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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A Darkness Survived

A Darkness Survived

Posted by on Dec 10, 2014 in Random, Rant And Ramble, Writing | 2 comments

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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Consuming Worlds Blogging Anniversary

Consuming Worlds Blogging Anniversary

Posted by on Jul 27, 2014 in Blog Events, Blogger, Interviews, Matty Says, Random | 3 comments

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!

I’m Still Here!

Posted by on Jun 24, 2014 in Blog Events, News, Publishing, Random, Writing | 3 comments

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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Random Jibber-Jabber & an Update

Random Jibber-Jabber & an Update

Posted by on Feb 24, 2014 in Random, Writing | 3 comments

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...

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Writing Getaway

Writing Getaway

Posted by on Jan 29, 2014 in Random, Writing | 4 comments

I’m on a ten-day hiatus from my day job, which means I get to spend some much desired time with my family. Since going back to work I’ve  missed the days with my daughters so much, but sadly it’s a necessary evil. It also means I get to sit down at the computer and get some major work done. If things go my way, I’ll be putting down a huge word count in my WIP over this time. On top of that, I have a three day getaway planned to the mountains with my wife. This will involve my first ever professional massage, checking out some of the cool shops these small tourist towns have to offer, and some serenity that will spur my muse into hyper drive. I’ve been looking forward to this getaway for a while, and now that it’s here, I’m almost overwhelmed with all the things I want to accomplish. The good news is, as I work on this book over the next two weeks, I’m putting together a teaser that I truly hope you’ll enjoy. Or if things go really well, I’ll be putting together a series of teasers that I’ll release over the week. I have my first editor booked for this job as of April, which means I have a ton of work to do, but I work much better under pressure anyway, and now that I have a deadline, my focus is starting to narrow in on the story at hand. It’s nice to be back in the hot seat, brainstorming characters and magic, but I’m most looking forward to getting to connect with my readers again with a new story. I was going to provide you some details on the story today, but instead I’m holding out until I get some more work done. Then I’ll give some info about it with the release of the teasers that are to come. And of course, I’ll try to take some pictures of the beautiful place we’re going. If you’re not from here, I’d love to share with you some of the beauty that is Canada! Happy Hump Day everyone! I hope you’re all having a good week!...

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