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Announcing My Latest Novel: Wayfarer!

Wayfarer PinterestToday, I am officially launching my fifth novel Wayfarer. Hooray!

If you’ve been following along on my journey with this book for the last several years, then you’ll recognize it as the one I keep referring to as my “historical superhero” novel. Set in 1820 London, it’s something I also like to cheekily think of as “Spider-Man meets Charles Dickens.” Turns out there’s actually a super-niche genre for this (which I had no idea about until I started researching keywords and categories on Amazon): gaslamp fantasy.

Best titled genre ever.

Basically, gaslamp fantasy is the more magical cousin of steampunk. Like steampunk, it is set in pre-industrial historical periods, but with less emphasis on steam-powered tech and more on magic or “mad science.”

Wayfarer by K.M. Weiland

Here’s the back-cover blurb:

Think being a superhero is hard? Try being the first one.

Will’s life is a proper muddle—and all because he was “accidentally” inflicted with the ability to run faster and leap higher than any human ever. One minute he’s a blacksmith’s apprentice trying to save his master from debtor’s prison. The next he’s accused of murder and hunted as a black-hearted highwayman.

A vengeful politician with dark secrets and powers even more magical than Will’s has duped all of London into blaming Will for the chilling imprisonments of the city’s poor. The harder Will tries to use his abilities to fight crime, the deeper he is entangled in a dark underworld belonging to some of Georgian England’s most colorful characters.

Only Will stands a chance of stopping this powerful madman bent on “reforming” London by any means necessary. Unfortunately, Will is beginning to realize becoming a legend might mean sacrificing everything that matters. 

Read this new adrenaline-fueled historical superhero adventure today!

How Wayfarer Came to Be Written

My journey with this book started many years ago when I was sitting on the couch watching, for the umpteenth time, as Spidey swings through the closing scenes of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2. Since I’m all about the historical aesthetic, I found myself idly wondering, How come no one has ever done a historical superhero? (As I would later discover, there have been many “historical” iterations, with Captain America’s steampunk jaunt through World War II being perhaps the most obvious current example.)

From there, my imagination took off. What came out it is a book I’m very pleased with and proud of. It’s darker than some of the stuff I’ve written in the past, but also, I hope, deeper—while still being fun and funny and full of heart and adventure and a little romance. I feel it’s the best thing I’ve written to date, a representation of everything I know and believe about story.

How Wayfarer Came to Be Published

As some of you may have noticed, this book has had a bit of a winding way to official publication. I originally intended to launch it last fall before I moved—which might have worked if I hadn’t decided, at the last minute, to do some marketing experiments under a nominal pen name. So there I was in the midst of a huge move, also trying to launch a book under a pen name (some of you may have seen K.M. Wyland floating around Amazon), all while tweaking and examining metrics.

The idea was to experiment with separating my fiction “brand” from my non-fiction (similar to what Joanna Penn of the Creative Penn has done with her J.F. Penn novels). I entered into this with something of a “why not?” attitude. I didn’t have anything to lose except a little time and effort. With the leverage of Amazon ads and some targeted promos, maybe I’d notch my fiction sales up another level.

Basically, I wanted to see if I could launch the new pen name on the strength of ads alone, without the help of my existing platform, and with the ultimate intent of getting “clean” Also Bought recommendations on Amazon, which would better target my fiction to genre readers, rather than pointing back to my writing books. However, results were only so-so on that score. After the discount promos, I got some nice genre results in the Also Boughts, but my writing books also started showing up almost right away.

Add to that the multiple emails I started receiving from those of you who were concerned that:

a) my publisher had goofed with a huge typo on my book cover

b) I had an evil doppelganger who was trying to pirate all my sales

and… I decided it was all just too much trouble for too few results. It’s an experiment I’m glad to have checked off my list, but to tell the truth, I’m relieved I get to keep all my writing under the same name. Makes everything so much simpler. And I like simplicity!

Where Can You Buy the Book?

So you ready to start wayfaring?

If you’re excited to join the Wayfarer on his adventures, you can purchase the book at the following links:

Amazon USA

Amazon UK

Amazon Canada

Amazon Australia

Nook

Kobo

If you don’t have a Kindle but want to take advantage of the cheaper e-book option, you can read Kindle books off your computeriPhone or iPad, or Android, using their respective Kindle apps.

Wayfarer ad

Enter to Win the Wayfarer Launch Prize

As always, I’m celebrating the book’s launch with PRIZES! So please join the party.

This time, I’m going to do something that (IMO, anyway) is totally fun: a shopping spree!

Instead of an upfront, one-size-fits-all prize, I’m offering the winner their choice of one or many of the fun writing/reading goodies from last year’s Christmas gift guide, up to a value of $100. In other words, if you win, you get to pick $100 worth of prizes from the list. A custom prize just for you!

(Due to shipping restrictions, the shopping spree will only be available to U.S. residents. International residents are still free to enter; in the event of an international winner, the prize will instead be a $100 Amazon gift certificate.)

Writing and Reading Shopping Spree

Check out the gift guide post for full details, but the prizes available include:

  • Writing desk
  • Monitor stand
  • Bookcase
  • The Writer’s Map: An Atlas of Imaginary Lands
  • WriteMind Planner
  • Desktop decor
  • Bookend
  • Mug
  • Customized journal
  • Jewelry
  • Coffee spoon
  • T-shirt
  • Tote bag
  • Art prints
  • Phone stand/grip
  • Desktop organizer/planner
  • Q&A journal
  • Notebook
  • Mouse pad
  • Keychain

To Enter

Winners will be announced Friday, January 18th. You can do several things throughout the week to earn contest points and increase your chances of winning. For every contest point earned, your name will be entered once more into the pool (e.g., if you’ve earned 18 points, you have 18 chances of winning). (Note: no purchase is necessary to enter.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck to everyone in the drawing, have fun, and thank you for helping me celebrate the launch of Wayfarer!

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12 Comments

  1. Oh, man! I got the “K. M. Wyland” version! Which one will be worth more in the future…?! Oops. Never mind; I got the ebook.

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      K.M. Wyland is limited edition, so maybe it’ll show up on Antiques Roadshow one of these days. Who knows? 😉

  2. This is awesome!! Thanks for doing the giveaway! Your books are on my wishlist! 🙂

  3. Kathryn Sue Lapp says:

    Congratulations Katie!

  4. Verandern says:

    Hi! My mom ironically bought me your “Outlining your Novel” book in December last year. I am in the process (now that school’s out) of outlining my own novel (Ohh scary!) I just want to thank you for what you do. All the tools you offer for free are so helpful (I plan on using yWriter in the future, once I finish the general sketches portion of the book!).
    Also, what do you think of Pseudonyms? Are they a good idea, or do they hinder the writing/ publishing process at all?
    Also, how have you gone about publishing in the past?

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      There are lots of pros and cons to pen names. The biggest con is simply lack of convenience. It could end up being a hassle to create what is basically a false identity to support all the social media sites, etc., necessary for a pen name. Plus, IMO, your real name is likely to get out sooner or later.

      However, that said, if I had it to do over again, I would probably use a pen name. Primarily, I would do it as an extra buffer of privacy, but also because my last name is ridiculously hard for most people to spell or pronounce (darn German!).

      I chose to use my initials instead of my name primarily as a way to keep my gender from being readily apparent, in case that might be a turn-off for male readers (since my fiction is hard-hitting, war-oriented stuff that would otherwise appeal to that demographic). All things considered, I probably wouldn’t bother with the initials if I had it to do over again. More readers than not know I’m a woman, and more readers than not know my first name anyway–and initials (my initials anyway) get cumbersome to say when you’re introducing yourself in audio or video.

      In short, I don’t think there’s a right or a wrong answer to this question, but my recommendation would be: use a simple but unique pen name, but no initials.

      Although pen names would probably be something you’d want to discuss with your agent or publisher, I don’t think they’d actually need to know your real name except for tax reasons.

  5. Using your initials also helps speed up the book autographing you need to do 🙂

  6. Abigail says:

    So um.. I bought Wayfarer the day I heard about it, and may or may not have finished it at 2 AM the same day. (I know, all that beautiful poetic writing and masterful plotting devoured too quickly to really appreciate it! I couldn’t help it.) It was amaazing! I don’t know how you pull off such a variety of genres perfectly every time.
    On a slightly unrelated note, I reread Behold the Dawn recently (I have such a soft spot for that book, it’s one of my favorite novels) and then finally read A Man Called Outlaw because I never have before. (Can you tell I’m impatient for Dreambreaker? 2021, so far away…) Anyway I noticed that compared to Storming & Dreamlander & Wayfarer, those two had a more prominent Christian theme – and I loved ittt because it is sooo difficult to find books that have Christian characters and themes without being preachy, or featuring cliche characters, or terribly written, or with sensational gratuitous stuff thrown in there (ugghh), or all of the above! Maybe it’s that the setting & characters of recent books haven’t fit as naturally with people being Christian and going to church every Sunday and things like in small-town-out-west Outlaw? I guess I just kind of miss it because there are so few books that deal with Christianity that have any merit apart from that, and I’ve never found one so beautifully-crafted-into-jewel-like-masterpieces-of-plot-and-character-and-theme as your latest novels. Not that I wish you’d force those jewel-like masterpieces into an openly Christian framework (which is what it feels like when I try to write Christian fiction lol) but Outlaw & Behold are so natural and so so good.

    P.S. The story structure bug has bit me and I have no regrets. Why did I resist it? Being able to understand the structure of a story down to the scene level is *exactly* my kind of thing, it’s so mindblowing and beautiful how all the great stories can be broken down this way… ‘Structuring your Novel’ has been so comprehensive and helpful and it absolutely will change the way I approach reading or writing a novel for the rest of my life!

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      Thanks for your note! I’m so glad you enjoyed Wayfarer. Makes my day!

      For me, the first consideration in how explicit faith is in any story is always the characters and the setting. Probably my most explicitly Christian novel is my Crusades-era historical Behold the Dawn, simply because the era is steeped in Christianity (albeit, often, misguided Christianity). The setting and the protagonist’s central struggles with his own faith meant that I could effortlessly discuss blatantly religious subjects without it seeming as if they were shoehorned into the story.

      The same goes, more or less, for my portal fantasy Dreamlander. I was able to build a fantasy society in which religion was widespread and widely accepted. I dealt with Chris – my “real world” character – and his faith much more subtly, because, although I wanted to deal with religious themes, I didn’t want the story to necessarily be one that was about his personal redemption. So I got to discuss faith-based elements much more obviously in the POV of the dream-world character Allara.

      My book Storming is set in Nebraska in the 1920s and is basically an adventurous romp about barnstormers and steampunk-ish flying weather machines. I ended up touching on spiritual elements only obliquely in this story, since anything more just wouldn’t have flowed smoothly with the characters and the setting.

      • Abigail says:

        Thank you! Yeah, that makes sense. Well, whether directly or subtly, I can always tell there’s an undertone and it’s soo good to read a novel that is within ‘the Christian consensus’ as Francis Schaeffer would say, as well as being a dependably stellar piece of whatever kind of fiction it is (what next? how many more genres *are* there? …hmm, post-apocalyptic – well, judging by part of the Dreambreaker board we might get some of that anyway D:)!

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