Hey y’all, it’s finally here! For a Few Credits More is officially live on Amazon! Click here to score your copy in ebook or paperback!

For those unaware, this marks the second in a series of anthologies set in the bestselling military science fiction world known as the Four Horsemen Universe (4HU).

My entry, A Family Tradition, tells the story of a young man in Jacksonville, FL who is left to pick up the pieces when his older brother (a mercenary and local hero) passes away in a tragic starship accident at the pentacle of his success. It’s a tale of legacy and loss, though ultimately it’s the story of a family pulling together in search of better days — days that may well be at hand with a stranger’s proposition that could change everything.

I hope you enjoy A Family Tradition, as well as all the other fantastic works in this anthology. I can tell you that we as the authors are extremely proud of them.

Cheers, y’all. Have a fantastic Friday and I’ll catch up with you later.

Ian

PS – Favor to ask: Hit me up via email and or social media once you’ve read the story. I’d love to hear what you thought of it.

About the 4HU

The 4HU is a brilliant new military science fiction canvas from the minds of Chris Kennedy and Mark Wandrey, both Amazon bestsellers in the genre.

Here’s a quick blurb from the publisher (Seventh Seal Press):

It’s the Twenty-Second Century. The galaxy has opened up to humanity as a hyperactive beehive of stargates and new technologies, and we suddenly find ourselves in a vast playground of different races, environments, and cultures. There’s just one catch: we are pretty much at the bottom of the food chain.

Enter the Four Horsemen universe, where only a willingness to fight and die for money separates Humans from the majority of the other races. Enter a galaxy not only of mercenaries, but also of Peacemakers, bounty hunters, and even a strung-out junkie in the way of a hired assassin.

To date, the 4HU has seven books for sale on Amazon.

Hey, y’all.

So, finally got off my duff and watched Netflix’s THE DEFENDERS. Eh… not bad. I give it a solid B.

Daredevil is still hands-down the best thing about this universe, followed closely by Luke Cage.

I now find Jessica Jones to be less obnoxious than before, though not nearly enough to warrant a second pass at her standalone series.

Iron Fist, on the other hand (aka The Dollar Tree version of Oliver Queen), annoyed the crap out of me from the moment he hit the screen… pass!

BRING ON THE PUNISHER!!!

Cheers,

IJM

Hmmm. I can’t decide what I want to cook for Bristol tomorrow night. Really been craving some wings lately, but it’s somewhat of a chore to pull out, cook with, then tear down and clean my smoker to make that happen.

Aug 22, 2015; Bristol, TN, USA; Sprint Cup Series driver Joey Logano (22) leads Sprint Cup Series driver Brad Keselowski (2) during the Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

On the other hand, there’s always my fallback option: Bratwurst parboiled in beer with sweated onion and garlic then grilled over low heat and served in a hearty baguette with spicy mustard and veggies steamed in a beer bath.

*drums fingers*

I can’t even lie, man. The brat sounds pretty darn good. That should tell you something about my wings that this is even a contest. Alas, such is the plight of a lone race fan in Raleigh-Durham.

Race Predictions 

Bristol is, without a doubt, one of my favorite tracks on the NASCAR schedule. It’s just a fun watch, mostly because it’s one of the few venues left where we still get quality, door-to-door racing (when they haven’t ruined the track surface, anyhow).

So, who takes the checkers tomorrow night in Thunder Valley?

*drums fingers again*

As much I’d love to see my boy, Harv, take the win in the 4, it’s tough to bet against the 18 at Bristol. “He Who Shall Not Be Named” is always good there, plus that entire team has been hotter than a firecracker of late.

Other drivers to watch out for tomorrow:

  • Martin Truex (dominant this year)
  • Kyle Larson (speaking of firecrackers)
  • Matt Kenseth (my dark horse is auditioning for rides next year)

Happy Friday, y’all. Have a great weekend and best of luck to your respective drivers tomorrow… unless, of course, that’s Kyle, in which case I hope your night sucks.

RUAH!!!

IJM

Hey folks. ConGregate weekend is almost upon us! See below for my panel schedule, and see y’all in High Point!

Friday, July 14

3:00pm — Full-time Creative Work on a Part-time Schedule (ET)

  • Samantha Dunaway Bryant
  • Glenda Finkelstein
  • Chris Kennedy
  • Ian J. Malone
  • Michael D. Pederson

4:00pm — Star Trek: The Next Generation – 30 Years Later (AP)

  • JT “The Enginerd”
  • Barbara deBary-Kesner
  • Ian J. Malone
  • Gary Mitchel
  • Chris Shrewsbury

5:00pm — Signing Table: Ian J. Malone and William C. Tracy

6:00pm — Supernatural: The Legend, Lore, Myth and Magic of Monsters (ET)

  • Gail Z. Martin
  • Stuart Jaffe
  • Ian J. Malone

Saturday, July 15

10:00am — Signing Table: Simon Hawke and Ian J. Malone

12:30pm — Supernatural – Tethering to the Real World (ET)

  • Gail Z. Martin
  • Stuart Jaffe
  • Ian J. Malone
  • Nancy Knight

3:30pm — The Stages of a Writer’s Experience (ET)

  • Ian J. Malone
  • Paula S. Jordan
  • Gail Z. Martin
  • William C. Tracy
  • Timothy Zahn

8:00pm — Writing Believable Military Science Fiction – or “How to Not Suck at Mil SciFi” (ET)

  • Chris Kennedy
  • Ian J. Malone
  • Alan Pollack
  • Toni Weisskopf
  • Richard C. White

Sunday, July 16

1:00pm — Logistics of Distribution (ET)

  • Roger Carden
  • Chris Kennedy
  • Ian J. Malone

Hey y’all. It’s been a few weeks since my big announcement about the Colonies Lost publishing deal. So, thought I’d stick my head out for a quick update about my plans moving forward.

As mentioned in my last blog, the delay of Colonies Lost means I’ve now got time to devote to other projects that I might not have gotten to otherwise (this year, anyway).

Here’s a quick rundown of what those are, after which I’ll give details:

  • For A Few Credits More anthology short story
  • Mako second edition, trilogy relaunch
  • New Mako novel (untitled)
  • New Mako short story (untitled)
  • Nightfall: A Roanoke Short Story (Colonies Lost prequel)
  • Colonies Lost launch

So yeah… I’m busy.

For A Few Credits More anthology short story

As previously announced, I was invited to write a short story for the forthcoming second anthology set in the Four Horsemen universe (FHU).

I now have a tentative release date for that — September 15, 2017.

For those not familiar with the series, the FHU is a brilliant new Military Science Fiction canvas from the minds of Chris Kennedy and Mark Wandrey, both Amazon bestsellers in the genre.

Here’s a quick blurb from the publisher (Seventh Seal Press):

It’s the Twenty-Second Century. The galaxy has opened up to humanity as a hyperactive beehive of stargates and new technologies, and we suddenly find ourselves in a vast playground of different races, environments, and cultures. There’s just one catch: we are pretty much at the bottom of the food chain.

Enter the Four Horsemen universe, where only a willingness to fight and die for money separates Humans from the majority of the other races. Enter a galaxy not only of mercenaries, but also of Peacemakers, bounty hunters, and even a strung-out junkie in the way of a hired assassin.

To date, the FHU has two books set in its space: Cartwright’s Cavaliers by Wandrey and Asbaran Solutions from Kennedy. The next book — A Fistful of Credits (anthology) — will arrive June 30, and be followed by four more books by year’s end.

  • Winged Hussars (novel) by Mark Wandrey
  • The Golden Horde (novel) by Chris Kennedy
  • For A Few Credits More (anthology) by various authors including yours truly
  • Peacemaker (novel) by Kevin Ikenberry

So, what does an IJM short story look like in the FHU?

I don’t want to say too much because there’s something of a thematic element here that likeminded fans of Southern rock will quickly detect.

*cough* FREEBIRD!!! *cough*

Alas, I’d be a jerk if I didn’t at least throw you a bone or two. So, here goes:

  • Set in Florida: The story is set in my home state, specifically in the city of Jacksonville. (Fun Fact: Jacksonville, FL is the largest city in the United States by land mass.)
  • Florida has changed… a lot: The Sunshine State is a very, very different place in the 22nd century. Case in point: it’s not even called “Florida” anymore.
  • Jacksonville = Merc Capital of the Deep South: For a bevy or reasons, mostly economic, Jax has risen to prominence as one of the biggest centers for mercenary operations on Earth. It’s also home to the largest hub, or “starport” as they’re known in the FHU, south of Houston, Texas.
  • The Cult of Apple is No More: Anyone who follows me on social media knows the love/hate relationship I have with Apple products. I guess I was feeling rather spiteful the day I wrote this, because the fruit giant is officially sliced in the FHU. Sorry, oh ye followers of Jobs. Your cult is dead. I freakin’ killed it. (I love fiction writing.)

Again, my story along with all the others in For A Few Credits More will arrive this September. On behalf of everyone who contributed, we hope you enjoy them.

Mako 2.0

As many know, the original Mako novel went through quite a few incarnations before finally going to print, and even then it took some tweaking afterward. I’ve since gone on to finish the trilogy, an experience I’d like to believe has made me a better writer. As such, the time has finally come to upgrade that initial book so it falls in line with the others in terms of story and style quality.

Enter Mako: Second Edition.

Just so we’re clear, nothing will change in this version of Mako. It’ll simply be a cleaner, more polished read on par with its counterparts. I will, however, take the opportunity to “trim some of the story fat” in an effort to pick up the pace a bit.

An example of this might involve the game, Mako Assault. It’s an intragap part of the story in the early going, though that ceases to be the case as the main arc progresses. By trimming some of those details, it tightens the narrative, increases tempo, and keeps the focus of the story where it truly belongs — on the characters today.

Relaunching the Saga

In addition to craft, I’ve also learned a lot about cover design in the last few years — specifically the need for series uniformity.

I was extremely fortunate when I released Mako to have a dear friend who specialized in graphic design. He built an amazing cover, no doubt about it. As the series progressed, however, he was no longer available, meaning I had to hire another artist. Thus, in turn, created a break in design style which is why the covers for Red Sky Dawning and At Circle’s End look so drastically different for that of Mako.

It’s time to correct that.

In the coming months, I’ll roll out brand-new covers for all three saga books, starting first with that of Mako 2.0. The process will then conclude with the cover reveal for…

A new novel set in the Makoverse

I told you after At Circle’s End that I wasn’t done with these characters, and I meant it. In fact, I’ve got stories in mind for each of The Big Five (Lee and Mac, Danny, Link and Hamish). Some of these will be standalone stories. Others may lead to new series on their own. We’ll just have to wait and see.

The first of these “spinoff” books will center on Danny Tucker and his crew from Overlook. Think of them as the A-Team of that universe— or at least, that’s what they’re working toward.

The novel itself should be short (70,000 words or so) and packed with action. It’ll also find Danny in a very different place than he was in At Circle’s End — a happier place. He’ll need that, too, for what’s coming in the days ahead.

As was the case with the other books in this universe, I will indie publish to retain full control over the story, its themes, and its cover. Because of this, there shouldn’t be much of a lag once the manuscript is finished. That means I can get it onto shelves quickly.

Expect the Danny Tucker book in early-2018.

Full Disclosure: I already know the title but don’t want to give it away until I have the cover. Believe me, die-hard fans of this series will understand why when they see it.

A Mako short story

Quick note here: I’ll also be penning a brief Mako short story for distribution to my email list. Not sure what this will look like yet, but expect something light and fun to the tune of 3,000-5,000 words.

Nightfall: A Roanoke Short Story

Like the Mako short story, this will be another 3K-word quick-hitter for my email listers. Unlike the former, though (likely a fun, wisecracking standalone story), Nightfall will serve as a direct prequel to the vents of my novel Colonies Lost (tentative title now), due out next year from Red Adept Publishing.

I already have the cover for Nightfall, so look for a reveal sometime in the coming months. The story itself will drop in early-2018.

Colonies Lost release

Finally, if I play my cards right, everything I’ve laid out above will serve to ramp up momentum for the launch of Colonies Lost. I won’t expound on that story here, as I’ve already done so in earlier blogs. Just know that I’m still every bit as jacked for its release as I was then, perhaps even more so now that I’ve got a partner in Red Adept to help me make this story all that it can be.

Whew…

Okay, gang. That’s it for now. As you can plainly see, I’ve got tons to do in the days, weeks, and months ahead, so let me get to it.

Take care, stay cool this summer, and thanks as always for supporting my work.

Cheers,

IJM

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SHOW YOUR SUPPORT, REVIEW AN IJM BOOK TODAY!

Customer reviews on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and others are vital to the success of independently published works like those of Ian J. Malone. As such, if you enjoy his books, please consider leaving them a brief review on the retailer of your choice. (One or two sentences will do wonderfully.)

Please Note: Clicking “yes” on the “Did you find this review helpful?” line for other four and five-star reviews is also extremely helpful.

Thank you in advance for your assistance in this matter. It is much, much appreciated.

So, you might recall a few weeks back my saying, “Hey guys, the beta manuscript for my next book is done. Just for grins and giggles, I’m gonna shop it to see what happens.”

Well, stuff indeed happened… a lot of stuff. That brings us to today’s announcement.

I’m thrilled to announce that my next book, Colonies Lost, will be published by the wonderful folks at Red Adept Publishing.

Going Hybrid

I’ll blog more about this in the weeks to come, but suffice it to say I’m ecstatic to be turning in my indie card for that of a hybrid author (someone who publishes works both independently and traditionally). Don’t misunderstand me. I love being an indie, and all of the freedoms that come with that distinction. This deal, however, gives me the best of both worlds: top-flight editing and production services, as well as a partner to help me take my work to new audiences.

It also helps that this particular partner just so happens to be one of the top small presses in the country. Not a bad gig at all.

What this means moving forward

I know I’d promised that Colonies Lost would arrive this summer, but that’s about to change. Signing with a publisher means I’m now beholden to their schedule and as small presses go, Red Adept is extremely busy. Right now, we’re looking at an early-2018 launch for my next book.

That’s a long time to wait, I know. But trust me. In the end, this story is worth waiting for to get it right.

The other upshot to this kind of delay is that it’ll give me time to pen some more content and do some housecleaning with my existing trilogy.

*cough* new Mako story *cough*

More on that in later posts.

About Red Adept Publishing (RAP)

Based in the heart of North Carolina’s Research Triangle, RAP publishes works in a various fictional genres, ranging from romance and mystery to science fiction and fantasy.

Some of their more notable authors include:

  • New York Times bestseller Kate Moretti (mystery)
  • USATODAY bestseller Morgan C. Talbot (mystery)
  • Amazon bestseller Micheal Myerhoffer (fantasy)

For more on RAP and its authors or to purchase a book, visit them online at www.redadeptpublishing.com. You can also like them on Facebook.

Gotta jet now, gang, but thanks as always for your support of my work and stay tuned here as more unfolds.

Cheers, y’all.

IJM

Two blog posts in a day? *GASP* The end is surely nigh!

For those who don’t know, I’ve been an NFL Draft junkie since I was 14. Seriously, I used to do analysis for the local sports talk radio station in Tallahassee on it.

That said, here are a few of my thoughts heading into tonight’s selections:

CLEVELAND BROWNS — If the Browns take Trubisky first, they deserve every boo they get. I watched Mitch at UNC. He’s a solid player with some really good attributes. Know what he doesn’t have? Experience. The guy started all of 13 games in college, and in no way does that make for an NFL resume. Not even close (see Mark Sanchez, Akili Smith, Blake Bortles, etc.).

Garrett’s your pick, Brownies. Don’t spike yourselves in the nads by choosing otherwise unless you can land the mother of all trades to move down.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS — If Cam Robinson or Ruben Foster are there at 19, TAKE THEM! Otherwise, trade down if you can find a partner. I love Dalvin Cook, but he does come with legit injury concerns and the Bucs have other, more pressing needs to fill. It also bears mentioning that this is a very deep RB class, meaning they’ll inevitably have the chance to snare one in later rounds. (Dalvin n early Round 2?)

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS — Don’t overthink it, Jags. Take Fournette and be done with it. Rumors abound that Tom Coughlin loves Deshaun Watson, and while I do, too, I don’t in the first round. Great kid, enormous talent, but a project nonetheless.

Learn from your Blake Mistake, guys. Don’t reach for a QB when you’ve got tons of other needs, especially at OL which couldn’t block a statue last year.

WATCH THE BACK HALF — Depending on how the nights’ first half goes, the back half could make for a lot of intrigue. There are several teams in need of a QB, though most (I think) have enough sense to know that none of these prospects are worth drafting high. Take Watson, for instance. A team would be nuts to take him in the Top 20. The Pittsburgh Steelers at pick 30, on the other hand, could be a magical fit. Ben Roethlisberger is in the twilight of his career, and the team needs an heir apparent. Watson could ride the pine with no pressure from fans to start then slip in when Big Ben retires, conceivably without some much as hiccup to offensive production. (see Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay).

The Saints, Cardinals, Chargers, and Chiefs all bring similar situations with established veteran starters.

If Watson and others fall (or Dalvin, for that matter), expect some jostling as teams move back into the late-first round to get them.

PRIMETIME STILL SUCKS — The NFL Draft should be held at noon on a Saturday, period. End of story. In moving this even to primetime, ESPN might as well have been announcing to the world that they hate sunshine and puppies.

Stop hating sunshine and puppies, ESPN. Do what’s right and move the Draft back to Saturdays… and while you’re at it, STOP FIRING PEOPLE!!!

Happy Draft Night, y’all! I’ll be on Twitter for as long as I can stay awake if you want to chat picks (@ianjmalone).

IJM

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SHOW YOUR SUPPORT, REVIEW AN IJM BOOK TODAY!

Customer reviews on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and others are vital to the success of independently published works like those of Ian J. Malone. As such, if you enjoy his books, please consider leaving them a brief review on the retailer of your choice. (One or two sentences will do wonderfully.)

Please Note: Clicking “yes” on the “Did you find this review helpful?” line for other four and five-star reviews is also extremely helpful.

Thank you in advance for your assistance in this matter. It is much, much appreciated.

Fair Warning: For the non-author readers of this blog, this post will probably bore you to tears. Just bear with me. It’s been that kind of week.

So, for grins and giggles I decided to “boost” a Facebook post, promoting my free ebook giveaway on Amazon. Granted, it was only $10, but I figured, “Gotta spend money to make money, right?” I set my budget, spent an hour going through metrics to hone my audience, then let fly with the ad when ready.

Fast-forward to this morning and according to FB’s Insights summary, I’ve reached nearly 1,500 users along with 500 engagements.

DANG RIGHT, SON! VICTORY IS MINE!

“Not so fast, my friend,” Lee Corso would’ve said.

After coming down from the engagement rate which far exceeded those of my ordinary posts, I scanned down the page to my ad’s click-through rate. This is the metric which shows how many people actually clicked the link to go download a free ebook.

Question: I know the number 2 is considered plural, but does it really qualify as “people?”

Now, let’s contrast this with Twitter (whom I paid nothing to) where I received 1 link click from a standard tweet, released at 9pm EST last evening.

Just so we’re clear, math lovers, that’s a savings of $5 to my already anorexic marketing budget. Is that a lot? No, but every little bit counts when you’re an indie.

So, Timmy. What did we learn from this little marketing experiment?

  1. Facebook Ads are still northing more than Mark Zuckerberg’s way of printing money for his shareholders.
  2. Twitter will ALWAYS be cooler than Facebook.

Here end of the rant. I’ll have some news next week on Colonies Lost (new novel, due this summer) as well as a short story I’m working on in the Four Horsemen universe from Chris Kennedy and Mark Wandrey (Military SF).

Cheers, y’all.

Ian

*************************************************************************

SHOW YOUR SUPPORT, REVIEW AN IJM BOOK TODAY!

Customer reviews on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and others are vital to the success of independently published works like those of Ian J. Malone. As such, if you enjoy his books, please consider leaving them a brief review on the retailer of your choice. (One or two sentences will do wonderfully.)

Please Note: Clicking “yes” on the “Did you find this review helpful?” line for other four and five-star reviews is also extremely helpful.

Thank you in advance for your assistance in this matter. It is much, much appreciated.

Hey y’all, just wanted to pop by and let you know that my family’s move into our new house is finally done, which puts me back on track in writing world.

HUZZAH!!!

The first COLONIES LOST beta manuscript has been finished and shipped off to my subject matter expert for “cop stuff” review. Ass mentioned before, this story does have something of a “who done it?” element, thus I felt it wise to let an actual cop give it a gander. Fortunately for me (and the story), one of my dearest friends in the world is a former detective, and he’s graciously agreed to help out.

I expect to have my friend’s notes back by the end of the month/first of May. After that, I’ll need a few weeks to make changes then it’s off to edit. As to how that’ll look, I’m not yet sure. I may well publish through my own press (Sharkflight Publishing), or I might go through one of a handful of small presses who’ve shown interest in the project.

Oh, and I’ve also queried a few agents, just for grins and giggles. Because, you know, why not?

Either way, barring a trip to NYC for meetings with major publishers (a fella can dream, right?), I expect COLONIES LOST to drop sometime this summer, as scheduled.

Peace for now, gang. Hope you’re staying dry (we’re getting pummeled with rain in Durham right now), and thanks as always for keeping tabs on my work.

Cheers,

IJM