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  • Writer's pictureMichael James

Updates, a new book and podcast

Howdy, gang. It’s been awhile, no? Here's the TL;DR version of all things Michael James for those busy, on-the-go readers.


  1. I’m writing again (!) and should have a book out hopefully in August or September. I’m looking for beta readers, so volunteer by emailing me at studioreadwrite@gmail.com

  2. I started a podcast (!) that everyone should check out. It’s not about writing, but it’s pretty funny and the response so far has been humbling. It's about movies! You can check it out here: Spotify Facebook Page

  3. I have books to recommend (!)


Okay, with the cliff notes completed, let’s get to the newsletter


So you’re writing again?


Yup. If you’ll allow me moments of introspection, I’ll recap. When we last talked (August of 2022!) I had just finished The Elevator at the Brink of Infinity, the final book in the Hotel trilogy. After finishing, I confess to falling into a tiny (massive) writing-related depression. I had finished a series, got some people to read it and I was quite firmly stuck in the mindset of, ‘well, so what’?


My original intention was to take some time off and regroup, but the time off became longer. And longer. And longer. By the end of the year, I hadn’t really written anything for six months.


As I walked into 2023, I began to contemplate a life without writing. The last two years prior had been a bit rough, if I’m being honest, and writing had stopped being a source of pleasure and had become a source of anxiety. We can put a lot of pressure on ourselves and I probably had dipped too far into the minutia of the writing industry to be healthy for me.


I won’t bore you with the story of 2023, except to say I completely stopped writing. I genuinely thought I was finished. And it wasn’t until I entirely stopped that I was ready to start again.


Imagine my surprise!


I’m glad I took the break. Writing feels different now. I think I got a little too caught up in writing for other people, and that’s an unsustainable place for a writer to be. Writing has to be something I do for myself, and the journey has to be more important than the outcome. I used to believe that when I started and now, finally, I’m back at that point.


I love it.


That’s good stuff, Mike. Mental health, etc. Tell us about the new book.


Right! The new book is-


Does it take place in the Hotel universe?


No.


Nuts.


I appreciate your disappointment, but don’t worry! This new book has everything you’ve come to love about a Michael James novel. Unique characters. Snappy dialogue. A giant magic castle called Hoppelsigh.


Come again?


The new book is a cross between Gormenghast, Alice in Wonderland and the song Wurthering Heights by Kate Bush. It takes place in a magical, floating castle called Hoppelsigh where the rules don’t really matter and it follows the adventures of Valentine as she navigates her way through this dangerous place. Here’s the working cover



Holy!


I know! If you're interested in being a beta reader, email me at studioreadwrite@gmail.com. I don’t think I’ll have a version ready until about May, but happy to start collecting signups.


You said something about a podcast?


Right! Apparently I’m a podcaster now. It’s called PrettyBad MovieGab and it’s me and one of my childhood friends talking about all our favorite, deep cut movies from the 80’s and 90’s. The reaction so far has been pretty nuts. We released it expecting ten people to listen to it, but we’re already in the hundreds, and will probably cross the thousands in the next few months. If you want to get in on the ground floor, come check us out!


 

What are you reading right now?


You know I like to pitch books in my newsletters, so here’s what I have for you.



This, admittedly, is not a genre I typically read (sexy fantasy romance). But no regrets for checking this one out, it’s the debut novel by CJ Holmes and it’s a fun, zippy read. Great characters, great dialogue and, yes, for those who like some spice, there’s some sexy scenes.


You can check it out here:




What an absolute delight this book is. The writing is just chefs kiss and the scenes with Don are un-put-downable. I’m not sure if that’s a word, but it is now. I absolutely flew through this and I have no doubts you’ll all love it, too.

Check it out here:



 

That’s it for me, gang! As always, thank you for reading and thank you for supporting me. I’m optimistic there will be more newsletters coming this year, unless my brain once again detours and decides I’ll never write again. HA! Who knows? The future will be what it will be.


Take care, everyone!

 


 

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