Category Archives: Shameless self-promotion
Holy shit, everyone, Tainted Blood will be released tomorrow! First of all — I’m 24 hours away from being the author of a trilogy, so consider that ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED. Secondly — you guys are 24 hours away from 306 pages filled with violence, nerd references, kitsune fabulousness, Finnish were-bears, and my continued efforts to make my vampires as fundamentally icky as possible.
To everyone who hit the preorder button at some point over the last few months, THANK YOU!!
To everyone planning to hit bookstores tomorrow to get their greedy hands on this book, THANK YOU!!
To everyone who has pestered their local librarian into buying a copy or ordering it through interlibrary loan, THANK YOU!!
To everyone who intends to illegally download a copy, seriously, man, you’re killing me here. Please report internet piracy to the publishers.
The publishers pay incredibly close attention to the first week of sales, both physical and e-book. It was the strong sales numbers on Iron Night that convinced the publisher to roll the dice and offer me a contract for the fourth book in the series. You guys, with your amazing support of my series, are the reason that when you finish the last page of Tainted Blood, you can know that another book in the American Vampire series will be on shelves in August 2015 — and it’s thanks to you.
A few fun things to fill those last hours before the book hits the shelves and the kindles:
A review of Tainted Blood, plus a giveaway of a signed copy from one of my favorite blogs, The Bibliosanctum!
A really fun interview that I did with Rob Bedford over at SFFWorld — if you’ve ever wondered why I decided to have Fort beaten up by Bruins fans back in the first book, the answer is here!
And, finally, I’ll be doing an AMA over at the Reddit r/Fantasy board on Thursday, so come over and ask me anything!
I can’t wait to hear what everyone thinks of Tainted Blood, and I’m so very excited that people are finally going to get a chance to read it. Thank you again!
That crept up on me.
Want a sneak peek snippet at Tainted Blood? Check out the Sunday Snippet at That’s What I’m Talking About — they’re doing a double feature of Iron Night and Tainted Blood! Plus, you can enter a giveaway for a signed copy of Iron Night. Check it out, and don’t forget to pre-order Tainted Blood wherever fine books are sold!
Notable quotes include:
Rapid-fire prose and intimate characterization infuse stock mythic figures with pertinence and attitude. Fortitude is an enthralling good boy going bad, struggling to merge monstrous powers with humility and wisdom.
Self-referential comedy and operatic tragedy make sexy bedmates, enhanced by lush atmosphere and sharp dialogue. Brennan’s smart, sassy, and seductive vampire mythos injects fresh blood into a lethargic subgenre.
Oh, and for those of you who frequent Amazon, the pre-order price on TB is $5.78 for paperback, $5.99 for ebook! How can you resist that?
Like the picture? That’s from the release day of Iron Night — I went out with a bunch of friends and we bought out the entire supply of the Nashua Barnes & Noble, then went out for dinner. And, yes, all of those guys are engineers. (that’s how well crafted Iron Night is, people! believe me, engineers recognize good construction and materials!)
Let’s start with the fantastic news — Iron Night has ten reviews on Amazon, and Generation V is actually up to forty-one! This is just flat-out awesome, since the number of reviews apparently does something to the metrics that is good for me. Other authors have told me this. (what? I only KNOW engineers, people! you want an actual explanation of how site metrics work, you talk to Django Wexler, not me)
I’ve also been a busy little promoting author — two new guest blogs are up. You can read about how I designed the elves in Iron Night and also about how I developed the kitsune. Huge thanks to My Shelf Confessions and The BiblioSanctum, respectively, for hosting me.
Luckily it hasn’t just been me talking about the book — Justin wrote an amazing article about the publishing industry in general and Generation V in particular for his fantastic Under The Radar series at Tor.com. This not only gave me the coveted Landon Bump (seriously, two separate people have tweeted to me that they read the book because of this article), but also put me in excellent company, since Justin also wrote about Teresa Frohock’s Miserere .
What else fun is happening? Well, for one, I got a chance to be interviewed by one of my favorite bloggers, Julie at YM&KAC. Not only did we have a fun conversation, but she also got me to reveal seven hints about the upcoming third Fortitude Scott book, Tainted Blood.
Plus, new reviews!
Iron Night reaches Scotland! Lisa at Over The Effing Rainbow wrote:
I love finding urban fantasy that reaffirms why I love the genre so much, and that’s exactly what the Generation V series is doing. Given that the only two authors of urban fantasy books who have gotten me as excited about a UF series as Brennan has are Jim Butcher and Seanan McGuire – two of my absolute favourite authors, no less – I can say with gleeful certainty that Brennan is absolutely one to watch.
Tabitha at My Shelf Confessions wrote:
Vampires, trolls, elves, witches, foxes and ghouls. Just put down whatever other urban fantasy you were about to read and pick up Generation V and Iron Night instead. You can thank me later.
Bridget Keown at RT Book Reviews also had wonderful things to say:
Brennan’s second Generation V novel is a pitch-perfect addition to this imaginative, funny series. Balancing precariously between his painfully realistic, underemployed life and the paranormal world that lurks beyond the shadows, Fortitude Scott is an earnest, engaging hero with a heart of gold. Fans will delight to see the return of his sidekick, Suze, in all her wild glory, as well as the rest of this fascinating cast.
Happy Halloween! Hopefully everyone has something fun planned for today, and not just what holiday-themed name they are putting on their Twitter account! (After succumbing to peer pressure, I’ve been ML BOOrennan this week.)
Ever wonder what Fortitude Scott, film major extraordinaire, thinks are the top ten scariest films to watch on Halloween? Ever wonder to what extent Suzume Hollis would mess with that list? Wonder no more, and go over and see it in my guest post for SheWolfReads‘s Creepy Classic Movie Challenge – Fortitude Scott’s Top Ten Scary Movies!
The Troubled Scribe wrote that:
Brennan creates some interesting explanations and back story for vampire breeding and history. There are plenty of exciting fight scenes to make this a fast-paced read and some satisfying bloody gruesomeness that is so necessary for any vampire story.
And Lori at Romancing The Dark Side wrote:
The world building in Generation V is unique and breaks away from the traditional vampire lore. Vampires are not made, but born via “vampire-made surrogates” and are not immortal beings. The addition of the kitsune lore adds even more allure to the story and really speaks to the author’s creativity. I really love that Ms. Brennan introduced an unexplored supernatural being instead of sticking to the “usual” vampire vs. werewolf we typically see in this genre…bravo! The vampires in her world are stronger, darker and a bit creepy, giving the story an edge.
And Nick’s review over at Goodreads had some fantastic things to say:
Suzume Hollis is a character, not a love interest, and because Brennan takes time to establish a believable relationship between her and Fort I won’t feel put upon if they eventually hook up. In fact, I’ll probably cheer – Suzume is just that awesome.
Generation V is unexpectedly awesome. Fortitude Scott manages to confront the issues of life after college and the struggle against genetics in entertaining ways. He’s not your average, hard-boiled urban fantasy protagonist. He’s not your average vampire either. What I find even more exciting than Generation V is the potential this has for a series.
Remember, you can pre-order now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or wherever you prefer to buy your books!
The page proofs for Iron Night have arrived! This is pretty exciting, and a little nerve-wracking, since this is the last chance I have to catch any screw-ups before the whole book goes off to print. Let me tell you – pressure is on.
But the book looks really fantastic (admittedly right now it is a pile of pages I carry around in an old file folder, but still), and I really can’t wait to see what people think of it! I’ve gotten fantastic feedback from so many people on Generation V that I’m a little (okay, a LOT) anxious to see how readers respond to the return of Fort and Suzume. Plus there are some new characters, some bigger roles for returning characters, and a few deaths. (not telling who, but yes – I kill. *maniacal laugh*)
In other news – some great new reviews of Generation V since the last time I posted. Here’s what people are saying:
Bastard at Bastard Books wrote:
Generation V is a refreshingly unique novel that all urban fantasy enthusiast should read, and a book capable of encouraging even the most ardent critics of the genre. Very much a page turner, a story that has a lot of heart and much to offer. With an extremely fun novel full of charm, Brennan has written a winner.
Justin at Staffer’s Book Review wrote:
…it’s a vampire novel that surprised me with its originality. What begins as a typical vampire urban fantasy, ends up with a lot in common with Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London. It’s a delightful novel that would strongly recommend to lovers of urban fantasy or urban fantasy doubters (like me) looking to stick a toe in the water.
Kathy F. at Stellar Four wrote:
First of all, my thought through many parts was, “This is effed up.” And it is, wonderfully, magnificently effed up. Horrible things happen, the whole way vampires are created in this world is nightmare fuel, and we have a MC who realizes how messed up his world is but feels powerless.
I also had the pleasure of doing an interview with Matt at 52 Reviews and I really encourage people to check it out – it was definitely the most in-depth interview I’ve ever done, and the result was one of my favorites!
Here’s a sample:
52 Reviews: To take the discussion of vampiric family values a bit further, I found it interesting that Fort and his siblings fall into somewhat predictable models of abnormal psychology while their mother seems to be a completely different model all together. What can you tell us about your processes in creating the matriarch of this family of vampires?
M.L. Brennan: Primarily, I think of her as an adult crocodile. Crocodiles are a pretty interesting species — when they are born, they are around ten inches long, and are preyed on by mammals, birds, and even big fish. They eat bugs, and spend most of their time hiding and trying to avoid being eaten. But you take that little creature, and (if nothing eats it) it is going to grow into this massive, tough, absolute apex predator that has pretty much no natural predators except other crocodiles.
If you could sit crocodiles down on a therapist’s couch, and assuming a few factors, namely, a) The crocodiles didn’t eat the therapist, b) The therapist had somehow found a way to communicate with the crocodiles, and c) That the crocodiles actually had a complex interior landscape, I think that would be pretty interesting. Because here’s a creature that goes from pretty much being everything’s dinner — and not just for one or two seasons, but for a very serious number of years, and the mommy crocodile stops responding to its distress peeps after the first few weeks — and in fear of everything to this absolute boss of the river with just about nothing being a real danger to it. That’s kind of neat when you think about it. To me, it would suggest that as little as I think I would really be able to understand or empathize with a crocodile, even with a helpful translating therapist (mostly because of the reptile thing, to be honest), I think that it would be almost equally difficult for its offspring to understand or empathize with the adults of the species.
That is admittedly kind of a weird genesis for a character’s psychology, but that’s how I picture Madeline, the vampire matriarch, and it helps me write her.
Pretty neat, right?
Regarding the writing, I just delivered the manuscript of Book 3 to my editor, so I have a little time before the response to that gets back. Iron Night page proofs are due back on September 24, so after that I’ll probably be seeing about lining up some publicity, maybe scheduling a blog tour. I definitely have a slightly larger rolodex than last time, and I really can’t wait until I get my hot little hands on some ARCs, because I am so looking forward to handing a few copies off to a few bloggers who I made friends with last time around.
Oh, and by the by – if you love RPG games with a strong sci-fi storytelling base? You really need to check out this kickstarter for Ambrov X – I’ve already donated money!
That was a very busy weekend! I was lucky enough to meet a number of writers who I admire, several very lovely and kind fans of Generation V, and quite a few interesting and kind-hearted people who listened to my spiel and professed themselves very interested in checking out Generation V.
Now, as fast as I was handing out my cards and info, people were handing great cards and info back to me. Check out my collection!
Pretty nice, right? I know I have two of Taylor Anderson’s cards, but that’s because I ran into him twice – once at a party, and once at breakfast. What a great guy, with an absolutely fascinating skillset!
Definitely take a close look at the flier at the bottom – when I was doing my autographing session (which, actually, went very well – a combination of everyone’s love of free books, plus being seated next to the amazing Cat Rambo) I was lucky enough to get a chance to talk to Jacqueline Lichtenberg and Jean Lorrah, and they told me about their newest project – it’s a Kickstarter for a story-driven RPG that’s set in their Sime~Gen universe! Gamers, particularly the gamer ladies, this one is definitely one to take note of. You can check it out in more detail at
I’ll talk about the con (so much fun!) and San Antonio (seriously, San Antonio, what the hell is going on with that river? it looked like Chtulhu’s bathwater!) in a bit more detail later, but for now, I’m going to tell you about something important.
A quest that happened when I suggested to my hard sci-fi loving brother that he check out the list of WorldCon attendees to see if there was anyone that he really liked, because I’d be happy to get a book signed for him. Well, it turned out that there were quite a few of my brother’s SF heroes at the con, and we entered into some fairly intense negotiations about exactly how many books I was willing to shlep down for him. (I drew the line at bringing David Brin’s entire Uplift series. Yes, I am heartless)
So my brother managed to narrow it down to his top five picks, which he then mailed to me from San Francisco. Here’s what that stack looked like:
I packed them into my bag, and took them down. Something to keep in mind – first, I made my brother prioritize them, just in case I had only a chance to get one signed and not another. Then he took it a little further and wrote up a post-it note for each one so that I could read it to the author to explain just why this book was beloved.
Okay, so I set myself up to go – firstly, I didn’t get down to WorldCon until Friday afternoon, which means that the first thing that happened was that I completely missed Joe Haldeman and David Brin’s signings. Nuts. Now, they both had programming later in the con, but the problem there was that I’d scheduled myself pretty tightly for most of the con and I actually didn’t get to go to many panels. (‘cuz I was there to, you know, *work*) And then I couldn’t find Greg Bear anywhere on the programming, and was told that he’d had to cancel at the last minute. Whoops. But that still left Gregory Benford, Kim Stanley Robinson, and Alistair Reynolds. And Alistair Reynolds was actually on my panel, so that seemed very doable!
So, the quest began. (impressive music) I flew down to San Antonio, got to the hotel room, and packed my shoulder bag for the day. Off I went to pick up my badge – and guess who was in front of me at the programming table? DAVID BRIN! And I was all, “FUCK, I left the book back in the room!” (which is probably something that David Brin is not un-used to hearing when people meet him) But he was absolutely lovely, and had a stack of fliers for his new book on him, so he personalized one of those for my brother. And then even let me take a photo with him. Awesome!
And then I realized about forty minutes later that I’d actually had the book in my bag at the time, and I screeched obscenities at myself for about five minutes. Good times! (seriously, the moral of this might be – I kind of suck at this thing) And I really tried, but I never saw David Brin again.
Which, in all honesty, isn’t surprising. I mean, somewhere a deity was just shaking Its head, all, “Seriously, ML? I arrange it so that the very first person you bump into at WorldCon is David Brin, who is your brother’s personal SF hero because of the Uplift series, AND that he’s in a good mood, and you completely fumble the moment? Forget any favors in the future.”
But after that I went the solid route – autographing lines. And I learned a few things – firstly, that autographing lines are actually a good way to meet some pretty neat and nice people. Secondly – there are people who are kind of in the business of getting autographs. There were people with *carts* of books! And lists! (at one point I was at the SFWA table, and after I introduced myself to a very nice woman, she pulled out her list to see if I was on it – it turns out that I was, but only sort of. She’d actually put *Marie* Brennan on her list, because she thought we were the same. This actually turned out to be kind of a theme, so I’ve made an adjustment to my FAQ sheet.)
I also learned that it’s usually kind of important to get to the autographing line a little early. That way you can save some time. But on Friday I was able to get two of my brother’s books signed!
Then on Saturday I went to my panel on writing horror. It was very fun, very sharply moderated, and there were some pretty cool questions from the audience. One interesting thing that came out was that all five of the authors sitting on this panel were completely obsessed with non-fiction accounts of Himalayan mountain climbers – particularly when someone loses fingers or a nose to frostbite and then keeps climbing. Make of that what you will, but to those of you who like getting writing advice? Apparently you should be reading Into Thin Air and watching some documentaries.
Anyway, it was lots of fun, and then at the end Alistair Reynolds was very lovely and signed my brother’s book!
That was basically the end to the quest. However, my brother did have one specific desire to make his nerd life complete, and that was a photo of Benson, Brin, and Bear all together. And I completely delivered.
August has been flying by, which means that in just over a week, I will be flying to San Antonio with my long-suffering spouse and will be attending my first WorldCon! *Very* exciting, let me assure you! For anyone attending who is interested, here are my confirmed activities for the weekend! (confirmed but unmentioned include eating, sleeping, and pooping. Because, really – everyone poops)
Right now there’s a lot of blank space on Friday – I have one connection to get to San Antonio, so right now I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that I arrive in time to get my badge and hit my one scheduled commitment for the day. Oh, and if I make my connection, I wanted a chance to get to walk around and actually see the booths.
Saturday has some really fun stuff scheduled, including my one panel! Please attend my panel, and if you want to pitch me some softball questions about horror, give in to the urge! I also have two autographing sessions, one of which I am delighted to say will be with several very fine writers. But thanks to the good folks at Penguin, I am the proud owner of a full box of copies of Generation V – which I will be handing out for free at those sessions! First come, first served! (also, seriously, I don’t want to have to check this box for the flight home — *please* come take a book from me!)
On Sunday I will be staffing the SFWA table for a little bit, but I’m sure by then I’ll have heard about at least fifty things I’ll want to do before I catch my flight home. Here’s the breakdown:
1:36pm — Flight arrives
8pm – 11pm — Private
10am – 10:45am – Interview with Patrick Hester for The SF Signal Podcast
1pm – 1:45pm – Autographing at the SFWA table (C-13 in the Dealer’s Room) I will have free copies of Generation V with me! Nothing would make me happier than to sign one of them for you!
2pm – 3pm – Panel, How To Scare Your Reader (Moderator- Vylar Kaftan, John Hornor Jacobs, Amanda Downum, Alastair Reynolds)
4pm – 5pm – Autographing Session (with David Hartwell, Kathleen Goonan, and Cat Rambo) I will have free copies of Generation V with me! If you want a copy, please just come over and I will gladly sign one for you!
7:00 PM – (I have no idea) — Drinks With Authors (this will be held at Ernie’s, which Justin from Staffer’s Book Review *swears* is only a block away from the con hotel) There are going to be a lot of awesome writers here, so definitely put this one down on your list!
11am – 1pm — Staffing SFWA Table (C-13 in the Dealer’s Room – come say hi!)
5:14pm – Flight departs
In other news, here’s what some reviewers are saying about Generation V!
Dawn Nikithser at Bookshelf Bombshells says:
Yeah, I am sick of vampires too. But being sick of vampires is kind of like being sick of cupcakes—when someone comes up with a delicious new flavor, you gotta eat it. You’ll devour this one whole.
Matt Gilliard at 52 Reviews says:
Taken as a whole, Generation V is a fresh take on an old saw that benefits from Brennan’s excellent world building and the authenticity of its cast. Fans of urban fantasy who are weary of the same old, same old shouldn’t miss this engaging mix of action, humor, and coming of age tale. I’ll definitely be around for round two.
Oh, and if you’ll be at WorldCon, drop a note in the comments! What are you planning to do at WorldCon? Any good suggestions for things I should add to my itinerary?
Kind of a mixed week. Didn’t get nearly as much writing done as I’d been hoping. About halfway through the week I came up with a fantastic idea for a completely *different* urban fantasy world, and spent a few days hashing out a basic world outline and primary character. Which was all very well and good, and I would love to someday have two series going at once, but seriously, FUCK. That was basically anti-progress on Book Three! And now I have to keep straight exactly which world has the egg-layers… grumble, grumble…
So unfortunately the writing goal this week is basically the same as last week – get a solid outline going for Book Three. I need to make some pretty hefty character decisions, figure out exactly how this Mystery Plot A is going to fit together in a way that brings in all the elements I need it to, and keep doing my research on bears.
Yes, that’s right, bears.
Other stuff went a bit better. Generation V is up to sixteen reviews on Amazon.com (only four more and I’m at twenty!), plus a very nice 5-raven review just went up today at The Bibliophilic Book Blog. Mihir at Fantasy Book Critic also did a great mini-review of Generation V that you can read here, so it was a good week for the book in terms of press as Generation V hit its one-month birthday.
Also fun – my post last week about A Modest Proposal About Firefly was hands-down my most-viewed post ever, so that was great. Even better was when Brian Taylor at A Descent Into Slushland wrote Another Modest Proposal About Firefly, which you should absolutely check out. I talked to a few other people about possibly doing a few more of these as guest posts – it’s a lot of fun to put together, and I love seeing what other people imagine. If anyone reading this is interested in putting a Modest Firefly Proposal together, just drop me a note.
My membership at the SFWA was approved – right in the middle of the absolute Chernobyl-level meltdown over the frothing misogyny displayed in the most recent Bulletin edition. Now, I’ll never see that edition (which I’m sorry to miss out on only because there was an article by the great Jim Hines in it), since my membership kicks in with copies now. But it was certainly an interesting experience to have already paid my dues money, but be unable to participate on the forums or speak as a member. The dust is settling now, and a number of absolutely wonderful responses and articles have already been written (the benefit of an incident happening in an organization of *writers*), many of which I already linked the crap out of on my Facebook and Twitter feeds. I’ll restrict myself to linking to only two items of interest on this entry – the presidential statement by John Scalzi, which I think best exemplifies why I still really want to be involved in this organization, crazy glaring flaws and all, and Chuck Wendig’s marvelous blog post about sexism.
Now, here’s a palate-cleanser link for everyone who just got flashbacks from even that short paragraph – Kickstarter for All-Female Gaming Miniatures Reaches Goal in 30 Seconds!
Last item of note – I just got my copies of the Ace/Roc sampler in Science Fiction and Fantasy (New Classics and New Voices). This is extremely cool – one cover is of a steam-powered ship going into a wormhole and has samples from Jack Campbell, Ilona Andrews, Faith Hunter, Taylor Anderson, Mike Shepherd, and Anne Bishop – but then you flip the book over and there’s a second cover of an empty helmet on a snowy battlefield, and this side has samples from debut authors, the first of which is me! My sample is the first chapter of Generation V, which my brother recently told me was his favorite chapter of the entire book (it ought to be – this was the bait on my fishing hook to get published, and I cannot even say how many times I smoothed and rewrote this fucker). The sampler will be available for free at the Ace/Roc booth at conventions all this summer, so check it out! Also, I’ll be at ConnectiCon and WorldCon this summer with a backpack full of the sampler, which I’ll be happy to sign and give to anyone who wants one!
Okay, here’s a pair of fun facts – I loved the crap out of Django Wexler’s debut, and think that everyone should buy it and read it. Admittedly, everyone should buy and read Generation V first, but right after that, check out The Thousand Names.
The second fun fact is that Django and I not only went to the same college, but we were in the same program, and actually once took the same writing workshop with Hilary Masters.
In case you weren’t already pre-ordering The Thousand Names, here’s another reason why you should buy it:
But, seriously, no buying his book until you already own mine.