Introducing The 8th Continent – a new interactive gamebook

Hi everyone!

I just wanted to let you know about the release of a new interactive novel, The 8th Continent, created and written by Pat and Ben Garrett.

Interactive novel means: – that as well as reading the story, you have a hand in shaping it too.  You play as the novel’s protagonist, Morgan.  At every step of the way you choose Morgan’s path through an epic journey, a search for a lost family in a post-apocalyptic world.

It’s currently available on iPhone and Android, and Pat assures me that the Windows version is coming very soon! As you can see, it looks pretty ace – and even better, it’s currently free! So go and download it, have a play and let me know what you think! Blurb and links below:

The Eighth Continent is a FREE interactive Gamebook suitable for all readers.

Any fans of ‘Fallout 3’ are sure to like the setting and atmosphere, while any readers of the ‘Fighting Fantasy’ gamebooks of yore will take a little trip down memory lane! The game is free to download at Google Play, Amazon, or in the Apple iStore. Check out the website or store pages to find out more!

Game details and features




Google play:

Facebook page: The 8th Continent

Previewing Metallica at Glastonbury

Well hello everybody. It’s not often that I get on my soap box and have a little rant, but today I will.

I do so, because today I have been wearing my Metallica T-shirt in support of every Glastonbury fan in the land. Yes, that’s right. All of you lot that have been moaning about Metallica playing Glastonbury this year. They don’t fit in. It’s just noise. They’re really old.

Man….I really feel for you. After years of buying tickets to a music festival before you know which musicians are playing, you’ve finally been let down. It’s terrible. This year, you can’t look through the set list list and say “they’ll be okay I guess” to every single band. You can’t be certain that you won’t dislike a band because they’re all safe, middle of the road boring choices.  You won’t look at every band on the list and think, “if Bruce Forsythe was performing at the same time that would be awesome.”

And that’s because, love them or hate them,  for the first time in many years Glastonbury actually have an interesting act playing.

Yeah, I know, many of you will get annoyed by that statement, but you’re only annoyed because you know it’s true. Even if you don’t know them you want to see if they are as noisy as people say they are. Thrash metal! They’ll probably eat bats or sacrifice a chicken or something. They won’t, Metallica don’t need gimmicks like that. They’ll play hard, fast and loud. There will be pace and energy and fire. They’ll put on a proper festival show, like they always do. It’s nothing new for us metal fans, we know how good they are, but its scary for all the fake hippies out there. You can feel slightly at ease by the bog standard “safe but dull” choices like Kasabian, Arcade Fire, Manics who seem to play every year (I guess if no-one is buying tickets because of the quality of the bands then a few you’ve heard of will pacify the masses though) but people will watch them, knowing that Metallica will actually liven things up a bit. Glastonbury have pulled off a real coup here. They even stand half a chance of veering away from the watered down, middle of the road, suitable for “The One Show” shadow of a music festival that Glastonbury inevitably fades into every year.

It’s the first time since 2004 (Oasis) that Glastonbury have featured a band in the top part of the bill that I would actually pay to go and see. That’s pretty poor for a music festival.

OK – so lets have a look at some of the arguments people have been saying about Metallica.

Metallica are too heavy / too controversial / not in the spirit of Glastonbury.

Rubbish! If you look back at the beginning, Michael Eavis allegedly started Glastonbury after seeing Led Zeppelin perform. Early headliners were David Bowie, T-Rex, Hawkwind. Pink Floyd cancelled. Ok – not a heavy line-up, but still kind of out there, interesting artists. Anyway, I thought all you hippies were chilled out and open to anything? Oh that’s right, you’re only going to Glastonbury because it’s cool and its been on your bucket list for a while. And you’re sleeping in a wooden tee-pee so that you don’t get wet? Bless… you can pretend you’re enjoying it but maybe you should be at home watching it on the telly so you can put Eastenders on whenever someone more lively than Coldplay appear (that’s everyone btw).

Metallica are too old! They’re irrelevant nowadays!

Excellent point, if you don’t know what you’re talking about. Yes – they have slowed down since their early years of course, but Metallica are still releasing new albums and touring. I was wondering, where was the petition against U2, the Rolling Stones and Stevie Wonder the last few years? Clearly far more “current” than Metallica…

It’s true that Metallica have only had two albums in ten years (new one coming soon though) but they sold 10 million copies of Death Magnetic (2008) and 7 million of St Anger (2003), winning Grammies and Kerrang awards for their efforts. Hardly irrelevant, and I don’t doubt that the new one will do just as well. I won’t dig out the numbers for their “more relevant” co-headliners, it’s not fair.

And last but not least, the “but Metallica have been sh*t since the mid-90s” argument

Ok – I’ll admit that I’m one of many who vastly prefers their early stuff to their new stuff. However, Metallica are now older, and have changed like most bands do. That’s natural. But what they have done is changed their sound a little, and have continued to make albums which are acclaimed highly by critics and fans. If their more recent stuff was by a new band people would be raving over it, but because it’s Metallica and it’s different then people have a moan. The sales figures don’t lie though, they’re still good. In my opinion, they’re not so thrashy any more. They’re a more rounded band.

ROCK! Grupo 13/LatinContent/Getty Images

ROCK! Grupo 13/LatinContent/Getty Images

So, that’s my defence of Metallica playing Glastonbury. They’re a monster band, and there is no reason at all why they should not be on the bill. I hope they steal the show.

I’m coming to the end, so I just have one final thing to say. I’ve never been to Glastonbury because I never like any of the bands that are playing, and you have to buy a ticket before you know who is playing anyway (why would you buy a ticket for a music festival before any music is announced?). My mates go a lot, and there’s a staple answer to me not wanting to go. It doesn’t matter if you don’t like the music, there’s loads of other stuff to do. What? So this entire conversation and petition against Metallica was a waste of time, because the music at Glastonbury is not important? Well shut your moaning anti-metal mouths then, and go and watch the clowns or wrestle a smurf in the mud or something.

Anyway, I do hope everybody enjoys Glastonbury and I am 100% sure that Metallica will make a load of new fans. I  do hope though that none of them come to Sonisphere next week, when Metallica will be headlining an actual music festival where people are excited to listen to interesting and groundbreaking artists.

To the festival season,


Author Blog Hop!

Hey everyone!

Fellow author Marie Lavender has invited me on a Blog Hop. She answered the following questions,  “tagged” me and two other authors.  Here is her original post.

After my post, I will tag three authors as well to spread the love. They in turn will tag three authors and link back to this post. If anybody else would like to get involved please join in and tag my post to keep the chain going!


Here are my answers to the blog hop questions:

1. What am I working on?

I am currently just over half-way through my second novel, which is my first proper delve into science fiction. As per most of my stuff it is rather silly, fast paced and full of twists and turns. It is the story of an unfortunate soul, who hates his life and any interaction he has with society. His life takes a turn for the even worse when he accidentally starts an intergalactic war, becoming both a war hero and the most wanted man in the universe.

At the same time I’m working on a few short stories related to my novel “In That Other Dimension,” the first of which I’m hoping to release as an ebook pretty soon!


2. How does my work differ from others in my genre?

I’m told it’s wackier. I love Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams, and that is the genre I write in. Douglas Adams was clearly barmy, and I’m in the same cul-de-sac.

The main reason it is different though is that it is very me. In fact, many of my friends who have read my book have said they can almost hear me reading it out loud. I love to relate back to childhood memories, and twist bits of my own interests and personality into my writing. This is why cake dragons and teenage spots are so influential.

I also have a slightly wicked streak, which comes out now and again.


3. Why do I write what I do?

It makes me laugh, simple as that. Yes, I’m not ashamed to say, that my own stories make me laugh. To be fair though, if I didn’t find them funny then who would?!

I genuinely do enjoy to write as a pastime, and to share that with others and hear that they have found it funny makes it even more enjoyable.

I also love to be very creative and come up with concepts and settings and twists that are out of the ordinary. Writing inter-dimensional fantasy, or inter-galactic sci-fi gives me all the freedom in the world to do that.


4. How does my writing process work?

Well mainly, I just write!

I don’t really have a process. I don’t plan anything, I make it up as I go along. I might from time to time plan a few chapters ahead, you do need to have little targets and events you are aiming for but generally it takes a while until I actually know what is going to happen. In fact, I’ve just got to the point in my current WIP where I can see how the storylines are starting to mingle back together.

I guess the reason I write like this is because I prefer to know my characters. Instead of aiming for a plot event I prefer to think what would Carlos do in this situation? And that’s what he does.

In terms of actual physical writing, I do it in the Library of Birmingham at lunchtimes!


So there’s my contribution to this blog hop. I hope the blog hop reaches far and wide, and a lot of authors can connect. Thank you, Marie (below), for choosing me.

Mariepic2 - small

Marie Lavender is a romance author and a regular blogger, very active and supportive in author circles. Please check out Marie’s blog.

She has many books, seen below.

And, of course, here are my books: 

Written as Marie Lavender: 

UponYourReturn_E-bookCoverMoonlight and Magick by Marie LavenderImage

Written as Erica Sutherhome:

1-hardtogetmemory1 ahintofscandal1withoutyou11strangeheatterrornighthaunted



Written as Kathryn Layne: 


Written as Heather Crouse:



And now to the authors I have invited to partake in this blog hop.

The first is Megan Cyrulewski, whose memoir Who Am I?  How My Daughter Taught Me to Let Go and Live Again will be published on August 2nd by Black Opal Books. She is also working on her first work of fiction, a legal thriller.


Please go and find out more about Megan on her website,


The second is Dr Shay West, a science fiction writer with many books available to read.

The Chosen book cover SD West HiRes eBook Resigned Fate Hi Res eBook Mad Lord Lucian book cover      Battlespace book cover  Orange Karen  Ancient New cover

You can find out more about Shay’s work on


An my final linked author is Dan Bracewell, who writes historical fiction.

He recently got his short story ‘Pool Sharks’ published in Tales of the Talisman














You can find out more about his writing on Dan’s blog site,


And that brings me to the end of my blog tour, thanks for reading (if you’re still here!)

My off-the wall fantasy “In That Other Dimension” can be found here or on an Amazon site nearer to your home!

first issue but without price




How to Fit Writing a Novel Around the Day Job (Without Going Crazy)

Thanks to Marie for hosting my article – “How to Fit Writing a Novel Around the Day Job (Without Going Crazy)”

Hopefully it will strike a chord with some of you and give you some useful tips to use in your routine. I’d love you to share some of your own!

the end


The Easter Bunny Song.

As it’s the beginning of the Easter weekend, I’m re-blogging an Easter poem I wrote over ten years ago when at uni. If you don’t like ironic and cheeky humour, then you won’t like this! If you do, enjoy 🙂

Matty Millard

As it’s nearly Easter I thought I’d be topical for a change, instead of just odd.

If you’ve read any of the other material on my blog so far, you’ve probably noticed my love of silliness, and sarcasm. You won’t be let down here, I promise.

Anyway, here it is. “The Easter Bunny Song”. It never became a song as I mistook my guitar for an Easter egg and ate it, but “The Easter Bunny Poem” just sounds rubbish. 

Warning: if you take things too seriously, please ignore.

The Easter Bunny Song


I’ve always thought it rather funny,

Just think about the Easter Bunny.

And what do bunnies always do??

Parents mustn’t have a clue.


 They let him in on Easter morn,

He sneaks upstairs to their young born,

Armed with chocolate to lure them in

On the day that Jesus was cleansed of sin…



I have a solution which…

View original post 111 more words

Need something to do over the Easter weekend? In That Other Dimension is Free!!

Hi all!

Just a quick post to let you know that In That Other Dimension is FREE on e-book today and on Saturday (19th)! If you’re in need of some lighthearted reading to help you relax over the long weekend, and you like a quirky sense of humour, this is the book for you.

You can find it on Amazon’s everywhere, including: link       link

About the book….

Parallel dimensions are actually quite squiggly in nature.

This is one of many lessons which Carlos Ernesto Amadeus von Schnaart will learn during his accidental journey into the unknown. Finding the way home and explaining his tequila fuelled disappearance to his fiancee will become minor worries when he he finds himself kidnapped by the evil scientist Dr Funk.

Follow Carlos’s adventures through the parallel universe and find out what happens to him when he gets lost “In That Other Dimension…”

Warning: Contains traces of ducks, cake dragons, jelly babies and the infamous Unicorn Mountain. May induce laughter.


v28 for proof 2 reprint merged

Review snippets…..

“It’s like Bill and Ted, Dr. Who, and Alice in Wonderland got together and started taking hits of acid. It’s wonderfully hilarious, unabashedly random, and you won’t be able to put it down.”

“Excellent debut novel by a talented writer. Funny throughout, fantastic imagery and a thoroughly enjoyable read from cover to cover.”

“Reminiscent of both Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams in humour and intelligent plot deviations, I expect big things from this author!”


Limited time ebook offer – 99c, and last week of the giveaway!

Hi everyone!

Firstly – I just thought I had better but a post up to share the news that my book, “In That Other Dimension,” is currently on offer for 99cents / 99p! Anyone who has bought the paperback can get the e-book for free!

If you fancy a chilled out read that will make you laugh then give it a go 🙂

It’s so far got reviews averaging at 4.7 / 5 and quotes including:

“It’s like Bill and Ted, Dr. Who, and Alice in Wonderland got together and started taking hits of acid. It’s wonderfully hilarious, unabashedly random, and you won’t be able to put it down.”

“Excellent debut novel by a talented writer. Funny throughout, fantastic imagery and a thoroughly enjoyable read from cover to cover.”

“Reminiscent of both Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams in humour and intelligent plot deviations, I expect big things from this author!”

v28 for proof 2 reprint merged link link

Secondly – it has almost a week left (til 13th April) on a Goodreads Giveaway to win a paperback here

And thirdly, sod it, it’s all bargains this week. On Sunday evening, to my five favourite commenters on this post (authors decision final) I will give away a free pdf ebook! All you need to do is share this post or one of the links in it, somewhere in social media and let me know by commenting below!!

Cheers all!

Matty M


First Writing Competition Success!

Hi all,

Well the last couple of months have been going quite well for me and my writing. This weekend I had the nice news that I had my first competition success coming first in the GKBC International Short Story Competition! The theme was crime, and you can read my winning story “Weapons of Mass Destruction” here.

GKBC logo

It was judged by Sunday Times best-selling author Tim Weaver, and he had this to say about my story.

“The clear winner. Brutal, funny, inventive, this cross between Grange Hill and The Hunger Games is wonderfully evoked. Its rules are clear, its characters fleshed out, there’s pace, tension and a suitably jet-black twist.”

I couldn’t have asked for a better quote, so thanks Tim!

The thing that really made me feel like a proper writer though was doing my first ever author interview! That was an odd, (do people really want to know about me?!!) but immensely cool thing to be able to do.

In addition, I self-published my first novel “In That Other Dimension” a couple of months ago (which of course you all know about, as I originally wrote it on my blog) and I’ve been getting some rather nice feedback! Keep an eye out for offers on the ebook of “In That Other Dimension”, they will be coming soon (once I work out what’s going on!)

So it’s been a great couple of months, fingers crossed for continuing success.

Whilst I’m in such a good mood, I’m off to continue work on my new novel. Hope everyone else is feeling equally inspired!