All posts by Matt Thomas

About Matt Thomas

Matt Thomas is a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee and was named UNsung Magazine’s Short Story Writer of the Year in 2013. His articles, essays, and stories have appeared in The Village Voice, CBS New York.com, The Writing Disorder, The Journal of American Culture, Word Riot, and many others. Thomas grew up in a blue collar town and has lived throughout New York State. He’s worked as a stadium hand, staff writer, janitor, writing consultant, legal assistant, house painter, editorial assistant, and briefly covered Manhattan’s music and nightlife beat for CBS New York.com. While he spent the earlier part of his writing career on music and academic pieces, Thomas is now solely devoted to fiction. He currently lives in New York City.

Bubbles and books and reading

“There are always two. One to find the path, and one to find the way back.” About a decade ago, I had a conversation with a friend regarding the sheer volume of books that have been published. Think about it: all the books ever written in the world’s history. So many genres, volumes, and adaptations. It’s a seemingly infinite list. One could spend literally every second of every day reading for the rest of his life and never come close to finishing every book ever published. The aforementioned friend said, “There is simply no need to publish anything else from this point forward. All relevant, worthwhile literature has hit the […]

Quick Thought: Some Random Thoughts on Music and Writing

Download the novel by clicking here! A short time ago, in a galaxy not so far away, I used to work Manhattan’s music and nightlife beat for a bunch of small publications. This meant covering concerts, movie premieres, hotel openings, etc., etc. I got started by simply wanting to listen to as much music as possible. I loved talking with artists about their projects, their process, their struggles to create, sell, market, and support their work. Recently, I listened to Blink-182’s new album, California. It’s a somewhat controversial LP since the band’s beloved co-frontman and guitarist, Tom DeLonge, unceremoniously cut certain ties to the group to pursue different endeavors. Mark […]

The Compass from the Red Lands: Influences

There are always two. One to find the path, and one to find the way back. As a kid, I was a huge comic book fan. It started in third grade when my father brought home the bound collections of all Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics (I loved the cartoon show), and it quickly grew from there. My consistent go-tos were Spider-Man and Batman, but after a while I found myself taking on any superhero title that was available. Some heroes were goofy, others were dark and aloof. Many in the end, just weren’t all that interesting. At least not for an extended period of time, so it made sense […]

How to Make a Book

  There are always two. One to find the path, and one to find the way back. Officially, The Compass from the Red Lands, has been released! You can buy it on Amazon and other digital media outlets. It’s available in both electronic and print forms (sweet!). Here’s what I learned about making a book: it’s really, really hard! I’ve published articles, essays, short stories, all kinds of stuff, but never anything at this length or on this level. The first version of The Compass from the Red Lands was written when I was in grad school. I workshopped it, and it received a fairly good response. Back then, it […]

A second, and more official, greeting

    Well, we’ve been working on this book for a while, and I’m pleased to say we’re very close to having a polished product fit for publication! My name’s Matt Thomas, and I’ve been moonlighting as a writer for the last ten years or so. I got my start covering Manhattan’s music and nightlife beat for a slew of small magazines and websites, including The Village Voice and CBS New York.com, which was a fun but EXHAUSTING gig. In that time, I published some essays as well, but I just kept on gravitating toward short stories and novels. As a kid, I devoured graphic novels and fantasy stories. Loved them! Once I […]

Quick Thought: Why So Many People Love Mad Men

“You’ll love the show, Matt,” an old friend once told me after the first few episodes of Mad Men had aired on AMC. “Some of the best story telling on television.” I nodded and smiled, telling my friend, “Sure. I’ll watch it.” But I never did. The show looked like a cliche’d period piece to me, and I had intentionally avoided it. As more episodes mounted up, however, the greater the pull to Mad Men became. My wife started watching reruns, and one morning I stumbled into the kitchen, with the aim of cooking some breakfast, and across the room I found my watch gazing at John Hamm’s Don Draper […]

Revisiting old work

  This is a response I posted to RL King’s 48fourteen blog. It’s an interesting chain. Read the entire conversation by clicking here. Jonathan Franzen, and I’m paraphrasing here, once said that he simply couldn’t read over his published work since he found so many things he wanted to change. Personally, like everyone else on this chain, I have a very difficult time reviewing my previously published fiction. My debut novel, for example, was printed before it was done in a very raw form. It was, essentially, a rough draft, and there are many, many mistakes throughout, including a first chapter that is slow, confusing, and simply too dark to […]

Quick thought: remembering an old fantasy series

  When I was a kid, one of my favorite fantasy books was The Legend of Huma, a spinoff of the popular Dragon Lance series. In many ways, the novel served as a catalyst for my love of the fantasy genre, and I’m betting that there are many readers and writers out there who feel the same way. So when I stumbled upon Tor/Forge Book’s (an imprint of Macmillan) website and found a blogpost devoted to re-reading the original Dragon Lance series, I felt compelled to share it. Check out the full post by clicking here. Enjoy!

Quick thought: the importance of world building

    A few months ago, I finished Neil Gaiman’s novel, The Ocean at the End of the Lane. In terms of its language and themes, I thought it was fairly similar to Coraline, another novel with a YA hero.Each story was successful not only for including rich characters, compelling plots, fluid prose, and accessible language, but Gaiman was also able to build immersive worlds. In each work, the protagonists cross over into a different realm. Gaiman maintains the reader’s interest by establishing rules in each world as well as consequences for breaking these rules. I’ve found this to be the most important aspect of world building. How does the […]

Greetings, 48Fourteen readers!

    I thought I’d take a moment to introduce myself since I’m a relatively new member of the budding 48Fourteen community. My name is Matt Thomas, and over the last ten years or so I’ve written a few short stories, several essays, some music articles, and even a fantasy novel called A Breach in Death that was published a couple of years ago by Boxfire Press. I’m very excited to be working with the great editing team at 48Fourteen on my follow-up, The Compass From the Red Lands, a modern fantasy. What is it about? Well, I’m not sure I’m allowed to say much about it at this point, […]