Interview with the Awethors Featuring Matthew Harrill

I’ve had a busy weekend digging into authors with interesting and compelling novels. Sunday Night I found myself sucked into a Facebook event with the host being Matthew Harrill. He had just recently released the final novel to his series ‘The ARC Chronicles’ Hellbeast. Words can’t even describe the imagination and determination Matt has for his books and characters, so today, I had to have him jump on the series. Here’s a little bit about him and we’ll bounce into the interview.

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Born and raised in Bristol, England, Matthew W Harrill is an international award-winning horror author. His series, ‘The ARC Chronicles’ consists of Hellbounce (which has received acclaim at the Halloween Book Festival, the London Book Festival and most recently the 2015 International Book Awards), Hellborne and the final book of the series, Hellbeast is imminent.

In addition to his mentor David Farland (The Runelords, The Courtship of Princess Leia [as Dave Wolverton]), Matt is always thankful to know the British author Juliet E McKenna, who has helped him countless times. He is a fan of fantasy, loving Robert Jordan’s ‘Wheel of Time’ series. He also has a lot of time for the truly bizarre horror of H P Lovecraft, citing this as an influence on his work. He also cites the fictional author ‘Hank Moody’ as an influence.

Matthew has worked as a labourer, a barman, a cleaner, a joiners mate. In addition he has dabbled in commercial insurance and has for the past 12 years implemented share plans for Xerox.

When not working, Matthew enjoys tennis with his son, watching movies and television series such as Supernatural and Grimm, blogging and cookery.

William: Thank you for joining us today, Matt. Who or what inspired you to write ‘The Arc Chronicles’?

Matt: I wanted to explore the greater consequences of what might happen if Hell actually froze over. What would cause it? Where would the inhabitants of Hell go? What would they do to guarantee survival? In terms of who, my mentor David Farland was a heavy influence. When I came up with the idea, a two hour brainstorm set me on the course to the series, and I have not stopped in nearly 4 years.

William: Wow, I can tell you were extremely passionate about this series. If any readers haven’t already picked up his book, do it today because this is an awesome story to get lost into. Here’s a quick blurb of Hellbeast:

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The fate of the world is balanced on a knife-edge. Despite everything Madden and Eva have been through to prevent it, the ARC Council is in disarray, demons roam the Earth. The Apocalypse is closer than ever. The solution couldn’t be further from her grasp.

Enter the final chapter of The ARC Chronicles, where Eva throws off the yolk of personal tragedy and follows her destiny to the one place she doesn’t want to go, the one place she cannot hope to avoid.

Hellbeast: Heroes don’t always walk in the light.

William: What can you tell our readers about Madden and Eva in the story? And a little insight on how you developed the two characters?

Matt: Madden and Eva are based on real people. Ewa is a young lady who I used to work with who pestered me to start writing again after a long break, and Chris Madden helped solve the conundrum of ‘what scares a demon?’ for me. Now Eva Ross and Madden Scott are very different to their ‘owners’ – Madden especially. He was born into privilege and never really had to do a thing for himself. When an unfortunate event compounded that fact, he just went with it. Eva on the other hand is very clever, very driven and has worked hard to get where she is. And as the song goes… opposites attract….

William: ‘Owners’ I absolutely love it! When you are writing, are there any specific bands or type of music you listen to that sets the mood for your stories? How about outside of writing?

Matt: It depends on my location. On the bus, where I write during the commute and I will write to whatever is playing on my iphone, and that could be pop, rock, instrumental, or pure idiocy. I have it all.

In the office, I have set favourites, all lyricless: Deep and Chilled Euphoria (Various Artists)

Desderii Marginis: That which is tragic and timeless

Atrium Carceri: Kapnobatai

God is an Astronaut: All is Violent, all is bright

Vishuda Kali & Chaos is Shelter: The mirror

William: Those are some interesting pieces for the office. I’ll have to go through and check them out! Do you have any specific quotes in each novel of ‘The ARC Chronicles’ that just press at you?

Matt: “Demons Don’t Always Hide In The Dark” for Hellbounce

“Follow Your Instinct” for Hellborne

“Heroes Don’t Always Walk In The Light” for Hellbeast

William: Quotes to live by today! How long have you been writing this series and how did you find yourself writing in this genre?

Matt: Since February 2012, when I had the epiphany about Hell freezing over. When I came up with the idea, it just fit. The ARC Chronicles would never be a political thriller…. Though I actually think there are a lot of elements of many other genres in my writing.

William: When an author successfully molds multiple genres in a book, it is a sweet victory for everyone. I’ve really enjoyed the enthusiasm you’ve brought with your novels. Now, stories like the one you’ve written normally have biblical significance to it, will we see technology advancements mold into it?

Matt: It is very biblical. I draw on a lot of elements of the bible, twist some, totally rewrite others. The technology comes from the necessity in the series to combat the biblical element, which in itself has significant technological advancement.

William: That answer gave me goosebumps, Matt. I love it when authors do these types of changes in a story. Now, before we wrap things up do you have any advice to writers, particularly things to avoid, while writing an apocalyptic world?

Matt: Keep it real. My apocalyptic world is present day. I wanted real settings that you could go to and imagine what happens in the books. Aside from one very obvious exception in book 3, everything is real. Humans can associate with real. It gives them a sense of comfort, something to grasp on to. It’s not all devastation… that is to come in the next series…

William: Thanks for doing this today, Matt. Before we go, I wanted to leave a sample for anyone jaw dropped by the ideas of Matt’s ‘Arc Chronicles’. Thanks again, Matt for providing an awesome sample for my readers!

Two camels sat side-by-side, evidently content to wait for their owner to invite them to stand. One chewed feed, its jaw moving laterally. The animals did not need feeding but the treat helped cement the bond. Their owner had been with them for a while. He knew their temperament.

It was the middle of the afternoon; the temperature approached forty-five degrees Celsius. The sun blazed in the cerulean desert sky, roasting the crusted hardpan. There was little, if any, moisture in the Gobi desert. Camels were the only creatures able cross the great expanses and not perish. They were also much more anonymous than off-roaders.

He had been crisscrossing the desert for six months now, seeking any sign of clues that related to a Holy City in the sky. The Convocation of the Sacred Fire had been convinced of the city’s existence long before its media debut only weeks ago. His job was to find the answers.

Now, an unprecedented event overshadowed even that. In mid-air, maybe three or four hundred feet above ground level, perhaps two miles in the distance, a cloud had formed, moisture spinning from nowhere to coalesce directly above the waves of heat radiating from the ground.

The cloud, which should have been forced up by the thermals, remained stationary, ever growing, black and threatening. Sparks of lightning began to appear around the outer rim of the cloud, dancing about its surface. Then something the watcher had never before witnessed began to occur. Bolts of lightning launched up from the ground, touching the base of the cloud and working their way up until a continual chain of lightning fed the center. The bright white core of the cloud began to expand; the noise that much concentrated heat combusting generated was almost too much for him.

And then, as quickly as the pyrotechnics had started, the show stopped. The lightning winked out and the cloud was finally forced into the sky. The only indication it was ever there was the tangy stink of concentrated ozone.

The observer reached under his robes, bringing out a sat- phone. He pressed one button, a prepared number.

“This is Baxter,” he said in a posh English accent. “Sir, it has begun.”

If you haven’t already checked out Matthew Harrill, go to the links below to find him. You will be blown from this world when you see what is boiling inside this author’s head!

Buy Links:

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Amazon.com author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00M0D7UWQ

Goodreads.com author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8288084.Matthew_W_Harrill

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/Matthew.W.Harrill.Author?fref=ts

Official Website: www.matthewharrill.com

For any authors, if you are looking to interview on the series “Interview with the Awethors” Please contact by email at: lloyd.jr@aol.com

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Day Job to Writing Part 2.1 (Eliptica)

This is a follow up post to the original post “Day Job to Writing“. In the previous post, I went through my outlining process, where I developed maps, characters, feuds, plot time lines, and schedules for myself. In these next few post, I want to go over the maps and world I am currently creating, which will hopefully help you guys put together your worlds in a more creative and sense filled manner.

Eliptica

Eliptica is the main world that I had originally started writing about. This island was supposed to start out the “Temperament Scepter Series”, but it was missing something when I reached the end of it. Anyways, I’ll get back to that later when I go over the characters in my series.

When I created Eliptica, I used three different senses to create each castle and village across it. I used the sense of smell, touch, and sight to understand the environments that I wanted to portray in each region/territory. For instance, think of your own country, or state (If you’re in the US.) The further north you travel, the environment is cooler and the air is usually thinner. Sometimes if it’s near a major city it could change different senses, but that’s why using examples in your head helps to understand the environments. Sometimes authors will actually have to travel to get the first hand experience so they can describe everything in their own senses.

Urealia

Let’s go back to Eliptica. I’m going to start with the southeast, where Urealia is located. This kingdom is actually the slums of Eliptica. It sits high on the edge of a climb over the ocean, where you can smell the salt in the air and hear the seagulls cry over the city. The walls of the city are just logs connected together by nails and wood. The streets are muddy because of the constant rains and the lack of care by the king. Now, if you are creating a poor city, you have to remember to add the reasoning behind it, whether it’s from tragedies, greed, or environmental reasons. In Urealia, I used a greedy fat king that wants nothing else than to steal money from his own people. Anyone else ever feel this way with the leaders today?

Farmlands Outside Urealia

Now, outside Urealia is the plains, where my main character and her family are from. This is where there are farmlands and plains all the way to Olmstead Castle, which is about two hours travel from Urealia. I put this together remembering the first week I was in Europe. I was in London and looking down from the plane window I saw all the green fields below in small square blocks. At least, that was from my view. When I saw this, it was the most spectacular sight I had seen. It actually inspired me to add this into Eliptica and to actually start writing Fantasy Fiction.

I enjoy writing about the land outside of castles better because they are the places your characters have their adventures. Yes, I like inside the castles too, but new worlds and creating them are the best feeling. It’s like discovering an alien world that you wish you could see because it’s the place that makes sense to you.

Port Amnalon

Port Amnalon was created as a place for Eliptica to export goods to other lands across the oceans and seas. Eventually, the Urealian King seized this area because Wolf Bloods from Four Points Chain were being smuggled into the region from here. The vision I had for this port was close to Port Jefferson on Long Island, and a little history from Key West, Florida with pirates. I wanted to put together a place that was small and beautiful, but the buildings and docks were dank and beat up from sea salt.

The environment is a little cooler with the breeze, but Eliptica is located closer to the “equator” so some of the places aren’t too hot or too cold. All of the territories are fairly mild and cool. More and less in some parts.

Legula

I wanted Legula to be a castle sitting against the walls of mountains near a bay. It had to have the beauty and mystical touch of an elvish kingdom, but it still needed to have that touch of man. I remember putting together a few of the castles in my head when I was in Austria. There was one castle that rested all alone in the middle of the bay that inspired me to create Legula. I can’t remember the name, but it was like walking into a fairy tale and living with the mythical beings that wander in our imagination. The air was cool and thin. It almost felt like I could breathe better. The view was like a portrait from inside the towers of the castle. The snow caps over the mountains and the gap that led out of the bay. All of the senses made my trip feel magical.

These are the castles and ports on the eastern side of Eliptica. All of them have access to water to import and export goods to each other, but greed has caused this end to live in poverty for the people. For now, this is Eliptics and in the next post, it will be about the Mid to Western side of Eliptica, where sorcerer villages, enchanted castles, and rugged mountain terrain collide to create the fantasy of my world.

Let’s Play a Game

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I’m going to start a story and who ever wants to add on to it just comment on this post. Make sure you follow the story from the last comment made because then this whole thing could get screwed up and end up sounding like a jumbled mess.

There was a man sitting by the pond with his dog. He was skipping rocks as a light breeze caressed he cheek. A strange sound alerted him from behind a tree…

Authors Looking for Reviews

I’m going to start reviewing self published/ traditionally published author’s works. The best part is, instead of me telling you I’ll review it if you send me a free copy, I’m going to actually pay for your book. I will accept anyone’s interest in me reviewing your book and because I want to support the world of writing. Like music, we all have to make a living some how, and right now, I want to support you guys, and give you an honest review at my own wallets expense. If you are interested, please send me a message on here. If this gets to be a little crazy with submissions, please be patient with me. Right now, it’s first come, first serve.

To add the cherry to this, for every tenth author that submits their name and book, I will purchase their paperback. For every twentieth, I will purchase the hardback. Ready, set, GOOOO!!!!!

Trolls and Change

Trolalalalaaalalaaaaaaa!!!

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So I’m not here to talk about the giant ugly beasts that roam the forests at night and turn to stone in the morning. I’m definitely not here to talk about the little fuzzy rainbow haired dolls that children adore. (Or not) I’m here to expose the world of trolls that scamper around the internet searching for a victim that may be humorous to their own liking, or it could go a bit to far to the point where someone’s feelings are hurt. Either way, don’t fall victim to these guys cause they will cause you to wonder what soulless being is typing on the other end of this screen.

If you’re like me, you do this…

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I tend to watch a video or see a picture on facebook and simply go straight to the comments to read all the arguments. It’s funny because there is not one video out there where someone is either not offended, or simply trolling others.

Let’s get down to the basics. What is a troll?

Trolls are the bottom dwelling scum of the internet that feel it is necessary to start arguments when it is a situation they don’t care about. I know there are some people that find it interesting to participate in these troll sessions. When I was younger, I did this many times. I did it because you’ll find people on the internet who are loved by many people, possibly someone who is popular at your school or in your family. These people basically look like a saint in real life but as soon as you disagree with their logic, the real demons start flying from their fingers like a ferocious snake. Trolls spark the responders anger with very melancholy answers that just boil under the person’s skin.

If you ever do this, DON’T reveal yourself as a troll.

I say this because you will discover there are more people that are like minded in your Troll self. Plus, the person bantering with you over puppies will eventually start to look like a lunatic. I mean, c’mon, do you really think someone can say anything terrible and mean it about cute puppies? Anyways, you’ll start to receive threats of reporting you and calling the authorities. Sometimes you’ll get the occasional death threat. All the while, you’re just busting out laughing on the other end wondering where this internet bravery is coming from. Oh wait, it’s because these people live on the other side of the world and they are threatening you with their internet courage.

If you stumble upon a Troll…

These will happen at least once in your internet lifetime and all you can do is learn to spot them and call them out. Never get caught up in an argument over a video or meme. This is simple because one, nothing is going to be achieved by name calling and tearing people down on a thread. You could report the image or video, but facebook will more than likely turn your request away because some dude on the other end thinks you’re too damn sensitive. How I treat these situations is to simply stop typing. If the troll doesn’t respond to countless amounts of none responses to their comments, they will eventually go away because they know they have been caught. If there is no reply, then it maybe a legit argument someone is having with you.

Now, I’ve had to ask myself many times why do people get angry and say their opinion on memes and videos on social media? If you really feel this strongly about something going on in the world, do something about it! Don’t just sit behind a computer and fight blindly with people who already think your a coward for arguing over a computer. Yes, it’s the only way to respond to what you see on the computer, but go out there and do something about it. Stop relying on others to fight for you. A good song to listen to is “Do Something” by Matthew West. If you want to change something, you need to get off the computer and start today. No one else will do it for you. Pick up followers and start campaigns. Get the word out there and eventually enough people will back you to make a better life for others.

In Reverse

The scent of evergreens surrounded Joseph Apoch as he chased after the woman he loved, Mikayla Nova. His lungs tightened from exhaustion and the thinness of the air. The canopy of leaves above blocked out the light from the sun, and fireflies flickered their butts around them. Mikayla’s white dress flailed behind her and her brunette curls bounced off her back from her footfalls. Joseph locked his eyes on her, while thrashing at the leaves from the bushes.
“Mikayla, wait!” he exclaimed, pushing through the dense underbrush. “We are wandering too far. We are getting to close to the barrier!” He watched the trees pass by him. The markings on the bark warned him, and he knew where she was leading him.
Mikayla screamed in agony as her fingertips emblazed in a red flame. The fire continued up her arm, leaving a trail of ash behind it. Joseph saw her blue eyes widen as her face was consumed to dust. He turned his head away to avoid the sight of his wife being eaten away from the outside in by the barrier. The tears in his brown eyes dripped in the palms of his hands. He glimpsed at the cloud of ash that settled to the earth, leaving a mound of what was left of Mikayla.
He felt the energy of the barrier behind him as he looked up at the multiple waves of red, orange, and yellow reach into the sky. His anger built inside of him knowing the barrier was a curse created by a group of men that feared their people, and greed turned their hearts into the same ash that laid before Joseph on the ground.
The sound of the birds above and the light breeze that kissed his cheek reminded him of Mikayla. He outstretched his hand towards the barrier in hopes of dying with her, but his fear ruled over his courage. He closed his eyes feeling the heat of the wall of electricity.
“I can’t,” he said, dropping his arm to his side.

Battles With My Brain

I was talking to my fiance last night before we drifted off to sleep. This was after the long day of work and trying to mount a television on my sister’s wall. A long day with many profanities that seemed to be endless. Anyways, it’s funny how lately I’ve been trying to avoid new ideas for a new novel. Why!? Oh, Why would I ever want to do that?!

Here’s my issue right now. I’m battling with my brain on how to finish a story fast with quality, but here’s the problem, I keep wandering off to new ideas for different stories? I’m sure many writers have this problem, but I’m, in a way, rioting against my brain. I’m avoiding the temptation to write something else, but last night my fiance came up with an awesome idea for a story, but I don’t want to jump into it yet.

My computer had about twenty different chapters to twenty different stories that I’ve written. All of them I want to dig into, but I always find myself wandering to another story that I promise I’ll finish. It just never happens because I’m lazy and can’t write longer than ten hours a day for four days a week. If you ask me why not? It’s because I’m lazy, I procrastinate, and after work I usually end up sleeping. When I wake up, it’s late and I have to be at work early the next morning.

I had an idea though. What if I wrote 3,000 words for two to three different stories a day for a year. Better yet 1,000. Instead of writing on just one, work on three different ones a day. That would lead to 365,000 words a year. That’s a decent amount of written stories. Here’s my issue though, my organizing and memory suck! How do I sit down and remember what I wrote for each story?

I’ve learned something else about myself recently. I write about myself way too much. I feel like I hog this little bit of space each week, while every one else has something better to say. Then, I start writing about how I could wish to want to care about someone else’s writing when actually I hope for others to come read my page.

I think I’ve run into about five or six pages out of the 1,067 I have that I actually read consistently. All the reblogs I do are the blogs I read a lot. Here’s my issue though, I’ll go to blogs, like and comment their posts and even have nice discussions. Then, when I get back to my page I’ll get a like but no comment. So sometimes I get a little irritated, especially when it’s the same person liking every post, but no words to my posts. It’s like ordering a cheese burger and receiving it without the meat. Now it’s a damn boring grilled cheese. I know I sound selfish and I will be criticized for it, but we all feel it, right?

You can’t deny when you see my name liking every one of your posts, but I don’t say my opinion or reblog, don’t you get a little irritated? Everyone has selfishness in them to write just about them and only wants the approval from their fellow bloggers. Do you think anyone really cares about what you say? Probably not, but if that’s the case, what do you do to fix that problem? Every blog has it’s own uniqueness unless you plagiarize then you’re just an inconsiderate asshole.

I’m going to say I use to not write for followers, likes, or comments, but in reality, who doesn’t want their voice to be heard. If you feel that highly of yourself that you can say, I only follow those who interest me, then you’re in the wrong place. I know following spurts have actually helped me find new and interesting blogs. It has helped me learn about readers that actually like my work. I think I shed a few tears on multiple pages because they had problems in their life that they couldn’t see any resolution to.

Okay, I’m rambling now. I’m just pointing out the things bouncing in my brain right now. I know I jumped into two different subjects  sorry about that. I just want to say that we all are truly never writing for ourselves. You are writing for someone else and hoping to get some kind of feedback. Don’t be naive like I was from the beginning. I told my readers at the time, hey I don’t need thousands of followers, I just need the twenty I have, but I was very wrong. All the blogs I follow now really molded me into a better writer and reader.

Let me know how you feel about anything on here. Especially if you have any ideas on how to focus on one subject in writing a story.

The Phantom Force

A new book I’m working on called The Phantom Force. Here’s a short description of it. Hope you guys are interested. Thanks!

 

We took refuge on Takua, a planet that orbits around the three stars of Orion’s Belt. We’ve been here for a decade after the fall of Earth. Now, we hide in Orion’s Belt awaiting the Zorthrax to exterminate the rest of us. It’s only a matter of time before we have another Intergalactic War, but will the Phantom Force be strong enough to uphold the human race. With our corrupt leaders hostage, the corporate world in shambles, and the citizens of the world forced from their homes; three heroes will rise from the darkness and take back what’s rightfully ours.