I finished watching Penny Dreadful last night, and since I've got werewolves and vampires on the mind, I've set it up so the Titus-centric Kindle short, "Blood & Bone," is free to download all weekend. Grab a copy of this Indetructibles short any time Saturday or Sunday (July 15/16) on me!
You can download a copy on Amazon here.
Unsure if the new Indestructibles spinoff will be for you? Here's a quick Q and A about Echo and the Sea and how ti fits into the Indestructiverse:
Q: What sets Echo and the Sea apart from the Indestructibles series?
A: Well, while it takes place in the same universe as the Indestructibles – I’ve started calling it the “Indestructiverse,” something a fellow author came up with a few months back that I thought was perfect – Echo’s story is its own arc. Where the Indestructibles is a lot more comic book sci-fi, Echo is more fantasy, with a lot of myth and magic involved in her world.
Q: What made you want to break from the Indestructibles?
A: First I should mention – I’m definitely continuing the Indestructibles. The fifth book in that series is in the works already! But Echo’s tale is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I’ve had this particular book plotted out in my mind since not long after my first book came out, but when the Indestructibles kicked off, I had to give those characters my full attention. When Like a Comet came out last year, I saw a window to explore another corner of the Indestructiverse and write about some new characters, themes, and adventures.
Q: Is Echo and the Sea the same reading level as the Indestructibles?
A: Similar. It has some darker themes and a little bit more violence—for readers of the series, Echo is more similar in tone to the Entropy of Everything than the original book. A bit more mature with some harsher consequences for the characters, but I think readers of the series will find it to be a similar vibe and tone. The characters are a bit older at the start, too.
Q: Where does it take place in the Indestructiverse timeline?
A: Echo’s story starts right around the time the first Indestructibles book takes place, almost simultaneously.
Q: Why take the Indestructiverse to Atlantis?
A: The idea actually came out of a game that some of my writer friends and I play—I call it the “if they ever let me write” game, where we throw out script or story treatments for characters we’d love to work on. I’d had a running joke about what I’d do if I got to write someone like Aquaman or Namor, and in the end, what I realized was I wanted to do was something original: an Atlantis on the verge of war with the surface world, a swashbuckling high-seas adventure, and a young woman caught up in a life-changing adventure.
Q: You’ve got a lot of mythological references in there.
A: I do. I love mythology. I read Edith Hamilton’s Mythology until the cover fell off as a kid, and love stories like Neil Gaiman’s American Gods or Sandman. Echo’s story gave me a chance to delve into those more fantastical elements that I’m not able to work with in the main series.
Just a quick update: the Indestructibles spinoff, "Echo and the Sea," a full-length novel, is now live on Kindle, iBook, and Kobo. The paperback is currently in process and should be available in a few days. I'll keep you posted! Here's the full description:
Echo always knew the ocean was in her blood.
It isn’t until the day tragedy struck, though, that her ordinary life in a New England seaside town is torn apart and she finds out just how much her fate is tied to the sea. Monsters, real monsters, crawl out of the ocean looking for her, and suddenly she’s swept up in a swashbuckling tale of magic, myth, war, and fear.
Joined by her best friend Yuri, the smuggler and magician Barnabas Coy, and Artem, the last son of the Amazons and greatest swordsman on the Seven Seas, Echo will face were-sharks and leviathans, assassins and mermaids, and find out that her ultimate destiny lies at the bottom of the ocean, with the lost city of Atlantis, and the war that city is planning to start with the surface world.
Which side will she choose? What does Atlantis mean to Echo’s past, and for her future? Will she take her place among the other myths and legends of the sea and become the hero she’s meant to be?
Hi, everyone. I'm extremely excited to announce that the first Indestructibles spinoff book, "Echo and the Sea," is launching this week. The Kindle edition is already available for pre-order here, and I'll have more information about the paperback, Nook, and other editions very soon (Kindle, as I've mentioned in the past, always seems to be the first to become available).
I'm really proud of this book--it's a story I've wanted to tell since the first Indestructibles book, about a group of adventurers who exist in the same shared universe--the "Indestructiverse," as people have been calling it, which I have totally stolen--on a very different kind of epic adventure.
Join Echo, the daughter of Atlantis, as she learns just how weird, mystical, and dangerous the hidden world of the ocean can be, alongside her best friend Yuri, the smuggler and sea-mage Barnabas Coy, and Artem, the last son of the Amazons and greatest swordsman on the Seven Seas. They'll fight were-sharks, assassins, sea monsters, and even a mermaid or two along the way.
I've been trying to find the time between Indestructibles books to sit down and tell Echo's story for a few years now--I'm so psyched to see this story finally appear on the page.
If you're a Kindle reader, the book will be available on Friday (June 16th, 2017). The paperback is coming very soon, just finalizing a few steps, and it'll become available on Nook, iBook, and Kobo shortly after as well. I hope you'll join me on this swashbuckling adventure of magic and myth.
I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but over the past year or so I've been working with the development team, through the Salem Athenaeum and Salem YMCA, on a project called Stories of Substance. The idea was to craft a stage play using young actors, based on true stories of addiction and recovery, to try to educate young people of the dangers of opioid addiction early. The hope is to intervene and educate early and build a better sense of empathy so more people can avoid addiction if they can, and escape it if they haven't.
The play was performed Monday night (June 5th) in Salem, a sort of proof of concept so that it can eventually be made available to schools and other programs for their students to perform and watch. The cast was phenomenal. So proud of the work they've done.
I'm credited as the playwright, but it feels a little strange--I might have put the words down on paper, but it was a collaborative of writers who worked together to generate the concepts we needed and structure we wanted, and almost every line is inspired by true stories told to us by brave young people who were wiling to share their own stories of substance abuse and recovery with us.
Boston's WBUR's the Artery ran a story on it this morning. Hopefully this will help get the word out to schools who need this sort of programming to reach their students and build better understanding.
Teachers or other educators: if you're interested in learning more, contact me privately through the Contact link at the top of this page. I can put you in touch with the right people to get more information to you.
Just wanted to let everyone know that I've added a character bio page for the main cast here. I'll be adding supporting cast soon as well--nothing spoiler-y, just enough to give the basics of the characters and help describe the Indestructiverse.
If you've ever created fan art for any of the supporting characters and would like to see it featured on the bio page, contact me in the comments below or through the Contact Us page - we have a bit of art featuring the main heroes, of course, but if anyone's ever drawn an Agent Black or Bedlam or Anachronism Annie, I'd love to see it!
Happy Star Wars Day! Here's Watson cosplaying a Wookiee, because the only thing cuter than dogs in clothes is dogs in Star Wars costumes.
What if aliens really did land during the broadcast of "War of the Worlds," but led to an entirely different encounter?
Embers & Dust explores this. Such a beautiful little piece of sci-fi. The father/son stuff is lovely.
It's that time of year again! Time to hunt across the entire internet for fame, fortune, and... okay actually it's time for the Young Adult Scavenger Hunt, where you have a chance to win up to 100 YA books! This is my fifth scavenger hunt, and I love how every time I have a chance to meet and learn about authors and books I've never heard of before.
A quick introduction for those of you finding my site for the first time: I'm Matthew Phillion, and I write about superheroes. The Indestructibles is a series of books about five rookie heroes--a solar powered girl, a ballerina vigilante, a boy with an alien in his brain giving him cosmic powers, a Whovian with a black hole where her heart should be, and a werewolf with confidence issues. The most recent book took them into outer space, and the next book in the series is a standalone spinoff, "Echo and the Sea," about a young heroine who finds out she might be heir to the throne of Atlantis, and must pick a side between her surface life and the one that awaits below the ocean. I mention this upcoming book because, hidden out there in the YA Scavenger Hunt, is the first-ever sample chapter from "Echo and the Sea," offered exclusively for anyone who can find it among Team Gold's authors! Every author who participates offers you exclusive content you can't find anywhere else, selected especially for the hunt. Cover art and deleted scenes, playlists and character notes, you can find it all... it's like the best Behind the Scenes bonus content you can find.
Oh--that's right. Forgot to mention. I'm on Team Gold. Check out the other amazing books and authors on our team. There are also Blue, Pink, Purple, and Red teams out there waiting for you to discover them. One lucky winner will win a copy of a book by each team's authors. All the books, guys. Win all the books.
How, you might ask? Here's the rules:
First, I recommend stopping by the official YASH site to find out all the key details. You'll find a list of participating authors as well as all the potential prizes up for grabs.
On to the puzzle.
Did I mention there's a puzzle?
Don't worry. It's a good puzzle. You'll notice that somewhere below, I've mentioned my favorite number. Find all the favorite numbers of all the authors on Gold Team (same goes for the other four teams as well--you can participate in all five games if you'd like). Then add them up. And before anyone asks: calculators are not cheating.
Fill out the entry form with the total of all your authors' numbers.
THE RULES (ugh, rules, I know):
Here's the basics: YASH is open internationally. Only one entry per person per team. You'll have to claim your prize within 48 hours or the prize will be re-drawn. Duplicate entries will be disregarded, as well as anyone who blatantly disregards the rules. If you have any questions, you can email YASH.Organizer@gmail.com (I will try to answer any questions in the comments section below, also).
You have until APRIL 9 to enter. Entries close at midnight. Only correct entries submitted through the official form will count. No purchase necessary.
Now, on to the fun part:
Before I let this run on for 7 (seven) (HINT HINT) pages, let me introduce...
OUR GUEST AUTHOR!
This hunt I'm proud to host author Breeana Shields. Breeana is the author of Poison’s Kiss (Random House, 2017) and Poison’s Cage (Random House, 2018).
Breeana graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in English. When she’s not reading or writing, she loves traveling, eating good food–especially if it’s pasta or chocolate–and spending time with her husband, her three children and an extremely spoiled miniature poodle.
Okay first of all: I love this cover. This cover is gorgeous. But enough editorializing by me. Let me tell you a bit about Poison's Kiss:
"Marinda’s kiss is deadly. She is a legendary visha kanya – “poison maiden” – able to kill a man with only her lips as a weapon. Since childhood, she’s served the Raja as one of his most lethal assassins.
Until now, the men she was ordered to kiss have been strangers. Enemies of the kingdom.
But when Marinda receives orders to kiss a boy she has feelings for—a boy she knows too well to believe he deserves to die—she begins to question who she’s really working for.
And that thread, once pulled, will unravel more than she can afford to lose."
to find out more about Breeana's work, be sure to check out her website here.
Breeana has provided us with an exclusive playlist to go along with Poison's Kiss. You can find the playlist that goes along with the book here:
Playlist for Poison’s Kiss
Falling Awake by Gary Jules
Desi Thoughts by A.R. Rahman
Blame it on Me by George Ezra
The Chimes at Midnight by Thomas Newman
My My Love by Joshua Radin
The Final Pitch by A.R. Rahman
Like Real People Do by Hozier
Be sure to continue on to the next author in the scavenger hunt and enter to win books by me, Breeana Shields, and eighteen other authors on Gold Team. Leave a comment below and let me know if you've participated before or if this is your first year--and if you're a superhero fan, mention your favorite character in the comments as well!
Don't forget--my favorite number is 7 (seven). You'll need that to enter to win.
And now let me direct you to the next author in the scavenger hunt: Selene Castrovilla, author of Signs of Life, Book 2 in the Rough Romance Trilogy.
Good luck, and go Gold Team!
The ghosts of social media. Today is the birthday of an old friend and mentor. Taught me a lot about film, and about freelancing, and about being a writer and knowing your own worth as a writer. He's been gone a few years now. Last time I saw him alive was Christmas Eve, 2012, when I found him disappearing into himself in a hospital bed, in so much pain we talked for ten minutes before he realized who I was.
Facebook, in that weird way it has about it, streamed messages into my feed from his page, people wishing him a happy birthday, but they don't know he's gone. Robert was, maybe not famous, but he was well-connected and had a lot of professional connections, the sort of hangers-on people who know what they're doing in the film business can have, folks who wouldn't think it strange he hasn't posted anything in five years, for whom the autopilot birthday wishes to near strangers are just a way to stay on someone's radar. This happens every year, honestly, and it breaks my heart a bit each time, the shallowness of it, and the way these banal messages remind me: my friend is still gone. And there are people who think they can call him a friend who don't know he's passed away.
Maybe it's because I've been lucky in this life, and I haven't lost many friends at an age you might call "too soon," but this concept--that we'll all become ghosts in the machine some day, that our digital presence will outlive our physical one, and that there will people who can go a half-decade without realizing we've shuffled off this mortal coil--it troubles me every year. It's happened so many times I've come to expect it. Hines would probably think it was funny, honestly. If we go anywhere after this life, he's laughing at it. And I want to wax philosophical about the immortality this gives us, that we'll live on in this weirdly organic way. But it's one in the morning, and I miss my friend. I wonder what he'd think of the world these days, a giant of a man with the face of a barbarian and the kindest heart you'd ever find. I wonder what battles he'd have fought.
Happy birthday, Hines. You are, and will always be, missed so very much.
Matthew Phillion is the writer of "The Indestructibles," part-time actor, occasional filmmaker. Currently on the lam in Salem with his trusty dog, Watson.