Caller 107 Blog Tour: Interview with Matthew Cox

On July 22nd, Matthew Cox released Caller 107, a YA contemporary-paranormal book. With a few published books already under his belt, Matt makes writing a novel look easy. I asked if he would answer a few questions about writing… and he did.  I loved his honest answers and suggestions, especially what he considers the most difficult aspect of being a writer and his advice about character development.

I’m adding Caller 107 to my Want to Read list. Please stop by the Goodreads and rafflecopter links at the bottom of the page. Now, on with the interview:

Matthew, are you a panster or a plotter? How do you approach a new idea?

Plotter. With one exception (Caller 107) everything I write, I’ve outlined first. Years ago when I first started writing, I’d never be able to finish anything (at the time I was just writing without a plan). I decided to outline so I knew where the story was going, and that let me finish. I tend to prefer storylines with subtle clues and intricate undertones, and underlining lets me keep all the stuff straight during the writing.

When you’re writing, your word count is amazing. How do you manage such a high level of productivity? 

I have been told my word count is rather high. My drafting speed varies a bit with motivation and time – When the story really wants out my average is about 4000 words on a day when I have to work, and I’ve gone over 10k with ease on a day off. My record is about 18k words in one day  (though that was an 8am to midnight bender). I’m going a bit slower on my current WIP as I am happily distracted by things (like the Caller 107 release).

As best as I can say, my output is due to a couple of things working together. First, I type about 110-140 words per minute depending on the groove I get into and how often I have to backspace/correct stuff. On a good roll, I can type about the same speed people talk.

Secondly, I am an outliner, so I get most of the sitting, staring at the wall parts of writing out of the way as I build the outline. When I’m drafting, I already know where the story is headed (though it can, and often does, change).

The last part is a combination of focus and having nothing else to do J I used to be addicted to online gaming (World of Warcraft specifically) and I’ve channeled that drive into writing. When I’m not with friends, at work, or asleep, I have this irresistible urge to sit down and work on the next manuscript.

What is the most difficult aspect about being a writer? 

Getting over that initial fear of a bad reaction and letting the world see my writing for the first time. The cycle repeats itself in smaller versions each time I come up with a new manuscript, but it’s getting much easier.

 What are your top three nuggets of wisdom you would like to share with unpublished writers?

Make believable characters. Readers will not like a character that constantly acts contrary to what their nature seems to be – or if they have no nature and are just a shell. Grounding a character (be it protagonist, antagonist, or minor character) in a true sense of being keeps things genuine. It even helps avoid getting stuck because if you know your character, you know how they’d react in a situation.

Write the story you want to tell, not the story you think the market wants. The more into the story you are, the better it will come out.

Once you’ve finished a draft, let it sit for a week or four. Then go back and do an edit pass. Then go back again and read it out loud to yourself.

 What is your favorite part of the writing process?

Typing “The End” after the first draft. It’s a combination of the sense of accomplishment at finishing, plus the start of the editing process.

Do you have any suggestions for editing drafts?

Be on the lookout for filtering, avoid weak/explanatory dialogue tags, and use adverbs only when unavoidable. Also, delete “very” whenever it happens.

What do you think is the most important element a story should have?

Barring a farcical comedy, I’d have to say logic or sense. With obvious leeway given a story’s plot and world, things need to happen for explainable reasons. It lends to the believability of the world and the characters. For example, if a character is shooting at a robot with a high-powered rifle and the bullets are just bouncing off of the robot, and then he whacks it with a crowbar and damages it – that makes no sense. Plot holes, logic holes, try to keep things cohesive. (Again, barring comedy where breaking this cohesion is done for effect.)

 Do you have other stories in the works?

Yes. I’ve got two more installments in the Division Zero series done and in various stages of production. The Awakened series 1 (Prophet of the Badlands) is due out in November. Part 2 of that (Archon’s Queen) is done with editing and waiting on a release date. Part 3 (Grey Ronin) is sitting on someone’s virtual desk at the publisher now. Part 4 (Daughter of Ash), I just finished drafting a few weeks ago and am about to begin edit 1 on. Also, I have a MG fantasy (Emma & The Banderwigh) on submission with CQ, as well as an anthology of short stories. Also, a collaborative effort with author Tony Healey (Operation: Chimera) is nearing completion (in terms of cover art and such. The book is done, but there’s no release date yet.)

 I wrote a blog about self-doubt being a new demon I encountered. Do you have any writing demons?

Self-doubt is a big one for me as well. I always hear people say that writing is supposed to be tedious, difficult, time consuming… Perhaps I’m having a spate of luck, but the stories fly out of my head onto the paper and feel almost ‘too easy.’ I spent a long time wondering if I was doing it wrong because it didn’t feel like torture to write.

 If someone wrote a book about your life, who would star as you?

Oof. Umm. So far, my life has been pretty boring. The only answer I could come up with for this is a 1980s Chevy Chase… Well-meaning schmuck that seems to constantly have bad luck.

 

Check out Matthew’s new book: Caller 107. Here’s the back cover blurb:

When thirteen-year-old Natalie Rausch said she would die to meet DJ Crazy Todd, she did not mean to be literal.

Two years is a long time to be stuck between two people that want nothing more than to destroy each other. A tween crush on the larger-than-life jock from a local radio station is the only trace of a once-happy life ruined by warring parents.

Whenever WROK 107 ran a contest, she would dive for the phone, getting busy signals and dead air every time. She never expected to get through, but at least with her best friend at her side, it used to be fun.

Before her parents ruined that too.

Her last desperate attempt to get their attention, falling in with a dangerous group of older teens, goes as wrong as possible. With no one left to blame for her mess of a life but herself, karma comes full circle and gives her just a few hours to make up for two years’ worth of mistakes–or be forever lost.

You can find it at: Barnes and Noble or Amazon.

eCover

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

 

Caller 107 by Matthew S. Cox

 

Caller 107

 

by Matthew S. Cox

 

Giveaway ends August 21, 2014.See the giveaway details atGoodreads.

 

Enter to win

 

Cover Reveal: Caller 107 by Matthew Cox

eCover

Caller 107 by Matthew Cox

Genre: young-adult, contemporary paranormal

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press

Date of Publication: July 22nd, 2014

Cover Artist: Polina Sapershteyn

Goodreads

Blurb:

When thirteen-year-old Natalie Rausch said she would die to meet DJ Crazy Todd, she did not mean to be literal.

Two years is a long time to be stuck between two people that want nothing more than to destroy each other. A tween crush on the larger-than-life jock from a local radio station is the only trace of a once-happy life ruined by warring parents.

Whenever WROK 107 ran a contest, she would dive for the phone, getting busy signals and dead air every time. She never expected to get through, but at least with her best friend at her side, it used to be fun

Before her parents ruined that too.

Her last desperate attempt to get their attention, falling in with a dangerous group of older teens, goes as wrong as possible. With no one left to blame for her mess of a life but herself, karma comes full circle and gives her just a few hours to make up for two years’ worth of mistakes–or be forever lost.

MCox_02_LightAuthor Bio:

Born in a little town known as South Amboy NJ in 1973, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Somewhere between fifteen to eighteen of them spent developing the world in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, and The Awakened Series take place. He has several other projects in the works as well as a collaborative science fiction endeavor with author Tony Healey.

Matthew is an avid gamer, a recovered WoW addict, Gamemaster for two custom systems (Chronicles of Eldrinaath [Fantasy] and Divergent Fates [Sci Fi], and a fan of anime, British humour (<- deliberate), and intellectual science fiction that questions the nature of reality, life, and what happens after it.

Social Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Psionics

There term Psionics describes a group of psychic abilities, which includes: telepathy, psycho- and pyrokinesis, among others. And the main character in Matthew Cox’s book Division Zero is a psionic.

 

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Division Zero

Most cops get to deal with living criminals, but Agent Kirsten Wren is not most cops.

A gifted psionic with a troubled past, Kirsten possesses a rare combination of abilities that give her a powerful weapon against spirits. In 2418, rampant violence and corporate warfare have left no shortage of angry wraiths in West City. Most exist as little more than fleeting shadows and eerie whispers in the darkness.

Kirsten is shunned by a society that does not understand psionics, feared by those who know what she can do, and alone in a city of millions. Every so often, when a wraith gathers enough strength to become a threat to the living, these same people rely on her to stop it.

Unexplained killings by human-like androids known as dolls leave the Division One police baffled, causing them to punt the case to Division Zero. Kirsten, along with her partner Dorian, wind up in the crosshairs of corporate assassins as they attempt to find out who – or what – is behind the random murders before more people die.

She tries to hold on to the belief that no one is beyond redemption as she pursues a killer desperate to claim at least one more innocent soul – that might just be hers.

 

Author Info:

Born in a little town known as South Amboy NJ in 1973, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Somewhere between fifteen to eighteen of them spent developing the world in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, and The Awakened Series take place. He has several other projects in the works as well as a collaborative science fiction endeavor with author Tony Healey.

Hobbies and Interests:

Matthew is an avid gamer, a recovered WoW addict, Gamemaster for two custom systems (Chronicles of Eldrinaath [Fantasy] and Divergent Fates [Sci Fi], and a fan of anime, British humour (<- deliberate), and intellectual science fiction that questions the nature of reality, life, and what happens after it.

He is also fond of cats.

Division Zero Purchase Links

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Kobo

Nook

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Kick Ass Cover Reveal : Virtual Immortality

Virtual_Immortality_FB

Virtual Immortality

Nina Duchenne walked away from a perfect life of wealth and ease to pursue a noble idea. Unfortunately, her hope of becoming a forensic investigator drowned in two years of mandatory street patrol. After one tragic night shatters her dream, she finds herself questioning the very nature of what it means to be alive.

Joey Dillon lives at the edge of a perpetual adrenaline rush. A self-styled cyber cowboy that chases thrills wherever he can find them, he is unconcerned with what will happen twenty minutes into the future. Lured into a dangerous region of cyberspace, he soon has the government of Mars trying to kill him. After fleeing to Earth, he takes refuge in places society has forgotten.

When two international agents threaten the security of West City, Nina gets command of the operation to stop them. Joey just wants to find his next meal. Voices from beyond the grave distract Nina from her pursuit, and send Joey on a mission to find out who is responsible. His suspicions lie grounded in reality while she hopes for something science cannot explain.

The spies prove more elusive than expected, convincing her they have help from a master hacker. Joey falls square in her sights with the fate of the entire West City, as well as Nina’s humanity, at risk.

Release Date: May 19, 2014

Author Info:

Born in a little town known as South Amboy NJ in 1973, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Somewhere between fifteen to eighteen of them spent developing the world in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, and The Awakened Series take place. He has several other projects in the works as well as a collaborative science fiction endeavor with author Tony Healey.

Hobbies and Interests:

Matthew is an avid gamer, a recovered WoW addict, Gamemaster for two custom systems (Chronicles of Eldrinaath [Fantasy] and Divergent Fates [Sci Fi], and a fan of anime, British humour (<- deliberate), and intellectual science fiction that questions the nature of reality, life, and what happens after it.

He is also fond of cats.

Website

Facebook

Twitter