DEREK MATHIAS WRITING SPECIFICS:
I've been writing speculative fiction on and off since grade school. My short stories are usually reminiscent of Twilight Zone or Outer Limits tales. My novels are usually cross-genre pieces mixing traditional fantasy, science fiction and horror elements in unique combinations. See the table at the bottom for a list of novels, screenplays and short stories and their loglines, along with links to the writings.
I started my first novel, originally titled "The Death of Silver Haze" but now titled "Quick Silver,", an action-adventure fantasy thriller, toward the end of high school. I soon learned that having my protagonist detonate a nuclear device in Dallas, TX wouldn't necessarily endear him to the reader. ;-) I returned to the novel over the years, changed it completely, and eventually developed it into a publishable work.
In the early '90s, I wrote "A Case of Crabs and Amoebas," based on ideas from a role-playing game adventure I had written in the '80s. It had major character problems and a confusing plot, though I tinkered with it on and off over the years.
In mid-2004 I decided to try turning "The Death of Silver Haze" into a screenplay. I soon learned that screenwriting is nothing like novel writing. However, with help from online screenplay instruction (such as Scriptwriting Secrets, Charles Deemer and Screenwriting.info), books (such as "The Screenwriter's Bible" by David Trottier and "Save the Cat" by Blake Snyder), and screenplay peer reviewing sites (Screenwriter's Utopia, Trigger Street and Zoetrope), I learned a great deal how to create a tight, fast-reading, effective script. Despite its early writing flaws, the Death of Silver Haze received high placing on all three peer review sites, and even won Screenplay of the Month at both Screenwriter's Utopia and Trigger Street.
I then sent the screenplay to Barb Doyon, professional scriptwriter and screenplay reviewer. She suggested a number of small but significant changes, helping transform the screenplay into a marketable work.
I've also entered the script in several screenplay competitions, where it received an Honorable Mention (4th place) at The Writers Place May-Oct 2005 Screenplay Contest and International Horror Sci-Fi Screenplay Competition, and made the semifinals in the American Screenwriting Competition and PAGE International Screenwriting Awards contests.
In the last quarter of 2005, Stargazer Filmworks commissioned me (based on my "The Death of Silver Haze" showing on Trigger Street) to write "Lucifer's Angels" as the core of a three-script film project about the uneasy dynamics between vampires, humans and the forces of Heaven, where good and evil have switched roles. With the help of the other writers (Miriam Paschal and Michele White), I weaved the three films together into two films called "Rapture of the Fallen Verse 1: Genesis" and "Rapture of the Fallen Verse 2: Resurrection." Producer Steve Jacobs was pleased with the results and planned to begin filming in 2007, but a lack of funding put the project on hold.
Stargazer Filmworks also commissioned me to turn "Skin Deep" (a short story, mentioned below) into a screenplay for a short film as part of a film series. They were also planning to film my short horror story, "Morning," about a man buried alive. Again, funding issues resulted in neither story coming to fruition.
In 2006, right after writing Lucifer's Angels, I wrote "Gracie's Ghost," a low-budget horror story for teenage audiences that explores what a poltergeist might resort to if a person refused to be scared from its home.
Also in 2006 and throughout 2007 I wrote my half of a collaborative work called "The Christmas Contract" with Miriam Paschal. The story was inspired by the idea of having a hitman disguised as a mall Santa.
In the first half of 2007 I wrote "Justin Time," a relatively low-budget time travel thriller about a man whose future self contacts him in an attempt to change history and avoid a bleak future...but finds the changes don't always go as anticipated.
In the first half of 2008 I wrote "Soulburner," a high-budget alien invasion story that explores the intricacies of time travel. It's based on my second novel, "A Case of Crabs and Amoebas." The conversion process from novel to screenplay highlighted all the problems with the novel and resulted in a much better story.
In 2009 I did major revisions of some of my screenplays, improving the characterization of "Justin Time" and tightening up my latest version of "Quick Silver."
In 2011 I did a major revision of the novel version of "Quick Silver," incorporating the improvements made with the screenplay and improving the character's backstory.
In 2012, I discovered Podiobooks, and proceeded to convert "Quick Silver" into an audiobook. It turns out my voice is suited to the audio format, and that inspired me to get a decent microphone (Blue Yeti) and make a higher quality recording in 2013. I also touched up the novel, based on feedback I'd received from the audiobook's original release.
Also in 2013, I turned my "Soulburner" screenplay back into a novel. In 2014 I turned it into an audiobook. The amount of work that goes into just the editing of an audiobook is tremendous, but the results are worth it.
In 2014, my girlfriend Judith Walter (a.k.a. Judith Moosavi, a.k.a. Friss) and I started writing bawdy poems to each other, then decided to publish them. In 2015 we released "The Illustrated Poetry For Perverts," a collection of 85 mildly obscene, sometimes mildly profound poems, all appropriately illustrated with my cartoons.
I've also done some minor work on Silver Gladiator, the sequel to Quick Silver.
And years ago I wrote a short story inspired by my military experience called The Photograph.
My writing strengths include coming up with unique story ideas, and writing
effective action sequences, plotting and pacing. My characterization usually
still takes a few tries to get right.
My writing strengths include coming up with unique story ideas, and writing effective action sequences, plotting and pacing. My characterization usually still takes a few tries to get right.
I've had only two "official" publications to date: "S.H.A.D.O.W. Over Scotland," a role-playing game adventure module published by Iron Crown Enterprises; and "Skin Deep," a mildly disturbing short story published by Aberrations magazine which I also turned into a screenplay at the request of Stargazer Filmworks. My "Quick Silver" novel has been represented by two literary agencies: Farwestern Literary Agency and Susan Herner Rights Agency (although deaths in both agencies--I swear I didn't do it!--caused them to drop many of their clients, including me). However, the print industry is changing dramatically, and it is now easy for writers to publish online. "Quick Silver," and "Soulburner" are available in paperback, e-book and audiobook versions, and "The Illustrated Poetry For Perverts" is available in hardcover, paperback and e-book versions, at the links shown below.
So far the reviews for my novels have ranged between very good and stellar! You can read
some of the
reviews on the respective websites. Also, blogger "Jane
Doe" reviewed "Quick Silver" and interviewed me on her site.
(Above covers by Malcolm McClinton)
Anyone interested in contacting me regarding my writing may do so at firstname.lastname@example.org.