A few quick news items:

  • First off, my buddy Francis James Blair just released the second book in his Bulletproof Witch series, Curse of the Daemon Beast. It’s a really fun fantasy Western, and I highly recommend it to fans of both, well, fantasy and Westerns. Fans of the Dark Tower will probably enjoy it, and I suspect many Dresden Files fans will too. (Because, let’s be honest, the Dresden Files draw really heavily on Western tropes, which I love.) Bulletproof Witch books are short and fast paced (though the first is really short ⏤ it’s more novella length, but the second is full novel length. Still a fast read, though.) As a nice little bonus, book one is only 0.99! And I believe it will be free next week as well. I was one of the beta readers on book 2, and I absolutely loved it. It’s got a tightly constructed, well- plotted mystery, great action, and plenty of humor.
  • Work’s still going on Book 3 of Mage Errant, but I’m unfortunately going to be missing my hoped-for May release, and if it comes out in June, it’ll be in late June. A July release isn’t improbable. There are a few things dragging it out ⏤ first off, I’ve been getting sick a lot this spring, thanks to my roommate, who has just taken up Brazilian jiu-jitsu, which along with its many good features, is also a great way to pick up all sorts of fun colds and flus and such. And, of course, he apparently has the world’s most powerful immune system, so he just feels kind mediocre for about an hour and a half, then I get knocked out for a week.
  • On the writing side of things, well….my last couple of months at my day job were especially draining, and I got very little writing done there following the release of Jewel of the Endless ErgI’ve been out of there for a month and a half now, but it turns out that it’s pretty easy for me to fall out of good writing habits, so I had to redevelop those. (They’re back now, not to worry!) It also turns out that mole hunt plots are pretty tough to write.
  • I’ll do my best to keep you all updated on Book 3 ⏤ if I’m going to be late with a book, I at least want you all to be in the know as to why. And the delay isn’t that long, I suppose, but I definitely feel bad about it.
  • Did I tell you guys about the audiobook thing? Wait, yes, I did. Is it alright if I rant again about how crazy excited I am that Podium, my audiobook publisher, snagged Ralph Lister to narrate? Well, if it isn’t alright for me to rant about it, too bad, because I just did.
  • I’ve mentioned this on r/Fantasy, but not here ⏤ my next novel after Book 3 is going to be a standalone epidemiological fantasy novel following the spread of a plague across a fantasy continent. It’s not going to be grimdark, but it will not by any means be a cheerful book. I’m really excited for this one ⏤ plagues bring both the absolute best and the absolute worst out of people, and it’s an ongoing regret of mine that there’s so little epidemiological fantasy out there. Plenty of epidemiological science fiction, but not very much epidemiological fantasy. (Though you should definitely check out Travis Riddle’s Balam, Spring if you haven’t already ⏤ it’s an epidemiological fantasy novel set entirely in a single quiet little village. It’s got a fun Final Fantasy-esque magic system, and like all of Travis’ work, it’s got top-notch character building.)
  • You shouldn’t worry too much about the wait for Book 4, however ⏤ that’s the single book in Mage Errant I’m probably most excited to write. I’m excited for all of them, of course, but man, Book 4 is going to be so much fun to write. It’s going to be another summer vacation book, and Hugh and company are definitely going to be needing a vacation afterBook 3. Which of course I’ll give them. I wouldn’t be cruel enough to wreck yet another of Hugh’s summer vacations, right? Right?
  • *Maniacal Laughter.*

John Bierce

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