Almost two weeks post-launch of Empire of the Goddess, and some great reviews have already come in, including this one from Publishers Weekly:
“Warner’s tale of a dystopian parallel Earth run by religious fanatics is quick-paced and intriguing … enough to keep fans of dystopian stories hooked.” (Read the whole review.)
The Audible link to the audiobook finally went up, plus a number of other vendors linked from the book page. They all supply short audio previews that don’t necessarily match what I sent them to use as the preview, so if you hunt around, you may find something you haven’t heard before. For instance, I was surprised to discover that Audiobooks Now has an incredibly long excerpt of Cursed by Christ available for free at this link. If you listen carefully, you’ll hear the deficiencies of my microphone rig at that time compared to what I used for Empire of the Goddess.
Speaking of audio engineering, I hope you caught that Audiobook Production Tips tutorial. There’s a lot I still need to learn, but if you’re an independent publisher looking to add an audio line, this may help you get started. Also check out the other Empire-related articles on story inspiration (this one and this one) and cover art.
In the parallel America of Empire of the Goddess, the Imperial Patriotic States is a theocracy that reveres Christopher Columbus as a religious figure. I bet their July 4th is something spectacular!
Today is release day for new paperback and eBook editions. With a new cover by Deena Warner, this is the same dark fantasy novel Thunderstorm Books published last year, except it’s much cheaper, and soon you’ll have the option of listening to an audio narration performed by yours truly.
Stay tuned this week for behind-the-scenes essays.
Thomas Dylan’s four-year-old son has disappeared without a trace from their Virginia home. There’s no clue what happened until Thomas is also abducted—by robed priests with electric cattle prods.
They take him through an interdimensional portal to a parallel America. There, the priests rule the Imperial Patriotic States, a backward nation suffering from horrific plagues. Healing comes not from medicine but from the Goddess, who dispenses favor in exchange for human sacrifice. The victims come from our world.
Thomas searches for his son, who he hopes is still alive. Along the way, he’ll encounter revolutionaries, romance, and magic. He may prove to be the one person who can stop the sacrifices. But this means deciding whether to find his son or save two worlds.
“Empire of the Goddess has some of the most exciting beginning chapters I’ve read in a long while, and the pace never lets up from there. Matthew Warner’s considerable horror-writing chops ensure that Empire of the Goddess is an effective and frightening alternate-world nightmare — highly recommended!”
— Norman Prentiss, author of Odd Adventures With Your Other Father and The Apocalypse-a-Day Desk Calendar
The eBook rights to Blood Born recently reverted to me, so I’ve reissued it under my own imprint. For a limited time, take advantage of these deep discounts:
“Blood Born kicks off with compelling strangeness and deft police-procedural intrigue, then explodes into a frenzied free-for-all of gore-scarfing, blood-flinging, and monster-hobnobbing horror! Warner amalgamates multi-genre components with a broad landscape of cool characters to unleash a novel that succeeds on all fronts. Blood Born is a macabre, action-packed ton of fun!”
— Edward Lee, author of Lucifer’s Lottery, City Infernal, and The Innswich Horror
“The work of Matthew Warner—with Eyes Everywhere and Blood Born in particular—shows that he delivers intelligent, visceral, and psychological horror of dependable high quality. … Matthew Warner is a brand you can trust.”
— Somebody Dies
“Original idea, good characters, strong ending, frenzied pace.”
— Horror Drive-In
“Warner’s pace kicks major ass here, reminiscent of a blend between Michael Crichton and Richard Laymon. … Warner, who penned Horror Isn’t a 4-Letter Word for writers and everyone who loves the genre, knows how to build a scare effectively, not simply going for the cheap thrills.”
The eBook rights to my collection Dominoes in Time recently reverted to me, so I’ve reissued it under my own imprint. For a limited time, take advantage of these deep discounts:
“My first instinct is to go out and buy everything I can find by Matthew Warner, because all I want is more. My second is to tell you to do the same. To say that this man can write is an understatement. His prose is brilliant, witty, and unabashedly his own.” 5 stars
— Andreya’s Asylum
“Dominoes in Time is a fantastic collection, and proves that the author should be front and center in dark fiction.”
— The Horror Review
“Each story in Dominoes in Time is a dark gem — cold, sharp, and filled with sinister wonder.”
— Tim Waggoner
This Saturday at 1 p.m., I’ll be a guest at the Middlebrook Library in Middlebrook, VA. I’ll talk about writing (such as that mail-order service all writers subscribe to for their ideas, of course), and Empire of the Goddess. RSVP here.
The eBook is currently available for preorder from Amazon. Click here to purchase.
Thank you to everyone who has expressed an interest in these new editions. More information soon!
The Horror Fiction Review’s new issue calls Cursed by Christ “a good read overall, historically interesting.” I’ll take it!
The audiobook and eBook are still available from Audible and other retailers!
Horror DNA has published a thoughtful and mostly positive review of Cursed by Christ. The reviewer said it has an “exciting breathless pace weaving an amazing tale full of mystery and some well-plotted out twists” but nevertheless found it slow in parts. Valid criticism! I’m glad someone finally gave this trunk novel some analysis. There are also some mixed reviews on Goodreads, but altogether it’s still managing almost 4 out of 5 stars.
While I’ve had high hopes for it, Cursed by Christ has always been my “learning” novel. It taught me how to write a novel during college, and lately it’s taught me how to self-produce an audiobook. It’s been a good experience.
A little bit of family news: for the second year in a row, the Warner family has won the grand prize for the Traipse/WQSV Treasure Hunt!
For six weeks, the Traipse app developers hid a weather-proof container somewhere in the Augusta County/Staunton/Waynesboro, VA area. They released clues about its location on WQSV radio, social media, and through their Traipse scavenger hunt touring app. Unlocking each clue usually meant traveling to some location to solve a puzzle.
The Warners and three other teams found the container hidden beneath a fishing pier at a Waynesboro public park (and we found it first). Traipse awarded us some cash and swag from its sponsors. This year’s hunt was different from last year’s in that there could be multiple winners. Congratulations to the other finalists.
I encourage everyone to download the Traipse app and enjoy a fun way to take walking tours. They’ve already rigged up several towns and are looking to do more.
The Warners at last night’s party and awards ceremony.
This morning, I had a great time as a guest of Rockbridge County High School in Lexington, VA, where I gave a presentation about audiobook production. After all, audiobooks are about all I’ve been doing for the past year! Thanks to Dave Simms for setting it up. Here’s a snap Dave took of the class; I’m the guy at the end of the arrow:
I played them bloopers from the production of the Cursed by Christ and Empire of the Goddess audiobooks, and discussed what I’ve learned the hard way about best practices. One lucky
guinea pig student even got to use my audio rig to record some narration. Using a projector so they could see what I was doing, I showed them how to edit the narration in the Audacity sound program. Fun time all around.