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How to Forget to be Afraid

Posted by on 3:23 pm in Random | 2 comments

How to Forget to be Afraid

In honor of getting back to my creative roots, I’m taking things slow. It’s easier to build up momentum that way. I wholeheartedly agree with jumping in with both feet, usually, but this time, things feel like a slow-burn approach. Mostly because jumping in feels foreign and uncomfortable. It’s not something I’m used to anymore. In fact, it feels like something I’ve never done, even though I know that isn’t true. So I keep telling myself this is the way to do it. Don’t guilt yourself into it. Don’t feel bad if you don’t. Do what feels right. Even though I know once I get going, it will feel right. It’ll feel normal…for the first time in a long time. If I know that, why does it feel hard? Why does it feel like I’m a hack? Like a wannabe? Why is it uncomfortable to sit down and create? That, my friends, is the question. A slow-burn approach, ( i.e. only utilizing writing when it feels good) isn’t extremely productive when it comes to word count. This I know. But it allows me to do what I love to do most before a world unfolds; daydream. Often times I won’t talk to anyone about a book I’m working on. Not in the early stages. I have a strange legend-like fear that tells me if I voice the idea too soon, it may leave. Maybe it hasn’t grown roots in my soul yet and all it takes is a whisper to allow it to escape, never to be seen again. Foolish? Perhaps. But not a risk I’m willing to take. Maybe I just want to keep it to myself for a little while longer. That seems equally as likely. When I’m ready to talk, it’s either because I have it all figured out and I’m excited, or more often than not, I’m stuck. I enjoy having a soundboard; someone to talk about my ideas with. They don’t even need to speak or provide me with the answers. I just need to talk and the problems resolve themselves, or the ideas unfold in a natural way. In some cases, I need feedback on what I’m thinking or where I’m stuck. With that in mind, an interesting thing happened to me on the weekend. As you know, it’s been a few years and then some since I published a novel. In that time, it appears my oldest little girl has grown up. They both have, in fact, quite a bit more than I’m comfortable with, but alas, such is life. I digress. With the knowledge of my oldest having grown up seemingly overnight, an interesting thing happened. She became a part of the soundboard system. Usually, it’s me and my wife, but this time, she jumped right in too. I guess she’s old enough to partake now. Who knew? So here we are, sitting at the kitchen table, and I’m emptying my brain of all the ideas, some of which are written down, others are drawn; some residing in my head permanently. In the midst of it, my oldest daughter starts rapid-firing questions at me. Whoa. Normally I don’t like questions about my story when I’m still trying to figure it out. Not because they’re not legitimate questions, they are, but because...

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Restart, resume, or a bit of both?

Posted by on 5:13 pm in Random | 10 comments

Restart, resume, or a bit of both?

I’ve been online and offline the past few years with everything up in the air. I often ask myself why? Why have I been ignoring my website, my books, social media outlets, and creative writing in general? It’s a question I’ve let plague me for years. I try to answer it and get inspired, and the circle of excitement, doubt, and then nothingness follows. It usually starts with an urge to make something. I want to: draw, or write, or sing, or…something. I want to create. I want to create something awesome, or great, sometimes I’d even accept a simple ‘good.’ This is followed by indecisiveness on which creative path to follow in that instant. Time goes by, I think some more of what I want to do, and then I announce internally that it’s too late to start anything now. Let the TV watching or video game gaming commence. Other times I just go to bed early. I’ve watched as fellow authors have come and gone from the industry, choosing instead another adventure. Although not active, I’m generally watching. Of course, only in a non-creepy way… I’ve let myself feel immense guilt over not writing. Over ignoring something I once loved. I told myself I wouldn’t be able to reach the stature and sales I once had. The landscape of publishing changes quickly, and if you’re not watching you might miss something. I did miss something. I missed the fact that I didn’t start writing to have a career and make a living. I was fortunate in that I was able to do that for a time, but I let that dream go in search of a life with less solitude. Throughout the entirety of my inner dialogue, I forgot the fact that I love to write. I write for me. That’s what makes my books so special. They’re a passion come to life. In addition, I missed the fact that I could’ve made a social life whilst maintain a writing life. I missed a great many things. But the best part of this crazy little thing we call life is that nothing is certain, and certainly nothing is permanent. It’s never too late. Writing, publishing, and creating, in general, is a choice. It’s something you do with intent, whether you know where the path is leading or not, you intend to create. Sometimes it’s a mess of paint on canvas not truly resembling anything, yet somehow it makes you feel something. What? That’s as much in the eye of the beholder as anything. Sometimes it’s a mess of words you can’t decipher, but it could be something, maybe. If you add this or move this here, or add a little of that. All I know for sure is that I miss the clickity-clack of the keys. I miss the rhythm of words and sentences bouncing off the keyboard. I miss more than anything watching a world unfold before me. I miss the creating part. And so I’ve decided I shall. I recently got myself up and running on a new laptop. The key travel is a little different than I’m used to, but I’m slowly getting accustomed to it. It feels good; just tapping the keys out in a row. I love it. It’s like the smell...

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A New Dawn…or Something

Posted by on 10:08 am in Matty Says, Random, Writing | Comments Off on A New Dawn…or Something

A New Dawn…or Something

In my lack of attention to the blog, I realize reviewing the comments section here that I receive a lot of spam. I deleted well over a hundred comments that were garbage links. It reminds to use this space more constructively. Disappearing for months at a time helps no one, myself included. Which means I need to think of ways to use the blog that work for me. It’s not a place simply to talk about my books, because let’s be honest, there aren’t that many of them. It isn’t a place to promise more books, again, because I don’t write full-time anymore. But it is a place for me to write. To tell the bits of story that fill my mind but don’t have a place in a book, at least not yet. Perhaps one day. Today, after a short hiatus I took to educate myself on a few things, I emerge from the dim light of my reading nook a new man, or, at the very least, a man reminded of all the beauty language holds. In these moments I rediscovered a many great things. First, I don’t read nearly enough. That’s a sad truth; I love the written word, and the story writers produce with little more than a recognized language and an understanding of vision. Second, I don’t keep myself spurring forward with creative output. When I’m not writing a new book, my mind wanders aimlessly from one Fantasy world to another. I dream of fire and magic spurring in skies that dance with Northern Lights, and I find myself elsewhere. To an ancient forest, the dirt padded with the footprints of soldiers. Their gods abandoned them in a time of need, and the mythical forces behind their demons overpowered their armies. It’s fun, that is for certain, but a world uncreated is left in the imagination. Therefore, going forward, I’ll be using my blog as a creative outlet to spit ideas. Some will stay here and live for as long as the website is running. But a few might hold the potential as the hunting grounds for new stories I plan to tell. Only time will tell. One of the more important things I’ve learned the past few weeks is that whether reading fiction, or a book on craft, I have much to learn. This is a fact I refuted for no other reason than arrogance. I didn’t want to have much to learn. I wanted greatness fresh out of the gate, and as I look back on some of my earlier works, I realize they could have benefited from knowledge I didn’t have at the time. That’s not to discredit them, only to say going forward I have new tools to work with. I find myself, even when stepping away from books on writing, language, style, and craft to discover someone else’s fabricated world, learning. I’m taking things away that I like and don’t like. I note developments and shifts in style that seem odd. In short; I’m learning. I forgot how good that feels. Even now as I type this post, I realize how much I miss the clicking of keys beneath my fingertips. It seems it’s a part of me that I won’t get away from. It’s as much a part as the fantastical images that occupy...

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A Glimmer of Hope

Posted by on 12:10 pm in Rant And Ramble, Writing | 4 comments

Today marks an interesting day. A turning point perhaps. As I’ve allowed myself to struggle the past year on what I wanted to do with writing and publishing, I decided late last week that I didn’t want a life in which writing didn’t exist. I will write, I will publish, and maybe nothing will come of that, but maybe something will. Regardless, the stories that burn inside me continue to churn, and I will follow suit and write them on the digital parchment I’ve done so many times before. Some of them I will publish, some of them I will scrap, and some will be kept just for me, but all of them will be written to the best of my ability. Which brings me to why today is an interesting day. All the decisions of writing aside, today I completed something. Not a word count or a story, no, nothing so grand, but a single chapter. A single first chapter, to be exact. It’s an important milestone for many reasons. In part, it’s important because I’ve tried to write it for months, but anytime I sat down to write I only revised the 8 or so pages I’d already written, never adding more to the end tally. Part of the reason is doubt in my ability to write, part is doubt in my desire to write, and part is fear of failure. Today all of those reasons fell short. They weren’t enough to stop me and I completed it. It’s also a milestone because this story, Sacred Cities, I’ve written many times before. Perhaps that’s why there is so much at stake for me here. The story refuses to die inside me, yet thus far I’ve failed to produce it in the way I dreamed. So today I finished a first chapter that I’m certain is right. It might not be good, and it will most definitely be subject to change, but at the core of what it is and everything it represents, it is right. Today is an important day. A great day even. It marks my first day back after an absence I’m sad to have taken. Today promises nothing, but today I delivered something for myself. Something I have refused to do for a while, and with it comes a chance at gaining forward momentum. Today marks a day I feel proud of myself. Not for word count or writing, but for completion. It’s a day of success, and nothing makes me more eager to create more successes than after a day I’ve already done just that. Something about it makes it seem not so…impossible. It’s not everything, but it’s something, and sometimes a glimmer–no matter how small–is all we...

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Release Day Blitz – Honor (Book 5 NOLA Zombie Series) by Gillian Zane

Posted by on 8:00 am in Author, Blog Events, Cover Reveal, Matty Says | Comments Off on Release Day Blitz – Honor (Book 5 NOLA Zombie Series) by Gillian Zane

Release Day Blitz – Honor (Book 5 NOLA Zombie Series) by Gillian Zane

Today I’m taking part in the Release Day Blitz for Gillian Zane’s new book! If it sounds like something you might enjoy, check it out. And be sure to enter the giveaway below!   The NOLA Zombie series comes to a close with this emotional and action-packed installment. Since the SHTF, Romeo is good at one thing, killing zombies. He doesn’t want to waste his time with anything else. His fellow survivors think of him as a machine and he’s fine with that. There isn’t any time to waste on things, like feelings, or other nonsense. Lena Dervay, former movie star, current walking victim has barely been surviving in a repurposed middle school run by an incompetent Army Lieutenant. She and her group of survivors are as good as dead if they stay put.  When Lena finally gets in touch with Romeo, she knows that if anyone can come in and save the day, it’s him. Problem is, Romeo isn’t the charming, white knight, hero that she remembers. Lena is still drawn to him, though, and as their paths intersect she knows she might not come out intact in the end, body or soul.     Gillian Zane is the author of the NOLA Zombie series. Zane is the pen name of a prominent blogger in the publishing industry, which will remain a mystery unless you Google it. Since she can remember her goal has been to become Master of the Universe and has decided to focus first on the literary world. Things are progressing nicely. Zane has been a freelance writer for the last ten years and has published a few non-fiction works, none of which was very exciting. Zombies are much more exciting and a way for her to combine her two current obsessions, hot boys with guns and Doomsday Prepping. When she isn’t stockpiling MREs (Meal’s Ready to Eat) or researching how to build a cistern on a budget, she’s taking care of her little family and exploring the city that she loves, New Orleans. You can find Gillian Zane on twitter @GillianZane.   Sign up for her newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bmCzWf Web: romance.rocks twitter: @gillianzane facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GillianZaneAuthor/     a Rafflecopter...

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Cover Reveal – Infinite Possibilities

Posted by on 8:00 am in Author, Blog Events, Cover Reveal | Comments Off on Cover Reveal – Infinite Possibilities

Cover Reveal – Infinite Possibilities

Today I get to bring you a cover reveal for a new anthology of YA/NA short stories, brought to you by a group of great people. Check it out below and if you have some time, share the link with your friends! Infinite Possibilities “Pounding from the front door echoed across the room, drowning out the sound of the rain pelting against the window.”    T.J. Burton, Mireille Chester, Robbie Cox, Maggie Dallen, Taylor Dawn, Brandy Jellum, and S.L. Stacker, the authors of Infinite Possibilities, take that sentence and deliver to you seven unique YA/NA short stories filled with romance, action, fantasy, and the paranormal. Individual Story Synopses Medium by T.J. Burton ONE LINE BLURB: Jocelyn Sinclair can see and talk to the dead, but can she help the nephew of the handsome stranger who shows up at her door? FULL SYNOPSIS: Jocelyn Sinclair had known since she was a small girl that she was different. Many called it a gift but she often wondered if it was a curse. Talking to and seeing the dead came at a heavy price. It made it nearly impossible to live a normal life. It did allow her to help people both alive and dead and for that she was thankful. When Ethan knocks on her door on a dark, rainy night, she knows she has to help him. He is as desperate as he is handsome. The spirit that haunts his nephew is stronger than Jocelyn has ever faced before. Can she do it? Tears of the Moons by Mireille Chester ONE LINE BLURB: A search for a lost dog sends Kendra into a world she never knew existed. Will she survive when all she has to rely on is an injured man? FULL SYNOPSIS: When Kendra is woken in the middle of a storm by her neighbor, Sara, the last thing she wants to do is search for the child’s missing dog. After safely locating Max and returning home, Kendra is forced back into the storm to find her phone she dropped during the search. Soaked and nearly frozen from her first outing, the last thing she wants to do is go back out. As she retraces her steps, she soon learns her phone isn’t the only thing she will find. Add in an injured man, a pack of wolves that want them dead, and a new world she never knew existed, Kendra finds herself overwhelmed. It isn’t long before Kendra realizes she knows nothing about this new world, and if she doesn’t keep the injured man alive, she’ll be left to die herself. Enter the Witch by Robbie Cox ONE LINE BLURB: Amber Bastian strives to help Jasmine Burkehart rescue a friend from a spell gone awry as a skittish ghost, Cletus, cautions her about the danger of being a witch. FULL SYNOPSIS: Enter the Witch sets the stage for the Witches of Savannah series while giving us the origins of one of the side characters in Come Halloween. We once again meet the owner of Faerie Dust, Amber Bastian, as she strives to help a younger Jasmine Burkehart rescue her friend from a spell gone awry. Cletus, a skittish ghost who seems somehow stuck to Jasmine, provides more than just comic relief in this short tale as he...

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The Reign of Typhon

Posted by on 12:34 pm in Matty Says, Writing | Comments Off on The Reign of Typhon

The Reign of Typhon

As of yesterday, I completed the outline for The Reign of Typhon, the sequel to The Rise of Genesis. The story, as it stands, is well laid-out, and theoretically I shouldn’t have any “hmmm, what the hell do I do now?” moments. When I fly by the seat of my pants, sometimes the characters go in a strange direction and I get stuck trying to figure my way out. Of course, the characters are going to do what they’re going to do so an outline doesn’t necessarily prevent that, but it should reduce the struggle somewhat. Fingers crossed. I made a promise to myself that no matter what I would complete this outline. Halfway through I nearly gave up. There was so much excitement to get started, I almost fell into my old pattern of drop the outline and run. It’s important to note, however, that I didn’t. I stuck to my guns and saw the outline through, and I’m damn glad I did. This outline has me so jacked up to write the book. My mind is racing with ideas, and the layers I managed to incorporate during the pre-planning seem beautifully complex in their own way. Of course, there are still a few question marks that remain. I haven’t decided which direction I want to go with certain aspects of the story, but I am more excited now than ever before about a story. The struggle these characters have already faced is nothing in comparison to what is coming for them. Deranged? Perhaps. But I’m excited to experience the torment alongside them. An outline is just that, a skeleton. And although this skeleton has a great many layers for me to start with, it’s only the beginning. As each chapter is written, it expands, and I’m looking forward to peeling back those layers and filling out the body of this book. If I’m certain about anything right now, it’s that The Reign of Typhon is going to be a whirlwind adventure filled with a great cast of characters, both good and…less than good, and a story worth telling. The adventure begins Monday. See you on the other side of the...

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Genesis: The Sequel

Posted by on 12:58 pm in Genesis, News, Writing | 2 comments

Genesis: The Sequel

Since the release of The Rise of Genesis, I’ve taken what I believe to be a well-deserved break, but alas, binge watching shows on Netflix cannot last forever. In a perfect world perhaps. Although I will tell you that The Magicians is fantastic. Supernatural is having a great season, although the dead/not dead thing has been old for a while. The Walking Dead has redeemed itself in my eyes from the past few seasons. And I’m still not excited about Fear the Walking Dead. However, if you’re a Game of Thrones fan, the season premier has set up what will surely be some delicious and heart-wrenching story lines. *sigh* I digress. Over the past month I’ve been working selectively on the outline for the sequel to Genesis. The truth is, it’s been a struggle (as outlines always are for me). The reason being is because I always start an outline, but partway through I get excited, impatience takes over, and I jump into writing mode. This is both good and bad. Good that I’m excited to get to work, bad because it makes constructing a cohesive story more difficult. When I write a story without an outline, new ideas come and go as I write. Things change along the way, and my subconscious sometimes brings great things to the forefront: things I didn’t realize have to happen, things that make everything that much stronger, things that make me excited about the future of the story. When this occurs, I need to go back in the story and adjust/rewrite accordingly. With an outline and a guide of where I’ve been, it’s a little easier to see where those changes need to be made. I find an outline easier to work with when moving pieces of the puzzle around. This way you pick up and move a small piece(s) rather than combing through the entire first half to make sure you’ve caught each necessary detail. So this time around, I committed myself to doing a full outline of at least the major events I wanted to incorporate. The details will fill themselves in as I go, and I’m certain new ideas and paths will open up as the characters take hold of the story. With an outline though, what won’t happen (probably) is getting stuck and wondering “What now?” This outline is the rough edges of the path, and with it, I shall remain somewhat on course. I hope. With that said, you might be wondering what on earth this next story could be? What will it be called? Well, I won’t tell you too much about it right now in hopes of avoiding spoilers from Genesis. What I will tell you is the title. The second book in the Ash Lawson series will be called… Dun Dun Duuuuuuuh! The Reign of Typhon An Ash Lawson Novel  Book...

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The Rise of Genesis Release Day!

Posted by on 9:31 am in Random | Comments Off on The Rise of Genesis Release Day!

The Rise of Genesis Release Day!

Finally, after all this time, a new book has arrived. This book has a lot of blood, sweat, and tears put into it. Even more than that, time. There is so much time worked into each of these pages, it`s hard to imagine that at some point it was nothing more than some ideas scribbled down. These characters and the journey they take are close to my heart, and I cannot wait for each of you to experience it. I`m going to do some follow up posts about the book, but for today, I want only to celebrate it`s release into the world. Just like my other books, there`s a piece of my soul embedded in the story of Genesis. Maybe a bigger piece than most. So without further ado, I give you a little piece of me and my imagination. The Rise of Genesis. Click the cover for more info and purchase links!...

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Release Day Sign-up – Genesis

Posted by on 3:44 pm in News, Publishing | Comments Off on Release Day Sign-up – Genesis

Release Day Sign-up – Genesis

With a huge thanks to Val at Stuck in Books for organizing it, there is a release day blitz being put together for The Rise of Genesis to help spread the word of my new release. Getting the word out and helping a book get noticed is definitely one of the biggest struggles we have as independent authors. We don’t have huge marketing budgets, and in a lot of cases we have limited platform and a limited reach. That’s why today I’m reaching out in hopes that you can help! We all know it’s been a few years since I published a book. I wanted to make sure I wrote the best story I possibly could for everyone who has supported me, and for all the people that have yet to discover me. This is a new book and the start of a new series, so I want to reach as many people as possible. I’ve been blessed as an author to find a very strong audience. One who supports me and my work, and tells the world about it. Today I’m hoping to enlist your help to do a little more of that. Whether you have a website, blog, or a social media account, every little bit helps. So at the bottom of the page you can find a link for sign-ups. If you want to partake, I would be extremely grateful for your help, and in return there will chances to win a gift card or two! If you can’t help but you plan on reading, thank you in advance for your time. And remember, every review helps! We’re less than a month away before this baby goes live. Lets scream it from the rooftops!   Sign up for The Rise of Genesis Release Day...

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