Thorn’s identity.

Once Fenmere knows who Veranix is, he doesn’t just want to kill him, but to utterly shatter him.  Calling on everyone in Maradaine holding a grudge against the Thorn, he unleashes a brutal hunt against Veranix.  With old and new enemies all looking to claim the bounty on his head, stripped of the security of his secret identity, Veranix faces the most brutal fight of his all too-short life.

And what's after that?

In this one, Asti & Verci are now legitimate businessmen running the Rynax Gadgeterium, trying to settle into a normal, decent life for themselves and their friends, families and neighbors, while still planning to root out those responsible for the Holver Alley Fire and exact justice upon them.  But their sudden arrest throws all of those plans out the window, and now they must scramble to make a new plan from inside Quarrygate Prison.  Desperate to get her family back, Verci's wife Raych Rynax will have to come up with her own mad ploy to get the leverage she needs to save them.

In essence, equal parts Escape from AlcatrazSuicide Squad and Oceans 8.  

And that's what's coming in 2022!  More news on the future of Maradaine soon.

In the meantime, An Unintended Voyage comes out next week!  Still plenty of time to pre-order.  For those of you who have been waiting since A Parliament of Bodies to learn Corrie's fate, your wait is almost over.

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Preorder at AmazonBarnes & NobleIndieboundBookshop and more!

Thursday, October 14, 2021

ArmadilloCon Schedule

 ArmadilloCon starts tomorrow!  If you are in Austin, or can come there this weekend, I'd love to hear from you.  Here's my schedule of events:

Opening Ceremonies
Fri 7:00 PM-7:30 PM Ballroom D
N. Drayden, D. Liss, M. R. Maresca, J. Miles*, G. Villarreal
The formal start of the con. Get introduced to the con's major guests, and attend the Meet the Pros party afterward.

Writing Large Series
Fri 9:00 PM-10:00 PM Ballroom D
K. Baldwin, D. Cohen, M. R. Maresca, K. Redford, M. Wells*
Trilogies, pentologies, dodecologies, heptatriacontologies in three phases… how can anyone hope to keep anything straight in these gigantic epics?  Especially the people trying to write them!  Our panel talks about the perils, pitfalls and pleasures of writing stories of immense scope and scale.

Sat Noon-1:00 PM Dealers' Room
C. Brown, M. R. Maresca, C. Panatier, M. Wells

Worldbuilding for Beginners and Masochists
Sat 1:00 PM-2:00 PM Ballroom E
J. Black, E. Cobbe, B. Jensen*, B. Liar, M. R. Maresca
How do you get started with worldbuilding? And how do you know when to stop? Do you ever stop? Do you need to stop? Or do you just keep going until it hurts? Our panelists explore the limits of world building, and how to get the most out of it by challenging presumptions of how fantasy worlds are “supposed” to be.

Marshall Ryan Maresca Interview
Sat 3:00 PM-4:00 PM Ballroom D
M. R. Maresca, T. Wagner*
An interview with our Special Guest.

Fannish Feud
Sat 5:00 PM-6:00 PM Ballroom D
D. Liss, M. R. Maresca, G. Villarreal, S. Felix, T. Wilson
Fans vs Pros game completely unrelated to the Richard Dawson show

Sun Noon-1:00 PM Ballroom D
S. Kern*, M. R. Maresca, S. Leicht, T. Wagner
“Hopepunk is the opposite of grimdark.” Alexandra Rowland coined the term with that sentence, but what is ‘hopepunk’? Is it a subgenre, a style, a mood? Is it just fantasy where good people strive to do good in hopeful worlds? Or is there something deeper which needs exploring, especially in contrast to grimdark fantasy? And what does writing hopepunk fiction mean?

Shiny Seductive Sirens and Tying Yourself to the Mast
Sun 2:00 PM-3:00 PM Ballroom D
A. Fisher, M. R. Maresca*, K. Redford, P. Sarath, J. Reisman
It happens every time. You’re about a third of the way through a story, and you’re definitely out of the “honeymoon” stage of the project, when it hits: A Shiny New Idea.  It’s so fun and exciting, definitely not work like the current one is.  But you also know you NEED TO FINISH that current one.  So how do you tie yourself to the proverbial mast so you can ignore those shiny sirens and sail through the rocky waters of the murky middle and finish your story?

On more thing, I want to share this excellent review of An Unintended Voyage from SF&F Reviews, including saying "This is compulsive reading right here, that you’ll pick up and not put down, and then lament when you’re finished that there isn’t any more." I think this is a fantastic book and I hope you pick it up. And pre-orders are very important now, with the challenges of supply-chains around the world.

Add on Goodreads.
Preorder at AmazonBarnes & NobleIndieboundBookshop and more!

Thursday, October 7, 2021

ArmadilloCon, AN UNINTENDED VOYAGE, and the future of Maradaine

 So, friends, we're already in October, which means that we're just a few days away from ArmadilloCon, my hometown SFF Lit convention, and this year I am one of the special guests.

So I will be there, talking about An Unintended VoyageThe Velocity of RevolutionWorldbuilding for Masochists and the future of Maradaine.  I'll also be teaching in the Writers Workshop.  It'll be good to do a real, live-and-in-person event.  I did poke my head in at the Writers League of Texas conference a few weeks ago, mostly just to test the waters of being at an event again, but ArmadilloCon will be the first real one I'll be attending since 2019.   I'm very excited.

And An Unintended Voyage is just a few weeks away!  You can still pre-order!  The initial buzz has been very strong, which makes me quite happy.  From Publishers Weekly: "Maresca returns to the universe of his Maradaine novels and masterfully expands the world beyond the reaches of the title city."  I'm really thrilled you all will get to join Corrie Welling on this adventure, with:

-working class heroine
-far from home, deep in debt
-found family
-an apocalyptic cult
-the world's biggest library

Add on Goodreads.
Preorder at AmazonBarnes & NobleIndieboundBookshop and more!

Also, I'll be making a bit more announcement about Maradaine Phase Two.  I've been keeping this under my hat for a little while, but the ArmadilloCon attendees will get the first sneak peak of it.

ALSO also, a reminder that I do have a Patreon, which I am terrible about using in interesting ways, BUT I have a germ of an idea of some interesting things to do over there, namely a fun way to share more worldbuilding stuff from Maradaine.

Beyond that, I hope you've been checking out Worldbuilding For Masochists.  We've had some great episodes this year, and some really fun guests lined up.  I will be at WorldCon in DC in December, and I hope I'll see some of you there.