Tonight for horror month, we have the very lovely Michael Matula, writer of Try Not to Burn, and also the mediator of a writers group that I'm part of called 'CWOG' aka: Cool Writer Only Group.
He really is one of the most imaginative writers that I've come across, with stories of a pick-pocketing Elf, teenagers on the run from zombies, and the finer points of persecution in hell! If you haven't checked out his debut novel, I honestly can't reccomend him enough.
In fact, take a look at the sample below and you'll see for yourself.
Michael Matula is a novelist from Chicago, IL, and a current member of the Chicago Writers Association and the SCBWI. Michael once dreamed of becoming a comic book artist, sketching pictures and caption bubbles in class when he really should have been studying. Unable to draw fast enough to keep up with all the ideas and story lines he came up with, he wrote out a side story for one of his characters. He ended up falling in love with writing and never really looked back.
His first book, Try Not to Burn, was released in September 2012 by Post Mortem Press.
He's currently working on the sequel, and a sample of one of his novels won the top prize on Authonomy.com after being ranked at #1 overall.
A Quick Get To Know The Author
Five facts about you that people won’t know about you. Can you juggle? Ride a bike with no hands? Drink beer upside down? Something unusual… GO!
1. As a very small child, I almost died because of a candy cane. Not even joking. People tell you not to run with scissors in your hand, but they don't tell you not to run with candy canes in your mouth. They probably should.
2. I used to draw my own comic books when I was a teenager. It's basically the springboard that got me into writing.
3. I'm building my own thesaurus. Kind of. It's less of a traditional thesaurus, and more a collection of Microsoft Word files I keep around on everything from swear words (I always have a hard time thinking of PG rated curses) to varieties of mythological creatures.
4. 13 is my favourite number. My mother, one of my sisters and I were all born on the 13th of different months. I was the only one born on a Friday, though. Lucky me?
5. I have a fear of heights, and yet I've always been great at climbing things.
Five facts about your newest book that people won’t know. Some background history on one of your characters maybe? Maybe it was going to be called something completely different to start out with? Is it the same genre it started out as?...
1. The original name was Second Chance. Then I looked at Amazon and saw how many books had that name, so I started brainstorming other ideas. I ended up with "Try Not to Burn," since the characters are trying not to burn in Hell, but I almost went with "God's Grinder."
2. I had a different prologue at the start of the book before. It was from the point of view of Rellik as he goes on a crime spree. I swapped it for the current prologue, where a news report is playing. You only hear the audio from the broadcast for a very specific reason.
3. The book is based on a short story I wrote when I was still in high school. This idea has been rattling around in my brain for a while.
4. The name "Clarence" was suggested to me by someone who was reading along as I wrote the book. They thought he seemed like the guardian angel from "It's a Wonderful Life." I ended up running with the concept.
5. One of the monsters in my book was partly inspired by the aliens in Starship Troopers.
Five facts about your next book… Name, genre, expected date of release…
1. Arrival of the Ageless
2. A young adult zombie novel.
3. A sample of the book was recently awarded the top prize on Authonomy.com after being
ranked #1 overall.
4. It was originally just called Ageliss, after the corporation in the book. I changed the
name when I realized that most people would probably think it was a typeo.
5. Um…no release date yet. Still workin' on it.
Three tips that you think might be useful for other authors… anything you want. It could be, to write a certain amount every day, only write after midnight and never get Gizmo wet (Sorry, that’s Gremlins not writers! My bad.) Maybe it’s some information that was given to you that has helped your process…
1. Try to stay open to new ideas. You never know where inspiration will strike. A power outage inspired me to write the first short story I ever got published. It was a science fiction story about a man who gets trapped in an electric car when the power grid breaks down.
2. There's a saying: "Write drunk, edit sober." I take it to mean that you should let go of your inhibitions while you're writing. Experiment. Get a little crazy now and then. You can always fix it later.
3. And last and definitely least: write responsibly. Don't write and drive. ☺
Try Not To Burn Excert & Book Cover
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