Blog Archives

Jak Phoenix at Barnes and Noble


Jak Phoenix is available on barnesandnoble.com - Paperback Space Opera Sci fi AdventureThe Jak Phoenix series is available at the Barnes and Noble online store for those of you looking for a good space adventure ebook for your NOOK eReader. Here’s where you’ll find the low priced NOOK Books:

Holiday Greetings from Matt Williams & Jak Phoenix


jak phoenix christmasMerry Christmas; Happy Hanukkah/Chanukah; Happy Scoparian Sand-Fest; Enjoy the Miraltan Meat Month; or have a wonderful time with whatever it is you’ve celebrated or will celebrate this December.

Matt Williams – Author of the Jak Phoenix space adventure novel.

If you picked up a new eReader this year, check out Jak Phoenix at:

B&N Barnes and Noble for the Nook http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Jak-Phoenix/Matt-Williams/e/9780986526619/?itm=1&USRI=jak+phoenix

The Sony Reader Store http://ebookstore.sony.com/ebook/_/R-400000000000000284292

Smashwords http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/9293

Diesel http://www.diesel-ebooks.com/item/SW00000009293/Williams-Matt/Jak-Phoenix/1.html

Kobo http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/search/?keywords=jak%20phoenix%20matt%20williams&cookieCheck=1

Apple iTunes iBookstore for the iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch http://itunes.apple.com/ca/book/jak-phoenix/id365939811?mt=11

Have a wonderful time with your families!

New Jak Phoenix Character Sketches from Jeff Thomason


Jeff Thomason was good enough to make another series of character sketches, this time adding his touch to Baxter, Cyan and Murdock. Here is a posting he put on his blog:

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So Matt, the creater of Jak Phoenix, liked the drawings I did so much, he wanted more. And I was glad to draw more. I’ve been interested in this kind of space opera style scifi for a while and have wanted to do something in this style, but I never had a good reason for it. Until now.

The characters were again drawn with a brush dipped in Sumi ink on Strathmore Drawing Paper (the yellow cover), then scanned into my iMac on a Canoscan printer, and digitally colored in Corel Painter X. I really liked the end result. This may be the process I use for all my art for a while.

The original article can be found here.

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Awesome work Jeff!

A cast of characters from the space adventure novel Jak Phoenix. Baxter, Jak, Cyan and Murdock

From left to right: Baxter, Jak, Cyan & Murdock

Jak Phoenix eBook Giveaway at Brave Luck Books


tracy falbe rys chronicles ebook paperback ipad ibooksThe amazing Tracy Falbe has chosen Jak Phoenix, the space adventure novel by Matt D. Williams, as her monthly ebook giveaway in March 2011. All you have to do is sign up for her reader list and you’re automatically entered for the draw.

So drop by this link: http://www.falbepublishing.com/braveluck/monthly-giveaway-details.html

While you’re there, download her free ebook, Union of Renegades: The Rys Chronicles Book I and check out her other work!

Good luck in the draw.

Thanks Tracy!

A Guest Update from Author Robert Capko


Robert Capko Say Goodbye Novel ebook smashwordsAuthor Robert Capko, creator of the John Paxton series, stopped by Jakphoenix.com to give us an update on his novel, Say Goodbye.

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Finally you can hold the latest adventure of pararescueman John Paxton right in your hands. Robert Capko’s action/adventure thriller SAY GOODBYE is now available in paperback.

Available in paperback for $8.80 or for the NOOK for $2.99 at

Barnes&Noble.com

Also available in paperback at Amazon.com

And for Kindle

And for your Sony ereader

And for your iPhone or iPad through Apple iBooks.

Or ask your favorite bookseller.

What others are saying about SAY GOODBYE:

“Great fast paced book. Seemingly realistic and accurate due to the author’s real-life US Air Force experience. I’d also recommend this to any fans of classic Tom Clancy. Looking forward to The Long Road Home!”

-  Matt D. Williams, Author of Jak Phoenix

“After 28.5 years in the Air Force (24.5 active duty, 4 years as a civilian), seeing these super heros in action, I’m so glad to see Robert Capko’s new book SAY GOODBYE hit the streets and pay homage to the–until now–unsung heros of the Air Force. I remember first hearing about PJs when I came into the USAF back in 1982. They’ll go places other services’ special operators won’t! These super Airmen know no fear, and John Paxton is the perfect example. My advice…get a lot of sleep the night before you read the book, because you’ll be going to bed late the day you start reading it…you will NOT be able to put it down!”

-  Chief Master Sergeant (Retired) Bill “D”.

“Finally a great military thriller that highlights the exceptional talents of the finest special operations operators, the U.S. Air Force Pararescuemen. The adrenaline was pumping with each page and the many twists and turns keep you speculating to the very end. Military and National Security drama enthusiasts have found a new hero in MSgt. John Paxton. From life and death at 50,000 feet to door busting close combat, from cloak and dagger mystery to raw human survival this book has something for everyone and you will not want to put it down.”

- CHON GANN – Medical, Security, and Intelligence Professional

Robert Capko writes Action/Adventure Thrillers including the John Paxton series.  He is a veteran of the United States Air Force and lives in Florida where he is working on his next thriller THE LONG ROAD HOME.  More information can be found at his website www.robertcapko.com, join his fan page at http://www.facebook.com/robertjcapkofanpage or follow him on twitter at http://twitter.com/robertcapko

An Interview with Author Mark Chisnell


Today, Matt D. Williams, author of the Jak Phoenix space adventure novel, is speaking with writer, broadcaster and sometimes professional racing sailor, Mark Chisnell.

MW: Hi Mark. Can you tell us about yourself?

MC: I was brought up on the east coast of England, close to both the sea and an inland network of lakes called the Norfolk Broads, so boats were everywhere. I started racing sailing dinghies, got a degree in physics and philosophy and then worked in a factory for a summer to buy a ticket to Australia, with a vague plan to see some stuff and write a book.

By the time I got home I’d published some travel stories in the New Zealand Herald and the South China Morning Post, and I’d broken into the professional sailing circuit via the British America’s Cup team that was racing in Australia at the time. I’ve been bouncing back and forth between those two things – writing and pro sailboat racing – ever since.

Give us a rundown on your book, The Defector.

The Defector began as an idea from my philosophy classes – the Prisoner’s Dilemma is a Games Theory concept that was dreamed up by the RAND corporation, the people who brought us the MAD theory (Mutually Assured Destruction) during the Cold War. I wanted to make it more personal than that, and had in mind a game played for life and death stakes, involving a love triangle. The basic idea immediately makes it a genre book, a thriller, and I went for a classic chase story. The psychotic drug smuggler, Janac forces the hero, Martin Cormac to make a succession of escalating, nightmare choices in his struggle to get free.

It took me about three years to get from the idea to a story with characters and a plot, and to get a first draft down on paper. It took another four years to rewrite it and find a publisher. Random House brought it out (called The Delivery) in 1996 in the UK. Then it was republished as The Defector by Harper Collins in New Zealand and Australia – I was living down there for a while for a sailing competition. And it is now available as an ebook via Smashwords and for Amazon’s Kindle.

The Defector has a sequel called The Wrecking Crew. Tell us about that story.

I had a couple of ideas after The Defector was done. The first was a simple way to fake GPS signals – much simpler than the one used in the James Bond movie, Tomorrow Never Dies, which came out while I was writing The Wrecking Crew. I’m a navigator on the sailboats, so I was very familiar with GPS. The idea was that spoof differential GPS signals could be used in the same way false beacons were lit in the eighteenth century, to lure unwary ships onto the rocks where the crews were murdered and the cargoes stripped.

The second was another moral dilemma which was not uncommon in the age of sail: men in a lifeboat, days from rescue, and nowhere near enough water for them all to make it. Do you share the supplies evenly and keep your fingers crossed for a miracle, or do you ensure just a minority survive for as long as possible…  cannibalism and perhaps even murder to survive?

The key to making those two ideas work together was The Defector’s anti-hero, Janac. And as I liked the idea of a sequel that followed the bad guy rather than the hero, that’s what I went for, and The Wrecking Crew was the result.

Where did your inspiration come from when writing this series?

It’s hard to escape from the moral dilemmas, they are an important part of the inspiration in both stories. The books are entertainment, I don’t think anyone is going to mistake them for grand literature – but that doesn’t mean that the reader can’t be left with something to think about afterwards.

Is there an impression or moral that you want to stick with your readers after they finish these books?

It’s not as strong as taking a moral from the story, I’d rather people were left thinking about the character and their decisions. And perhaps thinking about what they might have done in that same situation – the extreme choices in the books do still reflect on things we do every single day.

Is there a third title planned for this series?

Not at the moment, although I do have another idea for Janac that I might one day come back to…

Which authors or other creative types do you look up to?

I guess there are three or four writers that I loved when I was younger, whose influence I can now see in my own work. The first two were Ian Fleming and Alistair MacLean. The latter is almost forgotten now, but he was a hugely successful thriller writer in the 1960s and 1970s, and I could inhale one of his books in an afternoon when I was a kid.

When I was a little older it was books with ideas that took more of a hold – George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm stopped me in my tracks for weeks, I couldn’t think about anything else. And then there was another largely forgotten book, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig – that was the one that got me studying philosophy as well as physics, so it had a pretty big impact on my life.

You mention that you’re also into sailing and it seems you’ve even written some nautical non-fiction. What have you written in that vein and where can people find them?

After the travel stories I started writing for sailing magazines, and that led to books about sailing. Initially they were technical books, but the more recent ones have been narrative non-fiction about some of the great sailing adventures. The most recent, ‘Spanish Castle to White Night’ was about the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09, and won a prize for the Best Illustrated Book at Sportel Monaco in 2009. I’m hoping to bring out text-only versions of them as eBooks.

There are links to all the books from my Amazon page:

http://www.amazon.com/Mark-Chisnell/e/B001HOL4HG/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

What else do you have in the works?

I have another couple of novels that are close to being finished, I hope to get one out as an ebook this year, and the second in 2012. The first is historical fiction, a spy story set in 1936 and based around a true incident involving Sir Thomas Sopwith, who built fighter planes and racing yachts. The second is about a snowboarding expedition into the Himalayas – and there are no boats at all.

Finally, I have another sailing book due for publication in the UK in 2012, and that will be about the Olympics.

Where can people follow you online?

I have a website with a blog and background on my work and writing the novels, and links to all the ebook retailers:

http://www.markchisnell.com

And of course I’m on Smashwords:

http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/markchisnell?ref=azorescrown

And Twitter:

http://twitter.com/markchisnell

And Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mark-Chisnell/187422241285928?v=wall

And Goodreads:

http://www.goodreads.com/markchisnell

I’d love to hear from people on books, writing, sailing, anything!

Thank you so much for speaking about your work today Mark. Do you have anything else to add?

Only that I hope people will try the books and enjoy them – and many, many thanks for asking me along, keep up the great work, and go the Indie revolution!

Check out Mark’s amazing work on Smashwords, where it is already quite well reviewed!

New Jak Phoenix Cover Art!


Jak Phoenix - An independent space opera sci fi adventure novel by Matt WilliamsDue to artist Jeff Thomason’s awesome character sketches, the Jak Phoenix novel cover is going through a few changes.

Changes

  1. Great Jeff Thomason art in the top corner.
  2. My name is now Matt D. Williams, a huge change from Matt Williams. I’ve decided to start using my middle initial (stands for David) in my work to avoid confusion with other authors named Matt Williams. Not that big a change, but enough to isolate my books from other similarly named authors.
  3. I’ve finally added a review snippet at the bottom from Feathered Quill Book Reviews.

It will take weeks for this change to spread out to all the retailers and I will be changing the printed book cover in the near future. I’ll let you know when I do.

Thanks for your support!

New Jak Phoenix Art By Jeff Thomason!


Jak Phoenix space adventure character art by Jeff ThomasonJeff Thomason was kind enough to create a couple of amazing Jak Phoenix character sketches – and I love them! He was able to perfectly pin down the character and I am very impressed to say the least. Here is a post from his website where he discusses his excellent work:

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Character Sketch: Space Opera

It’s been a while since I’ve put up a character sketch, so I thought I’d put one up. This one was commissioned by Matt Williams, the author of Jak Phoenix, a fun space opera available from Smashwords.com and other fine retailers. Matt has even released a short story that is currently free so you can check out his universe.

I tried something a little different for this one. I used my usual brush and Sumi ink, but instead of drawing it in my sketchbook, I used Strathmore 70lb Drawing Paper which gave me a cleaner line than the sketch paper. I like a textured line, but the one I’ve been getting was a little too rough. This one was much cleaner while still having some character. I had a few sheets left over from drawing One Thing Right by Colin Shanafelt, a children’s storybook which should be released in the next couple of months. I colored these sketches (and One Thing Right) with Corel Painter X on my iMac. I’m really happy with how it turned out.

I’m not sure if Matt is though.

We’ll see.

Jeff Thomason

The original article can be found on his site at http://atouchofjeff.blogspot.com/2011/02/character-sketch-space-opera.html#links

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Needless to say Jeff, I am ecstatic about how they turned out!

Matt WilliamsJak Phoenix space adventure character art by Jeff Thomason

An Interview with Fantasy Author Tracy Falbe


tracy falbe rys chronicles ebook paperback ipad ibooksI put Jak Phoenix 2 aside today for the opportunity to speak with Tracy Falbe, an outstanding independent fantasy author. Her work is exceptional and her presentation of everything from book to website is very professional. If you’re a fantasy fan, I urge you to try one of her novels on for size.

Here is the interview…

MW: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

TF: I grew up in rural Michigan which exposed me to nothing exciting. I can’t remember a time when I did not entertain myself with adventuresome daydreams. I was always a princess leading the rebels while dangling over lava pits when I was a little girl. And I always knew that I wanted to write novels when I grew up. When I was in grade school I would draw pictures, write stories on the pictures and then staple them together. I’m a natural born publisher.

After growing up in Michigan I spent most of my adult life in Nevada and Northern California. I earned a journalism degree from California State University, Chico. It’s a good degree for someone who wants to be a writer. Then in 2009 I moved back to Michigan. Living in the Midwest is weird after being out West for so long. I call it rustbelt living. The traffic is light and you can always get a parking space. I sometimes feel like I’m in the witness protection program.

Today I appear to live an ordinary life. I have a husband, kids, dog, and cat. When I’m not writing, I enjoy growing food, bicycling, swimming, boating, and watching depressing documentaries. I read a lot of nonfiction, especially history, economics, spirituality, current affairs, and environmental subjects. Unlike most people I meet, I write novels and sell them on the internet, and I love doing it.
  

Could you give us a rundown on The Rys Chronicles?

I’m the type of reader and writer who likes characters that are not purely good. Character flaws are interesting. The world is a hard place that is constantly pushing people to do bad things. From this perspective I try to summon characters who have room to improve and then use fantasy adventure to push them into moral dilemmas, like a rebellion needs to be started to defeat evil but many people will die in the bloody conflict.
 
The two main heroes in The Rys Chronicles are the human warrior Dreibrand Veta and the rys Shan. Rys are the magical race in the novels. The most powerful among them are capable of remote viewing, mind reading, levitation, and even seizing the souls of the dead. The series covers about seven years of the characters’ lives. Dreibrand is a violent man with mighty ambitions but he gradually develops past his pride and greed and tries to accomplish the greater good. Shan ascends to supreme power and is corrupted by it, but eventually grasps redemption.
 
I try to have each novel in the series tell a story and deliver reader satisfaction while propelling the overall epic. I’ve created a large fantasy world of two east and west cultures that have long been divided by an empty wilderness protected by the enslaved souls of the rys Queen. The Rys Chronicles tells the story of the breaching of this geographical barrier and the resulting conflicts.

The Rys Chronicles is medieval style fantasy, but my primary historical inspirations come from my American heritage. Empire, colonialism, racial tension, slavery, frontier, and freedom all percolated through my imagination as I created the fantasy series.

I make it easy for fantasy readers to sample my fiction and decide if it’s their style of entertainment. The first novel Union of Renegades is always free at www.braveluck.com.

 

What draws you to the fantasy genre?

I like the escapism. Fantasy worlds aren’t the lame one I live in. There’s magic and I like the ancient or medieval feel of fantasy. In fantasy, the characters get to really confront their problems. They fight the monsters, kill the bad guys, save the villagers. They can take bold action, unlike the real world where your mistakes go on your credit report and you get laid off and just have to suck it all up. I also very much enjoy how fantasy can provide illuminating commentary on real world social ills like slavery, religion, patriarchy, war, tyranny, etc. The characters deal with these burdens and their struggles are heroic.

 

What type of readers will enjoy your novels? Are they geared toward seasoned fantasy readers or will someone curious about the genre find enjoyment as well?

I think that someone curious about the fantasy genre might enjoy my fiction if he or she was willing to go along with typical fantasy conventions like the world is not historically real and there is a magical race. I believe most of my readers are seasoned fantasy fans, but that’s the audience I market to. What I know of my reader demographics, I can estimate that men and women almost equally read my work. I might skew a little toward the male, but I wrote with both audiences in mind.

 

What films or books inspired you on a creative level?

When I was a teenager I started reading the Dune books by Frank Herbert. The grand scale of his novels with the multiple characters, multiple settings, and intricate societies impressed me. I emulate his style a little by writing from multiple points of view and weaving together action from various locations. Of course, like most people, J.R.R. Tolkien ignited my love of the fantasy genre, but the Conan stories by Robert E. Howard probably inspired me more because I liked their willingness to be violent and sexy.

I also like the novels by George R.R. Martin although I finished writing The Rys Chronicles before I read his work. I like his gritty style. There’s no sugar coating.

 
What lasting impression would you like to leave on your readers?

My foremost goal when writing is to create a story that has action and characters people can care about. I want to entertain, and beyond that I hope that people might ponder some of the themes I work with, like lust for power, the temptation to do bad things to achieve good ends, and breaking free of oppression.

 
How would you describe your experience so far as an independent author? Do you have any desire to make contact with a traditional publisher?

I started publishing The Rys Chronicles at the end of 2005, and it’s been a bumpy road mostly because I did not know what I was doing, but I’ve learned a few things and feel much more confident about my business now. Even in the beginning, I always had sales trickle in and the occasional nice email from a reader. To think that out of all the hundreds of thousands of novels out there that someone chose my work and liked it is just so amazing.

Life as an independent author has become much easier and rewarding over the last couple years because I can now be included at major online retailers. A few years ago, self publishers were not allowed. Now the ebook retailers are willing to let readers decide what they want to buy instead of limiting their online catalogs to only what traditional publishers think is good. 

I make no efforts to contact publishing companies. If some big company were to come at me with a proposal, I would certainly look at it. A publisher who could put my books in bookstores might be worth doing business with.

 
Where do you see the publishing business in the next few years?

I’m not an industry expert, but it looks like in the future publishers will have to get a little more active about finding talent and rewarding it. Authors don’t have to wait around for rejection anymore and humbly place their manuscripts in a closet. Authors can take their works directly to the market and make money if readers find them worth reading. But traditional publishers still have massive market share, so I hardly lay awake worrying about them. Publishers still have broad access to offline retail outlets for print books, so that’s a strength for them. Except for that, it seems inevitable that publishing will shrink a little as an industry as authors weed out middlemen.

 
Are you able to tell us a little bit about what you have in the works?

I am writing another four-part fantasy series. It is a prequel to The Rys Chronicles set 2,200 years earlier. There are significant historical events I refer to in the first series, so I’m delving into that past. I have three of the novels written and will soon start writing the fourth and final part. When they are all completed to my satisfaction, I will publish the series and then have 8 novels for readers.

My latest update about this fantasy work in progress is at this page:
 
http://www.falbepublishing.com/tracy/current_fantasy_writing_project.html 

 

Where can people keep up to date on your work?

My blog Her Ladyship’s Quest www.herladyshipsquest.com is the place where I’ll announce news about future novels. Until then, I write book and movie reviews, interview authors, feature books old and new, write articles, host blog tours, and try to publish content that readers will enjoy or find useful.

Another option for following me is to join my readers’ list at http://www.falbepublishing.com/braveluck/free_ebook.html. You get to enter a monthly ebook drawing and download Union of Renegades for free too. I won’t send you many emails, but you will someday get an announcement about my new novels. 

 
Thank you so much for agreeing to answer these questions. Do you have anything else to add?

 
Thank you for the opportunity to talk about my work, and I wish you much success with Jak Phoenix.

Fantasy readers can sample the first novel Union of Renegades by downloading a free copy from her website www.braveluck.com. Paperbacks available too.

All my fantasy novels are also widely available at major online retailers.

Smashwords http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/939  

Amazon Kindle http://www.amazon.com/Union-Renegades-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B003UES7U8/ 

Barnes & Noble Nook http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Union-of-Renegades/Tracy-Falbe/e/2940000720509/  

Google Ebooks http://books.google.com/ebooks?id=ifNnT44l-KIC&dq 

Apple iBooks http://itunes.apple.com/en/book/union-renegades-the-rys-chronicles/id365801314?mt=11

   

Checking in with Author Robert Capko


author robert capko say goodbye action ebook on jakphoenix.comToday, Matt Williams is taking a quick break from Jak Phoenix to check in with author Robert Capko.

Robert’s first novel is called Say Goodbye and here’s what he had to say about it:

John Paxton is a man who understands duty—both to his family and to his country. As a highly decorated pararescueman in the Air Force, he’s risked his own life numerous times to save the lives of others. He is the epitome of the pararescue motto: These Things We Do That Others May Live. But now that he’s married with two small children, he’s content as an instructor at Lackland Air Force Base. 

Then Paxton is commanded to lead a team on a dangerous mission—supposedly to rescue the pilot of a stealth fighter shot down over Serbia. Yet, nothing is as it seems. As the mission goes from bad to worse, Paxton uncovers a deadly plot that threatens National Security. But to fight an enemy with ties to one of the most dangerous organizations on the planet, he risks not only his own life, but also the lives of the people he loves the most. 

More information about Air Force pararescue can be found on my fanpage which is listed below. 

Here is what some others have said about Say Goodbye:

“SAY GOODBYE is a thrilling, edge-of-your-seat page-turner. Don’t miss it!”

~Michele Bardsley, national bestselling author

 “Finally, a thrilling true-to-life novel about America’s ultra-elite but largely unsung special operations force, the Air Force Pararescuemen.”

~Matthew Bracken, former Navy SEAL and author of the ENEMIES FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC series.

author robert capko say goodbye action ebook on jakphoenix.comAbout Robert Capko

Robert Capko writes Action/Adventure Thrillers including the John Paxton series.  He is a veteran of the United States Air Force and lives in Florida where he is working on his next thriller THE LONG ROAD HOME. 

More information can be found at his website http://www.robertcapko.com/

Join his fan page at http://www.facebook.com/robertjcapkofanpage

Follow him on twitter at http://twitter.com/robertcapko

Click here to visit Smashwords.com, where Say Goodbye is available as an eBook at a great price!

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