A Roaring Success

Hahaha, pun time.

So, I wrote a book called The Lion: Son of the Forest, about Lion El’Jonson returning to the Warhammer 40,000 universe. I thought it might be popular. I didn’t realise exactly how popular.

It went to #1 on Audible.

Not #1 in Warhammer books, or even #1 in Sci-Fi and Fantasy, but #1. Overall. It out-sold Prince Harry and JK Rowling. Not necessarily for very long (I don’t know how regularly Audible update their best-sellers list), but even so, that’s quite an achievement. I even have the proof, thanks to someone at Black Library who noticed and took a screenshot:

A screenshot of Audible, showing Son of the Forest at #1 above 'Grimm Tales', 'Spare', and 'Atomic Habits'.

That’s… spectacular, in all honesty. It’s certainly an achievement. And while I’m well aware that a great deal of the popularity is down to the universe of Warhammer 40,000, and the character of The Lion, and the excitement of seeing him back in the “modern” setting, I’m still going to take a certain amount of pride (hahaha) in the fact that at the very least, my name on the cover doesn’t seem to have put great swathes of the Black Library-reading public off.

So, other news?

  • I went to EasterCon, and had a marvellous time. And then I caught Covid, which… well, that was probably to be expected given that not only was the hotel hosting us, but also a lot of the attendees of the international gaming convention next door at the NIA. Thankfully it was just like a mild cold this time, so hooray for vaccinations! Fingers crossed that at my next con, FantasyCon in September, I’ll be able to avoid the plague.
  • My band played another gig! This one was at Via Fossa in Nottingham, which was an interesting experience given that it’s very much a “lads having lager on the canalfront” venue and we are definitely not the type of music that clientele normally likes. Apparently the place has recently been taken over by someone who wants to make it into an alternative music venue and is regularly booking gigs on Friday and Saturday night, which is great, but when drunk people are already asking if they can touch my hair while I’m still unloading the amps from the car, you know it’s going to be an interesting evening. No trouble in the end, but I won’t be rushing back.
A photo of my five-piece band Interplanetary Trash Talk playing at Via Fossa. I am on the left as the photo looks at it, playing guitar and singing.

And for writing: it all remains to be seen. I’ve written more stuff for Games Workshop, but obviously I can’t tell you what it’s about or when it’ll be published (to be fair, I don’t know when it’ll be published, other than very vaguely). For my own writing, I’ve finished a manuscript tentatively titled Prophet Motive, which is now with my agent. This is, once again, different to what I’ve written before; it’s what I’ve referred to as “batshit fantasy”, a not-especially-serious, standalone high magic adventure that owes a bit to Discworld in terms of tone, and which is nothing like the world of The God-King Chronicles. Those were my “serious” books if you like, the ones that had been rattling around in my head for decades; this is a bit of fun. Truth be told, it feels a little like the Dungeons & Dragons movie, which I thoroughly enjoyed in a very uncomplicated way (and can we take a moment to marvel and applaud Hugh Grant’s brilliant parody of Boris Johnson?).

Anyway, that’s all from me for now, so I’ll close out by thanking everyone who’s bought and read books of mine, but particularly (at this time), everyone who bought The Lion.

11 thoughts on “A Roaring Success

    1. Unfortunately, various publisher disappearances and editor departures left it without a home, and not successful enough for anyone new to be interested in picking up. And truth to tell, while I had a lot of fun with the Keiko crew, I had an original plan for the series which is not a story I would want to tell now. So I’d need to find a new story arc for them, *and* a publisher willing to take on a series that’s had no activity for six years. So basically, very unlikely.

  1. Reading ‘The Lion’ now and it’s great. Have never read any other books from GW, and hope they measure up to your novel. Thank you!

  2. Reading ‘The Lion’ now and it’s great. Have never read any other books from GW, and hope they measure up to your novel. Thank you!

  3. Hey Mike

    Would just like to let you know how much I loved SotF. Timothy Watson was the perfect choice to voice the Lion, I can’t imagine any other voice actors playing him now. I really hope you become the Lions author now you’ve earned it. I also hope you write the reunion, I’m so excited for the Lions future quests.

  4. Loved Brutal Kunnin, Huron and The Lion book. You and Robert Rath are my favorite BL authors.

    Is there a niche faction/character in AOS or 40k you’d love to write about if GW gave you the keys no questions asked?

    1. I don’t know a great deal about AoS – I never really caught up after they destroyed the Old World. As for 40k, I’ve basically been getting to do all the stuff I want anyway! (plus a few added extras they offered me that I never really thought about doing until they suggested it)

  5. Hey just finished the Lion, and loved the relationship between Baelor and Seraphax as well as the hint at the same kind of feelings between Launciel and Galad. Very Dark Angel indeed.

    The way you pointed at the Arthurian tradition was a great idea, I don’t know if it had been done before in relation to the Dark Angels but it is quite fitting for the most Knighlty Primarch.

    Great read (although too short !) would love to see you add more to this story.

  6. Hi Mike

    I’m a huge fan of 40k and just finished this novel. I’m glad this book was popular, it’s well deserved.

    I don’t know if you can answer me, but please tell me you’ll write a sequel… I can’t wait to see Guilliman and the Lion Interact with each other.

    Thank you

    1. Thank you! Unfortunately, I cannot talk about anything Games Workshop has contracted me to write until they announce it themselves, so I’m going to have to leave your question unanswered.

      (and I also don’t say “no they haven’t” about things, because otherwise it gets obvious if I stop saying “no they haven’t” and start saying “I can’t answer that” about a specific thing, so I just go with “I can’t answer that” on everything)

  7. I am really pleased, that it was such a big success.

    Hopefully the follow on sales had a nice tail on them.

    Hopefully you get a portion of the sales.

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