Saturday, April 30, 2011

Release Eve Thoughts

Eternal Knight has been a project 23 years in the making.

That's a helluva long time, Matt, some of you are thinking.


I started Eternal Knight in college. I had two primary inspirations for starting a novel...

1) I had just finished a fantasy trilogy that I was supremely disappointed with. I had read the author before, and liked his books. But this trilogy felt mailed in. I never felt any threat for the main characters. They were just too powerful (and too good) to die. After griping about it for a while, I thought it was time to put up, or shut up. Could I do better?

No, I will not tell you who the author was.

2) My second motivation was Star Wars. I have always believed that Luke Skywalker should have turned to the Dark Side. I'll save my defense for this proposition for some other time. It did, however, give me the start for a novel. I would write a fantasy novel in which the "Luke Skywalker" character would turn to the Dark Side.

Did I just give away the most important plot element of Eternal Knight? Nope! The book has changed a lot in 23 years. The world is the same, the underlying threat is the same, but the story is nothing like it was back then. 

 I won't take you though all 23 years of writing Eternal Knight. (You're welcome.) I'll just say that the early years were marked by tremendous doubt that I had the skill to write a fantasy novel. I kept comparing myself to JRR Tolkien and realizing that I could never write like he did. And if I couldn't write like Tolkien, I couldn't write fantasy. 

Half way through Eternal Knight I gave up and write a science fiction novel. Voila! The problem of having to write as well as Tolkien was eliminated. Unfortunately, the sci-fi novel was not good. The story was fine, but the writing was not. But the experience did help me grow as a writer. It also showed me that I could finish a full-length novel. 

With renewed confidence, I returned to Eternal Knight. I loved the story too much to let it slip away. And, with more maturity, I realized that there was no requirement in the fantasy genre to write like Tolkien. With the help of  some great critique partners, I managed (with many fits and starts) to complete Eternal Knight. Over a period of several years I sent three volleys of query letters out to agents, each without success. 

I waited and waited for "the call". It never arrived. But I couldn't bear to let Eternal Knight die on my hard drive. I had too much faith in it. So I decided to self-publish. It wasn't an easy decision. When you decide to self-publish you paint a great big target on your chest. After all, you have just declared yourself worthy of publication. You have just ignored all of the gatekeepers in the publishing world. And when you declare yourself worthy, you have to be prepared for those who are going to take aim at you. 

And so I find myself here, releasing Eternal Knight to the world. I couldn't be happier. And before I go further, I must say that I couldn't have done this alone. I thought of reprinting my acknowledgements page here, but decided against it. I want the people on that page to have the experience of reading their names in the book. But to everyone who has helped or encouraged me...

Thank you!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Eternal Knight Trailer

One of my (fantastic) students created this Eternal Knight commercial. Thanks, Anil!

Perfect timing! The Eternal Knight virtual book release party is this Sunday, May 1st, from 7-9 PM EST. I'll be giving away signed books and revealing the rules for a Kindle/Nook/Amazon gift card contest.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Four days until Eternal Knight is officially released!

Join us on Sunday night from 7-9PM EST for a virtual release party. FREE BOOKS!

I'll also announce a Kindle/Nook/Amazon gift card contest. 

And don't forget the June 4th real-world book release party at Wissahickon High School.

Of course, I couldn't wait and pre-ordered a stack of books. I hand-sold 27 copies today. Still not tired of signing books! And I don't see getting tired of it any time soon. That's $135 for WEOF and Cure CMD! More to come...

Friday, April 22, 2011

Nine Days and Counting

Nine days until the official release of Eternal Knight!

What do I have in store for you?

May 1st: Virtual Release Party from 7-9 PM EST. I will be hanging around my blog, my Facebook author page, and twitter answering questions and giving away free copies of Eternal Knight. I will also be starting a month-long contest with the first prize of a Kindle, a Nook, or a $100 Amazon gift card!

June 4th: Book Release Party from 2-4 PM EST in the Wissahickon High School Audion in Ambler, PA. We will have snacks for sale (all proceeds going to WEOF and Cure CMD). There will also be live music provided by John Conahan. I will have copies of Eternal Knight for sale and will give a short book talk/thank you speech.

I hope to see all of you at both events!


Monday, April 18, 2011

A Note to my Family, Friends, and Fans

Eternal Knight will be coming out very soon. It will appear first as a paperback in my CreateSpace store. (CreateSpace is Amazon's print on demand subsidiary.) Soon after, it will be available in its Amazon Kindle version, and then as a paperback on Amazon. A few weeks later it will be available via virtually every eBook distributor. The official release date is still May 1st, and I am 100% certain it will be widely available at that point in time.

A lot of you have wished me the best in this endeavor, and I am very appreciative of all the support. As you know, I am self-publishing Eternal Knight. This means I could really use your support. There are a number of ways you can help Eternal Knight be a success.

1) Each of you needs to buy about 50 copies in a variety of formats.
2) Rate and review EK wherever you bought it. (And on other sites as well.)
3) Blog about it.
4) Tweet about it.
5) Facebook about it.
6) Talk it up.
7) Buy a few more copies.

What Eternal Knight needs is buzz. There is no publishing house putting advertising money behind EK. Its success will be driven by its readers.

Do I want you to tell everyone how much you liked it? Hell, yes! Do I want you to lie about it? NO! Please be genuine in your support. If you think it rates 5 stars, by all means give it five stars. If you think it deserves 3 stars, some good comments, and a few (gentle) rebukes, go right ahead. If you think it deserves 1 star, well, don't you have something better to do than reviewing books? Turn off the computer and take a nice walk.

People browsing through Amazon will know a fake, dolled-up review. Don't do it.

As most of you know, I am giving all of the profits from Eternal Knight to charity until August 1st, 2011. Here's how you can get your charity dollars to go the longest distance:

In paperback:
1) Buy it from me in person. Not only do you save shipping, but I can buy the books at wholesale.
2) Buy it from my CreateSpace store.
3) Buy it from
4) Buy it from any other retailer. (This option actually pays almost nothing to charity.)

In eBook: Almost 70% of every purchase will go to charity. It doesn't really matter which eBook retailer you buy it from.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

The "Final" Proof

 Just received the "final" proof copy of Eternal Knight in the mail today.

"Final" because I might find something wrong with it and have to resubmit it... ***argh***  My fingers are crossed that we don't find any flaws.

No problem. We still have time before the official launch. And I'd rather catch those last few mistakes  than rush in and print 250 flawed copies.

I'd show you a copy, but...

Helen took the only copy and won't give it back. Comet is happy. They won't move from that couch for hours.

I worked on the Kindle version today. A few kinks, but they'll be worked out. My friend, Mike Shultz, is a whiz when it comes to fixing technical glitches, so we'll figure it out soon. By the way, if you haven't read his writing advice, you need to get over to his site.

Still on target for a May 1st book launch. Seventeen days away!

It looks like we'll be holding a BOOK RELEASE PARTY in the Wissahickon High School Audion lobby on June 4th from 2-4 PM. John Conahan will be performing the entire play list from his awesome Better off by Myself album. This fact is reason enough to go to the party! Mark your calendar. Everyone is invited.

More soon!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Book Release in 23 Days!

Just a quick update on how things are going...

1) Finalize cover.
2) Write acknowledgments.
3) Write "about the author".
4) Get map back from artist. >I have my own map ready just in case.
5) Finish back cover text.
6) Get two blurbs from (kind-hearted) authors.
7) Set up social media.
8) Format text for Kindle, Apple, and Nook. >Did a test run. No problem.
9) Prepare for release party/event. >Will probably be held June 4th.
10) Contact local newspapers.
11) Learn more about marketing. >Working on it.
12) Upload final copy for printing. >Just days away. Finishing final proof read now.
13) Order books. How many? >Still don't know about this one.
14) Reveal secret big announcement.  All profits go to charity.

I am still on target for the May 1st release. Getting very psyched!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Cover Unveiling

Here it is! Eternal Knight's cover!

It was done by Ken Hendrix at crowdSPRING. I LOVE THIS COVER! I can only hope the quality of my writing matches the quality of the cover...

Here it is, front and back:

I have my cover. My proofreaders are mostly finished. The map is on its way. We are getting very close.