New website

Hello, all! As part of my run-up to the release of Geekomancy, I’ve exported this blog to a hosted domain, so you should now point your Read-o-Trons to 

michaelrunderwood.com

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Author, Keep Your STET Hand Strong

Copy edits have arrived, which means that in addition to trying to get words down on the new novel, I’m going through the copy-edited manuscript of Geekomancy and approving the changes I like, STETing the ones I don’t, and making tweaks as needed, so that the novel is as most-amazingly-awesome-tastic as possible when it goes to the production team to be turned into an eBook.

For those not in the publishing biz, STET is used when a writer or editor wants to indicate “leave it the way it was”. Adam noted ‘STET phase’ or ‘STET neologism’ several times throughout to tell the copyeditor to not change my whacky language.

I’ve used the STET-hammer a number of times myself, but the most fun in copy edits so far has been pulling out my DVD of The Empire Strikes Back to fact-check the number of anttenae on an Imperial Probe Droid from the beginning on Hoth (2).

Crits for Water Auction

I wanted to bring more attention to the Crits for Water part of the Charity: Water effort, which helps provide safe, drinkable water to impovrished communities around the world.

I raffled off a query critique last week, and this week, I’m offering a critique of the first 10K and a query letter for a SF/F manuscript. This one is being auctioned, so I’m hoping we can bring a bit more money in for the charity.

http://critsforwater.katbrauer.com/2012/05/14/auction-critique-of-10000-words-plus-query-by-author-michael-r-underwood/

If you’ve got a writer friend looking to take their manuscript up to the next level, please consider pointing them at this auction or another one from Crits for Water.

Thanks!

SFWA Secret Decoder Ring

Since my official contract is in and signed, I was able to finish up my paperwork and am an official active member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America! SFWA is the host/executor of the Nebula Award, and as a professional guild, it offers a great number of resources for writers. Recent efforts by SFWA leaders like John Scalzi and Mary Robinette Kowal have, in my opinion, done a great job of showing how important the organization is and what it can do for SF/F writers.

Joining SFWA has also been a professional ambition of mine for quite some time now, so it’s a great step along my Writer’s Journey.

Pocket Star Relaunch

Today, Simon & Schuster has put out an official announcement for the relaunch of Pocket Star, the imprint which is publishing Geekomancy.

The official announcement:

 

POCKET STAR RELAUNCHED AS DEDICATED EBOOK IMPRINT

 

NEW YORK, May 7, 2012 – Louise Burke, Executive Vice President and Publisher, announced today that Pocket Books, America’s first paperback publisher, has re-launched its Pocket Star line as an eBook-only imprint.  As it did in print, Pocket Star will continue to feature bestselling and debut authors in popular genres including women’s fiction, romance, thrillers, urban fantasy, and mystery.

Louise Burke said, “Similar to how mass market has served as a platform to develop future hardcover authors, it is our mission to use Pocket Star’s new digital-only format to establish new voices in the marketplace.  An eBook imprint is flexible, cost-effective, cutting-edge and makes sense in today’s marketplace.  Under the Pocket Star banner we will publish original works including full-length novels and novellas from some of our most popular authors.”

Pocket Star will follow the model of the successful eBook publication of WARLORD WANTS FOREVER, a novella by #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole that has now sold almost 60,000 copies.  The imprint is launching with titles from its Spring and Summer lists, featuring authors  V.C. Andrews, Nathan Dodge, Cindy Gerard, Laura Griffin, Sabrina Jeffries, Carrie Lofty, and Michael R. Underwood, among others.  All Pocket Star eBooks will have the full support of Pocket Books’ creative and innovative publishing resources.  Reflecting a fluid marketplace, titles initially published under Pocket Star may transition from eBook to print format.

Lauren McKenna, Executive Editor, has been named Editorial Director of Pocket Star and will oversee all content.  “Lauren has been instrumental in helping shape our vision for Pocket Star.” added Ms. Burke, “She will be vital to the further development of this new imprint.”

To access the Pocket Star eBook Sampler, please click here or paste this URL into your browser: http://www.simonandschuster.com/admin_assets/7080_PocketStar_eSAMPLER_1_.pdf

Pocket Books will remain home to mass market authors published in both print and electronic formats.

 

 

Read more here (and download a free sampler with content from each of the launch titles, including Geekomancy): http://pages.simonandschuster.com/pocketstar/geekomancy

 

Out in the World

Coincidentally, I’m appearing twice out in the world today, supporting the Crits for Water fundraiser and with an interview over at a fellow author’s blog.

Crits for Water — http://critsforwater.katbrauer.com/2012/05/04/raffle-critique-of-a-query-by-author-michael-r-underwood/

AmyBeth Inverness — http://amybethinverness.com/2012/05/03/interview-with-michael-r-underwood/

Geekomancy Excerpt

Since line edits are now done, I’ve updated the excerpt of Geekomancy over on Book Country. If you’d like a taste of Ree’s story, head over to read the first two chapters.

http://www.bookcountry.com/Books/BookDetails.aspx?bookId=123793

Kind folks that they are, they have also posted a story about the cover reveal. http://www.bookcountry.com/Industry/Article.aspx?articleId=130507

If you write or read SF/F, Book Country is a great place to check out some undiscovered talent, talk about craft, business, and genre, get your work critiqued — and maybe even discovered!

Diving ahead

Geekomancy has gone off to my editor, and any day now the next round (line edits) will arrive.  In the meantime, I’ve been plotting and planning and thinkerating about the sequel.  I’ve never written a sequel before, so I have a whole new set of challenges and opportunities.

Since Geekomnancy was originally a distraction from my ‘real’ project, the stress level when I started writing was very low.  I was just taking a fun break to try out an idea. Now I have a deadline, established continuity, series ambitions, and so on.

What I usually do (as in, what I’ve done for the last four novel starts) is to think and outline and ponder characters and plot, throwing it all into a mental pile.  When that mental pile of ideas and characters got too high, it would tumble into a wave of writing, and I’d ride that wave to get the first draft started.

The pile is building, and I’m trying to push myself to make the second book even more fun, more exciting than the first one, to build on what I’ve done while also finding something new to show readers, while keeping myself from stressing out too much (ala “oh crap Sophomore slump and I have way less time to write this book and what if the first one was a total fluke!”).

All in all, this time around, I’m feeling less like preparation is building up a mountain of ideas and more that it’s strapping on gear to prepare for my first skydive.

The light is green, I’m standing in the open door of the plane, the wind rushing in, lapping at my fingers.

Nothing left to do but let go and dive.  Also, I should probably avoid that turbine.

Geekomancy Cover Ree-veal and More!

It is with utmost excitement that I bring you today’s blog post.

I’ve been given the go-ahead for two big stages of Geekomancy‘s journey to publication.

Awesome thing the first — Check out the cover to Geekomancy!

Cover art by Trish Cramblet, Design by Min Choi

There she is folks, Geekomancy‘s own Rhiannon Anna Maria Reyes aka Ree!  I’m blown away by the awesome of this cover, both in the depiction of Ree and the very cool design for the title.

Awesome thing the second: Geekomancy has pages on Amazon, BN.com, and Simon & Schuster!  The actual pubdate is July 10th, not the 3rd as is noted there.  The update is still making its way through channels.

http://www.amazon.com/Geekomancy-ebook/dp/B007SNRRP8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1334238281&sr=8-1

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/geekomancy?keyword=geekomancy&store=allproducts

http://books.simonandschuster.com/Geekomancy/Michael-R-Underwood/9781451698138

I also show it available in iBooks/iTunes.

Media Co-Agent Activate!

I’m stoked to announce that I’ve signed with Jon Cassir of Creative Artists Agency to represent GEEKOMANCY for film/tv rights. Jon really gets the novel, and he has lots of great ideas on how to pitch the project.

This is the first in many long steps on the road to Hollywood, but it’s a step! After this, the next step would be getting a production company to request an option, which is basically ‘dibs’ — if a company has an option, no one else is allowed to purchase rights to the work. This gives the production company the time to put together a package to get support for moving forward. There are many more steps after that, but that’s where we are.