Thursday, November 7, 2013

Celebrating Debutantes 2013: Patrick Matthews (Interview + Giveaway)

Today's featured debut author is by far the most sidenotes I've written. What should I do, his tales are interesting! Curious now? Check out my interview with the author of Dragon Run, Patrick Matthews!

Patrick Matthews

1. What do you feel about the number '13'?

That’s the year my first book was published. That makes it a pretty lucky number, from my point of view.

2. What's the best thing that happened after your book was published?

I go to a lot of schools to talk about writing. Typically, I’ll speak at the school one day, and then come back to sign books at the book fair the next day. Unfortunately, I’m not very fast at signing books. I like to talk with the kids and personalize the autographs, so it can take some time.

At one of these signings, I noticed a 4th grade girl patiently waiting in line for me. I noticed her because instead of holding a book, she had a piece of notebook paper in her hand. She waited about ten minutes, smiling nervously each time I glanced at her.

When her turn came, she held out her paper. “I don’t have your book,” she said in a quiet voice. “But after your talk yesterday, I went home and wrote this story. Could you read it?”

Wow. I mean, just. . . wow.

(Sidenote: Yeah. Wow.)

3. How did you celebrate the publishing of your book?

We had a launch party at a local community center. Instead of just friends, we invited everyone (even got it mentioned in school newsletters). My sons ran a game room for the kids, including a tournament for some free games. It stayed packed the whole time. Out in the main rooms, I signed and chatted and visited. Tons of fun. Toward the end of the party, everyone crowded together for a reading. It was a fantastic time.

4. Do you read reviews of your book?

All the time. I even set up a Google Alert for them. I know I shouldn’t, but I can’t help it. I’ve met a lot of authors who say they write for themselves. Not me. I write for my readers. To me, the reviews mean a lot. So do the letters and emails I get. The letters I’ve received from kids have been wonderful.

5. What is your best or most unforgettable moment with a fan?

That little girl I mentioned in question number 4 is the best. If I had to pick another memorable one, though, it would be at another book fair, where a boy dragged his dad over to see me. “Here he is! Here he is!”

More than a little embarrassed, I introduced myself to the dad, and the three of us talked about writing for a while. When the boy saw some friends and darted off, I asked the dad what he did for a living.

“I’m a fireman,” he said with a shrug.

“No way,” I said. “My kids would love to meet you!”

He laughed. “I get that a lot. It’s always the other kid’s dad that’s the coolest.”


(Sidenote: I have to laugh at the irony of this. :D)

6. Was there any book/s from other debut author of 2013 that you loved?

Other books written in 2013? Wow. That’s a great question. I’ve focused on writing so much this year, that I haven’t done as much reading as usual. I really enjoy the Tell Tale Start, by Gordon McAlpine, but he’s not exactly a debut writer. I’ve heard great things about The Fantastic Family Whipple, by Matt Ward, but I haven’t had a chance to read it yet.

7. Are you interested in writing in a different genre or for a different audience?

Absolutely! My next projects are both fantasy, but beyond those, I’m looking at science fiction and thriller. I’m not interested in changing audience s any time soon, though. I like the middle grade market a lot, and my goal is to make books that both kids and adults can enjoy.

8. Share with us one embarrassing moment you've had.

Ha! That’s an easy one. It happened at an amusement park shortly after Dragon Run came out. I was in a bathroom stall when I heard my son’s voice. “Do you like to read?”

“Um,” the man said. “Yeah. Do you?”

I tried my best to speed up. Listening to your 10-year old son chat up a random stranger in a public restroom is a bit disconcerting.

By the time I reached them, my son had told the stranger all about Dragon Run. As I came stumbling out of the stall, the man looked at me like I’d lost my mind. I tried to reassure him that I don’t actually send my son to restrooms to sell my book.

I’m not sure he believed me.

(Sidenote: Patrick, you have the best marketing expert there. Haha!)

9. Favorite color? Favorite movie? Favorite ice cream flavor? Favorite song? Ultimate celebrity crush (dead or alive)?

Yikes. All of these answers are subject to change, but currently, they are: Red, How to Train Your Dragon, Heavenly Hash, and We Are Young. I’m afraid I’ve never crushed on a celebrity. They all seem too distant to me. Sounds weird, I know.

10. What's next for you?

More books and more games. I have some games and books going through the approval process right now. Hopefully, they’ll be picked up and we’ll see them coming out next year!


More about Patrick!

I grew up in the countryside of north Delaware, surrounded by woods, corn fields, and acres of unexplored wilderness.

When I wasn't exploring or sneaking television, books and games were the centerpiece of my life. I read voraciously, and my friends and I played just about any game we could find, making up our own as often as not.

Vacations were spent camping, of course, and searching for any adventure that would have me. From climbing Mt. Washington to rock climbing the Needles of South Dakota to hopping freight trains as they rumbled through Newark, adventures did make themselves available.

Now I support myself and my family with my three professional passions: writing, game design, and software development. Even better, I have a family that is a willing partner in my search for adventure.

And what could be better than that?

Find him: Website * Twitter * Goodreads

Take a peek on Patrick's debut novel!

Dragon Run
by Patrick Matthews

Published March 1st 2013 by Scholastic Press

Blurb (Goodreads):
A boy goes on the run in this fast-paced fantasy debut.

Can a zero become a hero?

Testing Day is supposed to be a day of celebration for Al Pilgrommor. Born into a wealthy family, he expects to follow in his successful father's footsteps. Of course, that all depends on the rank number Al receives at the testing. The higher the rank he has tattooed onto his neck, the better his life will be.

To his surprise and horror, Al is revealed to be rank zero, the lowest of the low. He's now not only an outcast — he's also a danger to his entire family. So Al goes on the run, fleeing the brutal Cullers, men who hunt down zeroes . . . and put them to death.

ast out of his home, cut off from his friends, and armed with only a sword and his wits, Al is reduced to just surviving. As he meets other outcasts, however, he begins to suspect that he is a pawn in a larger game — and that he might have the power to tip the scales in a high-stakes struggle between man and dragon.

The Escapist

Now head over Oops! I Read A Book Again for debut author Leigh Ann Kopans!

Yesterday: Christy Dorrity (Awakening) and Natalie Whipple (Transparent)
Tomorrow: Jennifer Walkup (Second Verse) and Shandy Lawson (The Loop)

Calling YA/NA/MG debut authors of 2014! Want to join us on this fun event? Fill out this form! Don't forget to spread the word with your debuting friends!

- Dragon Run book + StoryTellers game
- US/Can only


Don't leave with your thoughts unshared!