I Aintn’t Dead

Uncategorized

Wow, June since the last update….?  Well I can only apologise, and promise you that I have very good reasons.  The wife and I are building a house, I had a big project due for Mantic Games (incoming soon), and, probably most importantly, we became parents again.  Three boys….. future me is crying about the food bill.

But i have still been working, and have things afoot, not the least of which two anthologies which are being published soon with stories from yours truly included.  In fact I just heard that one – A Toy Christmas from Christmas Press Picture Books – might be getting a launch party in Melbourne in November.  More news as I hear it, and if it happens it would be great to see anyone there who can make it.

Also, Brood Parasites.  It’s taken a whole new turn.  I’ve taken on board advice from a NY Times best selling author and have completely restructured it.  That means the serialisation on this site is, well, now longer current.  But I’ll be keeping it there for prosperity, at least int he short term.

So yes, things progress, and in a very exciting way.  I’ll be back with publication news soon, and until then, you stay classy.

Michael

Brood Parasites Chapter Sixteen

Uncategorized

Rejoice and holler, Brood Parasites chapter sixteen has been published and is read and waiting for your eyes!  Wherein we find out Gatha is more then she lets on….

It’s also been added to the BP page on this humble blog, but I know Wattpad is better optimised for mobile devices.  Who says I don’t think about you guys?

Happy reading!

MIchael

Just Keep Swimming

Uncategorized

Alrighty, blog updated!  Looks a bit lacklustre compared to the last one, but hey, it works, which is always a bonus on something you want to, well, work.   You may also noticed I posted Brood Parasites onto its own page.  I’ll be updating it alongside the Wattpad project, but given how optimised Wattpad is or mobile devices I’ll be keeping that updated as we go along.

Anyhoo I did have a reason to post today, and that’s to say I’ll be posting a series of vlogs onto my YouTube channel.  This isn’t going to replace the blog, but there’s a certain ability to hide behind the keyboard here, whereas when I sit in front of a camera I feel a little bit more laid bare* (*nudity will not feature – thank god for everyone involved), and I’m hoping it will force me to be more honest with myself about my creative output if I feel I’m sharing it with everyone.

I’ll also be taking the opportunity to talk about, well, whatever I feel like talking about – the difficulty into writing around a full time job and  family, whatever happened in publishing that week, various facets around writing and storytelling – that kind of thing.

The first log will be uploaded in the next day or two, and please, let me know what you think!

Michael

Aaaaaand We’re Back!

Uncategorized

Hello from Michael’s website take 3!  I know, it looks fairly, well, yeah…. that’s what it looks like.  but the last one, while looking pretty damn nifty, wasn’t very usable.  So!  We’re back to this blank blog form.  Which is fine for the moment, but I’ll be prettifying it in time.

In the meantime,  Brood Parasites continues apace, and Deadzone: Infestation from Mantic Games (background and story by yours truly), has begun to reach backers.  The feedback and buzz has been fantastic, and has left me feeling very warm on the outside when I wake up to comments like this:

If you haven’t read it (to change game systems a bit) the fiction in the Deadzone Infestation book is about my speed. It sets up the situation, explains what each faction is doing there and sets the stakes, but leaves the end of the story to the players. Some of the best game fluff I’ve read for a while, both in terms of quality and for doing its job as game fiction.

Always nice to know what you were aiming for hit the mark.

OK so, onwards and upwards.  Brood will continue to be serialised, and I have some more stories being published later this year.  But first, let’s get this wesbite sexy…..

Michael

Lost in the Flood or hide Behind an Imaginary Paywall? – Or, ‘Why Patreon May Not Be For You”

Uncategorized

So Brood Parasites is off Patreon.  I gave it the good old college try, but in the end getting traffic there was just too hard.  There’s the usual issue of just trying to get people interested in your work, bu in Patreon’s case I believe another issue was the prevalence of dollar signs everywhere.  Well, that’s Patreon’s raison d’être; monetise art.  But in my case I wasn’t trying to do that, just get people to read Brood.  I was offering it for free, but there will always be a kind of invisible barrier to most people who feel they should be paying for something, even if its being freely offered, and will avoid it.

Or maybe not.

That was another reason I feel I wasn’t making any progress on Patreon was the complete lack of any traffic oversight.  I could have had thousands of people reading me (note – there’s no way in hell this was happening), and I could never know.  The only way to track that was through paying backers, and, well, that wasn’t my intention.  I felt a little icky asking for money for something which wasn’t complete yet.

So, I’ve moved the project to Wattpad.  Here there’s no question the art isn’t free, and tracking traffic is much easier.  However, not I’m very much underneath the flood.  There’s a lot of writing there.  A.  Lot.  And the search function, while better than Patreon’s is still very much slewed to already popular works.

Still, I feel I’m further ahead of the game.  I’ve started at the beginning again, but we’re already up to Chapter Fivem so come on down and re-read the beginning of the adventure.

Michael

State of the Pate, Take Two

Uncategorized

Hola, bienvenue, willkommen, and indeed whatup.

March already? I swear time speeds up as you get older. Not even a free day seems to make a difference, Except, of course, to the Brood Parasites Patreon. Finally free of other freelance work we managed to put out four chapter in February, and I don’t see why we can’t do five in March. Things are steaming along nicely, and we’ve even started to get the word out. I’ve been busy contacting book blogs from across the world and last week Annie at Snuggle Books (love the name), put out the first piece about Brood Parasites, which can be found right here.

And yesterday Damien G Walter, one of the Guardian’s sci fi writers, gave us a nice little boost over Twitter:

Will this feed through to more backers? Well… I don’t know. I’ll admit my business model doesn’t exactly encourage it, with the only bonuses being e-book files and an audio version. Ii’m wondering what I could do to entice more backers…. Backer only short stories set around the novel? Character back stories? I’ll have to think.

Long story short (too late?) – everything’s ticking along nicely.

Until next time, ta ta.

Michael

Love the Art, Hate the Artist?

Uncategorized

Picture the scene; it’s 1998, your esteemed narrator still has the fresh glow of youth, long hair and the body of a Greek god (one of the above is untrue), and at the time is at a music venue in Wolverhampton with a friend who ran their marketing dept. There’s a band playing on stage, loud, not too heavy, touching lightly on melodic. They were quite good. Afterwards I was at the bar when the singer came up to it. I tried to speak to him. It was approaching 20 years ago and I still have yet to meet another person with the ego and sense of self entitlement which exceeded this knob-end of biblical proportions. All I wanted to do was say I liked his work and have a quick chat about influences, he didn’t even bother to say anything after it became apparent I wasn’t there to sign him and just walked off. “What are they called again?” i asked my friend later. “Coldplay, I think,” she said. I sniffed. “Shit name.”

And I stand by that, but that’s not my point. Since then they’ve achieved some modest success, and douche-singer married some lady with a fruit fixation, and if I’m quite honest I like the sound of some of their songs. Some of them I like quite a lot. Would I ever purposeful listen to them? Hell no, because they’re a bunch of egotistical dicks (backed up by said friend – so’s Craig David in case you were wondering (the venue staff were specifically instructed ‘not to look Craig in the eye’)), and there’s plenty of great music out there that I don’t think I need to make the effort and separate the art of the artist.

Coldplay, yesterday... I swear this wasn't me

Coldplay, yesterday… I swear this wasn’t me

This is something which has been popping up again and again recently. If you’re part of the sci fi and fantasy publishing community you would have almost certainly seen it brought up in the 2015 Hugo awards and the whole sad puppy debacle, or more recently with replacing the bust of HP Lovecraft as the statue for the World Fantasy Award. “Love the art, not the artist.” Well, I can’t, and to my ears it sounds like a last ditch attempt at defending a) the artists’ repugnance, and b) the tacit sign the defender harbours some agreement with what makes them repugnant.

I’m thinking more about this now as I move along with my own work. Part of what is selling my work is me (*waves*). In an age where the artist is more than ever responsible for advertising their work, the artist themselves becomes a part of that marketing. Who am I? What do I think? Who do I say would win in a fight between Batman and Superman (answer – whoever sold the tickets). If I strike a chord with the reader they’re more likely to buy into what I’m selling,

But does that mean I need to make myself as a person more likable? Mmh, good question.

I’m sure each person asked would have their own answer, and mine is no, no I do not. For a start I reckon I’m a pretty likable person as is (I even help my elderly neighbour take his rubbish bins out, and I worry that when we move the next people to live here might not), but also having opinions is what makes a person a person, it defines our character. Will I offend some people? Honestly as a writer if I don’t offend someone I think I’m doing something wrong, but most people are emotionally mature enough to know that not sharing an opinion does not mean you write someone off totally. Having opinions gives you something to talk about. Don’t believe me? At the next office party try having a conversation with someone without any.

So, yes, have opinions, pick a side, get off the fence. Do not be afraid. If you take anything from this little rant let it please be that – Do. Not. Be. Afraid.

Michael