Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Interview with fantasy author Matthew D. Ryan

Fantasy author Matthew D. Ryan is here today. This is just one stop along his virtual book tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for his new fantasy novel, The Children of Lubrochius

There is a 50% off coupon for this book at Smashwords.  You can use this link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/415779 and then use coupon code: LX23U to receive 50% off. Coupon expires June 28, 2014.
Also, Matthew will be awarding a $20 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit other tour stops and enter there, too!
Bio:
Matthew D. Ryan lives in northeastern New York on the shores of Lake Champlain. He has been deeply involved in the fantasy genre for most of his life as a reader, writer, and game designer. His writing has been featured at Aphelion.com and YesteryearFiction.com. He is the operator of the web-site matthewdryan.com which features his blog, “A Toast to Dragons,” a blog dedicated to fantasy literature, and, to a lesser extent, sci-fi. He is the author of the dark fantasy novels Drasmyr and The Children of Lubrochius as well as a growing number of fantasy short stories including: “Haladryn and the Minotaur,” “The River’s Eye,” and “Escape.”

Welcome, Matthew. Please tell us about your current release.
The Children of Lubrochius is book I in the fantasy series “From the Ashes of Ruin.” It is preceded by the prequel Drasmyr (an e-book which is currently available for free). The Children of Lubrochius picks up where Drasmyr left off. The vampire Lucian val Drasmyr has been captured by the evil sorceress Korina Bolaris. The bounty hunter Coragan of Esperia has been hired, once again, by the Drisdak wizards guild. His mission is to find a student who has disappeared. Unbeknownst to him or the guild, that student was murdered by Korina and his quest to find her will pit him against Korina and her cult of demon worshipers, the Children of Lubrochius, not to mention, Lucian val Drasmyr, a one thousand year old vampire who Coragan believes has already been destroyed.

What inspired you to write this book?
This book really grew out of the prequel, Drasmyr. Drasmyr started as a short story which grew into a novel. By the end of the novel, I didn’t have the heart to kill Lucian, at least, not without fulfilling several more ideas I had for him, so I decided to use Drasmyr as a prequel for a larger series. The Children of Lubrochius begins where Drasmyr left off: Lucian has been captured by and forced to serve Korina. The story is a basic good versus evil tale that pits a wizards guild and a group of adventurers against Korina, her vampire, and a cult of demon worshipers. Lucian, the vampire, was inspired by Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula. He is a traditional vampire of gothic horror, not a sparkling love interest like you might find in Twilight. He is cold and ruthless, and a terrible adversary.  The other characters were inspired in other ways: some from people I have met, others from characters in books or simply ideologies I have stumbled across in this journey called Life.

Excerpt:
            Korina planted her feet apart, made several rapid gestures in the air with her hands, and chanted a short rhyme in an ancient language. Now, the entire chamber seemed to shimmer. The linen-covered crates pressing against the far wall dissolved in a liquid cloud of running colors. The cobwebs thinned and vanished, the dust disappeared. Even the stains along the walls faded into nothingness as the true contents of the room emerged.
            A flat obsidian altar covered with a black cloth appeared slightly offset from the center of the chamber. Two silver candleholders formed on either end of the altar, each one holding a long, white candle. Over on the right, near the center of the wall, a small stone table bearing a collection of magical accoutrements sprang into existence. In the southernmost corner, a bronze brazier appeared and immediately began to burn. Next, mystical runes spread across the floor. They first revealed themselves as flickering, flashes of orange light which then solidified as etched carvings in the stone. The runes ran in two circular patterns, one five feet across, the other nearly ten. The larger one completely encircled the altar.
            Korina moved across the room to the table near the wall. More mystical runes encircled the top of the table carved into the stone with the flowing precision of calligraphy. The spells the runes contained helped preserve and protect what lay there: a small bulging leather pouch, two small pottery jars—one grey, one black—four pieces of white chalk, and a ceremonial obsidian knife stained with dried blood.
Korina retrieved the grey jar from the table, and unscrewed its lid. It contained a fine, white powder: ground diamond dust. Korina dipped her fingers in, letting the tiny granules adhere to her soft skin. She rubbed her fingers together to feel the grainy texture for a moment, then gently brushed the dusty powder back into the container and replaced the lid.
            I don’t need to invoke the circles, she thought. Not with this. She reached into the folds of her robe and withdrew another small jar. This jar, about the size of two fists and shaped like the lower half of an hourglass crystal, bore gems of alternating colors—red, blue, green, white, yellow—running in parallel lines from top to bottom. Runes of power etched across its surface sealed it with a potent magic designed to contain and hold the creature within, a creature that had once terrorized the entire wizards guild and much of the city of Drisdak.
            Lucian val Drasmyr.
            The vampire.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m currently working on Book II: The Sceptre of Morgulan. It continues the tale of the struggle between the wizards of Drisdak and their hired mercenaries versus Korina and her secret cult. I’m about 2/3 or 3/4 of the way through the rough draft. It still needs a lot of work and smoothing over, but it’s coming along nicely.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I first published Drasmyr. It was a full length work, detailed and intricate, and a lot of fun to work on. I wrote the original rough draft about twenty years ago, but I really didn’t think I deserved the “mantle” of writer until I had it published. That said, I still have to master the non-writerly aspects of the writer’s life, specifically marketing. It’s a bear. But I am learning; I am a writer who is learning.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I write full time and I also take care of my father. As a result, my days are full. I also suffer from a certain medical condition that rears its head periodically to interfere with my life. So, instead of giving my actual schedule, I’ll give you my “ideal” schedule, the one I’m striving to follow:
I write 2000+ words every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday morning from about 9a -12noon. Then, I break for lunch for about an hour. Then, from 1p to about 3:30p I do yard work in the summer and other tasks around the house. I make and eat dinner and watch a little TV until 6p. Then, I edit for two hours, watch some more TV, read for an hour or so, then go to bed. Tuesdays and Fridays are marketing days. I spend most of my time on these days on Twitter, surfing, and doing other marketing tasks.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Using first person present for Lucian val Drasmyr throughout the novels. If you aren’t used to it, it can be kind of jarring. But I like it, and I think it’s cool. I justify it by noting that since Lucian is a vampire who has been around for a thousand years, his perception of time is different than ours. Everything occurs in the present for him, and it’s all centered around him. I’m not sure if that qualifies as a quirk, because it is, more or less, a planned, selected choice that I think adds to the uniqueness of the tale and my writing.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A paleontologist. I loved dinosaurs when I was a kid. I read hordes and hordes of dinosaur books. I had lots and lots of little dinosaur toys which I played with in our sandbox. I even had a really big Godzilla doll that “breathed fire” and shot his fist at enemies. He dominated the sandbox. Oh yes, he did. The year after I got Godzilla, I got an even larger Shogun doll. The two of them had many a great, colossal battle in my sandbox through my youth.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Stay tuned because in addition to the prequel, there will be four books in this series, “From the Ashes of Ruin.” That’s five books total. As for something more meaty, keep your eyes on the characters and how they interact. I’m sort of making a good number of my characters personifications of certain philosophies. Regecon, for example, personifies the nobleman. Coragan, a peaceful socialist. Agyrra, a relativist. Gilliad, an absolutist. Of course, none of the characters are perfect personifications, but it makes writing them up and working with them fun and intriguing.

Links:


Thanks, Matthew!


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11 comments:

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting1

Matthew Ryan said...

Thanks for hosting me today! I really appreciate it.

Rita said...

Great interview, thank you.

Matthew Ryan said...

Thanks.

bn100 said...

Lovely interview

Matthew Ryan said...

Thanks.

collenga said...

Thanks for sharing!

Matthew Ryan said...

Not a problem.

Mary Preston said...

Dinosaurs are big around here too - no pun intended.

Book Passion for Life said...

Great post today and I really enjoyed the interview! I think all men/boys like Dinosaurs at some point. My little brother was obsessed over them! lol

Matthew Ryan said...

Mary P. -- Lol.
Book P. -- Yeah, they do seem to be a theme for young boys.