Two Free Books and One Asteroid (Made of Dragons)

I’m giving my books away this week – in hope that you will think about helping me reach my dreams and pre-order my new book. I put out the first two all on my own – now I’m working with Inkshares.com – a crowd-source publisher and their Sci-Fi / Fantasy Contest sponsored by Sword and Laser. Normally I would have to get 1000 pre-orders to get my book published – but in this contest the top 5 campaigns by the end of May all get published. For a raggedy self-publishing scamp like me, it’s the chance of a lifetime.

So here we are! I’ve gone through my friends and contacts online and begged, lied, pleaded, wept, and cajoled. And, almost unbelievably,  so many of them have stepped up to support me. But now I have to convince you – total stranger – to take a chance on my new book Asteroid Made of Dragons.

So I want to meet you half-way — I want to give you my first two books for free.

Kindle Version – FREE – May 4th – May 8th

spell_sword_cover_final

front_cover

There they are – the fruits of my brain garden – please take them.  You can learn more about each here and via the reviews on Amazon. The short version is: if you are a huge dork, well I pretty much wrote these books specifically for you.

And now, your part of the bargain! Because we have entered into some sort of bizarre internet blood-pact – bang a gong and summon the lukewarm spirits. The link to campaign page for the third book is below. Take a look! It’s another adventure for my heroes Jonas and Rime – but fret not! I write episodic fantasy – not epic – like any good episode of X-Files or Sherlock Holmes investigation, you will be provided with the minimum required knowledge to enjoy the adventure du jour. There are a couple of sample chapters already up of the third book, but if you enjoy those FREE BOOKS I JUST GAVE YOU – the third book will not disappoint.

Asteroid

ASTEROID MADE OF DRAGONS – PRE-ORDER ONLY 8.99!

  • Pro-Tip: If you sign up for Inkshares itself, they give you a $5 credit – which you can use towards my book!

Well – I guess that’s it? I don’t know quite what else to tell you, stranger. You are on my blog now, so there’s a metric ton of my other ramblings, short stories, and other errata – plus I just GAVE YOU TWO FREAKING BOOKS.

This is always where I come a little unglued at self-promotion. You have no reason to help me – but I hope you do! Even if you decide not to pre-order – maybe you know some people that would like some free books – or maybe people who would really like to help a book about a nuclear winter caused by a meteor crammed full of mythological creatures get published.

There are those people, right?

Leave comments here if you have questions, concerns, or burning rages — or come burn me down @gderekadams on Twitter.

Here’s a picture of a banana:

Banana-2

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Tweet Poet

Design Sketch - Mike Groves @poopbird
Design Sketch – Mike Groves @poopbird

So here’s a thing I did on Twitter this afternoon. Yes, I am very weird.

Check out ‘s Asteroid Made of Dragons on : Would you be so kind, Twitter? Must I convince you?

Okay – – here’s the deal, written in words heavier than steel.

Books have I written, two by the count. With goblins and wizards of no little amount.Asteroid

Of Jonas and Rime, squire and wild mage, two travellers filled with stupidity and rage.

I wrote them myself, tap tap at my desk, then sent them to fly on a self-published quest.

It was fun, it was grand, my fiction did sizzle. But the slow creak of Time makes my energy fizzle.

I stared at the walls of Publishing’s grove, to climb it seemed worse than Plath’s head in a stove.

Patience and skill you need to make it for reals, I’m twitchy and tricksome, no match for these wheels.

Then one day did tell, a miraculous new site both potent and fell.

A place called , cute name all in all, they had a new way of brick-breaking the wall.

If enough friends I could trick, wheedle or sell, then my third book would be published like casting a spell.

Crowd-funding! Pre-orders! Kickstarter but more! Guaranteed results like robbing a store!

So to those who read these couplets that rhyme, could I perhaps wheedle a bit more of your time?

Take a look at my book, I hope you adore – and if I’m quite honest , I hope you’ll do more.

Click the button, bang the gong, let everyone know! Asteroids are coming with mother fucking dragons in tow!

So here is the link, thank you for reading. I hope you can find your wallet despite your eyeballs both bleeding.

Nothing is tagged and my followers few, perhaps these lines could get a RT or two?

Asteroid Made of Dragons – InkShares – Sword&Laser Publishing Contest

pow-hi

In a haze of stress neurons, I’ve done something rash. I’ve been lurking in the digital bushes around InkShares, a crowd-source publisher, for a few weeks now. I really like their model – if you meet your goal, the book gets published. Professionally edited, cover design, release in major markets, the works. But I was hesitating – partly because I wanted to wait until I had a little more open headspace – partly because I’m a little bit chickenshit.

But then I got an email about this contest.

In the words that I myself reverently uttered upon reading, ‘Bug Jesus.’

The top 5 sci-fi/fantasy novels in the contest get published. The five books with the most pre-orders by the end of May get published. Even if they don’t hit their funding goal. My book’s goal is 750 preorders for ebook / 1000 for paper – but it doesn’t matter. If I can get enough pre-orders to stay in the top five, I’m in. It’s just too good an opportunity to pass up. All I want is that 5th slot – Asteroid of Dragons in the finals with a bullet!

The grand prize is even better – being the first Sword and Laser Collection novel published by InkShares and getting interviewed on the podcast. Finally, Veronica and Tom will know the clever things I say about the month’s book that I’ve been saying in my car. [!]

So, now the hustle – which connotes the amount of work I need to put in, but also the slight tinge of a scam. I NEED people to pre-order the book before the deadline. I’m going to start by plowing through my Friends List, of course, but I’m not going to make it over the hump without – gulp – strangers.  I’m going to update the InkShares page regularly, I’m going to update here more, and be much more active on Twitter and FB. I’m going to be obnoxious. That is my vow. I have just over 45 days to convince as many people as possible to give me 9.99 – to extend faith in what I’ve written before, and take another leap in a book called Asteroid Made of Dragons.

Eep. Very eep.

https://www.inkshares.com/projects/asteroid-made-of-dragons

That’s the link – the starting line of this race. Help me win. Tell me how I can win. If you follow the link and don’t pre-order, come tell me why so I can FIX IT.

Much more to come. Just think, if this works – some responsible adult will be in charge of marketing and I’ll be left to write weird sonnets about sentient pickles. Won’t that be grand?

BREAKING – SyFy’s Pilot of ‘The Magicians’ Cancelled – Replaced with Spell/Sword Series Order

Syfylogo

Producers Janice Williams and Michael London announced today that they were halting production on the anticipated pilot immediately. The adaptation of Lev Grossman’s bestselling fantasy series had been gathering a great deal of interest and excitement from fans. Williams spoke to reporters, “Everything was going great. Casting, script-writing, sets were built. But then we came to work yesterday and found the power had been cut and a team of carpenters dismantling the front steps of Brakebills. All they would tell us is they had a work order to re-purpose the lumber for use on ‘Helix’.”

London added “It was a SyFy level decision – not us, we were going to show the world something special with this show.” The series was being produced by Universal Cable Productions.

the-magiciansWhen reached for comment, SyFy president, David Howe, just sort of shrugged in between bites of a massive roast beef sandwich, “We had hoped that Lev Grossman’s blend of magic and realism would capture the imagination of a new generation of viewers and further strengthen Syfy’s ownership of premium quality sci-fi fantasy drama. But then we realized CHOMP – this shit is depressing as hell. We already punish genre fans enough with our content, I don’t think we need to have a show that actively mocks them for liking the concept of Magic.”

To fill the gap in the upcoming schedule, SyFy has greenlit a 26-episode adaptation of Spell/Sword – a self-published fantasy novel currently ranked #2,108,408 on Amazon. Howe assured reporters that the book was ‘rad as hell’.

The author of Spell/Sword, and it’s even less well selling sequel The Riddle Box could not be reached for comment as he is currently embedded within a small plate of green Jell-O for reasons of national security.

Query Letter on File

Dear Literary Agent of Sophistication and Skill,

I am the Alpha and Omega. Starlight is my rod and moonlight my robe. I can manifest Mr. Pibb only from places that Mr. Pibb should never emit. Lint fears me. All lint. It knows why. I am contacting you today because I have written a book and would like you to represent me to publishers. I have selected you for this task after your future self came to me in a dream and begged me for pistachio ice cream. You muttered something about the book, but it was indistinct as your mouth was full of green delicious.

The book in question is called Asteroid Made of Dragons. It is the third book in a

I look like this! Maybe we already know each other.
I look like this! Maybe we already know each other.

series of undisclosed number. It concerns the impending doom that threatens a planet stocked with fantasy cliches. This will be the most terrible of contrived apocalyptic scenarios — for after the asteroid hits and nuclear winter wraps the globe and crops die – there are also hundreds of concussed dragons. The main characters of the book have no knowledge of this dark fate as they are occupied with a bank robbery, unresolved murder charges from their past, confusion about their sexual awakening, a pan-dimensional witch cum narrative device, courtly intrigue, a lost recipe for Strawberry Tarts, and a team of hardened assassins that seek their death. They got their own shit to deal with, man. Will they save the world? Yeah, probably.

I have been cleverly subverting epic fantasy tropes for a few years now in foul obscurity. I’ve already unleashed the first two novels of my genre-mangling series, Spell/Sword and The Riddle Box. It’s too late for you to represent those, you missed out. Too bad you weren’t following my Tumblr feed in 2012. I have published no short stories and do not intend to. Published authors like [REDACTED] and [REDACTED]  have read a few pages of my stuff and responded with extreme tact but obvious concern. I am a danger to myself, the fantasy genre, and linear thought itself. I must be stopped. But I cannot be stopped. [I can probably be stopped.] You should only consider representing me if you  are interested in forever altering the DNA of the fantasy genre and dying alone in poverty and misery.

You have been warned and also enticed. I stand ready in my Dreaming Chamber to commune with you. Do you prefer emeralds or onyx as a resonator?

G. Derek Adams

Writer of Minotaur Poetry

First Three Chapters

Spell/Sword

The Riddle Box

Asteroid Made of Dragons [soon]

[I’m self-published, but traditional publishing most definitely has an allure. I watched Seth Fishman’s broadcast about query letters from the Worldbuilders charity and found it very helpful and responded with this garbage. This is the query letter I wish I could send. I am certain it will be helpful to anyone attempting to write their own!]

The Holy Detective

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Close your eyes. Okay, wait, open them again. You can’t read with your eyes closed. Are you reading this now? I guess I’ll need to wait for you to get bored and come back and read this.

Okay – welcome back. Now, metaphysically close your eyes. What do you see when you read the word ‘detective’? YES I KNOW YOU SEE LETTERS.

You are impossible to blog at. Simply impossible.

Now most normal people probably see Sherlock Holmes. Or Batman. Or Sam Spade. Or Tracer Bullet. Or Kay Howard. Or DCI Jane Tennison. Or Columbo.

Or any other number of gumshoes, thief-catchers, and head-scratchers. The ones who find. The ones who put the pieces together. The ones who solve the puzzle, catch the crook, go into the dark place and shine their big-ass X-files style flashlight on the things we’re afraid to look for.

All the way from Sgt. Cuff in The Moonstone to the watered down latter day sleuths that tromp across primetime underneath their personal assortment of L.E.T.T.E.R.S. — we love them. Or at least I love them. But I would make the argument that in our modern minds the role of detective has taken on a religious bent.  When they appear in a story we know their purpose, we understand their function. And when they succeed, when they drag the truth to light,there is a feeling of our faith being rewarded.

Humans have always used stories to understand the world that surrounds us. I find it interesting that so much of popular fiction in one way or another features this figure: the Detective as Hero. True Detective on HBO explored this trope in several fascinating ways — overlaying the mechanics of a procedural on the Hero’s Journey. As a side bar, I also found it interesting that the grungy, dystopic world of that show culminated in a moment of true, non-ironic hope and peace.

Maybe that’s why the popularity. If Campbell is to be trusted [ AND HE FUCKING IS] the mono-myth appears again because it mirrors the operation of the human psyche. Mapping the Hero’s quest to Detective stories is a natural pop-culture tic. The Call is some dead body in an alley somewhere, the Underworld an interrogation room, the Elixir a confession, a signed piece of paper, vengeance wreaked, the sound of the cuffs as they click closed. Across the board we make a solemn grunt of satisfaction as the Detective solves the case.  Other heroes have their battles take many forms, but for the Detective it most often boils down to ‘ Figure This Out.’ Maybe I just find mental battles more interesting in my dotage.

What do you think? Close your eyes again. [Metaphysically you ass.] When you see your Detective, are they outlined in a holy fire? Or, as is all too often the case, is it just me having a weird fixation?

Because I see it. Bayless and Pembleton, Mulder and Scully, Watson and Holmes. When the Detective appears I am on board. I lean forward, towards the TV or the page, eager for the first move to be made. I want them to get out there, out there in the dark and get on the trail. I want the hounds sniffing at the scent, I want the board covered with pictures and yarn, I want the detective to drink her coffee grind away at the problem. FOLLOW THE LEADS, GET IT WRONG, TRY AGAIN.  Play the violin and stare at the drop of green ink on the handkerchief and realize that the priest was blind so there is NO WAY HE COULD HAVE KNOWN THE KILLER HAD RED HAIR.

I may have a problem.

So yeah, I like mysteries a little. And detectives a bit.

When I realized that the most logical sequel to my fantasy novel was an Agatha Christie locked-room murder mystery, I was to put it mildly: NUCLEAR LEVEL STOKED. Just throwing all those toys in the box and rattling them around was exciting enough, but the idea of my hero becoming the Detective was the most exciting. Rime is a character defined by her intellect, the idea of matching her up against this type of puzzle was very exciting. Also, finding out that Rime has the same nerdy love for mystery stories that I do was another nice surprise. She’s so excited to step into that role. If I may put it mildly, she is a huge dork about it. Another surprise: Rime is not the greatest detective in the world. I wouldn’t say terrible exactly – but definitely not on speed dial for Commissioner Gordon.

So, what do you think? Is the Detective ‘holy’? OR HAVE I JUST GONE MAD.

[This post is a naked attempt to promote my new book, The Riddle Box. The first two chapters are free here and you can pre-order the ebook here. DON’T FALL FOR MY TRICKS.]

The Riddle Box – Cover Reveal

At last – no further preamble – here is the cover illustration for The Riddle Box!

Cover Illustration - Mike Groves @poopbird
Cover Illustration – Mike Groves @poopbird

Yes! Bask in it’s glory. So many thanks to Mike Groves – poopbird.com – for his fabulous design.

Thank you for enduring the flood of activity from the blog, but I’m afraid there will be more to come as the release of the book in August gets closer.

Shares, presses, tumbles, and retweets very much appreciated – but please always credit Mike Groves/poopbird as the artist.

Stay tuned at this spot for more ramblings, poorly planned self-promotion, and pretty good recipe for peanut butter cookies.

Please follow this link to add The Riddle Box to your Goodreads queue!