Category Archives: Kinslayer

French KINSLAYER cover

Just got the artwork for the French KINSLAYER cover, done once again by the amazing Miesis Illustration. I must be the luckiest person around when it comes to cover art.

OUR SHIELDS CANNOT REPEL BADASSERY OF THIS MAGNITUDE.

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Awards! (again!)

it's the first annual Montgomery Burns awards for... outstanding achievement... in the field of... excellence.

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Quicker than a promnight BJ post this week, because it’s 2.00am and since quitting my dayjob I’ve been slowly degenerating into some kind of twisted nocturnoid who only rises when the hated daystar had sunk below the WorldEdge.

It’s weird. I think if I let myself, I’d sleep all day and stay up all night. But that way lies Vitamin D deficiency and madness, so yes, basically I need to hit the Blanket Show and try and maintain some kind of regular human sleeping pattern. But, being quit of the dayjob is splendid (aside from the slow inversion of my sleeping patterns and my penchant for not putting on pants unless company is coming), thanks for asking.

My current rule is to write 3K a day, which I’m sticking to like white on rice out of some misplaced Irish Catholic Guilt. I’m still waiting like a patient little PenBitch for the final edits on ENDSINGER, and ILLUMINAE edits aren’t due for a little while yet, so to stop myself trawling Crash Course and Idea Channel vids all fkn day, I’ve started working on a new single book project to tide me over. It has talking wolves and it’s kinda fun. So there. 😛

But now, to business.

Some of you might already be aware, but I wrote a novella last year called THE LAST STORMDANCER to coincide with the release of KINSLAYER. A few of you were even nice enough to pre-order a copy of KS and get yourselves a free copy of LSD (insert Bill Hicks joke here). ALTHOUGH – I’ve heard a couple of people didn’t get their copy in which case, shoot me an email and I’ll hook you up!

ANYWAY

THE LAST STORMDANCER has been short-listed for Best . . . (runs and checks website) BEST FANTASY SHORT FICTION at the 2014 Aurealis Awards, which are Oz’s premier genre awards. This is very cool! For folks who haven’t read LSD but want to, physical copies are a little difficult to come by nowadays. BUT, you can order it on audio book HERE.

My ILLUMINAE co-author Amie also had her first novel THESE BROKEN STARS nominated in two categories, so yay team Melbourne.

Award shows are always a bit of crap shoot, but at least this gives me an excuse to head to Canberra for the booze up. And Margo Lanagan isn’t up for any awards this year (Margo is an awesome lady and brilliant writer who clean swept Aurealis last year, winning pretty much every award she was shortlisted for, and I think even dominating a couple of categories she wasn’t listed in), so some of us mere mortals might even bring home some bacon.

Mmm. Bacon.


Where u been bro

They look so cute together

They look so cute together

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Hello peoples!

Yes, I have been terribly, terribly slack with the bloggery over the last month. Slacker than a 32 year old neckbeard still living at home with his parents and spending his every waking minute trolling reddit boards. Slacker than a slacker’s slack bits. You’ll be pleased to know I have been less slack IRL. So, to sum up the jiggery-pokery in Jay town over the past several weeks, I now offer you this Month in Review.

1) First and most importantly, KINSLAYER is out on shelves across the world! Starting in Australia and creeping across the globe like a well-written case of lice, the second installment to the Lotus War has successfully infiltrated the zeitgeist. It was on second printing in Australia within six days, which is kinda awesome. Early reviews have been very nice, and complain bitterly about how mean I was, how I delight in crushing my reader’s feels into a thin red paste, lighting it up and smoking it in a pipe made of orphan’s bones, and how I’m generally a very bad man.

THIS PLEASES ME MIGHTILY.

Those of you who’ve picked KINSLAYER up already, thank you! Those of you who’ve sent me pics of the beast in the wild, thank you too! Those of you who have done neither – Y U NO LUV ME.

2) The KINSLAYER launch party was a mighty success! We held it at the ever faithful Dymocks on Collins St Melbourne and had an awesome turnout, with several surprise interstate guests and nobody dying of alcohol poisoning or being arrested for indecent exposure which is a step up from last year.

I still remember very little of the night, having been a 6’7 bundle of nerves for most of it. However, our wonderful friend Amber was nice enough to wield her camera like a mighty +5 vorpal sword, and took some splendid photos for us. They can be found at my facebook page here.

3) I am awaiting edits on book 3 of the Lotus War, which has a title which I’m not going to tell you. Although somebody has already guessed the title with very little background in the world, so the clues are there in the books if you’re super keen. Or you could just wait, because really it’s just the title and who gives a shit.

4) I am on submission! You heard right. Or read right, more accurately. During the downtime between Lotus War books, I have not been the slack-assed pile of slackness that might be inferred from my woeful lack of bloggery, nay. I have in fact been working on FOUR separate projects. Yeah, four. Quattro. That’s Italian. For four. BAM.

(this may explain why I have been slack with the bloggery)

The first of those projects is now officially on submission. I can say nothing about the state of play, being Irish and terrified of jinxing myself. However, the book feels pretty awesome, and I promise you this – it isn’t like ANYTHING you’ve ever read before. I will say only that it is Sci Fi. And that’s it’s non-standard format. And it’s been EXCELLENT fun to write. So fingers crossed.

Two other projects – one a post apocalyptic cyberpunky thing, and the second, a doorstopping epic fantasy tale are with my agent. So if you want more books from me, you might want to tell him to hurry up and read or something. Maybe send him flowers? Or death threats, I dunno.

Watch this space.

5) Appearances! I have yet to alienate the lovely folks at Supanova with my bawdy jokes and propensity to drop trousers at the slightest provocation. Thus, I will be at Supanova Brisbane and Adelaide in November this year. You may have been sleeping under a rock or mainlining Breaking Bad episodes and missed the news, but George RR Martin will also be present at this Supanova, which means I might get to meet him and maybe even be on a panel with him and holy shit excuse me which I melt into a puddle of fangirly goo.

Pete Dinklage will be there too. And Summer Glau, apparently. And Dom Monaghan. And those rascally Weasley twins. So yeah, it’ll be awesome. Come down and say hello. I’ll sign your boobs.

Books, I meant books.

6) Gemmell Awards – Voting is now closed for the Gemmell Legend and Morningstar awards. For those of you who voted for STORMDANCER, much love.

I think that’s it. If you want more regular updates from me, remember you can sign up to my facebook page here.

As you were.


Kinslayer Giveaways & Bling

She so angreeeeee

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Back from Perth and Sydney Supanova which was awesome. Full report to come. But quickly:

We’re running a KINSLAYER galley giveaway here. Make with the clickies for your chance to win 1 of 100 copies. US and Canadian residents only, sorry folks. Sternly worded letters of complaint may be addressed to Tor UK or PanMacMillan Australia if you’re not a Canuck or Yankee.

Also, the KINSLAYER Pre-order offer is still running here. Remember – this is the ONLY place you’ll EVER be able to get a copy of THE LAST STORMDANCER in print format. Again, it’s US and Canada residents only, but I’m sure if you know somebody in the US or Canada who’s willing to have your stuff posted to their house AIN’T NOBODY GONNA MIND.

As some of you may know, STORMDANCER is up for THREE David Gemmel Awards – Best Fantasy, Best Newcomer and Best Cover.

You can vote in the Best Fantasy category here.

Best newcomer here.

Best cover here.

As you were!


Moar Kinslayer

OK, as promised to certain folks, I’ve got some moar KINSLAYER artwork for you – desktops and iPhone backgrounds and whatnot. But, before you lunge into the bloody-knuckled, death-glarey goodness:

Some of you might be aware that we have a pre-order giveaway going for KINSLAYER. If you pre-order the book and live in the USA/Canada, you’ll get a free copy (like, an actual printed copy) of THE LAST STORMDANCER. Set a hundred years before the events of STORMDANCER, LSD is a prequel novella for The Lotus War. Here’s the jacket copy:

_____

Your blood-red skies are filled with smoke. Your bleach-white histories with lies. You walk sleeping. Wake senseless. Breathing deep of toxic blooms and forgetting all that has gone before.

But I remember.

I remember when two brothers waged bloody war over the right to sit in their father’s empty chair. I remember when orphaned twins faced each other across a field of crimson and steel, the fate of the Shima Shōgunate hanging in the poisoned sky between them.

I remember when a blind boy stood before a court of storms and talons, armed only with a thin sword and a muttered prophecy and a desperate dream of saving the world.

I remember when the skies above Shima were not red, but blue. Filled with thunder tigers.

I remember when they left you.

And I remember why.

Let me tell you, monkey-child.

_____

ALL details about the giveaway can be found HERE.

ALL the links for preordering, and relevant info can be found on the KINSLAYER FACEBOOK PAGE.

And here are individual pre-order retailer links:

Barnes & Noble

Amazon

BooksaMillion

Indiebound

Ebook:

B&N Nook

Kindle

iBooks

NOTE: If you’re not from the US/Canada but still want a copy of LSD, fear not. I’ll be giving away a bunch on the blog closer to release, so HANG ONTO YOUR PRE-ORDER INFO!

REMEMBER

The KINSLAYER uber giveaway is happening until the end of May!

And now, KINSLAYER goodies. iPhone, iPad and desktop sizes below:

Kinslayer iPhoneKinslayer iPadKinslayer iPad2

Kinslayer desktop

Kinslayer Desktop 2


KINSLAYERRRRRRRREVEAL

Hands and feet inside the cockpit

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Note: GIVEAWAYS BELOW RUN UNTIL SUNDAY MAY 31. THEY ARE OPEN INTERNATIONALLY. PLEAAAZZZE READ INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY.

Hello and welcome to the US & UK cover reveals for KINSLAYER!!!one! We did this in two stages last year, but we’ve decided to streamline things for you a little this time, which means you get both covers on the same day. BUT, more blogs are participating, which means you have more chances to win booty (not what you think). Like last year, we have some giveaways to celebrate the awesomosity (totally a word) that are the covers. How much you want to win depends entirely on how much effort you want to go to – if ARCs are all you want to lay your sticky hands on, all good, if you want something a little more uber, you’ll have to try a little harder. Read on, McDuff.

KINSLAYER’s cover is launching on ten sites today.

But firstly:

THE ARC OF PIMP

To kick things off, I’m giving away an annotated/scribbled on/illustrated ARC of KINSLAYER. All you need to do is PIMP MY RIDE COVER

Talk about it on facebook (make sure you tag my author page) or tweet about it. Sample tweet below if you cbf’ed making up your own (if you do make up your own, just make sure you tweet my handle, but not FIRST in the tweet, or only I’ll see it, yo).

The cover for KINSLAYER is here. The awesome will send you blind. Giveaways on @misterkristoff ‘s blog. www.misterkristoff.wordpress.com

A winning pimp will be picked at the end of May. BAM.

OK, THE REVEAL

The following book blogs are also hosting the cover reveal:

YABC

Jean BookNerd

Presenting Lenore

Mundie Moms

Badass Bookie

Book Nerd CA

The Midnight Garden

Book Probe

Bookalicious

Cuddlebuggery

If you click on the above links and the cover isn’t up there yet, just be patient, they’ll be there soon!

Ok, those of you lovely folks who did this last year will understand, but for the padawans amongst us, an all important question is no doubt burning in your brainmeats: Why should you visit those blogs when the covers are the same on every one?

Excellent question. I have two excellent answers:

First – EVERY ONE of the above book blogs is hosting an ARC giveaway. That’s TEN ARCs of Kinslayer up for grabs. Each site has details on how to enter their own giveaway. Some may require pacts with unspeakable be-tentacled monstrosities from beyond the reaches of space and sanity, others might just have Rafflecopter.

Second…

The KINSLAYER uber giveaway

Each of those ten blogs contains a quiz question. They’re pretty easy – you’ll find the answers in the Kinslayer synopsis, or in the pages of Stormdancer. Follow these three steps:

  1. Get the ten answers
  2. Mail them to me at stormdancergiveaway@gmail.com
  3. Win (hopefully)

Now, what do you win in the uber giveaway?

  • A signed, annotated ARC of KINSLAYER. This ARC contains a bunch of little factoids and musings from me, scribbled in my near-illegible handwriting. You will find it ideal for throwing at reprobate significant others, setting ablaze and hurling at tools of the fascist state, or brandishing in a threatening manner at small children loitering on your front lawn.
  • A signed print of Jason Chan’s 100% awesome cover illustration (just the artwork, no type to get in the way of the awesome). Hang it on the wall and bathe in the aura of badassery.
  • A signed copy of THE LITTLE STORMDANCER. This was a picture book I did for my UK editor when she had her first baby. It’s like an MG version of Stormdancer, with far less death and sex. A signed copy of this went up on Ebay for Pat Rothfuss’ WORLDBUILDERS charity last year and sold for near 400 bucks. I’m not sure what kind of a world we live in where shit like that can happen, but yeah, there it is.
  • A signed copy of the Lotus War novella THE LAST STORMDANCER. This is a novella I wrote for release with KINSLAYER – you get a copy free with every pre-order (US & Canada only I’m afraid). It’s set 100 years before the events of SD and tells the story of why the Thunder Tigers left Shima. The only way to actually get a physical copy of this thing will be to pre-order KINSLAYER, so they’ll be hard to come by.
  • The vague promise of a Big Scary hug is we ever meet in person. THIS ALONE is worth a King’s ransom. I give the greatest hugs in the Seven Isles. If you’re a dude and not into the whole hugging thing, we can fistbump and talk about sports or something (this conversation will be brief, and involve me staring at you blankly a lot)

That’s it. Answer 10 questions, mail them to me at stormdancergiveaway@gmail.com, and you’re done. This giveaway will run until the end of May. It is open internationally and indeed, interstellarly.

Also, Tor are hosting an “Evolution of a cover” style article from myself and our amazeballs US cover illustrator Jason Chan. If you want to read about how the awesome was born, that’s where to do it.

If the awesome has filled you with an aching, all-consuming lust and you must have KINSLAYER now, you can pre-order at B&N here or Amazon here. Remember, US & Canada pre-orders all get a physical copy of the THE LAST STORMDANCER. This pre-order offer is the ONLY TIME THIS NOVELLA WILL SEE PRINT.

If you want to keep up with news about THE LOTUS WAR series, follow me on Facebook or Twitter.

That’s it. Comments welcome below. Thanks for visiting!


To Pimp or not to pimp

99 problems, I have.

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Firstly let me acknowledge the obvious:

This blog is an ad for my books.

My twitter feed? An ad. FB page? Ad. All of this stuff, websites and guest posts and cover reveals – all of my spandex-clad online wordery exists for a singular purpose: To Sell My Books. This is not to say I don’t like blogging about sloth pee-pee and tweeting pictures of Night’s Watch members chatting with jawas, or best of all, engaging with readers and being exposed to cool ideas and all the wondrous things that comes of swimming in the sticky pedo-slick murk of the internet. Because I sincerely do. But I want you to buy my book, too. And everything I do online is, if not motivated by this notion, at least informed by this notion – the sexing of your sweet, sweet monies.

I blog and I tweet and generally faff about on the internet in the vague hope of being entertaining, in the even vaguer hope that people will assume that, because I can be entertaining online, I can entertain you with a novel too. It’s a strange kind of pseudo-math, but it’s a math that often works. (I was terrible at maths fyi – memories of the 17% I scored on a high school trigonometry test haunt me to this day)

I am not alone in this (the self-pimping thing, not the Fear of Trig). Every author out there on social media is out there first and foremost as a product. Persona as commodity. Do not be fooled. Anyone who tells you different is selling you something (probably books). Anyone who says “I tweet because it’s fun” may very well be telling you the truth – because tweeting SHOULD BE fun – but they’re not telling you the whole truth. The whole truth is “I tweet because it’s fun and I’m hoping you’ll buy my shit”.

I think most people are cool with this notion. Most people are aware of the concept of author-as-pimp. And as a form of advertising, blogging about what interests me or tweeting random thoughts about STAR TREK is a hell of a lot more genuine that traditional forms of advertising. I like the notion of persona as brand. I like the notion that as an author, I can reach new readers just by having some vaguely amusing bullshit about hobbit sex being RT’ed all over the world. And I like the notion that actions on the internet have consequences – that, if you, as an artist act like a complete douche online, you can and will lose sales because of it. Of course, this notion can lead to a kind of paralysis in artists –  the unwillingness to say or do anything save the sickly sweet, for fear of alienating Those Who Hold The Dollars. But that’s okay too. Vanilla is the most popular flavour of ice cream, after all (fuck vanilla, seriously).

BUT

I’ve been pondering a particular form of self-pimpage I see other authors doing lately. I see it more often than ever, and I’m wondering why I can’t come at it, and why I won’t participate in it.

I’m talking about the RTpimp.

For those who’re squinting at the screen with WTF slapped all over your Chevvy Chases, the RT pimp is when some lovely, awesome, super-cool person takes the time out of their day to tweet me with a compliment about the book – “I love STORMDANCER more than my children” or “holy shit, STORMDANCER made me pop, like seventeen boners, brah”, etc – and then I go and RETWEET that compliment into my feed. ie

“RT @ladyawesomesauce87 STORMDANCER is the greatest thing since jesus. U r my saviour, Jay, yea, glory unto thee and death to the non-believer” *

Now, I don’t do this. I did it once, just to see what it would feel like (it felt like puppy-molestation) and never again shall I descend into that dank pit of danky dankness. But why? Because this stuff happens ALL THE TIME (RTpimping, not puppy molestation)

Having thought about this for a while now, my reasons for refusing to engage in the RTpimp are as follows:

  1. It seems illogical to me.
    The only people who generally see my RTs are people who follow me on twitter (science!). To give enough of a shit about me to put up with my inane dribbling, you must a) have already read my book and thought it didn’t suck, or b) at least be planning to read it in the very near future. Given these two possibilities, it seems odd for me to RT tweets telling you how fantabulously awesome my warez are because a) you’ve already read it, and so are aware how fantabulously awesome I am (har har ego joke) or b) you’re pretty much there anyway, and the probability of you being swayed to read it any faster because of the opinion of a total stranger seems remote.
    I mean, if it’s the Queen of England I’m retweeting? (“RT @QueenLizzieII dis kirstoff shit wuz teh awesumsauce”**) Yeah maybe. But a (lovely, awesome, super-cool) person you’ve never met? How many fucks do you not give?
  2. It’s feels like actual prostitution.
    When a lovely, awesome, super-cool person takes the time to tweet me about how much they liked STORMDANCER (and if I might be serious for a moment, it really does make my day), they tweeted me. If they wanted the world to know how much they loved the book, they could have done any number of things – written a review, or done a blog post, made a Buruu plushie from the plundered remnants of their dead grandmother’s quilt, written “STORMDANCER RULEZ” on their stomach in large red lettering and streaked naked through a football game, etc. And they’re still free to do all this stuff (don’t get arrested, pls). But when they take the time to tweet me, that feels like a message for me. And me jacking that message and pushing it out there into the world in the hope that somebody computes “because this complete and total stranger enjoyed this product and/or service, I too will be stimulated by it” seems disingenuous to me. It feels like I’m selling their feels.
    I don’t mind selling myself – I’m cool with the notion of being up on this stage. But dragging you up here with me without permission? That seems a little . . . Creepy Uncle™ to me.
  3. It seems wanker-ish.
    The RTpimp seems more than slightly self-congratulatory to me. It seems like a “hey, look at me” move. And while, as previously discussed, everything content-producers do online generally equates to “hey, look at me” it seems less in the “walk into the party dressed nice and tell an amusing anecdote about a puppy-molester” ballpark and more in the “walk into the party naked, stand in the middle of the room and start doing ‘the helicopter’ with my dick” league (DO NOT google that turn of phrase, for the love of god).
    It goes beyond the point of no return for me.
    It goes beyond self-promoting and into self-pleasuring.

This is not to say I think authors who do engage in the Rtpimp are wankers – far from it. This is not science, and nobody knows how this whole book promo in the internet age thing works, and though there are many wrong paths to walk online, I’m not sure the RTpimp will land you in virtual purgatory. I personally just don’t get it. And this is not to say seeing an RTpimp is an auto unfollow for me (although if it happens too often, I will most assuredly release the hounds). If I can deal with people tweeting about their fucking cats, I can deal with the occasional helicopter weiner. It all comes down to a question of personal taste – how far you’re willing to go to make a buck. How much you’re willing to sell to make the rent. And I totally take on board that everyone is going to draw that line in the sand in a different place.

Now what I’m wondering is if I’m alone in this? Do folks have rules for this kind of thing? What are your limits? And most importantly, how would you feel if your tweet to author X got RT’ed by them out into the world? Used? Or pleased?

KINSLAYER COVER REVEAL NEXT WEEK.

YOU BET YOUR ASS I WANT YOU TO RT THAT SHIT.

*Dramatization. May not have happened.

**Dramatization. Most definitely did NOT happen.