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

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

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

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

Would You Like a Free Audiobook? I’m Celebrating Caught’s Audible Release

Would You Like a Free Audiobook? I’m Celebrating Caught’s Audible Release

Hey all,

Caught_ACX_CoverI’m so thrilled to announce that Caught, narrated by Shawn Compton, is officially available on Audible.

To celebrate, I have 25 free copies of this version, so if you like audio books, free stuff, and horror, feel free to send me an email.

Shawn did an amazing job. I was super picky about the narrator I wanted for this story, and Shawn simply nailed Caden. If you’ve read the book, you’ll know that Caden is simply a huge challenge to pull of, and Shawn did it. I’m so lucky to be working on this project with him.

I’m always overjoyed to hear my characters come to life. I love audio books. The let me re-read stories so I can catch up before the next book in the series comes out (looks at Brandon Sanderson). They also let me basically double my reading pace on the drive to work.

I hope you’ll decide to give this book a try. You can use one of your codes, or you can even start and Audible account today and get a free copy of any book (it’s just mine’s better for the season). Of course, you can also just email me and ask for one of the copies I have. The first 25 to ask win.

Thanks for reading,

V/R
Matt

Some Updates and A Sale!

Some Updates and A Sale!

Greetings all,

AnUnusualOccupationCoverSorry, no review this week as I have a couple things going on I wanted to let everyone know about. Fear not! I have a ton of stories and books ready to review, and I’ll work my way down the list.

First for some money-saving news: An Unusual Occupation, the first book in The Journals of Bob Drifter, will be 99 cents from today until Aug. 1, which is when book three, Something Always Remains (currently available for preorder also for 99 cents), goes live.

Remember, July 25-29 is when Bob’s Greatest Mistake is free for any who want to give it a try, so you can pretty much get three books for two bucks if you do so in this window of time.

Second: I’m happy to say Repressed is finished! It’ll go live Jan. 1. I’ll be doing some things leading up to it, but I’m happy to know that book is pretty much ready to go to print.

Third: The beta draft of Stealing Freedom is done, and the entire Power of Words anthology is off to my editor for the last round of edits.  That book is well on schedule to go live on Oct. 1.

Power of Words Cover_FRONTOn a related note (is that Three A?), I’m happy to announce the narrators for The Power of Words audiobook.  Please join me in welcoming Lisa Negron and T.W. Ashworth as the narrators for that book.  I went through a lot of reels and auditions to find those two, and I’m certain they’ll do an amazing job.  Our goal is to get the audiobook out as close to the same day as the other versions as possible.  I’m thrilled to have them, and I hope you all take the time to share in my excitement, maybe send them some sort of social media love telling them thanks for narrating what I believe will be an amazing anthology.

Fourth: I’m officially working on Betrayed: Book Two of the Oneiros Log. I’m just getting the new characters figured out, but that’s my pure focus for the foreseeable future. To those waiting, please be patient and know that the wait is coming to an end.

Fifth: The last book of the Oneiros log will be next, and I mean to start working on a series of novellas I’m very excited about.  My intent is for the novellas to sate my readers while I work on the larger projects in between.

I think that’s everything! I’m so thrilled you’re all taking an interest in my work. I can’t tell you what a privilege it is to tell stories and share them with the world. I hope you’re as excited about the next few months as I am!

Thanks for reading,

Matt

The Power of Words is a Go! My Release Schedule for the Near Future

The Power of Words is a Go! My Release Schedule for the Near Future

Power of Words Cover_FRONTGreetings all,

Things looked a little grim in late March when I realized I only had a total of four stories for The Power of Words. I had other submissions, but they weren’t right for it.  Please know I’m not saying they weren’t solid stories, but some just didn’t fit the theme or genre for the project.

What I did was tally up the word count for what stories I knew I had, and it turns out we have about 67,000 words. It’s certainly not as big as some of the anthologies I’ve seen, but I believe TW, Richard, and Heidi wrote some powerful short stories, and I’m proud of my contribution as well.

When working on an anthology, there’s a lot to consider. One thing to consider is when the best release time would be. We all talked, and we’ve decided our target release time for The Power of Words will be October of 2018. That means a few things have to shift for me. This isn’t a bad thing, it’s just news I want to make sure you all get.

So, here’s my release schedule for the near future.

May 1 (or as close to that as Amazon releases it): Bob’s Greatest Mistake, Part Two of The Journals of Bob Drifter. If you’ve already read the whole book, you’ve already read this part of it. I can’t stress enough this isn’t a sequel. However, if you’ve only read the first part, or if you haven’t yet given Bob a chance, this will be your opportunity. I plan to do some cool stuff here, and I’ll make more announcements on this once I’m done with the formatting and a proofread (because no one can do enough of those).

SomethingAlwaysRemainsAug. 1 (or as close to that as Amazon releases it): Something Always Remains, Part Three of The Journals of Bob Drifter. By August, readers will be able to try any portion or all of Bob’s story, and I’m pretty thrilled about that.

However, I didn’t want a year to go by without any new stories from yours truly.

October of 2018: The Power of Words anthology. This was the best time for all of us, and I think we’re all pretty stoked to get this story out. For great Science Fiction (well, one’s a Zombie apocalypse story, but it fits) stories from at least three great authors (I feel weird when I try and call myself “great,” especially in comparison to those three).

Some of you may remember I’d announced that Sojourn in Despair was scheduled for release in November. The truth is, releasing a book that quickly after another doesn’t really make a ton of sense unless I have a flock of other stories to release. I don’t. My goal is to release four projects a year, and I can only work so fast.   So Sojourn has to get pushed back.

Jan. 1, 2019 (or as close to that as Amazon releases it): Repressed, an Oneiros Log YA Novella. I love Kaitlyn as a character, and as the Oneiros log continues, she’ll have a bigger role. To bridge the gap between book one (Caught) and book two, I wrote this story to show where Kaitlyn is and how the team has progressed in the four years between books.

Elelefinal
Elele’s Chapter Icon.

April 1, 2019 Sojourn in Despair, A Perception of War Novella.  Not only will this story come out as an ebook, but I’ll also release a flip book (paperback) putting Elele’s and Kaitlyn’s stories together.  On one side, you’ll have Repressed, and Elele’s story will be on the other. This will give me another physical book to sell at conventions and give readers the chance to get two stories at a solid price.

All of those stories are done or close to done. I don’t immediately see any reason why any of those dates should change (God’s will be done). I have two drafts left on Repressed and three drafts left on Worth of Words (that title will probably change soon). When I finish Repressed, I’ll get hard to work on Betrayed, Book Two of the Oneiros Log. My hope is for that to be released by October of 2019. I’m sorry I won’t get the whole trilogy out, but I promise I’ll get the trilogy complete (again, subject to God’s will regarding health and life) by 2020. There’s a short-story series I’m planning on doing as well. I’d like to get the first episode of that out in 2019 as well. I’ve also been mentioning a secret project. That project has been submitted to an editor for a major comic book company. All it is at the moment is a favor for a friend and an opportunity I’m excited about. If it pans out, I’ll be the first to announce it (after I’m done running laps around my condo property shouting for joy). Until then, I’d rather keep it under wraps.

I can’t ever thank you all enough for giving your time and attention to my work. I’m constantly humbled at your interest. I hope you’re as excited about these upcoming releases as I am.

Thanks for reading,

V/R
Matt

Two 5-Star Reviews for Caught!

Two 5-Star Reviews for Caught!

caught-front-coverGreetings all,

Today must be bounce-back day in the review world. Just after my first one-star review for Caught, I get two, count ’em, two five-star reviews for the same book. You win some; you lose some. I’ll admit, having a few more positive reviews takes the sting off a bad one.

One review complimented the plot twist at the end, which was nice to hear as I worked hard to make it as surprising as it was satisfying.

The other review spoke to the horror aspect of the book. Caught was tricky to write, so having these reviews that speak to the areas I felt were most important feels good.

Like I said a few days ago, I appreciate all reviews; but it’s sure nice to see some good to counter the bad.

Thanks for reading,

V/R
Matt