Sunday, December 23, 2012

Book Matchers

I recently added my first horror novel to Book Matchers, a brand new ebook website for writers and readers.  Their slogan is: "Tell us what you like, and we'll match you with a book."

The submission process was quite easy, though there were quite a few boxes to check off. And it was somewhat difficult figuring out the choice of setting. I didn't see "Purgatory" listed anywhere in the options.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Wind and the Damned

The Wind and the Damned, my newest horror short story, is now featured on Deadly Ever After's "Nightmares Before Christmas" promotion. 

You can read it in its entirety here:

They've got a ton of great stories up already, including ones by the incredibly talented JC Michael (author of Discoredia), and Julie Hutchings (author of Running Home). 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Holiday sale! Everything must go!

Sixteen of Post Mortem Press' best-selling books are now on sale on their website, and my book happens to be one of them!  :)

Try Not to Burn is now 20% off.  According to the site, you should be able to get it in time for Christmas if you order by December 10th.

Can you think of a better stocking stuffer than a book about three souls trying to escape eternal damnation?  I certainly can't.

Here's the link, just in case:

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

An Interview with Author Jaclyn Aurore:

Hi, Jac! Thanks for joining us on Mike's Books and Stuff, or whatever I'm currently calling this site. It's a pleasure to have you here on the blog. Make yourself comfortable. Would you like some tea? Fresh-baked cookies? Help yourself. And let me know when you're ready. This is a combined interview and game show, where prizes may be awarded for great answers. The grand prize, should you win all of the questions, is a signed copy of my solo singing debut album, “Mike Sings The Blues, and Also Some 80s Rock Ballads.”

I'll tell you now, I'm very competitive... if I don't win the grand prize, I'll know this thing is rigged...

When did you start writing fiction? Was there anything in particular that sparked your interest?

I always considered myself a fantastic story-teller. My life was dull and boring, so I created a fictional one to tell all my "friends" about. It was quite neurotic actually, but it kept me happy...
When I was pregnant with my first child, I started having all these crazy dreams that led me to believe I should write some stuff down. Writing is a lot harder than story-telling, that's for sure. When you're telling stories, you can just abruptly start and finish sentences at random...

What's your favorite (or favourite, if you prefer) book of all time?

Hmmm... This is a hard one. I have lots of favourites (the 'u' isn't preferable, sir, it is correct). Book #4 in the Harry Potter series stands out as a classic. Maybe it would be easier for me to answer this if I only read one genre of books. But since I read a little bit of everything, it's really like comparing apples and garbage cans... or like Obama and Romney for your American reference of the day...
I recommend Liza Palmer for an author you likely haven't heard of but I believe everyone should read... just because.

Your book, It Never Happened: A Max Cole Story (which is fantastic, by the way), has been called “Twilight without the vampires.” No question, really. Just thought I'd point that out.

I'll answer this anyhoo... When I told people I wrote a book, the first thing they assumed was that it was paranormal, because that was the genre I favoured (note the 'u' again) at the time... and because Vampires were all the rage. So, when I mentioned that my book was not paranormal, and did not contain vampires or werewolves - this came as a surprise to all.
Twilight without the paranormal factor, would just be a boring girl meets good-looking boy... That's my story in a nutshell. Though, that doesn't really do me any justice... hmmm there's also an entire hockey team full of good-looking boys... and a back story that will break your heart.

You joined around the time that I did. How has your experience on the site been so far?

It has far surpassed anything I expected. My goal was to get to the top as fast as possible. But I met a bunch of fabulous people who offered wonderful advice, and I've since rewritten my novel and self-published it.
I can honestly say now, that getting to the top would be awesome, but I've already been rewarded the gift of friendship... gag... I'm being honest, but it's still gag-worthy

Cliched question time: Being a mom, is it difficult to find time to write?  How do you manage to balance everything?

When I just had one child, I found it easy to find the time to write, and easy to balance my life. Having two children (back to back, no less), now it's dang near impossible! I am able to juggle and multi-task many things, but writing and parenting are two things that have to be done separately... So, I just pick the one I feel like doing best and commit to that... ahem... I mean... I write during nap time.

What's the dumbest question you've ever been asked? It doesn't have to be about writing.

"Are you a boy or a girl?" Seriously, who asks that? Yes, I had a mullet... for like a day... and that was because my mom paid the hairdresser... when she wasn't looking I took out the electric raiser and gave myself a buzzcut... but I'd been with these kids at school for the entire year... why would my gender change when I lost my hair?

Least favorite book of all time? You don't have to answer this if you don't want to. You will lose points if you don't, though, and you may lose out on a chance to win the grand prize.

Also a coin-toss. Hated HON... This always sparks a debate with people. I wasn't a big fan of Catcher in the Rye either... One had an interesting premise but was horribly written, the other was beautifully written with a terrible premise... I'll let you figure out which is which.

Does the Canadian government require authors to include hockey in their books, or was including hockey in your book a decision you reached on your own?

It is manditory for Canadians to write about hockey. There is a rule in our legislature... Having that said, I didn't want to write another cliche captain of the football team character... and I was taught to write what I know... I know hockey... because I'm Canadian... hockey's in the blood.

Okay, now what's the dumbest question you've ever been asked?

"Why on earth would you let your mother coerce the hairdresser into giving you a mullet?" - yep, I know you were thinking it... I was 10, I didn't have a say...

And the final question. This one's for one hundred points, and a chance to play for the grand prize. Remember that honesty is the best policy or whatever. On a scale of one to ten, where one is pretty awesome and ten is fully awesome, how awesome is Michael Matula?

Mike Matula is so awesome, he cannot be ranked on a measly 10 point scale...

And now, please tell the folks at home about where they can find your book, and where you'd like them to look on the internet for your stuff.

Hmmm, I can be found on Facebook... I have a blog... If you're interested in reading about me, or anything I've written, please stop by and say hello: - my first book is available for sale, but if you're still not sold, the first 8 chapters are available free for download.

Thank you very much for playing.  You've been a fantastic guest. 

Did I win? I like winning...

(Photo used with permission from author.)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

It Never Happened

Jaclyn Aurore's new ebook, It Never Happened: A Max Cole Story, has just gone up for sale on her website:

She's a Young Adult writer whose work I found on  I'm already a huge fan of her, and I can't recommend her book highly enough.  The glowing review I wrote a week or so ago for It Never Happened should go up on her website soon in the testimonials section, along with reviews from other Authonomy writers.

Maxine "Max" Cole is one of the best characters I've ever read, and the book is filled with genuine heart and emotion and humor.

If you don't believe me, you can currently download the first 8 chapters for free on her website and try it for yourself.  I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Wow.'s "Hottest Books: September" thread now includes my YA zombie novel, Arrival of the Ageless.  I uploaded it to the site with only 2 days left to go in the month, and it still somehow made the list. 

The thread can be read here.

This site has been pretty incredible for me so far, and it's hard to believe the amount of support I've gotten.  My book has already improved quite a bit with all the feedback, and I'm really looking forward to seeing what other readers think of it. 

It's currently ranked 1096 on the site after starting out ranked 5630.  Not too shabby for my first 22 days on the site. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

"The Breakfast Club...with zombies."

"The Breakfast Club...with zombies" is how I've started pitching my quirky new Young Adult zombie novel, "Arrival of the Ageless."  If anyone's interested in checking out the first five chapters, I've posted them on here:

Anyone registered on Authonomy can check the chapters out for free.  The site is owned and operated by HarperCollins, so I'm crossing my fingers and hoping that people there will take notice of the book. So far, I've gotten some really glowing reviews, and I've jumped over 250 places in the rankings in the first two days it's been up. Of course, there's still a long way for the book to go, but the reviews have helped to buoy my sagging spirits quite a bit. 

Reviews and six-star ratings would be greatly appreciated!  (Maybe even put it on your Authonomy shelf if you feel so inclined).  I'd love to let the rest of this book see the light of day sometime soon, and this could be a great way for that to happen. 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Because Lists Are Fun, And Always Wrong...

Mike's Official Top Five List of Female-Driven Action Movies (Favorites are listed first):

1: Aliens.  Growing up, I had two idols: one was Schwarzenegger, and the other was Ripley.  This is one of my all-time favorite movies. 

2: Terminator 2: Judgment Day.  More James Cameron.  More awesome.  Linda Hamilton is basically what I was going for when I wrote the character of Sam in TRY NOT TO BURN.  A tough-as-nails female survivor with a ponytail and a big gun.  Plus, the movie's got Arnold in it, too, which doesn't hurt.

3: The Descent.  (Possibly more horror than action, but I'm counting it, since it's my arbitrary list, and I can do what I want with it.)  I really dig this movie, even though it's pretty messed up.  On a side note, this is likely the movie that made me claustrophobic.

4: Kill Bill Parts 1 and 2.  Because this list wouldn't be complete without it.  Or them.  Whatever.

5: Domino.  I found some parts of the movie a bit off-putting, but it's still worth a watch, in my opinion.  Especially the documentary about the real-life Domino that the film is based on.  That's really the main reason why it made my list.  She's absolutely fascinating, and it's a real shame she's not still with us.

Honorable Mentions:

Foreign Films I've Never Heard Of: you know who you are, and you're probably Korean, if I had to hazard a guess. 
Films I've Never Seen, But Probably Should Have: Hanna, Haywire, Hunger Games, Columbiana, Prometheus, Snow White and the Huntsman, Brave, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Charlie's Angels, Doomsday, the list goes on and on. 
Films I Really Wanted To Include, But Probably Aren't Actiony Enough: Alien, MirrorMask, The Labyrinth.
Films That Weren't Quite Female-Drive Enough: The Matrix, Kick-Ass, The Fifth Element, 28 Days Later.
Films That Didn't Quite Make My Top Five: Resident Evil 1 and 3, V for Vendetta, Red Sonja.
Films I Can't Remember, Because I'm Doing This Entire List Without Searching Online, Using Only My Movie Shelf And My Brain: again, you know who you are. 

I know I must be missing some super obvious ones, and I admit that I have a ton of blind spots in my movie knowledge, but that'll do it for today's Mike's Official Barely Researched Top Five List.

Feel free to leave a comment below to yell at me about how wrong I am, or--better yet--recommend something awesome that I've never seen.  I'm open to suggestions. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Trying something new

I just sent a donation to one of my favorite podcasts, Movie B.S. with Bayer and Snider.  I "bought them lunch," in exchange for a bit of promotion for my book.  I'm not sure if I sent the donation in time for it to appear on this week's podcast, but hopefully they'll talk about it soon.  This is the first time I've done anything like this.  I don't hear too many people advertising on most of the podcasts I listen to, and maybe there's a reason for it. 

However, even if this doesn't lead to a ton of sales, at least I can feel good about helping support a show that I enjoy.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Kindle edition is now on sale!

The Kindle edition of Try Not to Burn just went on sale last night for under five bucks.  You can find it here

First public appearance of my book!

My horror novel, Try Not to Burn, has apparently sold out at its first public appearance!  Post Mortem Press was at Horror Realm in Pittsburgth this last weekend, and said that they ran out of copies for my book and for a select group of others, like Jessica McHugh's Rabbits in the Garden.  Of course, it's nothing to get overly excited about, as I still don't know how many copies PMP actually brought with them to the show. 

But, hey, it's a start, right? 

I'm looking forward to getting out to a convention myself soon.  My publisher will be heading out to Baltimore this Saturday, and my book should be available at the PMP booth.  I won't be able to make it there, unfortunately, but I'm hoping they'll be swinging a bit closer to Chicago soon. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Book Trailer.

Here's the book trailer for TRY NOT TO BURN, my first horror novel.  Many thanks to Pat, a fellow author at Post Mortem Press, for recommending the video program to me. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Drum roll please...

Here's the front cover for Try Not to Burn, my upcoming horror novel, courtesy of Eric Beebe at Post Mortem Press.  The book is scheduled to come out before the end of this September, and will be available on Amazon in both print and ebook form.  I'll be sure to put up the exact release date once I know it, along with a few more plot details.  (For now, I'll just say that it follows three wary strangers on their quest for survival and redemption, as they put their immortal souls on the line in order to try to escape from the pits of Hell itself.) 

Next step is the book trailer, which I'll be posting soon.  It's my first attempt at creating such a beast, so hopefully it'll turn out alright. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

My book has a date with a printer!

I've now managed to catch a glimpse of the finished cover to my upcoming hell-based horror novel from Post Mortem Press.  It found it trotting through the woods near Cincinnati, Ohio (where my publisher is based, coincidentally enough),  trying to light things on fire, as creatures like it are known to do.  The cover is quite a rare specimen, and it took steady nerves and a keen eye to spot the little guy.  Few others have managed such a feat.  However, as the book should be heading off to the printer as I type this, I have confidence that soon, more folks like me will be able to get a peek at this beautiful, yet skittish critter. 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Getting closer...

According to my publisher at Post Mortem Press, my afterlife-based horror novel, which pits three strangers against the relentless forces of hell, should be heading off to the printers next week.  I just finished writing the dedication for the book (I decided to keep it simple, as an overly sappy dedication probably doesn't fit in very well at the start of what's supposed to be a chilling horror tale), and it should soon be good to go.

As for my other projects, the YA dystopian thing's still on the back burner at 105 pgs.  I'll be getting back to it in a few days, though, since the Middle Grade elf novel my editing team and I have been polishing up is nearly done. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Small detour.

Taking a brief pause from my new YA project to go back to a Middle Grade novel I completed a while back.  With the advice from my brand new editing team (aka my 10-year-old nephew and his mom), I've made a few changes to the start of the book.  So far, the kid seems to know what he's talking about.  The first chapter of this book had been giving me headaches for quite a while, and has been reworked and rewritten multiple times.  I cut out the bit that my sister said he had some trouble with, and the novel already seems to be much stronger because of it. 

Now I just need to finish revising the rest of the manuscript, and then I'll be ready to start sending it out again. 

Then I can get back to working on the YA book, and start figuring out how in the world I'm going to promote my horror novel, which, last I heard, was scheduled to come out this September. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Current Project.

My horror novel set in the afterlife is still scheduled to come out this September.  I sent off my author bio and a photo to the publisher last week, and am waiting to hear an update on the book's progress.  In the meantime, I just passed page 100 on the book I'm currently chipping away at.  Not sure how much I should share at such an early stage, but it's a Young Adult novel set in a dystopian future Chicago, featuring a sixteen-year-old female protagonist who's starting to develop strange, dangerous abilities. 

I've had some trouble drumming up interest in the YA zombie novel I recently completed, so I'm hoping that I'll get this one finished before its subject matter becomes too passé.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

It's so close...

Just saw a concept of the cover to my upcoming novel last night.  I really like it.  I'm not sure how much I'm supposed to say about it yet, but it's eye-catching, to say the least. 

The editing on the book has now been completed after three drafts.  The editor I was paired up with, Felicia Sullivan, has been a joy to work with, as has my publisher, Eric Beebe.  It's the first time I've ever been included in the professional editing process, and I'm pretty certain the entire experience has made me a better writer.  Being able to see the changes Felicia made and get her feedback on the project was invaluable. 

Another Exile

Another Exile was the first short story I ever managed to get published.  It's a speculative science fiction tale where, in the words of the publisher: "A routine adoption transport becomes an explosive post-apocalyptic adventure."

You can find the link to the story here.  It's on Sci-Fi Short Story Magazine.  I'm pretty sure the full thing's available to be read online for free. 

I think it's worth a visit just to see Vitaly S. Alexius' superb rendering of the world.  I thought he did an amazing job.  Way better than I even imagined it when I wrote the thing.

Monday, August 6, 2012


Just started my blog.  My first book, a horror novel set in the afterlife, is scheduled to be released by the fine folks at Post Mortem Press in September 2012.  The first draft of the edit has just been completed.  I'll post more news as it develops, and hopefully work on the blog a bit to make it look a little less homely.