Connect with me on Goodreads.com!

I’ve had an author page on Goodreads.com since mid 2010, but recently I decided to start paying a little more attention to it. I really enjoy the site and the fact that it encourages the enjoyment of literature, letting you list books you’ve read, plan to read or personally wrote. If you’re an avid reader, joint the site if you haven’t already. All my books have pages on Goodreads and I have an author profile there as well. Please drop by and become a fan or friend. I’d appreciate either.

Author page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4591308.Matt_D_Williams

My Books on Goodreads:

Matt D. Williams

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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

Jak Phoenix 2 & The Journey of Life

With the release of my novel, Jak Phoenix 2: The Markazian Deception just around the corner, I found myself doing some reflecting on the events that have passed since I finished the first book. Since you’re reading this, you’ve probably realized I am now going to share them with you.

Life

It took me longer than I’d planned to get this far with Jak Phoenix 2, but I promise you it wasn’t purely to do with laziness. Writing this book was an exercise in determination.

I started writing the sequel in January 2010 and the process was punctuated with an assortment of life-related interruptions. Some bad, some good and some great! I also took a break soon after starting it to write the short story, Jak Phoenix: Paid in Full. (You can download that free at the Sony Reader Store, Kobo, Smashwords and iTunes/iBookstore.)

But, aside from trying to keep up with my hobbies of guitar playing and film-watching, I actually had some important stuff happen.

I married my lovely wife in October of 2010, so needless to say, a large chunk of the year was designated to the planning and stressing over our James Bond themed wedding. Yeah, that’s right. A James Bond themed wedding. She’s that cool.

I also spent most of 2011 doing a full, tear-the-walls-down renovation on our basement. I did this primarily alone, so that was a great way to absorb all of my free time.

Oh yeah, and after working at my full time job, I’m taking night courses. From time to time I try (not that hard) to maintain some sort of social relationships. I know many people are far more busy, but I just wanted to lay out my excuses up front.

In the end, I finally finished it. And it feels good.

About the Book

With Jak Phoenix 2, I had some different goals in mind than on the first novel. I wanted to keep the humor and action at a level as high as the first book, but I wanted to keep the story grounded in a smaller galactic region. In Jak Phoenix 1, they were flying all over the galaxy. I wanted to see how Jak might react with some restrictions on not only his movements, but his actions.

I also made it a goal to ensure the villain was not as clear. In the first novel, the villain was as big as a planet, but this time I wanted to create a story where things weren’t so easily figured out. Fewer villains wearing black hats, as they say. I wanted more twists and turns, and a stronger sense of mystery.

I also wanted to put the characters through more emotionally difficult situations and experiment with creating a rising level of dramatic intrigue. Don’t worry, Jak is still a lazy smart ass, but maybe he is a man who can be beaten … or hurt … or deceived. What happens when his selfishness starts to affect the people around him?

In the end, it’s still a simple pulp space opera story meant to supply you with big spills, thrills and chills, and a heavy helping of humour. But, by the end you’ll see something more sinister might be brewing in the Azore’s Crown galaxy.

Jak Phoenix 2: The Markazian Deception - Space Adventure eBook

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

A bio?

 

Wow.  I just realized I haven’t posted anything here since May. To be honest I forgot. Planning a wedding has made this a rather busy year, but I wanted to pull away from it for a few minutes. I figured this would be a great time to go back to basics with an author bio.

What is it about writing a bio that so clearly puts your existence into perspective at the bottom of the grand scale of important things? You don’t want to over-embellish and seem like you’re full of yourself right? But then you don’t want to sound boring. In the interest of giving others a chance, I’ll leave out the stuff about being an astronaut archaeologist.

I grew up in Ridgeway, Ontario, swimming in Lake Erie when we didn’t realize it was toxic and having adventures in forests now flattened for suburbs. Then I found movies.
Thinking back, I have to place the original Star Wars trilogy as one of the biggest influences on my childhood. Or maybe Back to the Future…or Indiana Jones…or Bill and Ted. Wow, the eighties. When you filter out the crap, we had an unfair amount of awesome stuff.

An attempt at breaking out of the bland doldrums of a nine-to-five computer service job was what drove me to take a shot at writing. It was something I also used to love doing when I was younger. If girls, sports and music hadn’t dragged me away from writing as I got older, who knows what would have come of it? My bet is that it would have been of more worth than what came of the results in the fields above.

When I’m not writing or working, I like to try to save time for hiking, reading, playing guitar and drums and spending time with my wonderful fiancée. Luckily she loves movies.

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

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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