05/2013 Meeting

Page Created:  11/11/12.  Last Updated:  11/16/13
Michael Underwood is the author of the urban fantasy novel, GEEKOMANCY, and the North American Sales & Marketing Manager for Angry Robot Books.
Other Links:
..........Angry Robot:
..........Michael Underwood at Angry Robot
..........Wikipedia:  Angry Robot Books
..........Geekomancy at Barnes & Noble
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Meeting Date:  May 11, 2013
Meeting Site:  Saddle River Valley Cultural Center, Upper Saddle River
Official Attendance:  21
Meeting Program:  Talk by Fantasy Writer / Book Marketer
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Newsletter Account
The following account is reprinted with permission from  THE STARSHIP EXPRESS  Copyright 2013  Philip J De Parto
The monthly General Meeting of the Science Fiction Association of Bergen County was held on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at the Saddle River Valley Cultural Center in Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.  Michael R Underwood was our speaker.  Mr Underwood is the North American Sales & Marketing Director for UK publisher, Angry Robot Books, in addition to being the author of the urban fantasy novel, GEEKOMANCY.
Two separate paths led our speaker to his dual status in the world of publishing.  The first is through the printed word.  Michael's father was the publicist at the Loveswept line of romance novels published by Bantam Doubleday Dell.  The author has memories of long hours spent reading in the office down the hall from his father that housed the editor of the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books.  Mr Underwood joined the publishing industry as a mid-Western book rep for a small publishing company, experience which was instrumental in later landing his position at Robot.
The second strand was as a geek.  His parents took him to see THE RETURN OF THE JEDI at a young age, a formative experience in his proto-geek years.  The works of Joseph Campbell and the television series BUFFY, THE VAMPIRE SLAYER and ANGEL were also big influences, but the most important of all was fantasy gaming.  He became very involved in the local Live Action Role Playing community.  Fortunately, the LARPers had a writers' group which included fantasy author Marie Brennan.  The group was instrumental in helping the author in "skipping lots of idiotic mistakes."
Our speaker joined the online writer's group, Book Country, and began posting sections of two works-in-progress.  The first was SHIELD AND CROCUS, which he described as X-Men Meets China Mieville.  The other was a draft of GEEKOMANCY.  Editor Adam Wilson contacted Mr Underwood, asking him to see the full manuscript of the books.  Neither was ready, "But when an editor tells you he wants to see your manuscript, you say, 'yes.'"  GEEKOMANCY was farther along than SHIELD, so Michael abandoned SHIELD (he plans to get back to it) and completed and submitted GEEKOMANCY.
Pocket Star, an imprint of Simon & Shuster, is the publisher.  Star had ceased operations some years ago, but it was being relaunched in a new incarnation as an e-book publisher although there is a possibility of a print version if certain sales objectives are met.  Our speaker has turned in a sequel, CYBERMANCY, and has a contract for three additional books.  (To Be Continued.)