My favorite reads of 2019

It’s that time of year again, when I have to list my five favorite reads for LitReactor and I feel like an asshole because I read so many good books and how in the wide world of fuck can I possibly narrow it down?

I tried my best. My top five is:

American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson, Recursion by Blake Crouch, Wanderers by Chuck Wendig, Three-Fifths by John Vercher, and Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid. You can see my reasoning here.

BUT there were a whole lot of books I read that I really liked and I am going to list some more of them here because this is my site and I can do what I want. This is for books released in 2019 (some of which I really struggled about including in the top five).

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I’m back from Europe, having spent a week shuttling from Milan to Munich to Hamburg to Amsterdam. And it was a trip. Not just because I covered so much ground, or ate so much food, or wandered through not one but two famous red light districts. It’s because I got the chance to see the kind of impact The Warehouse is having in other parts of the world and the entire process was humbling and surreal.

I also learned some fun stuff about the weird cultural differences of book publishing and promotion in other countries. Which I thought it might be fun to talk about here.

(Oh, and before I left, I went to all the Hudson News stands in Terminal 4 at JFK and signed their copies of The Warehouse… so if you’re flying through there soon and want to get one, there you go.)

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Finances for Authors

So we’ve all seen The Piece. You know the one. About the advance. I’m not getting into judgement one way or another except to say that it was bold to share that and it got people talking. And talking is good because in publishing there’s a whole lot of not talking because it’s considered… I dunno, uncouth or something.

And yes, you have to arm yourself with knowledge. It’s all out there on the internets. The problem is that the good advice is really very often nestled amongst bad advice. A lot of people are ready to tell you how publishing works, despite having no idea how publishing works. Some people consider this “branding,” like if you present yourself as an expert you’ll be taken more seriously.

I have shot from the hip with advice over the years and some of it has been good and some of it has been bad. I’m still learning. No one has it all figured out and anyone who says they do is lying. I do feel like at this point I know a little about a little–I’ve worked as a publisher, published seven of my own books at both small and large presses, co-authored a book with James Patterson, and navigated the weird and winding road of a bananas book deal with The Warehouse.

And one thing that was really hard to figure out–because there’s no guidebook!–is the financial end. Chuck Wendig touched on it briefly in this very good article about the overall tomfuckery of publishing. It’s a must-read. It also made me think I had some information to share about navigating the financial end of things. Continue reading

Pitch Wars mentor wishlist

2019-Adult-Mentor-SQUAREHey everyone! So, Pitch Wars. I’m a mentor this year! I’m excited. Don’t know what Pitch Wars is? Click this link. Or, here’s some sample text I copy and pasted because I’m a little lazy!

Pitch Wars is a mentoring program where published/agented authors, editors, or industry interns choose one writer each to spend three months revising their manuscript. It ends in February with an Agent Showcase, where agents can read a pitch/first page and can request to read more.

I am looking for books in the adult category, and in a broad sense, in the crime-thriller and/or sci-fi-speculative realm (we’ll get to that…), and here is some relevant info that you will hopefully find helpful: Continue reading

WAREHOUSE invades your television + Italian cover, German publication

69705652_10219053267505269_5906834961314349056_nThe Warehouse train keeps on rolling. This week I was on TV twice! First on NY1, where I fulfilled a New Yorker bucket list item: getting interviewed by Pat Kiernan, who is just as nice in person as you would imagine. Then today I was on CBS This Morning talking to the fantastic Michelle Miller, and I was dreading both pieces because I hate watching myself—especially watching myself speak—by they came out pretty good!

There was also this great Associated Press piece that I saw in the Washington Post, that put me in the company of authors like Margaret Atwood and Salman Rushdie, which is just completely ridiculous, but ok. I did a deep-dive interview with Ryan Steck over at The Real Book Spy, which is a fantastic site that should be in your regular rotation if you’re looking for book recommendations.

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WAREHOUSE week 1 recap


So… everything seemed to go okay?

I did two release parties for the book—at The Mysterious Bookshop with Miami Midnight author Alex Segura, and then by myself at the Staten Island Barnes & Noble. Both were standing room only, which was really encouraging. Especially for end-of-summer events.

USA Today gave it a lovely review, saying that “its interplay of taut action and incisive cultural commentary gives it shades of Fahrenheit 451 and Jurassic Park.” The Associated Press review… the first paragraph is just so god-damn lovely it took my breath away. My local paper and former employer, the Staten Island Advance, covered my release party. I spoke to Forbes about Maria Fernandes, the woman I dedicated the book to. Me and Alex did a fun Q&A for am New York. The Wall Street Journal highlighted The Warehouse in a roundup of novels going after big tech. SYFY ran a brief interview and excerpt. NPR called it an “outstanding read” (this hit literally as I was writing this post).

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It’s here.

I’ve been telling you about The Warehouse for a year and a half now, and there’s a whole lot of media queued up for this thing, so I’m not going to belabor anything, except to say my heart is full to bursting right now, and I just want to say a few quick housekeeping things:

  • Thank you to my agent Josh Getzler, for believing in this when it was 16,000 words and a rambled pitch for the rest. And my editor, Julian Pavia, for taking a chance on me and making it a better book. And my wife, Amanda, for her tireless support. There are more people to thank and I got some (not all) in the acknowledgements. But those are the three people I owe the biggest debts to.
  • I’m hosting a release party tonight (8/20) with Alex Segura (Miami Midnight) at The Mysterious Bookshop. 58 Warren Street, 6:30 p.m. There will be booze. Come hang out. Get my book. Get Alex’s—it’s excellent. I might have Warehouse swag.
  • I’m also going to be at the Staten Island Barnes & Noble tomorrow night (8/21) at 7 p.m.
  • On Sept. 4 I’m going to be at Politics and Prose in DC, in conversation with Six Days of the Condor author James Grady. More info here.
  • After that it’s off to Europe in mid-September: Milan, Munich, Hamburg, and Amsterdam. Otherwise I will not be doing a ton of US touring just yet, for a few reasons—it’s end of summer, family obligations, etc. But I will be at New York Comic Con, Bouchercon in Dallas, a bunch of library/literary festivals, and possibly a couple more bookstores over the next few months. Keep your eyes on my socials.
  • The best way to support any author is to tell your friends and family about their book, spread the word on social media, and leave reviews on sites like Amazon and Goodreads. If you want to do those things I would not be upset.
  • Also, I get asked this question a lot, as do other authors—and it’s such a nice thing for people to ask: which version (print, audio, eBook) gives me the best return? The answer is… it doesn’t matter! The fact that you’re buying it is awesome. It’s nice to support indie bookstores, but buy it at your preferred storefront in your preferred format. It is a blessing to be read.
  • Speaking of, here are various links from which you can get the book:

Mysterious Bookshop | Amazon | Apple Books | Barnes & Noble | Powell’s | Google | Kobo | Books-a-Million | IndieBound | BookPeople | Murder by the Book

And finally… thank you for reading.

Let the games begin with finished books, lists, and a creepy AF trailer


These arrived in the mail today.

Which is… surreal, to hold the finished product in my hand. It feels good. I almost wish I had more time to enjoy it? Not that I didn’t enjoy it. It just feels like… the book comes out this month, and suddenly everything feels like it is ramping way the fuck up.

Which is a champagne problem, I know.

But being the first of the month, a whole bunch of stuff hit today, and rather than clog up your feeds with me tweeting (more than I already have), I figured I would put it all in one place, if you’re interested in that kind of thing.

  • Entertainment Weekly picked The Warehouse as one of 20 books to read in August (alongside my pal Alex Segura, whose excellent Miami Midnight drops Aug. 13—the two of us will be appearing together at The Mysterious Bookshop on Aug. 20, details here).
  • Also got a tip of the roundup cap from CrimeReads, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, io9, and Goodreads.
  • The Real Book Spy included me in the August reading guide AND wrote a lovely featured review of the book.
  • And the Apple Bookstore picked it as one of the best books of August, calling it “one of the most exciting and thought-provoking books we’ve read in ages.” Which is kinda nuts?
  • An interview I did with The Big Thrill just went live. This was a fun one, and I got to talk a little about the process of writing and selling the book.
  • The street team is nearly filled up. Want to join that? Don’t wait. Details here. Essentially you will get some cool swag and maybe books!
  • We are close to nailing down my international stuff. I’ll definitely be in London Aug. 14-16, on behalf of my UK publisher Transworld. It looks like I might be visiting a few more countries in September (I will be in Germany for sure, but should be finalizing more details shortly on where else I’ll be).
  • Last but not least, check out this creepy AF trailer!

Want swag? Join the WAREHOUSE street team!



We’re less than a month out from The Warehouse. I am excited! So… now is a good time to start increasing awareness. Now, I know what you’re thinking—it’s all I’ve been talking about for like a year. How more aware can we be?

Well, I’m aware. You’re aware. I want your friends, your family, and even your enemies to be aware. So here’s the deal:

My publisher made up all these cool graphics. Some of them are super creepy! I’d like you to share them. That’s pretty much it. You sign up, and when I give the word, you share a bunch of them on your feeds, and tag me in your posts. Maybe say that I’m handsome and a good writer—you know, embellish.

What do you get in return?

Swag! Specifically: a Cloud lanyard, a Cloud brochure, a bookmark. Oh also some of you might get a copy of the book. You never know! Plus, when the dust settles, I’ll pick a few super-fans to win some other cool stuff…

61676982_10218336575708422_8020207678401806336_nTo review:

  • Use this form to sign up (REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED)
  • Do this by August 5.
  • You will get stuff in the mail!
  • When I give you the signal (via e-mail on August 12), it is time… I will give you access to the graphics.
  • Share your favorite and tag me.
  • Here’s where it gets fun: share more than one of the graphics to put yourself in the running for additional prizes, like my backlist books, a UK edition of The Warehouse… essentially whoever shares these the most often or the most creatively is gonna get more stuff.
  • That’s it!
  • Depending on how well this goes I may have to cap it? We’ll see…
  • Sorry this is limited to the United States only.

If you’re in, hit that form, if you get deluged with spam shortly afterward it is just a coincidence. And thank you in advance for your enthusiasm!


San Diego Comic Con schedule, and daring to dream

829px-san_diego_comic-con_international_logo.svg_Guess who is going to be at San Diego Comic Con this year? A lot of famous and important people. And somehow also me!

This will be my first SDCC—ever—and I am terribly excited to be there promoting The Warehouse. We’ll be giving away galleys, along with those super cool custom lanyards my publisher made up.

I get in Thursday, and will mostly be floating around the floor, gawking at things like a goon (except for most of Friday when I am have a secret-mission drive to LA for *reasons*…) but here is where you can officially find me.


  • How Our Present Impacts Today’s Speculative Fiction, 5 to 6 PM, Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina Grand 12 & 13, with Blake Crouch (Recursion), Kali Wallace (Salvation Day), and Chuck Wendig (Wanderers)


  • Signing at Penguin Random House Booth, 4-4:45 PM, Booth 1515-B


  • Signing at Penguin Random House Booth, 10-10:45 AM, Booth 1515-B
  • I’ll Take Muggles for $500: A Fan Game Show, 2-3 PM, Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina Grand 10 & 11, other panelists to be announced

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