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

 

A 5-Star Review for Power of Words on Audible

A 5-Star Review for Power of Words on Audible

Greetings all,

ThePowerofWordsI really love having reviews to share, especially when they’re good ones. This particular 5-star review for The Power of Words on Audible is from M.K. Williams, author of at least five novels of which I am aware. I always have a special appreciation when other authors appreciate and recommend one of my books. It really means a lot.

As always, I continue to ask if you’ve read my work, please be so kind as to leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads or both. It really does help out a lot.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Some Reviews For Various Audiobooks

Some Reviews For Various Audiobooks

Greetings all,

It’s a bit harder to share reviews for audiobooks because there aren’t any direct links to just those reviews (or at least I haven’t figured out the trick). However, I’ve gotten a number of reviews for a lot of these audiobooks, and so I wanted to take a chance to share some of the comments.

Caught_ACX_CoverCaught:  Caught has two ratings and one text review.  It has an average 4.0 rating (again only two ratings) at the moment.  The text review just kindly said that the reader loved the print version so much that they wanted to listen to the audio version while I work on Betrayed.  The reviewer also took a moment to praise the plot twists, which I honestly think is the greatest part of the book.

 

 

The Power of Words: The Power of Words has four ratings for an average of 4.3 overall.  It also has two text reviews.  The most recent reviewer said the stories were entertaining. He appreciated the range of genres, which I was actually concerned would be a problem. He took a moment to praise the narrators on this (and I think Lisa and J.M. are indeed worthy of praise.  This reviewer concluded by acknowledging that short stories don’t have the depth he typically looks for (“…they’re usually over before you can really get into them.”)

The older text review focused again on Lisa and J.M. The reviewer did say the collection “lives up to the title.” I appreciated seeing that.

Repressed_ACX_CoverRepressed: Repressed has one rating and text review.  The reviewer had issue with the tone and target audience of Repressed vs Caught (Repressed, as you may know, is based on Kaitlyn from Caught).  I honestly accept this criticism and respect it. I had to make a choice on what to do here. I wanted so desperately to give Kaitlyn her own short story, but when I did that I had to gauge the content against those most likely to read it. So it’s completely fair and just to have this thought. My hope is, those who love Kaitlyn will appreciate this story. Those who love the darker, more horror driven aspects of Caught, it’s fair to say, won’t enjoy this.

The reviewer also took a moment to compliment Jennifer on her reading. I always felt she had the perfect voice for Kaitlyn, and I’m glad this reader agreed. My hope is Repressed get’s Jennifer plenty more offers.

And I think that has me caught up with the reviews for my work so far.

If you’ve read any of my work, I humbly request you take a few moments to toss up a rating and review on Audible, Goodreads, Amazon, or all of those above. I can’t tell you how much reviews help in so many different ways. Even if you hated it, feel free to spend however many thousands of words  you feel you need to express your discontent. It’s still valuable feedback.

If you’re interested in any of my audiobooks, and you don’t have a credit you want to spend on one, just send me an email, and I’ll send you a free promo code for whichever (or all) you want.

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

Why I Love Audio Books

Why I Love Audio Books

Greetings all,

HPI love to read. It’s relaxing, and a good book can captivate even a whole generation. Just look at Harry Potter. That series flat out made reading “cool” again, but time is just too short. I read before work. I read before bed. I read in the bath just to give myself time to read.

But I don’t get through my TBR list nearly as quickly as I’d like. This leads me to audio books. The main reason I love audio book is that they let me read more. I listen to audiobooks when I drive to and from work and pretty much whenever I drive around. This gives me about two to three hours of reading more than I would have. I like a good car karaoke on occasion, but I inevitably want to find out what happens next in whatever story I’m reading at the moment. This extra time can help me either blast through a book I’m reading or get through another book I wouldn’t normally have time to read.

Here are a few other reasons audio books really make my day:

1: It lets me re-read books I love: A number of the sagas I love are large. I think the shortest series I like is four (main) books. So audiobooks let me refresh my mind on previous books before the newest book comes out. It also lets me go back and read entire sagas I love.

Eye2: A good narrator can make a story even better: I have favorite narrators. James Marsters, Kate Reading, Michael Kramer, and Wil Wheaton to name a few. They bring the story to life. Now, I have friends who assert the voice actors in their head are better than the other narrators, but I just love hearing a story come to life. Now, when I read Wheel of Time, I hear Michael and Kate’s voices.

2a. A good narrator can make a book I wouldn’t like a book I loved. I did a review on The Chaos Walking Trilogy. It’s written in first-person present tense, which I would have never read (let alone written) in a book. But when a friend recommended the series, I fell in love with it mostly because of the voice actors. I later was inspired by that series to try writing in that style (Sojourn in Captivity).

3. It’s a safe way to try a book you wouldn’t normally try: So one complaint I get with audiobooks is that, “I can’t pay attention to it.” I’ve found that a good one can really hold my attention. But a boring (or even bad) book can be made far less painful in audio form because I can mentally check out here and there. Then there are the other books. I tried the first book in the Demon Cycle because I liked a short story Peter V. Brett did in an anthology. I tried it via audio because if I didn’t like it, I could just tune out here and there, and listen for the highlights. But I loved it!

BobThese are the main reasons I love audiobooks, and, since I didn’t know what else I wanted to ramble about in today’s post, I thought I’d try to convince readers to give them a try. May I humbly suggest The Journals of Bob Drifter, Caught, The Power of Words, or Repressed? If you sign up for Audible, you get a free credit, and I can’t do more than offer you a free book.

Thanks for reading listening.

Matt

Such An Awesome 2019! (convention)

Such An Awesome 2019! (convention)

Greetings all,

AwesomeConSo we got some rest, and boy did we need it. AwesomeCon 2019 was such a wonderful, huge event. As usual, I wanted to take a moment and give you some insight as to how things went.

Last year ended on a high note. We had always planned to slow way down this year to get life figured out and write some more books. The wonderful thing is I honestly thought, “Well that was just an amazing success, but no way do I do that sort of stuff again.”

Well, I didn’t.  In terms of books sold, I did even better. I sold fifty one books! I don’t remember the count from Baltimore Comic Con, but I remember it being in the forties.

The first thing I need to do is praise God for such an amazing blessing! Through four years of work, I’m seeing progress in this business venture, and all things come through him.

The next thing I need to do is thank all of you! If you stopped by and picked up one (or a few) copies of my work, you’ve helped my dream come true. I hope you enjoy the stories. I hope reading them makes you that much more excited for the things I’m working on next.

This wasn’t just a fun day for me though. Steve D’Adamo was right there with me, and he sold copies of his book, The Warden of Everfeld: Memento. He even posted a blog about his side of things.

So I won’t go over information he covered because I frankly want you to read his blog. But I do have some additional insights.

  1. How I measure “success.”

D5nXJwSWAAAHwLwI ran into another author who was a bit upset that sales weren’t there. Now, some authors measure success in terms of profit. I’m not one of those. Even with multiple books, I still don’t have enough products to expect to actually profit. I “made” $289. That’s fantastic. It’s certainly way more than I normally make. It paid for my table ($273.35 for badges and table), but I spent $456.66 ordering books, so I actually lost $441.01. That might lead to a lot of sad faces and discouraged hopeful authors. First, AwesomeCon is a huge event with pretty expensive artist alley tables.  I don’t go to AwesomeCon to make money. I got to AwesomeCon to have fun and meet people. I got to meet new readers who I hope will become loyal readers. My two of my three most loyal readers were all people I met at AwesomeCon. So yeah, I lost money up front, but those people buy my books I later release, even if they wait to do so at the next AwesomeCon.

So I told the author I mentioned above, “I already know I’m going to lose money here. I don’t count success by dollars made. I count it by books sold.” Fifty one is a new record. So I see this event as a huge success.

How could I have done better? Well, I’m still not used to having so many books.  I ordered twenty copies of each of my longer works (Caught and The Journals of Bob Drifter), and I ordered thirty copies each of my shorter works (Repressed & Sojourn in Captivity (paperback) and The Power of Words).  I only sold more than half of one of those. So I just ordered too many books.  If I’d only ordered half of those numbers, I still would have lost $213 (or so), but that’s expected at an event where I still have a very limited number of things for people to buy. This is something I’m going to try to adjust. At Shore Leave, I intend to sell prints as well. It’s a low-up-front cost item that will help me diversify what people can come to my table to purchase. I’ll also be able to bundle them and increase deals for potential customers.

Now, Shore Leave is much less expensive to attend. I clearly don’t need to order more books. I took that money I earned from AwesomeCon to pay for my table. If I sell all of those books, I’ll make back that table. Mathematically, I will still have lost $100-something, but I’ll have that many more books out there for people to read, (hopefully) enjoy, (hopefully) review, and (hopefully) recommend to a friend.  

2.  Try new things:

caught-front-cover
This cover gets a lot of looks, so I’m going to try and sell prints of it.

As I mentioned above, I’m always looking to try new things. My biggest mission is to provide low-cost (both to me and the potential customer) products to purchase. Bookmarks did not work. They make great hand outs, but people just don’t want to pay for those. So I looked around and realized that there are a lot of artists in artist alley (go figure). So the new plan is to commission art based on my books to sell prints of at conventions. I don’t expect to do as well as people who sell cool pictures of trademarked characters, but I’m not touching that. But if someone looks at a really awesome picture of Caden or Elele, they may want to buy it. They may want to know about the character. This may work; it may not work at all. The point is you have to diversify your options. Not everyone reads. Most people who go to conventions buy art from someone. Why not art based on my books? Plus, it gets Carlos and Collin some attention. Also, I’m sharing profits with them so I don’t pay up front. It’s a risk on their end, but it’s an investment of time for the potential to profit money.

3.  Sharing is great!

D5Ht92lX4AI4_7MI’ve shared a table before, but I didn’t know how to do it. I’d read both of Andrew’s books (I shared a table with him a few times), but he’d only read one of mine. Also, we thought of our one table as two tables rather than thinking of the table as ours. This might have been something I did wrong. I’m not saying we didn’t try to help each other out, but we were still pitching our stuff more individually.  Steve knew all my pitches for all my books. He understood my work, and he knew how I was marketing. We talked before hand. We also pitched what was right for the reader. If someone said they liked traditional fantasy, I put Steve’s book in his hand. Steve must have sold at least three of my books. I might have sold as many of his. We amplified one another. Now, Andrew is wonderful, and he worked hard for each other. I just lacked the understanding of how sharing a table really works. This is something I really want to continue to try. It brings the up-front costs down for each of us, and it really works when you’re selling the books people want.  In fact, during AwesomeCon, I actually told a reader I probably don’t have a books she likes (she’s a fan of Terry Pratchett). I directed her straight to Andrew’s work. I told her, you’ll love him.

So those are a few insights. Ultimately, I couldn’t be happier. It took Julie and I a week to recover. We were so exhausted, but we had so much fun.

If you were one of the people I met at the event, thank you so much for giving our work a try. We truly hope you enjoy the books.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Book Reviews Make Authors Happy!

Book Reviews Make Authors Happy!

Greetings all,

I get to share a few reviews with you all today, and I don’t know that I’ll ever get tired of that.

caught-front-coverThe first is an extensive four-star review on Goodreads for Caught. J.M. actually has a Twitter account in which she does these super awesome book-quote pictures. It’s a clever idea, and I encourage you to give her a follow. I saw a quote from Caught and realized she was reading it. It was a thrill to see those, and this review is everything an author could ask for: praise for things she liked and honest clarification on what she didn’t like.

Next there is a new five-star review for The Power of Words.  The last two reviews were from the same individual.

 

Sojourn_Ebook_CoverThe next (and final) review was special because it’s the first review for Sojourn in Captivity.  It’s nice to start off on a strong note, and you can’t get better than a five-star review.

I’m always thrilled to see feedback, and it’s that much sweeter when it’s positive. I’d like to take this opportunity to ask you to consider leaving a rating and review if you’ve ready any of my work. Even if you hated it, I still value the feedback. If you haven’t tried any of my books yet, I hope these reviews motivate you to give one (or all) a chance.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

 

I’m In A Podcast!

I’m In A Podcast!

Greetings All,

A while back I did an interview with Short Story Book Club.  I’m honestly a huge fan of this interview. First, it focuses on The Power of Words, which I still have free Audible codes for if you’d like to email me for a copy of it. She specifically read my story, Stealing Freedom, but we also talked about the First Amendment, the role of science fiction in society and my time in the military.  I honestly think it’s one of the deeper stories anyone’s done about me in some ways. I hope you’ll all check it out. Please like and share the video and subscribe to the podcast. As a note, TW’s name is a bit off, but I’ve spoken to Donna, and she’s working on fixing it (it may be fixed already).  Let me know what you think. If anyone has any questions for me after listening, please feel free to ask in the comments below.  It was a fascinating discussion.

 

 

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