Sign up here to get info on new releases and giveaways!

Archive for the ‘God’s War’ Category

God’s War Wicked Winter Carnival: WE SURVIVED!

With today’s post on tragedy as comfort fiction over at Charlie Stross’s place, so ends my three-week blog tour for the paperback release of GOD’S WAR in the UK (hint: buy one. Buy another for a friend).

There was a lot of incredible news this week that I’ve been sitting on for a bit. The biggest being the 2-book deal with Angry Robot books for a new epic fantasy series, starting with THE MIRROR EMPIRE, due out this September. This means that… yes, my friends, we’ll be doing this all over again in September. The good news is, my inspiration for these new books wasn’t the same as the last, so it won’t be all South African bugs, chronic illness, and Alaskan outhouses (I feel like somebody could do a really awesome parody of one of my blog posts now). I’ll have a whole new batch of awesome featuring orreries, flesh-eating plants, blood magic, and tortured orphans.

If you’re a blogger interested in hosting a piece from me this September, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’ll be putting together this calendar in the coming weeks, because as much work as it was, it did what it was supposed to do, which was have people go, “Who the fuck is this Kameron person?” Which really, is about all you can ask for.

Thanks again to everyone for hosting posts. It was greatly appreciated and I owe you all a beer, or a soda, or some tea. Now I have a 160k book to write.

So… I’ll see you in September!





Three Covers



God’s War Wicked Winter Carnival: Week 2 Wrap-up

In celebration of  my first mass market paperback release, ever, in the UK (for GOD’S WAR!) I’ve been running all around the web sharing nutty posts on worldbuilding, persistence, desire, and SF/F.

Folks have been incredibly kind in hosting. Thanks to all of you.

For those looking forward to more – we have one week of posts left! For those sick of me – we have one week of posts left! 

Here’s what’s upcoming, as well as what you might have missed:


There will be some NEWS this week in addition to posts. NEWS.

  • (I think I still owe a fantasy review site something. Stay tuned) (1-27)
  • “BugTech: Applications in Myth, Magic and IRL,” hosted by Charlie Stross (1-28)
  • Reddit AMA – Ask away! Projects, guest posts, advice, rants, all welcome (1-29)
  • “The Media Churn: How Corporations Manipulate Bloggers” (1-30)





God’s War Wicked Winter Carnival

In celebration of the mass market release of God’s War in the UK (my first mass market release!), I’ll be visiting a bunch of blog-dens, releasing a new Nyx short story (set during the 7 year gap between chapters 4 and 5 of God’s War), swinging by Reddit, and even getting out of the house for my lone con this year.

If you’re in the UK or have friends in the UK, now, my friends, is time to purchase forty copies of God’s War. If you’re in the US and haven’t read it yet, well, no excuses. It’s 2014!

If you’re inclined to keep pace with this sort of thing, here’s where all the juicy new posts and other goodies will be this month. Will be teasing topics next week. Suffice to say I’ll be covering a lot of ground related to writing, women, war, worldbuilding and other fun things that start with “W”, as well as other letters of the alphabet:


January 10th
First Goodreads Giveaway begins

January 13th
Guest post at Juliet McKenna’s
Guest post at Kari Sperring’s

January 14th
Part 1 of New Nyx short story, “The Body Project” goes live on the Del Rey UK blog.

January 14th
“Why I read SF” in tandem with my mom’s essay (yes, really): “Why I don’t read SF” hosted by Pornokitsch.

January 15th
Guest post at Anne Lyle’s

January 16th
Mass market release day for God’s War! 

Part 2 of New Nyx short story, “The Body Project” goes live on the Del Rey UK blog. Also becomes available on Kindle
Guest post at The Speculative Scotsman, with bonus book giveaway

Second Goodreads Giveaway begins!

KICKOFF: “Buy GW for a friend” week. Purchase GW for a friend (US or UK) and I’ll reimburse the first 75 people to buy it during this week for up to $10 of the purchase cost. Just a little bonus thank-you for super fans. Details to follow on date. 

January 17th
Attending ConFusion in Detroit – panel schedule forthcoming
Guest post at Violin in a Void

January 20th
Guest post at The Book Smugglers

January 21st
Guest post at Chuck Wendig’s place

January 22nd
Guest post at Fantasy Faction
Guest post at Suzanne McLeod’s

January 23rd
Guest post at Civilian Reader
Guest post at Liz Bourke’s place

January 24th
Guest post at Kate Elliot’s

January 28th
Guest post at Charlie Stross’s

January 29th
Reddit AMA

January 30th
Guest post at Charlie Stross’s


As ever, thanks to folks for supporting these books. Future work in this biz is often dependent on how well prior work does, so thanks to everyone for passing this one along to friends and family. It means a lot.


Welcome to Skyhorse’s New Night Shade Imprint

As the news has now broken, I wanted to share some postmortem thoughts on the Skyhorse/Night Shade deal which has now gone through.

For those wondering if I took the deal: Throughout the last couple of months, a lot of information has been gathered about Skyhorse and Start, it’s epublishing arm for the new imprint. Like any publisher, there’s good and there’s bad, but by all counts, Tony Lyons at Skyhorse is a shrewd businessman, and, I’ve been assured, will adhere to the letter of our contracts and pay authors on time. As I’m no longer actively publishing titles through Night Shade, the most important thing to me right now is to ensure my books are well distributed, available for retailers to order, and my checks come on time. All of the information I gathered led me to believe that these things will happen under Skyhorse, and that they will adhere to the letter of my (revised) contract, which is why I decided to take the deal.

And, of course, the fate of my UK deal for the Bel Dame Apocrypha was at stake, too. I’m very happy the Del Rey UK version of God’s War is out in bookstores now and generating some great reviews. This also means I’ll be attending this year’s World Fantasy Convention in the UK for certain now. Looking forward to connecting with fans and industry pros on the other side of the pond.

god's war tpb-packshot 50percent (2)

I’d like to thank the SFWA for advocating for authors from the beginning, even if on our end we initially felt a bit thrown to the dogs. It became clear once the news broke that the situation at Night Shade was pretty much a roiling shitstorm, and navigating that is not something I’d ask my worst enemy to do. The SFWA did push hard on several key things in the contract (which is clear from their letter to authors) that Skyhorse/Start would not budge on.  It took the internet storm of authors and agents and continued push by the SFWA to get everyone better terms. So thanks to all the Night Shade authors and agents (and fans! Especially fans of the Foglios’) who took to the net to advocate for better terms for everybody, not just Night Shade’s top authors. No author likes to lose their shit on the internet, but this was one instance where going public proved to be the only way to get things done.

As for my part in this, all I did was moderate a forum for discussion about contract negotiation and curate information – an exercise which would have been useless if nobody showed up. So I’m really humbled by fellow Night Shade authors, agents, and numerous other members of the genre community for all the support and advice shared there. Skyhorse expected to negotiate with 20-30 of Night Shade’s top authors, not 200, and it was that collective push that helped move the mountain. So thank you to everyone for pushing.

There are also a lot of people who forwarded links, rumors, innuendo, and information that I would like to thank publicly – including the person who suggested a forum for sharing information in the first place (not my idea! I was supposed to have this book done a month ago!) – but because of the nature of this thing, a big wall of confidentiality was put in place early on. We all know each other, and we all have to do business together going forward; nobody wants to look like a public troublemaker in this biz. I was OK taking the hit publicly (Twitter calls ahoy!), but to all those other folks involved all I can do is thank them in a general way – you all know who you are

Publicly, I can thank Mary Robinette Kowal, the SFWA’s representative/advocate/liaison during this deal, for all her hard work and cat wrangling. She should never have to buy another drink at a con ever again. I’d also like to thank Charlie Jane Anders at i09 for covering this story as it developed.


So, where do I go from here?

My books are still available from the usual suspects, and will hopefully be in a few more places in the coming months. I look forward to seeing who Skyhorse hires to take on the bulk of the editing of Night Shade’s titles. I wish the new imprint much success. They have a hell of a list.

Thank you again to everyone involved in this process. Publishing can be a minefield, and a rollercoaster, and a scary spastic haunted house carnival ride that often feels like you’re doomed to undertake alone. But I am proud to be part of a community of authors, agents, editors, and fans who care so much and so deeply for one another. Good luck to all – those now a part of the new imprint and those moving on to other opportunities. And to other authors out there, it is my fervent wish that you never, ever have to go through anything like this during your own career.

As to where I’m off to: I need to go finish this fucking book. Because it’s pretty good.

And then, hopefully, I’ll go cash some checks.

God’s War UK: Two Years After My First Novel, Some Thoughts

Today’s the release date of my first novel, GOD’S WAR, in the UK. It’s been a long time coming, and a process not without its hiccups. But the day’s here. I’m told book stores have ordered it, even(!), and it’s sitting out on shelves across the pond and hopefully soon, across the globe.

god's war tpb-packshot 50percent (2)

Writing a book can be a lonely process, often done in a vacuum. You do the best you can, and you work intensely hard. I wrote the first line of God’s War: “Nyx sold her womb somewhere between Punjai and Faleen, on the edge of the desert,” in 2004, after returning from South Africa. I wanted to write a novel about a bounty hunter, and I was still haunted by the sound of the muezzin outside my flat in Durban.

Thus began eight years of writing and research. It’s been a rollercoaster ride of agents and deals and haggling over contracts and stressing over sales numbers, and angsting over reviews, and one very, very drunk night with a bottle of whiskey while I live-streamed the Nebulas.

When I signed with Night Shade books and it hit the shelves here in the U.S., I hoped to sell 3-5,000 copies and maybe get on the Tiptree honor list or something nice like that. Night Shade is a small press, and that’s not a bad run, for them. I did not expect so many people to read it, or care about it, or care so passionately about it. I certainly didn’t expect the awards attention. But I was most delighted when this book got two offers from UK publishers. It’s a weird, dark little book, and I’d always thought it’d do better in the UK than in the U.S. Now we’ll see how that turns out.

I get asked a lot about what I think of the “controversy” surrounding the book. I read all of my reviews, and I used that feedback to adjust and strengthen and add more nuance to subsequent books in the series. Not writing from my death bed also helped the coherence and nuance of subsequent books, and I admit that though I am happy to see folks responding so well to God’s War, I still think Infidel and Rapture are the better books.

That said, what I think of these books isn’t really relevant once I release them. You do the best you can, you take the hits, you incorporate the feedback, and you use it to write better books. I hope that folks who find aspects of the first book problematic hang around for the sequels. I made some deliberate and not-so-deliberate choices, but there was a purpose for them, and a series arc I was working toward. I also made a lot of mistakes, which I own, and there will always be things I’d have done differently, but I wrote the book I had the skill to write at the time.

I look forward to seeing how the series does in the UK, though I’ve stopped reading reviews of the books, at least until I begin my next series set in that world (don’t hold your breath. I have another project I’m pitching first).

I learned a lot while writing these books, and though I know it’s lame to say it, I miss Nyx intensely. All the time. It’s why it’s been so gratifying to read most of my reviews, to find people who connected with her the way I did. I wrote a heroine I had never seen in fiction before (the closest is probably Monza from Abercombie’s Best Served Cold). I wrote an 80’s apocalypse hero who just. won’t. die. and lived and breathed and fucked and fought however it was she pleased, without guilt or apology. I wanted to create a character that de-romanticised the ruthless-assassin-on-resource-strapped world trope.

It’s heartening to see that she’s fascinated so many other folks the way she fascinated me. Now, I look forward to a whole new group of readers across the globe getting the opportunity to read about her and her disfunctional little team of rogues, too.

Thanks to everyone who has supported and continues to support these books. It means a lot, and gives me hope that there’s a future for this type of strange buggy fiction.

Get FREE copies of GOD’S WAR and INFIDEL

If you’ve been hungry to read GOD’S WAR and INFIDEL, but were just waiting for the right time – this is it.

In celebration of the release of RAPTURE, the final book in the trilogy, Night Shade is giving away totally FREE ecopies of BOTH GOD’S WAR and INFIDEL.

Yes. Both books.

Here’s how to get yours:

Just send an email to Night Shade will shoot back an email to you with the info you need to download the files for GOD’S WAR and INFIDEL. Both Epub and Mobi files are available.

Free downloads are only available from November 1st to November 8th, 2012.

Don’t miss it, folks.

(Oh, yeah… and if you like what you read? RAPTURE’s out now!)

The Gender Breakdown of Who’s Reading God’s War

In a discussion with my UK editor yesterday about the differences in the reading composition of UK/US readers, I said that even though I’d expected that most of my readers for GOD’S WAR would be women because of Nyx and her bad-ass self, 90% of the fan mail I got was from men. This got me to thinking about what exactly the fan makeup of the book really was.

In fact, it made me a little worried that my uber-kickass-matriarchy had totally failed to reach the women like me who I’d really wanted to connect with.

So I went back through my fan mail to confirm. It turns out I was suffering from a bit of an exaggeration on that end as far as fan mail gender ratios go. In fact, I was only getting about 2/3rds of my fan mail from men, and 1/3rd from women. But there’s all sorts of reasons for that – guys just might be more willing to email me than women. So instead I went to that bastion of book folk – Goodreads – and did a breakdown of all the folks who’d read the book.

There are over 1815 people who reviewed or added GW on Goodreads, which… I was not expecting. For some reason I didn’t realize that many folks had added it. It’s projects like this that make me really, really want an assistant or intern or something.

Instead of being a Crazy Person and trying to tally up all those, I decided to use Math and take a sample size. Since there were a good number who’d added the book but not rated it, I figured 200 would be a good starting point (if all 1815 were reviews, my sample size should have been 477, but they aren’t, and also, I only have so much free time). I only added people to the list if they’d rated the book , no matter what the rating was.

So, after culling the gender-neutral names, here’s what I came up with in my non-scientific study:

Of the 200 readers, 97 were female and 103 were male.

This near-parity actually pleases me a lot, because I really hoped this was going to be a book that appealed equally to everybody. Lots of people told me women would hate the violence, or guys would be turned off by subversive feminism, or there wasn’t enough romance, but I think it did all right because hey, you know, it turns out some women read violent books and some guys read books with actual, you know, women characters who act like people.

Of course, this doesn’t tell me that any of these people liked the book, only that they read it. And it’s not like it’s Highly Scientific. Goodreads has its own reader-skew, I’m sure.

Still, it’ll change how I have conversations about the book. I was kind of worried during that chat with my editor, like OH NOES EVERYTHING PEOPLE SAID ABOUT GENDER STEREOTYPES IN READING IS TRUE (despite knowing better), but I feel much more confident now.

P.S. My Facebook fan stats also back this up: 47.7% female and 50.6% male (I assume there’s somebody on there who’s gender neutral, which accounts for the .7/.6% person?).

Deals, Deals Deals: GOD’S WAR UK & Audio Editions

I’m pleased to share that GOD’S WAR, INFIDEL and RAPTURE will be published in the UK (and the British Commonwealth) by Ebury Publishing, a subsidiary of Random House, UK. For those keeping an Irony Meter handy, my first contract for GOD’S WAR, which was cancelled and resulted in us heading over to Night Shade, was originally signed with Bantam-Spectra here in the US… Bantam-Spectra is also a division of Random House.

It’s a crazy, crazy business, folks.

In more Good News, Audible has also bought the rights to publish GOD’S WAR, INFIDEL, and RAPTURE in audio format.

I have no publication dates or details beyond that, but I will keep you all posted as I hear more.


Does this mean you’re RICH now?

It’s always been very important to me here to be honest about what new writers can expect from deals like this. So here’s how it works. After my publisher’s cut, my agent’s cut, and taxes, the UK deal – for all three books – is about enough to pay for us to finally put a fence up around our property. That said, the pay out on that amount is spread out over the publication of all three books. So money will trickle in over, most likely, the next 2-3 years.

The Audible deal for all three books equals a little more than half of what I was paid by Night Shade to publish GOD’S WAR alone. So, maybe I’ll pay off part of a credit card with it?

Whether or not money is made after those initial amounts depends wholly on how many folks buy books in these editions/formats. So BUY SOME BOOKS!!!

But… but… won’t you be bathing in royalty money?

Not any time soon. I split a portion of any royalties I receive with both Night Shade (because it’s a sub rights deal on rights they already own and paid us for) and my agent. I still get the bulk of the royalties, but if you think this is a Get Rich Quick scheme and I’ll be quitting my day job any time soon… well, no.

Are you going to have (INSERT FAMOUS JENNIFER-HALE TYPE PERSON HERE) read your audio book? Can my friend (INSERT FRIEND’S NAME HERE) narrate your audio book?

As I understand it, unless you’re already Rich and Famous and can get said Famous Person to do the narration at a cut-rate deal, Audible generally does all the production for stuff on their end. I will get to tell them how to pronounce words, though. So that’s cool.

How much input did you have on these deals?

My publisher already owned both World English and audio rights to my novels. That means they negotiated these deals. That said, I was presented with the initial UK offers through my agent, asked my opinion, and gave it, including a change to an initial bit of the offer. My agent also requested an amended contract that firmed up our split of the subsidiary rights.

You don’t sound really happy. Aren’t you really happy?

Yes, I am really happy. The thing is, just a few short years in the trenches in this biz has made me a bit guarded and cynical (see above post about my initial cancelled contract). I’ve learned that seeing “big money” when you sign a deal doesn’t mean you’re getting a big money check. Lots of people have to get paid before you do – the publisher gets paid for any subsidiary rights split, agent gets 15% and at Tax Time there’s a 10% self-employment tax.  Then there’s the fact that you only get paid twice or maybe three times a year – and those payments are nearly always late.  The only way a lot of folks I know can make a living at this is to write 2-3 books a year, and I’m just not there yet. Not if I want to write the kinds of books I write.

Right now, book writing makes up just 10-15% of my income during a good year.

Still, I’m happy. This means more people reading my books. Which, yanno, I think are awesome and everyone should be reading.

So, what’s next?

I have a lot of work ahead that goes with all this, but I’m trying not to think about that too much. Mostly, I’m working hard on the next book (epic warring families! Womb tech! Biotic witches! Cancerous legions of world ships!)… and trying to have a little fun.

And maybe I’ll use some of this money to take a vacation or something. A vacation that I’m not taking so I can, yanno, finish a book.

Sometimes you’re going to piss people off…

..and you need to decide if you’re OK with that.

I was going through my Youtube videos this week and tabulating views and such. I did several different versions of the GOD’S WAR trailer in an effort to reach different types of readers. For the most part, I think those succeeded. But if you look at views, the most popular video is still the most controversial – the Anti-Urban Fantasy (UF) Heroine trailer.

I knew this trailer had the potential to piss off a lot of people when I made it, and I hesitated to post it even after pouring hours of work into it (at least it didn’t cost me anything. I did 98% of it in PowerPoint). People love their genres, no matter what they are, and poking fun at it isn’t going to win you a lot of friends. That said, I also knew that there were a good number of people who were as annoyed with the standard UF heroine as I was, and those were the people I wanted to reach with this trailer. Of the three trailers I did, it was shared the most, has the most comments, and hand sold at least three or four books (I know because people actually felt the need to email me and tell me they bought the book after watching it – yes! THOSE are the people I made that trailer for).

I bring this up because I think that we have a tendency to play it safe when it comes to marketing – not just in the book industry but in the marketing industry as a whole (I write marketing and advertising copy for a living, after all). The thing is, sometimes you have to risk pissing a few people off (people who wouldn’t be interested in your product anyway) in order to speak in a way that really resonates with your target audience. It’s up to you to decide how far you want to push that. You could just end up being a lazy bigot.  Just take a look at some of these ad campaigns for an idea of what not to do.

If I create something that I know has the potential to piss some people off, I sit down and interrogate it. I must have watched that trailer a bazillion times before posting it. I also watched some other videos cataloguing the evolution of UF covers. Most importantly of all, I anticipated what the reactions would be to the video from people who loved UF. I knew I’d get people saying I was bashing their genre, that they’d never pick up my book now, that my approach was condescending and offensive to UF readers. Then I thought about what kind of harm that would do. Does critiquing a genre amount to bigotry? Or was I simply asking folks to take another look at what they were reading and question it?

So I made it clear up front that this was a trailer for people who were tired of the same old UF heroine. If you still liked your UF heroines as they were, well, cool. You knew up front that it wasn’t something that interested you. I decided that poking fun at a genre and maybe making a few folks uncomfortable was worth the risk. I was presenting UF tropes and stereotypes in order to position the book as challenging them. If you already liked those tropes, this wouldn’t be the book for you.At worse, they’d swear off all my books and send me hate mail.

Finally, I looked at the messaging to the people I actually wanted to reach with this trailer. There are plenty of conversations about the perils and problems of UF, and I’ve even read and participated in some of them. I wanted to address these problems in the genre and position GOD’S WAR in such a way that it appeared to address a lot of these problems. It’s got an actual scary heroine who kills bad guys – she doesn’t date them. No werewolves, no vampires, no tight leather pants – just what I always wanted from UF but didn’t feel I was getting – a physically scary woman kicking ass and taking names without much fear or regret, because this was her job (of course, it was pointed out to me later that when I said “no werewolves” that Khos is actually a shapeshifter who turns into a dog, and Nyx is noted to have slept with him at one point. In my defense, he wasn’t technically a bad guy. So. Erm.).

Now, this isn’t to say that the other two GOD’S WAR trailers sucked. I like them quite a bit. But they also speak to very different audiences. One is very clearly SF-nal. The other is more adventure-fantasy. And though I’ve received positive feedback of the “Wow, did you really create that yourself?” variety, the only trailer that resulted in passionate emails about books immediately bought is the anti-UF trailer.

I still regret not doing a full trailer for INFIDEL. But if you think writing a book a year when you have a day job can be rough, try writing a book a year while marketing two books a year. That was too much, and my efforts with INFIDEL counted on stuff like giveaways and some targeted ads – all passive stuff that I could turn on and not think about.

Still, even with the INFIDEL teaser trailer, I tried to do something surprising and unexpected. I wanted something non-typical that made it clear people hadn’t read this book before.

One of the things I learned at Clarion was that if I worked too hard at making something that didn’t raise any questions, and didn’t look at all different from anything else, well, sure, it was going to be nice and safe, but it wasn’t going to connect with anyone either. It was going to sound just like everything else. And if something is just like everything else, then anybody could write it. Anybody could create it. And if anybody could create it, why would folks bother to buy it from you specifically?

I’m always looking for ways to push the envelope. Always looking to walk the fine line between being interesting and being outrageous. Finding that balance takes a lot of work, and I know I fail at it a lot, but as far as I’m concerned, if I’m not failing, I’m not trying hard enough. Failure just means trying something different. If it doesn’t work, try something else.

My Ideal Nyx

My first pic for the movie version of Nyx was always Michelle Rodriguez, but she’s a bit short for the role (5’5), and notoriously a lot of trouble on the set.

A far better pick, I discovered (while watching Rome) would be a buffed-out Zuleikha Robinson (who clocks in at nearly 5’8, which is closer to Nyx’s 5’10/11), who’s apparently picked up a gig on Lost and some other tv shows since I first saw her in Rome. Maybe I can convince her to do the audio book version?