When did you first know you wanted to write a book? The second day that no one on the “Run” (the cell block) had a book that I hadn’t already read.
Are you a traditionally published author or indie? I am a self published author.
What made you decide this route? I had been querying, and I received a response stating that my work was great, but my criminal record scared them. There was/is a risk of any ex-convict going back behind bars. I have to respect that. The statistics against staying out are staggering. I am not going back, but statistically it’s a great risk.
What was your biggest resource of information as an indie author? Honestly? The Thesaurus and the Dictionary that work in MSWord.
How many novels have you had published, or is this your debut? I have self published 3 other full length novels, one of them a 235,000 word epic fantasy. Also a novella that is free all over the net and several short stories.
What genre do your write in? Michael Robb writes Paranormal/Suspense/Chillers. His debut is The Butcher’s Boy. M. R. Mathias writes bestselling epic fantasy. Both are me.
Tell us a little bit about your latest novel (or upcoming novel)? The Butcher’s Boy is not your typical haunted house story. You will think it is, as it moves along, but then all of a sudden you have whiplash from the plot twists. They say it’s hard to put down.
Which of your characters do you most relate with? Oddly, I relate best to the wizard Pael, from The Sword and the Dragon. Pael is evil, I am not. But Pael is always thinking, always scheming. He is always trying to stay ahead, and had he not been possessed by a demon, he might have had everything he lusted for.
Where did the inspiration for this book come from? The inspiration for The Butcher’s Boy came from a novella length story I wrote called Buxly House. I wrote Buxly House while in a solitary cell at James V. Allred prison in Wichita Falls, Texas. I wrote it out of sheer boredom. After I finished it, and saw that I could create and complete a story, I started writing more and more, until I was knocking out 3k words a day, everyday.
Did you know the title before you started writing, or did it come to you later? I have to say the title The Butcher’s Boy came later.
Is there a message in your novel you wish for the reader to grasp? Thou Shall Not Kill… LMAO You have to read it to get that joke. On the serious side, I’d say that the book is just 80k words of good solid entertainment. There is no deep message.
If you could use only FIVE words to persuade us to read your book, what would they be? It’s a solid entertaining read!
What do you find are the biggest obstacles to overcome when writing a novel? I don’t find many obstacles. My dog wanting excessive attention is the most irritating thing. I write every day, and I love it. If it’s a struggle, then writing probably isn’t for you.
For those writers who have not yet completed their first novel, what advice would you give them? Buy an e-reader. Read several novels from indie authors in the genre you want to write in. If you still feel like your work is competitive then go for it. Also, do not listen to nay-sayers. I was told repetitively that The Sword and the Dragon would not sell. It was later deemed one of the top 10 indie fantasy releases of 2010 by the esteemed review Fantasy Book Critic, and has been in the top 100 of Fantasy/Mythology books at Amazon for half a year.
What famous writer would you most compare yourself to and why? I would love to compare myself to any of the greats, but I am just me.
What is one book (besides one of your own) that you think everyone should read? The Odyssey
What book are your currently reading? I am just over half way through entering book two of the Wardstone Trilogy into MS Word for editing, so I have not been able/will not be able to read another book for at least a month. The last book I read I didn’t finish. It was an indie title and I won’t say which one, but the story was overwritten in all the wrong places, and underwritten everywhere else.
eBook or hard copy, or do you not have a preference? Used to be a hardback, but now its e-books all the way!
Have any new and upcoming authors caught your eye? Yes, Tracey Alley’s Witchcraft Wars Trilogy, is a favorite fantasy series of mine. Her main character spends a lot of time in the dungeon and I can relate to him. Another author is J.C. Phelps. I bought her Color Me Grey for my niece’s nook at Christmas and before I knew it, I was halfway through the book.
If you were a superhero what would your name be? Captain Corn Flake… I don’t know, probably The Dragon!
My favorite writing snack is wine and fruit snacks, do you have a favorite? Tortilla chips, with queso, or Cheetoes, always with crystal light lemonade.
Are you a plotter or a pantser? I have no idea what a pantser is… I just write. The plot flows forth on its own and even surprises me sometimes.
Have you ever thought of a great opening chapter and a devilish closing chapter but just can’t work out how to get from one to the other?No. I write from start to finish, with only a vague idea of where the story will end up.
Have you ever written a story where the antagonist made a better protagonist than the one you used? No. Most of my books have more than one protagonist and antagonist to contend with.
What kind of routines to you keep when writing ( i.e., exercise, food, chores, etc.)? Wake, drink coffee, eat, take diabetic meds, drink more coffee, write, walk the dog (at least a half mile, maybe twice that) drink more coffee, more writing, back up the hard drive, then tweet like mad! In that order, every weekday.
What current project are you working on? An M. R. Mathias fantasy project. Book Two of The Wardstone Trilogy, Kings, Queens, Heroes, and Fools. It’s better than book one which, as I write this, is still an Amazon top 100 bestseller. All of the Wardstone books are huge. This one will top 225k words which is a tad smaller than book one.
Can you share any of it with us?
A paragraph from Chapter 32:
Hyden rose and shoved himself away from the table. His chair went tumbling over behind him with a force that startled the others. “No,” he yelled. “The silver skull is my responsibility, and I swear I’ll get it back from her.” He heaved a heavy breath. Putting his closed fists on the table, he leaned over and looked High King Mikahl directly in the eyes. “You use the power of that sword to get Phen and the princess out of harm’s way. I will fix the follies of my family like I should’ve done long ago.”
Tell us a funny unknown fact about yourself. It’s not a funny fact, but I am covered in tattoos; both of my arms, my chest and back, skulls, dragons, and the like. I can wear a dress shirt and hide them all. I like rolling up my sleeves at the table of a nice restaurant and watching the staff do double takes.
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