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

 

 

My 2020 Tour Dates and Locations!

My 2020 Tour Dates and Locations!

Greetings all,

So it looks like my 2020 tour is pretty much set up. Last year I had done six, and I wanted to try and do 12 this year, but finances and life just didn’t seem to allow it. We do intend to do six events this year without adding any comic shops we visit for OffWorld (featuring Hazel), which is now available for your local comic shop to order through Previews. If you have a favorite comic shop or know someone who does, I’d very much appreciate you spreading the word and asking the owners to order a few copies.

Without further delay, here are the 2020 conventions I’ll be participating in:

MarsCon (Jan 17-19) 50 Kingsmill Rd. Williamsburg, VA: This is my first convention outside the BWI area and also my first in Virginia. We wanted to start to spread out, and this is our first go at it. We’re hoping to build on our audience. If you’re a fan, and you know someone in the area, please send them our way.

FarPoint (Feb. 21-23) 245 Shawan Rd, Hunt Valley, MD: I’ve been doing this to a point to where I don’t really remember how many times I’ve been to what. I’m pretty sure this is my third FarPoint. It’s always a good time.

Four State Comic Con (March 21 & 22) Hagerstown Community College 11400 Robinwood Drive, Hagerstown, MD: Again we went a bit further out than we had been going. This will be our first time at the convention. This is a smaller event, but it helps get word out about us.

AwesomeCon (May 1-3) Washington Convention Center 801 Mt. Vernon PI NW Washington DC: PHEW! For a horrifying few months, we thought we missed the window to get in. Truth be told, we did, but we made it into the backup event! I’m absolutely thrilled to be heading back. I’ve done AwesomeCon every year since I’ve started, and I intend to do it every year I’m a writer.

Gaithersburg Book Festival (May 16) 506 S Frederick Avenue, Gaithersburg, MD: Another first for us. We also wanted to try and get to more book-oriented events. I’m not sure what to expect, but my hopes are that an event dedicated to books will gain a bit more interest per visitor, where as at a convention, people may be interested in reading, but not all will be. Here, we’re guaranteed to meet people who enjoy reading.

Shore Leave 42 (July 10-12) 245 Shawan Rd, Hunt Valley, MD: Pretty sure this is also my third time at this event. The staff here has shown me a lot of professional courtesy, so I’m happy to be working with them and attending their event.

OffWorld’s upcoming release creates another opportunity for me as well. My hope is to start setting up events at local comic book shops. I haven’t had time to arrange anything yet, but I’ll update this page to include those dates as they get approved.

I’m excited to have another year of events set up. I hope to have a variety of new products also, but I’ll save that for my 2020 State of the Weech.

I hope to see you all at these events and meet so many new people.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

 

 

 

Announcing Offworld!

Announcing Offworld!

Greetings all,

Offworld1   The name for the double-sided comic which contains Hazel is officially Offworld! We’re actually pretty close to being finished with the comic as a whole. Collin is hard at work on the remaining pages, and I’m reviewing the story (written content). I think it’s coming together well, and the artwork is amazing!

The first issue is still set for release in February. Information I have says it’ll be in store Feb. 26!  If you have Previews magazine, you’ll see a nifty little add for the comic within those pages.

Again, you all can help a great deal by calling your local comic shops and saying you want a copy. I’m going to start trying to get appearances lined up in my area, so if you’re a Maryland (Baltimore/Washington) person, please let your providers know you want a copy.

Again, Hazel is still going to get her story in her own book, but doing this split book lets us get the product out sooner.

I just wanted to make the quick announcement. You should see news about Discovered (Oneiros 3 (the final book)) here pretty soon as well. I’m pretty sure I’ll get the plotting done before I start the Alpha Draft of Betrayed in December, so please stay tuned for that.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

 

 

An Update on Hazel and Other News!

An Update on Hazel and Other News!

Greetings all,

CoverHazelI’m happy to announce that Hazel is scheduled for shipping in February (I don’t have an exact day yet)!

To maximize exposure and get the product out there as quickly as possible, we’ve teamed up with another creative team. That means both of our stories are going to be split up over more issues. We’re still going to print each issue as a solo product, but that will come later.

We’re keeping the name of the flip book out for a while longer, but I’ll be sure to announce that when we’re given the green light as a whole. Issues 1 and 2 of Hazel are done, and Collin is a few pages into Issue 3.

So splitting these stories up allows us to get the story out more quickly while allowing Collin the time he needs to do all the insane work he’s doing.

We’re proud of Hazel and what her story is. I’m personally hopeful this endeavor is successful enough that they are willing to advance Collin for the other Hazel story Collin and I worked on. Whatever comes of it, I’m glad to see another project hitting the tables.

Want to help? The best thing to do would be (if you’re a fan of comics) to contact your local comic stores (when we release the title of the project). Tell them you’re interested in the comic. Tell them to bring copies in. The more stores who order copies of the book, the more successful the book will be.

I’ll naturally have copies available at any conventions too.

I hope you’re all looking forward to seeing it as much as I am.

StealingFreedom_ACXI’m also happy to announce that Stealing Freedom is officially available on Audible!

This is just Lisa and J.M.’s narration from The Power of Words, but it’s only about two and a half hours. So if you have a drive that long, I think it’s a perfect audiobook for the trip!

Last but not least in any manner is that in honor of the Halloween season, Caught is on sale for 99 cents! If you haven’t given it a try yet, this is a pretty good chance to read a great book for less than a dollar.

On a final note, I made a commercial! This is a commercial I made for Bob Drifter. It’s just another tool I want to sharpen to see if I can’t spread my name out there in another way.  Give it a look and offer me your thoughts. If you’re an author, and you’d like me to make one for you, I’m willing to do so for $30 (It does take a few hours to put these together, and that price is just a bit under minimum wage).

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

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

 

 

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

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