The Alpha Draft of Betrayed Is Finished!

The Alpha Draft of Betrayed Is Finished!

Greetings all,

caught-front-coverThis is one of my favorite things to post. I’m happy to announce that the Alpha Draft to Betrayed, the sequel to Caught, is finished!

This means the Oneiros trilogy, (quadrilogy  if you want to count Kaitlyn’s little story in Repressed) is nearly finished.

Betrayed will go to Sarah for editing. While I wait to send it (I have to save up the money for the edits first) and get it back from her, I’m finishing up the outline to Discovered, the third and final book in the saga.  That project is going well.

I think I’m still on track to release Betrayed in October, but that depends far more on my ability to save up enough for the edits than the time it will take to work on other drafts. That’s not to say time isn’t a factor, but it’s a smaller factor than the budget at this point in my life.

In other Weech news, recent events involving Corona Virus have lead to the postponement of the Annapolis ComicCon and the cancellation of Four State ComicCon. Obviously, the health and safety of people is paramount. My opinions (which aren’t relevant) on the decision don’t change the age-old adage, “better safe than sorry.”

That means the next event I’ll be at (pending any further decisions) is AwesomeCon, which I’m always thrilled to be at.

As always, I’m grateful to everyone who’s shown their support over the last five years. If you’re in doors for whatever reason, and you haven’t tried one of my books, please consider one of my stories to help the time go by.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

The 2020 State of the Weech

The 2020 State of the Weech

Greetings all,

Three years ago, I made a commitment to give this my best effort for eight years. I’ve tracked that (in a way) by doing my annual State of the Weech. It’s my chance to let you know what I’m up to and what my plans are.

me2019 was a pretty good year in my opinion. I managed to release yet another four titles: Repressed, Sojourn in Captivity, The Repressed and Sojourn paperback flip book, and Stealing Freedom.

I can only say with confidence that I’m going to release two titles this year, and even that is going to be challenging, but I will do my best.

So without further ado, here are my plans for what I hope is a fantastic 2020.

March 1 (or sooner): Testimony: A Trial of Faith. This is the book adaptation of the blog series I wrote while my mom battled cancer. I put a lot of thought into whether or not to release it, but it feels like the right thing to do. All the royalties from the sales of that book will be donated to the American Brain Tumor Association. This project has way more to do with my love of God and my love of my mother than any artistic pursuit, but I have the proofreading edits back from Sarah, and I’m making my way through that final draft now. March 1 is probably the realistic date for that given how a book rollout (or as best as I know how a rollout) goes. My goal is just to have this project create a way to send the ABTA some donations.

caught-front-cover

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.

Feb. 26: OffWorld, featuring Hazel Deep Block Terror Squad. This has been a dream project for a long time (since I was in junior high school). The comic by me and Collin Fogel, my best friend from junior high, came about organically, but I couldn’t be happier. I’m hoping to have copies of issue 1 available when I go to Four State Comic Con if not sooner, but you’ll be able to get it at your local comic book stores by Feb. 26. Please contact your local comic shop and ask them to order copies.

Fall of 2020: Betrayed: Book Two of the Oneiros Log. I know you’ve waited for this book, and I have the Alpha Draft going. I think it looks good, and the Alpha Readers thought well of it too. The goal is for that book to be my main priority (after Testimony). I’ll get that title out as soon as I can.

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-iconDiscovered: I changed the name from Hunted, but it’s the same project. If I release another book in 2020, it’ll be this book. I’ve finished the plotting to this story and started the overall outline. I’ll jump straight to this when I’m done with Betrayed.

Sonnets for my Savior: I’ve completed this “draft,” or blog series. I’ve given it to my pastors for review. If they decide it’s scripturally sound and we have enough sonnets left after editing, I’ll publish a physical edition of that series of poems.

Musings on Christianity: If you follow my blog, you’ve already seen I’ve started that as my Christian work. The blog is happening now, and once I’m able to get it reviewed, it may be formatted into a paperback, but that will also depend on pastoral review. I’m sincerely hoping to get what I hoped would be a panel to actually be a panel. As it stands, it’s really more just me contemplating questions I’ve asked myself as I grew in the faith.

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.  That’s exactly what was on my last blog. I’m still mulling over some pretty big decisions on this story, but it will be what I intend to work on and publish as my next full length release.

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 thought I’d start working on it last year, but life had other plans. I will absolutely start working on it when Oneiros is done. Episodes from this series will be released while I work on the larger projects.

shepherdPerception of War: Images of Truth: So I was pretty deep into the discovery draft of that story when I started dancing around other projects. Sojourn became a priority, and now I’m gearing up to start this epic series. Images is the first book of at least twelve. It’s my special forces in space saga. However, that draft isn’t done, so what will happen is I’ll chip away at this while I’m editing 1,200.

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’s all grown up!) 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.

Before I hit my eight-year mark, I hope to have ten full-length novels published. That was always the benchmark three years ago. The idea is if I have ten novels, and I’ve been working for eight years, I should see some sort of profit in this business adventure. Thus far, I’ve been encouraged that I’m losing less money each year, but the goal is for this to be a source of provision, maybe even (the dream of dreams) a full time occupation.

You can help with that. If you’d like to, please, purchase one of my books. Give it a read. Offer a rating and review. Recommend it to a friend. The only way this is going to truly take off is with your help.

Whatever happens, I’m still humbled at how much has already happened. I currently have ten titles available, and I’m 30% toward my goal of ten full-length books.

I’m also humbled by each of you, readers. I’ve had the honor of speaking with a number of you about my books and hearing how excited you are about the next one. That sort of encouragement makes it so it’s hard to wait to publish the next story.

This is still wonderful evidence of God’s role in my life and his generosity. He also gave me people like you to talk to and hear from. I truly appreciate all that you’ve done, and I hope you’ll continue this journey with me.

Thanks for Reading,
Matt

 

 

The Most List: Personality Awards For My Characters

The Most List: Personality Awards For My Characters

Greetings all,

Do you remember your high school yearbook? More specifically, do you remember that list of most or Mr. and Ms? I thought it might be fun to talk about a few of my characters using that concept as a twist. I’ve never really tried something like this, so hopefully, it’s fun!

StealingFreedomMost Clever: Ardelia Sabine, Stealing Freedom/Power of Words. This isn’t even close! I think a number of my characters have a degree of wit, but Ardelia is on another level. She’d be a great villain if her motives were different. She’s always thinking and planning. Where power or just plain grit get some characters through, Ardelia is a throw back to the characters who love it when a good plan comes together.

Most Sympathetic: Elele’Therios, Sojourn in Captivity. This was a close race in a few ways, but Elele takes it for me. I think this will be controversial to those who’ve read all my work, but I stand behind it. I still think the first chapter in her story is the best first chapter I’ve written to date. There’s so much that happens to her that I don’t think anyone could read it and not hope for better things for her.

caught-front-coverMost Dramatic: Sal Veltri, Caught. It was a close contest between him and Elele, but Sal is pretty dramatic if I’m being honest. He’s a man of passion in a lot of ways, and his emotions are always to the max, which is why I gave him this title.

Character I’d Most Like to Hang Out With: Driscoll Navin, The Journals of Bob Drifter. The guy’s hilarious! He’s hundreds of years old, so he’ll have a bunch of stories to tell. I also happen to know he’s generous, so he’d probably pay the tab.

Most Frightening: Grimm, The Journals of Bob Drifter. Ohhh, so very, very close. (NO SPOILERS!)  For obvious reasons, I’m going to go with Grimm. Sure, I have other characters who are pretty darn frightening, but Grimm gets the edge because he’s literally a grim reaper. Again, perhaps some controversy in this pick, especially considering the catch to Grimm’s goal, but I’d still run screaming from him in his cowl before any of my other characters to date.

Most Fun To Write: Caden Carroll, Caught. For so many, many reasons. The first is that Caden only speaks in metaphor and simile. I had so much fun researching the normal way to say what Caden means to find the perfect story or movie to pull from. He’s such a cool character to work with, and he’s absolutely bonkers.

The Journals of Bob Drifter Front CoverMost Like Me: Richard Hertly, The Journals of Bob Drifter. This one will also (oddly) receive a lot of debate for those who know me and have read my books. Here’s the thing, Richard is never satisfied, nor does he ever feel good enough. That’s probably the core of who I am, and why I most identify with him. There are a number of other things I think I have in common with him. All my other characters have some aspect that is beyond something I have without careful thought and consideration. Naturally, they all have a part of me, but Richard has the part I most recognize about myself.

Best Developed: Kaitlyn Olhouser, Caught and Repressed. I’ve loved watching her grow thus far, and I can’t wait for you all to see the woman she’s destined to become. Elele was in consideration for this as well, and this may shift, but, for now, seeing how she’s grown from a scared little girl into even the young lady she is in Repressed is just fun.

Most Lovable: Bob Drifter, The Journals of Bob Drifter. I really think this guy could pretty much befriend anyone. He’s kind, intelligent, polite, and honest. I’ll be honest and say he’s the character I hope most of my readers would call their favorite. I think the reason most people love that book is because most people love Bob. I’d also argue that the majority of those who didn’t care for it think it fell short because, for whatever reason, they didn’t like Bob.

So there you go! For those who’ve read my books, what are your thoughts? Would you give any of these awards to other characters? Who is your favorite character? I’d be interested to hear about it in the comments below.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

 

What Is My Brand? What Do You Get When You Buy An M.L.S. Weech Book?

What Is My Brand? What Do You Get When You Buy An M.L.S. Weech Book?

Greetings all,

MLSWeechI’m honestly just watching Kurt Hugo Schneider videos, and in a few, he “writes” a song for a popular singer. My wife and I frequently dance to his writing of an “Ed Sheeran” song.  What he does is look for elements common to the performer, and that got me thinking about my brand.

So branding is an interesting concept. Some writers brand by genre. This guy may write horror while that guy writes romance. If you like the genre,  a certain author will fill that need. I’ve had dear friends talk to me on occasion about how often I jump around. Honestly, I don’t have the first clue how to hold still. I can’t even type a blog like Thumper talking about the forest with Bambi.

That hurts some authors. I would probably be more successful more quickly (an important combination of words) if I stuck with one genre. Readers like to know what they’re going to get when they buy a book.

So if I don’t stay in one genre, what is my brand? What do people who buy my book get?

Please allow me to offer you a list.

Bob CoverCharacters you connect with: If you read the first ten pages of one of my books, and you don’t feel an immediate connection to the characters you’re reading about, I’ve failed, and you probably won’t enjoy the story. I want people who buy my books to fall in love (or completely hate) the characters.  Here are some examples:

” … keeping me engaged with the plot and the characters with some mad skill.” — A review for Caught.

“Mr Weech does some good worldbuilding here and delivers lots of character development — not just with protagonist Bob Drifter, but with pretty much his entire cast.” — A review for An Unusual Occupation: Part One of The Journals of Bob Drifter.

“While each of the different POVs fascinated me, I found Bob’s voice to be distinctly enjoyable.” — Another review for An Unusual Occupation: Part One of The Journals of Bob Drifter.

“There is just an awful lot to like about Bob. He is a well-conceived, fully fleshed out character that you can’t help but admire and root for.” A review for The Journals of Bob Drifter.

Fast Pace: Even my longest book, The Journals of Bob Drifter, has a pace that moves. I typically write short chapters that let a reader feel like they’re flying through a book even if that book is 130,000 words. I want readers to feel like they’re on a roller coaster that set the world speed record. True, Bob evolves more slowly, but that evolution is spent building anticipation. This fast pace creates a story that’s hard to put down. Here are some examples:

“The story hits fast and you quickly are embroiled in a fast moving action sequence.” — A review for Sojourn in Captivity.

“Repressed was fast paced with nicely timed reveals.” — A review for Repressed.

caught-front-coverSurprises: If you want at least one moment where your jaw drops, and you say, “WHAAAAAAAAAAT?” my books are for you. Honestly, I’m not sure which of my stories has the biggest surprise or plot twist. What I can say is that every time someone comes to me to talk to me about my book, they immediately comment about the surprise. Most reviews mention the end of my stories.  Don’t believe me?

” … and the ending was good.” — A review for Stealing Freedom.

“The narrative direction this story goes (without giving anything away) is both surprising in the moment and completely logical in retrospect.” A review for Caught.

“Caught” is a thrilling psychological horror full of nightmares, gore, and unexpected plot twists. It keeps you guessing every step of the way.” “I can’t remember the last time any novel has surprised me. This shows a clever ingenuity that impressed me.” A review for Caught.

So there you have it. If you like fast-paced books with great characters and surprising twists, I’m your man. All of these were different reviews for different books from a number of different reviewers (though in honesty there are some repeat reviewers because they became return customers).

I hope this gives some of you who maybe haven’t tried my work a chance to see why you might be interested.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

I’ve Started the Alpha Draft of Betrayed!

I’ve Started the Alpha Draft of Betrayed!

 

Greetings all,

caught-front-cover
You can buy Caught (the first book in the series) on Amazon or Audible

Betrayed is coming along. I’ve started the Alpha Draft, which is the draft I do after my alpha reader (in this case) has had a chance to look at it.

 

First thing’s first. I want to take a moment to thank Grace for taking the time to read this rough draft and provide the feedback she did. For us self-published authors, finding readers is hard enough, let alone finding a reader who’s willing to read a rough draft.

Now is the time I take her feedback into consideration and do another chapter-by-chapter pass on the book. This cleans the mechanics of the story up, but more importantly it gives me a chance to locate plot holes and timeline issues. This trilogy spans something in the neighborhood of seven years, and there are a lot of things that happen that have to time out correctly.

The other issue is character development and plotting. Kaitlyn and Kira in particular have some critical areas of growth. There are a lot of foreshadow elements that should pay off in Discovered. So while I work on this draft, I’m looking for ways to establish critical character development aspects without being heavy handed.

kaitlynI felt a touch of discouragement as I started the Discovery Draft exactly a year ago (as you read this Dec. 7). The truth is, writing is a war of endurance. When it’s not full time, you sit down and take what time you can. I’d expect to get through the Alpha Draft sometime in January. Then it’s off to Sara for the Developmental Edit. Assuming she gets it back to me in two weeks or so, I can start that draft in March. Then it goes off to Beta Readers.  They get a month to read it and provide feedback, so I should work on my Beta Draft in June. That means I get Sara another crack at it for proofreading in July, and so September or October 2020 is a likely neighborhood for the official release.

Things could go faster as I get time here and there, or they might slow down if finances make it hard to send the book out to Sara for either of her two rounds of edits. I feel confident that those dates are pretty solid.

While I’m waiting for feedback, I’ll keep plugging away on Discovered. I’m still outlining it at the moment. Using the timeline above, I think I could maybe get the Discovery Draft done around when Betrayed comes out.  My math says there will be about two months where I can’t move forward with Betrayed because I’m waiting on feedback. That’s way less certain than Betrayed’s fall 2020 release.

I know this is a big slowdown from the eight titles I’ve released in the last two years, but a lot of those releases were portions of other projects. I have other projects that are further along, but I’ve been trying to get the Oneiros Log finished for years now, and I owe it to those readers to get that finished before I start bouncing around as I’m want to do.

I promise I’m working as hard as I can, and I’ll keep putting out the best stories I can in hopes that you will find them entertaining.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

I’ve Finished Plotting Discovered!

I’ve Finished Plotting Discovered!

Greetings all,

caught-front-cover
You can buy Caught on Amazon or Audible

As promised, I’ve completed the plotting for Discovered, which is the final book in the Oneiros Log.

I don’t know that I’ve ever announced that I’ve finished plotting or not, so this is a good chance to tell anyone interested what that is.

When I’m working on my process, I always start with Character Generation.  Once that’s done, I plot out the stories of the main characters. For this, I ask myself what type of plot this character is going to have (or plots), and I ask myself what sort of character journey that character is on.

Then I type out brief scenes and moments of that journey. This lets the discovery writer in me play while still getting organized. For instance, in this story I gave a lot of thought to who would survive the story. This book ends in a pretty big psychic showdown (a few of them actually), and it’s hard to imagine a conflict going on like that without any casualties.

In stories, it’s one thing to know the plot points (what happens), but an author also has to know what’s going on with the characters. What do they learn? How do these events change them?  When I plotted Betrayed, one of the characters makes a very important decision. That decision impacts how things develop in this book as well.

Betrayed introduces two very important characters (not just those two, but two you’ll want to know about).  I can’t tell you about one (spoilers), but I can at least name the other. Mariana is critical to the trilogy. She’s a great counter to Kaitlyn because there are also similarities. Mariana only has about one chapter in her point of view in Betrayed, but she plays a prominent role in Discovered as one of the main characters. You will also get to meet Daniel, whose story I love.

Hopefully, Discovered brings the story to the place I’ve always imagined it, opening a new world with endless possible stories. Will I write them? Probably not. If I’m being honest, I have far too many other ideas I want to play in. My honest hope is a Netflix or Youtube or Hulu will take what I built with the Oneiros Log and decide it might make an interesting super hero series.

kaitlynIt does close out the story of Oneiros though. Other main characters for Discovered are Sal (of course), Kaitlyn (of course), and Kira. Where Dom got the love in Betrayed, it’s time to show the story from Kira’s point of view. Given how important these events are to her, it would have been unfair to take her moment in the spotlight away. Though this story has been (and will continue to be) pretty brutal to her.

I’ve started the outline for Discovered, which is when I take all the plot lines and weave them together in a much more traditional outline. This gives me the main thread before I start my discovery draft. I don’t imagine I’ll finish the outline before I start work on the Alpha Draft of Betrayed, but having the plotting done is probably 40% of my work on any story.

I have every hope that Betrayed will be out sometime in 2020, though when has more to do with finances and book sales (you all can help with that) than workflow. If I can’t afford the editing and art fees, I can’t move forward. It’s my sincere goal (especially now that Discovered is plotted), to finish the saga in that same year.

That will mean I can jump back to The 1,200 and start working on Mercer (my little procedural cop show with a Harry Potter twist). Then I’ll get to work on the rest of my to-do list.

As always, I just want to thank you all for the help and support you’ve given. I think that while my readership is small, you all are so loyal and supportive. It gives me hope that this readership will only continue to grow.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

The First Draft of Betrayed is Done! A Call for Alpha Readers

The First Draft of Betrayed is Done! A Call for Alpha Readers

Greetings all,

caught-front-coverHappy news! I’ve just wrapped up the first draft of Betrayed! That means I’m looking for people willing to read this story at this stage and provide feedback.

Alpha Readers are guys who catch issues with events in the story. In this particular draft, I’m looking for former or current military who are familiar with close quarters battle (CQB) and other military things. If you like high-octane action, this is something you should have fun reading.

I’d need your feedback by Dec. 1. In fact, I’d like it sooner, but I genuinely try to give alphas and betas a month to read anything.

If you’re interested, please shoot me an email.

In the meantime, I’ll get back to plotting Discovered, which is the third and final book of the trilogy. Discovered will also probably be the largest book too. We meet a few new cast members and finish the evolution of this story. My hope is to finish the trilogy in 2020. I’d also like to get some smaller projects out, but I’ve been promising more from Oneiros for years now since I published Caught, and I simply owe it to those who loved the story show them where it goes from here.

Thanks for reading,

Matt