SPFBO Entry Interview: Matthew Olney “The First Fear”

This is going to get busy. I’ve received more and more interviews in from the entries, currently up to 28. That’s quite a lot of blog content! I plan to release at least two interviews per week as health and time permits, but it’s great to be back into this, I have to say. As much as I love writing about games, this is the reason I made my blog in the first place; supporting and pimping out my fellow authors. I will also link in all SPFBO’s interviews as each one goes in, so you wonderful people can read each one.

SPFBO Entry Interview: Scott Kaelen “The Blighted City”

SPFBO Entry Interview: Kayleigh Nichol “Sorcerous Rivalry”

I will relate again this is available for every single SPFBO entry for 2018. I want to hear from you all! So come contact me and we’ll get this sorted. I’ll still keep my blog open for any author who wants an interview throughout. Today I bring you Matt Olney, author of the Sundered Crown saga as the latest arrival at the Thousand Scars tavern. And no, he is not a victim…*innocent whistling* You can have a look at the link down below. I must say I am fond of the cover! His entry is the first book in his newer series: The Empowered Ones, The First Fear.




First of all, tell me about yourself! What do you write?  


Hi! I’m Matt, a content creator by day and fantasy author by night. So far, I’ve written the first three books in my Sundered Crown Saga the first of which was an entrant in last years SPBFO competition. I’m currently working on book 4 in that series and book 2 in my newly launched Empowered Ones series. Book 1 in that series is in this years SPFBO.


How do you develop your plots and characters?


I base my characters on people I’ve met in real life especially their characteristics. Plot wise you could say I’m a pantser type of writer, I go with wherever my mind takes me. Sometimes it leads to some bizarre places, other times it works out better than I could have hoped for.


Tell us about your current project.


I’ve just recently launched The First Fear and am now planning out book 2 in the Empowered Ones series. As well as that I’m working away on book 4 of the Sundered Crown Saga which is turning out to be my most ambitious story yet in terms of locations and scale.


Who would you say is the main character of your novels? And tell me a little bit about them!  


The main character of The First Fear is Elian. He’s a young man who discovers that he possesses powers that he never really wanted. He’s a fairly quiet type of person who initially is terrified of his abilities and what they mean but he’s also incredibly loyal to his friends and will do anything he can to help them even if that means putting himself in danger.


What advice would you give new writers on how to delve into creative fiction?


Experiment and write as much as you can. Do what you feel is right for your story.


What real-life inspirations did you draw from for the worldbuilding within your book?


Well, The First Fear has been compared to the Mistborn books and I have to say that they were an inspiration. Aside from that I’m a huge fan of history and current events and tried to incorporate some of that into the world.


What inspires you to write?


I’ve always loved writing and the feeling of completing a project cannot be beaten.


What was the hardest part of writing this book?


I wrote this book during a particularly difficult period in my life. I had just been made redundant from my job and was in that horrible void between work. I was constantly stressed and fearful for my future but writing The First Fear allowed me to escape my troubles for a bit and release some of my own concerns. It’s the first time I understood that writing can be therapeutic.


What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?


I love writing battle scenes and the one at the end of the book was no exception. This time I mixed things up by incorporating powers, guns and huge war machines. The scene where Elian and Vavius take on the massive Guardian machines was epic and thrilling to write.


Did you learn anything from writing this book and what was it?


I learnt a lot from this book such as how to keep the story flowing without needless exposition, something I know I did in my previous books. Making contact with my fantastic cover artist Reza was also a highlight.


It’s sometimes difficult to get into understanding the characters we write. How do you go about it?


My main characters tend to be an extension of myself so I find those fairly easy to do. The side characters can be tough due to their personalities often taking on lives of their own. You have to be strict with them to keep them inline and keep the story going.


What are your future project(s)?


Aside from continuing the Sundered Crown Saga and Empowered Ones series I have plans for a historical fiction novel and of course more fantasy.


If you couldn’t be an author, what ideal job would you like to do?


I work as a content creator and I love my job as it allows me to write and be creative. If I couldn’t write I don’t know what I would do!


What is your preferred method to have readers get in touch with or follow you (i.e., website, personal blog, Facebook page, here on Goodreads, etc.) and link(s)?


You can follow me on Facebook at  – https://www.facebook.com/Unconqueredseries/


My website at – https://msolneyauthor.com/


Twitter – @MSOLNEY


Many thanks for the thoughts, Matthew, and good luck with the contest. It’s going to be a great ride.

7 thoughts on “SPFBO Entry Interview: Matthew Olney “The First Fear”

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