Blog Tour: Eldritch Heart + Giveaway

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Today, I have the amazing Matthew S. Cox in the blog to share an open letter to all the writers, like me, and all the aspiring authors out there.


Hi, and thank you for inviting me to guest post on Style Reader for the Eldritch Heart blog tour. I’ve been asked for an open letter to writers or aspiring authors, hmm. Let me think.

Dear Aspiring Author,

You are about to face off against three formidable foes: self-doubt, impatience, and criticism. All are normal, so don’t worry about that. Being a writer is all about constantly doubting you’re ‘doing it right’ or that you’re ‘good enough.’

If you aren’t experiencing at least a little internal questioning of your worth as a writer, you’re probably a bit of an insufferable sot. Suffice to say that a cycle of feeling awesome, then wondering if the reason the person you sent your work to hasn’t replied yet is because it stinks, to feeling like an utter and complete failure, and bouncing back to feeling awesome is normal.

Another thing—don’t take rejection too deeply to heart. When you start sending out queries, bear in mind that something like 2% of them get accepted. Query rejections are another “it happens to everyone” situation. Before you feel bad, think about how all the literary agents who rejected the Harry Potter book feel now.

If you wind up getting signed by a small publisher, awesome! – but don’t quit your day job. It is true that some authors become overnight success stories, but the odds of that happening are on par with winning the lottery. This is even worse in the increasingly risk-averse world of large publishers. However, there are lots of small presses around, and always the option of self-publishing.

On criticism. You should always accept constructive criticism, and even seek it out. Send your writing to non-family who are willing to read it and give you feedback. Read books in your genre. Read books like Self Editing for Fiction Writers by Browne and King. Read your work aloud to yourself to see how it sounds.

As far as I’m concerned, a ‘real’ author is someone who has written something someone not related to them has read and they’ve either been paid for it or that non-relative told them they enjoyed reading their work.

Not every author goes into the writing game for the same reasons. Some of us are mostly concerned with telling stories to people. Others are chasing financial success. While I think it’s futile to attempt to write to what the market currently wants (by the time a book is finished, edited, and available, trends may well have changed). Also, I find that forcing a story/genre a writer doesn’t really feel is going to produce a subpar story.

If you’re intending to go the self-publishing route, it’s vital that you get someone else’s eyes on the book before you hit that button. If you can’t afford an editor (don’t feel bad, a lot of us can’t) try to find a friend or someone who reads a lot who can give it a look-see for typos, errors, or story problems. While it is preferable to have a professional editor have at the story, if that’s not feasible, at least have someone other than you read it. A writer’s brain knows what we expect to be on the page. Trying to proofread your own work is a fool’s errand. You can read over the same typo ten times, but because you know what you wanted to say, your brain will fill it in and miss the error.

Anyway, in short, what you’re looking to get from writing is going to determine a lot of how you go about things. If your aim is purely to share your story with people, you’ve got a lot of flexibility in how you approach being published. If you’re looking for massive amounts of cash, you’re probably going to spend a lot of time researching agents and writing up query letters, hoping to break through. If you’re somewhere in between like me (mostly in it to tell stories, but being able to live off it would be awesome), you’ll likely wind up querying agents and/or small publishers directly – or even self publishing.

It’s true that some people associate a stigma with self-published works, and it’s also true that there are some self-published books out there that deserve such a stigma, but the paradigm is shifting. The Martian started off as self-published, and look where that went.

A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit. – Richard Bach

Ultimately, it comes down to having the willpower to believe in yourself under the weight of your self-doubt. Keep at it.

Happy writing!



The Eldritch Heart by Matthew S. Cox
Published by: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication date: August 1st 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Princess Oona Talomir enjoys the little things that come with her station: a handmaiden, her lavish bedchamber, and scores of fancy dresses―the duty to win a decades’ long war, not so much.

Oh, did I mention assassins?

Seers foretold the conflict would end by her hand. From the moment she drew her first breath, the neighboring kingdom has been trying to kill her so she could not grow powerful enough to destroy them. The king, fearing for his daughter’s life, has kept her confined to the castle grounds for most of her sixteen years. With the tide of war turning against them, the burden of her crown becomes too much to bear, yet one thing lifts her spirits amid the gloom.

Her servant girl, Kitlyn.

Alas, in a kingdom obsessed with the god of purity, she is terrified to confess her forbidden love. When her father makes a demand she cannot abide―marry a prince to forge a military alliance―Oona panics. He is handsome and honorable, but he’s not Kitlyn. Unable to admit why she cannot obey, Oona does the only thing she can think of, and runs away.

Alone and unprepared in the wilderness, she prays the gods will let Kitlyn find her—before the assassins do.


Born in a little town known as South Amboy NJ in 1973, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Somewhere between fifteen to eighteen of them spent developing the world in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, and The Awakened Series take place. He has several other projects in the works as well as a collaborative science fiction endeavor with author Tony Healey.

Hobbies and Interests:

Matthew is an avid gamer, a recovered WoW addict, Gamemaster for two custom systems (Chronicles of Eldrinaath [Fantasy] and Divergent Fates [Sci Fi], and a fan of anime, British humour (deliberate), and intellectual science fiction that questions the nature of reality, life, and what happens after it.

He is also fond of cats.

Connect with him on:

Enter below for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card. It's open internationally and the giveaway will end on August 17, 2017.

Thank you to Matthew S. Cox for sharing an inspiring and motivating letter. I'm sure all our aspiring writers and authors needed that boost. I'm also grateful for Curiosity Quills Press for the opportunity to join this book blog tour.

You Might Also Like


Last 15 Books I've Read

285. In Real Life by Cory Doctorow

284. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

283. Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy (Gallagher Girls, #2) by Ally Carter

282. I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls, #1) by Ally Carter

281. 365 Reasons to Be Cheerful: Magical Moments to Cheer Up Miserable Sods One Day at a Time by Richard Happer

280. Regression, Vol. 1: Way Down Deep by Cullen Bunn

279. Coyotes #1 by Sean Lewis

278. Evolution #1 by James Asmus

277. Rose, Vol. 1 by Meredith Finch

276. Dark Fang #1 by Miles Gunter

275. Behind the Blog by Kryz Uy

274. Manga Classics: Les Misérables by Stacy King

273. Lady Mechanika: La Dama de la Muerte #1 by Joe Benitez

272. 101 Things To Do Instead of Playing on Your Phone by Ilka Heinemann

271. Vidia and the Fairy Crown by Haruhiko Kato


Creative Commons License

Style Reader by Arra Abella is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Images and text are copyrighted, unless stated otherwise. Therefore, if you want to use any of these, feel free to contact me.