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Michael J Sullivan's picture

Michael J Sullivan

USA (1961 - )

After finding a manual typewriter in the basement of a friend's house, Michael J. Sullivan inserted a blank piece of paper and typed: It was a dark and stormy night. He was just eight years old at the time and mimicking Snoopy so we'll forgive the use of that overused opening. But the desire to fill the blank page and see what doors the typewriter keys would unlock wouldn't let him go. For ten years Michael developed his craft by studying authors such as Stephen King, Ernest Hemingway, and John Steinbeck. During that time he wrote thirteen novels, and after finding no traction in publishing, he quit and vowed never to write creatively again.

Michael discovered that never is a very long time and ended his writing hiatus a decade later but with a condition: he wouldn't seek publication (as doing so was just too painful). Instead, he decided to write books he wanted to read and developed a fantasy series to for his then thirteen-year-old daughter, who was struggling in school due to dyslexia. After reading the third book, his wife insisted the series needed to "get out there." After Michael refused to jump back on the query-go-round, she took over the publication tasks.

Michael is one of the few authors who has successfully published through all three routes: small press, self, and big five, and he helps aspiring authors help determine the path that is best for them through is posts on publishing for Amazing Stories Magazine. Some key accomplishments of his career include:

  Three books nominated for Goodreads Choice Awards (2010, 2011, 2013)
  Named to io9's Most Successful Self-Published Sci-Fi and Fantasy authors
  Being translated to fifteen foreign languages
  Spending more than a year (and counting) on Amazon's Bestselling Fantasy Author's list
  Having his books named to more than 90 "best of" or "most anticipated" lists including those compiled by Library Journal, Barnes and Noble,, and

Today, Michael continues to fill blank pages and is working on completing the final book in his third series tentatively titled The First Empire (traditional fantasy). His first science fiction novel, Hollow World was released by Tachyon Publications in April 2014.

First Empire
1. Age of Myth (2016)
Triumph Over Tragedy (2013) (with Elizabeth Bear, Bradley Beaulieu, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Tobias S Buckell, Maxwell Alexander Drake, RT Kaelin, Mark Lawrence, Robert Silverberg, Michael A Stackpole and Timothy Zahn)
The Dark Beyond The Door (2014) (with Gregory S Close, M Todd Gallowglas, Tristan Gregory, Christopher Kellen, Ken Lim, JS Morin, SG Night, Jason Varrone and SM White)

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