The Rising Author Tag

Hey all! It seems there’s a new tag making the rounds, and it honors new authors. And thanks to a friend of mine (a fellow author), I’ve been nominated! Wow, a chance to join other authors and talk about my writing. That plays to my strengths rather nicely…

Okay, so here are the tag rules:

  • Thank the person who tagged you.
  • Answer the questions they came up with.
  • Nominate four people to do the tag (no tagging the person who tagged you originally).
  • Come up with 10 new questions for the people you nominated.

The first one is easy enough. A special thanks to Rami Ungar for nominating me and keeping this site of mine active. Ever since I began writing for a living, my time here has predictably suffered. But I try to make the time to post updates and thoughts when it’s important. Here are my answers to the questions:

Tell us about what you’re working on or recently released.

The second book in my Formist Series, titled The Jovian Manifesto, was recently released by Castrum Press. Since that time, I’ve been working on the third and final installment, The Frost Line Fracture.

Where in the process of writing are you?

I just recently finished the tenth chapter, which brought me to about 24,000 words. Soon enough, I will be polishing off Part I of the novel and getting into Part II.

What is the most difficult part of writing the story at this point?

For me, the third installment in a three book series is always the toughest one to write. Not only do you need to come up with a compelling story that will live up to (or surpass) the first two, you also have to keep track of everything you’ve established so far to keep things consistent.

What about your main character do you like the most?

Well, the series has kind of shifted MCs. But for the second and third book, there’s a central protagonist. She’s tough, independent, and not afraid to be occasionally vulnerable.

What is your writing process/routine, if you have one?

Not much to say, I pretty much write when I feel inspired. I prefer to do it at home, but at times, the feeling strikes me when I’m out and about (usually at a cafe with my laptop).

Do you pants your way through a story, or do you plot it out?

I plot it out, always. I’ve never been a seat-of-the-pants person when it comes to writing. Before I start writing, I prefer to create a framework that addresses how it will all unfold. I don’t work out all the details in advance, just the bare bones of the plot. That leaves me enough room to improvise and add things along the way.

What are your characters’ musical interests?

Hmm, I haven’t really thought about it that much. But I imagine she would be into jazz and music that melds Latin and African influences. That’s her background and she’s big into poetry and travel.

What’s next for you in terms of writing?

Well, I’m working on the third installment in a trilogy. Once that’s done, I plan to start a new series (another trilogy) that will be set in the same universe, but takes place later, and with higher stakes!

If you could pick a narrator for your story’s audio book, who would you pick?

Tough call! I feel like I should say Morgan Freeman, but my gut says Idris Elba. Natural gravitas in either case, but Elba is freaking cool!

Share an excerpt or snippet, if you’re comfortable.

The place smelt like a Cronian pleasure dome on a Sunday morning. A crush of bodily odors, sweat, bad breath, hot food, and recycled air. It made Adler want to instruct his implants to shut down his olfactory receptors. Given the choice, he might even want to instruct them to shut down all his senses, make him forget where he currently was.

But that would deprive him of the lovely view, which he was taking from a upper tier overlooking the settlement’s main bazaar. Everywhere he looked there was the same signs of decay and turpitude. The same mix of people living in a transitional area between traditionalism and transhumanism. 

Hygeia. The name was practically a pejorative, as far as Adler was concerned.

During the Great Acceleration, Hygeia was one of many rocks in the Main Belt that was established as a stopover and refueling station for missions headed towards the Outer Worlds. Like Ceres, Vesta and Pallas, the first waves of workers and engineers had done a bang-up job establishing the necessary infrastructure, which included the docking facilities that serviced haulers and freighters.

However, the plan soon changed and a second wave of moved in, seeking to turn the asteroid into a self-sustaining colony. These people were responsible for hollowing out most of Hygeia’s rock and ice to make room for living quarters and speeding up its rotation to provide artificial gravity – roughly 0.8 of Earth normal. They also created the biome that ensured a steady supply of recycled air and water.

But as time went on and the Great Migration occurred, the asteroid gradually changed into a place for black-marketeers and people looking for sanctuary. Retros, Extros, and people who were somewhere in between all found themselves drawn to Hygeia because its unique combination of accessibility and nobody giving a shit.

Those qualities, which had always given Adler an aversion to the place in the past, were precisely why he found himself in Hygeia right now. When someone needed to hide, or to travel discreetly across the Frost Line, this was where they came.

One thought on “The Rising Author Tag

  1. I’d go with Elba too. He’s a freaking badass. Not to mention he hasn’t been accused of being a creep, unlike Freeman. You won’t get any people upset about that with Elba at the helm.
    Great job, Matt. Enjoyed the excerpt. I look forward to seeing what happens in the next book.

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