Thursday, April 21, 2022

Green Wyvern Publication Day

Happy birthday to The Green Wyvern! It's publication day!

Here's the blurb...

Baron Theodus of Sursival arrives at the Green Wyvern Inn to tell his life story. Each night, he returns to regale the townspeople with tales of monsters, treasure, foes, and friends. And when his story is done, he says he will leave his subjects, never to return.

To most people, the baron’s name is Bull. He is a giant of a man. They say the great warrior has never been defeated in battle, but he will tell you those tales are lies. He has come to set the record straight and promises to tell the whole story of his life: victories and losses alike.

Tonight, he will tell the tale of his road to adventure. It starts with a goblin raid that leaves Bull, his sister, and his mother as penniless refugees on a perilous journey. The trials that follow push Bull to the very edge of human endurance.



The Green Wyvern is set in the same world as the five novels of The Orb, however, it takes place five hundred years later. For those who haven't read The Orb, don't worry, you don't need to have read the previous books to thoroughly enjoy The Green Wyvern.

The Green Wyvern was actually born out of a Dungeons and Dragons campaign. A group of my friends joined me for a campaign in which I was the Dungeon Master. I set the game in the world of The Orb (which all of them had read). I thought it would be a blast to run a game in a fantasy world that I'd created. 

I was right. It was awesome. 

The campaign was very story-driven, and as it went on I kept a very careful journal of everything that transpired. Not only that, but my players created an awesome cast of characters. Well, when the campaign ended, I just couldn't let the story go. I had to turn it into a novel. 

No, The Green Wyvern is not simply a log of our D&D adventures. In fact, the story is heavily modified from the campaign. The characters are as well. The way I'd put it is that the book is inspired by our D&D campaign. 

Are there more Green Wyvern novels to come? 

Absolutely? There will be two to three more in the series. And they should come pretty quickly. In fact, I should get back to writing right now. 


Friday, March 25, 2022

Green Wyvern Cover Art

 Here it is! The full-color cover art for The Green Wyvern: Volume One. I'm posting it today because The Green Wyvern is now available for pre-order on Amazon. I've set the pre-order price at $.99 so that friends, family, and fans can pick it up at a low price. The ebook price will rise to $3.49 after the release date on April 21st. 


The cover art is by Dallas Williams. He's a wonderful artist to work with. I couldn't be happier with the work he did on this cover--and all my other covers for that matter. 

The Green Wyvern was my favorite novel to write so far. I really enjoyed writing in the first-person point of view. I'm looking forward to diving into the next book in the series. 

Here's a link to The Green Wyvern on Amazon. I hope you enjoy it!

The Green Wyvern: Volume One

Sunday, March 6, 2022

Progress Report and Kindle Unlimited

 


Hello everyone!

I made a big decision a while ago. Instead of publishing my "Bull" novellas as individual books, I decided to collect them together and put them out as a single novel in four parts. It will be published as The Green Wyvern

You can see a rough draft of the cover for The Green Wyvern above. The artwork is by Dallas Williams, the same artist who did the work on The Orb series. He's been fantastic to work with and has knocked it out of the park again. I love his work. 

I've been making great progress and expect to publish The Green Wyvern in mid-April. I've also decided to do a publishing experiment and will join the Kindle Unlimited program. This means that my books will be available exclusively through Amazon. I'll lose all of my sales on Apple, Barnes and Noble, and Google, but the increased visibility on Amazon should result in more sales overall. That's the experiment, at least. I'll try it for six months and see what happens. 

If you buy my books from non-Amazon sellers, you'll have a week to pick up any books you haven't yet read. They will still be available to your e-readers even if my books aren't sold at those establishments any longer. 

Hope you're all doing well! All my best,
Matt



Thursday, June 24, 2021

Artifact Space

 

Artifact Space is one of the best science fiction novels I’ve ever read.

I’ve been a fan of Miles (Christian) Cameron for some time. He brings the same great storytelling and world-building to his science fiction that I’ve experienced in his fantasy and historical fiction.

Cameron is a terrific storyteller. In Artifact Space, we follow Marca Nbaro, a troubled orphan who illegally gains a commission as a junior officer on a massive Greatship. Nbaro is a great protagonist, and Cameron does a wonderful job with her development over the course of the novel.

When I say Greatship, think supercarrier crossed with a giant container ship. The Greatships are massive merchant ships and are the lifeblood of human civilization. Cameron served in the United States Navy as an intelligence officer and crewmember of an S-3 Viking. These experiences shine through in his realistic depiction of life on a massive spaceship. One of the things I most love about Cameron’s books is how he brings out the details of life (clothing, training, technology, social structure, economics, and more) without lecturing the audience. Everything comes out organically in the story and adds tremendous depth to the world he’s creating.  

Artifact Space is a grittier, more realistic style of science fiction. It’s not magical fantasy (Star Wars) in space. Cameron pays attention to physics, Newtonian laws, and realistic technology (The Expanse). It is a style I much prefer in my science fiction.

I’m not going to go into the details of the story. I’ll just say that it is part spy thriller, military space epic, and space exploration novel in one package. Cameron makes it all work together seamlessly. I give Artifact Space my highest recommendation.


Sunday, May 17, 2020

Bull and the Goblin Raid

Surprise! I wrote another book!

I wasn’t planning on releasing a book so quickly after The Emerald Gate, but fate forced my hand. I’ve had Bull and the Goblin Raid ready to go for some time now, but was going to wait and give some spacing between it and The Emerald Gate. I also wanted to work on the sequel to Bull as it is a serialized novel and I want to publish on a fairly rapid pace. However, the Self Published Fantasy Blog Off just announced that they opening for entries next Saturday, and I can’t miss this opportunity. SPFBO is a fantastic writing contest for self-published authors.



I am extremely excited about Bull and the Goblin Raid. It is based in the same world as my The Orb novels, but is set 500 years later. Hadde, Ayja, Telea, Nidon, and the others are historical figures to the characters in Bull. You don’t have to have read any of my other novels in order to read Bull.

Bull and the Goblin Raid is different from how I’ve written before in a couple of ways. Bull is written in the first person. I can’t express how much I enjoyed writing in the first person. It was a fantastic, refreshing way to tell a story. The voice of Bull is unlike anything I’ve ever written. Bull and the Goblin Raid is also a short novel. It is 44,000 words long. Eternal Knight was 115,000 and The Dromost Gate was 200,000 by comparison. 40,000 words is really the minimum length you can write and still call a book a novel. By the way, Bull is only available as an ebook. Once I’ve written four Bull books, I’ll bundle them and turn them into a paperback.

The premise of the Bull novels is that an aged warrior who has come to The Green Wyvern Inn to tell the story of his life. Each night Bull will return to tell a little more of his life’s story. Each book of the series is another night of storytelling. Bull and the Goblin Raid tells the tale of his life up until Bull is seventeen and his life is turned upside down my a major life event.

The event may, or may not, be a goblin raid.

I hope you check it out. I am so excited for this book. And if you enjoy it, please leave a review on your favorite bookseller’s website. Reviews are hugely important for independent authors.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Release Day!

Release Day!

Today I'm celebrating the official release of The Emerald Gate. The Emerald Gate is the fifth (and final) book of The Orb fantasy series.



To make it extra special, I've discounted the ebook of Eternal Knight (book one) to free and Child of the Knight (book two) to $.99.

It's been a long journey. I started writing Eternal Knight in 1988! It's an amazing, wonderful feeling to complete something that's been a part of my life for such a long time.

The Orb might be drawing to a close, but I have more books on the way in the very near future. If you haven't read my books, this is a perfect opportunity to start!

Enjoy!


Sunday, April 12, 2020

Emerald Gate Countdown

As the new year rolled around I decided I needed to make some changes. Writing had to take a higher priority and goofing off had to be moved down the list. It didn't hurt that I'd just started writing Bull and the Goblin Raid (more about that in a later post) and was loving it. Writing in the first person was a fun, refreshing change. So I said goodbye to my spaceships in EVE Online and said hello to Scrivener (writing software)

Part of my transformation involved getting back to my habit of tracking my work on spreadsheets.






I love my spreadsheets. They keep me motivated and on track. For this one I added an "Hours Editing" column and for my "Adjusted Average" word count calculation I counted one hour of editing, proofreading, and other book work as 500 words written. I'm trying to keep the Adjusted Average over 1,000 words per day.

A lot of my time has been spent on Bull and the Iron Band, book two in The Green Wyvern series I've just started. While I've been writing my new series, The Emerald Gate has been out with my beta readers and editors.

We're in the homestretch now. The final copies of The Emerald Gate have been sent out to the publishers and are available for pre-order now. The actual release date is April 23rd. It's just a little more than a week away.

I'm very excited for the publication of The Emerald Gate. It is the last book of The Orb and represents the end of a writing adventure that began my sophomore year in college over twenty years ago. No, not the end of all my writing! I have a lot of stories left to tell. It's the end of a major odyssey, though. I've written a complete, five novel, epic fantasy series. It feels good.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Emerald Gate Printout


Just printed out the finished draft of The Emerald Gate! Cat tail... because cats.

I will deliver it to my mom for a first proofread before putting it into book form and sending it off to my “Alpha Readers.” This is a change from my usual process. I’m tired of sending off manuscripts I think are well proofread, only to discover they’re riddled with errors. This time, I hit it with Grammarly and am sending it to my sharp-eyed mom, before my Alphas see it.

The Alphas will give it a good story (and writing) critique before I send it off to my Betas. The Betas will give me a “reader’s eye view” of the book, and will hopefully catch any grammar errors that have slipped through the process.

I’m hoping for a January 15th publication date. This is the fifth (and last) book in The Orb series!

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

New Mulan Movie

The teaser trailer for Mulan looks great! I love that they're not going to a 100% remake of the animated movie (like they did for Beauty and the Beast) and are instead trying to stay true(r) to the original Mulan legend. That means no Mushu the Dragon or song and dance routines. I know some people are upset about those changes, but if you want them, just watch the original animated movie. So far, I'm really looking forward to the movie.



Here's my one small complaint... and it's one I have with almost any movie that includes archery. Why can they NEVER get archery right? Bows strung backwards, incorrect technique, shooting three arrows at a time, ridiculous results... the archer in my cringes at what I see.

In my novels I try very hard to maintain the willing suspension of disbelief for my readers. That means keeping things realistic. WHAT? REALISTIC? BUT YOU WRITE FANTASY NOVELS!

The willing suspension of disbelief mean creating a world that follows rules. Yes, there are magic and monsters in my world. And I worked very hard to explain their existence and to give them a realistic framework they must operate under in that world. Breaking the framework (the "rules of the world") means losing that willing suspension of disbelief in the reader.

Not only do I try to be "realistic" in my creation of fantasy elements of the story, but I try my best to be realistic in my depiction of the non-fantasy elements. Things like technology, weapons, fighting styles, economics, politics, and the climate. In order to keep a reader of viewer absorbed in your story, you have to keep everything within the story consistent with the rules of the universe the story is set in.

When I started writing Eternal Knight I knew a lot about archery, but I didn't know everything I needed to know. So I started doing research. That research led to me taking up archery and even bow making.

The problem is that every time I see bows depicted in movies or books, I can help but to become an instant critic. This pulls me out of the moment and I lose my willing suspension of disbelief. I'm no longer absorbed in the story because my mind is cringing at what I'm looking at.



So what's wrong with Mulan's archery? (And, by the way, the most famous Hunger Games promo photo is far worse). 1) She's using a Mediterranean/European draw (drawing the string with her fingers) instead of an Asiatic draw (drawing with her thumb/thumb ring). 2) The Mediterranean draw only uses three fingers and you don't wrap your knuckles around the entire string. 3) The Mediterranean draw places the arrow on the other side of the bow. 4) Bad form. Raise that elbow!

I guess it's just not worth the expense to get archery right in movies. They figure that the number of people who will notice is not worth the effort of getting it right. But how much effort would it take to get it right? An hour of instruction with your actors would make a huge difference.

In conclusion:
1) I'm really looking forward to the movie.
2) I'm very happy with the changes from the animated movie.
3) The willing suspension of disbelief is really important to me.
4) Mulan (and every other movie) gets archery wrong. (Please tell me of a book or movie where they get it right).
5) I'll just cringe my way through the archery, because the movie looks like it's going to be great.

Wow, that really escalated! I thought I was going to write a paragraph about the new Mulan movie.

Have a great day!

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Bad Blogger!

Wow! I'm a bad blogger!

What have I been up to?

I've been editing The Emerald Gate, which has involved some chapter rewrites as inspiration has required. I'm very happy with the book, but somewhat unhappy with the pace of progress. I find editing harder to do on a consistent basis, unlike writing. With writing I can sit down at a set time every day and make progress. Editing... is different. Editing is done in fits and starts and can be much more difficult as you work to improve what you've already done.

I've also been playing a lot of Dungeons and Dragons. By "a lot" I mean once a week for three hours. But as Dungeon Master there's a lot of prep work that goes into it. The good news is that my turn as DM is coming to a close and my buddy Mike is about to take over. Time to pull out my character sheet and become reacquainted with my elf Paladin/Bard, Keldan Faesuun.

I've also been doing teacher stuff, dad stuff, husband stuff, and homeowner stuff. I'm seriously going to have no problem being a retired person (someday). There's always something to do. There's always so much I want to do. I need more hours in my day.

When will The Emerald Gate be published? I'm wary to give a  date as I'm so often wrong. This fall seems like a good answer. With the school year coming to an end and Amelia heading off to climbing camp, I'm going to have a lot more writing time available to me in the near future. I'm looking forward to digging into the book and making some real progress.