Sunday, July 15, 2012

Mike Mathias - Fantasy Author

Mike Mathias
Fantasy Author

     Welcome to our space today as we chat with multi-talented Mike Mathias! If you love dragons, his fantasy worlds will pull you in and keep you for good! You won't want to leave! We'll let Mike tell you a bit about himself before we get started.

Bio by Mike Mathias:

      The jewel you see glowing in the ring in my authors photo isn't really a jewel at all. It is the crystallized tear of a real dragon. In my novel "The Royal Dragoneers" you might find the moment where this wonderfully magical tear drop fell from a green dragons eye and hardened on its way down to land in a mess of troll corpses that the dragon was laying on.
      My grandfather died before I was born, but the ring was given to me by my mother, after my grandmother recently died. My grandfather had apparently won the ring in a poker game near the Red River between Texas and Oklahoma sometime in the early 1900's.
      It has been a boon, the magic of the teardrop, for it brought you here to me didn't it? Now treat yourself to something fantastic and try out the free sample of one of my novels. I hope you enjoy the journey. It will be spectacular.

Reader’s Haven:  Mike, we appreciate you taking the time to meet with our readers. We know you're busy writing about and creating more worlds and characters! Tell us a bit about yourself  that our readers might not know.

M.R. Mathias:  I WROTE a Seven Hundred Fifty Thousand (750,000) word epic trilogy in longhand in a prison cell. It’s bigger than The Count of Monte Cristo and Odyssy.  The word “WROTE” is capitalized because most people who call themselves writers are really just typers. (Never take me too seriously)

Reader’s Haven:  That's lot of words! We both salute you! What made you want to become a writer?

M.R. Mathias:  I read about half a thousand books in school and then in jail and decided that I could do as good, if not better. There is a mundane but entertaining pattern in most published novels. The greats find ways to twist that on the reader. “Plot Twists” is the technical term. You may think you know what’s going to happen when you start reading one of my novels, but you don’t. I wanted to become a writer because it’s about the only career goal you can have in the solitude of Maximum Security prison in Texas.

Reader’s Haven:  Please share a bit about your new release “The Wizard & the Warlord – The Wardstone Trilogy Book III” without giving away any spoilers.

M.R. Mathias:  Well, in book one, the character Inkling the imp, was a direct tribute to the Oxford “Inklings” which included C. S. Lewis, and J.R.R.Tolkien. In book two Flick the wizard gets a go. He is a direct tribute to Terry Brooks who wrote one of the all-time bestselling fantasy novels ever. There are a few other tributes throughout the trilogy. Wardstone is every fantasy book that I’ve ever read all rolled up into one fantastical tale. But the tribute character in The Wizard & the Warlord is a lot more obscure. Only an “Inkling,” or a truly devoted fantasy fan will get it. I’d be surprised if any of you do. I’ve had the unfair advantage of years and years of idle time to read and write. Anyone know who Paksenarrion is? It’s not her….lol

Reader’s Haven:  Do you write under a pen name?

M.R. Mathias:  My real name is Michael Robb Mathias Jr. I write fantasy under the name M. R. Mathias and horror/thrillers under the name Michael Robb Mathias. So no I don’t really have a pen name??? Or do I?

Reader’s Haven:
 What types of hero or heroine do you like best?

M.R. Mathias:  The kind that stride excitedly into danger. Dirk Pitt is the kind of hero I like. (Al & Rudy too.)

Reader’s Haven:  Tell us about a typical day in your life as a writer.

M.R. Mathias:  I have several novels that I wrote in prison. Three or four days a week, a typist takes dictation as I read them to her. I spend a lot of time online tweeting, surfing and Goodreads. I read stories on wattpad, dink around with the guys and gals at Independent Author’s Network and I always check Fantasy Book Critic’s latest post. If I have time I tweet these folks via @dahgmahn I write a page or two every day too. Usually flash, but as soon as Wardstone II is comfortable, I will start my next thriller. It’s mostly written in my head.   

Reader’s Haven:  We envy your fantasy world creativity! Do your books have a common theme or are they all different?

M.R. Mathias:  Love, betrayal, race, honor, respect, romance, battle, pride, grit, cowardice... It’s all here. Oh, and Dragons, Demons, hellcats, wyvern, Great Wolves, giants, pixies, dwarves, magic, Kings, Queens, and pulse pounding battles too.

Reader’s Haven:  Wow! How long does it take you to write and then edit a story?

M.R. Mathias:  I DO NOT edit my own material. After my college educated typist gets it in word it goes to the UK to an English editor. After that it goes through two separate proof readers and then I read it one last time. If there are errors found after that I fix them as soon as I learn of them. Huge manuscripts are harder than small ones. WAY HARDER. That’s why Publishers are starting to keep books smaller. It sucks for fantasy fans. Thank the powers that be that I can publish what I want. The pubs would have made The Lord of the Rings a short story.

Reader’s Haven:
  That's true...they really don't like long books, that much seems quite evident with what's coming out lately. Do you have to be alone to write?

M.R. Mathias:  I wrote the entire Dragoneer Saga after prison, in 2010-11, but I was mostly alone. My grandmother had advanced Alzheimer’s and I feed and took care of her during the day and wrote at night when other family members could relieve me. I’d say yes. I have to have the radio on and Mr. Stubbs all drunk on milk so that he doesn’t get out of line. Under those conditions I write best. 
Reader’s Haven:  How do you go about naming characters?

M.R. Mathias:  Some have really deliberate names, like Inkling, and Flick. Shaella and Pael share the ae, as father and daughter. Mikahl sounds foreign, but familiar. Hyden Hawk Skyler, sounds cool. Linux is just funny, in a nerdy eReading geek sort of way. Jenka, and Jade go together like Baskins and Robbins? I don’t know? I just name them.

Reader’s Haven:  Is it easier to write about the characters if you find pictures of them before you write or do you write then find character pictures?

M.R. Mathias:  I don’t have character pictures, save for Shaella riding Vrot the Black on the cover of Wardstone II. Sandara at made that image. It’s freaking Shaella to a “T.”

Reader’s Haven:
How do you pick locations for your stories?
M.R. Mathias:  I create them. 

Accolades for The Wardstone Trilogy:

     Overall The Sword and the Dragon - The Wardstone Trilogy Book One (A+) is an impressive debut - a traditional fantasy that manages to be fresh. It succeeds in offering a complete reading experience. See the full review here: -- Fantasy Book Critic
      Fans of Tolkien and CS Lewis will find much to enjoy to enjoy in M.R. Mathias' debut fantasy novel. This is a big book, with a steady flow throughout. Read this book. Take up your sword and get ready for a hugely enjoyable adventure. -- Book Smart UK
      I found myself going "wow" more than once reading the first two books of this trilogy. Each book tells a great complete adventure. -- E. J. Weatherby Anchorage, AK
      This is an epic fantasy, and I do mean epic. This book is LONG. I'm talking 200,000 plus words, here…probably three times as long as Harry Potter. A fat fantasy, the kind you would expect from a Jordan or Tad Williams. One should not be put off by the price, because you do get your money's worth. -- Bestselling Author, B. V. Larson
      "You've (Mathias) already achieved much, much more than so many people who like to think of themselves as writers." -- @Gollancz The Deputy Publishing Director of SF, Fantasy & Horror list of the Orion Publishing Group. 

CONTEST:  Mike has agreed to give away a few free copies of his books so be sure to comment with your email addy so he can contact the winners, to be picked on July 21st! Also answer what you like best about fantasy worlds when you read...

Surprise! Happy Birthday, Mike!!!

July 20th

Thanks for hanging around with us! 


  1. What I like best about fantasy worlds when I read is...

    They take me away from this world. I have a good life now, but it wasn't allways good. In prison, reading and writing about imaginary places and creatures kept me sane. But even now, "Real-Life" CANNOT compare to the fantastical places I have been in my minds eye.

  2. Hi Mike, awesome books you have written. Thank you for visiting with Deanna and me this week.
    What I like best about fantasy worlds when I read is feeling as though I have entered into the realm with the characters. I can feel them breath and feel their emotions. I'd like to have climbed in many of the books of I have read by Fantasy Authors - JRR Tolkien being my favorite.