Friday, December 2, 2016

When Are You Truly a Writer?

  When Are You Truly A Writer? 


I often asked this question of myself when I was coming up through school. I knew from a very young age that I wanted to be a famous writer, weaving my tales of adventures for all those who would have an ear to listen. Often I am asked what made me want to pursue the all of the madness that writing entails. I am here to answer that. When I am writing, I am not merely throwing words on the waiting page. I am the wordsmith, striking the hammer against molten steel, bending its reality to my will. It is an effort. It is a passion. All of my will pouring through the end of a pencil point, weaving letters into words, words into sentences, and sentences into a living breathing thing. You see my characters are very real to me, and when the pen drops, so they.  I might  be a published author and that is all fine and good, however what am I between one closing snap of my laptop and the moment when the light of my burning candle reaches those aching keys one more. I put this very same question  to my friend and editing professional, Greg Prescott. He agrees with my attitudes toward writing and being a writer. "You are only a writer ... when you are writing." What an epiphany! He goes on to say "Many people go on and on about how they want to be a writer. Nine times out of ten that is all you hear. But do you ever see them actually get down to the nitty-gritty and get any writing done? No. And that is not even counting the amount of research that is needed for what they intend to throw down on paper.

I suppose in the end it really all hinges on what motivates you. I was like so many others, so full of myself, calling myself a writer. Saying you are a writer does bring you a small measure of respect. Writing can be a Herculean task in its so many contexts. My advice to you is to find out what your motivation is. Maybe you are the kind of writer that simply needs to set a clock and just force yourself to hit those keys or grind that lead to paper on a regular schedule. Maybe you need to give yourself 30 minutes everyday to surf the web for ideas to write about. Perhaps, you set a daily word count goal and you promise your mouth a slice of key-lime pie as your reward. What is truly important in the end is that you just write.

Because you must remember. No matter what you keep calling yourself, the reality is . . . you are only a writer . . . when you write.



Saturday, January 10, 2015

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

1st Unsolicited Review. I am over the moon

Check out what a new fan had to say about the new Zompoc novel we just released.

"I can finish a good book in a day and that is exactly what I did with this book. The writing was excellent and I could clearly envision the scenes as they unfolded. Even though the characters were going through a traumatic event, they remained strong and confident. I am not a fan of characters who are extremely emotional and that is why Charlie was my favorite character. She showed just enough emotion without appearing cold and disconnected with the group. Byron captured my curiosity and thankfully it wasn't long before we found out his secret. In the first few chapters we were introduced to all characters. At first it seemed a bit much and I wondered how many characters there were but I soon realized that each character is essential to the story and it made sense to introduce the characters in that fashion. Keeping track of who was who was not an issue. I really enjoyed the story and looking forward to another book."

I am looking forward to hearing other perspectives. Zombie on.


Saturday, January 3, 2015

Amazon Is A Fickle Mistress

Amazon is a fickle mistress. For a short while last night, my novel was listed as a  Amazon Hot New Release in Kindle Dystopian fiction as #88 (you know - the top 100), and a Amazon Hot New Release in Kindle Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction. 

I went to check out the position this morning and it appears that the book has been knocked back down out of the top 100. This is understandable as there have yet to be any book sales today. Well, I hope that the 35 or so people that have purchased and read the book have enjoyed it so much. The book literally speaks for itself. I have gotten a lot of positive feedback from people and it has lifted my spirits and confidence in this endeavor. I hope that the word of mouth spreads like the zombie virus we created in this monstrosity, and may the gods and goddesses  of Harry Potter and Twilight bless this book and lift it up to the status of Phenomenon. Amen. :)

Friday, December 26, 2014

I am sorry that it has been so long since my last post. A lot has happened in the last few months. But nothing can be more exciting that what is going on at the top of this post. You see that . . .scrolling past you at 2 miles per hour. Yes!  That is my newest Zombie Apocalypse novel!

It is now complete, and available on multiple digital platforms. Below are the direct links to where you can purchase them!. - Soft Cover - Kindle Edition Nook Edition - All other digital formats

More to come!

Piers Anthony (My favorite author) Likes My Book Title!!!

I wrote one of my favorite authors an open letter, wanting to thank him for his impact on my writing. He offered some sage advice to me, many many moons ago. It took some time, but with some persistence, I made my little dream of becoming an author come true. Here is the reply from Piers Anthony, author of the Xanth Series. Here is my note to Piers and his response that I received just today.

Dearest Piers,

It has indeed been a very long while since I last wrote you. In fact, you actually replied to me in a written letter which was both wonderful and nostalgic at the same time. I don’t expect you to remember me, as it has been years. I wrote to you asking for advice. I was a restaurant manager, struggling to find time with my writing. You offered me the most sage advice. Keep snippets of paper, or even a tiny notebook in my front pocket. Write down ideas and scenes in my head quickly, just the bones of it. Take time to explore the ideas in my off time.

I am here to tell you, that I followed your advice, and often. This helped me spawn many, many ideas for stories. I had many characters running around in my head, bumping around, doing things, going places.

Restaurant management only got harder over the last 15 years. More complicated. More rules. More micromanaged. When my two little boys were old enough to not quite take up so much of Daddy’s time, I finally got a swift kick in the butt from an old high school friend, and I was off again, writing down my adventures.

My sister and I had talked about writing a novel together for years, since we were kids even. We broke down and made a decision to team up after I read to her a couple pages of a fantasy novel I had started. She liked the voice I had discovered within myself and we set to debate what kind of book we wanted to write together. Mind you this was three and a half years ago.
We started to hash it out. Vampires had been done to death, literally as the sparkly ones had taken over and marred the vampire universe, possibly irrevocably, forever. We were not much interested in what everyone else was doing at the time:Fairies, Shifters, Erotica. That sort of thing. One genre, or sub-genre, that we kept returning to was Zombies. We had watched our share of movies and knew that Zombies was perhaps something which we could bring something new, something different.

We had written for a couple of weeks, hashed out main characters, names, personalities, and three chapters. What we had not done was decide on a title. It ended up being a heated argument. We threw each other names over the phone for hours. It was maddening! My sister lived pretty far away, Wisconsin, and I was still here in North Carolina, yelling over the phone. My sister had been visiting with her high school best friend  Amia that night. Amia was sitting in her chair, crocheting, I think, a blanket or a scarf. The item escapes me. However, it was at this point I was fed up with the idea of even having a title and I just blurted out “Screw it, Let’s just call it Zombies Don’t Ride Motorcycles then!” I was trying to just think of the stupidest, most ill-fitting name I could think of.

My sister rolled. She laughed so hard at me, as she often did when I tended to speak random nonsense, that she nearly fell out of her chair. If I remember correctly, she DID drop her phone. Amia looked up from her crochet and asked Melissa what was so funny. She told her. “My brother just told me the most retarded thing we should name our book!” To which Amia asked, “What?”

“Zombies Don’t Ride Motorcycles,” my sister said, still snorting with laughter.

Amia rose slowly out of her seat and dropped her crochet needles. She lifted her arm slowly, like a goddess about to send an energy ray into my sisters forehead. She pointed and shook her finger at her and said almost as if it was a command. “That. That is the name of your book.”

And thus Zombies Don’t Ride Motorcycles was born.

It took us three years to complete the book. My sister ended up getting dragged off to helping my sister in law and edit her books. I had been writing off and on, life at the restaurant still getting in the way. Still, I remembered what you had said, so many years ago, and I stayed the course.

There is much more, but my letter to you is already quite long. Let’s just say that I am blessed to have such wonderful people in my life to help me get this book completed. My sister did a wonderful job formatting for all the different platforms, and I had some really good friends help me with a zombie apocalypse photo-shoot for my cover, and a wonderful cover designer friend I met that helped make it work. I refused to finish writing it until I felt the initial story had been told. Having 11 principal characters made this a very daunting challenge, as I had to make sure each character had some good ‘screen time’. I have learned a lot  just from writing. My style continuously evolved with each word that I wrote.

However, the purpose of this letter is to personally thank you. Piers, your books were my schooling. Yes, I have read many different authors, but from you I learned the importance of change in my characters. Change itself tells a story. Helps move things along. I learned that directly from your Bio of a Space Tyrant Series (The first book being my favorite).

I may not get rich of writing. Hell, I would just be happy paying the bills with it. But, I am not naive. I will continue to write for the love of it. It is my great stress reliever. I create worlds with the stroke of my pen and swipe of my fingers. And I got a handful of people that seem to like what I do. I am blessed.

I want to thank you yet one more time for being such a integral part of my exploration of worlds unseen, woven from your wonderfully imaginative ogre mind.

I hope perhaps one day you’ll get curious and spend a few days in one of my worlds and see what grew from the seeds that fell out of your pockets.

Sincerely yours,

Matthew C. Leo


Thank you for your note. We have printed it for Piers Anthony and he gave us the following answer for you:

You have the right attitude, and an excellent title. I'm glad you found my advice helpful. I wish you good success. And who knows: There may be a zombie who can handle a motorcycle.

Piers Anthony

I guess he will just have to read the book to find out. :)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Matthew Leo: Writing for Hubpages

Matthew Leo: Writing for Hubpages: Sorry, it has been so long since my last blog update. I have been busting my tail at work, pretty much fighting to keep my job. With the eco...