My bud Michael Jan Friedman is making with more literary mischief.
Those of you who frequent this space have likely read something I’ve written about one of his various projects. He’s been around a bit, with a list of publishing credits that’s about as long as…well, it’s pretty long, and includes novels, short stories, comics, and TV. Yeah, he’s pretty salty as writing vets go.
Every so often, he sets into motion a somewhat crazy scheme because for him it’s time to bring to fruition a new writing project without the benefit of a traditional path to publication. In recent years, he’s relied on crowdfunding to help him acquire the money necessary to realize these projects. As is his wont, he sets modest fundraising goals in order to cover the expense of bringing the project to life, and in every case (I think we’re up to ten or so, by this point?), he’s hit his mark and delivered on everything promised.
Mike’s also one of the genuinely decent people in this whole writing business thing. He’s been a friend and supporter from the first time I met him — what, something like 17 years ago, now — at my first Shore Leave convention, and he’s on a very, very short list of people to whom I can never say “No,” when he asks for something like promoting his latest project.
This time, Mike’s returning to a character he created some years ago, Maxtla Colhua, a detective living and working in Aztlan, an Aztec empire which in this alternate version of history has survived into the 21st century. Maxtla has appeared in two standalone novellas, Aztlan: The Last Sun and Aztlan: The Courts of Heaven, as well as a third novella, Aztlan: Speaker of the Verse, which appeared in Mike’s anthology Cabal and Other Unlikely Invocations of the Muse.
Maxtla is set to return in Aztlan: Investigator for the Empire, but it can’t happen without the help of folks like you who are currently reading this. What’s it all about? As has become the norm for these things, I’ve learned to just let Mike tell you:
Aztlan: The Maxtla Colhua Mysteries came out in 2012 (though it feels like it was yesterday), coinciding with the supposed end of the Mesoamerican cosmos. It was comprised of two novellas, Aztlan: The Last Sun and Aztlan: The Courts of Heaven.
Since then, I’ve written another half-dozen books under the aegis of Crazy 8 and edited a few more. But I always felt the tug of Maxtla Colhua, hard-nosed Investigator for the Empire–a fiery athlete who followed his father’s path and became a detective after he blew out his knee in the ball court.
“When are you going to write another Maxtla book?” fans and friends would ask me at conventions. One really wonderful couple even named their dog Maxtla. “Soon,” I said. And the years flew by.
And Maxtla’s tug on me grew more and more insistent all the time. More urgent. More determined not to be denied. Who was I to say no to such perseverance?
So here we are. Answering the call. You and me. Because it’s between the reader and the writer that the magic takes place, and what do we need more these days than a little magic?
Aztlan: Investigator For The Empire…it may not find a place in the bookstore, but I’m hoping there’s a place for it on your shelf…and in your heart.
Sounds cool, amirite?
As is always the case with his Kickstarters, Mike is offering a number of rewards and even a few surprises for those who choose to back the project. For the complete rundown on Aztlan: Investigator For The Empire and everything Mike’s putting out there for your consideration, hop on over to Kickstarter and check out the project’s page:
Aztlan: Investigator for the Empire
by Michael Jan Friedman
As I write this, the Kickstarter is sitting at $2,535 of its rather unpretentious $3,500 funding goal, with ten days to go. Anyone who’s participated in a Kickstarter campaign knows it’s an all-or-nothing proposition, and it’d be a shame for Mike to lose the ball this close to the goal line. So, if you wouldn’t mind giving this new project a look and you’re willing and able to do so, I hope you’ll consider supporting it.
Good luck, Mike!