AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Matt Betts


Betts_Interview


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Betts_Interview2

 

Links used above:

http://www.oddmenoutnovel.com

http://www.zombiewrangler.blogspot.com

http://www.mattbetts.com

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Disagreement Does Not Equal Stupidity


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It seems as if every internet “discussion” is more like a fist fight.

Advancing technology has revolutionized the ways people communicate Specifically, social media. Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter make connecting with people all over the world easy. It’s also an excellent place in which debates can occur. Whether it’s government discussion, books, news, or anything else, the internet has made it easy to express your opinions.

However, the internet also has another facet that seems to have made itself evident over the past few years: Internet anonymity.

Never having to have a face-to-face discussion with someone means you can essentially say whatever you want with no consequences. No one is going to throw a punch or attack you any other way than verbally, and people certainly no that. Especially since the emergence of the famed internet trolls, roving the web, spreading hateful messages. Authors may be aware of Goodreads and Amazon reviews, leaving offensive and sometimes violent book reviews. And yet most people recognize an internet troll when they see one, and they usually respond with equal hatred or by openly identifying them as a troll and ignoring them.

But, trolls aside, I’ve noticed a common trend among social media users in that, when expressing an opinion, they are often greeted with hateful remarks by the opposing viewpoint, which is then responded to with a troll-like vehemence and vulgar argumentation rather than rational debate supported by legitimate facts. Actions such as these could potentially perpetuate a culture based on further negativity and argument rather than having a debate based in fact. It’s absolutely important to, when responding to an opposing viewpoint, remember that just because you don’t agree with them doesn’t mean they’re stupid. This isn’t something that I was told as a child, and all-too-often we hear kids playing together saying “that’s stupid,” when they don’t agree with something someone else said. In a world where we are constantly growing apart as social media seemingly brings us together, it’s important to remember that people have varying opinions, and just because you don’t agree with them doesn’t mean anything other than they have a different set of beliefs, just as you do.

Maglomediac – My New Column about Media


As some of you may know, I write for a pop-culture, op-ed magazine called Maglomaniac. Some of you may also remember that I used to have a column called Mr. Write in which I talked about general writing stuff, the writing process, and things of that nature. Well, during my last semester of college I took on a huge course load, which meant I really didn’t have a lot of time for anything else. I had a lot of really large papers, one of which was especially large, so by the time I got done working on all of that I had little energy for writing of any other kind. My column fell to the way side as I focused the bulk of my energy on schoolwork.

Photo by Jim Danvers Photography

After several papers, tests, and tons of readings, I finally finished my last semester of my undergraduate degree! As long as I receive a passing grade on all my classes from last semester I’ll have my bachelor’s degree, which is exciting and a little scary, I suppose, now that I really need to find full-time work, or start selling more books (hint, hint!)

However, I’m at another sort of transition in my life. My degree is in journalism with a minor in English, and I used to be all about working for a newspaper (until this author thing starts paying off a little more). But, now, after doing a little freelance work and checking out a few other options, I find that I’m getting more into marketing and studying media and communications. I don’t want to work at a newspaper, partly because they’re dying, and pretty much all of the guest speakers who came to talk to my classes over the past three years told us how little money there is in journalism and how hard the work is. I don’t want that anymore. I’m not afraid to admit that I want to do more lucrative work. I want to have a comfortable lifestyle, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to work hard. As many of you know, writing in and of itself is extremely hard work, paired with the struggles of everyday life.

After a fair amount of contemplation, and after writing my longest paper on the effects of advertising on American culture during the Cold War, I decided I want to get my master’s degree at some point, but not for a few years. Right now I need to focus on establishing a decent income. I still have a long time to get my master’s, and I’d like to do something else besides be a student right now.

However, I find I still have a large interest in media despite being out of school. So, that puts me at the point of this post: I’ve started a new column at Maglomaniac entitled Maglomediac in which I analyze and discuss various aspects of the media from news, to television, to books. It’s something I’d like to focus my master’s degree around if possible, so I figured why not start now? I have access to databases to find academic articles, and I made friends with some professors with whom I plan to keep in touch who can help me as well. This should be a really exciting new venture, and I’m looking forward to writing up a new post each month. Because media is so huge and is constantly changing, there will certainly be something new to write about all the time.

In fact, my first column went live today! You can check it out here. Give it a read, and I’d love some feedback!

DEADGOD and Writing on the Topic of Religion


Religion is a heated topic that is discussed and killed over every day. It’s something that seems to be gaining media attention every day, at least here in the states, what with discussion about religion in schools and places of business, and debates about whether separation of church and state is actually being followed.

That being said, my current WIP, DEADGOD, has a fairly heavy religious theme in that there is only one remaining man left on the planet who still believes in God, and he is not well liked. He is looked down upon in what remains of society in this post-apocalyptic world, and, even though he is not the main character of the novel, he does play a pretty large role.

This troubles me to a certain degree mainly because a lot of my personal feelings about religion and society are coming out in this novel, but they are also, in most cases, substantially exaggerated. I also know a lot of people who are religious, and some of the resulting artwork from this book is coming out in a way that may seem troubling to them or other religious individuals. Part of my reason for writing this is to encourage people to remember that while I put a certain amount of myself in everything I write, that this is a work of fiction. I am an extremely tolerant individual, and the last thing I want is to offend anyone. The point of this novel isn’t about bashing those who are or aren’t religious. This novel is about acceptance and finding ways to cope with disaster. It’s about coming together, and it may take a truly serious, humanity-crippling event for people to realize that. That is the point of DEADGOD, and I really hope that when it’s finished, you pick up a copy and give it a chance, because I believe it will really be something worth reading.

DEADGOD – COMING 2015


My final semester of college is winding down to completion, so I’m starting to get some of my creative energy back. This is one of the most writing-intensive semesters I’ve had during my college career, and it’s been draining. But it’s also a semester during which I’ve learned the most about how people operate in regards to the media. I’ve learned a lot of communication theories and been a part of several discussions about why people react to and interact with the media in the ways they do, which I think will not only be beneficial to my professional life, in that I believe I have a better understanding of how to potentially operate a company’s brand based on what I understand of consumer reactions to marketing and media, but also in the sense that it will make my characters more real. It will help to add to that third dimension that is so crucial to characters.

I think I’ll be able to craft a better novel with some of the information I’ve learned this semester also because I think I’ve learned how to better analyze society. I can look at an event and see different reactions and potentially come up with an idea as to why certain people reacted that way, be it gender or sexual bias, a matter of religion, or some form of communication theory as a result of whatever is currently being portrayed in the media. This is a good thing, and it’s also why I’m excited to officially reveal my next project:

DEADGOD

A preliminary cover for DEADGOD

DEADGOD

I know my last post indicated that I will be attempting to traditionally publish my next novel. That I will be attempting to land an agent. However, that’s really up in the air right now. Having some time to reflect since the release of The Rotten Apple, I like having so much control over my work, and DEADGOD has a lot of my personal viewpoints on society and religion–exaggerated to some degree–placed in a post-apocalyptic world that I think I really need a lot of control over. That being said, I may attempt to submit it to some smaller indie presses. But for now, allow me, if you will, to give you a sort of synopsis/description of what is turning out to be DEADGOD.

God is dead. Nuclear fallout has destroyed the planet, save for a chunk of  northeastern United States: An expanse of barren land surrounding a utopia owned by Koval Unlimited Security Force’s president, Tai Koval.

In the wasteland, the Insurgents live in the ruins of the cities, fending off Roamers–those men and women unlucky enough to have been poisoned by radiation, turning them into raving lunatics, feeding on living flesh.

There is no hope for salvation. There is no hope of a savior. Only one man still believes, still has faith in God. But that one man is shunned. A fool named Milton living among the Insurgents, never to have the respect of anyone.

The Insurgent pseudo-leader, a broken man by the name of Anton, leads the charge against Koval Unlimited, hoping to bring down the tyrannical government which has been plaguing them since before the fallout.

A world already corrupt beyond destruction falls deeper into chaos as a new war rages. As Milton begs for faith in God and Anton struggles to fight tyranny from government and religion, it seems as if what life remains is destined to crumble in his grasp…

…And perhaps it will.

 

As always, let me know what you think!

Imminent Change – I’m Going Traditional


I’m learning self-publishing may not be for me.

I’ve been a self-published author for close to four years now. I’ve handled the writing, most of the editing, the formatting, and the marketing essentially all on my own, with some help from some writer friends. I like to think that I’ve really honed my skills over the years, and, well, it’s just not working. I love the writing and the freedom of self-publishing, but the sales just aren’t there. This isn’t to say I’m only doing it for the money, but I’d like to receive some monetary compensation for my work. And, well, I just don’t know what I’m doing wrong. Blogging, social media, and conversation, and I’m just not seeing the results I want. I’m not where I want to be. I’m not where I should be right now. I’ve published nine works in these four years, and I feel that I should have more than I do. I take this writing thing seriously, and I want to make a career out of it, and so far self-publishing isn’t the way it’s going to happen.

So what’s next?

I’m writing, of course. I’m working on a post-apocalyptic novel which has a working title of Koval Unlimited. I like the way it’s turning out so far. It’s dark, and everything has a matter of life and death to it. It also has a lot of my personal views on religion to it–in that I don’t believe in a higher being–which is something I don’t often discuss in any aspect of my life. Because of that, I think it has a really provocative allure to it. It’s still in its early stages, though, so we’ll see how it turns out.

When it’s done, I plan to begin querying agents. That’s something I’ve been putting off for a few months now, but I just need to do it. That’s the only way to get it done and find out if I’m a real contender in the writing world.

More details will follow as things progress, and I’m still getting in the frame of mind that this is something that isn’t easy and could take years to accomplish, but I think I have the drive for it. If I can do as much as I have in these past four years, I know I’m capable of doing this.

THE ROTTEN APPLE IS NOW AVAILABLE!


The Rotten Apple mug!

I should have scheduled a post about this for yesterday, but with the book release I was pretty busy, especially yesterday. I had the book launch party, and it was a good time. People came to hang out, I sold some books, and someone even won a free The Rotten Apple mug! It was a good time, and I’m glad people were able to come out and support me.

But now, I would love for the internet folk to support me!

The Rotten Apple is a noir/detective novel with plenty of action, twists, and a female protagonist eager to stop The Big Apple from decaying. Here’s the description, for those of you who have yet to read it!:

The_Rotten_Apple_CoverNew York City, 1950 – Detective Naomi Blake sits in her office, craving a cigarette. Her phone rings. Mark Falco, owner of Falco Corporation, is in interrogation room one. Falco Corp. trucks have been spotted making late-night deliveries to an out-of-business warehouse, and the NYPD wants answers. Mark lawyers his way out. As always.

A woman comes in to the station. Says her husband is missing, possibly kidnapped. Before she can say by whom, a mysterious man bursts through the doors and sinks three slugs into her head, then vanishes. Even picks up the shell casings. The work of a professional.

Suspicious activity by Falco Corp., a missing husband, and a murdered woman. Three separate events? Or a concoction so vile it could mean the end of peace and justice in New York City.

And take a look at what’s been said about it!:

“The Rotten Apple is a great noir novel that follows Naomi, a truly strong and badass female detective. Stocking immediately does a great job of putting you in the shoes of the main character, with constant subtle reminders that she’s a New York City cop in the 1950s. He also shows us a female character that’s tough but also has a past that makes her vulnerable. Very few supposed “strong” female characters are quite as well written as Stocking’s MC.

The action is quick and full of weight; you truly understand the gravity of the situation and that Naomi’s whole world is on the line. The bad guys are smart and terrifying, the romance is organic and realistic, and there are plenty of twists to keep you enthralled.”

I know, right? Pick up a copy today (available in both print and Kindle formats), and it would be fantastic if you could help me out and click one or more of those share buttons below.

Get your copy here!

THE ROTTEN APPLE | COMING TOMORROW


Promo_TomorrowNew York City, 1950 – Detective Naomi Blake sits in her office, craving a cigarette. Her phone rings. Mark Falco, owner of Falco Corporation, is in interrogation room one. Falco Corp. trucks have been spotted making late-night deliveries to an out-of-business warehouse, and the NYPD wants answers. Mark lawyers his way out. As always.

A woman comes in to the station. Says her husband is missing, possibly kidnapped. Before she can say by whom, a mysterious man bursts through the doors and sinks three slugs into her head, then vanishes. Even picks up the shell casings. The work of a professional.

Suspicious activity by Falco Corp., a missing husband, and a murdered woman. Three separate events? Or a concoction so vile it could mean the end of peace and justice in New York City?

 

 

“The Rotten Apple is a great noir novel that follows Naomi, a truly strong and badass female detective. Stocking immediately does a great job of putting you in the shoes of the main character, with constant subtle reminders that she’s a New York City cop in the 1950s. He also shows us a female character that’s tough but also has a past that makes her vulnerable. Very few supposed “strong” female characters are quite as well written as Stocking’s MC.

The action is quick and full of weight; you truly understand the gravity of the situation and that Naomi’s whole world is on the line. The bad guys are smart and terrifying, the romance is organic and realistic, and there are plenty of twists to keep you enthralled.”

NOW AVAILABLE: THE CRIMSON APPLE


It’s here! It’s here! The prequel to The Rotten Apple (out March 22) is now available for the Kindle!

Get a little pre-Rotten-Apple action before the release The Crimson Apple Coverhere!

Why should you? Well, maybe I can entice you with a little description.

The city is seething with scumbags and slime balls. Darkness is not only a characteristic of night, but something the druggies and prostitutes and gangsters embody as they scour the city, selling drugs and sex and guns, keeping The Big Apple’s police force awake and churning at all hours. The filth of the city linger in dark alleys and hide in the shadows, lurking and plotting and scheming, trying to make their way in the dark city the best way they know how.

Naomi Blake, police officer for the NYPD, patrols the city with her partner, Rex, searching for the scum lingering in the shadows. Doing their duty to keep their city safe.

But, when a gruesome murder in a movie theater occurs, the city gets even darker. The Big Apple turns crimson.

Officer Blake must bring an end to the monster terrorizing the city, leaving only blood, pain, and death in his wake.

But at what cost?

I know, I know, exciting, right? Pick up a copy for just $0.99 and let me know what you think!