Thursday, January 8, 2015

Author Thursday: Interview with Matt Banach

Happy New Year! We're kicking off 2015 with an interview of author Matt Banach. This is particularly awesome because he's an old friend who I've been privileged to game with. (I love seeing friends of mine become published authors. You rock, Banach!) (I promise I won't post any old LARP pics of you, though I totally could...) ;-)


1. What flavor is your writing?

Blueberry muffin – tastes like cake, but there are little good-for-you bits in there.

2. If this book was made into a movie, who would you cast to play the characters?

Rube = Martin Freeman [Sherlock, The Office (British)]
Jax = Ron Perlman [Hellboy, Beauty and the Beast]
The Khan of Nightmares = Christopher Walken [Balls of Fury, The Rundown]
Doji = A young, unknown Hong-Kong martial artist

3. What is your favorite scene in Lost In Dream?

My favorite scene in Lost In Dream is in near the very end, where you learn something remarkable about the mysterious main character and narrator, Rube; but describing that scene would be an awful spoiler, so I'm not going to tell you about that.

My second-favorite scene in Lost In Dream is the first meeting of Rube and Jax on the black ship of the Men of Leng, where both are being held captive. It's my favorite because you see, in those first few moments, the arc of who both who they are individually and what their relationship will be like throughout the entire story. Rube struggles against the weight of the dreaming world against him and worries about his daughter, while still finding a moment to crack wise. Jax builds salt-goblins, rambles and prods grandiloquently, and gets then them both into a lot more trouble.

4. What are you reading now or what books do you have in your TBR pile?

I am currently reading Hawk by Steven Brust – the latest in a long line of the Vlad Taltos novels. I have loved this series ever since I was a kid, and I still think back to Brust's work when voicing my snarky narrators, laying out world-shaking plots, and peppering stories with a mix of wry humor and practical humanism. Great stuff.

5. What are you working on now?

Right now I am working on the latest installment of the Gossamer Worlds line, which is a series of fantasy/science-fiction worlds I am writing to support the ingenious diceless roleplaying game Lords of Gossamer & Shadow (Rite Publishing). The universe of Lords of Gossamer & Shadow is diverse and expansive, since its godlike characters quite literally traverse the infinite multiverse, hopping from world to world, so writing for the product line is terribly exciting since I get to write up pretty much anything my mind can conjure, lay out a brand new reality in a few thousand words, then sign off and move on to the next world and the next installment. I've published ten Gossamer Worlds so far, they're selling very well, and the experience is a blast.

I'm also pondering the sequel to Lost In Dream, and hope to begin that soon.

You can find out more about Lost in Dream here.

Dream – a surreal realm where delusions roam free and nightmares hold court.

A man called Rube is on a perilous quest, searching this unhinged land for something more precious than life or sanity – his own lost child. Captive on a black ship crewed by the dreaded Men of Leng, he finds himself crossing the Slumbering Sea in chains, brought face-to-face with a mischievous blue monster who might just be his salvation – or his doom. Struggling to reunite father and daughter, their odyssey past the edge of reality reveals ancient evils, fiendish plots, and a trans-planar scheme which threatens the very foundation of Dream.

You can purchase Lost in Dream at Amazon.

Enjoy this excerpt from Lost in Dream, Chapter 1:

“Daddy!” The silver bell of her voice chimed over the sound of the waves.

I felt as if I were rising from the deep. I stirred from my drowse, painfully aware of the thick patina of salt crusting my joints and eyelids. As I strained against my shackles, great white scales of salt sloughed from my back and flaked from my hair in miniature avalanche. I opened my eyes, grimacing as sour brine seeped in at the corners. I didn’t mind the pain so much – it was at least good to feel something.

There she stood, small and tall at the same time, standing tippy-toe against the rail, craning her little neck to peer over the black wood to the wonders and horrors of the Slumbering Sea beyond. Her dark brown hair was tousled and set afloat by the wind, and the hem of her dress flapped in the breeze like a tiny blue flag.

“Daddy! What that?” she pealed, excited and concerned at the same time.

I turned to look where she was looking, wincing at the sting of salt. She was gazing out curiously at something quite terrible in the distance, an adorably serious expression on her face. The confusing immensity of the beast and the strangeness of the roiling seascape made it difficult to judge perspective, but I was fairly certain it was gobbling up telepathic whales as if they were grapes.

“That’s a sea monster, dear,” I rasped.

We watched – I in disgust and she in contemplative interest – as the bizarre monstrosity continued its feast. Its screeching corkscrew beak rotated and gnashed, shredding its blubbery prey with gut-wrenching ease. Hundreds of glowing, mouth-pocked tentacles lashed about in the rainbow-colored water, changing it into a churning red froth.

“Oh,” she said, frowning as she tried to decide if this was a bad thing or a good thing.

I left her to her thoughts, knowing that I couldn’t shield her from such sights. Some nagging part of me wondered why or how she was here at all.

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