The UK Unfettered Out Today!


Today, Orbit Books UK digitally releases UNFETTERED: TALES BY MASTERS OF FANTASY.

It’s a stunning and diverse collection of fantasy fiction from some of the biggest names in the fantasy genre – including Terry Brooks, Patrick Rothfuss, Peter V. Brett, Mark Lawrence, Naomi Novik, Kevin Hearne, Michael J. Sullivan, R. A Salvatore, Tad Williams, Lev Grossman and many others.

It also includes deleted scenes from Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson’s A Memory of Light, the final Wheel of Time novel.

The collection was gathered by Shawn Speakman, author and web guru for Terry Brooks. When Shawn fell ill back in 2011 and was unable to cover his medical bills, the fantasy community showed its exceptional generosity by stepping forward to help out. All of the authors involved were kind enough to donate their stories the collection to help him cover the costs – and what was produced is a truly wonderful anthology.

This is the first time UNFETTERED has been published in the UK, Australia and New Zealand, and our Orbit edition contains an extra bonus story from Shawn himself. Please see below for a list of all the stories included.

It’s available now at a special introductory price, and so it’s a great time to sample the fiction of some of the some of the best-selling and most critically acclaimed authors writing in fantasy today.

– Foreword by Patrick Rothfuss
- Introduction: On Becoming Unfettered
- Imaginary Friends by Terry Brooks
- How Old Holly Came To Be by Patrick Rothfuss
- The Old Scale Game by Tad Williams
- Game of Chance by Carrie Vaughn
- The Martyr of the Roses by Jacqueline Carey
- Mudboy by Peter V. Brett
- The Sound of Broken Absolutes by Peter Orullian
- The Coach with Big Teeth by R.A. Salvatore
- Keeper of Memory by Todd Lockwood
- Heaven in a Wild Flower by Blake Charlton
- Dogs by Daniel Abraham
- The Chapel Perilous by Kevin Hearne
- Select Mode by Mark Lawrence
- All the Girls Love Michael Stein by David Anthony Durham
- Strange Rain by Jennifer Bosworth
- Nocturne by Robert V.S. Redick
- Unbowed by Eldon Thompson
- In Favour with Their Stars by Naomi Novik
- River of Souls by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson
- The Jester by Michael J. Sullivan
- The Duel by Lev Grossman
- Walker and the Shade of Allanon by Terry Brooks
- The Unfettered Knight by Shawn Speakman
- The Twilight Dragon by Shawn Speakman (bonus story for UK edition)

To download your e-copy, visit your favorite online retailer. Or click HERE for a list of UK retailers!

Happy reading!

Audiobook Sample: The Unfettered Knight


The unabridged audiobook for Unfettered is available now via Audible and Amazon. In their infinite coolness, Audible gave me an audio sample from my short story contribution, The Unfettered Knight! It’s kind of awesome listening to someone else read your writing; better yet, that person is a fantastic narrator in the field, someone I’m proud to be associated!

I hope you enjoy the sample that I’ve posted above. And if you do, definitely try the entire audiobook. There is something for everyone in the anthology—and listening to all of the stories is one more way to enjoy the written word!

Contest: Unfettered Audiobook

audiobook-unfetteredUnfettered has been available now for more than seven months as a hardback and an ebook.

For those of you who do not know, Unfettered is the anthology that helped me pay off the medical debt accrued from treating 2011 cancer. I didn’t have health insurance due to a pre-existing condition and sadly Hodgkin’s lymphoma caught me. It couldn’t keep me down though. I’m healthier than ever now.

The silver lining of the cancer was the need to create Unfettered, an anthology featuring short stories written by some of the best fantasy writers working today.

When I approached Naomi about contributing a short story, she immediately said, “Yes! Of course!” I nearly wept at her generosity. Her story, In Favour With Their Stars, is a Temeraire alternate history story. It’s quite cool seeing our favorite characters in a new light!

The hardcover and ebook editions of Unfettered have sold well but a lot of people asked about an audiobook edition. Audible answered that call. They purchased the rights to produce Unfettered as an audiobook and it is now available! The short stories are read by some of the best narrators working today, producing a truly unique audiobook experience.

To celebrate this new release, Audible has given each of the contributors a code for a free audiobook download of Unfettered! Enter Terry’s contest below. It is open to worldwide participation. The audiobook can be listened to in a variety of ways listed HERE. The winner will be randomly drawn and sent a promo code that will allow them to download the book—free! One entry per person please.

And if you don’t want to wait, download the audiobooks for Unfettered and/or my debut novel, The Dark Thorn!

The contest will end on March 1st! You can also enter this contest and the contests on the Terry Brooks website and the Naomi Novik website!

Good luck!

Busy, Busy, Busy

IMG_2731The problem with Unfettered is my work isn’t over.

Even though the book is complete, printed, and sitting in my warehouse as well as my living room, life is about to get hellishly busy. The kind of work that is tough on a writer’s spirit.

I have 3000 books to ship out, individually, all over the world. It is the price I pay for being my own publisher without a distribution network. To pay off my medical debt, I knew I had to cut out all middle-men. It was the only way. That included distribution warehouses that help supply bookstores with their books. I had to sell the book on my end to pay off that debt.

And it has worked. The medical debt is gone. I still have debt that I owe for printing the books but that is slowly disappearing too.

Now comes the part I hate. Why do I hate spending three weeks shipping out books? I don’t hate it. Not really. I love that people are going to be receiving their copies, reading, and hopefully loving Unfettered.

I do hate not being able to write for three weeks. For a writer, that sucks. I can’t in good conscious spend my morning writing like I usually do because that is time that I can spend getting the books out. Fans are depending on me to do just that. And they deserve my best effort.

So if you find any tears on the box containing your copy of Unfettered, you’ll know why.

Let’s hope I don’t cry on the book too!

Returning From Phoenix Comicon

Authors Michael Stackpole and Terry Brooks have a good time at Phoenix Comicon 2013!

Authors Michael Stackpole and Terry Brooks have a good time at Phoenix Comicon 2013!

Terry and I have returned from Phoenix.

Well, not exactly. Terry stayed behind a few days to hang out with his sister, author and playwright Laurie Brooks. She lives in the area and is just as busy as Terry. And just as lovely a person. So when they can spend time together, they do.

As for me, I did the same. Sort of. I jumped on a US Airways jet for Bakersfield. I know, I know, who in their right mind would want to travel to Bakersfield? The heat. The sand. The lack of activities. In fact, I wanted all of those things. My own sibling lives in Bakersfield and, if there is one thing I’ve learned from Terry, you mix business with pleasure as much as you can. I hadn’t seen my brother in about seven months and it was time.

So now I sit in Bakersfield sun next to a Bakersfield pool with nothing to do in Bakersfield but write, write, write on The Dark Thorn‘s sequel, The Everwinter Wraith.

This is a blog post about Phoenix Comicon though. It was amazing. Terry could not believe how well the convention was run. I agree. Terry has been to a lot of conventions; I have been to my fair share as well. And Phoenix Comicon ranks near the top for enjoyability. Lee Whiteside, a consummate bibliophile, created a fantastic experience for the writers who attended. And there were a few of us. Brandon Sanderson, Kevin Hearne, Peter Orullian, Delilah Dawson, John Scalzi, Leanna Renee Hieber, Cherie Priest, Sam Sykes, James A. Owen, Greg Van Eekhout, and many more. We had a large presence at the convention, we were on numerous panels, and we signed whenever needed.

Terry had a great time. He met with hundreds of fans, signed books at every turn, and he sat on several panels talking about epic fantasy, world building, Unfettered, and was interviewed by author Michael Stackpole. Terry met another Terry Brooks which was pretty cool and he received many compliments about his website—which made me happy, of course. Terry and Brandon Sanderson got together for lunch one day and spent time talking about the book industry and Hollywood. It was fun being a fly on that wall, let me tell you!

Good people and good time spent. The best.

Sith Lords holding The Dark Thorn!

Sith Lords with The Dark Thorn!

As for me, I sold out the Phoenix Comicon Exclusive edition of Unfettered, which featured five stories from next month’s complete book. I met hundreds of fantasy readers. They were all so very kind. I received my first “squee” of delight—from a Sith Lordess, no less! And I got teary with a couple of fans who have a mother going through cancer treatment. There were a lot of laughs too though. I met Wil Wheaton. I locked a long stare with Jewel Staite. And laughed with Michael Rooker before one of his signing sessions. Was fun.

But the readers made it great. Thank you to everyone who stopped by to chat, talk about books and Unfettered. It was an amazing experience, one that I will forever remember.

Terry and I will definitely be back. As I said, the convention was exceptionally well run and the perfect blend of interaction and publicity.

Next up? The San Diego Comic Con! And then the Witch Wraith tour!

Hope to see you on the road!



You define life or it defines you.

In Shawn Speakman’s case, it was both.

Lacking health insurance and diagnosed with Hogdkin’s lymphoma in 2011, Shawn quickly accrued a massive medical debt that he did not have the ability to pay. That’s when New York Times best-selling author Terry Brooks offered to donate a short story Shawn could sell toward alleviating those bills—and suggested Shawn ask the same of his other friends.

Unfettered is the result, an anthology built to relieve that debt, featuring short stories by some of the best fantasy writers in the genre.

Every story in this volume is new and, like the title suggests, the writers were free to write whatever they wished. Here is the list of contributing authors for Unfettered:

  • The Shade of Allanon by Terry Brooks (a Shannara tale)
  • Imaginary Friends by Terry Brooks (a precursor to the Word/Void trilogy)
  • How Old Holly Came To Be by Patrick Rothfuss (a Four Corners tale)
  • River of Souls by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson (a Wheel of Time tale)
  • The Old Scale Game by Tad Williams
  • Martyr of the Roses by Jacqueline Carey (a precursor to the Kushiel series)
  • Dogs by Daniel Abraham
  • Mudboy by Peter V. Brett (a Demon Cycle tale)
  • Nocturne by Robert V. S. Redick
  • The Sound of Broken Absolutes by Peter Orullian (a Vault of Heaven tale)
  • Untitled by Geno & R.A. Salvatore
  • Keeper of Memory by Todd Lockwood (a Summer Dragon tale)
  • Game of Chance by Carrie Vaughn
  • The Lasting Doubts of Joaquin Lopez by Blake Charlton
  • The Chapel Perilous by Kevin Hearne (an Iron Druid tale)
  • Select Mode by Mark Lawrence (a Broken Empire tale)
  • All the Girls Love Michael Stein by David Anthony Durham
  • Strange Rain by Jennifer Bosworth (a Struck epilogue tale)
  • Unbowed by Eldon Thompson (a Legend of Asahiel tale)
  • Untitled by Naomi Novik (a Temeraire tale)
  • The Jester by Michael J. Sullivan (a Riyria Chronicles tale)
  • The Duel by Lev Grossman (a Magicians tale)
  • The Unfettered Knight by Shawn Speakman (an Annwn Cycle tale)

With the help of stalwart friends and these wonderful short stories, Shawn has taken the gravest of life hardships and created something magical. Unfettered is not only a fantastic anthology in its own right but it’s a testament to the generosity found in the science fiction and fantasy community—proof that humanity can give beyond itself when the need arises.

After all, isn’t that the driving narrative in fantasy literature?

Edition Note:

There are two editions of Unfettered to consider.

The first is a leather-bound Signed & Numbered 1st edition/1st printing edition limited to 500 copies and signed by all contributors. It is $150.00. Note: This edition is now sold out!

The second is a 1st edition/1st printing trade hardcover that is unsigned and is $35.00. The text for both editions of Unfettered is the same. This edition also includes a blank signature page featuring all of the contributors for those of you wanting to get autographs from some of your favorite writers on your own!