Tag Archives: ebook

The Map Maker of Morgenfeld

The Map Maker of Morgenfeld thumb

I have a new novel out, and this one has a bunch of intriguing things about it. Intriguing to me, anyway.

First, it’s a fantasy, which I don’t often write. That said, there are no wizards or magic or dragons, no vast armies of conquest, no hero smiting demons with a terrible swift sword. This novel grows out of my younger self’s love of Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast series (I even shamelessly bastardized the name).
My style is very different from Peake’s. Well, of course, writing has changed over the years, and while Peake wrote some wonderful books, they are a product of their period. I like to think I’ve captured something of their essence in my own world.

Secondly, I wrote the novel while traveling. In April and May of 2017 we had a fabulous voyage to Santiago, Easter Island, the Atacama Desert, Quito and the Galapagos Islands. Almost six weeks away.

I wrote every day. Usually stolen moments in the evenings, at kitchen tables, or in dining rooms. Once or twice in noisy cafes.

The trip was awesome. But it was cool to maintain that writing momentum throughout. Especially with the focus on a project. I suppose elements of South American culture and lifestyle may well be wrapped up somewhere in the book.
Thirdly, or perhaps this should be my first item, I wrote the novel on a phone. We traveled light. Carry-on luggage only. Taking a laptop, with a bulky charger, would have been a nuisance. I discovered the cool little Rapoo bluetooth keyboard. I bought the Docs2go app, which allowed me to format the document nicely as I went, and also to track my word count.

I designed and 3D-printed a stand for the phone. I bought a travel wallet, one intended for money and cards and documents, and used that to create a neat little package for the keyboard, stand and phone so they could all just drop into my backpack easily.

All of those elements make The Map Maker of Morgenfeld perhaps my most unusual novel so far. I’m sure that traveling influenced the writing. I’m sure that the restriction of the phone influenced the writing.

I hope it all worked out into a readable, enjoyable book.
The cover illustration is near-perfect for me anyway. By Grandfailure | Dreamstime. It really shows the clutter and maze of Morgenfeld better than I’d pictured it.

Available all over, in print ($12.99), and as an ebook ($5.99), KindleSmashwords, and so on.

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Raven Rising, my second novel for 2018, is out.

Raven Rising thumbI’ve published my shortest novel to date. Is that something to brag about? Not sure. I do like Dean Wesley Smith’s philosophy that a story is the length the story needs to be, rather than pushing to hit some arbitrary wordcount. I think I hear that a hundred thousand words is where a novel should aim.

Well, my story, Raven Rising didn’t need a hundred thousand. Or even fifty thousand. More like thirty-two thousand. Too long to be a novella, but still short for a novel.

This might be more like those “Bookshots” from James Patterson. Little standalone books, full of adventure. Though mine is very much science fiction. Not really the thriller, or similar stories in those books. Deep space science fiction at that.

Cover illustration © Philcold | Dreamstime

Blurb: Light years from home, Starship Raven went down in a plunging blazing wreck. Crack investigator Angelie Gunnarson and her team love this kind of impossible mystery. But the Raven might have more secrets than even Angelie can handle. An action-packed short sci-fi novel from the award-winning author of The City Builders.

Coming up soon, a post about just how hard I find it to write decent sales copy. It uses a different part of the brain, I’m thinking.

Anyway, Raven Rising is available from various retailers, (link goes to books 2 read universal page, then on to retailers – still learning about that one too). The print version will be available soon. ebook $5.99, print will be $9.99.

book links image

New year, new challenge, new books.

A great start to the year. Hot weather, lots of writing, new books, and a photo challenge.
With some colleagues at work, I’m participating in a “Photo every day for the year” challenge. I write every day, so why not take a photo every day too?

Most of the others are using Instagram, which I guess is the thing for photos nowadays. Me, not having a phone smart enough to run Instagram, I’m uploading photos to Flickr from computer. A desktop at that. (It turns out, Instagram doesn’t work from PCs).
My page is here: Sean Monaghan 365 Flickr

flickr screenshot.jpg

With about thirty-something pictures so far. I am taking a picture every day, just that with the whole move-it-to-the-computer thing, I’m not managing to post every day. Still, on track to get all 365 images up.
The double challenge might come later in the year with continuing the circle theme.

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I also managed to get a couple of short books out in January. Touches Electricity and Unicorn Beluga Play Madison Square Garden. Both available as ebooks and in print.
Setting higher goals for publishing this year. Last year I managed to get out just four novels and a clutch of shorter books. Aiming for ten novels and sixteen other books this year (one every two weeks). Some of those other books will be collections of the shorter works.
I’m enjoying the ability to put up a single work that’s shorter than novel length (Touches Electricity is about 10,000 words, or about forty pages, Unicorn Beluga… is about half again as long). Once I have about five or so of those out at that length, I’ll put them together in a single collection, which will be closer to that novel-length 250-300 pages.

Unicorn Beluga Play Madison Square Garden
Max Deacon, music producer extraordinaire, works with any band with a good idea. Inspiration is more important than the money. Though the money’s good.
But with Unicorn Beluga playing their hits Max might just be out of his depth. Way out.
A sci-fi story with a heart from the author of The Molenstraat Music Festival and Crimson Birds of Small Miracles.

Touches Electricity
Damian feels a tingling surge of electricity. But is it going to help him figure out what’s going on with Carina?
A quirky tale of friendship, mystery and angst, with just a dash of electricity on the loose.

ebooks
Unicorn Beluga Play Madison Square Garden $2.99, Smashwords, Amazon
Touches Electricity $2.99, Smashwords, Amazon

print
Unicorn Beluga Play Madison Square Garden $8.99, Amazon, Barnes and Noble
Touches Electricity $7.99, Amazon, Barnes and Noble

 

If you’ve read this far – thanks. Here’s a free download coupon for Unicorn Beluga Play Madison Square Garden – Coupon Code: DJ77L. Just go to the Smashwords page and enter the coupon code prior to checkout. I hope you enjoy the book.

(p.s. I’ve limited the coupons to 20 – should be plenty, given how many people read my blog but if you get there and the code doesn’t work, my apologies – send me a message and I’ll get you a copy).

Latest novel: The City Builders – out on April 16th

City BuildersMy latest release continues the theme of strange and dangerous environments challenging the characters. I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of vast cities so it I had fun taking free rein creating the world of Mackelle. The blurb goes like this:

Desra Parker loves investigating strange planets. But when missiles shoot her ship down over Mackelle, Desra and her crew find themselves in a desperate race for survival. Battling the elements and relentless building-sized robots, Desra needs to unravel the mysteries of Mackelle’s endless city if she’s going to keep anyone alive. And figure out a way to get home.
I was lucky enough to get this wonderful cover illustration by Bertrandb (Dreamstime.com) which perfectly conveys the setting.
Available from your usual retailers, including
ebook – $5.99
Print $17.99
Amazon

Karnish River Navigations series

After muddling my way through my website, I’ve managed to finally complete a page dedicated to my Karnish River Navigations science fiction adventure series.

The page is available here: Karnish River Navigations, or from the drop-down menu under Science Fiction at the top of the seanmonaghan.com website. I notice I still need to tinker with the page format a bit to get everything lining up. I’ll get there.

The first three books are out already, and I hope to have the fourth, Guest House Izarra, out soon (it’s written, proofed and copy-edited, just needs formatting and uploading, and I need to finalise the cover).

The story? Flis Kupe makes the mistake of burning out her embedded military arlchip. Discharged and returning home, she fights her way across the Karnth canal land to rescue her brother. Each book stands alone and the books can be read in any order. Arlchip Burnout is kind of the first, though Night Operations is probably my favorite.

The series is fun to write, and I hope it’s as much fun to read. I plan to write more in the series next year. There’s tech I want to explore, and Flis and Grae are fun characters to hang out with.

Arlchip Burnout cover art by © Kuan Leong Yong | Dreamstime.com
Night Operations cover art by © 1971yes | Dreamstime.com
Canal Days cover art by © Elisanth | Dreamstime.com (figure), © Patrik Ružič | Dreamstime.com (background)
Guest House Izarra cover art by © Antaltiberiualexandru | Dreamstime.com (background), © Algol | Dreamstime.com (figure)

The Bubbcat in Cirsova

cirsova-4My short story “The Bubbcat” appears in the Fall issue of Cirsova magazine. Cirsova has now reached its fourth issue and goes from strength to strength. I’m pleased to have my story here.

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Dolci D.’s job should be simple. Retrieve and protect the Bubbcat. Easy. It turns out, the device can just about take care of itself. And when people start bombing subway stations, Dolci D. needs every bit of help the Bubbcat can give

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A great collection of stories here, running the whole gamut. I’m pleased to be in such great company. Lots to enjoy.

 

100 Submissions

Last great time house.png So, as well as tracking my word count this year, I’ve also tracked my number of submissions. Now, I do keep close track of where and when I’m submitting (it would be kind of silly not to), but this is the first time I’ve ever recorded the actual number as well.

So far this year I’ve made 100 submissions. That’s submissions of short-stories/ novelettes/ novellas to various markets. It doesn’t count items I’ve sent to indie/ self-publishing.

To be clear, though, I have completed a total of fourteen new pieces. All of those submitted. There have been some novels that have gone directly to indie, so I’m not counting those.

Getting to one hundred submissions means some of those fourteen, and some of last year’s stories (and a couple from the year before) are finding themselves resubmitted. This is pretty standard practice. One market rejects a story, off it goes to another. Repeat. Heinlein would say ‘repeat until sold’.

Of those fourteen, I’ve so far sold six. Not a huge number for me, but I’ll take it (of course). Pretty low ratio in terms of submissions: six percent, but not too bad in terms of stories completed.

Cover illustration for The Last Great Time House of Muldemar Ridge © Ateliersommerland | Dreamstime.com