3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

The Vengeance Trilogy Cover Reveal!

So, while WE RIDE THE STORM is getting all the attention in the lead up to its release in June, it’s time to make everyone aware that in addition to the four books of THE REBORN EMPIRE series, Orbit also bought the rights to my earlier books, THE VENGEANCE TRILOGY. These books are set in the same world about seventeen years earlier, with some characters appearing in both. If you read WE RIDE THE STORM and think you’d like to know more about Emperor Kin, Empress Hana and Katashi Otako then I HAVE THE BOOKS FOR YOU!

I originally self-published the first book, THE BLOOD OF WHISPERERS, in 2013, finishing the series in 2016, so it was both a great challenge and a great joy to be able to go back and edit, re-write and polish them with a number of extra years experience under my belt. I’m very proud of the outcome and look forward to lovers of Storm getting to read the updated editions of the storm that came before the Storm. (Or you can read them the other way around, they can be done both ways.)

Look at me yabbering away when you came for a cover reveal! Well here we go, the description of the first book, THE BLOOD OF WHISPERERS, and all three covers of the trilogy that will release together on August 4th!

They call him the Usurper.


Once the Kisian empire was ruled by gods. Now Kin Ts’ai, a man of common blood, sits on the Crimson Throne. At his command, the last Otako emperor was executed and a new era began. But claiming an empire is easier than holding it.

In the north where loyalty to the Otako name runs deep, a rebellion grows. And Emperor Kin will learn that killing one Otako, doesn’t mean you’ve killed them all.

Vengeance is coming.

Phew! There we go! Three books all at once. Four books this year! It has been a wild time, that’s for sure (especially having to edit them all at the same time…) But look at these beauties! Super huge thanks to Gregory Titus for the art and Lisa Marie Pompilio for the stand out design as always.

As we get closer to the release date, I’ll be talking about these books a lot more, but for now that’s it. Go forth! Note the date, pre-order (HERE), ogle the covers, squee with me about how exciting this is! 

EXCIIIIIIITE!!!

BOOK DEEEAAALL!

I have been slack updating this space with my news, but now I’m through the worst of the EDITING LANDSLIDE, I hope to be more on top of it.

SO, better late than never. A bit over a year ago, I was preparing for the release of the second book in my Reborn Empire series when my career took a sudden turn. A WHOLE DAMN YEAR followed in which I had to be totally silent and keep all my excitement to myself as I worked busily away at my projects, not telling anyone. Did I mention I couldn’t tell anyone? I couldn’t tell anyone and it was really hard. What I wanted to shout about, was that in January 2019, the lovely Nivia Evans at Orbit US emailed me out of the blue expressing interest in my book, We Ride the Storm. At first I didn’t believe it was real. Then I had a mini panic attack. Then I wrote back. The rest is history (at times stressful, amusing, exciting and also dull history). 

Orbit ended up acquiring SEVEN of my books. The four books of THE REBORN EMPIRE series, and three from the prequel trilogy that starts with THE BLOOD OF WHISPERERS.

So what has changed? The cover, most obviously. That was a given from the beginning of the process and I have to say that as much as I loved my original cover (on the left), the new one(on the right) is just as glorious and wonderful and lives up to its predecessor in every way. The internal character symbols have also changed, as has the map. As for the story, well it now has three new chapters as well as extra scenes and characters. There is deeper world-building especially for the Levanti society, and plenty of tidying up has been done. I love it even more than I did before and cannot wait to share it with you all.

WE RIDE THE STORM is out now in ebook, or can be preordered for the June 23rd release date!

The second book in THE REBORN EMPIRE series, (the one I was just about to release when all of this started and I had to pull it) is called WE LIE WITH DEATH and it is slated for release in January 2021, with books 3 and 4 following in the same year. EXCIIIIIITE!

WorldCon 2019!

From the 15th to the 19th of August this year I am going to be in Dublin for WorldCon and I AM SO EXCITED THAT THERE WILL BE LOTS OF EXCLAMATION MARKS IN THIS POST! (Sorry not sorry)

This will be the first WorldCon I have properly attended, though I managed a few hours at the last Australian one in 2010 when my oldest girl was teensy weensy. This will also be my first time travelling long distance on my own (IT’S 24 WHOLE DAMN HOURS FROM HERE!) as I’ve always had kids with me, so I am looking forward to that, too!

SO! Without further ado, places you can find me at WorldCon!

 

Introduction to grimdark

Format: Panel

16 Aug 2019, Friday 18:00 – 18:50, Wicklow Hall-1 (CCD)

Grimdark is a fantasy subgenre defined, amongst other things, by its cynical outlook and flawed protagonists. The term was originally pejorative, stemming from the Warhammer 40,000 description: ‘In the grim darkness of the far future there is only war’ – but many authors have turned the insult around and claimed it as their own. The panel will offer a brief introduction to the history and tropes of grimdark fantasy as well as reading recommendations.

Devin Madson (M), Elliot Craggs, Kim ten Tusscher, Cameron Johnston, Jenn Lyons

 

Send in the crones: older women in SFF

Format: Panel

17 Aug 2019, Saturday 21:00 – 21:50, Wicklow Hall-1 (CCD)

Very often SFF stories centre on young women, with older female characters being consigned to background dressing at best and cliched depictions of elders and antagonists at worst. Is anyone writing stories that focus on older women? Where are the middle-aged heroines?

Lauren Roy, Ali Baker (University of East London), Sam Hawke (M), Devin Madson, Julie C. Day

 

Kaffeeklatsch: Devin Madson

Format: Kaffeeklatsch

18 Aug 2019, Sunday 10:00 – 10:50, Level 3 Foyer (KK/LB) (CCD)

Devin Madson

 

Portrayals of mental health in genre

Format: Panel

18 Aug 2019, Sunday 12:00 – 12:50, Wicklow Hall 2A (Dances) (CCD)

Content warning: may include discussions of suicide and self-harm, mental illness and ableism, eating disorders.

Mental health used well can drive a story, create believable motives for characters and even greater awareness amongst the audience. However, these issues are not always treated sensitively or realistically. This panel will explore examples of mental health issues in genre fiction and consider their implications and accuracy.

Alasdair Stuart (Escape Artists) (M), Penny Jones, Dr Glyn Morgan (The Science Museum, London), Devin Madson

Other than at those events, I will be generally hanging around, chatting and checking out panels, so if you see be about, stop and say hi! I’ll be wearing a lot of black, and boofy floor-length geek skirts!

I am particularly excited for my kaffeeklatsch, so if you want to hear about my almost tragic and very irregular road to traditional publishing, talk self-publishing, head chopping, poisonous Australian things, or pretty much anything else, I’d love for you to join me for that! 

Meet you back here again in three weeks for a rundown on how it all went!

 

SPFBO 2018 Open Letter

An open letter to fantasy fans everywhere

We are the finalists of the 2018 Self Published Fantasy Blog Off, also known as SPFBO 2018. The contest has brought us together from across the globe and the far-flung corners of our favorite genre to celebrate speculative fiction and the possibilities of self-publishing.

We believe that independent publishing is a force for good in our industry. The direct connection between authors and their fans yields greater choice for readers, drives new business models for writers, and helps create new audiences for books. That’s especially true in fantasy, where new subgenres and tropes are rising up thanks to self-published authors and their fans. Independent authors are working alongside traditional publishers and authors to create a bigger, better, and more inclusive fantasy community.

If you’re looking for evidence of the quality and creativity available from independent authors, look no further than our fellow contestants in SPFBO 2018. Many of the judges this year have remarked on the great quality of books they’ve encountered, and the challenge of whittling down their entries to one finalist. Whether you want something epic or intimate, funny or frightening, grim or uplifting, there’s a fantasy book for you among this year’s SPFBO. We encourage you to find it.

To that end, we will take this time to draw attention to some fantastic books cut from this year’s competition. Over the next week, many of us will highlight some of the deserving fantasy novels of SPFBO 2018. It’s a chance to salute other indie authors who could have easily been signing this letter had the die been cast differently. Please consider giving them a shot, or any other entry that caught your eye. When the genre grows, we all win.

In closing, we’d like to thank the indomitable Mark Lawrence for founding this amazing competition and for his continued efforts to highlight independent fantasy authors. We’d also like to thank the contest organizers and judges for their hard work, thoughtful reviews, and consummate professionalism. And finally, we’d like to thank fantasy readers everywhere, without whom we could not pursue our shared passion. This wonderful community makes it all possible, and for that we are forever grateful.

Signed,
Megan Crewe (www.megancrewe.com)
Angie Grigaliunas (https://www.angiesquill.com/)
Barbara Kloss (www.barbarakloss.com )
Patrick LeClerc (www.inkandbourbon.com)
Devin Madson (www.devinmadson.com)
Steven McKinnon ( www.stevenmckinnon.net )
J. Zachary Pike ( www.jzacharypike.com )
Craig Schaefer (http://craig-schaefer-v2.squarespace.com/)
Mike Shel (https://www.mikeshel.com/ )
Keith Ward (keithwardfiction.com)

When impatience gets ugly

Is it all right to be angry that the release date for the new Song of Ice and Fire book has been pushed back? Again.

I get it, I do. People have been reading and following and adoring this series for longer than some young adults have even been ALIVE. Then the TV series came along and it got even more popular and the knowledge that the TV show will end before the book series is like a slap in the face to some long time fans. But does that make it ok to rant and storm about the man being lazy or wasting too much time blogging?

Blogging? Seriously? Even a non-reader can surely appreciate that blogging and writing deep, complex fiction from multiple points of view are two very different things. A lot of authors use their blog like angsty teenagers use their diaries, it’s a relatively safe space in which they can talk about what interests them and just generally let off steam like a REAL PERSON. If you’re not an author you might not appreciate that we spend an awful lot of time ALONE, struggling with the angst of self-doubt (doesn’t matter how popular you are, it doesn’t go away) ALONE, grinding away at our stories like they are sculptures in marble. ALONE. Did I mention we do it alone? Anyone who has met me will attest that I talk A LOT once you get me going and that’s because I don’t get to do it very much. Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, chat apps – these are our social outlet. You may as well complain about the words he wastes on his damn shopping list. I bet he writes plenty of emails, perhaps even personal letters, birthday cards, he probably fills in forms too because life isn’t getting lighter on red tape.

Another thing is that you need to stop thinking about writing as a jigsaw puzzle. A series, especially one this long, doesn’t get easier to write as things move toward the eventual climax. It gets harder. MUCH harder. When you’re writing a first book everything is possible, no characters or events are locked into place yet, you don’t even have to have a complete idea of where the story is going or what each of the character’s fate will be. Then the second book is a bit harder because now some things are locked into place, you’ve introduced characters and now have to ensure they remain interesting and make steps toward achieving, or not achieving, their goals, and you have to consider the ramifications of any new direction on the books coming later. In a lot of ways the second last book is the hardest of all because you have to build to a point just below the full climax, holding it all together and be sure, VERY SURE, that everything is laid and in place for the ending to come after else we’re shifting into pulling-it-out-of-your-arse territory.

And as Neil Gaiman said very eloquently over here many years ago, (and John Anealio put brilliantly to music), George RR Martin is not your bitch. Buying the first book of a series is NOT a contract. In paying your money (or paying nothing and borrowing it from the library) you are getting nothing more and nothing less than the joy of reading THAT BOOK. It is natural to expect there will be more books in a series, that it will one day be complete and you will get your closure, but that first book is no guarantee, no contract, just a book.

No matter how much you want to see A Song of Ice and Fire finished, you do not want it finished more than George RR Martin wants it finished. He is not wasting time. He is not being lazy. He is diligently working away at what is surely an excruciatingly difficult project.

 

 

To Read List #1

I’m one of those people who always has a pile of books to read. It used to sit on my bedside table, but it was hard to sleep with them all there glaring at me for not reading all night. So I’ve moved it to a shelf in the sunroom. But it’s still there… glaring at me when I go past…

So I’ve decided to acknowledge their presence in the hope they might stop glaring at me.

Here they are: Books I’m planning to read in the next few months and if I don’t they’ll be cranky with me and smother might me in my sleep.

 

Currently reading

Eyre Affair This has to be the oddest book I’ve read for ages. It ended up on my reading pile because Chris and I decided to choose a book for each other to read this year, and this is the one he added to my pile.

Alternative history… mystery adventure… rambling plot full of clever literary references… really not sure what to make of it yet, but I’ll get back to you when I finish.

 

Next Book on THE PILE OF DOOM

 

Amber Isle

 

The Amber Isle is a recent fantasy novella by Ashley Capes. I read and thoroughly enjoyed The Fairy Wren last year, and The City of Masks before that, so now I’m working through the rest of his catalogue. Beautiful writing and he releases so much material I am JEALOUS. Definitely worth reading his stuff, though obviously I can’t vouch for this one yet I’m sure it will stand up to the usual standard.

 

 

The Third Book on my pile… I mean shelf… 

DOSAB

 

Daughter of Smoke and Bone is something I’m reading because people keep telling me it’s awesome. Usually this is a reason why I don’t read things (no kidding, I’m weird, didn’t read Harry Potter until I was 18 because everyone kept telling me I had to because it was awesome – but that’s a whole other story). So maybe that’s why it’s been out for years and I’m only just getting around to it now. Anyhow, leant to me by my oldest and bestest of friends, so I had better hurry up and get it back to her…

 

Fourth but not least…

Under Heaven

 

I’m really looking forward to this one. Not that I’m not looking forward to all the others, but Guy Gavriel Kay holds a special place in my heart and upon our shelves. A favourite author of both Chris and I. I started River of Stars and was loving it until I realised I’d skipped ahead, and while you don’t have to read them in order, Under Heaven actually came first. Damn. Anyhow, so here I am, catching up properly – in the right order – like a good girl.

 

 

 

There are plenty more books on my shelf waiting to be read, but I don’t want to get too ahead of myself. I have kids. I write. I cook. I taxi to karate and ballet and hip hop…. I can’t wait until my kids can drive. Or at least don’t want me to watch every moment of their itsy bitsy ballet class.