Check out the Olympia Heights Comic. Purchase it here for Kindle.

Archives: kyle strickland

Build a Better Book Trailer

Build a Better Book Trailer

At UtopYA 2014, Carly Strickland and I attended a panel on book trailers. We got to hear a lot of interesting ideas for promoting with book trailers and how to make a proto-trailer on a budget. We heard about some elaborately produced book trailers with budgets well over a thousand dollars. Most importantly, it started a conversation for us about book trailers at Matter Deep Publishing and what we’d like to see from them.

I love movie trailers. I don’t want to fast-forward the Redbox DVD to get to the menu because I like to get a little taste of what I might watch next. My husband is different. If he knows he wants to see a movie, he doesn’t even want to see a trailer. But even I can’t stand watching a bad movie trailer. Inspired by our discussion at UtopYA, I started considering what made a good trailer and what made a bad trailer.


  • Slow-paced
  • Full of spoilers
  • Quick to move past the inciting incident to show every plot arch
  • Inappropriate for tone of the movie/book
  • Filled with too many talking heads

Too many trailers fall into the trap of showing too much. Like with a good book blurb, I only need to hear the premise to know if I want to read the book. Tell me much more and I’m either overwhelmed, bored, or annoyed that you gave away half the novel.


Kickstart This: The Indie Guide to Indie Publishing

Kickstart This: The Indie Guide to Indie Publishing


Starting today, The Indie Guide to Indie Publishing is seeking backers on KickstarterThe Indie Guide to Indie Publishing is a tool, a step-by-step guide to publishing your independent book. Each article is written by an experienced authority from the independent world, and the book includes an index and glossary to help aspiring authors and publishers along the way.

This book will have:

  • Nine (9) writers with experience publishing and promoting independent work.
  • An alphabetical glossary of terms you need to know for publishing success.
  • An index for quick reference and trouble-shooting.
  • A list of useful resources and references for further research.

A couple of the writers are people I have interviewed on this blog before (See Blake Northcott Arena Mode and JL Bryan Latest Work) and a couple more I met at Phoenix Festival (Teal Haviland and Bobby Nash.) All of the writers involved in this book have experience, credentials, and bragging rights that make them indie publishing experts.

If you’re interested in obtaining a copy of this book or simply giving us a dollar to help our dreams come true, head on over to the Kickstarter page. We have rewards at various levels, including copies of the book, t-shirts, Google Hangouts, cover designs, and more. For $60, we’ll all tweet your link to over 30,000 combined followers! Take a look and PLEASE spread the word to every writer you know.


Help! What Books Should I Put on my New Kindle?

Help! What Books Should I Put on my New Kindle?

Christmas is just a few days away, or perhaps you are reading this after a post-holiday Google search. In 2011 millions of Americans received an eReader for Christmas, and I have no doubt that 2012 will be the same. If you are one of those lucky, new eReader owners, here is some advice from a Kindle owner since 2009.




What is Bad Vampire Fiction? How does it hurt everyone around it? Learn more about this serious issue.

Download our Vampire Safety information pamphlet and arm yourself against the dangerous misinformation of Bad Vampire Fiction.

Visit to learn more about Vampire Safety and always #saynotosparkles.

(Also buy my husband’s book).

The Interminable Cockroach Man

The Interminable Cockroach Man

When we were kids, my brother and I had big dreams of being cartoonists, video game designers, mystery writers, etc. In 5th grade we each had an AMAZING teacher who encouraged that creativity. She was Ms. Richards when Sam had her. The next year, when I had her, she was married and had another name. She did a project every year to let her students write, illustrate, and bind their own book. Mine was something forgettable and stupid and I only remember a character having a boom box (but I think his name was Zach, coincidentally). My brother’s was a superhero named Cockroach Man with the power to not die, among other things.

Cockroach Man was rehashed over and over again during our adolescence. We were two years apart in age and one year apart in school. Sam and I were, and still are, close. In high school, after seeing Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man (the one I’d like to forget in favor of Marc Webb’s), we decided to write a movie script.

It was so bad.

Last year my brother decided to launch Cockroach Man as a web comic. Of course, he knew that he was not a writer, so he asked for help. My husband started writing it for him, but time and his other web comic got in the way. A few months ago, I joined the team. Now I write, Kyle consults and edits (“He should say this instead. That’s better.”) and Sam does the art. Sam has since started doing cell-shaded 3D environments (he’s a 3D modeler by trade) mixed with hand-drawn characters.

The Interminable Cockroach Man is about a superhero from the golden age who was frozen. In the freezing process, his brain was addled. Cockroach Man is not quite there, but he’s powerful. The government has place an agent, Rick Rogers, with Cockroach Man as his sidekick. It’s a parody of comics, but also has a really cool plot. The art is constantly improving and the story is really taking off.

Check out to read the comic! The comic updates every Sunday at midnight, EST.

Pocket Full of Sunshine

Pocket Full of Sunshine

My sister-in-law and husband put out a childrens’ book, Sunshine’s Night Out, at the end of October. It has received some GREAT reviews and sold a bunch of copies. A few weeks back I let y’all in on an opportunity to win the book with a plushie. Now we have a new prize, a super-sweet T-shirt.

Carly, the illustrator, also created the covers for the Olympia Heights series and my newest promotional poster (below). She designed the Pocket Full of Sunshine shirt that we’re giving away now. Check out the latest review and enter through the Rafflecopter form on that entry to win the shirt. Still looking for a holiday gift for the child or teacher in your family? Sunshine’s Night Out is on sale at for $9.35 and qualifies for super saver shipping. Support Indie Artists!

Holiday Deals

Holiday Deals

My publishing company, Matter Deep Publishing, is offering some holiday deals until December 10th. Included is a FREE digital book, a short story by my husband, Kyle Strickland. It was a 2007 story that was published in An Alabama Christmas and is now a FREE Kindle, Nook, or PDF book. There’s no need to Like or Subscribe to anything! Just go download it!

Also, relevant to me, is an announcement of another sale. Get Olympia Heights on sale until December 10th for 99¢. It goes back to $2.99 after that, so hurry up. A coupon code for Kindle makes a GREAT stocking stuffer!

A Holiday Gift from Matter Deep

Download Your Free Digital Copy of Smile and Greet the Customer

The Short Story

Smile and Greet the Customer is a short story by Kyle Strickland, author of Jeremey’s Mother is a Vampire, Love & Blood, Sunshine’s Night Out and the upcoming Say No to SparklesSmile and Greet the Customer is a holiday short about finding the holiday spirit amidst the chaos and capitalism of the Christmas season. It was first published in the 2007 Sweetwater Press book An Alabama Christmas alongside stories from Truman Capote, Helen Keller, Sonny Brewer, and others.

Digital Conversion: As a holiday gift to its readers, Matter Deep Publishing has convertedSmile and Greet the Customer to formats for the Nook and Kindle eReaders as well as PDF eBook. You can download the short story for free by visiting our site and selecting your prefered format. Download it now!

December Sunshine

Holiday Coupon Code: Matter Deep Publishing had some glowing November reviews of Sunshine’s Night Out.  We would especially like to thank Ashley at The Reynold’s Mom for hosting our giveaway. Three prize-packs including autographed books, hand-made plushies, and original tote bags have been rewarded to Amanda A., Janet W., and Renee R. Those items will be going out in the post this week.

Didn’t win one? You can use our Newsletter exclusive coupon-code, QFH6TAWDto get 10% off of Sunshine’s Night Out at the Create Space store. Hurry. This offer ends December 10th.


Snuggly Soft

Sunshine’s Night Out Plushies: Didn’t win the contest? Still want one of those adorable, cuddly plushies? Don’t worry, they are available! Carly Strickland, illustrator of Sunshine’s Night Out, is selling them on Etsy.

Sunshine plushies are bean and bead free and made of super soft fabrics. They are kid-safe and super-snuggly. Each one is hand made with love by the illustrator ofSunshine’s Night Out.

As a gift to our subscribers and followers, we’re offering a holiday discount. The combination of plushie and book makes a great Christmas gift for the little reader in your life. You can snag one for 10% off by using the coupon code CHRISTMAS11. This offer is only good until December 10th, so hurry to get yours in time for Christmas.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!


One last gift…

The Return of the Olympia Heights, 99¢ eBook Sale

Less than a dollar for the Kindle and Nook: In anticipation of the release of Book 2, Olympia Heights: The Weight of the World, Book 1, Olympia Heights: The Pantheon, will be on sale for the entire month of December. From now until New Year you can get Olympia Heights: The Pantheon, for Kindle or Nook for only 99¢.

Have a friend who owns a Kindle? You can purchase gift codes for Kindle books and hand them out as stocking stuffers or holiday gifts.

I Am Thankful For… (2011 Edition)

I Am Thankful For… (2011 Edition)

Thanksgiving is here. Last year I posted a list of things I am thankful for as a New Year’s Eve recap on my Facebook notes. This year I decided I had best do it on my blog for Thanksgiving. Here is a non-exhaustive list of the things I am thankful for this year.


  • JL Bryan, Bookish Brunette, and Blake Northcott for sharing links to my blog and book with your audience to bring in more readers!
  • Terry and Dan Strickland, for believing in us enough to start a company to share our art with the world.
  • My parents, for being proud enough to tell everyone who breathes that I’ve published a book.
  • My husband, Kyle, for being my editor, my masseuse, and my anchor.
  • Morningstar Child Care, for working around my Grad School schedule to keep me on. I feel appreciated.
  • The Tragic City Rollers/Allstars. They’ve been welcoming and supportive. I can’t wait to officially join the roster this January. Special thanks to Voodoo Lily, Incredible Hoag, Punkin’ Disorderly, and Lil Bit Wicked for always checking in with the newbies to offer advice and encouragement.
I’ll be back this weekend with a new content post– 6 Character Flaws That Don’t Count
Sunshine’s Night Out Giveaway

Sunshine’s Night Out Giveaway

I love to support Indie writers and I LOVE my husband and my sister-in-law even more. Kyle Strickland (the beau) wrote the story for Sunshine’s Night Out, an adorable children’s book about a real hamster that I helped pick out to purchase. Carly Strickland, who also helped design the Olympia Heights: The Pantheon cover and took over design responsibilities for the cover of Olympia Heights: The Weight of the World, illustrated this book.

You can watch a YouTube video I made for the book (below) and enter to win a copy of Sunshine’s Night Out with a custom tote and hand-made plushie. We have three (3) of these prize packs to give away. Enter through Sunshine’s microsite.