Greetings and Salutations!

Welcome to the longest-running* yet least-read** blog on the internet! Here you'll find me writing about all the things that I write about, which strikes me, just now, as somewhat recursive. In any case, enjoy :)

* not true ** probably true

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Fair warning?

So the first half of An Unclean Strength is kinda slow, for those familiar with my writing style. I'm feeling unreasonably antsy about that, but it needs to set up a lot of stuff for the slaughter-fest that is the second half of the book, and the bonkers annihilation-level stuff in book three. I'm hoping people don't mind.

Oh, and uh, spoiler alert, I guess?

Friday, March 23, 2018

An Unclean Strength

Wow, three months already? I am... not good at posting. Or keeping track of time.

Anyway, I'm here to let you know that the sequel to Prayers in Steel is currently available for pre-order, and will release on May 9th. Prayers has seen quite good sales, and some lovely reviews, and I'm working hard to not disappoint when it comes to An Unclean Strength. It's available at all the usual suspects, should you care to place a pre-order.

In other news, the Amra Thetys series has gained a fair few new readers as well, so I have been informed that it would be a good idea for me to let folks know when book 5 might be coming out. I am committed to finishing it this year, but I can't be more specific than that. Oh, if you'd like to read the description, it's up at Goodreads now, though.

Okay, back to work for me. Good talk.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The Skin Walker War

Hello all you beautiful people.

2017 has been a long, hard road, both personally and in general, but it has also been a year marked by firsts. For me, it was the first time I've ever earned a degree, so I can't say 2017 was all bad.

I also want to try something new, writing-wise, and I thought maybe you'd like to join in on that.

I'll be launching a new series soon, as you might already know. But before I put the first book up for sale, I thought I'd allow people to take a look at an uncorrected, advance copy for free:

Now in order to make this manageable for me, I'm going to put in a few guidelines:

  • You'll get a pdf copy (also offering kindle and epub files would get pretty hairy for me)
  • I can't offer any tech support: the only thing I have going for me, where technology is concerned, is the fact that I have opposable thumbs
  • Only Prayers in Steel, the first book, is ready at the moment. The rest will follow. I'll let you know when, don't worry. If things go well, I might do the same deal for the other two books. 
  • You're under no obligation to leave reviews, though of course you're welcome to
  • You're under no obligation to tell all your friends and family about this awesome new book, but I can't stop you if you choose to
  • Let's not upload these to any pirate sites, hmmm-kay?
  • If you would like an advance copy, you'll need to email me at with the subject line GIMME. I'll reply with a pdf attachment of the book
  • If you're not subscribed to my newsletter and would like to be, be sure to mention that. 
  • If you're not subscribed to my newsletter and don't want to be, there's no need to say anything -- I wouldn't add you without your permission
  • I'm gonna put a deadline of Christmas Eve on this, because I hope to have the book available for sale before the new year
...and that's it! 

I hope you and yours have a wonderful holiday season, and meet the new year refreshed and full of hope.


Saturday, December 02, 2017

Welcome, December

I am sitting at a coffee shop in Da Nang, Vietnam. It's a gray sky, blustery, with a thin drizzle coming down -- just enough to make the roads slick and put that squinty-eyed frown of distaste on everybody's face. You know the one I mean.

I'm going through revisions for Prayers in Steel (this blog post is my reward for finishing up a chapter that's taken me two and a half days). I'm drinking iced coffee and smoking a cigarette. I tried to quit yesterday, and made everybody hate me, so I'm gonna have to rethink my approach on that one. Cold turkey is hard when you have to be human around humans. I have to quit, one way or another. Just.. not today.

But about those revisions, about that book:

Prayers in Steel was originally conceived as a series of novellas. It was my attempt at serialized fiction. I did publish it, or rather two episodes of it, in an earlier and far different form (Blood Tempered and Weaving Steel, for the curious). The sales were dismal, and the story (as much as I liked and still like it) had problems -- the biggest problems being I've never told a big, multiple point of view story before, and that I was trying to tell an epic story in a sword and sorcery fashion.

You see, sword and sorcery as a sub-genre does not linger; it rushes through the plot all fire and fury and blood. (If you've read my Amra Thetys, series, that's sword and sorcery, tempered with a healthy dose of noir detective sensibilities.) I've been writing this sort of story for years, and so whenever I stop to smell the roses in a story, I feel like I'm cheating.

Epic fantasy is different. Multiple points of view are different.

I am in the process of revising in order to let the reader stop and smell the roses, so to speak. It's really hard, people. When you get into a writing groove, when you develop a style, it takes real effort to do something different and new. I hope, once it's finished, you find the effort worth it, because I really like these characters, and their world. As messed up as they are, and it is.

This will be a trilogy - Prayers in Steel, An Unclean Strength, and Armor of Faith. I'll keep you updated.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

A new addition to the Amra Thetys series, among other news

No, it isn't Amra #5 - that'll be out next year. But it is set in Amra's world, and features a character many have said they enjoyed. You might remember Lhiewyn, the grumpy old priest from Trouble's Braids (who also penned the Amra's World appendix). In The Last God, we get three interconnected stories told from his point of view.

It isn't necessary to have read any of the Amra books in order to enjoy The Last God, but if you have read them, this novella-length book may well deepen your enjoyment of the series. It was a lot of fun to write, and I hope you enjoy it if you decide to give it a read. I'll put links to the various outlets at the bottom, if you'd like to purchase.

In other news, the pace of my writing has slowed considerably over the past couple of years, but for a very good reason. I've been working on my bachelor's degree. It's been a long time coming, but better late than never, amiright? I'm happy to announce that I've completed my studies, and will be graduating this December with a Bachelor of Arts. Now I have to decide whether to pursue a master's degree...

Speaking of which, I have decided to focus on just two  things, writing-wise, in 2018: Amra book 5, and the first book in a new series, Prayers in Steel. Once those two are finished, I can think about what comes next. Oh, and the title of the fifth Amra book is The Thief Who Went To War.

I have a little extra Amra news to share: There will be audio books! I've signed with Podium Publishing (the folks who did the audio book for The Martian) and hopefully you'll be able to stick Amra and Holgren in your ears come December. As things get firmed up, I will definitely update.

In other other news, fellow author Steven Kelliher is about to release the third book in his Landkist saga, and to celebrate, he's putting the first two books on sale for 99 cents each, starting November 3rd. I don't know how long he'll be doing this, but if you like old school epic fantasy, you should give 'em a try! Those covers are practically lickable. Here's the link, but check the price before you 1-click, okay?

Well, I think that's me all caught up. How about you? What have you been up to?

Get yer copy of The Last God here (or here or here or):

Amazon US     Amazon UK     Amazon CA     Amazon AU     Amazon DE     Amazon FR

Barnes & Noble     Kobo     iBooks     Scribd     Playster     24 Symbols

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Dear Amazon Customer Service representative,

Good day to you. I read with real surprise that readers had noted 'errors' in my text, and was even more surprised when these supposed errors were listed in your email. They are not errors, typographical or otherwise.

Cloudroot vs Cloud root

In the first instance, I wrote 'cloudroot' and your email suggests I should change this to 'cloud root'. Since my novel is fantasy and these vegetables only exists therein, I believe that I (as the author and creator of this imaginary tuber) have the right to decide how they are to be spelled.  But if further evidence of the correctness of cloudroot is required, I have followed the same general guideline that dictates the spelling of 'beetroot' (a real thing that people eat) rather than 'beet root'. The difference is small, but I stand by my right as an inventor of imaginary vegetables to decide whether they will be spelled as compound nouns or not.

Tssked vs Tasked

In this second supposed typo, the character did indeed 'tssk', which is an audible sound of disapproval.made by quickly disengaging the tongue from the roof of the mouth. Perhaps you might recognize it from childhood, when your mother would look at you unhappily after you'd done some small, annoying thing. I certainly do. I can still hear her making that sound through pursed lips, decades later. Regardless, the character did not 'task' anyone to do anything in the sentence in question, which is something completely different as I am sure you will agree. Here, the suggested correction would make the sentence in question literally make no sense.

I am not sure who might have reported these supposed 'errors', nor do I have any interest in finding out. But you might, perhaps, cast a jaundiced eye on any of their future 'helpful' suggestions.


Michael McClung, cloudroot farmer and reformed tssker.