Moved over to Wordpress

Hi. I seldom blog, but when I have writing news I'll be posting it over on Wordpress at https://mattcowens.wordpress.com/

The sort of news I might have is things like Debbie Cowens' first novel being released. It's called Murder and Matchmaking, and it's Pride and Prejudice meets Sherlock Holmes, where Mrs Bennet has become concerned that her daughters are too plain to snare a husband, so she embarks on a killing spree targetting the prettiest young ladies of Hertfordshire. It's out now from Paper Road Press and available on Amazon.com and in NZ book stores :-)

Mansfield with Monsters reviews so far.

Mansfield with Monsters (Steam Press, 2012) has been reviewed a fair few times both online and in print (in some high profile publications!). Here’s a quick roundup of what’s been said and where:
Simon Litten got the ball rolling with a fantastic review of an advance copy of the book for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand:
“…If Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was a one note song then Mansfield with Monsters is a choral piece of depth and vibrancy. This is a book that should adorn the shelf of every lover of fiction: master works by a master of short fiction. Mansfield is that good.”

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Mansfield with Monsters has yet to be reviewed or rated on Amazon – we are very curious to see what ebook readers have to say!

SpecFicNZ Blogging week 2012

This week is SpecFicNZ blogging week - a week where members of SpecFicNZ go on a bit of a blogging spree. This year people were asked to volunteer as interviewers and interviewees, and there have been some interesting interviews so far!

http://www.specficnz.org/?page_id=3367 - an index of all the posts
And I am currently writing some answers to some wonderful questions from Cat Ford. Happy times!

Promotional banners

Having a classroom which is currently decorated with a mix of movie posters, movie banners and student work, I decided to investigate the cost of making a Mansfield with Monsters poster. Actually, to be honest I found myself wanting a customised pen to sign books with at the book launch so I visited vistaprint.co.nz and made a pair of matching Mansfield with Monsters pens for Debbie and I for the princely sum of $12.50. They didn't arrive in time so we used some awesome MAGNATANK pens (2 for $3 in NZ $1,2,3 stores). But whilst at the site I saw that they do cheap vinyl banners.

I've made several - one collage of photos of my son with his name, one for school with the same idea but saying Media Studies, and a Mansfield with Monsters poster, on vinyl and all big. Total cost was something like $50, with free shipping, courtesy of a coupon code vistaprint emailed me. They send a lot of emails (5 a week?) with various deals if you sign up for them.

The banners are nicely printed (at 75dpi) on tear resistant vinyl. I walked on one without doing it any harm. I'd say they'd be very useful for conventions, hanging in classrooms, that kind of thing.

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Radio NZ review of Mansfield with Monsters

Mary McCallum has reviewed our book, and she had some very nice things to say!

"It's a lot of fun, it's very weird... you get the original language and then in and out come these creatures... often, to my mind, the resolution involves the supernatural in rather stunning and wonderful ways... I will never see the little lamp in the same way again... it's rather gorgeous how that builds up... there is enormous fun to be had. I think secondary school students will love this to bits..."

http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2524771/book-review-mansfield-with-monsters

UnSecret Book: Mansfield with Monsters

Steam Press has announced details of their second book (following on from the excellent Prince of Soul and the Lighthouse) and it's a book which Debbie and I had a hand in writing! It is Mansfield with Monsters, a set of adapted Katherine Mansfield stories, based on our interpretations of the early drafts uncovered by literary historian Marcus Walker.

It's coming out in July. Awesome!



“With the publication of this book, we must now reconsider the ways Katherine Mansfield's own monumental modernism is nothing less than a significant breeding ground for the development of the truly weird and the frightfully monstrous.” – Associate Professor Carl H. Sederholm, Brigham Young University 

Doodling for the Drabblecast

I've been drawing artwork for back episodes of the Drabblecast podcast lately. It's fun, I can listen to the BBC iplayer whilst colouring stuff in, and there's a great sense of satisfaction at finishing a project. Here are the first two drawings, with links to the stories they depict. I may do more later in the year...


http://www.drabblecast.org/2008/12/28/drabblecast-95-on-dasher-by-jonathan-c-gillespie/ - a Christmas tale


http://www.drabblecast.org/2007/04/25/drabblecast-10-a-little-black-death/ - a tale of childhood and spiders

Waste Not - Barely Comprehensible

I plan to re-record this story of mine.  Parts of this recording are at close to my normal speaking speed, and thus are very hard to follow.  Other bits are at a more measured pace, but even I find parts of it hard to understand! It's about 3:30. Should probably be 5 minutes.