King Maker is Here!!!

Spotted out in the wild by Daniel R. Robichaud in San Antonio, Texas with confirmed sightings by fellow Indiana Horror Writers, Brian J. Shoopman in Greenwood, Indiana, and Rodney Carlstrom in Noblesville, Indiana … King Maker has hit the U.S. shores!

It seems like just yesterday that I was  I was doing some volunteer work with a ministry called Outreach Inc. (they work with homeless and at-risk teens). Well, we were doing a writing exercise and I was trying to get them to imagine themselves in different environments and situations. And no one could imagine themselves past next week, much less in a different life. So I went on a rant about princes and princesses and the idea of prince of the streets kind of stuck with me. And how the kids protective were of one another reminded me of knights. Next thing you know … Arthur, cause that’s how my brain works.  It’s hard to believe that I wrote the first draft during NaNoWriMo only a couple years ago (literally, two years ago next month).

It DOES feel like I’ve kind of given birth … to a bouncing baby paperback.  It’s a heady mix of terror (this is it!  This is what you’ve worked toward and sacrificed for … wait, what if people don’t like it and you really suck?!?)  and excitement (MY BOOK IS HERE!  IT REALLY HAS MY NAME ON THE COVER!  WHY CAN’T I STOP JUMPING UP AND DOWN LIKE A DRUNK CHEERLEADER?  WHY DON’T I HAVE PANTS ON?).

King Maker is book one of my Knights of Breton Court trilogy.  It follows the life of King James White, a homeless teenager pulling his life together, who is the modern embodiment of the spirit of King Arthur.  The story of Camelot slowly begins to play out on the inner city streets of modern day Indianapolis.  So amidst urban decay, gangs, the drug trade, and homeless teens, there are zombies, elementals, magic, and trolls.  It’s The Wire meets Excalibur.*

You can check out some of the reviews here.  Feel free to leave me your thoughts on the book on Amazon reviews since, you know, I will be obsessively checking them and judging my self-worth by them.  To make things as easy as possible for you:

Search for an independent bookstore near you

King Maker on Amazon and available for your Kindle

King Maker on Barnes & Noble and available for your Nook

King Maker on Powell’s

King Maker on Book Depository

You can read the first chapter here.

And keep checking the News section of my website.  There I will be posting my book signing and convention appearance schedule.

Yeah, I’ll probably spend the rest of the day looking myself up on book sites and library databases then calling in the family to point at the screen and yell “That’s ME!”  They’ll NEVER get tired of that!  Never, no, never.

*Or we could do the comic book version of the pitch:  Mage meets that one Falcon mini-series where street gang members kidnap Ronald Reagan.  Or, Mage meets DC’s scrapped Milestone line.  Or, Mage meets Power Man, except none of the black people yell things like “Sweet Christmas!” … though it’s not too late for me to write that into the third book of the trilogy in order to start that trend.  I’m sure glad no one actually reads my little footnotes.

Angry Robot Books to Join Osprey Publishing

Yeah, yeah, yeah:  the following press release would have been posted sooner but it took me a while to get my blog fixed.  Let me begin by saying that THIS WASN’T MY FAULT!  And I’ll also begin by giving you the upshot on what this means for the U.S. release of my novels.  Here are the new release dates:

King Maker – US: October 2010
King’s Justice – UK: February 2011; US: March 2011
King’s War – UK: November 2011; US – tbc but similar


Angry Robot Books to Join Osprey Publishing
Leading Non-Fiction Publisher Acquires Specialist Sci-Fi Fiction & Fantasy Imprint

Following an acclaimed first year of publishing, the revolutionary science fiction imprint Angry Robot Books has parted company with Harper Collins UK. It will now run as an independent publishing imprint, with the full backing of niche publishing experts, Osprey Publishing.
Angry Robot will continue to operate from its Nottingham office with its existing team under Marc Gascoigne, its founder and publisher. Marc said:

“With the support of Harper Collins UK, my team and I have worked very hard on Angry Robot since it was started in July 2009. We have a great publishing programme in place and a dedicated bunch of fans, the Robot Army, as well as some excellent sales of our first titles in the UK with an imminent launch into the USA. We are very pleased to have become part of the burgeoning Osprey empire. They understand our business and the enthusiasts who drive it.”

Chris Michaels, HarperCollins Digital Publisher, Fiction/Non-Fiction, who helped set-up Angry Robot, said:

“Having helped build the foundations for a successful future, we are delighted that the Angry Robot team has found a new publishing partner in Osprey. We believe this will help them develop their niche offering, supported by Osprey’s specialist sales and marketing teams.  We wish them good luck for the future.”

Marc Gascoigne added, “Our publishing programme for 2010/11 will be basically unaffected by these changes. There will be a short break while the transition is sorted out, but we will be re-launching in September 2010 and then it will be business as usual.”
Osprey’s move is a reflection of the company’s continuing strategic drive into niche communities that share a deep enthusiasm for their interest or hobby, whether it be military history (Osprey Publishing), heritage (Shire Books), or science fiction and fantasy. Richard Sullivan, Marketing Director at Osprey commented:

“We have a great deal of experience of serving specialist niches with a very tight product focus. Angry Robot is a great fit with our existing businesses. We are very excited about the opportunity to enter into a new market and we are looking forward to helping Angry Robot, its authors and its readers go to some exciting places.”

Osprey’s investors are also looking at this as a significant step in the overall plans for the company. Rebecca Smart, Managing Director of Osprey commented:

“We were very impressed with the Angry Robot business plan and forecast, and thought it was an excellent strategic fit for the Osprey group. We’re delighted to welcome the Angry Robot team.”

For Further Details Contact
At Angry Robot: Lee Harris, +44 (0) 792 635 493, lee.harris@angryrobotbooks.com
At Osprey: Richard Sullivan, +44 (0) 186 581 1304 ; richard.sullivan@ospreypublishing.com
At HarperCollins: Chris Michaels, +44 (0) 208 307 4114, chris.michaels@harpercollins.co.uk

About Angry Robot
Angry Robot Books is a global science fiction, fantasy and horror imprint dedicated to delivering innovative books in all formats everywhere. A strong online presence and an army of fans ensure that Angry Robot delivers the best in contemporary and cutting-edge fiction.  To find out more, visit the Angry Robot website www.angryrobotbooks.com

About Osprey Publishing and Shire Books
Osprey Publishing is the leading publisher of illustrated military history. Over 1,500 titles in print provide a definitive resource for both established military enthusiasts and a wider audience with a general interest in military history. In 2007 Osprey bought Shire Books, the leading publisher for an eclectic range of titles on all aspects of heritage and nostalgia.  To find out more, visit the Osprey website www.ospreypublishing.com and the Shire website www.shirebooks.co.uk

About HarperCollins
With a heritage stretching back nearly 200 years, HarperCollins is one of the world’s foremost English-language publishers, offering the best quality content right across the spectrum, from cutting-edge contemporary fiction to digital hymnbooks and pretty much everything in between.  Today we publish some of the world’s foremost authors, from Nobel prizewinners to worldwide bestsellers.
To find out more, visit the HarperCollins website www.harpercollins.co.uk

Between Brett and Brooks… (King Maker Reviews)

KingMaker-front-300dpi
Right now, King Maker is only available over in the U.K. and in Australia, but thanks to Jim Mcleod, I know what it looks like on the book shelves. And in the hands of rabid fans.

king maker1

For those especially anxious to get their hands on a copy of King Maker, here’s a place that offers free worldwide shipping.

To make things as easy as possible for you:

Search for an independent bookstore near you

King Maker on Amazon and available for your Kindle

King Maker on Barnes & Noble and available for your Nook

King Maker on Powell’s

King Maker on Book Depository

You can read the first chapter here.  Here are some early reviews:

-Science Fiction and Fantasy (a review I’m particularly proud of though I swear I’m not going to live and die by the reviews)

-Fantasy Literature
-gillpolack
-Adam Christopher – Steampunk, Superheroes, and Science Fiction
-Civilian Reader
-Neth Space

Falcata Times – URBAN FANTASY REVIEW: King Maker – Maurice Broaddus

-Zoe E. Whitten – Book Review: King Maker by Maurice Broaddus

King Maker was mentioned in Publishers Weekly

AntiBacterial Pope – My Top Ten Reads 2010

Not Free SF Reader

INTERVIEWS

Wicked Writers – To Be the Black Geek

On Setting (aka King Arthur in Indianapolis?)

I ran across a blog entry the other day which seemed to take issue with my series The Knights of Breton Court. First off, here’s the book description (from the Angry Robot website): On the streets of Indianapolis, the ancient Arthurian cycle is replaying in the lives of rival street gangs. Told through the eyes of King, as he gathers like-minded friends and warriors around him to venture into the fastness of Dred, the notorious crime lord, this is a stunning mix of myth and harsh reality. A truly remarkable novel.

I understand this book won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, after all, what’s a few pimps, trolls, drug dealers, elementals, homeless teenagers, and the occasional dragon between friends? However, that was the element of disbelief said blog writer couldn’t suspend. His issue was the setting. Indianapolis, specifically selling Indianapolis to British readers.

When it comes to American cities, Indianapolis is nothing special. My apologies to the Hoosiers but it’s true. It may be the 14th biggest US city but in terms of defining characteristics or geography or culture, there isn’t a lot to talk about.

(It’s a great blog, btw. The author goes on to do an informal survey asking people what their impressions of various big cities were. Indianapolis is … yellow and average.)

I debated briefly about whether or not the story would fly in Indianapolis. But considering what all inspired the story, it was ultimately a no brainer. And I’ll admit, I’m a lazy researcher. I had to go all of around the corner to find this tag:
(This really was taken around the corner from my house. If you know what you’re looking at, you know exactly which gang sets, or which gangs someone is claiming to be tagging for, are represented)

Now, the Indianapolis I write about is not the Indianapolis of the tourist brochures. I’m not trying to do anything exploitative or take folks slumming, either. One of the theses of the story is that any city has a shadow side. An invisible side to it that most people choose not to see, a whole world which may be playing out right under our noses that we have no idea is going on. Sometimes that world is poverty or homelessness. Sometimes that world is magic. Sometimes that world is filled with monsters. But it’s our world to explore.

Indianapolis is actually a perfect place to set the story. It’s a blank enough canvas that I’m betting even native readers will have their eyes opened by much of the story’s locales. And frankly, be it Indianapolis, The Shire, or Gallifrey, the important isn’t how familiar the world is to us, but how real the author makes it to us. Here’s hoping I made the Indianapolis haunting, real, and terrifying. If not, you at least have a gorgeous cover to enjoy.

EDITED TO ADD:

Here is the response from Stomping on Yeti and a King Maker inspired contest from them.

God gave us children to bring us back to earth…

So I got a package today from Angry Robot. Inside was a card that read:
First one hot off the presses? Whatever could he mean? Oh yeah …

So yes, there was much happy dancing in the Broaddus household. But before my ego could swell to unbelievable, “I am Author” proportions, my boys came in to find out what the ruckus was about.

Reese: “What’s that?”
Me: “It’s my book.”
Malcolm: “You wrote that?”
Me: “Yep. Here’s my name and everything.”
Malcolm: “You wrote that? But … that’s a real book.”

And with that, my feet remain firmly on the ground. But I’m happy inside.

Cover Stimulus Package

This is the cover art for The Knights of Breton Court Book Two: King’s Justice by the incredible Steve Stone (the model’s name is Lloyd Nwagboso*). Now contrast this with this news item:

Last year, Bloomsbury chose a white cover model for a YA novel about a black girl. They fixed it — but now they’ve done it again. Outcry over the white-washing of Justine Larbalestier’s Liar prompted Bloomsbury to issue a new cover featuring a black girl, and to apologize (kind of).

Lavie Tidhar’s already done a great blog that lays out the situation. For the sake of staying focused, we’ll ignore that Bloomsbury’s new cover featured the lightest black person they could find. Though, this was a fact noted by Ellen Datlow (who is quite white) and she goes on to point out in her open letter to Bloomsbury.

I was trying to explain this scenario to a friend of mine who is not connected to the publishing world at all. He found it stunning that in this day and age such racism is openly practiced. The idea that white people won’t buy books with black people on a cover or that there’s not a book buying public among the black community who would purchase books borders on the irrational. Yet it seems that once again it seems like racefail is in full effect.

Now would be the time when I would point out that not all publishers buy into the cycle of reinforcing racist ideas. I would point to Angry Robot’s cover for South African writer Lauren Beukes‘ second novel, Zoo City (art by John Picacio). Or my own novel from them, Knights of Breton Court: Kingmaker. Instead, I will point to the just released art for my second novel, Knights of Breton Court: King’s Justice one more time because it’s just so pretty:
We’ll soon find out whether or not black people on a cover will hurt sales. Nevertheless, having this conversation won’t hurt. Apparently it’s long overdue to happen.

*Lloyd was actually the second model chosen. In an interesting parallel to the Bloomsbury debacle, Angry Robot asked me what I thought of the first model the artist was leaning towards. I said that I thought he was too light as I had imagined King as much darker. The folks at Angry Robot immediately, and I mean, IMMEDIATELY agreed and changed course. You can’t ask much more than that from your publishers.

Look Upon My Cover, Ye Mighty


I love what Angry Robot has to say about Cover Love.

KNIGHTS OF BRETON COURT Book One: King Maker

U.K. debut … March 2010
U.S. debut … September 2010
from Angry Robot/Harper Collins UK

It’s Official

ANGRY ROBOT IS PRESENTED TODAY BY THE LETTER “M”

Hide us! Something seriously spooky just happened. Today, the planets all being in the correct alignment, we are announcing the signing of not one, not two, but three authors whose names begin with M. Only our devious Robot overlord master (you know, him, whose name begins with… M! Aye caramba!) knows how the hell that happened, but check this trio out:

Maurice Broaddus* is one of the real good guys, so why the hell his fiction is so terrifying is beyond our understanding. The three books of the KNIGHTS OF BRETON COURT series is a modern retelling of the King Arthur cycle, set among the drug gangs of inner city America. Told through the eyes of King, as he tries to unite the crack dealers and do the right thing, it’s a stunning, edgy work, genuinely unlike anything we’ve ever read. Cheap movie analogy for you: Gilliam’s Fisher King meets The Wire. The first volume will be published by Angry Robot in summer 2010, with the remaining parts at six month intervals. Extraordinary.

continue reading to see whose company I’m privileged to be joining!

*All author pics taken by Surreal Image Photography