Goodbye Team Arrow, and Thank You!

This is way too early, but with the recent farewell video by the CW crew in saying goodbye to the flagship show, I felt the need to write a post.
It is no surprise to my fans and followers (hi mom!) that I’m a huge fan of the CW Superhero shows. They are an enjoyable shared universe that keeps me thoroughly entertained.
It should also come as no small surprise that I’ve been influenced in my works by these CW shows. The first major influence came in how I approached my series/universes. The way that each of these shows can be part of it’s own thing while still managing to dip into the chaotic pool that is a crossover episode, sharing a universe and then ducking back out into it’s own with the grace of Fred Astaire, is not only impressive, but insanely good marketing. I know that a lot of people don’t watch all of the CW Shows and I can only vouch for my own experience, but my interest in Supergirl skyrocketed when the Flash jumped over to CBS to meet Kara and the crew. Suddenly, my “I’ll watch it this weekend maybe,” became a “Everybody shut up! Supergirl is on!”
That isn’t to say that the show doesn’t have merits of it’s own, of course. I thoroughly enjoy Supergirl even more than ever simply because of it’s stand alone commentary on political, social, and Kryptonian events.
But that’s the point! When they started knitting these shows together, I started caring more about them and their individual plots.
Marketing genius on scale with Marvel’s Cinematic Universe (a smaller scale….but on scale…).
So, I began incorporating that into my works. I’d be remiss if I didn’t add that C.T. Phipps, and his approach to interweaving each of his stories into a much larger multiverse didn’t also lend itself toward my own marketing change up. While the CW told me “Yeah! Connect them all!” Phipps books said “Ease them into it.”
My die hard fans will have seen the small introductions of elements from one work bleeding into the others.
  • Jason Night’s doctor when he breaks his arm has the same name and general physical description of a certain secretary from Andrew Doran Series.
  • My horror novel, Satan’s Salesman, has several references to Darden Valley, TrinCo, and other elements of the Broken Nights universe.
  • Satan’s Salesman also mentions The Statement of Andrew Doran as a movie that everyone wants to go and see.
These things are the beginning of a vast, and subtle, shared universe. You don’t need to read the other stories to enjoy the individual novels, but consider it an added treat for those who do.
In the future, we’ll see a little more as I do what the “Arrowverse” has done and give Coven (introduced in Broken Nights: Strange Worlds) and a few others from that series their own spinoff books.
That’s only the first thing I wanted to thank the CW’s Arrow for.
The second, and in slightly less subtle ways, would be for the fight scenes in my Broken Nights series. I’ve always been impressed by well-choreographed fight scenes and Arrow (as well as Netflix’s Daredevil) both created great fight scenes that I used as templates for some of my own.
Thank you, Arrow, for your entertainment and your inspiration. I hope that Stephen and the team are available for the occasional drop ins in the future episodes of The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl, Batwoman, and Black Lightning.
Advertisements

Progress Report

Normally, I make posts like the previous one (the declaration of writing again, not the review) and then get swept up in a new life thingy that makes me out to be a liar.
That is not the case this time. I have yet to nail down a solid writing schedule, but am happy to say that I’m at least writing again and using my beautiful writing corner in our new house!
My wife even said the words “I like hearing you typing again!”
My project list hasn’t changed, only my urgency.
Even though I have a total of 5 Andrew Doran stories (The Early Adventures of Andrew Doran, The Statement of Andrew Doran, Andrew Doran at the Mountains of Madness, Andrew Doran and the Crawling Chaos, and Andrew Doran and the Obsidian Key), there are only two complete novels. I think that finishing the Andrew Doran trilogy with my current Work-in-Progress will push me in a lot of ways. In the first, I think it’ll help bring more visibility to the Andrew Doran series. In another way, it’ll free me up to start on finishing another trilogy I need to get done. Once the big trilogies are out of the way, I feel like my mind will be a little more freer to play in other yards.
That’s not my way of saying that Andrew Doran is or the other series (Broken Nights) will be done after the trilogies are completed, that’s just me saying that once a completed trilogy is done, I won’t feel like those stories are obligations so much as they are fun universes that I can play in whenever I want to again. As I’ve explained to several fans in the past, Andrew Doran is my enjoyment writing. I don’t know that he’ll ever be done. As long as he can continue to take the punishment that is being doled out, I will continue to dole it.
This new Andrew Doran story takes place almost directly after Andrew Doran at the Mountains of Madness, only leaving enough time for the novella (Crawling Chaos) and the short story (Obsidian Key) to take place before diving directly into the adventure. Whereas previous titles have explored the Cthulhu Mythos lore provided mostly by Lovecraft himself, this novel touches on some aspects introduced by some of his inheritors. We’re seeing the mention Hyperborea and we’re exploring the backstory of Carol, Andrew’s administrative assistant.
Additionally, we’re exploring Andrew’s dynamic with his newest “Watson” and introducing more elements from the mythos that are going to change the way Andrew approaches the world entirely.
In the last year I’ve had a lot things to distract me from the progress on this book, but no more. They’ve all been excuses and now I’m pressing forward to complete this book and have another horrifying adventure under Andrew’s belt.
After that, I intend to tackle where we left off with the Broken Nights stories. Originally the title for that sequel was “Broken Nights: Endgame” and then Marvel overheard me and stole the title, so we’re still working on that. The story is more than started and we know where we want to take it (femme-fatale, prison fights, government conspiracies, and how a heart-broken AI can cope in a world where she’s the only one like herself out there.
Anyway, that’s my updates for now. If you’re not caught up on any of these stories, then get there, I’m on a roll and not slowing down for anyone.
–MD–

Review: The Future of Supervillainy by C.T. Phipps

516tdgmchdl._sy346_I’ve been remiss as of late, and have fallen behind on my book reviews. In an effort to correct that, here is the long anticipated review of The Future of Supervillainy by C.T. Phipps.
The previous book, The Tournament of Supervillainy, ended with some interesting future stuff, some rules having been changed in the universe, and me lightheaded with excitement after reading all of the cameos that made it into that story. Normally, the next Supervillainy book tends to jump right into dealing with whatever mess was left behind by the last one but that wasn’t so much the case with The Future of Supervillainy (henceforth to be referred to as TFoS).
The Future of Supervillainy starts with the very specific premise that Gary is retired and doesn’t know what that actually means for someone with his reputation, his children, and his kind of associates. He doesn’t have a quest in front of him and it leaves him kind of aimless, but he still feels responsible for providing a certain way of life for so many different people that have come to depend on him, including a few from other Universes. It’s almost a Supervillain Mid-Life Crisis and Gary doesn’t know how to deal with it.
Until we get another Universe to add a few more characters to the mix. John Henry Booth and Mercury Halsey, from the Cthulhu Armageddon series of books, arrive with a problem going on in the center of the Earth. Suddenly, we’re examining not only classic comic book tropes, but also classic pulp tropes as we JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH.
We get a lot of great homages to classic battles and of course a lot of punching Nazis. Some of my favorite things were the references and parodies of comic book characters and events (Superboy-Prime, anyone?).
The book is great, and filled with the usual mix of snark and pop-culture references as well as giving us some answers to some big questions that the series had put together.
A great 5 out of 5. Keep them coming Charles!

Giddyup!

Life has a way of knocking you out of your patterns, derailing you from your well-structured writing habits and laying waste to “writing time.”
I’ve recently had a huge life event that did just that, planting a nuke right in the center of my writing efforts and knocking my novels a little off course. On the bright side, it was a great life event with the potential of only getting better (I moved into a newer and bigger place across town). I’m incredibly happy with the changes that have happened. Unfortunately, the destruction of those writing habits was a side effect, and I’ve only recently managed to begin picking up the pieces.
I’ve got a new writing desk in a private writing corner of the house. The saddle is dusted off, the reins are new, and I’m ready to get back on the horse.
Here goes.
Andrew Doran and the Scroll of Nightmares (book 3 in the series, not counting all of the short stories) is just under half done. I’ll be putting all of my efforts into that for the immediate future. I want that trilogy completed. Don’t worry, though, it’s only the first trilogy of Andrew’s life. I’m planning on returning to the good doctor on many occasions.
My next project is a quiet one with a September deadline, which kind of gives you my schedule for Andrew Doran as well.
If I can keep to those plans and get a great groove going, this will set me up to have Broken Nights 3 done by the end of November.
That’s ambitious, but not impossible.
Fingers crossed.
Let’s get back on this horse and ride it hard.
–Matt
PS: I’ve been watching The Sinking City “Let’s Plays” on YouTube, and can I just say that if they wanted to rename it “Andrew Doran and the Sinking City,” I’d be alright with sharing marketing efforts with them. The game is one snarky Frenchman away from being my books. I love it.