Thursday, August 18, 2011

Featured Author: D.F. Matthews

FTLOW: So tell us about yourself.

D.F. Matthews: Hmmm...Not a subject I am very fond of. Where shall I start? Well, as you can tell from my author picture there I am an enigma wrapped in mystery dressed in a riddle with the socks of a puzzle and a bow tie of blatant deception and a top hat of wonderment. I'm not at liberty to speak to much as I don't want to place those I care for at risk. You see those who lack imagination desire to capture me and use my brain as a buffet...much like the ones in Vegas where you can get king crab legs for four dollars and a subsequent case of food poisoning later on.

FTLOW: What rituals do you have before you write?

D.F. Matthews: Music has been a great catalyst for me personally...although I guess it can't be impersonally for me, can it? Anyhoo, I suppose my music selections are as diverse as my writing is. From Jay-Z to Kings of Leon to Dream Theater to Bjork to Danny Elfman and many more that I choose not to mention at the moment. I switch stories the same way from evil, not female hamsters bent on world domination to being trapped in my own mind with your emotions as actual people and monsters to one eyed rabbits who takes on the role of protector for a girl who embodies the soul of a distant world's deceased princess. But then again I may have said too much already. *shiftily looks over non-descript male or female shoulder*

FTLOW: What inspired you to write?

D.F. Matthews: A lifetime of reading I guess. I read anything I could get my hands on and it proceeded to warp my spongy mind. My library growing up wasn't well stocked, but reading material was thrust upon me all the time. I read entire set of encyclopedias, and every Sunday I read the funny pages. I loved Calvin and Hobbes!! Something about a boy living out his life in pure imagination that...appeals to me. Wonder why? Hmmm...mysteries. From there it went to R.L. Stine, then Stephen King and Dean Koontz, with comics mixed in-between. I was also influenced by a lot of movies. I grow up on The Godfather, Aliens, Terminator and Star Wars all at the tender age of seven. Yes...demented...but then I suppose I've said too much.

FTLOW: When did you begin to write?

D.F. Matthews: I started writing at the age of nine. Nothing terribly eloquent, just a fake newscast set in the land of Looney Toons. You know, like police being on the manhunt for the roadrunner because he dropped yet another boulder onto the poor creature’s head. Don’t judge me I was nine. However I’ve always felt compelled to write. Too much Seuss and television I say. Not that that’s a bad thing.

FTLOW: What genre do you write? Why that one?

D.F. Matthew: Is whatever a genre?...No? Oh well, then. I write for everyone who enjoys a good story. But I suppose if had to narrow it down, for the moment I write for children, middle grade, and young adult. Still I want to create something everyone can enjoy from the parent reading the bedtime story to their children and the whole family who wants to dive into a new adventure.

FTLOW: Is there anywhere people can find your work?

D.F. Matthews: Again I really shouldn't give too much information away, but a deal is a deal and a weasel is a weasel except when it masquerades as a duck....but that's a different story. You can find my work on this blog with Plan 100. Also on WeBook. Not mention I’m about to start a new project on Figment Fiction. But the closest thing to the actual me is this handsome little doppelganger who makes a habit of posting my whereabouts and writings on Twitter and Facebook.

FTLOW: Thanks so much for your time! It's always great to meet fellow aspiring authors and thanks to everyone for reading. Be sure to check out the links above and get to know D.F. Matthews a little more.
D.F. Matthews: Well I’ve had a delightful time. So much so that I’ll entrust you with one of my favorite chapters from Beyond Here. Please, whatever you do, do not post this on the internet…unless it is for For The Love Of Writing. I have a fondness for it.
Now who is going to unstrap me from this chair? Hello? Anyone? Oh boy.


Beyond Here: Chapter Eight

The woods to the land of Dread were as sparse and sickly as their exiled lord. Skeletal blood red trees stretched to the sky like hands reaching beyond the grave. A jaundiced moon watched over the land, casting ghastly shadows over the land. Subtle fog rolled in, mingling with the cool air.

Anger thought the crumbling ruins of the Nevagains had more charm. The sound of their pursuers nipping at their heels only added to the dreary mystique. It was more than the howling and barking; now it was the sound of their padded feet thundering along the ground. Anger was sure he heard the globs of spittle hitting the darkened soil as well.

Fear took the point on this one, this being his land it only made sense. It was hard to make out his inky figure amongst the shadows. Anger's brother strode along with a childlike glee in his step. This wouldn't be a problem if his moves weren't so noisy.

"Fear, you are a fool," he snarled. "Are you trying to bring every beast in Mother here?"

"I'm trying to hurry. Being overtaken by those things is not on my list of things to do."

Fear continued on his noisy path. For someone so frail he sure he sure made enough noise for someone ten times his bulk. With each crunch of dead leaves or a fallen branch Anger cringed. Why oh why must he be made to suffer this ignorance.

Highlighted by the yellowed moon's glare the outline of Fear's castle came to fruition through the trees. A grin played at the edges of Anger's canine mouth. Through the dark one could just make out Fear's grin as well.

"See? No problems." Fear said as he turned toward his brother.

That smile crept off his face only to be replaced with a look of his namesake. Anger halted, curved horns tingling at the sudden silence. No leaves crunched or mad howls or pounding of feet. The land was still as death.

Anger looked at the outline of the castle once more. It was still far enough away that making a mad dash in its direction would mean his demise. He sneered at the unseen lurking around him. His fists balled up and his teeth gritted together as he peered through the dark.

To his left the trees waved, and to his right the moon bleached shadows cried out a warning. He tensed his muscles, readying for an-

"Brother!" Fear called.

Steam billowed from Anger's nostrils. How could his brother be this dimwitted and still be alive? No one with any common sense would-

"Brother! We have to go while there is still time."

"Hush your mouth you ignorant whelp!" He didn't mean to shout but his rage was getting the better of him. His vision was turning red.

"My castle is right here."

"Nytemares are upon us half-wit."

"But Anger I think-"

That was all Fear managed to get out before a blur of motion swept him away. His pained screams filled the vacant darkness. Anger unleashed a beastly howl, more out of his own frustration than from the loss of his brother.

He turned quickly and saw a faint glimpse of a Nytemare darting through the trees. The shadow the beast cast was enormous. It had been sometime since the Nytemares and Demoni were loose. Their containment was one of the best things Mother ever did in Anger's opinion. He knew he was savage, but the Nytemares were on another realm.

A growl came from behind and Anger turned to see. Off in the distance his narrowed yellow eyes saw the monsters, three in all, stalking him. From their perch the Nytemares licked their chops. They stood eight feet tall on their four paws. Their flesh was exposed like newly hatched chicks, a muddled pink with protruding purple veins peeking under the meat. A spider like cluster of dark eyes studied Anger. Their feet were like human hands but with dark talons that gleamed in the light. Green globs of saliva gushed from a maw of devilish razor sharp teeth.

Much to his delight their masters, the Demoni, were nowhere to be seen. Still three rouge Nytemares were keeping him from the safety of the castle.

Nothing but trees were around him, not even a rock to beat them back. His fists and his horns were his only means of defense, and they had to do. Almost instinctively he faded into the shadows around him.

The Nytemares rushed in moving with the speed and power of jungle beasts. A wild hunger was in their eyes as they screeched and howled. One lunged at Anger. With speed that even surprised him Anger launched a hefty fist at the monster. His fist caught the Nytemare square in the jaw, and sent it sprawling yards away. Another Nytemare lunged and he was able to sidestep it. The final one however struck gold raking him across the chest.

It felt like fire coursing through his veins. The pain sent him to one knee, clutching at the wound. He had no time to dwell on the gaping scratches as the Nytemares were circling back. Quickly he rose to his feet letting his wounds soak in the yellow moonlight.

A Nytemare charged at full speed. Anger leaned his head forward at the last moment, his horns smashing against the savage creature's skull. He swore he heard a crack. There was no time to worry about his horns, the job was done. A Nytemare lay dazed at his feet. Two came from his sides, mouths open. He snatched the bloated purple tongue out of the Nytemare on his right. The tongueless Nytemare writhed along the ground, while the other sunk its claws into Anger's back.

Anger howled. He reached behind him and tossed the Nytemare off of him. Light blue liquid seeped from the newly opened wounds. He dropped the still wriggling tongue and went after the yowling monster. The wounded beast clawed at his missing tongue while unleashing savage cries. Anger clamped down on the Nytemare's thrashing hind legs. His back bellowed as he flung the monster into another.

He didn't know how he was still standing. His wounds were deep and raw. But he had to keep moving or end up devoured like his brother. Damn Fear...he could have at least been bait.

The dazed Nytremare staggered to his feet, looking none too happy about being put on his backside. It hurled a furious battle cry as it glared at Anger. The Nytemare clawed at the ground, spittle foaming around curled lips. Anger matched the movement ready to take the fight to the monster. As he did his horns ached as though they remembered what happened before.

Anger charged first and the Nytemare came charging toward him. Every part of Anger felt as if it had been set aflame. He had to keep moving. The castle wasn't far. His wounds could heal later if only he could reach those dank doors.

The Nytemare's jaw unhinged wide enough to swallow him whole. At the very last moment Anger launched himself into the air. His beefy hand slammed on top of the monster its head; slamming it into the ground, mouth first. There was a sickening, yet satisfying, crunch as the cavernous jaw shattered and flesh tore as it taut skin struggled to contain what had been its mouth.

No time to gloat in the minor victory, the beast was merely slowed for a moment. The other two were struggling to get to their feet. He had a clear, if brief, passage to the doors. Survival pushed him forward, making him ignore his pain that told him to quit. Those yellow eyes saw the bone littered steps, and the wrought iron doors. Cawing crows ushered in his presence as he took the steps two and three at a time.

Before he knew it he was at the door. His body crashed against the metal, yet it didn't yield to his power. Horror gripped his black heart. It couldn't be! Why would an abandoned castle be locked? He screamed at the moon, and then pounded his fist into the door. Each blow sounded like a car wreck. 'Open! Open!' he shouted, his voice growing more desperate every time.

From behind him he heard the Nytemares getting organized. They didn't have to rush; their prey was accounted for. They'd savor this meal as they tore at his flesh bit by bit keeping him alive for the entire session. Perhaps they would start at his eyes or maybe his chest, possibly they'd gnaw on his horns until he cried for mercy that would never come.

Anger turned to the stalking Nytemares who converged at the base of the steps. There was no escaping, but he'd make sure they knew they were in a fight. Their claws tapped on the stone steps as they climbed them one at a time. Anger clapped his fist together, egging the monsters forward.


He heard a loud click and suddenly he was flying backward. After the initial shock he slammed the door in the face of the Nytemares. Heart thudding against his wounded chest he saw his savior.

"I told you not to worry," said Fear holding a flickering candle.


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