The First Death of August is the debut novella from Matt King. This is the first of many short stories that are connected to the Circle War series, which Matt is currently writing.
I can’t quite remember how Matt came on my radar but I think we must have exchanged a couple of tweets for one reason or another and it wasn’t long before I started following him. On Twitter he’s funny and engaging and when he posted that his book was available on the Kindle, I just had to buy it. The thing that first struck me about ‘The First Death of August’ is how instantly likeable and mysterious August is, you don’t learn or find out much about his origin, which adds to the intrigue.
Before long it’s easy to see that August is a no nonsense guy, on a mission to track down the even more mysterious Gemini and stop their evil ways. There’s plenty of action involved in this first instalment as well as plenty of humour, and sass. It may seem odd to say this but girls are going to fall in love with August and guys are going to want to be him. The way he deals with the situations he finds himself in is effortlessly cool and he takes everything in his stride. Well written, perfectly balanced and ending with a cliff hanger, this will leave you wanting more.
Matt was kind enough to share some more information about the novel, the series as a whole and even tell us what’s he enjoying right now in the literary world with More Books Than Shoes. Here’s what he had to say.
August was a really intriguing character, but there wasn’t much mentioned about his origin, can you tell us more about that? I’m not a huge fan of superhero origin stories simply because the origins aren’t nearly as interesting to me as the characters and their actions as a hero. That being said, I included August’s origin in the first chapter of GODSEND. It’s short and sweet and totally doesn’t involve a lab disaster. You can check it out on my site: www.kingwrites.com
There was a lot of mystery surrounding the storyline and the character of Gemini, can you tell us what we can expect from that character? Gemini starts out as more of an urban legend. He’s a destructive force that’s never been seen. When you finally meet Gemini, you start to realize what drives him and maybe feel a little bit sorry for him. Not too sorry, though. He’s still a maniac.
One of the most interesting traits of August is that he can’t seem to be killed, what inspired this trait? August is so excited to be a hero, he flaunts his healing ability as though it’s something special. Among the other champions, healing is kind of a basic requirement. What August finds out later is that he’s easily the weakest of the people chosen to fight in the Circle War and that having the power to heal doesn’t mean much when your opponent can rip your head off.
In this first book August managed to get tied up with a snake and scared the town bully, can we expect more of the same thing? Oddly enough, there are more snakes in GODSEND. Not sure what that says about me. Maybe I just like limbless villains. He spends most of the book tracking down others like himself, though, which is a group pretty far above town bullies in terms of abilities.
There seemed to be a lack of female characters in the story, are there going to be any popping up? Definitely. Two of the central gods in the book are women, including the series villain. One of my favorite characters, Aeris, shows up as a co-main character of the second and third book.
Which novelists and books inspire you the most? My books are like a combination of traditional novels and comic books, so the people who influence me come from both fields too. I love Gail Simone, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Michael Crichton, Stephen King, and Victoria Schwab, to name a few. As for books, some of my favorites are The Stand, To Kill A Mockingbird, Preacher, Bone, and The Lost World.
Can you tell us what the hardest process is for you when it comes to writing? What have been your bigger challenges? My biggest problem is that I’m a fairly slow writer. It takes a while for me to finish a novel. That’s mostly because I spend too much time editing as I go along, so in recent years I’ve tried to do less of that and concentrate on getting stuff completed, regardless of whether it’s the perfect sentence or not. That’s what revisions are for.
Is there any advice you could offer to people wanting to write their first book? Finish it. That’s the hardest part. The next hardest part is realizing that your first work may not sell. So many people quit the process early on because they get discouraged. Don’t let that happen. If your book doesn’t sell, keep writing. The only way you make it is to keep writing.
What’s the best book you have read this year? I’ve actually hit a bad patch as far as my reading goes. Too many DNFs lately. I’m really loving what I’ve read of A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC by V.E. Schwab, so I’ll go with that as my favorite so far.
Any final comments you’d like to share with the readers of the blog? Both THE FIRST DEATH OF AUGUST and THE TRIA are short stories connected to the Circle War series of superhero novels I’m writing. I hope to write at least one more before the first book comes out. The next one may center on the gods of the series. Or maybe it’ll have August fighting orangutans. Haven’t decided yet.
Well it’s certainly got me intrigued. You can check it out for yourself, the book is available on the Kindle from Amazon.co.uk for just 99p.
Happy Reading fellow book nerds!