Today, I am officially launching my fifth novel Wayfarer. Hooray!
If you’ve been following along on my journey with this book for the last several years, then you’ll recognize it as the one I keep referring to as my “historical superhero” novel. Set in 1820 London, it’s something I also like to cheekily think of as “Spider-Man meets Charles Dickens.” Turns out there’s actually a super-niche genre for this (which I had no idea about until I started researching keywords and categories on Amazon): gaslamp fantasy.
Best titled genre ever.
Basically, gaslamp fantasy is the more magical cousin of steampunk. Like steampunk, it is set in pre-industrial historical periods, but with less emphasis on steam-powered tech and more on magic or “mad science.”
Here’s the back-cover blurb:
Think being a superhero is hard? Try being the first one.
Will’s life is a proper muddle—and all because he was “accidentally” inflicted with the ability to run faster and leap higher than any human ever. One minute he’s a blacksmith’s apprentice trying to save his master from debtor’s prison. The next he’s accused of murder and hunted as a black-hearted highwayman.
A vengeful politician with dark secrets and powers even more magical than Will’s has duped all of London into blaming Will for the chilling imprisonments of the city’s poor. The harder Will tries to use his abilities to fight crime, the deeper he is entangled in a dark underworld belonging to some of Georgian England’s most colorful characters.
Only Will stands a chance of stopping this powerful madman bent on “reforming” London by any means necessary. Unfortunately, Will is beginning to realize becoming a legend might mean sacrificing everything that matters.
Read this new adrenaline-fueled historical superhero adventure today!
How Wayfarer Came to Be Written
My journey with this book started many years ago when I was sitting on the couch watching, for the umpteenth time, as Spidey swings through the closing scenes of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2. Since I’m all about the historical aesthetic, I found myself idly wondering, How come no one has ever done a historical superhero? (As I would later discover, there have been many “historical” iterations, with Captain America’s steampunk jaunt through World War II being perhaps the most obvious current example.)
From there, my imagination took off. What came out is a book I’m very pleased with and proud of. It’s darker than some of the stuff I’ve written in the past, but also, I hope, deeper—while still being fun and funny and full of heart and adventure and a little romance. I feel it’s the best thing I’ve written to date, a representation of everything I know and believe about story.
How Wayfarer Came to Be Published
As some of you may have noticed, this book has had a bit of a winding way to official publication. I originally intended to launch it last fall before I moved—which might have worked if I hadn’t decided, at the last minute, to do some marketing experiments under a nominal pen name. So there I was in the midst of a huge move, also trying to launch a book under a pen name (some of you may have seen K.M. Wyland floating around Amazon), all while tweaking and examining metrics.
The idea was to experiment with separating my fiction “brand” from my non-fiction (similar to what Joanna Penn of the Creative Penn has done with her J.F. Penn novels). I entered into this with something of a “why not?” attitude. I didn’t have anything to lose except a little time and effort. With the leverage of Amazon ads and some targeted promos, maybe I’d notch my fiction sales up another level.
Basically, I wanted to see if I could launch the new pen name on the strength of ads alone, without the help of my existing platform, and with the ultimate intent of getting “clean” Also Bought recommendations on Amazon, which would better target my fiction to genre readers, rather than pointing back to my writing books. However, results were only so-so on that score. After the discount promos, I got some nice genre results in the Also Boughts, but my writing books also started showing up almost right away.
Add to that the multiple emails I started receiving from those of you who were concerned that:
a) my publisher had goofed with a huge typo on my book cover
b) I had an evil doppelganger who was trying to pirate all my sales
and… I decided it was all just too much trouble for too few results. It’s an experiment I’m glad to have checked off my list, but to tell the truth, I’m relieved I get to keep all my writing under the same name. Makes everything so much simpler. And I like simplicity!
Where Can You Buy the Book?
So you ready to start wayfaring?
If you’re excited to join the Wayfarer on his adventures, you can purchase the book at the following links:
(If you buy the paperback from Amazon, you’ll get the Kindle version for $.99 via their MatchBook program.)
Enter to Win the Wayfarer Launch Prize
As always, I’m celebrating the book’s launch with PRIZES! So please join the party.
This time, I’m going to do something that (IMO, anyway) is totally fun: a shopping spree!
Instead of an upfront, one-size-fits-all prize, I’m offering the winner their choice of one or many of the fun writing/reading goodies from last year’s Christmas gift guide, up to a value of $100. In other words, if you win, you get to pick $100 worth of prizes from the list. A custom prize just for you!
(Due to shipping restrictions, the shopping spree will only be available to U.S. residents. International residents are still free to enter; in the event of an international winner, the prize will instead be a $100 Amazon gift certificate.)
Check out the gift guide post for full details, but the prizes available include:
- Writing desk
- Monitor stand
- The Writer’s Map: An Atlas of Imaginary Lands
- WriteMind Planner
- Desktop decor
- Customized journal
- Coffee spoon
- Tote bag
- Art prints
- Phone stand/grip
- Desktop organizer/planner
- Q&A journal
- Mouse pad
Winners will be announced Friday, January 18th. You can do several things throughout the week to earn contest points and increase your chances of winning. For every contest point earned, your name will be entered once more into the pool (e.g., if you’ve earned 18 points, you have 18 chances of winning). (Note: no purchase is necessary to enter.)
Good luck to everyone in the drawing, have fun, and thank you for helping me celebrate the launch of Wayfarer!
The post Announcing My Latest Novel: Wayfarer! (And Prizes!) appeared first on Helping Writers Become Authors.