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Book Blast Promo for Angela B. Chrysler

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Angela is a friend of mine and the Captain of the HMS Slush Brain.  She’s also a great author.  Her book Fire and Lies is out today, and I wanted to help get the word out.  Here’s a summary of the book.

Blood waters the fields of Alfheim. War rips across the land of elves and usurped kings. The Fae gods draw near, and Queen Kallan’s strength is tested as she follows King Rune into Alfheim. But the Shadow Beast caged within Rune’s body writhes in hunger, and Kallan’s newest companion, Bergen the legendary Berserk, is determined to end the conflict with her life. As the witch, the king, and the berserk come together, the truth buried within the past resurfaces. Now, Kallan must master a dormant power or watch her kingdom fall to the Fae who will stop at nothing to keep their lies. Fire and Lies (Tales of the Drui Book #2) picks up right where Dolor and Shadow left off, concluding one chapter of Kallan’s life as the next chapter begins.

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She’s got a lot of information out about her book on her blog.  There’s a great video trailer there as well.  I read the first book on of the Tales of the Drui, Dolor and Shadow.  

You can find my review for that book here.

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Here’s a short bio about Angela:

Angela B. Chrysler is a writer, logician, philosopher, and die-hard nerd who studies theology, historical linguistics, music composition, and medieval European history in New York with a dry sense of humor and an unusual sense of sarcasm. She lives in a garden with her family and cats.

While writing, Ms. Chrysler fuzzies her cats and survives on coffee, Guinness, and the writings of Edgar Allan Poe who strongly influences her style to this day. When she is not writing, she enables her addictions to all things nerdy, and reads everything she can get her hands on no matter the genre. Occasionally, she finds time to garden, mother her three children, and debate with her life-long friend who she eventually married.

Thanks for reading
Matt

Indie Pride Day

Today is Indie Pride Day, and I took a while to think about what I wanted to say on the matter. What I finally settled on was the evolution of independent publishing.

I didn’t want to self publish. When I started writing seriously (twenty years ago), self publishing was a new thing. It had a stigma that followed it through the years. The idea is, like with a lot of things these days, anyone can self publish. It’s true. Anyone can publish anything and toss it out there. In my younger days, I thought self publishing immediately implied “unable to be published for real.”

That was pretty horrible of me.

It’s true. Anyone can throw up an image on social media. Anyone can publish a book through any number of self publishers or self-publishing programs. The question is:  does an increase in the overall amount of art decrease the quality of good art? At the end of the day, people read my book, and they either like it, or they don’t. I know what it’s like to feel like an artist without a voice, and that’s horrible. All any artist can ask for in this world is an opportunity to be seen — to be judged.

As a journalist, I bought into the concept of the marketplace of ideas. This horrifies businessmen because an influx of supply indicates a decrease in demand. The fear is, if all these “bad writers” keep putting out “bad books,” no one will want to read.

Then something dawned on me. There are plenty of “established” authors I simply don’t enjoy reading. Just the other day, I saw my student walking around with a book. I said in my own overly blunt and direct way that I didn’t like the author. Keep in mind this author is very successful and regarded as one of the best in the business. Can I argue with millions of book sales?

So if there are traditionally published authors I don’t like, doesn’t it stand to reason that there are at least a commensurate number of self-published authors out there I enjoy? Turns out, there are. Throughout this week I’ve been giving shout outs to several self-published authors who wrote very enjoyable books. They range from not bad, to simply amazing. That’s the beauty of art.

Look at music. One group of people goes to a bar and listens to a local band and says, “I hate that this place can’t get any real bands out here.” Another group of people can go to a different bar or concert and say to themselves, “Man, I just hate that all this ‘mainstream’ sell-out crap gets all the attention.”

There’s a distinction between a published author and non-published author. No matter how bad the book might be, the published author still put in the time and effort it takes to write a book. I’ve written six. It takes a foolish amount of commitment. I know a few people who I honestly believe are more capable writers than I am, but they’re not writing. Anyone can throw a book down and say, “I can write better than this crap.”

Be my guest.

There’s a distinction between a traditionally-published author and a self-published author, but I’m starting to think that has more to do with marketing and budget than quality of product. This is more true in the higher quality of work than quantity. I still want to be traditionally published, but my reasons have more to do with marketing and publishing than it does with credibility these days. There are a lot of great books out there. My library is full of them. I have favorite authors, but the more I read, the more I realize what a blind jerk I was those twenty years ago. Lack of opportunity doesn’t indicate lack of ability. Self publishing gives everyone that opportunity.

For me, I think July 1st is going to become a day where I celebrate the fact that my book is out in the world. Not only is it out there, but most of the people who read it and leave a review, like the book. Self publishing made that possible. Caught will be out later this year. I don’t have any doubt about it. 1,200 will be out about a year to 18 months later. In time, that traditional publisher will pick me up. I expect to grow as an artist. I loved The Journals of Bob Drifter, but if Caught doesn’t demonstrate some sort of improvement in my own ability, then I’ll be sad. I want each book to be better than the last in at least some small way.

For you readers out there, I’m one of you. Every author is one of you. When I open a book, I want it to be great. This past year, I’ve met several great authors who are self published.   I’m out there, and I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t think I was good at it. I’m thankful to be an independent author. I’m learning. I’m improving. Wherever I am in the next ten to twenty years, I’ll be grateful to be among other great writers who were able to get their stories out to the world.

Thanks for reading
Matt

Book Review: Dolor and Shadow by Angela B. Chrysler

Dolor and Shadow is the first book in the Tales of the Drui series.  Like most first books in a series, it’s got a fairly steep learning curve and some development points that need to be established for future books.

The main characters Kallan and Rune, steal the show.  The rest of the cast is interesting, but not quite built on.  Luckily the character of Kallan stands on her own.  She’s a compelling person with an interesting internal conflict.  Rune is a solid counter to her.  I was most happy with the book when they were in the thick of the plot.

I gave this book 5-stars because it is a great start to a series, but, like I said, it has a lot in common with other great starts to books.  I absolutely love “Eye of the World” and Dragon Flight, but those books start slow and sometimes drag a bit.  My brother asked me to read the first one hundred pages of “Eye of the World” before I said anything, and I’ve never been happier to listen to him.

Dolor isn’t much different in terms of the amount of set up it requires.  This is a deep world with a lot of backstory to it that requires a few viewpoint shifts and early chapters that can slow a reader down, but don’t stop because the reward is a great “cat-and-mouse” plot that drives the story quickly once everything is established.

I’m a fan of the setting and the magic system.  I’m a big fan of epic landscapes and solid magic systems.  This is still fairly soft, but the magic system is a plot solution device, it is, in fact, a source of conflict from my point of view.

Fans of heroic women will enjoy this story.  Kallan isn’t a normal heroine.  She may be one of the first “broken” female heroes I’ve seen.  I don’t know that I’d go so far as to call her an antihero, but she isn’t the “pluckly lass” from down the road.  She’s a queen and a young woman nearly broken by stress.  Her journey alone makes the book worth reading.

AwesomeCon was Awesome!

There’s really nothing more to it.  I had a blast.  So I want you all to be aware of some things coming your way via my website.

Right now, I’ve uploaded some images from the new readers I met during the convention.

As I’ve mentioned on Facebook, I had more people sign up for my newsletter and more people purchase my book at this event than any other event I’ve done.  I owe that all to those who helped me and those who’ve chosen to give my book a shot.  I can’t say enough how much I appreciate it.

What’s coming?  I had a panel about The Pitfalls of Unwary Self-Publishers.  Russell Novelty from Wannabe Press joined me, and I’ll post a few key points we spoke about.

I’ll be reviewing Angela B. Chrysler’s Dolor and Shadow.  Angela is a friend and the Captain of the H.M.S. Slush Brain.  I’ve posted an interview from her, and her new book is scheduled for release soon.

Sometime later, I’ll post my State of the Weech.  I’ll talk about where I’m at with various projects, and give you a picture on what’s to come from your humble literary servant.

For now, I just wanted to let you all know what a great success the event was and ask you to stay tuned to this page for some updates!

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The loss of Makiko Futaki

I’ve just learned of the passing of Makiko Futaki.  I’m not normally one for blogs about the deceased.  I believe every life is special.  This loss, however, is particularly hard.  You see, her loss was a loss from my childhood.

I have five favorite movies.  Of those five, I watch two on my birthday every year.  I have since I was a kid.  The first is Krull.  The second is Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, though I remember it as Warriors of the Wind from when I was young.

I first saw the movie when I was somewhere around 9.  It was amazing.  It was a world of prophecy and courage.  Years later (I must have been 16), I had a dream.  I described the dream to my brother during a role playing game.  I knew the dream was a memory from a movie I couldn’t place.  But that memory was so powerful, the image of Nausicaa walking on the golden field was so impressive, it stuck in my subconscious for at least 7 years.

“That’s Warriors of the Wind,” he said.

Later that night, I went out and rented it.  My brother bought it for me for my birthday or Christmas later that year.  I have watched it every year since, and I will watch it every year.

It’s my second favorite movie ever.  It’s why I like anime.  My sixth book is heavily (and that’s being polite) influenced by that movie.

I’m deeply saddened by this loss.  Futaki’s work wasn’t just something I enjoyed, it was a foundational pillar to the very tenants  I hold dear in storytelling.  Most importantly, I feel like a part of my childhood has been lost.

There aren’t words in any language that can take away the sadness those who knew her and loved her must feel.  All I can say is that she touched so many lives so very deeply.  She didn’t make animations.  She brought stories to life.  She helped bring my childhood to life.  My prayers are with her and her loved ones.

Rest in peace.  Thank you.

A Deleted Scene from Caught

One of the issues I had with the last draft of Caught was the scope was too big for the size of the book.  Like most writers, my story tends to grow in the telling.  I fall in love with characters, so I want to give them more air time.  The problem this creates is the reader then wants more time.  Dom and Kira are, quite frankly, awesome.  They’ll be featured in Caught’s sequel, which I plan to begin writing some time next year.  The problem is, as awesome as they are, it’s not their book.  They’re secondary characters in this portion of the trilogy.

Just because a scene isn’t right for a book doesn’t mean it’s not great content though.  This is cannon. It may be a little rough, as it’s from a draft of the book, it did happen.  I just had to pull this out to limit the viewpoints in the book and help the book flow better.

This used to be in Chapter 8.  A special operations team is about to assault a rouge military compound.  Kira and Dom are the other half of the team.  There’s a scene break here, which jumps forward in time.  The other two members of the team are doing cool stuff.  That part is still (probably) going to make it into the book.  There aren’t any real spoilers here, so no worries.  It just allows me to present to you some part of the book I’m still hoping to put out in a few months.

Caught

From her and Dom’s position to the south of the warehouse, Kira took slow, regular breaths.  Looking through the night-vision scope of her PSG-1 sniper rifle, she had the north tower’s look-out lined up.  Dom, working as her spotter, helped her set up.  She knew her M-4 would be just to her left.  Dom was good like that.  Once you told him how you wanted a weapon to work and how you wanted it placed, Dom made it that way every time.  Now it was just the minor miracle of hitting her target just before the EMP went off.

“Fifteen seconds,”Dom whispered.  “Four knots, coming west.”

She gave her target a little room to the left to account for the wind.  Focusing her thoughts, she lightly squeezed the trigger.  Five seconds.  Press…press…press..pr-POP!  She saw the spray of red mist flow out from her target just as she heard the rifle fire.

“Hit,”Dom said matter of factly as he flipped off his scope

“Go dark,”she whispered over the radio, turning off her scope.

She only just managed to turn it off before a blue light blossomed from the north.  It wasn’t overly large.  From her vantage point, it looked about the size of a basketball.  That gave her about one minute to take down one more target.  No pressure.

They had worked out her targets ahead of time, and Dom was already giving her wind velocity.  “Three knots coming west.”

She turned her scope back on and scanned east to her nearest target, who was already making his way down the steps.  He reacted quickly, which was smart.  Leading her target and adjusting for wind, she put him down before he could reach the platform between his tower and the ground.

“Hit,”Dom said again.  He had a way of making the most impressive feat sound like something any cross-eyed 2-year-old could do.

The compound exploded with activity.  There were no alarms, which meant Brandon’s little toy had worked, but that didn’t keep the company guarding the place from reacting.  They’d planned for it.  The general was nothing if not prepared.  Too much to hope they’d have an easy time of it.

They scurried toward exits, probably trying to mobilize the Humvees parked a few hundred yards from the compound.

“Go,”She said.

“Moving,”Dom barked as he grabbed up his gear, his own M-4 and her PSG-1, and ran east.

Kira switched over to her M-4 and used short, controlled, bursts to provide Dom enough cover fire to move to his secondary position.  It was up to Steve and Brandon to infiltrate the perimeter.  She and Dom would do what they could from their positions.

*  *  *

Something, in Dom’s opinion, was wrong.  Oh sure there were plenty of decently trained corrupted traitors dying in the team’s containment zone, but not enough.  Not that Dom was anxious to kill.  He had switched over to the PSG-1, and one man trying to reach the east tower died in Dom’s sights a moment before the bastard could climb behind a M-240-B machine gun.

No, it wasn’t that he wasn’t killing enough.  It was the fact that there weren’t enough men reacting to the assault to account for an entire company. “East side clear,”he barked into his headset.

“South side clear,”Kira said.

“Go,”he replied.

Switching back to his M-4, Dom kept his scope to his eye scanning the area.  He heard Kira’s footsteps as she passed him.  He started laying short controlled bursts of fire anywhere he saw potential threats.  Kira dove behind a barrel.  She raised up a hand, four slender fingers straight up.  He stayed in position and continued his cover as she reloaded.  She started shooting in the blink of an eye.  The woman worked weapons faster than anyone on the team, except for himself of course.  He couldn’t actually see her blue eyes, but he felt her wink at him.  She’d tease a man in the middle of armageddon.

He reloaded his own M-4 and moved to her position.  The large thirty-gallon barrel looked fairly small, unless you needed it for cover.  Filled with rocks, it made as good a place to hunker down behind as any.

“I know.  There’s not enough man power-out there,”Kira said.

Dom opened his mouth to suggest she see where the rest of the enemy company was, but she cut him off.

“Steve said no Delta Techs.”

That was the end of that.  Nothing to do but continue the plan.  Step three:  Infiltrate the east side and flank the enemy.  “Moving!”Dom shouted.  He heard her resume her cover fire moments before bringing his rifle to his shoulder and charging to the base of the large metal swinging gate that marked the compound’s entrance.  Suddenly, a rumble erupted from the largest building in the compound.  It had a lot of square footage, but it was too low to the ground to be a hangar in Dom’s opinion.  Flames burst out of what few windows the building had.

Dom reacted on instinct, ripping off his ocular to keep the night vision from blinding him in the blast.  He instinctively stepped to the side to cover Kira.  She shoved him back.

“I’m fine,”she barked.  Oh she didn’t like the idea of any man protecting her, even with actual bullets flying and the possibility that she might be blinded by the explosion.  “My eye is closed, Breach.  I’ll switch the damn thing off in a moment.”

Dom began laying fire down.  The rest of what Dom was sure comprised the enemy company began charging out of every exit in the building.  Go to work!  he told himself.  Everyone had their skills, but Dom was, in fact, the best at this.  He literally put every one of the team’s weapons together, and he could use every one better than any other team member.

Dom put a .556 round into one asshole’s forehead before thumbing his selector lever to Full using fully-automatic fire to keep the bastards suppressed.  It was horrible.  The plan was perfect for any normal company.  But what asshole would order his company to burn the building down before they could secure their exit?  What morons would actually follow that insane order?

Caught is anticipated to be released in the fall of 2016

Interview with C.L. Schneider

Cover Reveal and Interview with C.L. Schneider

Not to long ago, I was slipping along the fiberoptic pathways of the interverse and came upon a cover that stopped me cold in my high-speed tracks.  It was a stunning image of a man who knelt while holding a crown of stones.

I complimented the image.  The author tweeted back.  I liked the cover so much, I decided to give the book a try.  This is a habit of mine going back a few years.  Since then, Cindy and I have become friends.  I read Magic Price, and posted a review here not too long ago.  I’m glad I found her and her book when I did, as book three is days away.  I hate waiting for sequels, and having a new series to read gives me motivation in a lot of ways.  In celebration, she’s shared her cover with me to show off, and also took the time to answer a few questions.

I review books.  I’ve said before I only tend to read authors I like.  I don’t hyperbolize, and I don’t promote authors I don’t think well of.  Cindy’s world is expansive, creative, and, most importantly to me, filled with compelling, proactive characters.  It is with great pride I present to you the cover for Magic Borne, the final book in the Crown of Stones Trilogy.

Cover Reveal Magic-Borne

Interview with Author C.L. Schneider

1) Now that the trilogy is over, what are your feelings? 

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel accomplished. Yet, ending The Crown of Stones trilogy has also been very bittersweet. I admit I teared up a few times while I was writing this last book of the trilogy. These characters have been a part of my life for a long time. I know them as well as I know myself, which made writing their dialogue not only feel effortless, but incredibly fun. At the time same time, I need to move on. There are many other worlds out there waiting for me to create and explore. The closer I get to the release of Magic-Borne, the more I can’t wait to sink my teeth into something completely different.

 2) What is your dream reaction from anyone who reads this book?

My goal is to make my readers feel; the good and the bad. I want them to ‘get’ my characters, even if they don’t like them or agree with their decisions. My dream reaction would be for my readers to ride a roller coaster of emotions as they furiously turn the pages. I want them to suffer the worse book hangover ever!

3) Now that this trilogy is over, what’s next for you?

Up next for me is my current work in progress, Nite Fire, an urban fantasy told from the POV of a shapeshifter named Dahlia Nite. Dahlia is a lyrriken, a hybrid species born of a human woman and a male dragon in human form. She’s capable of shifting from human to a reptilian, dragon-like form, complete with scales and fire. The story involves spontaneous combustion, travel between parallel worlds, mythical creatures, retro-cognition, psychic abilities, genetic experiments, serial murder, revenge, secrets, friendship, betrayal, loss, blood, sex, and yes, dragons. Nite Fire is for adults, so expect mature themes (if you’ve read Crown of Stones, you’ll have an idea of what to expect from me in that department). I’m aiming for three books in the Nite Fire series, but that may change depending on how the story unfolds as I move forward with the draft. I’m hoping for a winter 2017 release.

4) What would you say was the best part about working on this trilogy?

I would have to say that worldbuilding was one of the best parts of writing this trilogy. It was wonderful to form all those realms and craft all that history. Taking the flaws and accomplishments of each realm and interweaving them together was a lot of fun. Mirra’kelan is a world I’m proud of. I think it has a lot of potential for future stories.

5) What are you going to miss the most about it?

I’m going to miss my characters tremendously. I love spending my days with them, watching them grow, and being able to experience the story through their eyes. One of the hardest parts of moving onto a new project has been letting go of the characters I knew so well. I’m going to miss hearing their voices in my head. Though, something tells me they won’t all stay quiet for long ☺

6) Of all of your plot-lines which was your favorite and why?

That’s a hard one. Anything revolving around Ian’s Shinree enemy (who shall remain nameless to avoid spoilers) was a great plot-line to write. But I think I my favorite overall would be the eldring. When the eldring appear in the first book, you learn a decent amount about them, but so much more is unveiled throughout the trilogy; the truth of what they are, their role in the history of Mirra’kelan (and its future), their impact on the overall plot, and on Ian. I love how that whole plot-line played out.

7) Through this trilogy, how would you say you’ve grown as an author?

I’ve learned a lot since that first draft of Magic-price, and I think each book has taught me something different. Magic-Price took me the longest to write. It went through many revisions, and I feel like my knowledge of the craft of writing grew after each one. I think one of the most important things I learned during that time was not to over-explain. I had to learn to trust, not only the strength of my readers’ imagination, but my ability to paint clear pictures for them. I learned that not everything in my head (or my character’s head) needed to be on the page. Writing the subsequent books took far less time and far fewer revisions. Going from one into two, my grasp of pesky grammar and punctuation issues, unnecessary dialogue, and the nuance of foreshadowing improved. With three, I just got out of the way and let my characters do all the work. They knew what they were doing by that point anyway.

8) Crown of Stones was your first project. Were you worried about starting your career as an author with a trilogy? Why/why not?

I wasn’t worried, but I knew it was a gamble. I read how new authors are encouraged to write stand-alone stories. They should be under 100k words, and they should never ben in first person. I didn’t listen to any of it. I wasn’t trying to be a rebel. I simply told the story of Ian Troy the way it needed to be told. I didn’t stress over word count or series length, and I never considered writing it anything but first person. With first person, I can slip right into my character’s head. I feel what they feel, and put it on the page. It’s just how I write. Besides, I think it’s less of a risk with my chosen genre. Epic fantasies and trilogies just go together.

Interview with Angela B. Chrysler

Interview with Angela B. Chrysler
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I’ve recently become a member of an awesome group of writers known as the HMS Slush Brain.  One of the members, Angela, has become an Amazon best seller.  I wanted to share some of her thoughts as she’s where most indi authors want to be.  She’s a wonderful person, and I’m happy to present a brief interview I conducted with her via email.

Two months after its release, Broken made it to number #1 in its category on Amazon. How do you feel about that?

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Somewhere between amazing and ecstatic! Its strong confirmation that Broken is loved. Readers are wonderfully quiet people. When they love something, they rarely speak out and tell the author, which leaves an author guessing. A small percentage leave a review, so in the end, an author really doesn’t know how the readers feel until they see a review or the sales increase. To see Broken at first place in its category… its confirmation I did the right thing in publishing it.

Is this your first book to reach number 1?

 

Yes, it is. The topics in Broken touches far more people and reaches a far wider audience than Dolor and Shadow, which is an epic fantasy for High Fantasy fans.

Tell us a bit about your books?

Dolor and Shadow is an epic fantasy and the introduction to Tales of the Drui. It introduces the Dokkalfar (Dark Elf) witch and queen, Kallan who is at war with the Ljosalfar (Light Elf), King Rune. The story revolves around the Seidr, an ancient and mysterious magic that gives life to all things. Kallan has unusually advanced skill with the Seidr. Within the first chapter, readers learn that Danann—yes, that is Danann as in Tuathe De Danann—is hunting her. So her powers are suppressed and part of her memory is erased to keep her hidden.

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Early on, Kallan inherits the Alfheim war between the Ljosalfar and the Dokkalfar. When her powers grow beyond what her kin can conceal, she is placed in protection with her enemy, King Rune. The hunt for Kallan continues and lands Kallan and Rune in the mountains of Jotunheim, smack dab in the middle of Midgard—ancient Norway. In order to survive Midgard, which is currently under attack by Olaf I, who hunts Seidr users or witches, Kallan and Rune have to form and alliance. The alliance, the trek across Ancient Norway, and the witch hunt, all takes place while the Tuathe de Danann hunts Kallan.

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It’s Star Wars meets Enemy Mine in the style of Lord of the Rings while set in Game of Thrones.

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Broken is much harder to explain. At first glance, it’s a memoir. But it’s much more than that. It’s a journal I wrote in the style of a fiction psychology thriller, so it reads like a fiction novel, but it’s a memoir. For me, personally, it’s a philosophy book.

We meet Elizabeth, a renowned author. (Yes. A renowned author. *smile* It’s my book and I have dreams). Elizabeth has retired to a hermitage. William, a young journalist and fan, comes to her cottage and asks for an interview. Right away, readers catch a glimpse of Elizabeth’s fragmented mental condition, but we’re still not certain why or how severe her state of mind really is. Elizabeth agrees to the interview and grants William 24 hours. And so it begins.

As Elizabeth recounts her life—from an abusive child hood where she was forced to barricade herself in her bedroom to survive while being exposed to a significant amount of torture, animal abuse, rape, pedophilia, enslavement, and prepared for trafficking—we see Elizabeth quickly descend into her psyche. The more Elizabeth talks, the more we begin to witness her multiple personalities. What looks like schizophrenia is really a severe case of PTSD, Borderline Personality Disorder, Bipolar, Mania, and dissociative disorder. All these conditions were brought out and formed by the abuse we are reading about.

A mother whose own mental condition passed on these same mental conditions to Elizabeth, the cats that provided the only positive physical contact she had were just some of the events that developed Elizabeth’s insanity, eventually causing her to create four fictitious realms where she could escape with four characters she invented to replace the relationships she lacked. When Elizabeth falls deeply in love with a gentle friend, her mind is so malformed, a happily ever after is near impossible, if she could have one at all.

Broken is written in first person point of view and readers are taken deep into Elizabeth’s mind. Still, for me, it’s just my journal that I used to explore a branch of philosophy—Existentialism—while I look for answers in my past.  Broken is raw, intense, and, readers may find it interesting that I wrote Part Five: Breaking the Looking Glass as Part Five was taking place.

What do you think readers enjoy most about your book?

About Broken, “Enjoy” is such a strange term to apply to this story. Readers are putting down Broken and saying, “You have GOT to read this,” but they didn’t enjoy it. Most mention feeling horrible about recommending it, “but you gotta read this,” they say. It is a realistic adrenaline charged mental adventure that changes you. No one has put Broken down and forgotten. Most put Broken down with light bulb moment that takes days to readjust to the real world. I’ve had mother’s come to me and say, “I understand my BPD daughter now.” I’ve had unrecovered trauma survivors come to me and say, “I can’t help but see similarities in my life. Am I just as bad as this?” I’ve seen them get help. I’ve seen therapists—two now—who came to me and said, “I thought I had mastered my profession and could learn nothing new. This book has changed me. I understand now.” Both are recommending it to their peers.

Will you enjoy Broken? No? But you will put it down, changed for the better.
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About Dolor and Shadow, readers of High Fantasy will enjoy returning to the world that made this genre a classic. As so many readers have told me, Dolor and Shadow is a reminder as to why we love Fantasy.

There is sweeping imagery, sword fights, a complex magic system, magical runes, enchanted items to hunt for, witches, Fae gods, murder mysteries, and chase scenes. A touch of romance and, I’ve been told, quite a bit of humor. But humor is subjective, and mine is dry and unusual.

History lovers will enjoy the amount of accurate detail. It revives the Viking era and shows you, really shows you how the Norse once lived… If we could see the Viking era through the elves’ point of view, Dolor and Shadow would be it.
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What is your biggest inspiration?

Oooh! I will take this moment to quote part of my dedication.

To the people of Norway whose country and culture I fell in love with so deeply, it inspired me to recreate their heritage and, who I hope will forgive me if I got it wrong.

A lot inspired this story. First and foremost, a bad and poorly written romance novel. This inspired me to create Kallan and begin this journey. From there, my passion for history fueled the story. My writing was, and is, very much inspired… influenced by Poe, Ayn Rand, and Tolkien’s Silmarillion—Come on, Peter Jackson! I’m waiting!—My writing style has been compared to Tad Williams and Ayn Rand. But the world… The world was inspired by Norway.

I can take you to Norway and walk the very path Kallan and Rune take. From the second highest peak in Jotunheim Park, down through the Dovrefjell, north to Trondheim, them on to Lake Aursund, down the Glomma, then west to Lake Mjosa.

What’s next for you?

Oooh! What’s next! Fire and Lies! The sequel to Dolor and Shadow, which should be out April 2016. I’ve set my publication date to 2 April 2016, but am not sure if I will hit my mark. I also have a plethora of stories screaming in my head to get out. I love dabbling in macabre and all my writing brings macabre to the table. Even my romances. I am first and foremost, a fantasy author, but love to dabble in other genres. I am aching to write a romance, the likes which have never been seen before. I’m thinking a romance where they fall out of love. Also, I have plans for a romance-styled adventure with an ending that realizes no happiness for our lovers. I will forever say this, my characters always have to earn their Happy Ever After… if it happens at all. My romances will not be an exception to this.

Is there any big news coming up you’d like people to know about?
 

I don’t believe in wasting talent. I intend to use every bit of me there is. That being said, I have decided to put my long history in theater to use, and I have begun Story Time. Every day, Monday through Friday, I upload a chapter to YouTube. I am currently reading Dolor and Shadow and Along Came A Wolf by Adam Dreece. Next month I read Broken and March I begin the epic fantasy Magic-Price by C.L. Schneider.

I also have the Brain to Books Cyber Convention coming up April 2016. Readers! This is an online convention and all are welcome! Last year we had more than 200 show, and this year it should be just as vast. The convention will be on Goodreads, my website, and, this year, it will be expanded to Facebook! I may even extend this to Google+ and Pinterest. We have giveaways, prizes, free books, contests, book readings, blog hops, cotton candy, caramel popcorn, candy apples, and fried dough… all food is cyber of course.

Where can readers find you?

I am everywhere and offer treats and giveaways at all locations.

Official Site

Amazon Author Page

Goodreads Profile Page
Twitter

Pinterest

Facebook

Google+


Dolor and Shadow

Angela B Chrysler BUSINESS CARD front

Final Revisions on Caught

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I’m happy to announce I’ve completed the second draft of my paranormal, horror novel Caught.  This keeps me on track for an early-mid 2016 release, but it may not be out as soon as I’d like (March).  I have one or two more drafts to go yet depending on how quickly the editorial draft is done and feedback from beta readers.

By the way, if you read The Journals of Bob Drifter, and you’re interested in being a beta reader for Caught, feel free to send me an email through my contact link on this page.  I’m trying to obtain three beta readers for this book, and I have one so far.

Now that I have some more time, I’m going to rest for a few days (not too long).  Once I recharge, I’m going to put all of my attention into Perception of War until I get this draft of Caught back from everyone.  I’ll probably take some time to re-familiarize myself with it since I took a break once revisions for caught got heavy, but that book looks to be going wonderfully.

I plan to be posting a review here soon as I’m about 80% through fellow 2015 Red City Review Book Award finalist Circumstellar, by J.W. Lolite.  So be on the lookout for that, as well as a few chapter reveals from Caught and maybe a few audio book giveaways for Journals.

V/R
M.L.S. Weech

The End of an Era

I was reading my email a few days back when I saw something from an old friend.  In the acknowledgement section of my book, I mentioned the San Diego Writers’ Group.  Before I met them, I was just some guy writing a bunch of words.  I had a lot of ideas and ambition, but I didn’t really know if I had the talent to be an author.  So I trolled the internet looking for a writers’ group and met Allen.  Saturday marked the last meeting of his group.  Allen chose to move on.

He was a man who was patient beyond believe, driven beyond measure and kind beyond words.  He and the members of that group were the first people who weren’t closely related to me or married to one of my relatives to show support for me.  They gave criticism when it was needed, praise when it was earned and, most of all, encouragement.

I really should get back with a writers’ group for so many reasons.  It’s just hard because I don’t know what would have to happen for a group of people to compare to those I still miss down in San Diego.  Even when my life was more than I could handle, they gathered around me and supported me. They kept me writing and let me ramble.

When I found out their group was closing up shop, it felt even more sad than I’d imagined.  This was home for me as an author.  A lot of people don’t understand what it means to be surrounded by like-minded people who are all motivated to be creative.  It didn’t matter to them if you just wanted to write or if you wanted to be a best seller.  They welcomed anyone.  That sort of openness is rare.

I couldn’t make it to San Diego to say by to Allen or wish him luck on the next phase of his life.  But I don’t know if I’d be here now if it weren’t for him and that group.  I asked him if I had what it took to be an author, and he answered, yes.  I think about them every time I’m writing and wonder if what I’m writing is any good.  I think about them and just wonder how they’re all doing.  I peek in on a few members of the gang now and then, but not as often as I’d like.

The simple fact is they’re a wonderful group of people, and I’m sad to see the group disband.  I wish Allen all the luck in the world, and I thank him from the bottom of my heart for all he did to encourage me and dozens of others to just write.

For those authors out there, I’ve heard writers’ groups are a big help to the goal of publishing.  I don’t personally have the data to support that, but what I do know is that I was never more productive than when I was a part of that group.  Find a writers’ group.  Start one.  Surround yourself with people who motivate you to chase your goals.  Allen and his group did that for me.

One last time.  Thank you Allen.  My best to you and all of the gang.

V/R
Matt