Thursday, 21 November 2013

AOTW #5: Matt Galeone

Welcome to Author of the Week! Every week on my book group, an author member is chosen to be Author of the Week and will be featured here, tweeted on Twitter, shared on Google Plus and Pinterest and generally treated like royalty! Group members are asked to do features and talk about our AOTW to help each one to promote his/her work to the book community. 

This week: Matt Galeone!

Matt Galeone currently resides in Baltimore, Maryland and was raised in Seekonk Massachusetts. He is the author of The Champion of Clarendon Ditch (books 1-3) and is currently working on his next trilogy, The 15th Chair (books 1-3). Matt became a new father on June 19, 2013 with the birth of his son Aaron Christopher. In addition to writing and playing with Aaron, Matt’s other interests include paddle boarding, snowboarding, supporting independent music, photography, reading sci-fi and comic books, traveling to see friends and family, and playing with his cats Oberst and Valentine. He has degrees in English and psychology, a masters in industrial and organizational psychology, and a doctorate in organizational leadership. Matt has noted that his influences include Ender’s Game and its sequels by Orson Scott Card, Y: The Last Man by Brian K Vaughan and Pia Guerra, the music of the independent band Bright Eyes, and the Dark Phoenix Saga by Chris Claremont.

Where can I find Matt? 

Adam Darvin was a normal young man living in a suburb of Clarendon Ditch until the day he ‘hatched.’ Suddenly in a fiery trance-like state, Adam’s incredible powers emerge. The life Adam knew is over in an instant and his entire world will never be the same. Although Adam initially feels isolated by his new powers, he slowly discovers that he’s not alone. Adam meets other would-be heroes Liam Clover and Kerri Ross and develops deep friendships with both. Follow Adam, Liam, and Kerri as they learn more about their powers, discover secrets about their true enemies, and make new allies in what will begin as a fight for knowledge and survival, and soon become an epic struggle to save their world.

The Champion of Clarendon Ditch is a story about heroism, sacrifice, loneliness, leadership, and above all, friendship. It combines the excitement of a super hero comic book adventure with the heart of a character-based and relationship-driven novel. With both incredible battles and quieter moments between its characters, the story is as much about super-powered good fighting to overcome an all-powerful evil, as it is about the relationships, growth, love, and loss of its heroes.

 Adam Darvin and Kerri Ross, two of the unlikely heroes that emerged in the first book in the Champion of Clarendon Ditch series, have finally learned the truth about ACS, the organization attempting to destroy Adam's and Kerri's world. Adam is now desperate to rescue Kerri from the ACS detention center and ACS leader Javier’s clutches. With his friend Liam Clover and the ACS 5th Columnist Tony Jackson, Adam mounts a daring mission to save Kerri and Tony’s allies. Meanwhile, Kerri is hardly content to sit and wait for a rescue. She faces off one-on-one against ACS’s leader and attempts to battle her own way to freedom. Soon Adam and Kerri are reunited behind enemy lines. They find themselves not only fighting together to escape ACS, but also leading an unlikely alliance of altereds, interplanetary champions, and kids from Clarendon Ditch.
Adam, Kerri, and Liam continue to develop their powers and their friendships as they come to terms with their roles in their new world and the war they now must join. The characters grow as they band together to cope with the tragic loss of one of their own, and battle a new threat that emerges from within ACS.
The Alliance, book 2 of the Champion of Clarendon Ditch series, continues the themes of heroism, sacrifice, loneliness, leadership, and friendship with its more serious and slightly darker tone. As the alliance is formed, the scope of the action expands and the intensity of the relationships between the characters deepens. The heroes soon learn that all they have is each other, and together, they might just be all that stands in the way of ACS taking over the world. Will they be enough?

Olive Anderson has conquered ACS and is close to conquering her world. All that stands in her way is a small but brave Alliance of former ACS students, 5th Columnists, and non-altered kids from Clarendon Ditch. Just as the Alliance needs to unite most, they find themselves fractured and weakened. Can Liam Clover recover from the brutal torture he endured while imprisoned by Olive as well as his own self-doubt to emerge as a hero, or will he succumb to his inner demons? Kerri Ross learns that she may not be as in control of herself as she thought. Will Kerri become the weapon that Olive uses to defeat the Alliance, or the hero that leads them to victory? Adam Darvin knows that he is becoming powerful enough to destroy Olive and ACS, but he fears that as he loses control of his abilities, he may become more terrible than the enemies he fights to defeat. Will Adam, Kerri, and Liam save their world, or become the cause of its ultimate demise? Thrilling and heartbreaking, The Champion, Book 3 of the Champion of Clarendon Ditch series, concludes the series’ examination of heroism, sacrifice, loneliness, leadership, and friendship with tremendous adventure and heart. As the heroes’ challenges intensify, they learn that if they are to succeed, it will not be due to incredible superhuman powers, but rather because of extraordinary, but very human, character.

Where can I buy this trilogy? 

1)What are your favourite films?
I’m a boy and was born in the mid 70’s. Should I even say the original Star Wars trilogy, or is that just a given for my demographic? Almost Famous, Pleasantville, Jaws, Rocky (all but part 5), and The Lion King would also be on the top of a pretty long list of my favorite movies.

2)What TV series do you try not to miss?
I love Parks and Rec. Every episode makes me laugh and quite a few make me tear up. I relate to Leslie Knope A LOT. I also love Game of Thrones and find a lot of inspiration in that story.

3)Which book characters would you most love to be, or hang out with for a day?
I think about this question often, actually. There is a character from every book/story I’ve ever loved that could be the answer to this question. I’m going to cheat a little. I’d like to start out playing with young Ender Wiggin (Ender’s Game) and try to give him a happy memory. Next I’d like to train (maybe yoga?) with Peter (The Passage) and Empire Strikes Back Luke Skywalker. After my workout, I’d like to have lunch with the X Men’s Jean Grey (pre White Phoenix) and tell her how much I’ve always loved her. Then I’d go to happy hour with Yorick Brown (Y: The Last Man) and Star Wars Luke Skywalker. Finally I’d end my day over a nice dinner and conversation with Older Ender, post-White Phoenix Jean Grey, and Return of the Jedi Luke.
4)If you could have a superpower what would it be and why?
What do mean if? I’ve always been drawn to characters that have empathy/telepathy and/or pyrokinetic powers. My character Adam Darvin is part science-fictionalized-biography and part if-I-had-powers-wish-fulfillment.

5)What name and costume would you have if you were a superhero?
I’ll ask you again, what do you mean if? I think I’d either just use my real name and wear my real clothes and go all super-hero-in-the-real-world OR do full-on bright spandex and cape and go for a Golden-Age-Of-Comics look. I would not do ‘cool’ or modern-realistic. No Matrix style costumes for me.
If I went for the Golden-Age look and had Adam Darvin’s powers that I mentioned above, I kind of like the simplicity and innocence of the nick-name he eventually earns, Fire-Boy. If you are going to go Golden Age, you might as well go Golden Age all the way, right?
But I’d probably just be me. No costume. No secret identity… Although, it does sort of seem like a waste to have powers and not sport a cape… there are so few other scenarios where a cape is acceptable. Okay, no costume, no secret identity, AND a cape.

6)What real people, dead or alive, would you most like to meet?
I’ve met both Conor Oberst and Chris Hardwick a few times, but just briefly. I’m a huge fan of both and would love to meet them again in a more substantive way. I’d also love to meet Chris Claremont, Stan Lee and Jim Henson.

7)If you were stuck on a desert island for a year, which books would you have with you?
Tough one. Either Ender’s Game or The Dark Phoenix Saga. I love them both and could (and have) read them over and over . I keep finding new things in Ender’s Game, but it breaks my heart every time I read it. The Dark Phoenix Saga does, too, actually… Hmmm, maybe I’ll just bring a collection of Get Fuzzy comics! Otherwise, that’s going to be a sad year!

8)Which paranormal creature would you most want to be and why?
Want to be? Hmmm… That’s a good one. I think I most likely would be a True Blood Fey, an elf, or something like that. I’m a good guy, and not even a cool brooding, dark, anti-hero type of good guy. No werewolf or a vampire in me. Yeah, I’d be Sookie or Legolas.

9)If the zombie apocalypse comes, where would you go and what would you do?
Ha, ha. Oh geez. I actually think about this question probably more often than I should, too! I’m not sure where I’d go. It wouldn’t be far. I love the Western part of Maryland. Maybe I’d make my stand there or I might just stay put in Charm City. Either way, I’d start trying to bring people together, organize survivors, fight back, and rebuild. I’d probably be nothing more than a stain within minutes, but like a lot of sci-fi fans, part of me has always felt like a Jedi Knight without an Empire to defeat. I’d feel compelled to try to save the day.

10)If you won the lottery jackpot and could only spend it on yourself, what would you buy?
How big is this lottery of yours? Well, a house in the mountains and another on the coast would be nice. They’d both be comfortable and cozy, not huge or extravagant. I’d then put the rest in savings so that I could live off of it and dedicate 100% of what I earn to providing for my son Aaron. I might have just cheated again. Hmmm… been cheating a lot in this interview… maybe I could be an anti-hero after all.  

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