Monday, June 22, 2015

Blog Tour (Guest Post): Beyond Redemption by Michael R. Fletcher @HarperVoyagerUS @FletcherMR @pumpupyourbook

Beyond Redemption Tour Schedule

Title: Beyond Redemption
Michael R. Fletcher
Publisher: Harper Voyager (HarperCollins)
Release Date: June 16, 2015

Faith shapes the landscape, defines the laws of physics, and makes a mockery of truth. Common knowledge isn't an axiom, it's a force of nature. What the masses believe is. But insanity is a weapon, conviction a shield. Delusions give birth to foul new gods.

Violent and dark, the world is filled with the Geisteskranken—men and women whose delusions manifest, twisting reality. High Priest Konig seeks to create order from chaos. He defines the beliefs of his followers, leading their faith to one end: a young boy, Morgen, must Ascend to become a god. A god they can control.

But there are many who would see this would-be-god in their thrall, including the High Priest’s own Doppels, and a Slaver no one can resist. Three reprobates—The Greatest Swordsman in the World, a murderous Kleptic, and possibly the only sane man left—have their own nefarious plans for the young god.

As these forces converge on the boy, there’s one more obstacle: time is running out. When one's delusions become more powerful, they become harder to control. The fate of the Geisteskranken is to inevitably find oneself in the Afterdeath. The question, then, is: Who will rule there?

Guest Post

or, Two Things Involved in Being a Newly Published Author

Michael R. Fletcher

I'm new to this writing thing. My first novel, 88 (cyberpunk), was published back in 2013 by a Canadian micro-press called Five Rivers. Prior to 88 I hadn't written anything—not even short stories—though I had made two false starts at novels. A year after 88 was published, my second novel, Beyond (grim dark/epic fantasy), landed me an agent and sold to HARPER in the US. If that seems like a big jump, it was.

How did I do it?

Mostly luck. It's a shitty answer, but it's the truth. Don't however abandon all hope. There is luck you create, and luck you take advantage of.

I wrote 88 between the years 2008 and 2009. I freely confess I was trying to write Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash. I then spent three years trying to sell it with a stunning lack of success that would have persuaded anyone smarter to move on to something else. In 2012 I submitted it to Five Rivers. They saw something they liked in my writing but said it needed a lot of work and asked if I was willing to rewrite. I, of course, agreed instantly.

The editor, Lorina Stephens, sent me a few suggested changes and I got to work. I was amazed at how minor the edits were and thought maybe I wasn't so bad at this writing thing after all.

I was.

This was just a test. Lorina was getting a feel for what I'd be like to work with. She wanted to know if I was both willing and able to make the changes. Once she saw my rewrites and felt confident I was someone she could work with, a publishing deal was offered and signed.

Then she sent me the real edits.

Lorina butchered my little baby. The entire novel was rewritten to change it from present tense to past tense. It was rewritten again to change it from a sloppy and extremely loose third person POV to a very tight third. Pointless characters and long rambling asides were deleted, a few characters got sex changes, and some background characters became very important. We spent the best part of a year bouncing the book back and forth before Lorina decided it was ready.

I found an editor who saw something in my work and was willing to put the time and effort into making it publishable. That's the lucky part. It's what I did with it that matters. I learned. Every time I was asked to change or rewrite something I made sure I understood why.

When I began work on Beyond Redemption I brought everything I had learned writing, rewriting, and editing 88 with me. I used what luck had given me. Beyond Redemption is pure Mike Fletcher, the voice all mine; as much as that is possible from someone who is as voracious a reader as I. But I'd need some more lovin' from Lady Luck if this book was to be a success.

I once again decided to chase agents. Last time, when peddling 88, I'd submitted to hundreds of agents with zero success. This time I researched and narrowed it down to six agents I thought might be interested. Yeah, six. Once again I got lucky and Cameron McClure (Donald Maass Literary Agency) liked the book, though she did call it viscerally disgusting. As with Lorina at Five Rivers, Cameron asked if I was willing to make a few changes and saw those changes before offering representation. Once again, it was a test. She wanted to know how I would be to work with, not just for herself, but for any prospective publishers/editors.

Any writers out there? If an agent or publisher asks if you're willing to make changes, think long and hard before refusing.

Cameron submitted the book to the ten largest English language publishers in the US and UK. David Pomerico, who had just made the move to HARPER Voyager, was a last minute addition to the list.

Hmm, that was lucky.

We received excellent offers from two publishers (one, obviously being HV) and once again I made use of my luck. I knew I'd be asked for edits and rewrites (though happily far less was involved than the 88 edits) and I was ready and willing.

The moment the final edits were okayed and out of my hands I got to work writing more. This time I brought with me not only the lessons learned editing 88, but what I'd learned from David as well. In the last year I've written two more Manifest Delusion novels, both of which I am currently editing.

So here I am, one lucky dude. When does the terror arrive?

Right now.

I'm writing this on May 14th and Beyond Redemption is due to hit shelves June 16th.

What if it doesn't sell?

What if people don't like it?

I spent the last year living off my advance while writing these next two books. What if HV doesn't like them? Panic! What if I spent a year smashing my brain against a keyboard for nothing?

Okay...breathe...slow down...

Worrying about things that are beyond your control is pointless. All you can do is your absolute best. I've been lucky and I've done my best to learn from the opportunities provided. Come to think of it, I did learn a lot while writing and editing Beyond Redemption. Maybe these next two books are even better!

How cool would that be?

Buy Links
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About the Author

Michael R. Fletcher is a science fiction and fantasy author represented by Cameron McClure of the Donald Maass Literary Agency.

His novel, Beyond Redemption, a work of dark fantasy and rampant delusion, is being published by HARPER Voyager and is slated for release in the summer of 2015.

His d├ębut novel, 88, was released by Five Rivers Publishing and tastes like dystopia with a dash of cyberpunk. 88 is available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and elsewhere.

The next two Manifest Delusions novels, The All Consuming and When Far-Gone Dead Return, have been written and are currently in editing.

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You are going to put words in my box?! *squeezes you* Now I shall stalk YOUR blog!