Michael R. Underwood

is creating speculative fiction, essays, and assorted geekdom

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Oreo's Posse
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per month

You'll get access to essays about writing, gaming, and the business of publishing. 

Plus pictures of Oreo the Dog. 

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You'll get every new Genrenauts novella before they go live on retailers (and be thanked by name in the acknowledgements)

Also, you'll get access to deleted material and excerpts from works-in-progress.

Plus everything from the Oreo's Posse level.

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per month
You'll get to nominate topics for essays (on writing, gaming, and/or the business of publishing).

Also, you'll get an invitation to beta-read works-in-progress while you are a Patron.

Once a year, you'll get a custom character sheet for a character from one of my stories and an accompanying piece of micro-fiction.

Plus everything from the Genrenaut level.




I'm Michael R. Underwood - I go by Mike everywhere but my byline.

love talking shop - the craft of writing, how the publishing industry works, ways to have more fun with RPGs, and more. And now I want to spend more time sharing what I've learned.

I've written over a dozen books across a variety of series, featuring trope-twisting adventure, inclusive found families, and wry humor. I've also written essays on the business of publishing for sites like Boing Boing and Terribleminds. I wrote my M.A. thesis on tabletop role-playing games because I am that much of a nerd. I spent ten years working in the publishing industry, as a bookseller, a sales rep, and most recently as the North American Sales & Marketing Manager at Angry Robot Books. Some folks might know me from The Skiffy and Fanty Show or Speculate. Or from one of many conferences around the world.

I keep busy. For a while, I was too busy.

Working full-time and hustling to build my writing career left me over-extended and burning out. I was so caught up in work and writing that I didn't have the time or energy to connect with people the way I wanted to, sharing my experiences and perspectives on writing, gaming, and the publishing business.

Taking the Leap
I went full-time as an author in April of 2018. It's been exciting and a bit terrifying to be able to focus on my own work, and I'm much happier and healthier now. But I still love sharing my perspective, so I'm using this page as a way to connect and give back to the readers that have helped me develop my career so far. And to share cute pictures of my dog, Oreo.

Why Patreon?
I've always got a ton of things flying through my head at any given time, and I want to share them without getting caught up in the maelstrom of takes and current events. This Patreon is my one-stop shop for connecting with readers, writers, and other professionals as we build a community of storytelling, games, and making a living as a creator. I'm sharing essays on the craft of writing, the business of publishing, and the ins-and-outs of tabletop RPGs and talking about those topics with my patrons. I'm covering topics like using the D&D stats as an analogy for evaluating and exploiting your greatest craft skills as a writer, how to create a religious system for your world that feels lived-in and realistic, and how to make your query, synopsis, and manuscript all work together when querying agents and editors. I'm also sharing excerpts of works-in-progress and more pictures of Oreo.

I've also got some big ideas to pursue down the road, like producing videos about writing/gaming/publishing, bringing my stories to new formats (comics, games, etc.), and more.

Right now I'm shooting for at least one essay every month and intermittent excerpts from works-in-progress. As the Patreon grows, I'll be able to write the essays faster and share new projects more frequently.

Sample Essays
If you'd like to see what kind of essays you'll be able to read by subscribing here, check out these sample pieces:

Everything is Miscellaneous - Why Publishing Needs Tagging
Labor in the Publishing Industry - Exploitation of Staff and Writers in Publishing
Wayfinders, Drama Systems, and Me - Drama systems in D&D & Beyond

What even *is* Patreon?
Think of it as a way to connect with people whose work you enjoy. You subscribe to creator's Patreon like you would to Netflix or HBO. You get access to works-in-progress, essays, and more, and I get a productive way to share what it's like to be a working writer and publishing professional.

To get started, select a reward level from the sidebar - most of the levels include the rewards from other levels as well!
52% complete
At this level, I'll be able to afford to attend more conventions and conferences to meet readers, speak on panels, and stay connected with the greater world of SF/F.

You'll get essays inspired by those convention panels and about getting the most out of conventions.

I'll also create ebook collections of my essays every year, which will be free to all patrons.
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