A Big Idea, a new review, and some thoughts on promotion

Yes, it’s book-launch week, so there’s going to be a surfeit of stuff on the blog this week. Apologies in advance, but I really like writing books, and I’m hoping I get to keep doing so. Hence, book stuff.

Over on John Scalzi’s blog, I had the opportunity to discuss the Big Idea behind MJ-12: Shadows and, really, the whole MAJESTIC-12 series. In writing the post, I realized I hadn’t really talked about some of the core conceits behind the books, so this was kind of refreshing — and a great way to introduce readers to the series. Thank you, of course, to John for hosting and for all his work to promote the work of his fellow authors.

And there’s another review of MJ-12: Shadows that hit the Internet today, courtesy of Paul Weimer over at Skiffy & Fanty. I respect Paul’s work immensely; as I’ve said before, he has a breadth and depth of knowledge about the genre that’s pretty much unparalleled. So when he likes something I write, I’m immensely gratified. And here’s what he said:

Martinez mixes character motivations and actions, the historical event, and of course the high powered Variants action in a glorious meld…MJ-12 Shadows, like its predecessor, [is] a very personal set of stories, which is a strange thing to say for an cold war paranormal espionage thriller series, but that is what the author is achieving. I strongly look forward to the third novel in the series, and to seeing what and where in the Cold War he brings these characters, and brings this secret paranormal history.

So yeah, that’s pretty awesome. Thanks as always to Paul for the review. Read the whole thing here.

Finally, the illustrious and bearded Chuck Wendig wrote a post today that caught my eye, as I’m in the middle of promoting my new book. “Why I Hate Self-Promoting My Books: A Probably Not-Helpful List” is, in fact, helpful! Whether we like it or not, all authors have to do marketing. Top authors do book tours and media interviews and whatnot, and midlisters like myself do guest blogs and podcasts and Twitterings. Nobody really does it for us — certainly not publishers, who are stretched thin money-wise. And publicists, well…I know they try. They’re also working on dozens of titles at a time.

At the end of the day, even when the world has become an orange-hued cesspool of rage and stupidity, it’s important to talk about your work. On a personal level, it’s no sin to want success! Success means getting the chance to write more books and earn money and eat. All good things. And in the midst of the cesspool, people need books — for education, for escape, for succor and thought-provoking ideas, even just for the lulz. That’s important too.

So you talk about your stuff. I mean, don’t be a jerk about it, or try to wallpaper the Internet with it. Be a good citizen. And while you’re at it, talk about other people’s books and the stuff you love, like Game of Thrones or Star Wars or Doctor Who or books by great people like Chuck and John. I’ve benefited greatly from authors lending their voices and platforms to help promote my work. I mean, I’ve had guest posts with fantastic writers like Chuck, John, Mary Robinette Kowal and Fran Wilde. Amazing writers such as Beth Cato, Harry Turtledove, Michael R. Underwood, Django Wexler, Chris Roberson and Jason M. Hough have lent me their blurbs and support.

These are all amazing writers whom I hope you support with your readership, by the way.

And in turn, I hope to pay it forward. I’ll talk about great books and great writers on Twitter, and I offer a guest post series on this blog as well. I don’t have a massive platform, but if it’s bigger than yours and you’re a good egg, I’m happy to lend it out.

So we write the books, we do our best to promote them and not be obnoxious about it, and we help others when and where we can. And then we write some more.

There you have it. Please buy lots of books, whether mine or others. Thanks.


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