A Pretty Successful Debut! Repressed Is Off To A Good Start!

A Pretty Successful Debut! Repressed Is Off To A Good Start!

Greetings all,

CoverLayoutIn my last post I mentioned a bit about how Repressed had a solid start.  So I thought I’d try to keep the momentum going while sharing some insight for those trying to get their journey as authors started.

Social media posts and word of mouth helped me get my third-most pre-sales ever. Before anyone start to think I’m quitting my day job, I had eight pre-sales.  The Power of Words had the most ever (17). Caught came in second (13).  This might seem terrible to some. It sure didn’t feel like much to me, but those numbers compare pretty favorable to a number of the authors I speak to on a regular basis. Some of them are stable, full-time authors.  It’s certainly not a ton compared to those best sellers, but at the level I’m currently climbing toward, it’s a good place. People, especially new authors, should focus on goals and those goals should be based on data and expectations established by people in a similar situation. If I compare myself to Brandon Sanderson, I’m going to cry and never write again. However, if I keep my eyes on people with a similar number of titles released, in a similar genre, and with a similar marketing budget, I notice that I’m doing well, and that’s my point here.

Screen Shot 2019-01-02 at 12.00.09 AM.pngThe other thing I’m happy to say is that Repressed’s ranking in it’s category,  Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Teen & Young Adult > Literature & Fiction > Social & Family Issues > Bullying.  I don’t exactly remember how high Caught got, but Repressed was pretty great.  This title made it as high as #38 on the best-seller list and is still in the top 300.  I’m particularly happy that I stayed in the top 100 for its entire first week.

How’d I do it? Well, married life is still something I’m adjusting too. I only had time for social media efforts. I posted probably once every other day. I used hashtags to draw interest and little tag lines. I made sure the cover was everywhere too.

kaitlynFor my next title (Sojurn in Captivity is coming in April!), I expect to have my newsletter back up and running. I intend to run a FB cover reveal as well as a release party. I’ll run a few more newsletter campaigns, and we’ll see if I can’t set up a blog tour.  I’ll be interested to see how those things affect my next release, but I’m happy with what I think are great results when accounting for a minimal marketing campaign.

What I’m hoping for now is to start seeing reviews pop up. I’m honestly excited to see what readers thought of Kaitlyn’s story. If you were one of the people who picked it up, please consider a rating and review on Amazon and or Goodreads.  Even if you hated it, I truly want to know. Like with every project, I try to stretch and do something new. I hope you were as charmed as I was with Kaitlyn, but even if you weren’t the feedback will still be invaluable.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

 

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2019 State of the Weech!

2019 State of the Weech!

Greetings and happy new year to all!

me2018 was a tough one for one very specific reason, but there were so many blessings both in my personal life and as an author.

I’ve now started a tradition, and I mean to maintain this one in which I let all of you know what my plans are for the year.

Last year I released four titles! The individual parts of The Journals of Bob Drifter, An Unusual Occupation, Bob’s Greatest Mistake, and Something Always Remains. I finished off the year releasing The Power of Words anthology. That gave me the chance to work with Heidi Angell, Richard T. Drake, and TW Iain.

I sure hope to release four titles every year, but this year might be a bit tough.  I’ve gotten a feel for the effect married life has on me, and so I’ve found a rhythm. There were delays though, and that might slow down the release pace. We also are only doing one convention (AwesomeCon) in 2019.

So without further ado, here are my plans for what I hope is a fantastic 2019.

Jan. 1: Repressed is live and doing well (more on that next week). It does provide more information regarding Kaitlyn from Caught, but it’s still different in that it’s absolutely a YA novel. It’s 99 cents from now until the 15th, when it goes to it’s normal price of $2.99. I’m still worried Betrayed isn’t going to be ready for a 2019 release (I’m trying. About 20 percent through the discovery draft as I type this.) So I wanted to give people who liked Caught some kind of story in that world that would hold them over until Betrayed is ready to go live. Kaitlyn is an awesome character, and I wanted her to have all the limelight.  The Audible version of that book is in production. I’m currently reviewing the files, and hope to have my feedback to Kenzie within two weeks, so I’d expect the Audible version to be available by February.

caught-front-coverJan. 25-29: Caught’s birthday bash!  Caught turns 2 years old Jan. 28, so to celebrate its birthday, the ebook will be free Jan. 25-29. This is something I mulled over last year but didn’t have enough of a handle on. Now that I understand KDP a bit more, I can work these in. I want to celebrate these wonderful blessings God has given me, and this is the best way to do it.

March 1-4: Bob’s birthday bash!  On March 3, Bob turns 4! (I’ve been a published author for four years! Huh!?)  Just as with Caught, I’m making Bob’s story free!

April 1: Sojourn in Captivity.  I’ve had this finished for a while. I meant to publish it last year, but Power of Words took on a life of its own, and so the release schedule shifted a bit. Sojourn in Captivity is more or less a prologue to Images of Truth. Images of Truth features a different main character, but Elele, who is a main character in IoT, was so amazing and powerful, I wanted to go back and look at just how far she’d come. I took a risk with this story. It’s written in first person, present tense. Much like with Repressed, I wanted to push myself as an artist. The way I do that is looking at a genre or style I don’t like and trying to do it in a way that satisfies me. I honestly feel this story turned out wonderfully! It’s powerful and emotional while challenging me in both the style (see above) and the structure. You see, I like nice, proactive characters.  Elele is a spoiled brat, and, as the title indicates, she’s literally prevented from taking action for a major portion of the book. I couldn’t be happier with how this turned out. It’ll be available for preorder some time in March, and it’ll go live April 1.  It’s already finished (and the cover is awesome), so I feel confident with that promise.

Even more on this! Once Sojourn comes out, I’ll release a single flip book which will contain both Repressed and Sojourn. I love flip books, and this gets me another physical book I can sell at conventions. Also, both these stories feature compelling young female characters, and I think they’ll fit well together.

ElelefinalJuly 1: So if I want to release four titles this year, something has to come out around here. I’m working on one project, but that might not happen. Could I get Betrayed ready to go? I have no doubt that I’ll get through a few drafts by then, but I don’t know that I can finish it. You see, Betrayed looks to be about the same size as Caught, which makes me happy. I want the whole series to be composed of fast-paced, action-packed quick reads. I can’t promise Betrayed will be ready by then, but I will try, especially if the other thing I’m working on doesn’t happen.

Oct. 1: Stealing Freedom: Stealing Freedom is my novella contribution to The Power of Words, so if you’ve already read that, you’ve already read this, but I think it’s (to date) the best story I’ve written, and all of us authors wanted a chance to let our stories stand alone. So I’ll wrap up the year releasing this independently so you can grab it up and enjoy it.

Now I’ll just run down the list of projects I have in various stages of development. I’ll try to order them by how I think they’ll get released, but it’s just too hard to tell.

new-lion-iconBetrayed: As I’ve said, I’m about 20 percent through the discovery draft of that story, and it’s going well. This has become my primary project, and I’m certain it will be out by Jan. 1, 2020, if it isn’t out sooner! This book features Dom much more prominently, and expands the scope of some of the events hinted at in Caught. The main characters of that story are Sal, Kaitlyn, Dom, and Zac, a new character who the government orders to take down Oneiros.

Hazel: This is the comic book I’m working on with Collin Fogel, my best friend in junior high and the cover artist for my first book. He’s received a lot of interest in the project, and I’m working on the actual text boxes for the first ten pages of the first of three issues. This is happening; it’s just a matter of when and through what publisher.

Hunted: This is the third and final book in The Oneiros Log. I have the main plot line down, but that’s about it. It will be the next thing I jump on when I finish drafting Betrayed. I’ll let the discovery draft of Betrayed sit while I outline Hunted. That will let me make sure I get my foreshadowing down and tie up any loose ends in the saga. It will be a main project in 2019, but it definitely won’t hit the market until 2020.  This book will feature Kaitlyn and one newer character you’ll meet in Betrayed.

Sonnets for my Savior: You’ve seen the weekly blogs I’m doing. I’ll eventually compile those sonnets into a book. My wife intends to do illustrations for it. This is an offering to God, who’s blessed me with this gift, so I wanted to do something that was completely devoted to him. It’ll come out in 2020 (after I finish all 365 sonnets and get an editor to glance at it). It might be delayed a tad because completing 365 water paintings is far more difficult than writing sonnets, so my wife might need more time.

reapedThe 1,200: This was actually something I intended to release a while back, but it just felt like getting The Oneiros Log done was the right call. If you liked The Journals of Bob Drifter, you might get a kick out of some of what happens. And if you look very closely, you might see some familiar faces. I might actually weave this in while editing Betrayed and/or Hunted. The question is when it will come out. I’m going to take a hard look at this story and make sure it works. I’ve developed quite a bit as an author, and so this story deserves an edit with my now more-critical eye. I plan for this to be released sooner rather than later.

New Utopia: I finished a draft of this story and realized it was two books. I intend to go back into this and expand each half into a duo-logy.  It’s a fun story. I call it Mistborn meets Avatar. Again, this only needs revisions and edits, but everything is pretty much waiting until The Oneiros Log gets finished.

Mercer: This is a series I plan to write like episodes of a tv show. Each season will have a specific plot, and each season will consist of a run of novellas.  I call it Dresden Files meets Bones. I honestly haven’t done much with it yet, but it’s going to start flying out of my fingertips as early as this year. Having something to work on that’s shorter will give me a way to release titles without forcing the larger works I write.

shepherdPerception of War: Images of Truth: So I was pretty deep into the discovery draft of that story when things derailed. I started Sojourn for an Anthology I thought I was going to publish with the HMS Slush Brain. Then I decided to write the entire Oneiros Log (I wasn’t going to write the other two books until my brother heard the plot points.) So this book kept falling back. I love this series. I love this idea, and I plan to play in this universe for years to come. I just have no idea when I’ll get back to this main book. (Feels like after Oneiros Log, while I edit New Utopia.)

Leah Saldawn and The Nick of Time:  I wrote the discover draft to this ages ago (Saleah wasn’t in high school yet, and now she works at a school). I let it sit because it’s unrelated to other books and for a much younger audience (10-16). I don’t like leaving things on the shelf, so I’m not sure when I’ll fit it in, but I will eventually. There’s a thought about seven books here, but we’ll see how things go. This one’s written, so it will get published.

Even as I type this, I’m stunned at how much is here. When I look back at March 3, 2015, I see a dude who was just stoked to see one of his books in print. Now I’m a steadily-producing author with a release schedule and readers who actually look forward to his next book. This dream-come-true is simply more evidence of God’s grace and absolutely made possible because of people like you! Thank you so much for your support. Thank you so much for reading my work and visiting my blog. Thank you for coming to see me at conventions and telling me what you thought of my work (even if it wasn’t very fun to hear). I’m honored to be where I am, and I look forward to seeing where the journey takes me next.

Thanks for Reading,
Matt

 

 

Repressed is Live! Get A Copy Today!

Repressed is Live! Get A Copy Today!

Greetings all,

Last year, I set a pretty high goal. I wanted to publish four titles in the year. Today marks the fulfillment of that goal. Honestly, I count it both as the end of one year and the first of the next. I’m simply so excited to hit “publish book” so many times.

CoverLayoutI’m proud to present to you all Repressed: An Oneiros Log YA Novella. I put that in the title so fans of Caught wouldn’t be too jarred. This is a YA story with YA themes and style. That means it’s a different feel than Caught. The characters are there, and you do get to see where they are between Books One and Two of the main arch, but this is all about Kaitlyn.

She’s one of my favorite characters overall, so when this idea took hold, I figured it’d be something nice to give fans of Caught to tide them over while I get Betrayed set up (I’m 14 percent through the discovery draft of that book by the way).

I’m thankful to those who preordered the book, and I hope any seeing this decide to give it a try. It will remain 99 cents until the 15, when it goes to it’s regular price of $2.99.

Here’s the official blurb:

Some girls grow up watching cartoons of princesses and unicorns. Some girls grow up wearing pretty dresses and dreaming about meeting a nice boy. Some are even tomboys, taking more active roles in sports or getting their hands dirty with the boys.

Kaitlyn Olhouser didn’t have any of those options. She was a long-term experiment that resulted in becoming an empath. She was rescued by her now adopted family, a team of people each gifted with psychic powers that calls itself Oneiros. She has abilities just like them. She’s even more powerful than all but one of them, but she’s 16, and her caretakers seem more interested in making sure she graduates high school that letting her use her abilities to join the team.

A short encounter with some bullies inspires her to find her own opportunity to be the hero she knows she’s destined to be. But being a hero isn’t exactly what comic books make it out to be. Her actions put an Oneiros mission in danger, and her antics in school create more problems than she could imagine.

Kaitlyn must embrace what it is to be a hero to make a real difference, not in the war against bad guys, but in the lives of her friends.

 

(END BLURB)

kaitlynSo there it is. I’m proud of this story for a number of reasons. First, it’s a new title, and that’s always an achievement. Next, I wrote outside my comfort zone. Most of you who follow my blog know I’m not a YA fan. Sure, I liked the Divergent series, and I think the Chaos Walking Trilogy was extremely underrated, but on the whole, I’m just not a fan. So I wanted to think critically about what I liked and didn’t like and put my money where my mouth was. The Audible version is under production now. I think the story is charming. Most importantly, I think it covers some very important issues, primarily racism and bullying. I sincerely hope you’ll give it a try and offer a review. I’d be thrilled if I had 20 people pick up a copy today. It would honestly help me so much with the Amazon machine, and simply knowing 20 people gave my work a try would be a great way to start off the year.

You can click the above link, or this link here to purchase your copy.

Thanks for reading,

V/R
Matt

The Audiobook Edition of Repressed Is in Production!

The Audiobook Edition of Repressed Is in Production!

Greetings all,

CoverLayoutI’m happy to report to you that Repressed, which is still available for preorder, is now under production as an audiobook!

I had auditions open for about a week-and-a-half, and Kenzie’s, Jennifer Wooster, audition blew me away. Her voice was perfect for Kaitlyn at this stage in her life. Kenzie’s listening to Caught right now to get some context for the characters, and we hope things wrap up by the end of January. I still have some free audible codes for both Caught and The Power of Words if you want a free audiobook and want to give my work a try.  Just shoot me an email. Speaking of which, I have a 5-Star Review on Audible for The Power of Words.

I’m thrilled to have been releasing products at the pace I have been.  I’ve started writing Betrayed: Book Two of the Oneiros Log, and I think things will go well once I get a few days of writing under my belt.

I just wanted to update everyone on the good news. As always, I’m so appreciative of all that you do to support this dream of mine.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

 

Repressed is Available for Preorder!

Repressed is Available for Preorder!

Greetings all,

CoverLayoutI’m happy to announce that Repressed, an Oneiros Log YA Novella, is officially available for preorder!

The novella goes live Jan. 1. It’ll be 99 cents from now until Jan. 15, when it’ll go to it’s regular price of $2.99.

Repressed was an idea that came to me on a flight home from Yuma. I was already thinking about ways to keep fans of the Oneiros Log getting content, and Kaitlyn is a character a really cool character.

Fair note: While Caught is absolutely a Paranormal Horror novel, Repressed is absolutely a YA novel. There are some moments that tie back to Caught, but they’re very different tones, which understandably might make fans of all the blood and gore in Caught angry. Honestly, Kaitlyn is 16 (as of this novel). As a supporting character in a very intense situation, it made sense, but I don’t think it made the same sense to have her as the main character is a plot like Caught, especially given the rest of Oneiros.  If I’m continuing my honesty, I’m more worried YA readers who like Repressed will pick up Caught and read content they may not want.

The bottom line is I write the stories in my heart. My hope is that if I’m honest and blunt about things, readers will seek out the stories they want, and they’ll know what to expect from each of my stories.

Now, if you’re looking forward to more high-action stuff from Oneiros, I’m almost done with the outline to Betrayed, and that book will have plenty of cool psychic fight scenes.

Here’s the blurb for Repressed:

Some girls grow up watching cartoons of princesses and unicorns. Some girls grow up wearing pretty dresses and dreaming about meeting a nice boy. Some are even tomboys, taking more active roles in sports or getting their hands dirty with the boys.

Kaitlyn Olhouser didn’t have any of those options. She was a long-term experiment that resulted in becoming an empath. She was rescued by her now adopted family, a team of people each gifted with psychic powers that calls itself Oneiros. She has abilities just like them. She’s even more powerful than all but one of them, but she’s 16, and her caretakers seem more interested in making sure she graduates high school that letting her use her abilities to join the team.

A short encounter with some bullies inspires her to find her own opportunity to be the hero she knows she’s destined to be. But being a hero isn’t exactly what comic books make it out to be. Her actions put an Oneiros mission in danger, and her antics in school create more problems than she could imagine.

Kaitlyn must embrace what it is to be a hero to make a real difference, not in the war against bad guys, but in the lives of her friends.

END BLURB

kaitlynI hope you’ll choose to give it a shot.  I think this is a great little look into Kaitlyn and how she’s grown from Caught to here, and a great peek into where she’ll be as a character in Betrayed.  It also foreshadows some of the plot lines that are fulfilled in Betrayed.

The link is both above and right here.

I’m so thrilled to have another story published. The idea is just keep writing and keep publishing. Each time I write, I want to get better. I hope to meet new readers, satisfy the readers who’ve supported me thus far, and increase the number of titles published.  You all help to make that possible.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Hazel: Check Out A Project I’m Working On!

Hazel: Check Out A Project I’m Working On!
45406594_10156754723897460_1114028307998834688_n
All art and images are copyright of Collin Fogel. Any use of these images without his consent are subject to legal action. 

Greetings all,

So I’ve been sort of quiet about this as I was waiting for a few things, but, now feels like a great time to make this announcement (also, I didn’t know what else to blog about)!

Remember Collin Fogel? He was the artist who did the covers to The Journals of Bob Drifter series.  He’s also a very dear friend of mine. We were inseparable in junior high school. When we were kids, we were going to work on this amazing comic book together.  He’d do the art. I’d write the story.

Dreams come true.

Collin has been working on Hazel for quite a while, and a few months ago, he invited me to be a part of this project with him. There was no way I was going to pass that up. So he’s handling the art, and I, just like we talked about when we were kids, wrote the story.

So, with some art to show off thrown in, here is a bit of information:

45003791_10156740898697460_7981328569286524928_nMega cities have become refuges for humanity and continue to rise above the Earth’s surface, built upon the decayed husks of the ages before. Those lower levels are supposed to be vacant. DBTS is tasked with patrolling those lower levels to ensure nothing happens to threaten the stability of the world above. Those lower levels are a safe haven for a variety, though small in number, of people. They are: The criminals, who seek a base of operations and little-used paths to the city above. The exiles who simply can’t afford to live anywhere else or don’t want to be surrounded by the masses from the population above. The malcontents, who’ve been cast out of the society above.  Hazel hates them all, especially the criminals. It was their actions which caused the collapses in the world above. It was their actions that caused the death of her mother, and it was the criminals who were trying to escape justice who killed her father. Patrolling the Deep Block is how she protects the world above from the things that destroyed her life.

Hazel, is the newest DBTS agent. She’s obsessed with being the best, thus proving she’s worth the lives of the parents who died to save her.

45647078_10156764770742460_5772672827371028480_n

We don’t have a release date as yet. Right now we’re just getting everything together and seeing what companies might be interested. Still, I think Hazel is a fun, character and her story is packed with action. I hope to be working with Collin on a few Hazel arcs, but time will tell.  I wouldn’t pound the refresh key looking for Issue 1. Collin is a very busy husband and father, and he’s doing all of this incredible work on his own time when he isn’t wrangling his kiddo. But just look at this work? Isn’t a full story arch of this quality worth a wait?

I hope you’re all excited to see it.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

I’m Married!

I’m Married!

VowsGreetings all,

Here’s a quick post to share in our joy! Just a few days ago (actually less than 48 hours), Julie and I were united in marriage!

We’re overjoyed, and spending time together. We just wanted to share a few of the photos from the ceremony.

We did a smaller ceremony now so that we could start our lives together legally and in a holy way.   We’re going to do a much larger celebration in the summer!

I want to offer  a special thank you to Maddelin Hamm, who took these photos. I’ve known her for more than a decade, and she’s an amazing influence in my life. So was so happy to capture the images, and just look at how wonderful these photos are!

Since I was 8, I’ve wanted a few things (I’m a very determined dude). I wanted to tell stories (which would evolve quickly into my desire to be a writer), and I wanted to be a husband and a father.

TheKissJulie is simply an answer to a prayer I’ve prayed for thirty years. She’s not just a woman I’ve asked for. She’s more than I deserve. She’s the one. I knew the night I met her (one of my sisters has the text to prove it). We’ve had a great journey thus far, and we’re excited to start our journey in our life together.

I can’t thank God enough. There aren’t words. My joy is boundless.

With that said, we’re going to get back to this life. We just wanted to share this with all of you.

 

HoldingEachOther

Thanks for reading,

Matt