Businesses Behaving Badly

Businesses Behaving Badly

Posted by on Oct 17, 2013 in Matty Says, Rant And Ramble | 4 comments

If you’re a friend with me on Facebook, or stalk my Tweets at all, you may have seen me slightly outraged by a certain furniture company whose service was so subpar, it caused me to rant publicly—something I don’t really do—and it’s really had me paying attention to things. In the past three weeks, I’ve been on a bit of a spending and repair spree. Buying new things for the house, repairing broken things, and essentially going to a hundred different stores. The one thing I’ve noticed as of late is the customer service these stores and businesses provide, or lack there of. In a single evening, I visited five different stores in which I had purchased items from that all were in need of repair, and out of those five stores, only one of them was accommodating. The other four were either very difficult to deal with, as I was not there to buy something so they were not interested in helping me, blatantly ignorant and rude to me, or so dismissive I actually thought perhaps my Starbucks contained some kind of invisibility potion. 80% of the businesses I dealt with in just a single evening treated me so poorly that I actually grew angrier with each store I stopped at. That just isn’t right. And all of this doesn’t even included the horrible experience I had at my local bookstores, but that’s a story for another time. This started me on an angry letter-writing campaign where I sent legitimate complaints to the corporate offices of each business. This may seem a bit silly or archaic, but I just couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that these people were getting paid to make customers want to never return to the store, or at least that’s what it seemed like their jobs were. Out of all the letters I wrote, I received one response, and it was simply asking for information that I had already included in my original e-mail. For one business I even wrote two separate letters at different times, after two separate negative experiences, and I did not hear anything. This leaves me even more flabbergasted. In this digital age, there is nothing I cannot buy online, and in most cases, purchasing online saves me anywhere from a little, to a substantial amount of money. The thing is, I don’t buy most of my things online. I like to physically see the product before I purchase it, and in all honesty, I like to deal with people. I like to know when I have a problem, I can go into the store and speak with someone. I don’t like dealing with automated phone services that make me spend fifteen minutes pushing different buttons just so I can be on hold. On top of all that, I like to shop locally. I want to support local...

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Dancing with Fear

Dancing with Fear

Posted by on Jun 9, 2013 in Random, Rant And Ramble, Writing | 15 comments

Coming back from a hiatus of any kind is never easy. My life has kind of been in a whirlwind the past month and some days I’m not even sure which way is up. Now that I’m trying to get back in the groove, I realize just how hard it is. This applies to anything you’re doing. Any time you take a break from something you do every day, it’s difficult to just jump right back into it. Sometimes you need to reincorporate it into your life in small pieces, other times, throwing yourself into the thick of it is the way to go. I’m not sure which way will work best for me right now, so I’m starting off just trying to get back into things slowly. Which is to tell you that this post has very little to do with anything but how I feel right now and what’s going on in my head. There is no other point to this than to take one small step forward. I wanted to start by getting back into blogging a few times a week, and attending to my social media accounts more often. As well, I wanted to go back and start checking on my books. I have this problem that a lot of artists have, and that’s reading reviews of your work. I try to keep a “never read reviews” attitude, but I have yet to have any success with that. And one of the things that really continues to surprise me is the mixed reactions I’ve received from Release. I know taste is subjective, and so what I love or someone else loves, others may hate, but I guess the reason I feel surprised is because I was really proud of Release.  The third installment in The Protector was an emotional book for me. And for those of you who have read it, it isn’t just because of one major event that occurs. The whole story means something to me. It means letting go, it means change, it means self-discovery, it means starting over with new ideals and realizations that perhaps you fought with for longer than you should have. Chase has those realizations throughout the book, and he really tries to change. In fact, he changes a lot. He learns, he starts to think before he acts, he overcomes things that he never thought he could. The book was such a hurricane of feelings for me that I was excited and proud to publish it. Yet thus far, it’s the book with the most mixed reactions. Just my e-mail inbox alone can tell me that without ever reading a single review. For those that didn’t like it, it seemed boring, the pacing wasn’t right, or a number of other fairly consistent responses, but when I look back through the story, I just can’t help but feel proud of...

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You Tell Me: What’s In A Cover?

You Tell Me: What’s In A Cover?

Posted by on Jul 30, 2012 in Protector Series, Publishing, Random, Rant And Ramble, Writing | 8 comments

In the middle of last month, my daily routine changed quite a bit. My wife went back to work after her maternity leave ended, and rather than pay for day care, I opted to go part-time at my job. This has been a massive adjustment for everyone, and in turn, my writing routine has gone out the window. The adjustment came at an awkward time, since I was just starting the third book in the Protector series, and  as such, my timeline has been severely augmented. I’ve been off and on with writing, some weeks not even opening my manuscript, but over the last ten days I’ve managed to put together some semblance of a routine.  And the routine is paying off. I wrote about 30k words in that time, and I’m about 70% done with the first draft of my manuscript. My goal is to be completely finished with it by Sunday, August, 5th. Achieving this goal will be some serious work. I need to produce 40k – 60k words over 6 days, but with how well the story has been flowing this draft, I’m fairly certain if I put on my special focusing hat, I can make it happen. As this draft comes to an end, I’m putting my extra bits and pieces of creativity into cover art and title. I’ve been toying with a few ideas but haven’t taken anything too seriously because, well, I don’t generally set those sort of ideas on the burner until draft one is complete. As I was brainstorming to the cover, it was of brought to my attention that my book series covers don’t look like a set. I mean, side by side, the covers don’t exactly look like they belong together. At first, I was a little bit stressed out about it, but then I realized that is something that works for this series…I think.  Each book has a different tone, and because of this, that is reflected in the cover. Now I love my covers, but part of me wished I’d gone in a different direction to make them similar, the other part of me however, is so happy I didn’t.  I understand the purpose of matching cover art and having each installment look cohesive with the next, but I like the way my books look next to one another. I like how when you’re done reading them, the cover  represents something different than it did before you started. Each cover tells a story in itself, and it’s a completely separate style of art from the writing. That’s distinctive to my work, and I like that distinction.  When you line a series of books up, generally you can see they’re all matching in some form. I like that mine are each a separate representation of the story within. I want the cover of a book to tell me something....

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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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Where I Almost Become Tiger Food

Where I Almost Become Tiger Food

Posted by on Jul 23, 2012 in Random, Rant And Ramble, Story Time | 8 comments

Cotton candy, elephant ears, and deep fried everything fills the air. The parking lot is packed, people are on foot, and children’s laughter is everywhere. It’s time for our local fair. The Ferris Wheel and the Drop of Doom are already in sight from the parking lot. Clouds fill the sky, I’m hoping it doesn’t rain, and the wind is cool – a welcoming addition to what has been a warm and sweaty week. My daughter looks forward to this day all year long. She loves the rides, the over-priced and under-awarding games, and everything we devour that will later become an painful stomach ache. I won’t pretend that I don’t like it too, because I love it. We always have a fantastic time, and it’s a great day to spend with the family. This year our fair had something a little different than usual. They always have shows and performances that go on at different stage sets throughout the fairgrounds, but this year they were mixing it up. Last year they added a shark show, and this year they went a step further: lions, tigers, wolves, and a few other not-so-local wild life. I find wolves fascinating so I wanted to take a look them more than anything. As we arrived the keeper was walking a zebra around the open pen in front of the crowd. The speakers boomed with a lady’s voice, educating the crowd on the stripes of this horse-like animal. Next comes out the lion. Wow. Not that I haven’t ever seen a lion before – I’ve been to the zoo – but never one that did more than lay in the sun. The trainer had the lion climbing ladders and jumping from one platform to another. Naturally, this was amusing. From what they told us, this lion was very small for it’s age, but standing on all four legs, it was higher than the man’s hip. To me, if the creature I’m “playing” with gets tired of the teasing and has the ability to tear my head from my body with a single swipe of it’s massive paw, there is nothing small about it. But I digress. We must have missed the tiger show, because the tiger and a lioness were in a pen off to the side between the lions,and the camels. Sprawled out on it’s back and sleeping in the cool grass, we decided to take a closer look. Now to paint you a picture, there were three octagonal cages set up. The wolves were on the right, and pushed back from the largest cage in the center. The lion occupied the center cage, and to the left, pushed back from the center, was the lioness and the tiger. In front of this was a long metal railing.We didn’t break the rules and get closer than we should, but we approached 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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