Story publication: Dead Men Walking

My first story of 2018, Dead Men Walking, it out from Abyss & Apex in Issue 65, Q1.

It’s not easy to live inside the armor, but between getting my skin peeled away like wet paper by the razorstorms and my bones shredded to chalk, it’s an easy choice. You get used to it after the first two or three months, but only just.

It’s a space opera/military story on the edge of the galaxy, characters who get a little too close to technology for comfort, a bundle of body horror, and an “I Must Scream” ending that I won’t spoil for you, because you’ll want to read it for yourself, right?

I wrote this back in 2014, so it was quite the experiment to see just how far I’ve changed as a writer, and I was very glad I was able to do some last minute edits on this, and closer revolve scenery and mannerisms around character reactions, rather than just static descriptions. And it stands, it’s one of my favourite stories and one of my best executed endings.

And after getting 60+ rejections over three years,  including a Finalist position from Writers of the Future, which is ultimately lost, I’m stoked that it’s finally out in the world. Do check it out, and support Abyss & Apex while you’re at it.



I Now Haz Agent!

If you didn’t see my raging howls over social media, it’s that I NOW HAZ A LITERARY AGENT.

I am now represented by John Jarrold of the John Jarrold Literary Agency, and my film/TV rights represented by Julie Kane-Ritsch of The Gotham Group. John Jarrold picked up my space opera/murder mystery noir novel called THE ROGUE GALAXY, with a strong blend of Scandinavia noir and a body count in the triple figures.

John Jarrold edited and acquired novels by Michael Moorcock, Iain M. Banks, and Robert Jordan, and his current clients include John Gwynne, James Bennett, and Melinda Snodgrass, who I now share an agency with. He also represents Adam Nevill, whose novel The Ritual is releasing as a feature film this October.

It’s not about rubbing shoulders with the big folks (well, maybe a little), but more about the assurance that someone who’s worked with these giants know their stuff, and that you and your project be in good, safe hands.

I spoke with John Jarrold over the phone and felt he was the best one to represent my work. I had interest from other agents, but went with John in the end. But these other agents were so gracious and polite, some telling me that while they didn’t think they had the right contacts to sell it, or didn’t connect with it entirely, they were fans and couldn’t wait to pick it off the shelves one day. There’s so little indication if you’re Doing It Right, and it’s a relief when you get picked up.

But yeah. Agent! We’re going to start doing edits soon, and then it’s off to publishers and I’m absolutely over the moon about this. Thanks again to everyone who beta read the novel, helped revise the query, gave me advice, or just cheered along from the sidelines. It all helped and I’m very pleased to be here now.

The Novel is DOOOOONE

Oops, I screamed that, didn’t I?


But yeah. My spacepunk novel about drug cartels, alien narcotics and fanatic cults is complete at 113,000 words. It’s The Wire and Narcos meets Mass Effect with a snarky Russian-Japanese protagonist who wears an exosuit out of titanium bone. Also includes cults, three-dee printing, alien drugs, and an asteroid filled with million of people and a college of cultures, both human and alien. And food porn. Lots and lots of food.

It’s the first adult novel I wrote in first-person, and it’s also the very novel where I put the characters first. I’ve always included character arcs and backgrounds (how could I not?) but this is the first time where the characters and their voices drove the story. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to write another way. Whereas my last novel taught me about world-building and scene-setting, this one taught me so much about characterization and voice and agency. I learn with everything I write, and this one certainly has, too.

I wrote the novel I wanted to write. It took six months because of editing my other work and restructuring, but it’s done and I love the end result. It’s gonna need edits, and beta-readers. But I haz another novel and I am very excited about it. I almost didn’t want to finish it, because I love these people and this world so much, but that’s what a dozen rewrites and rounds of edits are for.

But for now it’s done and I hope to bring it to you guys someday.