What's In a Name? And Other Bits & Bobs

When I first began this publishing journey in 2013, I was set that my “writing name” was going to be my real name, but unlike in everyday life, I was going to use both my middle initials. I’m named after my uncle, you see, but my “middle name” is both my father’s first and middle names. So my name is Michael Robert Eugene Johnston. My writing name, then, was going to be Michael R. E. Johnston.

Fast forward to 2016, when I submitted the book to Flame Tree Press. Somehow I forgot about the E, so I submitted as Michael R. Johnston. And when the contract came, I was so excited, and so eager to not screw it up, that I read everything BUT my name with a fine-toothed comb. So I noticed what the royalty rates were, and the rights I was signing away (some of which I learned later I should have kept—never sign away your dramatic rights, kids!—but that’s something I’ve discussed before), but I totally missed that my name wasn’t quite what I’d always wanted it to be.

Now, after two books published, and a third being written, it seems like it doesn’t matter all that much. That extra initial wouldn’t sell more books, and it wouldn’t make me any less of a nerd who writes books about aliens and space travel, so meh. I’m still publishing books, and people are buying them and positively reviewing them, so nothing was harmed in the making of this writer.

But sometimes, I still wish I’d noticed it when I had the chance…

The Blood-Dimmed Tide drops 20 February 2020, and Publisher’s Weekly gave it a solid positive review. The book can be pre-ordered through any bookseller of your choice, but ebook and audiobook aren’t yet available—but they’ll be available closer to publication, and I’ll let you all know when they are.

Writing on the final book in the Remembrance War trilogy, What Rough Beast, has begun. Tajen has come face-to-face with the enemy who bested him at Jiraad for the first time, and the experience has left him a bit shaken. This book will depart further from the first, in that instead of just Tajen’s viewpoint, there will be a pretty equal number of chapters told from the POV of Tajen, Katherine, and Liam, all of whom are separated for much of the story.

If you don’t hear from me again in 2019, have a great holiday and Happy New Year!

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