Category Archives: Publishing

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.

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MJ-12: Shadows launches today with some sweet reviews

It’s here! MJ-12: Shadows, the second in the MAJESTIC-12 Cold War spy-fi thriller series, is now out in the wild and ready for you to make with the grabby hands. (Please pay first.)

And it just so happened that two new reviews hit the Internet today, both of which were extremely gratifying to read. The first was in Amazing Stories, courtesy of the Alternate Historian himself, Matt Mitrovich. A bit from that one:

Shadows was ultimately a satisfying sequel to Inception. Michael continues to be an excellent world-builder and can create believable characters…If you like superhuman operatives fighting the weird fight in the shadow of nuclear war, then go check out the Majestic-12 series.

You can see Matt’s entire review here. Fair warning, there’s a bit of a spoiler therein — nothing massive, but go in with eyes open. As always, thank you to Matt for a great and nuanced review.

And then there’s Michael Cook of Thoroughly Modern Reviewer, whose thoroughly modern review gave me some serious old-fashioned feels. To wit:

MJ-12: Shadows is an excellent book in every way you look at it. It’s gripping, entertaining, and suspenseful. Martinez expertly juggles the demands of the mysteries, the action scenes, and the character moments of the novel…Michael J. Martinez is definitely an author that everybody should be watching.

You can see Michael’s full review here. No spoilers in this one, but man…it was really amazing and humbling to read. Thanks, Michael!

And there were more lists, too! Lots of excellent authors have books out today, and I’m proud to have MJ-12: Shadows out there among them. So if you don’t mind abusing your credit cards or foregoing your groceries this week, check out Barnes & Noble, the Geekiverse and Locus for all kinds of great science-fiction and fantasy books you can buy.

Once again, thank you to everyone involved in getting this book out there, and to all the fantastic readers who keep buying the stuff I write. Y’all are awesome.

MJ-12: Shadows — Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Books-A-Million | Mysterious Galaxy

MJ-12: Inception (in case you need to play catch-up with the first one) — Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBoundBooks-A-Million Mysterious Galaxy


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MJ-12: Shadows acknowledgements

Back in 2013, which feels like the Triassic Period these days, I posted the acknowledgements published in The Daedalus Incident here on the blog about a week after the book came out. Since then, I’ve decided to post the acknowledgements from every book, because, let’s face it, not everybody reads them when the story’s done. Also, it’s been several months since I last looked at the text of MJ-12: Shadows, and updates may be in order.

So here, then, are the acknowledgements as published in MJ-12: Shadows, and I’ll fill in a bit more after that. And now that I read this again, I realize there’s a minor spoiler below, so avoid that bit if you want to go into the book completely fresh.

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One week until MJ-12: Shadows is out!

It’s been a busy summer, full of travel and work and writing the third MAJESTIC-12 novel, a trip to Wyoming for Launch Pad and, most recently, taking two 13-year-olds to see Lady Gaga in Queens. (The Storify here is mildly amusing, I’d like to think.)

So let’s kick autumn off in style with the release of MJ-12: Shadows next Tuesday! (OK, it’s still technically summer. Work with me.)

The second in a series seems to be a sweet spot for me. The groundwork and exposition is already laid, the plots can be furthered and character arcs…arced?…without worrying about aiming for the finish line quite yet. Plus, MJ-12: Shadows’ setting in 1949 Syria really lent itself to the MAJESTIC-12 concept. (More on that later…)

I’ve scattered some previews and such around the blog over the past few months. For your convenience, here’s everything on Shadows thus far:

There will be more, of course. I’ve got some guest posts, interviews and podcasts coming up in the weeks ahead, and likely more reviews as well. But hopefully this will get you started, along with the reminder that Shadows is available for pre-order. And if you haven’t caught up with the first novel in the series, MJ-12: Inception, the order links are below!

MJ-12: Shadows — Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Books-A-Million | Mysterious Galaxy

MJ-12: Inception — Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBoundBooks-A-Million Mysterious Galaxy


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A excerpt from MJ-12: Shadows, on shelves next month!

Where does the time go? Actually, I know damn well where it goes — a summer full of hard work, home improvements, family time and various other things. Oh, and writing the third MAJESTIC-12 book in between. (Ha.)

But the second book in that superpowered Cold War spy series, MJ-12: Shadows, is out September 5, and it’s high time I begin letting you folks know what the heck’s going on with it. To be fair, I did give you a sneak peek at some of the cool faux documents we ginned up again — click here if you missed it. And if you want the basic synopsis, here you go:

It’s 1949, and the Cold War is heating up across the world. Operating in the shadows, the Variants–once ordinary US citizens, but now imbued with strange paranormal abilities and corralled into covert service by the government’s top secret MAJESTIC-12 program–find themselves on the front lines of an international crisis.

In Syria, Variant agents have been sent to support a coup by a pro-American army officer. In Washington, a shocking suicide has them fighting for their very freedom. And at Area 51, the operation’s headquarters, the strange interspatial phenomenon which originally granted Variants their abilities has yielded disturbing discoveries.

All the while, dangerous figures flit among the shadows, and it’s unclear whether they are threatening to expose the Variants for what they are . . . or completely destroy them. Are they working for the Soviet Union, or something far worse?

In addition, there’s a couple of reviews up on Goodreads — including one from the gloriously talented Beth Cato (preorder Call of Fire now, it’s really good and it’s out next week). I’m expecting some reviews to land soonish, probably after everyone gets back from WorldCon in Helsinki, which I didn’t get to go to this year, sadly. So far, I’m pleased with what I’m hearing from the people who’ve read it, and there’s a decent consensus going that it could very well be better than the first one, MJ-12: Inception.

But hey, you should judge for yourself. So here’s an excerpt of MJ-12: Shadows to whet your appetite.

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Back for now, off again soon

Yes, it’s been a week since I returned from the Launch Pad Astronomy Workshop — during which time I turned 45, had a very full week of work, and then did up some Father’s Day fun. So there’s some catching up to do, for sure. Here we go.

Launch Pad was, in short, amazing. Mike Brotherton and Christian Ready assembled an amazing bunch of writers to head to the University of Wyoming and get a crash course on astronomy for a week. We learned everything from planetary science to cosmology, star formation to colliding galaxies. I came out with some great ideas around exoplanets that have been added to the (neverending and exponentially increasing) to-write list. Just an amazing week.

If you’re an established science fiction writer, I cannot recommend Launch Pad highly enough. Just be sure to hydrate and take it easy at altitude for the first few days. (I hit the gym Monday morning and spent the rest of the day with a massive headache. Learn from my errors.)

For those who haven’t yet read MJ-12: Inception, the good folks at Skyhorse Publishing — home to my imprint, Night Shade Books — are running a giveaway over on Goodreads. You have until Saturday to enter for your chance to win one of five free copies. Go forth and enter!

I’ll be in Los Angeles for work starting this Saturday and all through next week, so apologies in advance if I don’t keep up on the blogging. But definitely keep an eye out on Twitter, which has become my more immediate go-to for news and such. I imagine I might hit up a few bookstores here in New York, as well as in L.A., to sign the new MJ-12: Inception paperbacks, so definitely keep an eye out for that if you want one!



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MJ-12: Inception out in paperback today!

Greetings from Wyoming! I’m about to embark on the second day of the Launch Pad Astronomy Workshop here at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, and so far it’s been pretty incredible. But while we’re all busy here contemplating the vastness of the universe, I still have a book out today here on Earth, and I’m pretty stoked about it.

MJ-12: Inception hits shelves in mass-market paperback today, and I hope it’ll introduce the Cold War espionage adventures of the Variants to even more people. The paperback edition also has an excerpt from MJ-12: Shadows, out in September, tucked in the back. The ebook price at Amazon has dropped considerably with the new edition, and I expect other ebook vendors to follow suit soon, if they haven’t already.

I’m grateful to the folks at Night Shade Books for getting this one out there in mass-market. I know hardcover can be tough for some folks to swing, especially for a new series. We’ll also be issuing MJ-12: Shadows in mass-market right out of the gate, because when you think spy thrillers — superpowers or not — you tend to think paperback. And as much as the hardcover was super pretty and excellent, getting the books into readers’ hands is more important.

That said, I’m very grateful to all the folks who bought and read MJ-12: Inception in hardcover, and doubly so if you’ve taken the time to leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads or wherever. That stuff helps a lot, believe it or not. And if you haven’t left a review or rating yet, please consider doing so. It matters.

All right, then. Back to astronomy! Enjoy the paperback!

MJ-12: Inception  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBoundBooks-A-Million Mysterious Galaxy


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