Revving Up

Revving Up

I hope summer went well for everyone. It was an eventful one for me, one that took me away from writing for a while, but now I am thinking about what I want to accomplish in the months ahead. I’ve started a standalone story that has been pulling at me for a while that I simply have to get written, and then I have the third book in The Hidden Gifted series. Time to buckle down and get writing again!

I was really excited to find a kid’s review of The Worlds Traveler on the site Kids’ Book Buzz. I sent Kids’ Book Buzz a copy of the book in the hopes of getting a young reader to read and write about it and I lucked out! I always appreciate a review, but I have to admit, there’s a special pleasure in getting one from a young reader, as that is the intended audience for the series. If you have a chance, check out the review here.

I am also thrilled that The Worlds Traveler has found its way onto another library’s bookshelves! The Evergreen Public Library will be participating in Indie Author Day on October 8, 2016 and will be showcasing books from indie authors. If you’re in the area, stop by, take a look, and maybe discover a new author to enjoy. There are a lot of hidden jewels out there. I really can’t thank the Evergreen Public Library enough for the opportunity, and most importantly, the support. Many thanks to them.

Have a wonderful fall!


The Worlds Traveler Earns Literary Classics Seal of Approval!

The Worlds Traveler Earns Literary Classics Seal of Approval!

Oh happy day!! The Worlds Traveler has earned the Literary Classics Seal of Approval. Thank you to Literary Classics International Book Awards and Reviews! I am so thrilled and honored. Their review of The Worlds Traveler has been posted as well. Feel free to check the site and see what books they’ve discovered as good reads!


Thank You Midwest Book Review!

Thank You Midwest Book Review!

If you hear the tip-tapping of happy feet, it’s because The World’s Traveler has a feature/review in the Midwest Book Review online publication Children’s Bookwatch! You can find it in the Children’s Bookwatch April 2016 issue on its Fantasy/SciFi Shelf. Many thanks to James A. Cox and Midwest Book Review for adding The Worlds Traveler to its list of recommended books! Click to read the feature here.

<span class="entry-title-primary">An Excerpt From The Worlds Traveler</span> <span class="entry-subtitle">The Hidden Gifted, Book Two</span>

An Excerpt From The Worlds Traveler The Hidden Gifted, Book Two

Phillip shifted impatiently. “We don’t have a lot of time for this, Natalie. We need to leave now.”

“Oh, now you want to leave?”

“Quit giving me a hard time. Come on, we have to go!”

“So, let’s just leave from up here. There’s enough light to read the map.”

Phillip shook his head. Sometimes he did not understand her! After a cursory glance around the battery, he heaved himself onto the cannon and then the wall. He slung both legs over to sit next to Natalie.

His breath caught. The view was breathtaking. Lights from the city sprinkled the horizon throwing the buildings into shadowed relief, a mysterious contrast against the dark sky. From where they sat the city was at rest, and Phillip felt a quiet peace steal over him.

“What do you think?” Natalie asked.

“You were right,” he said. “It’s great.” But it was more than that. Watching over the silent city from the battery wall and at the dark sky that stretched forever, Phillip sensed that the world held far more than he knew, and that all of it was out there for him to discover. He felt both small and infinite, and at the same time free.

“My dad is out there somewhere.” His voice was almost a whisper, the words swept by the breeze.

But Natalie heard. Her head bowed until her forehead lay against his shoulder.

“We’ll find him,” she said.

Phillip swiped at the damp corners of his eyes, then reached into his pocket and pulled out his map. “Let’s go.”

Natalie’s head lifted and turned to take a final look at the horizon as Phillip gave the map the place and time of their destination.

The lines rose and formed onto the map’s surface. Phillip and Natalie placed their fingers on the spot they were headed and focused.

“What are you kids doing? Are you crazy?”

The policeman had arrived a ways down the battery. His body was taut with panic and disbelief. He took off at a run for them.

“Get down from there!” he yelled. “You could fall!”

“Quick!” Phillip said.

He felt his power weave around them, fading them into the map.

“Phillip, he’s getting close,” Natalie said. “We don’t have time!”

She was right. The cop was calling to them, his footsteps thundering closer. They weren’t far enough into the map to evade capture.

“We have to jump,” he said.


“We’ll fade through the map before we hit bottom.” Phillip focused harder on their destination and wrapped his arm around her. “Hold on!”

“No, Phillip,” Natalie cried, but she threw her arm around his neck as he yanked her with him off the wall.

The cop gave an anguished roar as they toppled over the side. Phillip’s stomach somersaulted with the fall. The wind flapped against them in a mad whirl. He felt Natalie’s frantic grip, her hair as it whipped against his face and her scream as it pierced his ear. The scenery meshed into a blur with the speed of their descent.

“Keep focusing!” he yelled.

The policeman’s cries sounded above them and then faded. The details of their destination rose to the fore: the city, then the streets and houses, and they fell towards them like a crashing wave.

Fast, they were moving too fast

copyright © 2015 M.L. Roble

More information on The Worlds Traveler is available on its page here.

For information on how to purchase The Worlds Traveler, check my ‘My Books’ page.

In The Time Since The Worlds Traveler Release Thanks to Give

Releasing The Worlds Traveler has made for an exciting time! I can’t believe a month has already passed since the paperback version came out and a month and a half since the ebook version. I have really enjoyed this process and am so grateful for all the good things that have happened, one of which has been the opportunity to work with such great bloggers. From joining a blog tour and posting release announcements, excerpts, and reviews, to simply stating they want to help promote it, they’ve all been such a generous group, carving out time and space in their schedules and blogs to post about The Worlds Traveler and help get the word out. It has been such a pleasure and a privilege and I feel so honored to have a space on their pages! I also owe a special thanks to the wonderful Kellie Sheridan of Patchwork Press for helping to pull everyone together for the blog tour. I’ve listed their posts below, so if you have a chance, check them out and see what other goodies they have on their sites. There is much to enjoy! Many, many thanks to them all!


The Adventures of SacaKat:

Flights of Fantasy:

The Howling Turtle:

Books Are Love:

Bean’s Bookshelf and Coffee Break:

Bloggingation Book Style:

Only the Books for Me:

The Library Nerdette:

Nayu’s Reading Corner:


Paperback Release of The Worlds Traveler! Book Two of The Hidden Gifted Series

It’s here! It’s here! Release day for the paperback version of The Worlds Traveler is here!

The Worlds Traveler2update Bright4 Smallest

Amazon   Barnes & Noble   IndieBound

From award-winning author M.L. Roble comes a story about a boy, his map, and an adventure!

Life on the run from madman Martin Reimer gets in the way of everything.

For fourteen-year-old Phillip, it has meant having to stay hidden, unable to use his gift of moving through maps to search for his missing father. But the arrival of a stranger named Delroy brings unexpected opportunity, for Delroy is a man with the ability to travel worlds hidden within our own and he was sent by Phillip’s father.

Now Phillip will do everything he can to find his dad, even if it means tricking Delroy into helping him or a quest through those hidden worlds.

Even if leaving home means Martin can now find him.

Follow in the adventures of Phillip Stone and Natalie Bristol in this sequel to the award-winning book The Magician’s Doll!

I’ve gotta say, there were times when I was writing The Worlds Traveler that I thought this day would never happen. I’m unbelievably excited that it has! So if you’ve read The Magician’s Doll, pick up a copy of its sequel, The Worlds Traveler. It’s available through most booksellers. You can check online – click on the links above, or on the ‘My Books‘ page for links to my catalog at major sellers – or order through your local bookstore!

Interviewing Todd Barselow

For today’s post, I’m very excited to present an interview with Todd Barselow! In the lead up to the paperback release of The Worlds Traveler on December 1, 2015, I thought it would be fun for everyone to meet the man behind its editing. As an independent author I take full responsibility for the final product I put out there. Part of that process involves finding a good editor like Todd to help polish a manuscript to as professional a shine as possible. I’m so pleased with the work he did for me and I am really happy to have had the chance to interview him. So without further ado, I present to you…Todd Barselow!

Thank you, Todd, for taking the time to do this interview! I know you’re a busy man. When I was searching for an editor, I noticed several authors had only heartfelt thanks for your work on their books. That must never get old. What is it like for you to see a book published with your name listed as the editor?

Honestly, it’s quite thrilling but maybe not as much as it used to be, though. The first few times I saw my name on the Amazon page for a book or I took a quick peek at the Kindle edition and saw my name in the Acknowledgements, I sort of freaked out. I mean, I worked on this book. I took a lot of time to try to help the author make this book be the best it could possibly be, so what happens if someone hates it? What happens if someone blames me, as the editor, for the book not being as good as they thought it could be? I got over that pretty quickly, though. No book ever written has pleased every single reader. It just doesn’t happen, no matter who the author or the editor is.

What are your goals when you first pick up a manuscript?

The first thing I do is read the manuscript from cover to cover. I make notes in the margins regarding things which could or should be addressed. I generally don’t make any changes during this initial read through. At this point, I’m just familiarizing myself with the story, with the setting, the characters.

The second round is where most of the surgery takes place, where I make the vast majority of my suggestions for change and/or improvement.

What do you feel are an editor’s biggest challenges?

For me, I think it’s in preserving the author’s voice, their vision with the story and how they want to tell it. It can be so easy to insert your own influence into a manuscript when making or offering stylistic changes, or changes to plot and pacing and character development. I think it’s really important to avoid this as much as possible. For me, preserving the author’s voice is one of the most important aspects of what I do, and that’s one of the reasons the authors I work with enjoy working with me; they know I’m not going to come in and gut their manuscript, destroying the hard work they’ve put into it. That doesn’t mean I’m not critical, mind you. If I think something just doesn’t work, then I’ll say so. I’ll make suggestions to make it work. Ultimately, it’s up to the author to decide what changes—if any—to make.

As far as the technical issues found in a manuscript—grammar, spelling, punctuation—there can be little room to compromise. Sure, alternate spellings of certain things can be used, and maybe punctuation can be a little fast and loose in certain circumstances—if it fits the stylistic choices the author has made—but really you have these guidelines and rules and you have to abide by them; that’s why you have them. I follow what’s in the Chicago Manual of Style—unless told otherwise—but there are other guides out there, too. And in the editing work I do for Imajin Books—I’m their senior editor—I have other certain stylistic guidelines to follow aside from CMoS.

How do you turn off your ‘editor’s eye’ and just read for fun?

That’s one of the hardest things in the world for me to do now. Before I began my career as an editor, I would always make mental notes when reading. I’d think about things I would have changed, different word choices or turns of phrase, that sort of thing.

Since I do all of my work now in Word documents, I find that reading physical books sort of snaps me out of the need to ‘offer improvements’ as it were. I do read e-books sometimes on my tablet—I have upwards of 2,000 books there—and I find that it’s harder for me to get out of that mode then. I make use of the note feature in the Kindle app a lot when I read that way. I think maybe being an editor is more of a calling than a choice. I suspect I’ll have to deal with my ‘editor’s eye’ forever, but I’m good with that.

What opportunities do you see for editors in today’s publishing climate?

I know with the rise of self-publishing there’s a definite need for competent editors to help authors put forth the best, cleanest work possible. For a long time self-publishing had the worst reputation because authors weren’t using editors—or I should say professional editors—and the work was, well, pretty grim. It still happens a lot, too, but there are more folks like me out there working with indies to make the difference.

The key is to put yourself out there, let people know about your services. When you get a few books under your belt, let people know about it. If you specialize in one certain genre, find pages on Facebook related to that genre and ask permission to post about your services. Do the same with other social media channels. Before you know it, you’ll have more work than you can handle. That’s the way it happened with me.

Congratulations on your new publishing company Auspicious Apparatus Press! How has the transition from editor to publisher been?

Well, it hasn’t really been a transition, per se, as I still edit full time. It’s just another hat added to my collection. I vaguely had the goal of becoming a publisher eventually when I first started editing for a living and not just as a hobby. Now when I switch hats, it’s from ‘editor’ to ‘acquisitions editor’ or ‘marketing director’ or any of thirty other positions that go along with owning and operating a small press.

For anyone who would like to submit a manuscript to Auspicious Apparatus Press, what are you looking for and where should one go?

In 2016, we will specifically be looking for full-length novels (45k to 100k; longer works may be considered) in the following genres:

  • steampunk (an emphasis on comedy will move you to the top of the slush pile)
  • comedy/action/adventure
  • police/detective/investigative procedurals
  • psychological suspense/terror
  • certain horror works

What we WON’T be considering for publication:

  • previously published works with the exception of acquiring audio rights
  • works in genres other than those mentioned above
  • works with excessive sexual content (we get that ‘sex sells’ but we’re not interested in selling it at this time)

More info can be found on our website here:

Now for a mini lightning round!

  • Favorite quote?

This may not actually be my favorite quote, but it’s the most appropriate quote I know.

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” ~ Stephen King

  • Favorite book to TV/Movie adaptation?

I thought King’s The Green Mile was really well done, and quite faithful to the book. The same with The Shawshank Redemption. Too often movies and television series made from books just don’t cross over the medium well enough to suit me. And I guess you can’t fault Hollywood for trying, but I find myself disappointed more often than not with adaptations these days.

  • You’re stranded on a deserted island with one book. What is that book?

It would have to be King’s Dark Tower series (okay, so that’s 8 books, but I’m sure they will all EVENTUALY be published as one massive tome…and are you starting to see the pattern involving King here? Ka was a wheel; it was also a net from which none ever escaped…)

  • Reading on the beach or with a view of the mountains?

I live just near the beach so I would have to say the beach. I love working from the beach and try to do so once or twice a month if possible. Although, I live really close to the tallest mountain in the Philippines, as well, so conceivably I could do both within the same week—on consecutive days if I wanted to be a real champ about it.

Thank you again, Todd, for allowing me to interview you and for your work on The Worlds Traveler. It was a great pleasure on all counts! Best of luck to you and all your endeavors.

The Hidden Gifted Series

Series Pic SMAs I’ve been going through the process of publishing The Worlds Traveler, it’s becoming apparent that when it comes to marketing, it does help to give a series a title. So after some thought and research into how to make it all happen, I’m pleased to announce that The Magician’s Doll and The Worlds Traveler are now part of the series…

The Hidden Gifted

I’ve got a bit of work ahead of me now. 🙂

Ebook Release of The Worlds Traveler!

Ebook Release of The Worlds Traveler!

If you own an ereader, tablet, and/or smartphone, you can now read The Worlds Traveler! The ebook version is available for purchase at online booksellers like Itunes, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, & Kobo. If you’re on a smartphone or tablet, check out your favorite retailer app for a chance to read it! And don’t forget, The Magician’s Doll is on sale for a limited time. It’s a good opportunity to pick up both novels! You can click the My Books page here on my blog for links to my catalog at various online bookstores. 🙂

The Worlds Traveler Release Updates

The Worlds Traveler Release Updates

Hi folks, I have updated scoop on The Worlds Traveler! It’s been a busy time getting the book ready and now things are pretty much set and good to go.

I had some early readers come in with suggestions, so the final book has some small tweaks. Nothing too major but enough, in my opinion, to make the story even better!

The paperback release will be December 1, 2015 and should be available through most retailers. It sometimes takes a bit of time to filter through the systems, but ordering it should not be an issue.

The ebook version will release November 11, 2015. The pre-order price of $2.99 is still available. The price will go up shortly after release, so if you’re planning to buy the ebook version, now is a good time to do it! It is available at Itunes, Amazon, Kobo, & Barnes and Noble. Check out my new page My Books for links to my catalog at the various sellers.

Starting sometime next week, for a limited time, the ebook version of The Magician’s Doll will be on sale to give readers a chance to catch up on the series. If you haven’t added it to your collection yet, get it at the sale price before it goes back up!

If you haven’t checked it out yet, read my interview with Julius Camenzind, the artist/illustrator behind the wonderful cover for The Worlds Traveler! I had a great time working with him, and it was so nice getting to know him more through the interview. You’ll like him as well, I’m sure!

Thank you so much, everyone, for your support. I hope you’ll enjoy The Worlds Traveler!