Tag: Brood Parasites

Brood Parasites Chapter Sixteen


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!


Aaaaaand We’re Back!


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…..


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


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.


State of the Pate, Take Two


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.


How Not To Be A Dick


I’ve been told I’m too honest. Not in the way of telling friends they do look fat in that or at job interviews, just in general and specifically when it comes to looking after myself first. But the thing is, I don’t see that as a failing. I’m sure I have lost on out some opportunities along the way, but I’m a firm believer in karma and being at peace with oneself, ad judging by how happy I am in life I reckon I’ve been proven right.

But I have a point for bringing this up.

My wife’s cousin and her boyfriend are visiting at the moment from overseas. Great people, and it’s their first time in Australia, so we’re showing them all the bells and whistles. Anyway, when I was chatting to the boyfriend he told me he was made over $200,000 last year, and in Macedonia; not the greatest economy in the world. Of course I asked at what he told me he runs blogs with millions of followers and it’s all ad revenue, and if I wanted he would show me how to do the same and also how to maximise the reach of my own work.

Of course I said I’d love to, so he did, and…. Look, I’m not judging. The job situation in Macedonia is hard (40% unemployment for under 25s), so you do what you have to, and that kind of environment promotes a certain entrepreneurial spirit. But what it basically is is viral clickbaiting. Rewriting popular articles from major newspapers, and pushing them across all social media with fake accounts as recommendations.

Look, it obviously works, and no one’s being hurt, so as I said I’m not judging, but when he offered to do the same for this humble blog I had to decline. This blog is me talking about my work, I’d even go as far and risk sounding pompous as to say my art. It’s a reflection of me, and if I had to trick people into buying my work, well…. You get the idea.

And then yesterday, this happened:

The TL;DR version is author who pushed his own work (successfully) through fake fan accounts takes it upon himself to cyber bully and harass other authors who say that’s not on, then comes across the implacable giant who is JK Rowling. There’s a link to Jeremy Duns’ blog there and it’s well worth the time to find out how not to act as a writer. I wouldn’t be surprised if the prick in question finds himself without a publisher soon.

But that’s what I mentioned before; karma. The world caught up to him.

I’d like to think I’m part of the world, not better or apart from it (as the stain above did). I’m also so humbly British the idea of presuming my work is worth pushing onto people I don’t know brings me out in a cold, tea-flavoured sweat. But both the two stories above have actually taught me a lot, and one of those lessons was I’m not giving my work the chance it deserves, and there’s enough info there for me to begin taking my work, and the Patreon account in particular out into the world without being underhand about it.

So, 2016 shall be the year of readership. This begins with you (*wave*). So, thank you for reading.


It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year


He’s making a list, he’s checking it twice

He’s going to find out who’s naughty or nice

Santa Claus is not subject to the data protection act

Well, it’s that time of year again when the world turns just that little bit more crazy. Count that double for me – I’m still getting used to a southern hemisphere Christmas where “Oh the weather outside is frightful” means a whole different thing and the outside Christmas lights are solar powered.

But even though my day job knocks off next week I do not, nosiree. First off I’ve been contracted by Mantic Games to write some more background for their incoming Warpath wargame. I’ve already done some with their Deadzone: Infestation tabletop game, so this is familiar ground, but fairly in depth, but I’ll get through it.

Secondly, and more importantly, Brood Parasites is chugging along nicely on Patreon, and need more words for the engine. The first audio chapter is up on YouTube and backer can expect chapter two before the week is out and the fifth chapter to their audiobooks before Christmas (thank you, guys!), plus I have to chase up the finished artwork for the cover. This is hugely exciting, but fair time intensive. But you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way.

And then of course there’s the matter of Christmas with two little boys. But they’re good kids and very reasonably choose to sleep every night (with a loose interpretation of ‘choose’), so there’s always time at night… in between Doctor Who episodes.

Anyway, may your December be filled with happiness and good cheer and I’ll see you on the other side.


Juggling Writing and… Writing


Alternate title – State of the Pate #1

In case you missed it (and why did you miss it? I’ve talked of barely anything else for the past month) I launched Brood Parasites on Patreon early last month, a serialised steampunk novel, and I’ve been getting quite a few positive messages about it….. and I also keep trying to the type the title as ‘Brood Pasties’ which may or may not mean I’m constantly peckish.

Anyway, it’s going well so far.  Not a great many backers, but making enough to buy a yacht (even a small one) was never my aim with Brood rather to just get people reading my work.  I can only guess from the messages people are, but the the thing with hosting something such as a project on a different site means you lose any sense of traffic.  Which is a pain, but then again the trade off is I gain potential access to all the traffic on Patreon.com.

So, we’re plodding along happily, up to Chapter Three already and an audio version of each chapter on the way.  And by the Second Law of Sod a massive freelance piece of work falls in my lap.

Just before Christmas.

When my wife’s cousin will be coming from overseas and we’ll be hosting.

Yah, it’s like that.

I said in the project’s opening page paying work would have to come first, but you can’t half tempt fate by beginning something new and big.

However, in a very un-Michael like move I am prepared!  I wrote a very long way into Brood before I started just for such an eventuality.  I could very easily do nothing on Brood until this freelance project is over, and the Patreon would jug on its merry way.  I won’t do that, of course – any feedback or suggestions will be taken on board, but the thing is I’m prepared if need be.  Preparation and being aware of your possible workload is key, especially when you have readers and clients relying on your output.

So, it looks like I’m in for a hectic Christmas and new year, but it’s going to be hectic with decorating the house, little boys opening presents, and creating, for which I have you to be thankful to.