(BLOGGER’S NOTE: Here’s the press release that went out via my publisher, Sharkflight Publishing.)

— For immediate release. ACE Promo Cover

DURHAM, N.C. – In 2013, science fiction fans welcomed the release of MAKO, the debut novel from author Ian J. Malone about five college friends, dubbed “The Renegades,” who become intergalactic war heroes by way of a videogame. The book met immediate success, rising to fourth on Kindle’s Military Science Fiction list, and eventually spawned a sequel, 2015’s RED SKY DAWNING.

Now, one year later, the curtain falls on sci-fi’s most beloved band of bar buddies in AT CIRCLE’S END, the third and final stanza of Malone’s MAKO SAGA.

Story Synopsis — (spoilers ahead for Red Sky Dawning)

In the months since his disappearance, Danny Tucker has retreated to the darkest corners of Alystierian space in search of intelligence on the empire’s new chancellor, Alec Masterson. Backed by a crew of outcasts and fighting from the shadows as the enigmatic Rogue centurion, Danny will stop at nothing to achieve his mission: absolute vengeance for Masterson’s now infamous “Return to Fear” demonstration.

Still, try as he might, Danny can’t remain underground, and with sightings of the Rogue growing more frequent, Lee Summerston won’t rest until the lost Renegade is found. Meanwhile, in the core, Aura stands on the brink of annihilation as imperial forces, aided by an ancient enemy, draw ever closer to her shores.

In the end, scores will be settled, and brothers will rise united… or they’ll all burn together.

“This is very much a story about loyalty,” said Malone, a native Floridian now living in Durham, North Carolina. “At their core, these books have always been about family. That’s why book two was so hard to write, because in a lot of ways it saw that spirit fractured. In this story, we see the family come back to each other, and that was a really cool ride to take.”

While THE MAKO SAGA is unquestionably sci-fi, evidenced by soaring starfighter battles and high-precision tech, fans of the series laud its use of other genre elements such as romance and political intrigue to tell its story. Even still, its success is and has always been irrevocably tied to its six main characters.

“There’s a lot of nostalgia in this one,” Malone said of the saga’s finale, “for the characters, the fans, and for me as a writer. This time we all got to go home.”

AT CIRCLE’S END is now available in ebook and paperback on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and the iBookstore. The audiobook will arrive in early-summer on Audible and iTunes.

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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.

Greetings, people! Welcome back to the Manifesto!

My, oh, my is stuff going on. Let’s get to it.

At Circle’s End to arrive early

ACE Promo Cover

The third and final chapter of THE MAKO SAGA is officially in the can and ready to roll — early, in fact. My crew over at Streetlight Graphics did me a solid and got my files ready on the double. As such, I was able to bump up launch day from April 12 to April 8. That will coincide with a book blogger blitz I’ve got planned (try saying that one five times fast) and a Kindle promotion which I’ll get to in a minute.

Everything in the way of books drops April 8 on all sales channels. That’s the e-book and paperback on Amazon, as well as the e-book on various other platforms, including B&N, Kobo, and the iBookstore.

Haven’t pre-ordered your copy yet? Do so now!

Sadly, fans of the MAKO audiobooks will have to wait a bit longer for theirs. Andy Wherlen (my narrator/producer) is a busy man these days. Factor that in with the usual 60-90 day turnaround time for sound editing and production, and you can expect the AT CIRCLE’S END audiobook to arrive sometime by early-summer.

Amazon giveaway for Mako

Up until now, I’ve been running a promotion on my website whereby those who sign up for my mailing list get an e-copy of MAKO for free. Beginning on April 8, however, readers will be able to download it directly from Amazon — for five straight days. This is to help usher in the release of AT Circle’s End, and hopefully attract new fans to the series.

So what’s the takeaway here? If you know someone who’s been toying with the notion of giving the Renegades a shot, tell them here’s their chance to do it.

Evil Movie Review: The Summer of 2016

Over the years, I’ve had the good fortune of getting to know the crew over at The Brotherhood of the Evil Geeks blog. Good people, those geeks (see my recent guest appearance on their Transmissions from the Evil Lair podcast).

In any event, I conned them into letting me spin up a guest post, in which I got to preview my Top 10 list for the Must-See movies of summer 2016.

Here are a few of the highlights:

On Batman v Superman — This is the film that, cinematically speaking, will either catapult DC into true rival status with Marvel or potentially cripple their brand to a point not even salvageable by the Batman franchise.

On Captain America: Civil War — Story: check. Top-level acting talent: check. Effects: check. Directors with a proven track-record of being able to weave it all together into the perfect tapestry of motion picture excellence: CHECK.

On Warcraft — This film is primed to be one of, if not the best big-budget fantasy film we’ve seen since Return of the King.

On Suicide Squad — If DC does intend to hedge their bets on Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad looks to be the perfect picture with which to do it.

You can check out the entire blog here.

Okay, guys, I gotta jet. I’ve still got tons of prep work to do for the launch, plus another guest blog to write for Bull Spec and at least two press releases.

Ah, the joys of being an author AND a publisher. LOL

Stay groovy, everybody. As always, you know I’m grateful for the support.

RUAH!!!

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.

Hey guys, hope the holidays were great to you and yours, and 2016 finds you well.

Lots to get to in this one and not much time for blogging so let’s dive in.

Brown Bags & Books

In an effort to read more in 2016, I’m launching a new post series on social media called “Brown Bags & Books.” At least once a month, I’ll post up links to the books I’m reading during my lunch break at work (a favorite reading time of mine). Sometimes it’ll be sci-fi but not always. I’ve also been known to pick up a western from time to time, as well as a good urban fantasy, a crime drama, a suspense thriller… you get the idea. Any of this could make the list, so expect the unexpected.

FYI, I’m always up for recommendations so feel free to drop those in the comment section. If, on the other hand, you choose to critique one of the books I’ve read, that’s cool, too. I’d only ask that you keep it clean… HONEST, but clean.

Update on AT CIRCLE’S END

Last week was a big deal as I finally got the content notes back from my editor for AT CIRCLE’S END (the forthcoming final book in THE MAKO SAGA). Great news… it doesn’t suck!!!

I say that only partially in gest. I didn’t think it would be bad. However as the author and someone who is totally biased toward the characters, I wanted to see them have the best possible, and while I thought I’d achieved that, I couldn’t know for sure until someone else with a neutral/professional eye had taken a gander at it.

As it happens, my editor really liked the book. That’s enormous praise coming from her because like all good editors, she’s subtle as a sledgehammer when stuff’s wrong. Do I still have tons of work to do? Sure. That’s always the case coming off a beta draft. But I don’t have much in the way of re-writes, and that’s no small thing when it comes to hitting deadlines.

Now it’s on to my line edit, due Feb. 19. After that comes proofreading then it’s off to post-production formatting.

In all, I’m on target to have AT CIRCLE’S END on shelves by the end of spring. Stay tuned before then, however, as I’ve still got the cover reveal to do and the pre-order run.

A NOTE FOR MY EMAIL LISTERS: As always, you’ll totally get the hookup first. That’s how this works.

NOTE TO THOSE NOT ON MY EMAIL LIST: You might want to join my email list. Just sayin’. 😉

Illoigocn 2016 wrap-up

Without fail, I always have a blast at Raleigh’s annual illogicon, and this year’s edition was no different.

Among the panels I got to be involved in:

  • The Economics of Indie Publishing
  • The Sporting Geek
  • The History of Sci-Fi
  • Sci-Fi in modern TV
  • NSFW: Balancing the Writing Life and the Work Life for Success

I also got to moderate my first panel, “State of the Wars: A Chronological Discussion of Star Wars through the Decades.” We had a ball, too, picking apart every aspect of the franchise from the original trilogy to the Clone Wars to the Expanded Universe, and of course, The Force Awakens.  Good times and spoilers were had by all, and I can’t wait to do it again next year once Rogue One has hit theaters.

Big thanks to Gerty and the programming staff for having me, as well as all of my fellow panelists: Chris Kennedy, Margaret McGraw, Josh Leone, Gail Z Martin, Susan Griffith, and others. Hanging out in your sandbox was a treat, and I really appreciate the opportunity to do so.

Okay, gang. That’s gonna do it for now. Take care in the New Year, stay warm wherever you are, and please don’t forget to drop my books a review on Amazon if you haven’t already (MAKO, READ SKY DAWNING). In addition to sales, those really are vital to the success of indie works — mine included.

Until next time… RUAH and GO NOLES!!!

IJM

PS – I write this on the day after the world lost Glenn Frey, legendary sing/songwriter and co-founder of The Eagles. I, like millions of others, grew up on Frey’s music. Be it Hotel California from my dad’s old vinyl collection (which I still own) or his occasional stints on Miami Vice, Frey had a huge impact on my listening tastes as a kid and still does to this day.

“Take it easy,” my friend. You will be missed

In the months since his disappearance, Danny Tucker has retreated to the darkest corners of Alystierian space in search of intelligence on the empire’s new chancellor, Alec Masterson. Backed by a crew of outcasts and fighting from the shadows as the enigmatic Rogue centurion, Danny will stop at nothing to achieve his mission — absolute vengeance for Masterson’s now infamous “Return to Fear” demonstration.

Still, try as he might, Danny can’t remain underground, and with sightings of the Rogue growing more frequent, Lee Summerston won’t rest until the lost Renegade is found. Meanwhile back in the core, Aura stands on the brink of annihilation as imperial forces, aided by an ancient enemy, draw ever closer to her shores.

In the end, scores will be settled and brothers will rise united…or they’ll all burn together.

AT CIRCLE’S END is the soaring climax to Ian J. Malone’s epic space opera series, THE MAKO SAGA, and a heartfelt sendoff to scifi’s most beloved band of bar buddies turned intergalactic heroes of war.

Hey guys, welcome to fall and another edition of the Mako Manifesto!

As you’ve no doubt guessed from my snazzy new website, I’ve had tons going on lately. I’m right, smack dab in the middle of wring the next MAKO book, I’ve got HonorCon coming up and, oh by the way, there’s that whole day job and family stuff to squeeze in as well. Like I said, busy, busy.

Nevertheless, it’s been a while since I’ve written one of these and I wanted to bring you up to speed on all of this and more, plus offer details on how you can win a chance to name a character in my next novel.

So, without further ado *claps hands like Mister Miyagi* let’s do this!

Work continues on MAKO 3

AT CIRCLE’S END, the direct sequel to RED SKY DAWNING and the final book in THE MAKO SAGA, is coming along nicely. I wrapped the first draft last month and am well underway with edits for draft two. This is the “flesh out” portion of my process. Whereas draft one is a rocket-ship of typing for the sole purpose of getting the story onto paper, draft two is where I go back in and flesh out the story which hadn’t yet crystalized on the first pass.

In total candor, I did try my hand at an outline for this one, but it just didn’t stick. I heard it said once that there are two types of writers: architects and gardeners. I guess I’m somewhere in between. I love the structure of an outline and the time it saves with editing. But when my brain takes off—writers, you know exactly what I’m talking about—I can’t not drop the reins and let the horse run. In my experience, those are the moments when the story and the characters come to life, and to handcuff that with an ironclad outline just feels wrong.

Full disclosure: That happened a lot in this book, particularly toward the end, and I think it made for some really special stuff that fans of this series will truly enjoy.

Right now, my plan is to have AT CIECLE’S END ready for submission to my editor by Christmas, which puts it on track for a Spring 2016 release.

Help me name a character!

Ever wanted to name a character in a book? Now’s your chance! All you have to do is sign up for the IJM mailing list via the form on this page and you’re in! The winner will be drawn on December 11 and notified via email, at which time he or she can name a hero or a villain in AT CIRCLE’S END.

Results will be announced on social media.

(If you’re already on my mailing list, you’re already in the drawing.)

Halloween at HonorCon

Lastly, for those of you running around the Triangle this Halloween, be sure to stop by the Hilton North Raleigh/Midtown (3415 Wake Forest Road). See, there’s this guy named David Weber… he writes stuff… and that’s where he’ll be holding his second annual military science fiction convention. Activities start on Friday, Oct. 31, and run through Sunday afternoon, Nov. 1.

Jokes aside, I can’t tell you what a treat it is for me to be returning to this event. I had a ball there last year, and the staff was incredible to work with.

This year, I’ll be expanding my role at HonorCon by serving alongside my good friend and colleague, Chris Kennedy, as a panelist on the following sessions:

  • Genre Blending: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and More
  • Alien Worlds and Races
  • The Economics of Self-Publishing

Please Note: I’ll also have an Author Table set up on site, so feel free to stop in and say hello.

For more information on HonorCon, including program schedules, guest lists, registration information, and more, please visit the convention online at www.honorcon.org.

Okay gang, that’s gonna do it for now. As always, drop me a line via email if you have any questions. Also, please don’t forget to show your support for my series by posting a review for MAKO or RED SKY DAWNING. Those are always much appreciated.

Ruah, and see you at HonorCon!

IJM

RSD 2500x1563-Amazon-Smashwords-Kobo-Apple

Arrives exclusively on Amazon April 30, 2015.

PROMOTIONAL NOTE: Book one in the series, titled MAKO, is currently available for free download from Amazon. Offer expires Tuesday, March 31, at 11:59 pm EST.

RSD Story Synopsis

Five years after the historic Battle of Dulaston, Danny Tucker, Lee Summerston, and the Renegades have settled nicely into life on Aura — yet none more so than Tucker.  Fueled by a rising career as an ASC staff sergeant and a love unlike any he’s ever known, Danny is in the prime of his life and at last free of the demons that have stalked him for years.

Some demons never die, though, and when an old enemy beckons to settle a personal score, Danny soon finds himself swept up in the backlash of a climaxing civil war, and straight into the crosshairs of a father’s bloodlust for revenge.

RED SKY DAWNING is the much-anticipated sequel to 2013’s MAKO, and the tale of one man’s quest to bury his past and protect those dearest to him as the fate of billions hangs in the balance.

Hey guys, Ian J. Malone here.

Well, it’s official: RED SKY DAWNING (the direct sequel to MAKO and book two in THE MAKO SAGA) arrives for sale in e-book and paperback on Amazon, April 30, 2015. The audiobook will follow shortly thereafter on Audible and iTunes.

I know it’s been a long time coming, gang, but I think you’re really gonna like this one. 😉 As always, thanks for your support of the series, and hit me up anytime via my website (ianjmalone.com) if you’ve got questions.

Cheers, and hope you’re staying warm.

IJM

Hey guys, keeping this one brief since most of us still have tons to do before Thursday. That said, I didn’t feel right about closing down 2014 without giving you at least a taste of what’s to come this spring.

So, without further ado…

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RED SKY DAWNING Official Synopsis

Five years after the historic Battle of Dulaston, Danny Tucker, Lee Summerston, and the Renegades have settled nicely into life on Aura — yet none more so than Tucker.  Fueled by a rising career as an ASC staff sergeant and a love unlike any he’s ever known, Danny is in the prime of his life and at last free of the demons that’ve stalked him for years.

Some demons never die, though, and when an old enemy beckons to settle a personal score, Danny soon finds himself swept up in the backlash of a climaxing civil war, and straight into the crosshairs of a father’s bloodlust for revenge.

RED SKY DAWNING is the much-anticipated sequel to 2013’s MAKO, and the tale of one man’s quest to bury his past and protect those dearest to him as the fate of billions hangs in the balance.

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Merry Christmas, everyone. Thanks as always for your support, and God bless you and yours this holiday season.

Cheers,

IJM

Greetings again, dear readers, and welcome to another edition of the Mako Manifesto — this time by way of its new home at WordPress! Why the change from Blogger, you ask? Eh, it’s complicated. But suffice it to say, the decision to move had a lot to do with the business end of things, i.e. better distribution options, better analytics, and well… mainly because I’ve never been one to go too long without change.

And so here we are, with a new site, a new look, and lots of MAKO news to discuss.

RED SKY DAWNING (RSD) BETA is in the can

As of July 31, eyes not belonging to me were reading the latest adventure of Lee Summerston and the Renegades, thus officially beginning RSD’s final run to print whereby I get beta feedback by Labor Day then make changes in time for submission to my editor on Oct. 20. After that comes another round of changes followed by a round of line-edits followed by more changes and a proofread — BREATH — then the file is finalized and sent off to my e- and audiobook designers for production.

It’s a lot, I know, but I consider myself extremely fortunate as an indie author to be able to afford such a rigorous process this time around. That wasn’t the case with MAKO, as I was operating on a shoe-string budget and completely out of pocket. That meant one round of edits through friends then another through a solo-editor I found online who, to her credit, did a fabulous job considering the size and scope of the task she was hired for.

(Author’s Note: MAKO was re-released onto Amazon, B&N, Kobo, etc. in January 2014 following a comprehensive re-edit and proofread.)

Fast-forward to the present, and RSD is getting the manicured treatment by comparison — a good thing, too, given the size of this story. As I’ve maintained all along, RSD is a much bigger tale than MAKO in nearly every way, though especially where world and character development are concerned. Bigger stakes, bigger themes, bigger conflicts, bigger everything.

Out with the story stuff already!

For those who follow me on social media, some of this might seem a bit redundant to you. However, in the interest of wetting the whistle a bit for those who don’t, here are a few of the themes we’ll be tackling in book two of the Mako saga:

Five years have passed since the events of MAKO: At the conclusion of book one, it was pretty clear that every member of the Renegades (Lee, Mac, Danny, Link, and Hamish) had found something on Aura that he or she had begun to latch onto. Be it a career, a person, or in Danny’s case, the outright dread of returning home to Earth, something clicked for each of them, and that’s played a major part in sculpting their lives ever since.

Danny is the star of the show: Yes, everyone is back — Lee and Mac included — but Danny Tucker is the protagonist of RSD, and it’s made abundantly clear right out of the gate that while he’s very similar to Lee in many respects, he’s also quite different in many others. Chief among these differences is the manner in which he deals with people who cross him… and we’ll just leave that right there for now. 😉

Who are the Alystierians… really? In many ways, MAKO was the story of the Aurans, i.e. who they are as a people, where they came from, and why they’re at war with the Alystierian Empire. As is usually the case in war, however, there are two sides to the equation, and RSD is where we get the other’s point of view. Why did the Alystierians attack Aura in the first place? What forces drove that decision, and how have things changed since the ASC’s advent of a pure-caldrasite (C-100) technology, i.e. the SF-13 Mako Interceptor? Then finally, why are the empire’s commandant (Masterson) and chancellor (Lucius Zier) seemingly at odds as was briefly referenced in MAKO?

With regard to that last point, trust me when I say, folks, that not only is this rift explained in RSD, but it has far-reaching consequences for everyone involved.

Lots of new characters: As has been alluded to already, RSD sees the introduction of several new characters — among them Katie Summerston (Lee’s sister, and a worldclass scientist/surgeon), Nathan Briggs (an Alystierian soldier on the Kamuir), and Zier. It also sees the fleshing out of other characters like Layla, who sports a new title in RSD, and Kris Wyatt, a man who readers will find has changed quite a bit in the last five years.

When will RED SKY DAWNING hit shelves?

Ideally, I’d love to have RSD out by Christmas. Whether that happens or not remains to be seen, though it’ll largely depend on how soon I can get through my editors’ suggested changes which will surely be extensive—as they should be. That’s the job of a good editor, to point out where your story is weak so that changes can be made, and where your story shines so as to maximize that impact for the reader. It’s a long and arduous process. But in the end, and as any NYT bestseller will tell you, any story is always better for having gone through it.

Okay, gang, that’s gonna do it for this, our maiden voyage on WordPress. Thanks as always for stopping by, don’t forget to stay tuned to FB and Twitter for all the latest updates, and see you back here next time for another edition of the Manifesto!

RUAH!

IJM

PS- Just three more Saturdays until my beloved Seminoles of Florida State begin their defense of the 2013 National Championship in college football. Cool weather, ice cold beer, football, and a crock-potful of homemade chili… MAN, I love this time of year!!!