Betrayed’s First Draft Is Under Way

Betrayed’s First Draft Is Under Way

Greetings all,

As you can see in the title, I’ve started the first official draft of Betrayed.

caught-front-coverMy Process: Just last week, I talked about getting that first draft down. I’m so aware of the issues with mustering up the courage to put a story on paper that I’ve developed what I call the discover draft. It’s my way of cheating the system. When I’m writing this draft, I’m just getting the story down, and I’m not held up on anything because I don’t really think about it as a draft. That discovery draft is a very rough version of the story (some are more rough than others).

So what I did was get Betrayed’s general story down. Then I started re-reading the story. I made notes. Some were just me telling myself to check certain details. Most, because this is an area I struggle in, of my notes are just me telling myself how much more description I need. I also take a close look at the plot points and the characters to be sure everything is satisfying.

So without giving too much away, my biggest (non-description-related) notes were about making each scene more satisfying. There’s definitely one character who needs more screen time. I also need to push in on  some of the relationships and how they’ve evolved.

I’m pretty happy with this draft, and I’m excited to see what people who liked Caught think of how the story progresses.

The horror element is dwindling, but that’s by intent. This is much more action and drama oriented than Caught. The struggle is making the opponent seem worthy when Oneiros is a group of psychically enhanced people. I think I’ve done that.

Betrayed features Dom. Sal is still there, and Kaitlyn begins to take more of a lead role. I explore the relationship between those three characters and Kira. There’s a lot of friction in there, and poor Brandon and Chris have to try and keep things together. The government has finally decided to react to Oneiros and its vigilante operations. An old friendship gets shattered, and (as always in this series) more secrets are uncovered.

Betrayed currently has a prologue and 31 chapters, so I expect it will take 1-2 months to get this draft done. Then I’ll put out the call for Alpha Readers. With my family life, it could be some time before I finish the final draft. I have to take the time it requires to make this a quality story for you, but I promise I’m dedicating whatever time I can to the project.

Repressed_ACX_CoverIf you haven’t read Caught, I’m hoping you’ll give it a shot. Repressed is a short story based on Kaitlyn, and it’s a nice little update on things. I have free Audible download codes if you’d like to give one or both a try (seriously, I have 100 for each). You can email me for those.

I’ll get Betrayed out as soon as possible, and I’m outlining Discovered, which will complete the trilogy.  Please be patient as I continue to adjust from being a single guy with little to do but write, to a married man and a father. I will figure it out. Things might not get out as quickly as I’d have liked, but they are coming.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Advertisements

Stealing Freedom is Officially Available for Preorder!

Stealing Freedom is Officially Available for Preorder!

Greetings all,

StealingFreedomI’m happy to announce that Stealing Freedom, the novella originally published in The Power of Words anthology, is officially available for preorder in its own ebook edition.

Here’s the book blurb:

Ardelia Sabine is about to attempt the most legendary heist in the solar system. The anti-communication laws that have been ruthlessly enforced for the last five years have gone too far, and the collar around her daughter’s neck, which shocks anyone if they try to speak, must come off.

The one time monitor of law enforcement has now assembled the greatest collection of thieves, con-men, and hit men in history. Together, with her husband, once the greatest hacker on the planet, must take on a job that will surely get at least one of them killed.

Survival is not the objective. The goal is to shut down the servers that operate the entire system. Can they get into one of the most guarded areas on the planet? Can they steal back their right to speak from the government that silenced it?

END BLURB

This title will be only 99 cents from today until Oct. 16, when it will go up to its normal price of $2.99.

I’d say this book is a Scifi cyber heist version of Leverage. So if you like stories like that or Ocean’s 12 and you also like scifi, I think you’ll love this story.

You can get to the preorder page either by clicking the link all the way at the top or right here.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

A 5-Star Review for Repressed!

A 5-Star Review for Repressed!

Greetings all,CoverLayout

These are my favorite blogs to post. I’m sharing this 5-star review for Repressed, which is part of the Oneiros Log

One of my goals with Repressed was to stay true to the character without limiting who can enjoy the story. I didn’t want the fact that Kaitlyn is a teenager to mean older readers wouldn’t enjoy her story or her struggle.

This review is evidence that I was successful in that. I certainly hope more people feel that way. Reviews have been far and few between lately. (I’d really appreciate one if you’ve read some of my work. Even if it’s bad.) So getting a review that is positive was big boost.

I’m hard at work editing Betrayed right now (10 chapters into the review), and I’m pretty happy with how the story looks so far. I’m glad Kaitlyn’s adventure is helping pass the time.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Hazel Is Getting Published!

Hazel Is Getting Published!

Greetings all,

MeandHazelI’m happy to announce that Hazel has been signed to Antarctic Press. That means a dream Collin Fogel and I had back when we were 13(ish) is coming true. He created the character and overall background. He also did all the art. The pencils, the inks, the colors.

I was lucky enough to have the chance to write the story.  The link above will take you to general information about Hazel. You can also see some of the awesome artwork Collin has done.

Antarctic was one of two companies I’m aware of that were interested in Hazel. We’re glad someone was as excited about the project as Collin and I were.

I’ve seen a few ideas for release dates, but I know things still aren’t’ finalized in that regard. Issue 1 is all finished, and Issue 2 is pretty close to being done. This arc (which I call Ruthless Allies) is a three-issue mini-series. I’ll update you when an official release date is posted. It’s so cool to know I’ll have yet another title available at my tables. I hope you guys will start calling up your local comic book shops to get them to carry the title.

Thanks for reading

Matt

Cover Reveal: Stealing Freedom Ebook (and Audiobook)

Cover Reveal: Stealing Freedom Ebook (and Audiobook)

Greetings all,

About a year ago, Heidi Angell, T.W. Iain, Richard Drake, and I released The Power of Words, an anthology dedicated to the First Amendment. My story for that collection was Stealing Freedom, and fun heist story about a mother who’s planning to shut down the servers that ruthlessly enforce the prohibition of speech and communication on her planet.

As per the agreement we had on that anthology, we’re allowed to release our individual stories (the anthology will remain available) after a year.  In preparation for that, I’ve commissioned my artist, Carlos Villas, to do the cover.  So, without further delay, I proudly present to you the cover to Stealing Freedom, scheduled for release Oct. 1, 2019.

StealingFreedom

 

It always amazed me to see what Carlos does with my concepts.  For those who are interested, take a look at my request and little thumbnail:
THumbnailI told him, “The frame is from the bridge of a girl-child’s nose to just below the collar bone. Around her neck is a metal (techno-looking) collar about an inch thick. Blue electricity is arcing around the collar which is visually undone.”

Carlos patiently went through 13 drafts of the image until we got to the image you see above. The bulk of the revisions were in getting the collar to where we wanted it and then getting that arcing light to look perfect.

He did all that work in perhaps a week? If you’re an author looking for a dedicated artist who will eagerly take direction and produce that level of work quickly, I couldn’t recommend Carlos highly enough.

Once I got the final image, I located a font I liked and designed the overall cover with the author and title text. One may argue my author text is a bit dark, but on a monitor it works out fine. I’d be more worried if it were for a print cover (as printing brings up color and density issues), but if my color-challenged eyes can make it out, I’m confident others can see it. I downloaded the font (for free) and placed everything.

The Audible cover (yes, the audio version of this novella will also be available (I hope) Oct. 1.) was more challenging.  In order to keep everything I wanted, I had to place the text over the face. My options were to put text over the face or crop the face out. I opted for the first choice.

StealingFreedom_ACXOnce more, you can expect Steal Freedom to be available on Kindle and Audible Oct. 1 (give or take a day or two).

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Shore Leave 2019 Report: Encouraging consistency

Shore Leave 2019 Report: Encouraging consistency

Greetings all,

Power_and_Repressed CustomerShore Leave was last week, and it was yet again a huge success in terms of books sold!

The thing that really makes this so encouraging is that I’ve now had three consecutive conventions where I sold more than 40 books. This makes me feel like things are starting to build in the best ways.

At Shore Leave, I sold forty-nine books. I was especially thrilled at how the Repressed/Sojourn paperback worked out. I sold out! My favorite story is that one woman bought the book.  She came back the next day to tell me how much she enjoyed it. She said she read Repressed in a matter of hours at the pool and loved it. When she found out Kaitlyn’s first appearance was in Caught, she bought that book.

I only have one copy of Power of Words remaining, and that’s pretty good.  They actually sold pretty fast. I thought for sure the last one would sell, but it just sort of stalled I guess. But still, I sold 13/14 copies.

Grace and Amanda
Grace, Amanda, and Stevey at Shore Leave.

The next thing that happened is probably the most encouraging.  The Journals of Bob Drifter has been out for four years, and I’ve done three Shore Leave events now.  This is relevant because I met Amanda (and Grace) at Shore Leave.  Bob did very well at the event, and I think I owe a lot of that to Amanda and Grace. You see, they came to say hi (and buy a few new books! Thanks!).  While there, they managed to convince somewhere around four people to buy at least two of my books. They convinced one friend to buy all four of my books.

That’s not it though. That happened to me twice that I can recall. One person would be checking out my table, and another would come up and say, “I read his book (BLANK (Usually Bob)), and I’m telling you it’s good.”

Bob_Drifter_ReaderI can’t express to you how that makes me feel. First off, just having someone walk up and say they enjoyed your book is a wonderful feeling, but to have previous readers bring you more readers is the very definition of “word of mouth!” It’s amazing!

The theory I have is this: It takes people a while to get through their TBR pile. This is true for me. I’m only just now reading books I put on my TBR pile a year ago. My thinking is that these people have had Bob on a shelf for a minute and then it just came time to read it. Now they have feedback for me, and they loved it!

Amanda said, “It’s (Bob) one of the best books I ever read.” She then told me the story about how she was at work and a coworker was trying to draw her attention and couldn’t because she was that enthralled.  WOW! (But please don’t get in trouble at work, Amanda!)

Another person might have been one of maybe three people to buy my book at a convention last year. He said, “It (again Bob) was one of the best surprise reads” he’s had. He said he bought it because he liked me (which is why most people buy most things at conventions). But then he read it and loved it.

All that feedback is so motivating. I can’t wait to get my next few books out there!

I nearly sold out of all my books. Those were just a few stories I wanted to share because of how amazing they made me feel in the moment. Julie was near to tears a few times. It’s just such blessing, and we thank God for brining so many wonderful people to our lives and letting our business grow.

So now for the business side. Shore Leave (and most other conventions I go to) have much more affordable tables. And the sales from the event made back the cost of the table (which is a huge benchmark to me).  But things went so well, we only actually lost about $100. This is still a loss, but it’s significant growth. We’re hopeful that the prints and more products (big news on that is coming) will help tip the scales and allow us to change how we define “success” when it comes to conventions. For now though, we’re just overjoyed this event went so well.

For those who tried my books, thank you so much! We hope you enjoy them. Please remember to leave a rating and/or review on Amazon and/or Goodreads.  They really do help.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Sojourn in Captivity Is Now Available On Audible!

Sojourn in Captivity Is Now Available On Audible!

Greetings all,

Sojourn_ACX_CoverI’m happy to announce that Sojourn in Captivity is now available on Audible. Courtney Sanello did a fantastic job narrating this story. What I like most about this and the Audible version of Repressed is that it’s just such a quick story.  It’s just under three hours, so if you’re driving around town or heading on a trip, you can finish the whole story on the way.

Pretty soon, I currently have 25 codes good for a free copy of Sojourn. I also have codes for my other Audiobooks.

If you’re interested in one (or all) of them, please feel free to email me.  I hope you decide to give them a try.

Thanks for reading,

Matt