They look amazing and I can't wait to get my own copies. I'm flying over next week to sign three thousand copies! Author dreams come true.
I'm busy, hard at work with the new book. I'm making good progress too. Presently I'm at 45k out of a hoped for 130k. It's a book I tried writing last year and gave up on and the time off has really given me time to think about what was working and what wasn't. It's called The Sword and I originally had the germs of the idea for it back in 2019 I think. Obviously, it had to go on the back burner while I finished writing the Last War trilogy.
Then I had another idea for a series that I liked a lot and I was bouncing between both of them. I sent treatments and sample chapters for both to my agent to get his opinion. At first, he said they were both good but, after chatting we settled to go with The Sword and I'm really happy we did.
What's it about you ask? Well, my pitch is basically 'Batman with swords and magic, set during the French revolution.'
Here's an image I created for it.
I'm hoping to have it finished in the next couple of months.
In other news, the Broken Binding special editions of The Last War are on sale right now. It's a £100 for a set of all three books, signed and numbered, and I have to say they look spectacular.
You can order them here:
Been a strange week. Started off with a migraine on Sunday with after effects lingering well into the middle of the week, making me wonder if I had a brain tumour! Nothing like a bit of self-induced drama to start the week off.
I was interviewed by my local paper. Calling me 'Richmond Dad' was, I think a nice way of saying 'old man'.
I saw the most amazing video review of We Are The Dead this week. The reviewer also did a drawing of everyone's favourite psychopath that blew me away.
Finally, and probably most importantly, the mass market paperbacks of UNTIL THE LAST arrived this week. They go on sale in two weeks time. The bigger size essentially sold out with two weeks or so of release so it's been a long wait to have a physical copy available again.
I feel bad for not updating this blog for awhile. Life has been ... well ... life. And does anyone read blogs anymore? Still I like them. It's a good record of what's going on.
The mass market paperback of UNTIL THE LAST is out in a month's time - April 13th. I'm really excited about that as the Trade paperback (the big size!) basically sold out within two weeks and, due to paper shortages and supply chain issues, no more were printed so basically it meant the book has been out of print since July last year. Very frustrating for me but it is what it is.
Still, the people who have read have loved it and it made numerous Best Of Lists. Some have said it's a 'must read series' and 'fantasy at its best'. Comments like that make all the hard work worthwhile.
I've been writing lots, including helping out my good friend, Mike Morris. If you love my books, check out his on Amazon, starting with Cry Havoc and/or He Who Fights.
I also wrote a short story for my favourite comic book, Lazarus by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark. It was a real thrill to have something I wrote illustrated by Michael.
I also wrote 90k words of a book but abandoned it was going to end up being a 300k book and I don't think there's a market for that now unless you are Brandon Sanderson (see above paper shortages). I might go back to it later as I really like it.
But that's all the past. What about now?
Well, I've started a new book that has a great concept and the opening is very dark. However, it will be a tale of heroes, romance and high adventure with a heavy dose of David Gemmell.
More to come soon
I've had a chat with the wonderful people at The Broken Binding and they are going to give away a special limited edition set of postcards to go with the release of UNTIL THE LAST. These will be signed and numbered and will be on a first come, first served basis, featuring all your favourite characters from The Last War including Tinnstra, Zorique, Aasgod and others. Illustrated by me, these black and white images will only be available through The Broken Binding.
There's always something nerve-wracking about a book coming out. You write it because you want as many people to read and enjoy it BUT there's also the worry that people are going to read it! Luckily the first few reviews for UNTIL THE LAST have been very positive.
Scott said "Mike's storytelling is up there with the best in the business, his ability to subtly thread in twist and turns that you just don’t see coming but have you jumping from your seat was utterly brilliant! The final 30% of this book was just such a sensational thrill ride, I had such a hard time putting this book down. Mike have managed to build such a bloody, grim but marvellous story in this series, which I think will appeal to a wide range of audience. Mike has definitely become an auto buy author for me."
Benedict from the SFF Oasis said "Mike has written a gritty and exciting story about what normal people do when evil beats them down. His words flow smoothly like a freshly made death bed and his characters leap off the page wielding an axe in both hands. It's in my opinion that his writing quality is top level and he should be regarded with the likes of Gwynne and Abercrombie for writing compelling characters in a gritty world. To roundup, I really enjoyed this book and I love this trilogy. Fantastic characters, a gritty plot and lightning fast pace make this a series you really need to absorb. Brilliant fantasy."
A Netgalley reviewer said "What an ending to this amazing fantasy series. I won't tell you what happened. But you really do not want to miss this ending."
I'm also looking at giveaways for the launch. The plan is to print a limited edition set of signed postcards that I'll send to the Broken Binding. I've done the character art for three of them so far.
Ralasis, Aasgod and Raaku will finish off the set. Stay tuned for more info as and when I have it.
I still can't believe people are reading UNTIL THE LAST and the first review is in! "What an ending to this amazing fantasy series. I won't tell you what happened. But you really do not want to miss this!" Phew!
So UNTIL THE LAST is nearly ready. I read all 770 pages and found 63 mistakes/typos etc. No doubt there were 64 and I missed one. This is actually my least favourite part of the process as my brain rebels against this sort of work. I also get carried away with reading the story and have to go back and double check I didn't miss anything. I also always print out the book as I've spent so long staring at it onscreen, I need a different experience to see it with somewhat fresh eyes.
But now, there's just the cover to come and then ... it'll be on sale. Eeeek.
Finally, I get to send signed books out to wonderful people. Here are just some of the doodles I sneak into the books.
Here we go! The last stage of book 3. Checking the page proofs for typos. This is the part I like least but it must be done. And this is a big book. 770 pages of all out action, heart-break and drama. Next time I see it, it will be in a book!