Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Interview with Matthew S Cox, OUT OF SIGHT

Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
Out of Sight is the story of sixteen-year-old Sima Nuvari. She ran away from home to escape her mother’s creepy new boyfriend when she was twelve. Following the End-of-Nations, Earth has become one government ruled by an empress, and most usable land is covered in city. With nationality and religion largely gone, people turn to economic status as a reason to hate each other. As an Outcast (non-citizen) Sima and other street kids are considered worthless. As part of a project to “beautify” one section of the City, they are forcibly placed on a colony ship, the Progenitor, which is sent off to establish a human settlement on an Earth-like planet named Mirage. Something goes drastically wrong when the ship arrives, and Sima finds herself stranded on the planet’s surface, the only human anywhere within a two-year flight.

Do you have a favorite character?
Yes. My favorite character is Althea from Prophet of the Badlands.

Are you currently under a traditional publishing contract for future books or do you have manuscripts that you will self-publish? Are you doing both?
I initially started off querying, and wound up with a small press, Curiosity Quills. More recently, I have had a little success with self-publishing. In the current climate of things, that seems to be a better option for me so I have decided to move in that direction, though I still have a few books with a small press.

What factors influenced your decision to self-publish your book(s)?
Control over advertising / cover / edits. The ability to fix any typos right away. Lack of marketing support from small presses (this is not a complaint, just a statement of the reality). I realized that the small press world wasn’t able to really do much for me that I couldn’t do on my own. That isn’t necessarily true for everyone though.

If you used a graphic designer/publisher’s designer, how involved were you during the creative process for your cover?
Pretty involved. Typically, I send them a request of what I’d like for the cover and then go back and forth with them over sketches, mock ups, and a final draft.

What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?
When I’m writing, especially a first draft, I need silence. Except for a few times when a particular song really underscored the mood of a chapter or scene, I find music (even instrumental pieces) distracting during the drafting phase. While editing, I sometimes listen to instrumental music that fits the mood.

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
Mostly, I outline. However, sometimes, the characters object to where the outline is heading and I listen to them, making changes.

Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?
I have one book “wide” as they say, but it’s barely going anywhere. It’s annoying that Kindle Unlimited requires exclusivity, but it’s honestly shooting myself in the foot not to go with it due to the money it can generate. Amazon has taken so much of the market share, it’s an uphill climb to get noticed elsewhere. And, it doesn’t make sense to offer only a handful of titles off-Amazon and keep people away from the entire catalog. If KU didn’t demand exclusivity, I’d put everything everywhere, but the practical reality of it makes that burdensome. It’s much easier to manage things from a single source perspective.

What kinds of marketing [twitter, facebook, blog, forums] are you involved with for promoting your book(s)?
AMS ads on Amazon, some twitter and Facebook – but FB ads are extremely expensive and, from my experience, functionally worthless. FB also has this bizarre hatred for having text in images, and novel covers contain text, so it’s a constant fight. Plus, trying to get an answer out of a real person when something goes haywire from FB is impossible.

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
Yes. I loathe marketing. I’d much rather be writing or editing. I detest feeling like a spammer, but I want to share my stories with people and books no one knows exist are books no one reads.

What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?
Get a professional cover. If the cover looks like a child made it in MS paint, it’s all that much more difficult to get readers to look at it. A cover with bare-minimum effort suggests bare minimum effort went into the writing as well.

Besides writing, do you have any other passions?
Video games, roleplaying games, movies, and cats.

Some fun facts about you, which do you prefer – dogs or cats? Chocolate or vanilla? Coffee or Tea? Talk or Text? Day or Night?
Cats (though I don’t dislike dogs). Chocolate. Coffee. Text. Late afternoon-evening. I don’t do the super late night thing anymore, but early morning irks me.

What’s next for you?
Moar books.

Out of Sight
Matthew S. Cox
Publication date: August 13th 2018
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult

Most Citizens hold Outcasts in dim regard, but Sima never expected they’d throw her off the planet.
In 2411, overpopulation has spread a plaque of filthy, congested city to the corners of the Earth. Government has raised corruption to an art form, and no one hears the cries of those left to die in the dark passageways of civilization. Following the End of Nations, people cling to the only division left: social status.
Since running away from home four years ago, she’s managed to stay a step ahead of death―or worse. At sixteen, she’s getting too old to survive from begging, despite her best effort to pretend she’s younger. Worse, the sidewalks teem with little kids edging in on her turf, monopolizing Citizens’ charity with their wide, pleading eyes and genuine innocence.
A chance meeting with suspiciously nice cops leaves her more confused than ever. Between deadly gangs, unforgiving security forces, and a terrifying madam eager to exploit a girl her age, merely getting older is the biggest threat to her life. With no good choice to make, she risks the least of three evils.
Sima thought her life on Earth had been dangerous…
She hasn’t seen anything yet.

Author 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.
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

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