Episode 184 – An Epic Chat With Michael J Sullivan

By Damien Newbie Writers Podcast Comments Off on Episode 184 – An Epic Chat With Michael J Sullivan

The Newbie Writers’ Podcast

Very Special Guest: Michael J. Sullivan

Some notes from his books so far:

  • Written 27 books, published 9, and have 5 waiting for release.

  • Used all kinds of publishing to get my stories “out there”: small-presses (2 books), self-publisihing (5 books published, 1 on the way), big-five (8 books published, 4 on the way), and 1 whose fate is undetermined.

  • Pushed the publishing envelope by using Kickstarter, getting a “print-only” deal, directly signing audio contracts, and doing deals with and without agents.

  • Won a Stabby in 2014, had 4 books nominated for the Goodreads Choice Awards, and showed up on more than 100 “best of” or “most anticipated lists.”

You commented that: Riyria is a fantastic “light” series, as it starts out very easy to read and even kind of trope-y, with fantastic protagonists and a fun story. But somewhere over the course of the series, suddenly things are a lot deeper and more complicated than you realize, and suddenly you’re picking up on little hints that were dropped books ago that you totally missed and the plot has gone from “what is going to happen to these two ruffians” to “holy crap the entire world is at stake.” I think he takes the plot from those small intentions to worldwide implications very deftly, so much so that you almost don’t realize it’s happening until it has.

How can a newbie author do the same? How to you know to drop comments and ideas into book one so it shows up in book five?

You are active on Reddit. Com – what is that like and how to you manage to be available to questions and yet get your writing done? And (to paraphrase a question asked on Reddit – do you see audience interaction as part of the job or as part of the pleasure (linked with fame?)

Can social media replace live readings and book signings?

THE RIYRIA REVELATIONS & CHRONICLES: Some friendships are forged in blood.
Both the six-book Riyria Revelations and the two-book Riyria Chronicles were published by Orbit (fantasy imprint of Hachette Book Group). A third Riyria Chronicle novel is planned for 2015.

They killed the king. They pinned it on two men. They chose poorly.
There’s no ancient evil to defeat or orphan destined for greatness, just two guys in the wrong place at the wrong time. Royce Melborn, a skilled thief, and his mercenary partner, Hadrian Blackwater, are enterprising thieves who end up running for their lives when they’re framed for the death of the king. Trapped in a conspiracy that goes beyond the overthrow of a tiny kingdom, their only hope is unraveling an ancient mystery before it’s too late. 
NOTE: Two books in this series were Goodreads Choice Award Nominees.

Hollow World: Award-nominated science fiction in the tradition of Asimov, Heinlein, and Wells
Science Fiction reviewers have high praise for Michael’s time-travel action adventure. Here’s one example from
Justin Landon“This is social science fiction that H.G. Wells or Isaac Asimov could have written, with the cultural touchstones of today. A modernized classic, Hollow World is the perfect novel for both new and nostalgic science fiction readers.”

Ellis Rogers is an ordinary man who has always played it safe and done the right thing. When diagnosed with a terminal illness, he’s willing to take an insane gamble. He’s built a time machine in his garage, and if it works, he’ll face a world that challenges his understanding of what it means to be human, what it takes to love, and the cost of paradise. He could find more than a cure for his illness; he might find what everyone has been searching for since time began…but only if he can survive Hollow World. 
NOTE: This is a 2014 Goodreads Choice Award Nominee.

The First Empire: Discover the truth in myths and the lies of legends.
Michael’s most recent project, The First Empire, is a five-book epic fantasy exploring the difference between myth and reality and how the deeds of a group of ordinary people changed their world. The first book will be released by Random House’s Del Rey imprint in the summer of 2016.

In the land of the Rhune, trees can tell the future; roaw can’t sleep before adding more human bones to their bed; crimbals steal children through secret doors in the forest, and the gods are beyond reproach. But Raithe does the unthinkable when his father is slain…he fights back. From this act of aggression rises the legend of the God Killer, the seeds of a rebellion, and the question of whether the gods are really all powerful after all. Before the Dark Ages, there was the age of Myth and Legend. Before kings and castles, there were mystics and heroes. Before Riyria, mankind lived in the shadow of the Rhune, but that is about to change. Discover a new world by Michael J. Sullivan, the best-selling author of The Riyria Revelations and The Riyria Chronicles.

Michael J. Sullivan

The Riyria Revelations & Chronicles: Theft of Swords | Rise of Empire | Heir of Novron | The Crown Tower | The Rose and the Thorn

Recent Release: Hollow World  •  Coming Soon: Rhune | Dhreg | Rhist | Phyre | Fhrey

Short stories: The Jester (recent release) | The Viscount and the Witch | Greener Grass

Anthologies: Unfettered | Help Fund My Robot Army | The End: Visions of Apocalypse  | The Dark Beyond the Door

Contact: www.riyria.com • @author_sullivan • Facebook • Amazon • Barnes & Noble • Audible • Wikipedia • goodreads • wattpad

Word of the week:


with Anu Garg





noun: A biography that focuses on the negative.


From Greek patho- (suffering, disease) + -graphy (writing). In the beginning, pathography was a description of a disease. Then the word came to be applied to the study of an individual or a community as relating to the influence of a disease. Now the term mostly refers to a biography focusing on the negative. Earliest documented use: 1848.


Wabi Sabi is the magic of paying attention to everyday things. What are your favorite every day things? Do you have a favorite mug into which pours your favorite tea or coffee (I’m looking at you, Damien). Write about that favorite, daily, item.

Tortured Sentences:

A very confused response to Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal

The author mainly considered and put down the culture by saying that these women are selling their bodies and having kids. Their kids are bastards and the women would end up killing them.



  • Share:
Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On FacebookVisit Us On Google PlusVisit Us On YoutubeCheck Our Feed