My interview at Herladyshipsquest.com with Tracy Falbe

jak phoenix 1 and jak phoenix 2: the markazian deception paperback booksI was interviewed by fantasy author Tracy Falbe yesterday and we discussed writing, inspiration and my character Jak Phoenix. Here’s a snippet of that interview:

With two novels and a short story to his name (and a few good reviews) Canadian indie author Matt D. Williams reveals what he likes about his low-achiever hero Jak Phoenix and his writing goals.

1. Why space opera? What elements of this genre do you enjoy most as a writer?

As far back as I can remember, I’ve always been attracted to sprawling space opera-type tales with an inherent lighter tone. There is just something about an action packed pulp story told on a grand scale that gets my heart pumping and my mind racing. The big heroes, the diabolical villains, the explosions, the space pistols – fun stuff.

There are many very talented authors out there who are doing exceptional work with harder technical sci-fi. They would flatten me in a second if I attempted to join that game, but that type of story just doesn’t suit my personality. I set out to make a series of books you could pull out of your back pocket on a rainy Sunday afternoon and be quickly lost in a fun escapist adventure. Like life, the Jak Phoenix series will grow a little darker as it matures, but I will always be sure to remember where this tale came from.

All in all I set out to write a book I would enjoy as a kid, a teen, or an adult. Something a “regular” person could enjoy, even if he or she were oblivious to most science fiction. I wanted to read something that would make me feel the way I felt the first time I saw Luke and Han arguing over a princess while trying to blast their way out of an evil space station…

Head over to Tracy’s website and read the full interview.

I’d like to send a big thanks to Tracy for this opportunity!

Matt D. Williams

An Interview with Independent Author W. A. Patterson

future useless scifi sci-fi ebook coverIn early 2011 my new “Checking in with Other Authors” series was going well so I sat down for another one with independent author W. A. Patterson who wrote a book called Future Useless. Enjoy a taste of that interview below…

The full article can be found at http://jakphoenix.com/2011/01/27/an-interview-with-author-w-a-patterson/

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Since the first two interviews I posted on the site were well received, I’ve decided to continue and speak with some other great independent authors. W. A. Patterson recently sent me his novel, Future Useless, and it caught my eye, so I asked him a few questions about it. Here’s what he had to say:

MW: Tell us about your novel, Future Useless.

WAP: Future Useless is the story of Carl Gussman-  hospital Janitor from the 20th century- stranded in the 30th century and beyond. He’s an “artifact,” and phobic about the nanotechnology needed for an everyday life in the future. He lacks the education, money, family and friends needed to survive on his own in the future.  In effect he is useless in the future.

Instead of accepting this and moving to a colony where religious beliefs make it easier to live a simple life, Carl spends years working to make the universe work for him.

Carl eventually disappears, but after a century, Lissa- the historian that revived him – gets access to his secret journals and starts to find out more about man she thought she knew, and discovers some scary things about him.

Once she’s finished, Lissa fights between feeling pushed to find Carl, and her fear of just what he’s been out doing in the universe for over a century.

Tell us a bit about your main character, Carl.

Carl Gussman is mostly my father and a bit of a few other older men I know who grew up in the 30’s and 40’s. They represent and part and mind-set of the American identity that has been lost in the last few decades.  Carl is a man that grew up in a world where a man had no limits, except those he set for himself.  These men (and women, of course) never ran into a problem they would not overcome because they were raised to expect problems to be overcome and not road blocks to all progress.  Carl mirrors this and is kind of the savant of his generation. He’s got this lifetime of experience and the patience and duplicity to use it as he sees fit…

Read the full interview at JakPhoenix.com

An Interview with Author Brian S. Pratt

In January of 2011, I had the honor of speaking with independent author Brian S. Pratt, who was kind enough to answer a few questions. We spoke about his stories, his success and publishing in general. For those of you who don’t know him, he is probably the most successful independent author ever, with thousands upon thousands of books sold without the help of a major publisher. If you’re an author or a fantasy reader, enjoy the interview below!

The full interview can be found at http://jakphoenix.com/2011/01/22/an-interview-with-brian-s-pratt/

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MW: Tell us a little bit about yourself:

BSP: I’m just a regular guy whose imagination tends to run amuck now and again. I am a veteran (Air Force), drove taxi, managed a Pizza Hut and even taught teens to drive for a couple years. Nothing in my history would indicate here’s a guy who is going to write a bunch of books. Of course, anyone who knew me from when I was 12 until now would know that a book is never far from my hand. I read all the time, less so now that I’m writing.  I live in the country and prefer peace and quiet.

Could you give us a quick overview of the Morcyth Saga?

It’s seven books long, never been edited, written in the present tense, and has sold well over 50,000 copies. A rather unbelievable achievement given that I hadn’t a clue what I was doing when I started. Had I known then what I know now, I never would have written it in present tense. Some people just can’t get over that.

The Morcyth Saga is about a teen who is into role playing and likes to read fantasy novels. He goes for a job, ends up in another world where magic works, and then discovers that his experiences from role playing and reading are going to come in rather handy. The way I figured it…

Read the full interview at Jakphoenix.com

An Interview with Fantasy Author Tracy Falbe

tracy falbe rys chronicles ebook paperback ipad ibooksAbout a year ago, I had the opportunity to speak with Tracy Falbe for our first interview in my ‘Checking in With Other Authors’ series. She is an outstanding independent fantasy author with a massive body of work, still growing faster than I can even keep track of. Her work is of the highest quality and her presentation of everything from the novels to her website is downright gorgeous. If you are a fantasy fan, please check out one of her novels in the links below…

Here is some of the the original interview from 2011. You can check out the original post in its entirety right here http://jakphoenix.com/2011/02/10/an-interview-with-fantasy-author-tracy-falbe/

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MW: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

TF: I grew up in rural Michigan which exposed me to nothing exciting. I can’t remember a time when I did not entertain myself with adventuresome daydreams. I was always a princess leading the rebels while dangling over lava pits when I was a little girl. And I always knew that I wanted to write novels when I grew up. When I was in grade school I would draw pictures, write stories on the pictures and then staple them together. I’m a natural born publisher.

After growing up in Michigan I spent most of my adult life in Nevada and Northern California. I earned a journalism degree from California State University, Chico. It’s a good degree for someone who wants to be a writer. Then in 2009 I moved back to Michigan. Living in the Midwest is weird after being out West for so long. I call it rustbelt living. The traffic is light and you can always get a parking space. I sometimes feel like I’m in the witness protection program.

Today I appear to live an ordinary life. I have a husband, kids, dog, and cat. When I’m not writing, I enjoy growing food, bicycling, swimming, boating, and watching depressing documentaries. I read a lot of nonfiction, especially history, economics, spirituality, current affairs, and environmental subjects. Unlike most people I meet, I write novels and sell them on the internet, and I love doing it.

Could you give us a rundown on The Rys Chronicles?

I’m the type of reader and writer who likes characters that are not purely good. Character flaws are interesting….

Check out the full interview at Jakphoenix.com

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Fantasy readers can sample the first novel Union of Renegades by downloading a free copy from her website www.braveluck.com. Paperbacks available too.

All my fantasy novels are also widely available at major online retailers.

Smashwords http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/939

Amazon Kindle http://www.amazon.com/Union-Renegades-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B003UES7U8/

Barnes & Noble Nook http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Union-of-Renegades/Tracy-Falbe/e/2940000720509/

Google Ebooks http://books.google.com/ebooks?id=ifNnT44l-KIC&dq

Apple iBooks http://itunes.apple.com/en/book/union-renegades-the-rys-chronicles/id365801314?mt=11

An interview with Mike Dion of BookBarista.com

Here I am interviewing Mike dion of BookBarista.com. Originally from JakPhoenix.com at the link below: 

An interview with Mike Dion of BookBarista.com.

Today, you’ll find something a little different on Jakphoenix.com. Matt Williams, author of Jak Phoenix, decided to sit down (in front of a computer) with Mike Dion, a fellow author who has just started the new site, ‘Book Barista,’ at www.bookbarista.com. You may find value in his site as either an author or a reader. Here’s the interview…

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MW: Mike, give us a quick overview on what your site is all about.

MD: Hi, Matt. First I’d like to thank you for taking the time to interview me about BookBarista. It’s a pleasure to be discussing it with you. Basically the site is for authors (commercial or indie), book sellers (new or used), those selling book related items (ie eReaders), and those who offer book related services (ie editing). It’s a place that offers free advertising to book folks. Also it’s not owned by any large corporation so folks can post links to places like Amazon, Smashwords, or an independent bookstore. It’s for everyone, not just one segment of the book world. So the opportunity to sell books can increase as visitors see more options to acquire a book from many places. By the way we don’t take a cut of the sale. We are just an advertising site.

Why did you decide to start Book Barista?

Since the book market is changing so fast with the introduction of the eReader and the acceleration in self-publishing it is clear that there is a lack of advertising for many authors out there; commercial and indie alike. We wanted to create a place where everyone can post their book and even up the playing field a bit. Authors of all types are hungry and they need a place to show off. BookBarista gives that to them.

Being an independent author yourself, where do you see the publishing industry going in the next while?

I see traditional publishers teaming up with online venues such as Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords. These companies have created some powerful platforms. BUT publishing companies (the ones with a lot of revenue) can still team up amongst themselves and create their own sites by following an Amazon type model. But the future of publishing is going to be online. I think that is a given. Print books will be around for a long time, especially used books. But the leaner model will take place online. Just look at the way of the VHS, DVD, and old telephones. New technology has taken over across the globe. It’s inevitable that this will happen with publishing as well.

What are you planning for the future with http://www.bookbarista.com?

The near future has us going for traffic and site users. Without users we won’t go anywhere. We need dedication. We need to build a community. Further ahead we have a few plans. But we need to keep our eye on the here and the now.

Obviously you are a fan of literature. What are you reading right now?

Reading is difficult right now. I am working on my books, this site, remodeling my kitchen on a shoestring budget, working my regular job, and taking care of my wife and kids. The last book I read was a Tom Clancy novel a bit ago, Rainbow Six. I was late in getting into his novels. But he has built quite the book empire.

Do you have a favorite author?

You bet! Robert E. Howard. He was a pulp fiction author of the 30’s. He wrote the original Conan books. But he also wrote a ton of other great books and created some incredible worlds and characters beyond Conan. His writing is rich and full of life. He was a great talent.

Where can people follow you online?

For BookBarista we have a blog on the site and we also have a twitter account – BookBarista is the twitter name. As a writer I write under the pen-name, Dodge Winston. The site for my writing is at http://www.dodgewinston.com

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I hope folks give BookBarista a shot and stick with it. It’s a new site so we are all learning what works best. I’m always open for suggestions. I can be reached at contact@bookbarista.com

Thanks for your time, Mike.

Thanks for having me, Matt. Wishing you success!

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Head on over to http://www.bookbarista.com/. Then check back next week for another interview. This time with one of the most successful independent authors, Brian S. Pratt!

Jak Phoenix: Doing Something About it.

Jak Phoenix Paperback and Ebook Cover ArtI started writing Jak Phoenix in September 2008, after beers with friends led to the inevitable conversations nerds have about movies, comics, space and how we always had ‘better ideas’ than the churned-out supply of Hollywood remakes and reboots.

‘Better ideas’ is a pretty subjective term, but after the 50th conversation about being able to do something better without having any experience doing said task, I decided to put my money where my mouth was. Write a book. Pretty easy right?

Wrong. Writing, while rewarding, is difficult. Decent original ideas are hard to come by. The line between something marketable and garbage is pretty blurred. I am convinced the key to being a successful author lies more in self-discipline and an intense work ethic. Putting words down is tiring, stressful, boring and exhilarating all at the same time. At the very least, my efforts over the 15 months dedicated to putting the book together has given me the utmost respect for writers of anything; be it books, news articles, scripts, plays, or commercials.

I am no Hemingway. I am several large steps below a guy who has read a Hemingway. My goal was never to write a life changing magnum opus of epic proportions, but to have fun with the archetypes we all grew up admiring. From a literary standpoint, I’d have to say my biggest influence came from Ian Fleming. Not from a story perspective, but in action, suspense and pacing. What you read won’t be boring. I can promise you that much. My short attention span wouldn’t allow for boredom.

I set out to write a story that made me feel like I did the first time I saw the original Star Wars. Jak Phoenix morphed into something different when my focus swayed a little into the comedic field, but the simplicity, strong characterizations and appeal to mainstream readers remained intact. I wanted something everyone could have fun reading, with relatable flawed characters and a light tone. I’d had enough of the doom and gloom so prevalent in media these days. I’m not ashamed to admit I wanted a slam bang space opera.

My novel is far from perfect and I am the first to admit it. But, I went out on a limb and ‘did something about it,’ and for that I am proud. My fiancée’s understanding to my dedication toward sitting at the computer for multi-hour stretched will also never be forgotten. Her support is part of the reason she is my fiancée.

If you have read Jak Phoenix, I sincerely hope you enjoy it, as I certainly did while I was writing it. I picked the book up off the shelf the other day and started reading it. With my best attempt to separate myself as the author, I can honestly say it still put a smile on my face. Goal accomplished.

Matt Williams

https://mattdwilliams.wordpress.com/

Author of the Jak Phoenix Space Adventures at www.jakphoenix.com
Jak Phoenix is available at:
Amazon.com Paperbacks
Barnes and Noble Paperbacks
Barnes and Noble ebooks
Smashwords ebooks

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