Category Archives: Writing

Hello from World Fantasy 2017 in San Antonio!

A nice big Lone Star howdy to everyone at the World Fantasy Convention 2017 here in San Antonio! Got in yesterday, and have been playing tourist for much of today. But I have some things coming up that I want to get out there, so here goes:

  • I will be at the mass autograph session tonight at 8 p.m. in the Fiesta Paviliion here at the Wyndham Riverwalk. I know the good folks at Night Shade Books sent over a bunch of paperback copies of MJ-12: Inception to put in the swag bags, so I’ll happily sign them there.
  • Tomorrow at 8 p.m. in  Executive Salon 3 on the third floor, I’ll be doing a reading, most likely from MJ-12: ShadowsI also have a couple extra copies to give away for those attending.

Also worth noting: Larry Smith Booksellers now has signed paperbacks of all my books. They have the entire Daedalus trilogy as well as MJ-12: Inception and MJ-12: Shadows. So if you’ve not gotten a copy in your swag bag and miss out on freebies, please go visit them and pick ’em up. Larry himself is no longer with us, having passed away in January, but his legacy lives on in one of the finest booksellers on the conventions circuit. Please support this excellent seller!

Finally, I’m pleased as punch to report that the Night Shade Books Bundle over at Humble Bundle is doing really well — more than 3,000 bundles sold since Wednesday afternoon, roughly 48 hours. This is amazing and, dare I say it, humbling. The Daedalus Incident is one of the books available in the bundles, and the proceeds to go charity, so if you want a whole heap of great books, go check it out.

And if you’re at World Fantasy and have picked up a Humble Bundle, come find me at one of the events above and show me the receipts, so to speak. I have something special for the first person to do so. First come, first served.

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A LGBT shout-out for Maria Diaz in the Daedalus trilogy

A reader flagged this for me on Twitter, and I admit, it really made my day. The Alternate Historian — also known as reviewer and all-around good guy Matt Mitrovich — put up a YouTube video naming his top five LGBT characters in alternate history. And to my surprise and utter delight, the indefatigable Gen. Maria Diaz of the Daedalus trilogy was among them.

If you’ll recall, then-Colonel Diaz was in command of the mining colony on 22nd century Mars in The Daedalus Incident, was promoted to major general to lead Earth’s interdimensional defense in The Enceladus Crisis, then battled Napoleon’s zombies on 19th century Venus in The Venusian Gambit

The fact that Diaz is gay was certainly a conscious decision on my part, but Matt correctly understood that Diaz’ orientation not the primary focus of her character. My portrayal of her was to show the kind of inclusiveness in the future I hope we can all achieve, where one’s orientation is simply accepted for what it is. Matt even quoted me directly from this blog post, which has more details on the character and inclusiveness and why I did what I did.

I’m super grateful for the mention, and doubly grateful to have Maria Diaz placed among other great characters: Capt. Marian Alston from S.M. Stirling’s Nantucket trilogy, Sewer Jack from the George R.R. Martin-edited Wild Cards books, Scholar Wolfe from Rachel Caine’s Great Library series and — my favorite — Fenris from Beth Cato’s Breath of Earth and Call of Fire. (Beth’s books are among my favorites in general, so go buy them.)

For ease of viewing, I’ve embedded the video here. But you should totally subscribe to Matt’s channel on YouTube for all kinds of thoughtful alt-history goodness.

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I’ve planted my flag on Facebook

I’m not a huge fan of Facebook, but I’ve found over the years that, at least on a personal level, I’ve missed out on some cool things friends and family were sharing and doing. So I finally bit the bullet and joined.

My primary use will indeed be personal, and I think at this point I’ve got my personal page locked down to just friends and family and people I’ve specifically requested. If you have my personal email — not the one on the site here, mind you — then chances are I like you enough to friend up.

If we don’t know each other well enough for that, well…it’s nothing personal. Literally. But since folks use Facebook to follow authors and get bookish news, I added a public-facing Author page as well. So if you’re a Facebook sort of person, please feel free to like and follow or whatever you do there. Honestly, I’m still figuring it out.

For now, the Facebook page will mirror this blog and my Twitter feed. (I’m actually on the fence about the Twitter feed, because there are days where I tweet a lot. Have to see what that looks like.) I’ll probably add some Facebook-only stuff to play catch-up and let folks know what I got going. And I’ve no doubt I’ll do some Facebook-only promotions down the road, just as soon as I figure it out.

So there you go. Book my face.

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Review! Podcast! Interview with other authors!

The march continues! There’s a few items that have hit the Internet over the past few days about MJ-12: Shadows, and naturally, I wanted to share.

First up: Dan Hanks over at Fantasy Faction reviews MJ-12: Shadows. Among the very nice things Dan said was this:

MJ-12: Shadows is a blast of a read. It takes a narrower plot focus than the first and strengthens our relationship with the main heroes, while simultaneously introducing a whole host of new characters and superpowers—and weaves it all through some fascinating, disturbing, but apparently pretty accurate moments in history. From beginning to end it’s a fun, inventive, action-packed exploration of super spies operating in the shadows of history, and an almost perfect sequel.

I will not argue with this one whit. Thanks, Dan!

Next up: I’m over at the Skiffy & Fanty “Signal Boost” podcast to talk about the book with Paul Weimer, and he’s always a good interviewer. You can check it out here, or download from your favorite podcast source. The podcast also includes a separate chat with fellow author Patrick Hester talking about Samantha Kane: Into the Fire, which you should totally check out as well.

Finally: Over at the KT Literary blog, I participated in a Three Authors in Thirty Seconds post with agency-siblings Don Allmon, author of The Glamour Thieves and Spencer Ellsworth, author of A Red Peace. It’s funny and awkward and everything you’d expect from three geeky guys geeking out. Also, their books are also awesome and worthy of your book-buying dollars.

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

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A spoiler and some encouragement

It’s not easy to write a bunch of guest posts that don’t cover the same territory, but when folks of the caliber of Mary Robinette Kowal and Chuck Wendig lend you their virtual real estate, you gotta step up. I hope you’ll find that’s the case with the two posts that came out today.

First up, Mary Robinette Kowal — Hugo Award winner and all-around excellent person — graciously hosted me on her blog to discuss My Favorite Bit about MJ-12: Shadows, which is tied deeply into the history of CIA activity during the early Cold War and contains some slight spoilers for the book. This is definitely “fact stranger than fiction” territory, but it was too good to pass up. Check out the post for more, but you’ve been spoiler-warned. And my thanks to Mary for once again hosting me!

This is actually a good time to remind you kind and generous readers that Mary and I both had stories in the Geeky Giving charity anthology benefiting the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix. Not only is it an honor to be in the same book as a writer of Mary’s caliber, but it’s for a great freakin’ cause. You should totally check it out.

And then there’s Chuck. That guy. Delightfully profane, frighteningly gifted, possessed of a good heart and, dare I say it, a lustrous beard. He’s once again given me space at Terribleminds.com to talk about writing while everything around you goes to crap, i.e. America 2017. I’ve certainly felt drained by it all, and I know Chuck and many other writers have as well. So how does one manage? I don’t have the answers in a Moses-come-down-the-mountain kind of way, but I’m giving my take here. As always, thank you, Chuck. There Will Be Scotch.

Finally, I just want to take a moment to say thanks to everyone who’s been so awesome this week as MJ-12: Shadows hit the shelves, virtual or otherwise. I’ve been hosted by fantastic fellow authors, reviewed (positively!) by some very insightful critics and so many folks have reached out to let me know how excited they are to read it. I am very grateful and humbled by it all. Thank you.

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

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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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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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