Mystery Project

Mystery Project

Posted by on Feb 10, 2015 in Author Advice, Publishing, Random, Writing | 2 comments

So as my last few posts outlined, Sacred Cities gave me a run for my money. I worked on it for a little over a year, although there were plenty of down times in between, and I finally threw in the towel…temporarily. I wrote 80k words in it, deleted 50k, then rewrote it up to 185k, had it finished, and partway through my first read through I knew something still wasn’t right. Not just one thing, but a lot of things. There was a decision to be made that wasn’t easy. I had to decide whether to tackle it again, tear it down and build it back up, or put it aside. The best decision I ever made was opting for the latter, for several different reasons. First, because I needed a break. I think Sacred Cities and I were too close. We were butting heads and I was trying to make it something it wasn’t. I didn’t realize it had a life of it’s own, and I was holding on too tight. I wasn’t happy about it, but I did it to myself, really, and it took me longer than it should have to realize it. The good that came out of it was I learned what it felt like to write against the grain. I forced it when I should have relaxed, and now I know what that feels like. That’s a good thing. Second, it gave me a chance to start a new book that had been tugging at my creative strings for a while. That is the mystery project, and to refrain from jinxing it, so to speak, it will remain that until I’m certain it’s ready. While Sacred Cities was the book I wanted to come back to the publishing world with, it wasn’t ready, and in all honesty, maybe I wasn’t either. The mystery project is taking me back to square one, a place I seemed to have forgotten: writing for fun. Writing what I want to read. Closing my eyes, letting go, and watching an action-packed adventure come to life. Over the past two weeks, that’s what I’ve been doing. I let the cursor on the blank page blink a few times and I started writing. It began as a paragraph outline that quickly expanded to a few pages. I created character outlines, back stories, and researched myths and legends and demons and all things that go bump in the night. It was fun again. I never finished the detailed chapter by chapter outline, and that too is a good thing. I felt too much excitement toward the story and needed to start, so I did. In a short time I racked up 26k words, and the story flowed with rapid excitement. Not only that, but I’m liking what I read when I review my chapters. It’s still exciting the second time through. I’m having fun,...

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2015 and the loss of 2014

2015 and the loss of 2014

Posted by on Dec 29, 2014 in Author, Author Advice, Publishing, Rant And Ramble, Writing | 7 comments

2014 was a difficult year of evolution for me. It was better than 2013, which was a horrible experience for the most part,but 2014 did not shape up to be what I thought it would. It’s not all completely wasted, but I definitely expected a more powerful year. Instead, it was a year of growth and learning, which in all honesty, can be painful. At the end of 2013, I was ready for a new year. Boy, was I ready. I had published the final book in The Protector series, Endure, and I was moving on to bigger things after a year struggling through personal issues. Then 2014 came, and suddenly it was gone. I didn’t write as faithfully as I had in previous years. I can admit that much. My writing was sporadic at best. At first, and for most of the year, I thought it was me. I was recovering from major losses, my entire world had been changed, and I was trying to rediscover who I was and what I wanted out of life. I knew I wanted to keep writing, I just didn’t have it in me all the time. I thought one day I’d wake up and just be ready to get back at it. I wasn’t. Instead, I tried forcing it, regaining a little of my lost passion piece by piece, but even when I was sure I was ready, I still struggled. I wrote 80k words of Sacred Cities when I realized it wasn’t working. I probably realized it earlier, but I didn’t want to admit it. When I finally accepted it, I knew I had to do something drastic, something I’d never had to do before: I would delete a major chunk of the book and start again. 50k words to be exact. Even if you’re not a writer, surely you can understand how heartbreaking it is to delete that much of your work. I didn’t let it drag me down though, I grabbed the silver lining and told myself how much better the book would be because of it. I worked my butt off from that point on, and when it was done (again!) at a monstrous 183k words, I knew cutting those words was for the best. With my knew novel in rough draft  I was ready to start editing. The problem was, the 183k I’d written had been spread out over half the year. I didn’t realize what poor shape my story was in. Editing the book was painful. Very painful. I continued to tell myself I had to force my way through it to get back in the groove, but it wasn’t working. That’s when I realized that the book wasn’t done. Once again it wasn’t right, but this time I didn’t know why. I left it alone for a month, raking my brain over it. At this point,...

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Matty Says: Choose

Matty Says: Choose

Posted by on Sep 19, 2012 in Author, Author Advice, Matty Says, Publishing, Writing | 9 comments

If you’re an author, chances are at some point you were constantly checking your sales figures, book rankings, and obsessing over reviews, throughout all the platforms you’ve placed your novels. This is fine, until it’s not. We all get hell-bent on our fluctuating ranks, or terrible sales days, and those negative reviews, but you can’t let it stop you. When it does, you’re looking at things the wrong way. Sales go up and down, good reviews come with the bad, and your ranking changes by the hour. This is all a part of the business. You don’t have to like it, but it’s part of our chosen paths nonetheless. Obsessing over these things is futile. You can’t prevent any of that, so why do we waste our time, energy and mental stability on it? Don’t lose sleep because of numbers, lose sleep because the story you’re telling keeps you awake at night. Don’t get angry because someone didn’t like your book, get angry because your antagonist just flushed your main character’s gold-fish down the toilet. Then fuse those emotions into your character’s revenge. Don’t get sad because sales are low, be sad knowing that your main character’s gold-fish is floating somewhere in the pipes alongside your arch nemesis’ poop. We’re writers. We’re artists. We’re creators. We thrive on overactive emotions, but we need to use that to our advantage, not allow it to hinder us. We need to keep creating, keep writing, and keep expressing ourselves through art, music, and words. Push yourself, push your boundaries, push your imagination. Because in the story of our lives, the bad doesn’t win. Absolutely nothing brings you down without your say so. So choose not to say so. Choose fighting. Choose never giving up. Choose words. This is your story, and it’s not over until you write “The...

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Book Blogging 101 with Parajunkee

Book Blogging 101 with Parajunkee

Posted by on Jul 26, 2012 in Author Advice, Blog Events, Rant And Ramble |

I had a post all planned out for yesterday, but in trying to import a blog file to an old blog, I had some issues. These ‘issues’ invovled that blog being tied into my Twitter still, so Twitter received about 150 tweets from me in regards to new blog posts that in fact, were not new. Even through the monitor I could feel the glares. What’s worse is I had to wait HOURS to even apologize, because said ‘issue’ put me in Twitter Jail. *sigh* Anyways, my task for you today is this: Go to Parajunkee’s website, and check out her Book Blogging 101 post. There is one post, and a few interviews afterwards (one is mine!). This is GREAT reading that all revolves around mending and maintaining healthy Author/Blogger relationships. With everything that’s happening recently to damage these relationships, we need to fix it.  Make it happen people. Spread the love, and check out my photo. Fireman Matt to the...

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Bullying And Why It Stops Here

Bullying And Why It Stops Here

Posted by on Jul 20, 2012 in Author Advice, Blog Events, Random, Rant And Ramble | 10 comments

As per the title, I had planned to write a post about this topic today. I’ve wrote about reacting to negative reviews before, and why you shouldn’t, but today, my path has changed a little. I chose not to write this post for a few reasons. One being that Pam at Bookalicous did a post that pretty much summed up my thoughts on the matter.  The second being that there is tragedy in this world today. My thoughts and prayers are with the families and all the people affected by these terrible events. This is a prime example why the bullying needs to stop. There are far worse things happening in the world today, and people that are too sensitive to be put under the microscope are not a part of these things. If you take a step back and look at the big picture, someone disliking your book just isn’t that...

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Take It With A Grain Of Salt

Take It With A Grain Of Salt

Posted by on Jul 12, 2012 in Author Advice, Publishing, Rant And Ramble, Writing | 5 comments

That’s a saying that can be used for a lot of things, and the publishing world is one of them. When you’re querying agents, they almost always say on their submission page, or somewhere in there blogs,  or in their rejection letters, that taste is subjective. By no means does their lack of appeal to your work mean it’s not good work. J.K. Rowling got rejected. There are people who dislike Stephen King’s books. There are readers that despise The Hunger Games. This is part of the process. I’ve used this comparison before, and I’ll use it again: Do you condemn your friend because they like a certain type of food and you don’t? No. Because you understand that we all like different things. I cooked for ten years and it still crushes me when someone doesn’t like something I make. How can you not like Matty’s Chicken Cheese Fingers? They’re unique, a combination of two things almost everyone loves, and delicious! It hurts that I can spend hours preparing a meal and someone won’t eat it, but, that’s the way things go. It’s subjective. It doesn’t mean I’m a horrible person who has no talent as a chef, it means that specific creation doesn’t appeal to a certain type of consumer. Do I argue with them? No, that’s a waste of my creative and culinary talent. I just carry on and the ones who enjoyed my creation continue to enjoy it. Writing books is the same way. If you put yourself out there, someone will try to tear you down because of the success they feel you’ve achieved. Other people will hate your work for one reason or another and they’ll let the world know on their blog, or in a review. And others will absolutely love it. The latter is the people you’re doing this for. If you’re going to submit a query letter, or click publish, get used to that idea right now. If you can’t, don’t proceed. It is completely unavoidable. If you can’t take your work being criticized and continue forward momentum, this is the wrong game for you. Instead, keep writing stories you love just for you and your friends, and don’t share them with the world. If you put it out there, people will love it, and people will hate it. No website, no petition, and no pleads of “please be polite” are going to change that. I’m not trying to be rude, it’s just reality. There is nothing in this world that everyone loves. Nothing. I personally hated The Hangover. I didn’t find it funny at all. Am I idiot? No. Is everyone else who liked it morons? No. It just didn’t appeal to me, so instead of watching the sequel, I’ll try something else that might work for me personally. If someone hates your work, it doesn’t devalue you as...

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