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A Darkness Survived

Posted by on 2:27 pm in Random, Rant And Ramble, Writing | 2 comments

A Darkness Survived

The lovely Christine Nolfi was kind enough to invite me to share a brief essay on her blog about the long road back from my writing break. It’s been a long and sometimes difficult process, especially as the publishing world changes so rapidly. Sometimes it’s overwhelming just looking at it all again, especially when you’ve been away so long. The road back from any break can be tough to handle, but if you stick to it, you can power through anything. If you have a chance, swing by Christine’s website and check out my guest post. Leave some thoughts if you have the time, and check out the many wonderful guest post’s she has. There are–and will be–some great...

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Holy Sh*t It’s Almost Done

Posted by on 11:00 am in Editing, News, Publishing | 3 comments

Holy Sh*t It’s Almost Done

Sacred Cities that is. This draft is going to be completed within the week. I can’t believe it. I should be able to because I’ve already written four books, but this one was different. I started this book in November of last year, and I could have written it in six weeks, but I had such a struggle sitting down and getting it done that it seems like an eternity since I started it. It’s true that this book is fifty percent bigger than my others (at the moment), and so it did require a lot more writing time, but the majority of this book has been written since the middle of July. And now it’s almost here. What’s more is that over the last week, I’ve worked with my amazing cover designer, Parajunkee, and we have a cover. Not just a cover, of course, but an amazing work of art. One that makes me excited to release this story into the world. Although this draft is nearly complete, that isn’t to say there isn’t a lot of work to be done. I have to rewrite some sections of the book, do some major hacking and slashing of non-necessary content, alter some timelines and enhance some characters, and then get this book off to the first round of betas. After that, I’ll do another rewrite, send it to another group of betas, self edit the hell out of it, and get it to my copy editor. After that it’s proofreaders and finally, format it for all publishing outlets. Will I make it before the end of the year? Yes. Will this book be out by the end of the year? I’m not sure. I published Release in December of 2012, and I’m not sure that’s the best month to release a new novel. I haven’t committed to a date just yet, but I may hold onto it and do a January release. That part is still up for debate, but the fact of the matter is this book is coming at you, and I think you’re going to love it. Over the next few months I’ll be releasing teasers, snippets, doing a cover reveal, and working with Stuck in Books on a blog tour. If you want to catch those teasers and sample chapters, as well as get the cover before the rest of the world, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. Those of you who have signed up already, you haven’t missed anything because I haven’t released my first newsletter yet. It’s been something I’ve talked about doing for a year and haven’t worked on, but with Sacred Cities wrapping up, my focus will be shifting and they’ll be special content coming, as well as a special giveaway exclusive to newsletter subscribers only. Oh, and with all of this is something else that’s exciting: a complete revamp of the website. Stayed tuned for the...

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The Darkness Within

Posted by on 10:49 am in Matty Says | 4 comments

The Darkness Within

It comes unexpected. A darkness that slips through the cracks. An oil that works its way through the crevices of your life, taking hold of the joy that thrives within you. It’s a beast that cannot be battled with magic and weapons. It’s a mental game with the demons within. One best not handled alone. What is this monster and why does he control you? It leaves you feeling helpless in even the simplest situations, making every day tasks appear impossible. Getting out of bed is a chore. Waking up and knowing you have to continue on with your life as if there is nothing wrong makes you angry. It hurts. Your body begins to betray you. It aches when you’ve given it no reason to. You starve yourself because just the thought of eating makes you feel ill. Nothing is appealing. Forcing a smile is the equivalent to bench pressing a car, and you haven’t been to the gym in a decade. The cartoons you watched as a child where the black rainy cloud follows a character around everywhere he goes has become reality. It’s not humorous. There is no escape. It’s a fickle thing, depression. A mountain that has to be climbed. You will think you’re near the top, only to find it’s a mere plateau, and you tumble back down to the bottom, somehow feeling like you’ve fallen even further than the base. You’ve gone deeper. You stumbled and found yourself not at the bottom of the mountain, but beneath it. Hell surrounds you. Fire on one side. ice on the other, and what seems like an insurmountable trek above you. The camera pans back, showing the path back to the light. It’s too far, it seems like too much. Why bother trying at all? You’re just going to fall back down or collapse on the way. What’s the point? Depression is not something to take lightly. It isn’t something to be brushed aside, or taken with a grain of salt. There is no switch to flick. You can’t just “be happy” like your naive former-self believed. It’s an all-encompassing mammoth that swallows you entirely, leaving you barely a breath. It’s serious, and it affects so many people that you know, but you have no idea that they’re hurting. It hides beneath the surface and strikes from within. That’s why we need to take care in the people we deal with. We need to stop judging, and lashing out. It doesn’t matter whether we know their story or not. It’s not important whether they’re famous, or some person on the street. They are a person. You never know whose life you might change by offering a smile, or a brief set of kind words. Sometimes a simple “I hope you have a great day!” can make all the difference. Depression can claim any soul at any time, and it’s terrifying. You don’t understand how scary it is until you’re there, and when you’re there, you don’t realize it. You don’t know you need help because you don’t understand what you’re going through. You think your life has just taken a nasty, unexpected turn. A lot of the time, you don’t realize you were in a depression until you’ve come out of it. Sometimes you need medicine to help, sometimes you need other...

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The Power of Ideas

Posted by on 10:58 am in News, Publishing, Writing | 4 comments

The Power of Ideas

As I’ve made progress through the first draft of Sacred Cities, I find myself encountering a new problem. It’s a problem I’ve seen many writers face over the years, but not one that I have had up until recently. That problem is an overwhelming supply of ideas, of which I’ve found the power to be intense. During the years I worked on The Protector series, I remained extremely focused. Sure, I had plenty of other ideas, but none that were in any form demanding. With Sacred Cities however, I’ve discovered a handful of stories that are not only screaming to be written, they’re tempting me away from my WIP. At this point in my writing venture, I haven’t given in. There have been times where I’ve taken writing breaks in order to write down brief scene outlines or ideas, but that is just to hush the voices…so to speak. Thus far that seems to be working, and I’ve made some impressive progress this last little while. When I tackle a project, I commit to it entirely, and because of that Sacred Cities is almost complete. This story has been a long time coming, and with a few major breakthroughs the last few days, it’s really exciting to be at this point in a story again. The first draft will be done before the end of August, and because I’ve been working on this project off and on for the entire year, there is no reason to give it time to breathe afterwards. I’ll be jumping directly into revisions, and I’m pushing to get this book completed as soon as possible. I’ll have a cover ready at the end of August, and as I work through revisions and coordinate schedules with my editors, this book will *hopefully* be out before the end of the year. That all depends on other people’s schedules and timelines, which I have to respect. I’ll admit it’s a much later date than I had hoped, but it took me longer than I anticipated to get back in the driver’s seat with my writing. The good news is there will not be nearly as long of a wait for the next book. I’ll begin writing it the day I send Sacred Cities to the editors. My goal is have Sacred Cities out this year, and have at least two new books for you in 2015. It’ll require a lot of commitment, even more hours, and a lot of creative energy, but I think I can handle it, and I know you deserve it for the long wait between books this time around. As I wind down on the first draft of this novel and begin revisions, I am excited to say that I’ll be putting out my first Newsletter with some teasers inside, so if you’re not signed up, make sure you do! I won’t be sending them out often, only a few times a year, but inside you’ll find exclusive content, teasers, and information about all my books. That is something you don’t want to...

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Consuming Worlds Blogging Anniversary

Posted by on 10:30 am in Blog Events, Blogger, Interviews, Matty Says, Random | 3 comments

Consuming Worlds Blogging Anniversary

So my fellow blogger and author, Danielle with Consuming Worlds is hosting her Blogging Anniversary today, and I can’t tell you how honored I am to be a part of it. She’s doing something special this year, and rather just promoting authors and books she enjoys, we’re digging a little deeper. Today we’re talking about ourselves as people, not just writers and creators who have uncontrollable alter-egos that like to make up stories. Today we get real, and I dig deep. I wanted to really contribute something true and honest to this post, and I had to go under the skin for it. There’s no fluffy sparkles or humor in today’s post, but it’s real, it’s honest, and it’s the side nobody gets to see from the other side of the monitor. So let’s head over to Consuming Worlds and check out my guest post in celebration of Danielle’s Blogoversary. And congratulations to her on how far she’s come in this short time. When I first met Danielle she didn’t have a blog, and now she’s celebrating an anniversary, as well as her first recently published book, Guided. Happy Blogoversary,...

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I’m Still Here!

Posted by on 10:48 am in Blog Events, News, Publishing, Random, Writing | 3 comments

I’m Still Here!

Wow, okay, so it’s been over two months since I posted, and a month since I was able to add any wordage to Sacred Cities, but I’m back up and running. With a brand new computer glowing on my desk, I’m ready to go. It’s not that my other computer was broken or inoperable, it’s just that I hated it. I’d given a serious and honest effort to the Mac, but I just couldn’t do it. I’m back to PC and I’m loving it. Now, before all the Mac junkies come out and bite me, the computer itself was great. It’s incredibly fast, even after 18 months, but the OS just isn’t for me. It’s nothing against the Mac product, just that it isn’t what I am looking for. Now I’m sporting a new Toshiba all-in-one that makes my inner geek really happy, and I’m ready to get back to work. In the midst of my computer change, there was also a job change, and a trip to Seattle where I attended the Emerald City Author Event for my first group signing. Seattle was a really cool city. We did all the touristy things we could do, and I learned Seattle has quite the history, one that was shared with us by probably the coolest tour guide ever. But more on that later in a separate Seattle-only post. Right now is update time. The first draft of Sacred Cities is nearly complete. I’m hoping that by the end of next month I’ll be deep into revisions. I’m currently working with the incredible Parajunkee on the cover, and all-in-all I’m hoping to have it all available for you late this Fall. Much later than I had anticipated, of course, but the first book in the series requires a bit more attention to lay the groundwork for what’s to come. I apologize for the wait on the book, and the blog silence, but it’ll all be worth it! Now, what’s to come? I’m going to be revamping the blog design here in the next month or two, revealing the cover for Sacred Cities once I have it, posting some new short stories up on the website, and working on two different standalone novels as well. Aside from the short stories, the blog posts are going to change a little too. Right now they’re very much just updates, teasers, etc. I won’t tell you exactly how they’re going to change yet, but the changes are going to be awesome and take a big turn toward creative writing and sharing some different things with you! Prepare for the...

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First Signing Jitters

Posted by on 9:03 am in Author, News, Writing | 9 comments

First Signing Jitters

Last Saturday I had my first ever book signing. It was a terribly intimidating event. A fear of being that guy at the table that nobody comes to see replayed over and over in my head leading up to the event. I would sit there for five hours growing increasingly sweaty and gross, until eventually I was just that slobby wet dude that the store manager kicked out. In my head, it wasn’t a pretty event. In my head there was a soul-crushing amount of pressure about to crumble me. When I got there however, it wasn’t so bad. It started out a little rocky and fairly quiet. I’m pretty sure I looked like that guy completely out of his element, but one of the girls that worked there came over and chatted me up, got me to sign her book, and made me feel a lot better about how nervous I was. I’m fairly certain she won’t be able to read anything I wrote though, my hands were sweating which made it hard to grip the pen, and then of course my hands were also shaking. On a good day, my penmanship is horrid, on a sweaty-hand-shaky-hand day, it’s…well let’s just say I should’ve brought my seven-year-old in as a replacement. She has nice writing. As the day progressed, the store grew busier and for every person that came up to talk to me, I shed a little bit of that nervous skin. Not literally though, that’d be gross. Also, with how nervous I was there’d have been a pile of dead skin the size of me and…yeah, gross. Anyways, I started to get more comfortable as I found my rhythm, and I talked to a ton of great people. I received some book recommendations I’m excited to jump into, and I think I made a lot of connections. I even met a few actual fan’s in the fourteen – sixteen year range and two of them had a little trouble speaking to me. Apparently I wasn’t the only one who was nervous. That made me feel a little better. To sit and chat with someone in my target audience and listen to them gush about my book was a humbling experience. On a bit of different note, I realize my elevator pitch needs a little work, but I did get some people really excited for Sacred Cities, which is awesome. That book is going to kick ass, and right now the redraft is going great! I know you’re wondering so I thought I’d just tell you. So overall my first book signing was a success. I met fans, new readers, received some exciting book recommendations, and learned a lot about myself in the process. I have another one coming up this Saturday in Edmonton, so if you’re in the area and able to make it over to the Chapters Indigo South Common Store on 99th street then come on...

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The Magic of a Child

Posted by on 2:06 pm in Matty Says | 10 comments

The Magic of a Child

Yesterday my daughter brought home a…well, I’m not entirely sure what it was. It was like a tiny leaf all rolled up, but it wasn’t a leaf. It was completely enclosed. Her friend told her that it was a fairy cocoon. Whoever touched it, the fairy belonged to. This was explained to me in great detail. You cannot even give them as gifts, because when the fairy hatches, it’ll fly back to whoever picked it up first. My oldest daughter, Peyton, who is seven, picked one up and brought it home. She explained how important it was, and that the fairy needed a nice home. So it began. With a little digging, I found a shoe box and a few pieces of cardboard and let her get to work. She built a bed, a couch, drew pictures on post-it notes to decorate (after coloring aka painting the walls), and of course the fairy needed books, so she wrote a few short stories, stapled them together, and laid them on the floor for her. She even wrote on  the outside “The Fairy House,” should anybody else be confused about whose house it truly was. The light in her eyes was priceless, and this came after a particularly rough patch her and I have been having. She is very much like me. Too much in fact. Because of this, she has a love of electronics: iPhones, iPods, computers, Television, tablets, the list can go on. I’ve noticed however, that she spends a lot of time with these things. Too much in fact. Lately I’ve been cutting back on the time she’s been allowed to watch TV, or play with any of the other devices. She doesn’t like this, and she sees it as punishment. I can understand that, but I truly believe it’s important. It’s important for her to learn to play with her toys and use her imagination. It’s important for her to learn to create. I never had all the gadgets growing up. I had dirt, and skipping ropes, and some roller blades. I had to make the fun happen.  I understand kids now and days grow up differently than my generation did, but I think there are valuable lessons to be learned by creating your own entertainment and not looking to someone else to do it for you. This is all to say I was thrilled to see her excitement in something that wasn’t powered by electricity, but by her mind! I had to capitalize on this. And so it continued. After I tucked her in, I carefully split open this leaf-shell thing she had brought home. Once it had a nice little cut in it, I pulled it open, tore the edges slightly so it looked as though something had broke out of it, and laid it back upon the fairy’s cardboard bed (which Peyton had lined in tissue paper for style and comfort). I then went through the disaster zone known as the craft bin, found a glue stick and some glitter, and went to work. I wrote “Thank You!” and drew a smiley face with the glue stick, then doused it with glitter. I sprinkled more within the house, and opened the books to make it look like she had read them. As a clean...

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Random Jibber-Jabber & an Update

Posted by on 10:31 am in Random, Writing | 3 comments

Random Jibber-Jabber & an Update

It’s been a while since I was in the first draft of an entirely new series. I’ve started the first book in several, but with difficulties over the last year, they all got left in the dusty drawers of my computer. Now that I’m back in the full swing of things, I’m having mixed feelings about it. On one hand, I get to start all over creating new characters, demons, magic, worlds, and stories. There was nothing, and then there was something. It’s all happening from the ground up. On the other hand, I have to start all over creating new characters, demons, magic, worlds, and stories. The first book in a series, in my opinion, is the most work, and even if you’re writing a stand-alone novel, the same principle applies. Either way you need to build the entire world in this novel, lay out the rules, and develop everything. With a series, you need to make sure this is a solid foundation for all the future installments, and as a standalone, you need to make sure you don’t have any loose ties at the end because there are no other books for you to deal with them. All around, it’s a lot more work that adding on to an existing world, and for authors who don’t write series and only write stand-alone novels, I applaud you. The last week or so has been one full of progress for Sacred Cities. Just yesterday I added over 9k words, putting me close to the 70k mark. When I set out to start this book, I hoped to finish up my first draft around 85k-90k, but now that I’m here, I realize it’s going to be more like 110k-120k. Now, that’s okay for a few reasons. The first being that it’s a first draft. There is plenty of time to add, subtract, or completely obliterate. The second reason is that there is a lot of world to build. Looking back, and having learned all that I have over the past few years, I see so much potential and depth I could’ve added to Exiled. But I let myself be owned and restricted by the submission guidelines at that time. That was my mistake, and not one I’ll make again. This first book is a different beast, and as such requires different methods to train it. The fact of the matter remains however, that at times it can feel overwhelming. Mostly because I put so much pressure on myself to get this thing done, while at the same time refusing to sacrifice any level of quality or depth to the story. When I published Exiled, I had nothing. No readers, no fans, nobody but me looking forward to the story. That’s not the case this time around. Now I have incredible fans, and a lot of readers anticipating this book. As The Protector series evolved, I felt more and more pressure to deliver, albeit mostly from myself, but still. Now this is a new series, and although it’s fresh, there is an existing bar that previous readers have, and so there is a different type of nervousness within me. Will I meet that bar? Exceed it? Let everyone down entirely? Of course these are natural concerns, and with all things in life,...

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Sacred Cities – Your First Look

Posted by on 8:42 am in Blog Events, Blogger, Writing | 1 comment

Sacred Cities – Your First Look

The time has come to share with you a little more than the first page. No more tiny teasers. Today the first chapter is making it’s debut over at Little Read Riding Hood’s Favorite Authors February. If you’re interested in a sneak peak of what’s to come, now’s your chance! If you like what you read, make sure to leave a comment over there and if you have time, maybe even check out some of the other participating authors! Special thanks to Laura at Little Read for inviting me to partake in such a spectacular event! Click the link below and enter the New World of Sacred Cities....

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