UK Paperback

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The UK paperback of Promise of Blood is out today! And there was much rejoicing! Huzzah! You can get it from Amazon, Waterstones, and your local bookstore. It looks like it's also available in Australia. If you're looking for a signed copy of the hardcover, looks like VJ Books still has them in stock. If you want something a little more interesting, there is one signed, lined, and dated copy left at Doodled Books.

UK Paperback

I know what you're thinking. And yes, this looks strangely familiar. I'll tell you a secret. It's the same cover art. I know. Mind=blown. But since the cover art for the hardcover was so stinkin' gorgeous, they're using it in the US, the UK, on paperbacks and hardcovers. All willy-nilly! But the whole point of the paperback is to provide a smaller, cheaper book for fans to read. So here is the size difference:

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And another comparison shot:

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For those of you in the US, the trade paperback won't be out until April 8th, but you can pre-order it on Amazon or B&N. In the meantime, don't forget to pre-order The Crimson Campaign, or grab one of the Powder Mage short stories.

As consolation for the delay of The Crimson Campaign, I've been working on a new Powder Mage novella that I hope to release by the beginning of February. This one takes place many decades before the events in Promise of Blood and features someone we have not met before: Erika, Field Marshal Tamas' wife.

2013 in Review

UK Paperback

It might be said that 2013 was a big year for me. It may have been the biggest year of my life. It certainly was on a professional level.

My first novel, Promise of Blood, was released in hardcover, ebook, and audiobook by Orbit Books, the science fiction and fantasy imprint of one of the Big Five publishers. So that's a major life goal accomplished right there. We've sold the rights to Promise of Blood in Hebrew, Bulgarian, and Russian, as well as the rights to the whole Powder Mage trilogy in Polish and French.

I also signed on for a second series with Orbit (bringing the total to six Powder Mage Universe books).

In terms of sales and recognition, Promise of Blood did far better than I could have ever hoped. I was stunned to see it be voted to #10 on Goodreads' "Best Debut Goodreads Author of 2013" and #15 on Goodreads' "Best Fantasy Books of 2013." It wound up on a list of the "Twelve Greatest Fantasy Books of the Year" on Buzzfeed (a list that got over 405K views). It won an /r/fantasy Stabby Award for "Best Debut Novel of 2013." Just the other day it showed up on Fantasy Faction's "Best Fantasy Books of 2013." It even wound up as a finalist for the RT Award for Best Epic Fantasy alongside industry giants Mark Lawrence and Robin Hobb.

In 2013, I also released Powder Mage short stories, "The Girl of Hrusch Avenue" and "Hope's End," both of which have been received favorably. I sold a third, "The Face in the Window," to Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and it will be released in February of 2014. I've even got two more short stories in the works.

I finished writing my second novel in the Powder Mage Trilogy, The Crimson Campaign. Even though it was harder to write than Promise, my agent and editor both thought it was even better. It will be out on May 6th, 2014.

I started work on the third book in the Powder Mage Trilogy, which I imagine will be out sometime in the spring of 2015. Most of the book is written already, so I should have it finished up and submitted sometime this winter/early spring.

I got my first piece of fan-art, done by a friend of mine from high school:

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Of course, with all the ups there are bound to be downs.

It's easy to scoff at the emotional roller-coaster that is being a published author. After all, I've accomplished my dream. What could possibly worry me? Poor reviews. Being late with manuscripts. "Meh" reviews. Release date changes. Good reviews with nasty caveats. Managing money. Of particular note, I was baffled by how many epic fantasy lovers dismissed my book out of hand because "guns don't belong in fantasy."

But the good outweighed the bad by far. I'm delighted to start on this journey of being a published, full time author, and I hope to continue on for many, many years. I hope you'll all come with me.

What I Read This Year

It's that time again: time for everyone and their cousin to write an end-of-the-year blog. And since I'm no different than anyone else... I didn't get to read nearly as much as I would have liked to this year. There are so many amazing books on my radar that I haven't yet gotten to, including The Lives of Tao, NOS4A2 (which is only $1.99 as I'm writing this), Blood Song, The Daylight War, The Golem and the Jinni, The Darwin Elevator and so many others.

So what did I get to read? I'll tell you.

Thousand Names

The Thousand Names by Django Wexler

I must confess that I was worried when I heard about this. After all, for a long time I thought I was the first person to think up the idea of setting an epic fantasy in an 1800's world with muskets and magic and everything else. I put off reading it because I was worried that there would be similarities to Promise of Blood that would get one or both of us accused of being unoriginal or something like that.

I really shouldn't have been concerned. Django's world was both fantastic and completely different than my own. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I think  that people who read and liked my book will also end up reading and loving Django's. It proved to me that Flintlock Fantasy isn't going to be a one-trick pony, but rather a bona fide subgenre that can be explored by multiple people in just as many ways as the medieval epic fantasy that we all know and love.

Emperor of Thorns

Emperor of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

I think I actually read all three books in this series this year (two last spring, and the final one when it came out this fall). Mark's books are brilliant, brutal, unforgiving, fun, and lyrical. His main character is a horrible, raping, murdering, compelling creature. I read Prince of Thorns and King of Thorns back to back on subsequent nights, staying up until the wee hours of the morning, and Emperor was no different. Incredible writing, and the fact that it ended up on or atop many "best of" lists for 2013 is not at all surprising.

Abaddon's Gate

Abaddon's Gate by James S. A. Corey

The third installment in the Expanse series. Loved returning to the world and seeing how the universe continues to play out after the events of Leviathan Wakes. I'm really looking forward to the rest of the books in this series.

Dragon's Path

The Dragon's Path by Daniel Abraham

Daniel Abraham is actually 1/2 of the duo that writes The Expanse series under the name of James S.A. Corey. The Dagger and Coin series is his currently on-going epic fantasy. I think that I enjoy The Expanse a little more, overall, but that shouldn't turn you away from this book. I really very much enjoyed it.

Bitter Seeds

Bitter Seeds by Ian Tregillis

Very cool concept (think "warlocks vs Nazi x-men during WWII"), and a well-written book. I enjoyed it quite a bit, but I must confess it was a bit too bleak for me. It didn't have the "fun" that I tend to look for in a genre book. That's entirely my own preference, though, and I think anyone who likes spy thrillers, serious science fiction, or anything that tends to be a little more gritty will like this one.

Emperor's Soul

The Emperor's Soul by Brandon Sanderson

This is quite a bit shorter than anything else on the list (it won the Hugo for best Novella, which means it's under 40K words). As most of you know, I love Brandon's stuff, and this one was no exception. It's definitely worth picking up.

Partials

Partials by Dan Wells

I don't read a lot of dystopian work (again, I tend to avoid bleak), but Dan's stuff definitely makes me want to read more. Partials came out in 2012 and I think the second book is out and the third is coming soon. Highly recommended. And while I'm here, I will say that everyone should read Dan's "John Cleaver" novels.

I don't do a lot of re-reading (due to time and personal preference), but I will make some exceptions now and again. This year, I reread The River Why by David James Duncan (one of my all-time top ten books) and Dune by Frank Herbert (one of my all-time top five books). Hopefully I will get to read more books next year, including all those that I listed at the top.

 

The Crimson Campaign Delayed

Hey everyone. There's some bad news in the Powder Mage universe today. As some of you may have noticed when Amazon changed the release date yesterday, The Crimson Campaign has been delayed. It has been pushed back from February 18th, 2014 to May 6th, 2014; a delay of about two and a half months. Let me assure you that I'm just as disappointed as you are. Release dates have quickly become the major milestones in my life (this being my full time job) and changing one of them has a pretty huge effect on me psychologically.

That being said, my publisher has decided that a May release would be so much better in order to put The Crimson Campaign into has many hands as possible. I completely trust their decision in this matter. They've done such an awesome job with my books so far, I don't think they're going to let me down now. You may be grumbling that it sounds like a marketing decision and wondering why this matters to you. It is, and it does: the better The Crimson Campaign (and subsequent books) does in the bookstores, the better I will do as an author, which will allow me to focus on writing and not, say, go find a full time job doing something else. This means that you'll continue getting a Powder Mage book every year for the next four years after this one, rather than me having to spread out the release dates because I don't have as much time to write.

This also effects the release of the Promise of Blood trade paperback. Orbit will push that release back to April 8th in the US. The UK release will stay the same (January 18th). Yes, the trade paperbacks are already printed. They are pushing this back so that the TP of Promise of Blood and the hardcover of The Crimson Campaign are in the bookstore at the same time (new releases generally only spend 3-4 months in the bookstore).

I know this all amounts to a big pile of having to wait for all of you guys. I'm sorry about that. To help ease the waiting a bit, I'm going to fast track a couple of story ideas I have and put out more Powder Mage short stories this winter. The first of these will introduce us to Erika, the wife of Field Marshal Tamas.

Sorry to let you down, and I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday season!

Black Friday

Hey guys! Black Friday is a perfect time to pick up a hardcover of Promise of Blood, pre-order the trade paperback of Promise of Blood, or pre-order the hardcover of The Crimson Campaign. AMAZON.COM: If you use the coupon "BOOKDEAL" on Amazon.com, you can get 30% off of a physical book.

BARNESANDNOBLE.COM: If you use the coupon "BFRIDAY30" on Barnesandnoble.com, you can get 30% off of a physical book.

New Blurb

My publisher has made a slight change to the cover of Promise of Blood:  

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That's right, I now have a blurb on my book from each of two different New York Times Bestselling fantasy authors: Brent Weeks (on the back) and Brandon Sanderson! How stinking cool is that? The full quote from Brandon is:

"This book is just plain awesome. I found myself enjoying every moment of it. Innovative magic, quick-paced plot, interesting world. I had a blast."

This is the kind of thing that makes me giddy as a schoolboy. For those of you that don't know, Brandon was a professor of mine at BYU. He was very encouraging long before I had any indication that anyone would buy my books, and he taught me a great deal about both the practice and business of writing. To get this quote on my first novel is huge on both a professional and personal level.

If you haven't read any of Brandon's books, you're obviously living under a rock. You can get started with Mistborn.