Thursday, October 2, 2014

Matthew Wolf Author Interview


Book Nerd Interview

Matthew Wolf is the author of The Ronin Saga. Or maybe he's a Ronin. Either way, he's involved somehow. Aside from epic fantasy, he enjoys woodcrafting, outdoors, a bit of a health nut (Kale is good!), and trains in kung fu.

His childhood of traveling the world and studying Old English and Japanese influenced the schemes of the Saga, and the world of Farhaven. He is a graduate from UCSB with a Literature degree and a specialization in Medieval Literature and Japanese. His novels include THE KNIFE’S EDGE, and CITADEL OF FIRE, of the bestselling YA Epic Fantasy series, The Ronin Saga.


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Was there a defining moment during your youth when you realized you wanted to be a writer?

Until the age of sixteen, I almost never read—it’s a guilty secret that I admit hoping others take something from it, realizing we can always change our paths, how we can be something one day and another thing the next.

It wasn’t until I picked up a fantasy book at sixteen (Wizard’s First Rule, by Terry Goodkind) that it all changed. It was pressed into my hands by a friend with fervent eyes and the words “you must read this.” Looking back now, I do see some writer-ly tendencies: at two or three-years-old, I couldn’t stop telling stories, almost literally couldn’t stop; when someone would ask me my day at the age of six, I would mold the mundane activities of boy catching frogs or playing basketball into riveting tales (that again wouldn’t end.)

Why is storytelling so important for all of us?

It is something that will exist forever—it bonds us, allows us to hope, to see something greater, to transform our future and hold onto our past. It is something we crave: stories full of adventure, full of honor, full of mystery, ripe with pinpoints of light that outshine even the deepest dark.

Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite book and why? And what is your favorite book outside of your genre?

Wizard’s First Rule—it started the adventure, crafted role models that were greater than those in my real life, and made me realize I can follow my passion. Outside of my genre, The Alchemist was great.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?

Never stop, and write what you love. Forget the “write what you know” hype, write what rivets you, what makes you tremble, what makes you laugh out loud, what moves you and it will most likely move others.

In your new book; Citadel of Fire, can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it and why they should read your novel?

It’s a tale about a boy with heroes blood in veins who has to return home to a magical kingdom of fire—a home he’s forgotten about, only to discover he’s labeled a murderer. Oh, and the Ronin are pretty bada** too if you like Knights of the Roundtable but with a Japanese undertone (think Seven Samurai).

For those who are unfamiliar with Gray, how would you introduce him?

Same as above, I suppose. He has a complex and what many other reviewers have “raved” as a “powerful and intriguing” personality, with a past that he can’t remember he struggles with former self that is now labeled a traitor for killing his best friend. He has to try to understand what actually happened and why. He also struggles with the fact that he is the progeny of a legendary hero that turned mad and all the world fears, wielding an elemental power of wind. He struggles with the immensity of his fate, the fear of evil from his legendary predecessor, and the darkness of his past—all while being a young man who values his friends more than anything. Gray struggles to hold onto notions of honor and duty in a world filled with darkness and moral ambiguity.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?

I’d introduce Gray to Gandalf, because why not? Or Faye to a hobbit, because that’d just be plain entertaining.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating Faye?

That every single time I thought I’d pinned down why she was doing what she was doing, I realized it wasn’t “quite” right—or as I call it the “Why, Faye?’

So her shifting motives became natural. It’s hard to describe, but, for Faye, following a certain path, or ANY path for that matter just doesn’t fit her character. And yet, paradoxically, she’s one of the few characters that I’ve written that has the most conviction, despite her temporary stances. One would imagine that would make her sound fickle, wishy-washy, or insubstantial—but I think, and hope, that her character comes across as round and all-too human.

For how often do we feel that constant flux of desires? That shifting nature of our ideas that doesn’t seem to match the fixed passion of our heart? We may do the right thing—getting that degree, finding the love of our life, pursuing our hobbies--but along the way we often feel like an arrow nocked to fly in seven different ways.

When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?

How old am I? It’s all too tempting to blurt out “48” and see people’s surprise. I look pretty young, and suppose I am fairly young for writing two pretty awesome fantasy books.

What's the most memorable summer job you've ever had?

Oh, dang, I try to suppress those memories. Probably a bagger, because I would run home to write in-between breaks and nearly got fired twice.

Who was your first girlfriend?

This girl named Lindsey—cute, skinny blue-eyed blonde that I asked out during flag football in 8th grade. I was thirteen and we dated for four months. Oh ya, she’s now a guy (and I love and respect her for that, though we never talk)—but hey, that’s another story. And no, I don’t believe I’m culpable for that transition. Yes, we kissed a few times… Oh that’s the follow up question.

Tell me about your first kiss

It was a French kiss after watching Ten Things I Hate About You. Made less awesome now that she is a dude? Hmm, not really, still a very impactful memory.

When was the last time you cried?

My friend passed away when I was 22 in college—it was a really rough time, and I still miss him, but his indomitable strength lives on in all those he touched, including me hopefully.

Which would you choose, true love with a guarantee of a heart break or have never loved before?

True love with heartbreak. I use to be of the latter mindset, but life is meant to be lived, felt, dove into like a lake cold and frigid that makes you gasp and feel alive, not simply glided past without every getting wet.

What decade during the last century would you have chosen to be a teenager?

The 90’s was great—all the weird trends and all the catchy poppy songs. But perhaps I just love tying flannels around my waist too much.



Seventeen-year old Gray is descended from a legendary hero known as a Ronin, and haunted by his forgotten past. He returns home to a wizards’ keep, unaware he is now labeled a murderous traitor for killing his best friend.

Returning could be a death sentence, but the journey alone is perilous. Along the way, Gray discovers he has a grandfather. Now he must reach the city before his only living family dies beneath a madman’s torture. Getting there will be a challenge, however, as an enthrallingly unpredictable woman, a dangerous desert, and a horde of thieves stand in his way. Wielding the banished power of wind, Gray rallies against the poisonous evil that seeks to convert the world to their mantra, “strength is life, weakness death.”

Yet with an affable scoundrel and a clever bookworm at his side, Gray discovers the world’s greatest secret… He is not the only one with hero’s blood, and the legend of the Ronin walk the world once again.


You can purchase Citadel of Fire at the following Retailers:
        


And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you Matthew for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Signed Copy of "The Knife's Edge" and "Citadel of Fire" by Matthew wolf.
1 Winner will receive a Complete Swag Pack 
(Ronin Saga T-Shirt, Map of the World, Mouse Pad featuring The Knife's Edge Cover Art, +More)
1Winner will receive a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card.

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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