The Definitive Future of the Micah Grey Series (PANTOMIME, SHADOWPLAY & MASQUERADE)

Micah Grey has had an interesting journey over the past few years. I first dreamt up Micah in 2007 and started a book with the character 10 years older in 2008. At the end of 2009, I was having trouble with it, so I decided to write a “short story” of Micah as a teen joining the circus. That expanded into novella length and then I finally admitted it was a novel. I submitted an early draft of it in March 2011 to Angry Robot’s Open Door month. In November of that year, I had a revision request because it definitely needed work, and I gutted and rearranged it and it found a publisher in Strange Chemistry, Angry Robot’s new YA imprint. PANTOMIME was released in February 2013, and the sequel, SHADOWPLAY, in 2014. Sadly, in June 2014, Strange Chemistry closed. I wasn’t sure initially what the next step for Micah was going to be. I knew I wanted to finish the story with the third volume, MASQUERADE. I set it aside for a bit and I wrote and sold FALSE HEARTS to Tor, which made my dreams come true. Self-publishing seemed the most likely option for the 3rd Micah book, so I researched it and even made a whole draft of a Kickstarter. I self-published the Vestigial Tales last summer to learn about the process. I knew I’d be able to do it, but the idea of publishing on my own was also anxiety-inducing.

Then I discovered self-publishing wasn’t my only option. When I received the rights back for the first two books, my agent pitched my existing publisher. To my absolute delight, Tor UK has bought all three books of the Micah Grey series!

When my agent told me the news, I cried really ugly tears. I sobbed, I hiccoughed. I was a total, happy mess. MASQUERADE (and Micah’s) fate has been up in the air since April 2013. It’s a long time not to be sure of things, and I love this series so much. I’m so glad I’m able to share it with you and that my books starring an intersex protagonist will have the support of a mainstream publisher.

At the moment, this is a UK-only deal, but hopefully other publishers will follow. 🙂

It’s still a bit of a wait for MASQUERADE (a little over a year) but PANTOMIME & SHADOWPLAY will be back up soon.

Thank you to my agent, Juliet Mushens, for selling this series twice now! Thank you to everyone at Tor for supporting my fantasy as well as my sci fi. And, finally, thank you to my readers: I really appreciate your patience and enthusiasm for the series. You kept word of mouth alive. You helped give it this second chance. Thank you, everyone who read my books and told others about them, whether on social media, by leaving reviews, or just physically shoving the book into someone else’s hands. You’re all awesome.

Here is the link to the initial press release, which is also pasted below:


Pan Macmillan is very happy to announce that it has acquired world rights in PANTOMIME, SHADOWPLAY and MASQUERADE by Laura Lam, from Juliet Mushens at The Agency Group.

These enthralling books are set within a circus in a world somewhat like our own – but where wonders and magic really exist. A young runaway seeks escape from a life of injustice and secrets, and the circus promises freedom. There, Micah will become who she was meant to be, yet the future also holds conflict and dangerous mysteries.

PANTOMIME and SHADOWPLAY were originally published by Osprey Publishing’s Strange Chemistry, before the imprint closed its doors in 2014. But MASQUERADE, the final book in the Micah Grey trilogy, will be published by Pan Macmillan for the first time. Unlike Lam’s upcoming near-future thriller FALSE HEARTS, this series is written for young adults and adults alike.

Laura Lam said: ‘When I found out that the Micah Grey series would be re-released and completed by Pan Macmillan, I was so relieved and absolutely ecstatic. It’s been an interesting journey for Micah, and I’m extremely honoured and grateful to have the support of everyone at Macmillan for both my fantasy and my near-future thrillers.’

Senior Commissioning editor Bella Pagan commented: ‘I absolutely adored Laura’s False Hearts and am so delighted we’ll also be publishing her captivating first series too. These books also show off Laura’s huge talent and I just can’t wait for a new army of readers to discover this for themselves.’

Pan Macmillan plans to release PANTOMIME AND SHADOWPLAY in ebook this autumn. Physical reissues will follow from summer 2016, ending with MASQUERADE, the new book.

Pan Macmillan UK is one of the largest general book publishers in the UK, with imprints including Macmillan, Mantle, Pan, Picador, Boxtree, Sidgwick & Jackson, Bello, Tor, Macmillan Children’s Books, Campbell Books, Macmillan New Writing and Macmillan Digital Audio. Pan Macmillan is part of the Macmillan Publishing Group which operates in over 70 countries.

The Gay YA’s First Book Club: Pantomime


The Gay YA has been amazing, doing so much to promote Pantomime as its Book of the Month. They’re also launching their first Book Club, which should be fun! So if you’ve not read Pantomime but you’ve been curious, now would be a great time so you can discuss it with others if you fancy. There’s also a Rafflecopter giveaway, with a chance to win an e-Vestigial Tales bundle, a signed Pantomime or Shadowplay, or a piece of Laya’s artwork.

The Full Post with the Details

And pasted here:

“We are reading our very first book, a steampunk/fantasy called Pantomime by Laura Lam. You can check your library, or order it online from Amazon US, UK, or Canadian, Barnes & Noble, Indiebound, Powell’s,Book Depository, Waterstones, Hive, and Chapters. You can also buy the e-book from Kobo and The Robot Reader. (Consider grabbing a copy of the sequel, Shadowplay, too. That’s next month’s book!)

Follow the book club on our tumblr, and in the #GayYA Book Club tag. We’ll also be on Twitter, where you can keep up with the book club on the #GayYABookClub hashtag. Most of the action will be happening on tumblr, however. Keep up with Laura at lauraroselam and on twitter at @LR_Lam, and the wonderful fan base at lauralamfans.

The book club will begin with non-spoilery posts on 10/13, and then follow this schedule:You can participate by:
– Posting something on your own Tumblr blog and tag the post #GayYA Book Club— we’ll reblog it.
– Submitting something to our Tumblr

– October 16-23: Pages 1 through 199
– October 24-31 Pages 200 through 392

You can express your feelings about Pantomime however you choose — reviews, analysis, questions, fan art, gifs, quotes, a video blog… the world is open to you! And, of course, you can reblog other people’s posts to add your own thoughts and responses.

We’re also running a giveaway until the start– we got some great prizes up for grabs! Enter now, because it’ll be closing on 10/14! Giveaway is open internationally!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

In addition, we’ll be interviewing Laura Lam this Sunday (10/12)– if you have something you’d like us to ask her, send it our way!”

The First Vestigial Tale: “The Snake Charm” is now Live!

Wellp, I’m now a hybrid author.

Info about “The Snake Charm”:

This is a prequel story set before the events of Pantomime. It can pretty easily be read without reading the main series – the only thing is you’ll end up knowing a bit more about Drystan’s past than you would coming into Pantomime cold. Drystan is a secondary character throughout the Micah Grey series.

There will be at least 4 stories/novellas in total, and more if these prove reasonably popular.

Cover artwork is by Dianna Walla / Paper Tiger.


Untold centuries ago, the Archipelago was ruled by the Alder—mysterious beings who vanished, leaving behind only scattered artefacts of unknown power, called Vestige. Sometimes, a person will be lucky or unlucky enough to discover that each piece of Vestige has its own tale to tell…

The Snake Charm

“To most, Drystan was just another buffoon in the collective of clowns. But behind the inane grin, he saw everything, keeping the secrets he discovered close, like precious gems to barter.”

Mutiny is brewing in R.H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic. When Linden, the leader of the clowns steals one of the ringmaster’s most prized possessions, Drystan, the white clown, finds himself caught in the middle. Tasked with retrieving the Lethe, he’s forced to betray Linden or risk his troubled past coming to light. But the Vestige artifact has its own history and its own power. Drystan will learn what it can really do, and who it can hurt.

Vestigial Tales are stories set in the world of the award-nominated Micah Grey series. Step behind the circus ring from Pantomime, the theatre of Shadowplay, and more…


Amazon US / Amazon UK / Amazon CanadaAmazon India / Amazon Germany / Amazon France / Amazon Spain / Amazon Italy / Amazon Japan / Amazon Brazil / Amazon Mexico / Amazon Australia

The Experience so far:

So far it’s been easier than I thought it’d be. *knock on wood*

It’s up on all of Amazon’s various sites and it took about 12 hours. It’s DRM-free and also available for free to those with Prime accounts through the Kindle Lending Library (and I still get royalties for borrows!). At the moment it’s only available through Kindle, but after three months I might opt out of Kindle Direct Publishing so I can put it up on other outlets.

If you’d like it available on another outlet, feel free to drop me a note via the contact form, Twitter, Tumblr, etc, so I can get an idea of demand for it elsewhere.

It’s currently $3/£1.80, which I realize is a bit expensive for a 40 page story, but if it’s a cent less my royalties drop from 70% to 35%. The novellas will be much longer and I think I’ll keep them around the same price, so it should even out in that regard. It’s still less than a latte!

So far I’ve spent £132 for 10 ISBN numbers.

Any profits on these stories will most likely be going towards helping fund a book I’m self-releasing next year.

Through the generous help of friends and my English teacher mother/mother-in-law, it’s polished, has awesome cover art, and is ready to be read.

Thank you to: Shawn DeMille, Dianna Walla, Kim Curran, Erica Bretall, Amy McCulloch, Leo Cristea, Mike Kalar, Wesley Chu, Craig Lam, Sally Baxter, Sheila Lam, Sam & Charlotte Strong, Corinne Duyvis, Steve Aryan, Ann Smyth, Andrew Reid, K.C. Shaw, Amy Lewis, Lorna McKay, Andrea Stewart, and everyone who helped me in any way with this first story.

Please help:

I’m doing this largely on my own without a publisher backing me and so could greatly use your help in spreading the word. If this seems your thing, please purchase (or borrow if you have Prime). If you read it, please consider rating/reviewing it on Goodreads & Amazon, as reviews are crucial for self-published works. Please consider spreading the word online via social media and offline when you’re being social. I’d love for these stories to make its way to as many interested readers as possible, and there’s only so many times I can shout about them myself before I start getting annoying. 😀

I hope you enjoy Drystan’s adventure in R.H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic before the young runaway Micah Grey joined.

(And here’s the book pages for Pantomime & Shadowplay)

Shadowplay Teaser 10: The True Temnian


10. The True Temnian

“If the Kymri are more predisposed to worship the sun, then the Temnians have more respect for the lunar cycle. During the full moon, or the night the Penglass glows under the stars, there is a huge celebration and feast. Elders dress as the moon and stars and bestow blessings upon those who need them. Special food is created that may only be eaten that night sweet mooncakes and small sips of a drink called Dancing Water made from almonds, fermented honey, and small gold flakes, which is meant to be an elixir for long life. Small amounts of the drug Lerium are also sampled. On this night, men and women are meant to become closer to the Lord and Lady and their prayers will more likely be heard and wishes granted.”

– The Former Elladan Colonies, Professor Caed Cedar, Royal Snakewood University

Interested in more? Shadowplay, the sequel to Pantomime, will be released January 7, 2014.

Pre-order links:

UK: Amazon – The Book Depository – Hive
US: Amazon – Barnes and Noble – Indiebound – Powell’s
Canada: Amazon – Indigo
Australia: BookAdda
NZ: Fishpond

Shadowplay Teaser 9: Mirror Maze


9. Mirror Maze

“I had to sell another of my automata today. Each time, I sell my least favorite, but that means that each time I part with the next, it grows harder. I sold the golden tamarind monkey, and it was a shame. I hope its new owner cherishes it.

“At least soon it will be the Night of the Dead, and I should have more bookings for séances. It will delay the date I must sell the next.

“I still have all of Taliesin’s automata. Those I shall never part with, no matter my finances. Someday I’ll figure out how he makes them tick. Then I’ll be one step closer to revenge.”

– Jasper Maske’s personal diary

Interested in more? Shadowplay, the sequel to Pantomime, will be released January 7, 2014.

Pre-order links:

UK: Amazon – The Book Depository – Hive
US: Amazon – Barnes and Noble – Indiebound – Powell’s
Canada: Amazon – Indigo
Australia: BookAdda
NZ: Fishpond

Shadowplay Teaser 8: Shadow of a Shadow


8. Shadow of a Shadow

“A magician creates magic and mesmerizes the audience. But it is a pantomime, and the audience knows that it’s a ruse. It’s in the name: a “magic trick”. They play along when the magician tugs his sleeves to show there is nothing hidden within them, or that the top hat is empty of a rabbit, or eggs, or flowers. Beneath the façade there is only sleight of hand, wires and contraptions, misdirection at a key moment.

“But what the audience does not realize is that it’s not always trickery. Or at least, not quite.”

– The unpublished memoirs of Jasper Maske: the Maske of Magic

Interested in more? Shadowplay, the sequel to Pantomime, will be released January 7, 2014.

Pre-order links:

UK: Amazon – The Book Depository – Hive
US: Amazon – Barnes and Noble – Indiebound – Powell’s
Canada: Amazon – Indigo
Australia: BookAdda
NZ: Fishpond

Shadowplay Teaser 7: The Philosopher and the Fool


7. The Philosopher and the Fool

“Your whole life, you are told what is right and what is wrong. What you should do and what you should not do. What makes a good citizen and what makes a traitorous one. What happens, then, when you do everything you are not meant to do? Break down each and every barrier? Find out how good you are by how evil you can be?

“Some say this is how the Alder became great.”

-The Tyndall Philosophy, Alvis Tyndall

Interested in more? Shadowplay, the sequel to Pantomime, will be released January 7, 2014.

Pre-order links:

UK: Amazon – The Book Depository – Hive
US: Amazon – Barnes and Noble – Indiebound – Powell’s
Canada: Amazon – Indigo
Australia: BookAdda
NZ: Fishpond

Winter Holidays in Ellada, and Pantomime for £1

snowflakeI have a guest post on the Strange Chemistry website about what winter holidays in Ellada are like. There’s also a brief Shadowplay snippet, and using the promo code, you can buy the DRM-free e-book from the Angry Robot Store for £1 today only, as it’s only a few weeks now until Shadowplay‘s release (egads), it’d be a good time to pick it up :-).

Winter Holidays in Ellada

Shadowplay Teaser 6: Moons, Clouds, Suns, Stars


6. Moons, Clouds, Suns, Stars

“I could list every magic trick in the book, and in intricate, infinite detail describe the reveal behind each one. And you could understand it. But that does not mean you are a magician. It means you know a few tricks. For a trick without context is only a fold of the fingers or a tuck of a prop up a sleeve.

“I could teach you how to switch objects. A clown may pass a cloth over a false bird and bring it away to show a live, cooing dove to delight a sideshow. But a charlatan soothsayer may perform the same trick using misdirection to change the sacrifice of a live crow for a dead one covered in maggots. The same trick for different purposes, with very different results in the audience.

“There is no one way to be a magician any more than there is only one way to be human.”

– The Secrets of Magic, The Great Grimwood

Interested in more? Shadowplay, the sequel to Pantomime, will be released January 7, 2014.

Pre-order links:

UK: Amazon – The Book Depository – Hive
US: Amazon – Barnes and Noble – Indiebound – Powell’s
Canada: Amazon – Indigo
Australia: BookAdda
NZ: Fishpond

How to Help Sophomore (or any) Authors (err, especially me)

Last year, I wrote a blog post of How to Help Debut Authors. It proved very popular and people still poke around on it, so I thought I’d write a follow up due to Shadowplay’s imminent release. I know a little bit more than I did last year, though I still feel like I have so much to learn! This was also inspired by Myke Cole’s recent excellent blog post “How You Can Help my Career” (which you should all read).

I need your help, and I’m not too coy to ask for it, though I do feel a little vulnerable doing so. Self-promoting can be difficult, but writing a frank post like this is different and even harder.

Writing is my dream. I’ve been wanting to do it professionally for the last ten years. I write for myself, because I love daydreaming and creating worlds and characters. I love fitting together pieces of plot and having the whole story come alive. But I don’t just write for me. I write for you.

I love telling stories, and I love that now people can read them. Pantomime might not have had stellar sales and become the next Harry Potter (not that I expected it to), but it was well-received critically and it was short-listed and long-listed for some awards, which I secretly hoped would happen but didn’t really expect would. I’ve received some beautiful bits of reader mail or reviews that have made me cry. I’ve had people say my books touched them to the core, that they wish they could have read it as a teenager, that they changed their viewpoint on gender and sexuality. I’ve had people say they stayed up all night to read it. That is so overwhelmingly wonderful. It’s a dream come true.

My biggest fear is that I’ll lose this dream, just after I grasped it. And some of that is irrational fear and anxiety, but writing is not the most predictable and stable of careers. I don’t make a living wage from my writing, and likely won’t for a while yet. And they say you’re only as good as your last book. And so that’s why I’m asking for help for my latest book. Please help me make Shadowplay thrive.

Micah Grey is an intersex, bisexual character, and the series also has several characters who are GLBT or POC. People have told me the books are too niche, that because of the GLBT angle it’ll never have huge sales or be considered commercial. Maybe that’s true. Maybe it’s not. I’d love to prove them wrong, but mainly I want my books to stay in print and be available to those who want to read them.

If you want to help me, my books, and my career, here’s what you can do:

1. Pre-order Shadowplay. As ever, supporting with your dollar/pound/currency of choice would help me the most. Debuts live and die by the numbers, and it’s just as important for further instalments in a series. I want to write more Micah Grey books. I’ve said before that my end-plan would be to write 6 Micah Grey books – three of him as a teen and three of him 10 years later. I mean, I’m pretty sure I’ll write them regardless, but sales numbers would perhaps impact whether they’re released by a publisher or self-published by me. First week sales will definitely, definitely make a difference to my career, and my publisher will pay attention to the first month’s sales especially. Any format is fine – e-book, Amazon, from a brick and mortar store. Anything would help. If you received an e-galley via Netgalley, perhaps consider buying a beautiful finished paperback copy, or a copy to give to a friend or family member? Pre-order links can be found here.

2. Purchase Pantomime. I’ve been noticing an upswing in Pantomime’s reviews and rankings and such recently, which is really good to see. It means that word of mouth is possibly spreading, or when people see stuff for Shadowplay they’re checking out Pantomime. Pantomime’s e-book was recently on sale for £1 and I think that helped get the word out. Christmas is coming up – I’m not above kindly asking if you wouldn’t mind purchasing a copy for a present for someone else if you enjoyed it? If you’ve never heard of me or Pantomime before but stumbled across this post, I hope you’ll perhaps consider starting at the beginning of the series and be drawn into Micah’s world and story. You can learn more about my first book here.

3. Cross-posting reviews. If you’ve written a review and put it on Goodreads/a blog, please consider also posting it to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Waterstones, or anywhere else like that. A lot of casual readers only look at Amazon or other bookstore websites, and so having extra reviews would be useful. Also, evidently if there are more reviews, it can impact algorithms and make Amazon and other websites promote it more. If you haven’t written a review of Pantomime or Shadowplay, a quick little one or two line one would be very helpful, or even just leaving a star rating.

4. Help spread the word. My blog tour for Shadowplay is about to kick off. I’ve already started posting teasers of the opening quotes from each chapter here to my blog and cross-posting them to my FB author page, Tumblr, and Twitter and that’ll be ongoing (see them all here). Guest posts and interviews will start pretty soon. I’d greatly appreciate retweets, shares, blogs, and what have you to help spread the word further than my immediate online circle (who must be getting tired of hearing about my books by now).

But then there’s all the offline stuff – telling your friends and family members about my books. Telling librarians or teachers you know and seeing if they can order copies into their libraries. Going into a bookstore and if you don’t see it on the shelves, asking them to order it in, or telling booksellers that you really liked it. All that stuff can make such a huge, huge difference. I’m happy to do my own promo, but there’s really only so much I can do. I love doing guest blogs, interviews, school visits, book festivals, book signings and launches, and I’ll continue to do that. But really, readers are everything. You hold the power.

Obviously, this sort of thing can help any author, so even if my books aren’t your cup of tea, please consider doing some of these things for your favourite authors. Even if they never know you did it, they’ll be so grateful.

So, here’s me being frank, and open, and honest. In closing, I want to thank each and every person who read my books, whether in the end you liked them or not. Thank you so much for taking a chance on my words. Thank you to those who wrote reviews, took the time to tell me you enjoyed them, invited me to events, shared things around the internet, and told friends and family about my work. Thank you so very, very much. None of this would be possible without you, and I hope, so much, that it’s something I can keep doing for a long time.

Laura x