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

 

 

The Audiobook Edition of Repressed Is in Production!

The Audiobook Edition of Repressed Is in Production!

Greetings all,

CoverLayoutI’m happy to report to you that Repressed, which is still available for preorder, is now under production as an audiobook!

I had auditions open for about a week-and-a-half, and Kenzie’s, Jennifer Wooster, audition blew me away. Her voice was perfect for Kaitlyn at this stage in her life. Kenzie’s listening to Caught right now to get some context for the characters, and we hope things wrap up by the end of January. I still have some free audible codes for both Caught and The Power of Words if you want a free audiobook and want to give my work a try.  Just shoot me an email. Speaking of which, I have a 5-Star Review on Audible for The Power of Words.

I’m thrilled to have been releasing products at the pace I have been.  I’ve started writing Betrayed: Book Two of the Oneiros Log, and I think things will go well once I get a few days of writing under my belt.

I just wanted to update everyone on the good news. As always, I’m so appreciative of all that you do to support this dream of mine.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

 

How About Another Free Audiobook? The Power of Words is Live!

How About Another Free Audiobook? The Power of Words is Live!

ThePowerofWordsGreetings All!

I’m happy to announce that The Power of Words is now available as an audiobook!

What that means is I now have free Audible download codes for both Caught (I have 17 of those left) and The Power of Words (25 free copies just waiting for a willing listener).  I think Lisa Negron and J.M. Needham did a fantastic job.

Ok, so you might be wondering what happened to TW Ashworth. As it turned out we weren’t a good fit. He’s a pro’s pro and was working hard to help us align our creative vision, but we couldn’t get on the same page, so we amicably decided to part ways. J.M. came in on short notice and did a wonderful job under an insane deadline.

If you’re interested in either (or both) audiobooks, please don’t hesitate to email me or PM me on either Facebook or Twitter. I’d love it if you’d give these books a chance.

Thanks for reading,
Matt

Finishing on a High Note! Baltimore ComicCon Was Amazing!

Finishing on a High Note! Baltimore ComicCon Was Amazing!

Greetings all,

I’ve been pretty busy with all of the new things going on, but now I have a moment or two to talk about what went on at the Baltimore ComicCon, which was the last stop on my 2018 tour.

The short version, it was without-a-doubt the most successful convention I’ve ever done. I mean this by every measurable standard.

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Bre picked up The Power of Words and never put it down. Then she geeked out with my fiancee over Wicket purses.

First, I had copies of The Power of Words on hand, and they flew off the table! I already have some reviews and ratings, and I’ll share those here in the next few weeks.

 

Conventions are always fun, but when you combine the normal fun with a positive number of new readers, it’s honestly such a great boost emotionally.

I sold out of The Power of Words. I almost sold out of every book I have, which has never come close to happening.

This year as a whole was pretty rough in a lot of ways. With conventions, I had a few where I only managed a handful of sales. I met more new readers at this event than all the rest of my tour combined (and then some)!

I feel truly blessed that so many people showed an interest in my work. I’m grateful to God for his glorious blessing and, more so, sending so many wonderful, kind people to meet me and give a silly dreamer’s work a try.

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Mykel got The Power of Words as well as Caught and The Journals of Bob Drifter. Then we had a lengthy, fantastic conversation about writing. 

I thank all of you who stopped by the table and picked up a book (or three). I truly hope you enjoyed them, and I’d love to see your reviews and/or ratings. Even if they’re critical, any feedback is good, and any review is wonderful.

 

That concludes my 2018 tour on just such a wonderful note. My fiancee and I are planning ways to put build on life together, and that means slowing down a touch on conventions for next year. We’re making decisions on which ones (and there won’t be many) we feel we have to attend, and I’ll get that information to you once we make those decisions.

As always, I’m just so happy to know people are out there who even feel like giving these books a chance. You have my promise I’ll keep working to get better and deliver stories I feel are entertaining and hard to put down.

Thank you for supporting my dream.

Thank you for being such great people.

Thank you, as always, for reading!

Matt

The Art of a Heist: A Few Tricks For Outlining

The Art of a Heist: A Few Tricks For Outlining

Greetings all,

Power of Words Cover_FRONT_EBOOKSince The Power of Words is up and running, I thought I’d take a moment to talk about a method of plotting.

Plotting is a tool I and other authors use to plan out how the story unfolds, and a heist story, is a specific type of plot.

When I started writing my contribution to The Power of Words, I saw in my imagination a mother who had to pay insane amounts of money just to be able to say, “I love you” to her daughter. That gave birth to the idea of this mother hatching a scheme to shut down the system that regulates the Communication Act of 3748.

I did some research (some would call it binge watching Leverage, but I call it research). This led me to believe there are key plot points in any good heist story.

now-you-see-me-01
Screen image of Now You See Me for study purposes under Fair Use Doctrine. 

One: Introduce the team.  Different stories do this in different ways, but nothing really starts until the readers meet the team.  Ocean’s 11 spends the first quarter of the movie on this while Now you See Me spends about five minutes. But this is the first real part in any heist story.

Two: The plan.  Now this is a debatable part of the plot as sometimes the ultimate plan is hidden.  For instance, in Now You See Me, no one really knew what they were ultimately up to, but I argue the viewers still clearly knew that team was after a Robin Hood angle. Sure, the ultimate plan was hidden, but there’s usually some identification of what the team is after.  In Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn: The Final Empire, he just came right out and said it. Again, there was a mystery here in that the readers didn’t know the real plan (more on that later), but there was a clear objective stated. Ocean’s 11 did this as well.

5b1af9135e48ec46008b46a4-750-375
Screen shot of Ocean’s 11 for study purposes under Fair Use Doctrine.

Three: The confrontation of the antagonist.  Most stories do this in a blunt way. The brains of the outfit and the cop or mark face of in a direct manner. There’s even usually a dare of some sort.  Ocean’s 11 shows this when Danny Ocean faces Terry Benedict.

Four: The weak link. Most heist stories identify some sort of flaw or hole in the plan. It’s usually a person, but can sometimes be a fulcrum on which the plan hinges. Yen get’s injured in Ocean’s 11. Jack Wilder dies. The other way this happens is when there is a character who seems like a bad fit for the team.  Ocean’s 11 actually does this too in that Linus seems at times antagonistic.

Five: The collapse. There might be some who want to insert “the rehearsal” before this, and I wouldn’t immediately argue.  I’d like to state, however, that while a number of heist stories have a rehearsal (Gone in 60 Seconds, Inception), this is more something many heist stories do, but it’s not what I would call a requirement. However, if you’re writing a heist story, you need everything to fall apart. The trick is, it has to sell.  You need the viewer/reader to be ultimately convinced that the plan failed and the movie/book is about to end on a downer.  This usually happens with the team caught or taken down (Ocean’s 11). It sometimes happens when the object in question seems gone or missing (Inception). Either way, everything has to fall apart spectacularly.

Six: (The Most Important) The twist. And this is what makes or breaks a heist story. You need that plot point that has the reader saying, “I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN!” It can’t be forced. It has to be unpredictable without being unbelievable. It has to be something that the reader can connect either just before or right as the twist happens.  In The Final Empire, we learn that the plan wasn’t really the plan we thought it was. In Ocean’s 11 (and honestly most other heist stories) we realize that getting caught was actually a part of the plan. Some do both. If this is satisfying, then you’ll have readers singing your praises. If it doesn’t work, well, there’s always the next story. Right?

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Screen image from Leverage for study purposes under Fair Use Doctrine.

Seven: The victory lap. Once the loot is distributed or just as the opponent realizes he’s lost, the crew has to have their moment in the sun. Leverage actually has the team inevitably find some way to obscurely smirk at the mark as he’s taken away in cuffs. The Now You See Me crew get’s a literal final sendoff. Sometimes it’s more subtle. The victory lap in The Final Empire is actually a letter. Here the author is letting the brains of the outfit or the outfit as a whole gloat for a moment.

So there you have it.  I’d challenge anyone to watch any great heist movie and identify these seven plot points or (a thing I truly challenge you won’t be able to do) show any heist story in which one of these moments is missing.

Do I think Stealing Freedom, my contribution to The Power of Words, holds up? Honestly, yeah! I’m darn proud of this story. I won’t be so egotistical as to say it’s as good as any of these, but I think the twist (hehe, singular? No, my friend, I mean to say, twists) are immensely satisfying. You could of course buy the anthology, read the story, and judge for yourself.

Thank you for reading,

Matt

 

Book Launch on Facebook!

Book Launch on Facebook!

Hey all,

 

We Power of Words anthology authors are doing a Facebook Book Launch event.  We’ll have giveaways and nerd fun.  We’d love you to stop by and join the fun!

 

https://m.facebook.com/events/351062748769643/

Hope to see you there!

V/R

Matt

Let Baltimore ComicCon Begin!

Let Baltimore ComicCon Begin!

Greetings all,

Occupation_Words_Caught_PROMOI won’t be posting on Saturday because today I’m off to Baltimore ComicCon! I’m looking forward to the last stop in my 2018 tour, and it’s been great.  I’ll be particularly stoked because of a few deals I’m running.

Most awesome is that I have 19 (I sold one already) physical copies of The Power of Words, the e-book of which is still available for preorder for just 99 cents. This will be my first event with thee books on the table, and I’m excited to see how it does.

In addition to that, I have a few other e-books I’m offering at discounted rates. An Unusual Occupation will be available for 99 cents.  Caught will also be 99 cents.

I always try to make my work accessible and affordable, especially during conventions.  I hope you’ll decide to give one of these books a try.

I also hope to see some of you out there. I’d love to sign a book or just hear your thoughts about my work.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Preorder The Power of Words!

Preorder The Power of Words!

Power of Words Cover_FRONT_EBOOKGreetings all,

I mentioned this once, briefly, on a Book Cover of the Month post, but I wanted to give the announcement it’s own bit of air time.

The Power of Words is available for preorder for 99 cents. 

As those who follow my blog know, I’m a goal oriented man.  My goal for this anthology is 100 preorders.

I’d have to admit, even 20 preorders would be good. This helps us out in a lot of ways. When the book goes live, if we get enough preorders, it helps out our ranking, and we’d love to see this book in the #1 spot for Science Fiction Anthologies.

I hope you’ll help me reach my goal. It would mean a lot.

But let’s talk about this great book.

Author-Photo-1080-PX-1024x683
Richard T. Drake

AMAZON BLURB:

 

In the beginning, there was the word.

Some religions state that the very universe was created by words. The nation of America was founded using words. Words established the rights and freedoms this nation enjoys. The first of those rights is freedom of speech, which implies so much more than the right to use words.

This anthology contains four stories from four authors. Each story pays tribute to either the ideals held by America’s First Amendment or to the concept that the words people use hold power.

These authors took the concept of words, and placed it in futuristic, apocalyptic, and fantasy settings:

TW Iain creates a world where citizens only seek to hear the words of others rather than consider their own.

Richard T. Drake crafts a world where a leader must speak for the underprivileged masses who simply can not speak for themselves.

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Heidi Angell

Heidi Angell tells of a world where humanity itself is dying, and a man strives to preserve what he can in hope that any who survive will have something with which to remember the world that was.

M.L.S. Weech brings to life a world where words were taken from society, and a mother plots to give those words back if only for her daughter to be able to speak.

The word was the beginning, but it will never end.

 

END BLURB

I’ll be reblogging and sharing stops on a blog tour we’re participating in. We’ve already gotten some love from J.R. Handley and Rainne’s Ramblings. Please check out those posts for some real fun and revealing interviews. We have more on the way, but this is a great start.

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TW Iain

I don’t think I could be more proud of a project. This started out as a flash of inspiration for my own contribution, Stealing Freedom. I was joined by three wonderful authors, and I’d put these four stories against any others out there.

I hope you’ll all decide to give it a try.

Thanks for reading,

Matt