Welcome to Among the Stacks.
My name is Mark Feenstra, and I write fantasy novels. I’m the author of the Braelorne Academy contemporary fantasy series about a kid who gets to go to magic school, and the forthcoming classic fantasy series, The Traveling Librarian, about a… well, that one’s fairly self-explanatory. I’ve also got a few other series in the works, some of which you’ll learn about here, and potentially have a voice in helping me decide which to focus on next.
I’ve been publishing fiction for over a decade now, mainly under a variety of pen names, but it’s only recently that I had a long hard think about what kind of stories meant the most to me. I’m a fairly avid reader with a history that has spanned genres like spy thrillers, horror, beat poetry, sci-fi, CanLit, romance, and the kind of stuff you’d find on the average New Yorker or Paris Book Review subscriber’s bookshelf. Through it all, there’s been fantasy of all stripes. Maybe it’s the craziness of the last few years, and maybe it’s just my personal need for relaxed slice-of-life fantasy I just can’t find enough of, but these days I find myself writing almost exclusively what I call ‘cozy’ fantasy. You know those stories that feel like a warm blanket and a mug of your favorite hot beverage on a rainy day? Books that whisk you away from the everyday stress of a life circumstances that never seem to let up? That’s where I’ve been living and writing these past couple of years. A present day magic school where kids discover if they have what it takes to make the cut. A fantasy world called Tellen, where a young librarian travels far and wide in search of rare and dangerous books. These stories are not without their trials and tribulations, but they are tales that take their time exploring the nuance of what it means to experience these fantasy narratives.
What is this newsletter?
Among the Stacks is the single best place to keep up to date with my writing and publication schedule, to get behind the scenes looks at what goes into writing these books, and to read general recommendations and musings on whatever I feel like sharing. If there’s enough demand for it, there will also be a dedicated section (or separate list) with writing craft advice based on my years of writing and selling books both as a ghostwriter and independent author.
What’s the difference between subscription tiers?
Important content relating to book updates and releases will always be available to free subscribers. Among the Stacks is the only guaranteed place to get the first word on new releases and promotions. This newsletter is an important way for me to connect with readers like you, and that means I will strive to make the majority of content shared here available without a paid subscription.
A monthly progress report on each book in the current writing/revision pipeline.
Cover reveals and first looks at new releases.
Short audio updates.
Exclusive newsletter promotions.
Some short stories and novellas.
Personal updates on things like travel, random musings, recommendations, and generally weird stuff that happens to me.
The paid plan is for those of you who want more content and early access to some of the content available to the free subscribers. Your subscription fee allows me to carve out time for things like writing up longer posts and recording audio.
I also want to blatantly steal something from someone I very much admire, and whose newsletter, Colin Meloy’s Machine Shop directly inspired this iteration of my own newsletter:
…a lot of the stuff I’ll be posting here will be viewable to anyone who subscribes, paid or not. Of course, I’d encourage you to be a paying subscriber. My feeling is that musicians and writers have too long been inured to giving away their work, often to the profit of morally suspect corporations, and this is a way for you, should you be so inclined, to *directly* support my work.
Paid subscribers get all the free stuff, as well as:
Digital editions of all new full-length novels, available for one week for any platform or device before they’re published elsewhere. [Exclusive]
Audio version of longer posts and short stories. [Exclusive]
Sneak previews of writing in progress. [Exclusive]
Behind the scenes looks at how scenes were created. [Early Access]
Short stories and novellas. [Early Access / Exclusive]
Opportunities to give your input on which series I write next, and to suggest things like character and place names for the chance at becoming an architect in my universes. [Exclusive]
The depth and breadth of these special offerings will depend entirely on how many paid subscriptions stack up, so if you want to see more frequent updates, consider upgrading your subscription.
Founding Member Subscriptions
The Founding Member subscription is a unique opportunity for you to go above and beyond the default paid subscription options. This is essentially a pay what you wish donation where the main thing you’re buying is time for me to write more books. Your subscription fees help me do silly little things like pay rent and feed my 5-year-old kid. The less I have to think about that, the quicker I can write new books for you! As people subscribe at this level, I will dream up some ways to make sure you’re getting a bit of extra reward for your generous contribution. Patrons who subscribe at $100 or more per year will receive special thanks in each book released while you’re a subscriber.
Want a free story right now? Read The Seventh Moonrise Most Profound online or download an ebook right here:
Thanks for reading, and see you among the stacks!
Hey man, happy to hear you've got new releases on the horizon. Dropped a paid sub for you. Looking forward to the updates.