I’ve hinted at this in previous blogs and essays and related internet scribbling. I’ve implied it in posts to my social media edify.
But I’ve never just come right out and stated it plainly.
I used to be a bad man.
I don’t mean I was a badass. I don’t mean I was a cool guy. I don’t mean I was dark and brooding and Batman without the gadgets. I don’t mean this as part of a persona to sell books and gather unto me Twitter followers.
I mean I was a truly shitty human being. I really was. I was a bad person. I was selfish, angry, arrogant, cruel, and dealt with most feelings by finding someone suitable to punch in the head at three o’clock in the morning.
And while I never preyed physically on those weaker than myself… I was also a raging misogynist.
I’m both proud and jacked to reveal the cover of my forthcoming short story collection BEDTIME STORIES FOR BADASSES created by artist Natalie Metzger.
I encourage you to spread this image far and wide via every social networking tool and animal courier service at your disposal.
It deserves it.
I wanted to go out on a high and utterly brutal note, so for our last weekend of workshops I put my kids to the task of writing a 5k-word short story from scratch, beginning to end, based on ideas they came up with on the day.
The same is true, albeit in a far less physical sense, about creative writing as a profession.
Like professional wrestling, freelance writing is a truly god-awful profession at virtually all but the highest level. The money sucks. No one respects or values the craft. Everyone and their retarded aunt think they’re a writer. The business is treacherous and corrupt. You swallow pride, ego, bullshit, rejection, and criticism on a daily basis. You’re forced to associate or be associated with the loathsome, neurotic, pandering creatures that are or at least call themselves writers. A sliver of a molecule of a fraction of those who aspire to the trade actually ever earn a living or any substantial form of recognition doing it.
I say this with no malice, bitterness, or even judgment: writing as a profession sucks.
In my continuing quest to stuff your family of Kindle reading devices full of me, myself, and I, my short story DELVE is now available as a standalone ebook for the low, low price of ninety-nine cents. Download it to your Kindle with one-click. DRM has not been enabled. Amazon Prime members ride for free.
DELVE is the story of a small satellite circling the moon of Ganymede and its inhabitants. It’s been approximately fifty years since Earth and its population was decimated by a psychically driven virus that transforms men and women into literal versions of the darker angels of our nature. Now a handful of people begin the process of repopulating the ranks of humanity by cloning batches of newborns to be dispatched to our new home.
Stenz is a “screener,” an enhanced human who is tasked with entering the consciousness of the cloned newborns—a process known as the Delve—and erasing the virus’ triggering mechanism. It is his job to scrub human nature clean of any potential for even the slightest dark or violent impulse.
Things go wrong.
Summer 2013 belongs to the storytellers.
More to the point, it belongs to this storyteller.
This summer I’m turning up the heat with three new full-length books that I have designed and engineered specifically to scorch your retinas and cause your brain’s reactor to meltdown. I’ve taken speculative fiction as far past the red line as my meager talents and novice skills will allow. I’ve recruited artists. I’ve teamed with publishers and gone guerilla. I’ve stormed both the printed page and the digital. I’ve written until my battle-worn hands and my life-weary mind could withstand no more.
The rest is up to you, kids.
This is my summer 2013 release schedule. Mark your calendars, create a new coin jar, and join a support group to help curb your Kickstarter donations.
My stuff you can just buy and enjoy.
It’s up to you what happens in the fall.
Earlier today I announced the end of my TLC on-line writing workshops after two years and some change.
It was very emotional for you. Trust me.
The final regular sessions are in May. Those will consist of a grueling two-day writing and review marathon in which you will create and complete an original short story from scratch. My goal is to traumatize, with my last breath, as many aspiring authors as I can into quitting and becoming teachers instead in an effort to cull any potential competition.
Also, we need more teachers. We’re tits-up with writers.
So, that’s the end of the workshops.
But TLC as we know it ends in June.
On Saturday, June 22nd I will be hosting a live on-line event entitled “Matt Wallace’s Last Annual Literary Apocalypse Tour: A Symposium on Sucking Less” in which I will (attempt) to sum up everything I know as a writer, everything I’ve learned over the last two years of running the workshop, and everything I urge you to carry forward in your own writing.
It will be useful. It will be funny. There may be special guest stars, live music, fireworks, and/or a hand-to-hand fight to the death with large, flaming axes.
There will be no clowns.
I give you a “No Clown” guarantee.
There will also be a workshop portion in which you will write the most important and meaningful thing I’ve ever instructed my students to write.
After which you will rewrite it.
Because it will suck the first time.
That’s The Loose Cannon.
I wanted to go out on some kind of definitive note, and end with a summary of whatever the hell it is I have to offer you in the arena of writing fiction and trying to make a living as a writer.
That’s what this symposium will be.
The cost for non-TLC members to attend the symposium is $100.00 USD. E-mail me at matt AT matt-wallace.com for details.
A little over two years past I held my first on-line fiction-writing workshop. The workshop and I were inspired by my role as Bad Cop on the ISBW Good Cop/Bad Cop podcast I co-hosted with author Mur Lafferty.
I dubbed it The Loose Cannon. Writers put their money down and signed in from all over the world. They kept coming back, month after month. Thousands upon thousands of words have been written. Lessons have been learned. I’ve yelled a lot. I’ve told a lot of truth. The only lies I’ve told were ones I made clear were lies at the outset.
We all suck a little less than we did two years ago.
I started thinking about collecting the stories I’ve written over the last couple of years, more or less since I moved from Nashville to Los Angeles. They’re stories I’ve written as I’ve tried to figure out who I’m becoming as a writer, stories I’ve written while experimenting with releasing my fiction digitally and on my own, and stories I’ve written for fun because that’s just what I do with myself at 4:00 a.m. when all else is silence.
Of an evening not too far past I was sitting at my dining room table scribbling in a Composition notebook bent and mangled from being stuffed in my back pocket twelve thousand times and which, according to the filled-out label on the cover, belongs to one “Doghouse O’Reilly” who attends the school of “Hard Knocks.” I was trying to figure out which stories were worth collecting, which stories worked in conjunction with which other stories, and what the title and concept that would tie them all together should be.
[NOTE: The following was originally posted several weeks ago. Due to a gangrenous cyber infection that metastasized to every cell of my website, we were forced to remove that post and take a sledgehammer to it before burning the pieces, Velveteen Rabbit-style, for general safety reasons. Because the purpose of that post was to showcase the work of Natalie Metzger and introduce it to new fans, and because I just plain like having her amazing art on my website, I'm reposting it now. It has been fully sanitized for your protection. Credit goes to Jack Townsend, a.k.a. Helljack, my Master of Digital Swords, for his tireless efforts in fixing this cyber wonderland I call home on the internet.
(dictated, not read)
My writing has the privilege of being associated with some truly immense artists and illustrators. Most recently, for my novel THE FAILED CITIES (available May 17th from The House of Murky Depths. Reserve your copy today. Supplies are limited), I’ve been able to work with Scott Pond on a phantasmagorical 180° wraparound tableau for the front and back cover, as well as an entire slew of professional and sickly talented British artists who art illustrating all of the major characters and scenes from the book.