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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Mark Matthews: Book Spotlights, Author and Character Interview

The Protector

(The Outerworld Key #1)

Legends tell of how the great god Gon instructed his seven children to each create a race pleasing to them. They did this gladly, yet one in particular sulked at his brethren’s work and his father’s wishes. For spite, Baris created horrible demons to oppose the beauty of the world and its new peoples.

Once the treachery of Baris was discovered, Gon cast both the abominations and his now deposed son into the Outerworld. There they imprisoned and sealed by magical gate and key, which were then hidden from all knowledge.

Barrett, the sorceress Letha and their companions now follow the trail of the key, seeking to gain its control before it falls into evil hands. Meanwhile, the malicious enchantress Basath also pursues the treasure in hopes of releasing unspeakable abhorrent beings upon the world while having the evil god Baris bestow demi-god powers upon her as reward.

The Wizard's Crystal

As the evil wizard Ormalt exerts his bid for domination the quest will remain hopelessly incomplete without the Book of Secrets and mighty Wizard’s Crystal. Fate intervenes in the form of a scholarly boy named Hartman who accidentally discovers both. Now, in a long and perilous journey the boy draws closer to an epic battle of good versus evil where only one can survive.

Due out April 2014 

Dragon Code: The Fall of Mindaloth 

(Dragon Code #1)

The High Lord Holnok is the driving force behind the malevolence spewing forth from Mindaloth, his evil fortress lying deep in the Bottomless Lands. In a barren wasteland filled with jagged peaks, crevices, choking fumes and bubbling geysers, his desire for control and domination quickly spreads westward. Meanwhile, in Eldarn, the last two remaining dragons reside with our hero Verion, the heir to his father's throne. He and his sister must confront the spread of evil, with each step forward bringing new dangers, races and creatures never faced before. Throughout the journey, brother and sister unite with other bearers of the Sacred Six: the magical talismans Holnok seeks. In his desperate quest for control all living things, Holnok shall willingly destroy anyone who stands in his way, thereby setting the scene for an epic battle that shall either bring peace or perdition upon all land.

Dragon Code: The Evil of Torlen 

(Dragon Code #2)

The Ancients are children of the gods themselves. Their ways are peaceful and they do not interfere with the daily trials and tribulations of the children of D'Enode, or earth. Yet, Torlen lusts for more than mere peace and happiness. He yearns for a world of his own to become master to none and have all bow before him. So he breaks away from his home in the Mystic Isles and comes forth. There, he joins forces with High Lord Holnok, who already holds aspirations of domination. Together they seek the Sacred Six. The ancient magical items that if controlled would ensure their supremacy of all the lands around them forevermore. The wicked ones will stand against the future king of Eldarn and his companions who must drive the malice out from their dark fortresses far to the east. The company carries great magic by their side and dragons overhead to protect them. None can foresee if their combined power is enough to bring about the downfall of the scourge that plagues them. If they do not try, then hope is lost and D'Enode will fall into never ending shadow.

Mark Matthews:

As a teenager I wrote short stories for pleasure. They were mainly a form of relaxation. It was during this time my own style began to slowly develop and come through.

The story behind my latest book concerns Barrett and his mismatched companions that must save the world from an imprisoned evil god and his demon horde who shall be released from their Outerworld prison if the evil sorceress Basath has her way.

Some readers, and even other authors, say fantasy writers are traditionally narrow minded in their stories. We are blamed for constantly re-doing the basic 'good vs. evil' plot. However, I believe that is what fantasy is all about. Usually, it involves swords, sorcery, creatures of various kinds, and adventure. Often times you'll find romance and humor thrown in as well. It's difficult to turn away from a winning combination, and in the same instance each author can add his or her own flair to it.

A writer's portrayal of these imagined worlds and characters makes the story worth reading and enjoying. If the author can make readers 'be there' or 'see it' unfold before their eyes, then we have succeeded in our goal, regardless the age old plot.

Please know I put a great deal of thought and time into developing my characters and worlds. I hope you share their passions, thoughts, and feelings as you read on from page to page.

When asked about the greatest joy of writing, I answer that sharing my work and, believe it or not, having a reader expound their thoughts on my books is a joy beyond comparison. So many times readers download your book then simply wait patiently for the sequel or next series.

Writers look for validation of their material. Not just a Facebook 'Like', but a reader's comment or review is the most satisfying thing of all. And of course, if they share that knowledge with friends, family, etc... it makes it all the better.

After all, that is how fans are formed. Naming the writer's greatest joy is quite simple....it's our fans.

I also offer proofreading and editing services if desired.

Author: The Wizard's Crystal / The Outerworld Key

Author Interview:

I would like to welcome author Mark Matthews for stopping by today to tell us a little about himself and his work.

How long did it take you to writeThe Protector?

The Protector actually flowed rather quickly. The storyline ran along evenly and the characters simply came to life as I went. Admittedly, the main protagonist was thought out beforehand. The entire book took five months. 

What is your favorite book that you wrote?

This has to be a tie. Presently, I am working with a fantastic editor (Amy Eye) on a YA novel that has been in the making for some time. I never would have guessed writing that genre was so difficult or as fun as it is. With that said, The Protector is incredibly fulfilling as well. Adult fantasy has a certain liberal atmosphere one can take that is unavailable to a YA writer.

What books have most influenced your life?

Anything by Tolkien, Eddings, Jordan, or many others. I will read nearly any genre (except romance) and obviously lean toward fantasy.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

I vividly remember reading The Hobbit for the first time when I was eight years old. That day changed my life forever. That day, a world I could only imagine came to life with such clarity it was overwhelming. Tolkien is absolutely my favorite. And, yes, I enjoyed his work long before the movies made his name a household word.

What do you prefer paperback, hardcover, or ebooks? 

There is nothing like holding a book in your hands. I adore printed books. However, in today’s technological age, it is nice to be able to travel with a plethora of books stored on my Kindle. I can literally read anywhere, anytime.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I love my readers and have great respect for them. Without a doubt, having a faithful following can make or break an author. Their support and “word of mouth” of my work is one of the most gratifying aspects of writing. Knowing a reader can enter my world and immerse themselves in the pages is a phenomenal thrill.

Character Interview:

I would like to thank Barrett from Mark Matthews' The Protector for stopping by today to talk with us.

What is your name? Do you have a nickname?

Barrett, also known as The Protector of the Western World.

What is your hair color? Eye color? 

Flowing black hair, piercing blue eyes and broad shoulders.

Where were you born? Where have you lived since then? Where do you currently call home?

I was born in Westmore where my father is king. For the last several months, however, I roam from town to town in search of ways to keep the Outerworld Gate from being opened.

What is your biggest fear?

Having the evil god Baris released from the Outerworld to enslave or destroy our world

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

Zanora, my redheaded little fireball of a fiancée.

Which talent would you most like to have?

The ability to transform and fly as a bird is already mine, but shape shifting into other animals would come in handy at certain times.

What is the quality you most like in a man/woman?

Bravery and honor in every act of life.

What do you most value in your friends?

I am able to trust them with my life, and do that more than I care to admit.

Which living person do you most admire?

Each of my friends have unique qualities I envy. It would be impossible for me to choose one. However, secretly, Tylor is the most remarkable, as is the sorceress, Letha.

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