Goodreads Giveaway for In That Other Dimension!

Hi all,

Just a quick message to let you all know that my newly released novel “In That Other Dimension” now has a Goodreads Giveaway.

Enter – it’s free, and you can win a paperback copy of the book!

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/81009-in-that-other-dimension

In That Other Dimension – Published!!

Hi everyone!

Many of you will have seen mention of my novel “In That Other Dimension” over the last couple of years. It was a story which I actually wrote originally on this blog. So WordPress has been extremely important in terms of motivating myself towards this aim.

Anyway, I don’t how many edits later (far too many!!) it’s ready to go, and here it is in all it’s glory 🙂

Amazon UK link

And yes, you can even buy it on the other side of the world! How cool is that?

Amazon US link

Anyway,  thanks a lot for all the nice comments and support I’ve had on the way! Hope you enjoy the final product!

v28 for proof 2 reprint merged

My Novel – Getting Closer!

Hi all!

It’s been quite a long time, but then I’ve been quite busy.

Some of you might know, (or even have read it) that I originally wrote a book on my blog. Well since then, I’ve been re-writing and editing, and re-writing and editing, and drawing and editing. Eventually I have a very first actual proof copy which looks and feels like a real book!! That’s because it is, obviously…

Here is the current artwork from my new novel In That Other Dimension. Coming soon, I’ll keep you updated when I have a publishing date!!

In That Other Dimension - Matty Millard

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 fiancée will become minor worries when 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.

Literary Likes and Loathes

Ladies and gentlefolk, I write for you a normal blog for a change. That is, a prose about some of my thoughts. A strange thing to do on a blog page you might think.

More than a blog, I would like ideally for it to be a discussion. We’re all here blogging because we like to write and therefore, I assume, to read.

My thoughts today are, what do we particularly like to read, and more controversially, what do we dislike?

Now by like and loathe, I don’t mean “I like to read books about kittens with chainsaws trying to take over the world.” We all like different genres and feline world domination gore is undoubtedly one of the best. But what is it inside the books that you particularly enjoy? You know, those little gems, the tiny details that really make it stand out. An unexpected twist in a plot line, or a character so well developed that you feel you know them intimately. A particularly smart turn of phrase or that little bit of hidden clever humour that feels like an inside joke.

I’m intrigued.

johnlund.com

I have my little peculiarities that make me smile or make my blood boil, and my top three of each are here.

Likes:

1) Side-jokes:

One of my favourite authors is the one and only Terry Pratchett, and I absolutely love the way he makes little comments in his footnotes throughout his writing.

Sometimes he gives a little bit of extra information on a character, sometimes a little tangential story. I think it’s the way he does it in such a dry and unassuming manner that I most like though.

For example, from Terry Pratchett’s “Moving Pictures” where Ruby is giving Detritus the troll advice on courting:

“You got to, to sing outside a girl’s window,” she said, “and, and you got to give her oograah.”

“Oograah?”

“Yeah, pretty oograah*”

*Trolls have 5,400 words for rocks and one for vegetation. “Oograah” means everything from moss to giant redwoods. The way trolls see it, if you can’t eat it, it’s not worth naming it”

By hiding it in a little joke, it’s actually a really subtle and clever way of giving the reader more information about a particular character or race, without them realising it. We’ve found out that trolls eat rocks, have a limited vocabulary and enlist eating as one of the most important things that they do in their lives.

Commenting in footnotes is something which I enjoy and include in my writing – and I have to say a good footnote gives me a lot of satisfaction. I’m afraid to admit though, that I do laugh at my own jokes!

2) Big shocks:

I don’t particularly like books where it’s shock after shock after shock as they lose their resonance, but when a really good one arrives unexpectedly it’s really satisfying and it can really shape the story and characters.

My favourite example I’ve read so far is in the second book of Fiona McIntosh’s “The Quickening” series. It was one of those proper shout out loud moments when you really want to warn a character of what is happening. I won’t spoiler this, but it really made the character Wyl Thirsk for me. Highly recommended.

3) Short chapters:

I love books that have really short chapters. They just work better for me. None of these thirty-odd pages of sprawling prose, I like it short and sharp.

Douglas Adams had short chapters in “The Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” and this really worked for me. I think that he possibly had the chapter breaks in the same place as other authors would have in terms of plot, but his chapters were shorter because he didn’t like to over-describe everything. The reader is given plenty freedom in which to make up their own mind about how characters should look.

Description of Zaphod Beeblebrox from “The Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”

“He was roughly humanoid in appearance except for the extra head and third arm. His tousled fair hair stuck out in random directions, his blue eyes glinted with something completely unidentifiable, and his chins were almost always unshaven.”

Adams gives you a few pointers about the character and then lets you make up your own mind. I do like this, but maybe this is why few of the characters in the film were as I had imagined?

Not how I imagined Zaphod. knaster.com

Another author who utilised short chapters in a very different way is Kurt Vonnegut. I’m currently reading “Cat’s Cradle” and I love it. There is so much information in this book, but the fact that every chapter is only a couple of pages long makes it far easier to take in. And it looks friendlier. “Yeay I’m on chapter 30 already!!” you think. It’s page 43.

As a kid I would have hated this book though – the “I’m just finishing my chapter” excuse to stay up later would never have helped me!

Loathes:

This is the harder part, as I do like more things than I loathe (I wouldn’t be a writer otherwise would I?!) However some things do get on my nerves.

1) Over-used vocabulary:

My first loathe is over-use of a particular word. We all have our favourite words (my current favourite is “fish” which fortunately isn’t too easy to over use in novel writing.) And it is quite easy to think of a good word and use it a few times in succession. This kind of problem is what editing is for though.

I don’t really like to give examples of authors who’ve done these things as it’s a little unfair to criticise people’s work – however I will with this one as the author is very successful and undoubtedly talented and I’m sure this minor moan wouldn’t cause any offence! Plus I loved the book anyway.

In the book “The Last Gospel” by David Gibbins, the main character Jack Howard grinned lots of times in the space of a few pages (I counted it once, but I can’t be bothered to go back and do it again!) I was ready to throttle him (Jack not David.) Why couldn’t he smile or laugh for a change?

Anyhow, a few pages later Jack stopped grinning so much and I didn’t want to wipe the look of his smug face any more.

We all do this – I find myself editing the words “anyhow” and “anyway” out of my writing ALL the time!

2) Spelling:

It’s very occasional, but sometimes the occasional spelling mistake creeps through an edit. It’s also very understandable, there are a lot of words in a book. And it’s not really the bad spelling that irritates me, it’s the fact that I notice it and it interrupts my concentration.

But it’s not just bad spelling that does this, it’s different spelling too. I’m UK English so of course we spell a lot of words differently to US English – colour, humour, centre – just a few examples.

So although it’s obviously not wrong, as the majority of books I read are by American authors, whenever I see a word spelled in American English I slightly double-take because it just doesn’t seem quite right to me!!

If I had spelled the word “humour” without a u in a spelling test at school, I’d have been marked down and told it was WRONG! So I just can’t help but notice these things!

It would have been so much easier if we just spelled things the same!!!!

3) E-books

Although, hypocritically, once I’ve finished my books they will probably make their way to E-book (whether published or self-published) I still think that E-books are a sad state of affairs for three reasons:

1 -I like to hold a book. Call me old fashioned, but I like to turn pages of a real book and not stare at a screen for at least part of my day.

2 – I hate the thought that art could fall out of the literary field. There’s something about the cartooned pictures on the front of a Terry Pratchett, and the mystical landscapes and dragons on a Tolkien that give a book some added charm and character. There are many books which I have been drawn to because of their front covers – such as the ninjas on the spine of Brent Weeks’ “Night Angel” Trilogy.

Night Angels Trilogy cover
and-the-plot-thickens.blogspot.com

One day books and music could go entirely electronic and we could lose this character.

I believe that e-readers are useful for when you are travelling and you cannot carry a bookcase with you. I prefer to trade at a second hand book store myself though.

3 – It is already so easy to publish an e-book, that it doesn’t matter whether or not you can write well, you can still publish. Traditional publishers will struggle or have to adapt accordingly. Will this make it harder to find good authors as a reader in the future? Will the e-shops of this world become so over-saturated that the next Terry Pratchett or Stephen King is not discovered because he is rubbish at self-advertising? Who knows..

My final point on e-readers is that you’ll all be bored when there is a really long power cut. I’ll be sitting in the dark next to my bookcase.

That brings me to the end. I quite liked doing a proper blog entry for a change, maybe I’ll do it again.

Anyway, if you’re still awake I hope you’ve enjoyed my literary likes and loathes.

What are yours, and why?

(Please don’t say you loathe my writing!)

 

Fish out

Matty

 

Copyright © Matty Millard 2012

http://www.mattymfiction.wordpress.com

Ode to My Lifetime Achievements At This Particular Point in Time Through the Dubious Media of Vogon Poetry – by Arthur Dent

Hey all!

Ready for Towel Day?!

For any of you that have read any of the novel I am posting on this website (In That Other Dimension), it’s possible that you have already guessed one of the biggest influences in my writing – the genius that was Douglas Adams.

Now, if any of you haven’t read the epic masterpiece that is “The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” series, seriously, what have you been doing with your life?! Get to the nearest bookshop, buy it, and prepare to laugh. A lot.

The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide is unlike any other book I’ve ever read in my life, in terms of originality, imagination, silliness and compulsiveness. The characters are brilliant and ridiculous, the places they go to are brilliant and ridiculous and the storyline, surprisingly, is brilliant and ridiculous. And despite Adams’ undeniable silliness, it is also unbelievably clever. Anyway, if you’ve read it, well done, you know this already.

Towel Day (otherwise known as Geek Pride Day) is the 25th May. In honour of Douglas Adams’ life and works, I hope you are carrying a towel and that it’s still clean enough for drying yourself. If you’re not, at least take the time to write some Vogon Poetry at lunchtime here.

As HHG fans will know, Vogon poetry is the third worst in the known universe. This is a Vogon.

To celebrate Towel Day, I’ve posted some Vogon Poetry, previously unseen and written by the HHG’s main character, Arthur Dent. In a bizarre slice of luck this close to Towel Day, it was delivered to me by the white mouse who lives in a box of porridge in my kitchen cupboard.  It contains “in jokes”, terrible humour and poor rhythm. That’s just the way it is. Under no circumstances should you read this poetry aloud – unless you work in Guantanamo Bay that is.

Ode to My Lifetime Achievements At This Particular Point in Time Through the Dubious Media of Vogon Poetry – by Arthur Dent

 I like hitch-hiking round the galaxy

So I thought I’d write some poetry

Vogon in nature, I hope you I’ll agree

Or I’ll grubble your fruncheons and cut down your tree.

I said before, that I like to travel

I don’t, but I prefer it to gravel.

I like to hit crabs on the head with a gavel

Shouting “Resistance is useless!” as their brains do unravel.

I’m not a Vogon, I’m really a man

A man not a girl like Trillian

She’s a girl I met in Islington

At a party where she left with a two headed man.

Then those wretched Vogon’s destroyed my home

And ever since I’ve been forced to roam.

And roam I do, though not to Rome

Cos Rome’s not there any more.

You’re getting bored so I’ll write faster

So far it’s borderline disaster

I’m desperate for a gargle blaster

Although they hurt the morning after

Last time it got me really pished

I tripped and lost my babel fish

Tout en parlent avec Eccentrica Gallumbits

I was seeing quintuple, that’s fifteen tits!

Marvin doubts that story’s true

So flumbly grumbles and slimbly poo

I hope you’ve got your towel with you

Go enjoy your life and it’s forty two.

 

If any of you have got this far, you’re obviously big fans of THHGTTG. If so, you probably like my sense of humour and might enjoy my book! Give Chapter 1 a go – it’s only a ten minute read! Thanks 🙂

Fish out.

Matty

Copyright © Matty Millard 2012

http://www.mattymfiction.wordpress.com

The Stag Do

Hey all!

Today I was supposed be proofreading my novel, but after seeing a friend’s blog 330words I decided to try and write a short story for it. Anyway, once I’d doubled the word limit and realised I hadn’t got a photo for it, I decided I’d have to do that another day. Nonetheless, here’s the short story I came up with. It might possibly remind you of a certain film?!

I won’t apologise for my sense of humour, but I will for my language! I don’t like to swear unless it’s needed! 

Hopefully you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it – let me know what you think!

 Matty

The Stag Do

Bradley the badger woke up with a stinking hangover.

Wiping the remnants of crack-cocaine from his whiskers, he looked around the apartment. It was dark, but he could see enough to know that it was pretty much destroyed.

“Oh shit” he said, sitting up straight in a panic. “What the fuck happened? Are they scratch-marks on the wall?”

Chris the cat stretched out next to him, yawning loudly. “Yeah, sorry. I couldn’t help it. You’re alive then?!” he purred. “What an epic night.”

Davy the dalmatian barked in his sleep and woke himself up. He poked his nose out of the pile of empty pizza boxes he had slept under.

“My god… I feel terrible. I’m never drinking again. I think I’m gonna throw up.”

“Hair of the dog’s what you need” said Chris.

“Fuck off” snapped Davy. He was not in the mood. “And shut your eyes you twat of a cat. I’m trying to sleep and it’s like I’m on the fucking main road, what with you purring and staring.”

“Ooh!” squealed Harry the hedgehog, who had just uncurled from his slumber. Bradley had dropped a pint on him the night before and his spikes were all matted together. He looked like he’d been run over.

“You’re not still cat-fighting are you? You’ve been at it tooth and claw ever since that bird came back with Chris instead of you last night.”

“Eh? What bird?” asked Chris, panicking. He had a feline and a whole litter of kittens at home.

“You don’t remember?!” laughed Harry. “Precious – the parrot from the strip club. Have a look on the internet. Davy was tweeting about her all night, but she thought you were a pretty boy so she came back with you instead! He was so jealous.”

“Oh shit. The stripper? She came here?.. We didn’t?…Surely not?”

“Haha” giggled Bradley, “she was singing a fine tune all night!”

“And you looked like the cat who’d got the cream!” laughed Freddie the fox.

Chris put his whiskers in his paws, before desperately licking himself clean. He felt so dirty.

“Don’t cry over spilt milk” said Harry, trying to comfort him.

“Where is she now? She’s not still here is she?” asked Chris.

Wayne the weasel jumped up and turned the lights on.

“You’d best ask Davy about that” he said, pointing accusingly at a pile of feathers on the carpet.

“Davy got the late night munchies. He was hungry like the wolf!” guffawed Wayne.

Davy ran to the bathroom and was sick as a parrot.

The hungover friends all laughed.

“Guys” said Davy, walking back into the room, suddenly very sober and serious. “Who shut Leonard in the bathroom?”

“What?” said the friends, all fearful at once. “Leonard? Did he come out?!”

Davy nodded sombrely as Leonard the lion strutted into the room. His mane looked dishevelled after sleeping in a bathtub and he was understandably quite angry.

“Where’s Steve?” he growled. “I’m starving!!”

“Steve?” asked Davy. “Which Steve?”

“Some Best Man you are” piped up Michael, quiet as a mouse until now. “Steve. You know. The Stag? The one you organised this whole thing for?”

Leonard took one look at Michael and fled.

Five minutes later, the front door opened. In walked a bedraggled Steve with a box-full of bacon butties.

“Oh, you’re awake then” he said, shaking the water off vigorously. “It’s raining cats and dogs out there.”

The friends took one look at each other and howled in laughter. 

“That was the best night in history!”

Copyright © Matty Millard 2012

www.mattymfiction.wordpress.com

Travelling Thailand!

Hey all,

Just a quick blog update for you all really. I recently did some slightly different writing for a change based on my travels of Thailand a couple of years ago. Yes, that means it is sensible! This has kindly been published on http://www.bucketlistpublications.com/2012/02/15/travelling-thailand/ so please go and take a look!!

Here’s one of my pics (Koh Phi Phi) to give you a taster – I will post the whole piece on here at some point 🙂

The next section of my novel-zine “In That Other Dimension” should be up in the next few days. For anyone that thought it wasn’t already silly enough, you’ve got a real treat in store over the next couple of chapters!!!

Fish out

Matty M

Six Sentence Sunday

Well here’s something new to me that I thought I’d join in with:

http://www.sixsunday.com/

Anyway, my Six are the opening to my humorous fantasy book “In That Other Dimension” which is available to read here on my blog. If you enjoy them, have a read of the real thing! I’ll be posting the rest of the book as I write it.

“It is a little known fact that every red telephone box in England contains a portal to a parallel dimension. It is activated by an amazing technology which our fantastic telecoms engineers have stumbled upon without ever actually realizing.

It is equally little known that this portal is activated simply by the phone number dialled in that box.

Had Carlos Ernesto Amadeus Von Schnaart had even an inkling of this then he may never have used the phone box in the first place. This presence of mind however was unlikely as he was completely and utterly battered. In fact his alcohol-induced state was the only reason he got into the phone box in the first place.”

Anyway hope that has given you a taster and you’ll be wanting more 🙂

Let me know what you think!

Fish out

Poems. Ay it?

Good evening all. Today I thought I’d share with you a good bit of black country sarcasm. If you hadn’t noticed from my previous posts, sarcasm and dryness are something which I think I’m rather good at. So here it is. This poem was meant as a song, but it was too depressing for a tune. The tune it wanted to be was too upset to break through the octavian rhythm that whatever it was I thought about four years ago when I wrote it. I assume it was probably beer that caused that. it was uni. Or maybe exams, they were rubbish. The whole point of these words however, was that I was so uninspired that a title just wasn’t neccesary. So here is… “Untitled”. For anyone thats been to my house, its on my wall – if you’ve not noticed.

Untitled

I’m really bored so gonna write,

A stupid song so full of sh*te,

That it may make my boring life,

Entertaining, for one night.

 

It’s gonna be a masterpiece,

To live on past when I’m deceased,

It’ll be the best song in the world,

A song everyone will have heard.

 

My lyrical genius will shine through,

To make you laugh ’til you go blue,

You’ll want to learn all of the words,

So you can impress all the birds.

 

But as I’m so bored I can’t write,

This work of art this very night,

My inspirations running dry

And I have something in my eye.

 

Sweet dreams, people.

Fish out.

Matty M

 Copyright © Matty Millard 2012

Want Something to Read?

Well it’s your lucky day!

Hello again by the way. Post number two is to advise you all that building these page thingys isn’t quite so hard as I thought (although any tips would be appreciated to make it easier for you to read my stuff!)

The more exciting bit of news however, is that I’ve posted some of my novel-in-progress / novel-zone / thing for you to read! I should probably write a synopsis at some point really, although can it be done before its written?

Anyway, briefly. Its a humourous fantasy novel which follows the amiable rogue, Carlos, on his interesting journey between parallel dimensions. A journey which is not exactly on purpose, yet leads him in to some unique surroundings and worlds.

I’ve uploaded the first three chapters (they’re very very short! It just seems right here) which introduces Carlos and the mess he’s got himself into.  I won’t say any more. Give it a read!

As I’ve previously said – it won’t end here. My intention is to write the whole novel and post it as I go along! I’m hoping around three new chapters per month.

Feedback appreciated!

Read Chapter 1 of “In That Other Dimension” here!!

Fish out

(Should I start that? It’ll be very difficult to end it…)