Surprise! I have a novel coming out later this month! And it’s under a pseudonym!
Here's the summary:
J.S. Kelley weaves epic fantasy and hardboiled noir in this fast-paced, twisting tale of magic, mystery, and a whole lot of unruly behavior.
In a kingdom where magic fuels everything from street lamps to horseless carriages, the mage guilds of Penador wield power equal to the king himself. So when Lord Edmund’s infant son is kidnapped by the ruthless Alath Guild, he turns to the one person who’s feared by even the most magically adept: Rosalind Featherstone, a.k.a. the Gutter Mage.
But as Roz delves into the circumstances behind the child’s disappearance, she uncovers an old enemy from her traumatic past and a long-brewing plot that could lead to the death of countless innocents, as well as the complete collapse of Penadorian society itself!
It’s available September 21st in hardback, ebook, and audiobook, all of which you can pre-order now.
And check out that cover by Jeremy Wilson! I told him that Roz should look like the strange lovechild of Patti Smith and John Constantine, and I think he nailed it.
Now, I suspect some of you may have some questions, so here goes:
Why a pseudonym?
There are a number of reasons, both personal and professional. The one most pertinent to your interests is that Gutter Mage is so wildly different from my previous work that my new publisher, Saga Press, felt that putting it out under a different name made sense. If you've read my previous adult fantasy novels, they are big, sweeping tales that stretch across multiple books, just as traditional epic fantasy is meant to be. But Gutter Mage is short—roughly half the length of my last novel, The Queen of Izmoroz, in fact. And while there are a lot of fantasy elements, both the style and pacing read more like a crime/mystery novel.
Why J.S. Kelley?
Kelley is actually my middle name! So basically, I just shuffled the order and used some initials. I should probably also mention that "Jon" was never my real name. It was a nickname I picked up in middle school, and frankly, I no longer care for it.
Will Gutter Mage be the start of a new series?
Maybe, maybe not. It's written as a stand-alone novel, so it doesn't have to continue. If it seems like people want more, and if my publisher's game, I'd love to write more. However, if I do continue it as a series, it will be structured like a detective series, with continuing characters but self-contained plots so that a reader will be able to pick up any Gutter Mage novel and not feel lost.
What about The Goddess War trilogy?
Don't worry, I haven't forgotten about Sonya, Sebastian, and the rest! The final volume, The Wizard of Eventide, has already been turned in to my editor at Orbit, and will come out April, 2022.
Will you maintain two author names from now on?
Er, I'd really rather not. It's a lot of work, maintaining two websites, two social media presences, etc. In all likelihood, The Wizard of Eventide will be my final novel published as "Jon Skovron". I'll keep the online presence up at least until Wizard comes out, but I'm not sure after that. I do have some middle grade novels coming out at some point (more on those in a future newsletter), and I will probably publish those under J.S. Kelley, although I haven't come to a final decision on that yet.
Speaking of online presence, I have constructed all new stuff for J.S. Kelley. The website is jskelley.com, the facebook is facebook.com/jskelleybooks, the Twitter is @js_kelley, and the Instagram is @js.kelley (I wish those two could have been the same, but Twitter doesn't allow dots in usernames, and the underscore wasn't available on IG). I'm also migrating my newsletter subscriber list to a new newsletter as well, so don't be surprised/concerned when you get something from J.S. Kelley next time! It's still me!
Whew. I am so glad that I can finally talk about all this! I've been keeping it a secret for well over a year, and that has not been easy. There is so much more I want to tell you, but this newsletter has gone on far too long as it is. More soon!