Author Archives: Superdullboy

The First Giveaway!

Starting Monday, November 1st (tomorrow), I’ll be launching a giveaway of Mariner’s Wake on BookSirens! For those who haven’t used the platform, BookSirens provides a way for authors to safely get copies of their work into readers’ hands for these kinds of giveaway events. It’s a platform for interested readers to get their hands on new and upcoming books, usually at no cost, and then share their thoughts via review.

This is my first time using BookSirens and I’m pretty optimistic. In the past, I’ve used Goodreads, but I think it’s time to try other platforms and see if they’re more effective at getting books into the hands of real human readers. From what I’ve seen and heard of BookSirens I think it would be worth your time to sign up (if you’re not already) and take advantage of this event.

Once the giveaway is live I’ll post the link here.

Soft Launch and a Paper Shortage

Mariner’s Wake went live on October 25th. You can get an ebook for your preferred device, a paperback, even a hardback if that’s your desire. Please keep in mind that some of the orders are taking longer to fulfill. There’s a paper shortage that, while it’s not completely dire yet, is causing some books to ship more slowly than they normally would.

In marketing terms, this launch would be considered a soft launch. Independent publishers don’t usually have the advertising dollars needed to make the huge pre-launch waves that the Big Five (or is it four now?) publishers can. Basically, we can’t get a bunch of advance reviews and celebrity blurbs to populate the review rating stats before launch day. That’s okay, it just means we have to approach book launches differently.

This is where you come in, Dear Reader.

If you’ve been directed here by an ad or review page for Mariner’s Wake, I’d like you to seriously consider taking a chance on the novel, even though it may not have many (or any) ratings on your preferred book review site. If you read through the description, took a gander at the Kirkus review, and you think this story might be for you, please don’t let the lack of community content stop you. It is my sincere hope that interested readers will decide to take that chance on an unknown book and author. And if they feel moved to do so, to share their thoughts with other readers.

Why “Adam” Instead of “A. Michael”?

A couple of people have asked me why Mariner’s Wake is written under Adam Marsh, while most of my writing up until now has been under the pen name of A. Michael Marsh.

There are a couple of reasons, the first of which is that when searching (as in using the Google machine) with “A. Michael” as a term, the results tend to omit the “A.” and just spit out a bunch of stuff related to the Michael Marshs of the world, of which there are many. As a small-time writer, it’s hard enough to get your work out there, I didn’t want this particular obstacle anymore.

Also, and this is probably the biggest motivator, I originally started writing under A. Michael for a bit of anonymity. I didn’t want my writing to somehow pop up and negatively affect my career. On the real, I write about weird stuff sometimes. In the grand scheme there is a lot of more “shocking” content out there, and I realize that, but it was a concern. I worked very hard to get the career I have and I didn’t want to jeopardize it.

However, as I’ve gotten older I’ve realized that it’s not a big deal and it never was. If an employer did manage to find the books I wrote on my own time, I seriously doubt they’d have an issue with me writing speculative fiction. On the only occasion it ever came up, my manager thought it was really cool. If in the future someone did have an issue with my writing, they can get stuffed and I’ll find another job.

Yes, writing is not my full-time job. It doesn’t pay enough to live off of at this point. In general, writing fiction doesn’t pay well. For every success story like Stephen King there are literally thousands of mid-list authors struggling to pay their bills. It sucks, but unless something drastically changes with the publishing industry, it’s just how it is. But I digress.

With all this in mind, I chose to write Mariner’s under Adam Marsh, which is the name I answer to day-to-day. I don’t have any plans on renaming the website or anything like that. Just know that you may see stories from me under either of those names in the future.

Mariner’s Wake Pre-Sale!

Mariner’s Wake is now available for pre-order, with a release in mid-October of this year. Check it out at the Brick Cave Media store!

A Kirkus Star for Mariner’s Wake

In the past I’ve written a few posts that involved Kirkus, the editorial review publication. They’re one of the few trusted editorial reviews that will review indie books, so I’ve felt it was worthwhile to send in my novels. Mariner’s Wake is no exception to that trend.

Yesterday, I received the review. The tagline from the review is both clever and very positive:

“An oceangoing SF/technothriller made especially seaworthy by its depth, not just its depth charges.”

– Kirkus Reviews

From what I can tell, it seems like the reviewer enjoyed the story. Seriously, that’s all I could ask for. When I viewed the review on the Kirkus site, I got another incredibly pleasant surprise. The reviewer gave Mariner’s Wake a star!

Kirkus allows their reviewers to assign stars to something like 10% of the books they feel have exceptional merit. Those books are then eligible for the Kirkus Prize, which is awarded every year. It’s a pretty big deal for Mariner’s Wake to be recognized like this before launch and I’m still in a bit of disbelief.

We’re a little ways from the book’s release. Maybe another couple of months. The cover artwork is done, the manuscript is ready, so typesetting and printing are the last steps. The Covid-19 pandemic has of course complicated things but the team at Brick Cave is prepping the novel’s launch. I’ll post more updates once I have them.

Mariner’s Wake Teaser

I wrote a quick teaser for Mariner’s Wake. It’s not a synopsis, exactly. Too long to be a pitch or a blurb, it’s just me telling you what to expect from this new story that I’m very excited about:

Mariner’s Wake takes place about eighty years in the future. Pacific coastal cities in the U.S. are ravaged every summer by hurricanes and have ceded territory to rising sea levels. However, some of the grim predictions regarding our oceans haven’t come to pass. The great plastic garbage patch has been cleansed. Some species of overfished sea life are coming back. And that’s all due to one people: The Mariners.

Refugees from a U.S. civil war some decades past, the Mariners have made the Pacific their home. Opinions about them are fiercely divided. Internationally, some applaud their conservation efforts. Most in the U.S. fall somewhere between mild dislike and outright spite. One shadowy bit of wisdom about the Mariners always seems to hold true: it’s bad luck to cross them.

This is the story of Kara Nkosi, a Navigator on the Mariner Vessel, Voyager. When an emissary from the U.S. government comes to Kara’s home island begging for help recovering a cache of unstable WMDs, she —and all her people— are naturally very suspicious. 

 Under threat of these weapons detonating in their ocean, the Mariners agree to help. However, an intelligence leak means that they aren’t the only people searching for these missing weapons. Kara and her ship will be pitted against corporate mercenaries and hardened criminals, all in the name of helping their enemy. An enemy who, it seems, may not be giving them the whole truth.

A Couple of Updates

You may have noticed I don’t post that often. I would apologize, but I’m not sorry. These days it feels a bit indulgent to post about writing when the nation (and world) has so many other, more important, things going on.

Over the past year, two short stories of mine, False Flag and Noble Memory, both received honorable mentions from the international Writers of the Future Contest. I might share them on the site, or I might try to get them published in order to reach a wider audience. Either way, it’s an honor to have been recognized in a contest with so many contestants.

My next novel, Mariner’s Wake, is now in the final revisions phase. It’s not a part of the Manal’s Resurgence series (The Changed, Survived) it’s a stand-alone in a different universe. I haven’t abandoned that series at all. For the readers who enjoyed those books, you will get a conclusion. I promise.

I had two reasons for writing in a new world this time around. First, I felt like it would be a good way to reach new readers. When I first wrote The Changed, there wasn’t quite as much post-apocalyptic sci-fi on the shelves. Even though I wouldn’t strictly categorize The Changed as such (due to spoilers that I won’t share here) there’s a certain amount of exhaustion when it comes to end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it fiction and people may not be as keen to give it a try for that reason. Hopefully, a reader who gives Mariner’s Wake a try and likes it may also pick up The Changed and start in on Oscar’s story.

Second, I had an opportunity this year to join forces with Brick Cave Media, a boutique publisher I’m very excited to work with. Bob, who runs the operation, offered me a home for a new story. It made more sense for this new story to not to be part of an existing series as it’s my first novel with this publisher. This past Saturday afternoon I spent some time on a podcast with Bob and poet Marcus Campbell. We talked books, influences, and Magic the Gathering. One of the reasons I’m excited about working with this team is how well our interests and influences match up. By working together I’m confident that Mariner’s Wake is going to be a story well worth reading.

I sincerely hope that anyone reading this post is doing well in these trying times. Especially if you live in the U.S. where there is so much fear and uncertainty. These are the times when we need to take care of each other more than ever. Some people will try (and have been trying for ages) to convince us that selfishness is king and that the individual is more important than the group. Of course you’re important. But so is your neighbor. Events like this global pandemic show us just how childish these viewpoints really are. Let’s do our part. Let’s be part of the solution. Let’s check our egos at the door and help each other where we can.

The Changed Audiobook Is Here

Well, it’s here, actually.

Audio Book Update

Many moons ago, I posted about the possibility of doing an audio book edition of The Changed. I’m pleased to say that it’s finally come together. With any luck it will be available on Audible.com (exclusively) within a couple of weeks.

Narrating the book is Steve Carlson, a man whose credentials are vast and technique is fantastic. Many worthy producers auditioned to narrate the story, but Steve took the cake. I know you’ll enjoy the style and character he brings to the story. I definitely did.

A little background on the project: At first I planned to DIY the whole thing. Ultimately, I decided against it. To create a truly good product, I quickly discovered that it was going to take more than just some equipment and time. Professional audio book producers like Steve don’t just bring high-quality microphones to the table, these folks are experienced voice actors, audio editors, and technicians all rolled into one. Doing the thing right takes experience, dedication, and talent. When I started hearing Steve’s chapters, I knew I had made the right choice. There was no way I would’ve been able to deliver that level of quality narration to my readers without him.

For other authors out there who are curious about the technical side of things, I used ACX as the platform to launch the book. Since I’m an Audible.com member myself, it felt like a good fit.

More good things coming soon. I’ll post an update before the audio book is set to launch.

Kirkus Fully Booked Podcast

Earlier this year I posted Kirkus’ review of Survived. It was a very positive review from a publication that is notorious for not pulling punches and holding a high bar. Naturally, I was stoked. Who wouldn’t be? As much as it sounds awesome to be one of those aloof, too-cool-for-school writers who chain smokes and drinks whiskey while clacking away at a typewriter and just doesn’t give a heck what you think — that’s not me. I write stories for other people to read, so I do care how my work is received. Obviously, I’ll never achieve universal popularity, but I love it when I see a positive review or get an email from a reader. Also, I don’t smoke, get hangovers too easily, and using a typewriter in this day and age is masochistic (I learned to type on a typewriter, it was awful).

Point is, I got the review from Kirkus, rode that high for a while, then moved on.

A couple months ago, Kirkus reached out to me to tell me that Survived had been singled out as one of their “Indie Books Worth Discovering,” a category of books reserved for indie titles that were in their top ten percent of favorites for the year. Awesome! Along with that I had the opportunity to plug my book in the Kirkus Fully Booked podcast. Sweet! So, last week I did a short interview which should be part of the January 8th edition of Fully Booked. If you’re one of the many podcast listeners, listen for an interview with a bestselling author, and then stay tuned for four minutes of me babbling incoherently.

For real. Listen, I’m not an extroverted person and I live in a general state of nervousness, like one of those dogs that pees when it’s really happy. Or sad. Or scared. Or when you bring food. When the editor called me on Skype for the interview, I was already humming along in a state of Maximum Anxiety. He was super nice, but I just couldn’t get it together. It went something like this:

Editor: Okay, A. Michael, we don’t have a ton of time, so try to keep your answers short so we can get to as many questions as possible.

Me: You got it. No problem.

Editor: Starts recording. Asks first question.

Me: Rambles like a methhead.

Good grief. I don’t even remember what the hell I said, or what questions he asked. All I know is that I made words with my mouth-hole. Hopefully, this interview doesn’t actually have a reverse effect and discourage people from checking out Survived.

Despite that, I’m still excited that Kirkus gave me this opportunity, and I’m hoping the actual interview won’t be as bad as I think it is. Fingers crossed.