The name I answer to is Matt Hughes. I write fantasy and suspense fiction. To keep the two genres separate, I now use my full name, Matthew Hughes, for fantasy, and the shorter form for the crime stuff. I also write media tie-ins as Hugh Matthews.
Publishers Weekly has given a positive review to my suspense novel, One More Kill, now shipping from UK publisher PS Publishing in a high-quality hardcover. A paperback edition and an ebook are waiting for a deal with a North American publisher, with whom I hope to get something finalized soon.
PW review highlights: “Intriguing plot twists drive this page-turner from Hughes . . . does a masterly job of making a cold-blooded killer sympathetic.”
George R.R. Martin also kindly gave me a blurb: “Fans of Lawrence Block’s Keller stories are going to love One More Kill. I certainly did. Matt Hughes kept me up all night, turning pages.
One little hitch: PW thinks I’m the same Matt Hughes who used to be a mixed martial arts champion. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad, but I’ve sent them a correction.
In December, John Joseph Adams invited me to send him a story for the 100th issue of Lightspeed in April. I remembered that it was John, then slush reader for The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, who would have been the first person in the world to read a Henghis Hapthorn story. He passed “Mastermindless” on to Gordon Van Gelder, who made it my first sale to F&SF.
So it seems appropriate to bring old Henghis back onto the stage. I’ve just sent John a 10,000-word novelette, “Hapthorn’s Last Case,” which picks up his story a couple of weeks after the end of the third Hapthorn novel Hespira. The long-dreaded change from science to magic now looms in the offing.
I hope John likes it.
As I was finishing the draft, it occurred to me that those 10,000 words could make the opening of a fourth Hapthorn novel. That’s one of the projects Patreon may make possible if I draw enough patrons.
I’ve arbitrarily set a total of $1,000 in monthly pledges as the level at which I could afford to stop writing so many short stories for mags and anthologies and go back to mostly writing novels. But I may lower that bar as time goes by. I’m still feeling my way into this new kind of relationship with my readers.
My suspense novel One More Kill, is now available for pre-order from PS Publishing as a £20 hardcover. There is also a signed, limited (100 copies) edition for £35. An ebook will follow in the next few weeks.
The novel is an extrapolation of a short story by the same title that won me the Arthur Ellis Award (the “Canadian Edgar) from the Crime Writers of Canada several years ago. At the beginning of next month, I will put up the original story as a free read for those on the mailing list for my monthly newsletter. If you’re not on the list and would like to read it, you can sign up from my web page.
I don’t usually blow my own horn, but I think the novel is some pretty spiffy storytelling.
I’ve had an email from editor-extraordinaire Gardner Dozois, inviting me to submit a novelette to another one of his signature anthologies, this one to be called The Book of Legends, due out next year. I look forward to writing something in the next couple of months.
This will be the seventh Dozois antho I’ve been asked into. It puts me in with the cream of the science fiction and fantasy writing community. Makes me feel as if I’m getting somewhere. I appreciate the encouragement.
Meanwhile, last year’s The Book of Swords seems to be selling well, and my story “The Sword of Destiny,” which introduced Baldemar the wizard’s henchman, is getting good reviews — and earning me new readers. In a few months, The Book of Magic, which includes my story “The Friends of Masquelayne the Incomparable,” will be published.