The Crown's Secret: A Little Something About Matthew

"Where secrets abound, trust is not an option—neither is failure."
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I had the honour of being the first to interview Matthew Dale, co-author of the upcoming release, The Crown's Secret. Ready...set...READ!



 

Princess Ensula of Ceraleo lost everything the day her father and brother were assassinated, and she was sent to a faraway land for her own safety. From a distance over the next decade, she heard how her mother rules with an iron fist, so now Ensula decides to return, knowing she is stepping into the middle of a battlefield.

Adrik's world crumbled on the day of the assassinations. He lost friends he considered to be family that day, and the woman that he loved left without saying goodbye. He remained loyal to the queen, and at the first opportunity to gain power to prevent such loss from occurring again, Adrik seized it, becoming Lord Inquisitor.

Upon Ensula's return, Adrik will do anything to protect her, but he realizes the one person he will have to protect her from the most is himself. As Ensula comes face-to-face with her past once more, she knows one thing: she can trust no one.

 

Me: Hello Matthew! How are you today? Matthew: Doing great! Really excited to be here today! How about you? Me: Doing well, and excited to talk with you and your upcoming release! Before we talk about the book, tell me, what's your favorite thing to do in your free time? Matthew: That's a big question, lol. I enjoy reading, video games, I'm a DM for a group of friends Dungeons and Dragons games. I hunt, fish, and fly drones also.

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Me: Dungeons and Dragons! A game of my youth. I have fond memories of scattered cans of Pepsi, chip bags, and a table filled with character-driven adventures. Nowadays it seems to be played more online than at a table. What is your go-to class? Matthew: Depends on the group I'm playing with, but sorcerer, rogue/fighter and ranger are my top 3. Currently, I'm the DM, so I get to craft the game for the players which is great too Me: DM has the wonderful job of keeping players on track even when they try and stray, and break some rules. lol (if you haven't, I recommend watching the Indie film The Gamers and its sequel. Hilarious and accurate.) Where are you from originally?

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Matthew: Originally I grew up in Florida, middle of the state about 2 hours south of Orlando. Me: Florida gets tourists in all forms. Did you ever people watch and wonder, wow they would make a great literary character/villain? Matthew: Not really. I grew up in a small town. not a lot to do. The tourists we got were usually golfers and retirees. That was a racetrack in town, so once a year we got racing fans in, which was cool. Although, now that I remember it, my high school librarian was a horrible woman who was the focal point of a comic series I did in high school so that was fun.

Me: Love it! Do you still write comics?

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Matthew: I really want to, but I'm not artistic enough. my highschool comics were crudely drawn stick figure comics. If I were more artistic, I would 100% be making comic books and graphic novels Me: I know what you mean. I can draw a realistic stick person, but there isn't a demand for them. lol What's your favorite genre when reading?

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Matthew: Sci-fi, fantasy, military fiction, a little bit of horror (not much cause I'm a chicken. I also really love history.

Me: Any particular book you would recommend to my followers? Matthew: Definitely my wife's books. She's currently my favorite author. I'm admittedly biased, but still. Obviously, Lord of the Rings, Watchmen, and Max Brooks do a great job with horror without making it gore-porn.

Me: I mean, you aren't wrong for including your wife's work. Author Kelly Blanchard is amazingly talented and I've recommended her series many times over. You and Kelly have penned the first of a book series together to be released in August. Is this your first book as an author? Matthew: It is! I have a bunch of half-finished and abandoned projects saved on my computer. This is my first time publishing anything I've written or helped write in this case. Me: Tell me how your co-authoring worked. Did you write specific chapters for one character and Kelly for another?

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Matthew: So the way we do it is we will have set characters that we work with. So we're going back and forth in the same chapter. Sometimes she will write a chapter on her own, sometimes I will, Sometimes we'll need to share or switch characters. But doing it that way helps us be able to make dialog flow better and it's easier to communicate our thoughts in the story.

Me: I agree it would make it much more authentic with the dialogue. Tell me about the character you weilded.

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Matthew: Well the main character I was in charge of is Adrik. He's one of the central characters of the series. When the story first starts he's essentially an Enforcer for the Royal family and the dominant religious power in his homeland. But before that, he was a ward of the royal family.. Me: Without spoilers, can you give a little info about his role in the book? Matthew: Yes. So the blurb of the book gives a bit of backstory that informs who he is. 10 years prior to the start of the book, he witnesses the assassination of two members of the royal family, the king and the prince. Adrik, the queen and the princess survive the attempt and the princess is sent away for her safety. In the aftermath, Adrik blames himself for not being fast enough to protect people he cared about, and takes an opportunity to become a more powerful protector. When the book beings, he has the title of Lord Inquisitor, and is basically the 3rd most powerful person in the kingdom. Another title he's given by the people is "The Demon of Ceraleo". That's about as much as I can give without spoiling too much.

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Me: I'm sold! What was the most challenging part while writing? Matthew: For this series, it was finding the time. We originally started it as Kelly was finishing the Chronicles of Lorrek Series, and I was working as an EMT. We started it and stopped it several times until we finally agreed to wait till she was finished with COL before we sat down and started it. After that, it was just a matter of brainstorming the plot and characters Me: As of the date of this interview, how many books are planned?

Matthew: It's a 5 book series. We already have them all written. It's just a matter of publishing them. We didn't want to pull a Martin or Paolini and have a long time between installments

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. Me: That's awesome! Do you have a favorite scene you can share? Matthew: I do have a few favorite scenes, but they're also spoiler ridden and from later in the series. But I will say there is a lot more to Adrik and Ensula {the main characters} than meets the eye, and the climaxs of each book were deeply satisfying to write.

Me: I am really looking forward to this new series! I can't wait! Thank you so much for speaking with me today, Matthew! This has been fun and I look forward to the new series!

Matthew: Thank you for having me! I'm really excited to see it launch. It was a lot of fun, and I really think readers are going to enjoy it

Me: Agreed! This interview will be updated with a link to the book once it is available. Thanks for reading, and leave a comment or hit the like at the bottom!


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