Posted by: Thomas Drinkard | June 10, 2011

Dragons, Trolls, Swords and Magic! Interview with M.R. Mathias

Today, I have the honor of posting an interview with M.R. Mathias. Many of you know him from Twitter as @dahgmahn . Let’s get to know him better.

T. Hello, when did you start writing?

M. I started writing in High School, but that wasn’t serious. After a few months in prison, where I ended up in a solitary cell for fighting, I decided to write a novel. I struggled, but I finished it. (I later re-worked that first work into The Butcher’s Boy by my other pen name Michael Robb.) With the confidence I gained by completing that first work, I went on to write several more novels, including the 700k word Wardstone Trilogy.

T. Was there a favorite writing teacher or mentor? Tell us about him/her.

M. I had no outside input while writing my first several novels, that’s why my style is awkward at times. Lately my friend and editor, Derek Prior, has been showing me where I was writing wild and helping me to tame those tendencies.

T. Please tell us about your current works in publication and in progress.

M. I’m best known for my huge Wardstone Novels and the fact that I wrote them, not for publication, but for my sanity.
The Sword and the Dragon (The Wardstone Trilogy Book One) is 700 pages of traditional epic fantasy.
Kings, Queens, Heroes, & Fools (The Wardstone Trilogy Book Two) comes in at just over 600 pages.
The Wizard and the Warlord (The Wardstone Trilogy Book Three) is still in its original long hand form, waiting patiently.
The Saga of the Dragoneers is another fantasy series I started.
The First Dragoneer, a free 43 page ebook novella, is free everywhere ebooks are sold. It has been downloaded over 50k times.
The Royal Dragoneers is 400 pages of dragon riding, troll fighting action, but it doesn’t directly pick up the story strand of The First Dragoneer novella. That story continues in the second Dragoneer Saga novel which brings it all together.
Cold Hearted Son of a Witch, The Dragoneers Saga II This is my current project. It is another +/- 400 page novel that should be available for the coming holiday shopping season.

Short stories:

Crimzon & Clover – a lucky girl happens upon an orphaned dragon, but men come to raid the lair. Magic, battle, and loyalty abound.
Crimzon & Clover Two – The Tricky Wizard Can Crimzon save Clover when she is duped by a tricky old mage?
Oathbreaker is a short story about an eagle riding pixie with an attitude. He and his bird try to save a fairy girl from being ground into fairy dust.
Superhero is the comedy/tragedy tale of Marvin Smithers, who dons a superhero costume emblazoned with a sigil that reads V.D. The media has heyday, but Marvin might just be the real deal.
The King of Fools (and Other Fantasy Tales) is an anthology with four of my short stories, some flash fiction, and a riddle from a wizard named Dahg Mahn. It is the ONLY place to get the fantasy short story The King of Fools, which is my favorite short.

T. What are your writing habits? Are you an outliner or do you write “by the seat of your pants?

M. I wouldn’t say I write by the seat of my pants, but I don’t outline. I try to write half of a chapter every day (about 5-7 pages). I try to write solid chapters that that take you from one point to the next and sometimes leave you with no choice but to start the next one. I like the span of thinking time between the start and finish of each. I pretty much have the main arc of a story in my head as I start to write it. The characters need to work out the details and conversations themselves.

T. What are your ideas about the future of digital publishing and the changes that are accelerating every day?

M. There is no doubt I am a fan of digital publishing. It is here to stay and the way of the future. I will always love my Hardbacks, but I can’t take 100 books, even paperbacks, on vacation, or to the Doctors office lobby. I can take ten times that many on my Kindle.

T. Anything else to share?

M. Yes, Dragon Poems for There is an anthology of poems about dragons called Dragon Poems for Smiletrain.
The profit from this eBook goes to Every year, from Thanksgiving to Christmas, L.M. Stull and I host a contest for poems about dragons. I donate the cost of a cleft operation and some books for the prize. Some poems are 4 liners. Others are fantastic epic works. But all of the entries get into the anthology.

Last year’s anthology is just a buck, and well worth it. And hey, sharpen those rhyming skills. Get your own poem ready for the contest this year. If you follow me @DahgMahn on twitter then you won’t be able to miss it.

T. Thank you, it’s been fun. Remind me and I’ll post notices for the Smiletrain contest.  I’ll enter, too.


  1. I wanted to commend you for supporting Smile Train . Not only is your series great, but you choose to support a great cause as well.

  2. Thanks Brandy. Look for the Dragon poem contest this year too. Around Thanksgiving.

    • When is book 3 of the wardstone trilogy supposed to be released? Im really looking forward to it. I got Kindle for my smart phone and found your first book and i couldnt put it down. same as the second. I cannot wait untill the next one is released.

      • Yes, I too wonder when it will be published. It is in longhand at last I heard. I already am in a mood as have read all 5 of the J. R R. Martin Ice and Fire books and now have to wait for two more. Do I really want to start this series and then never see the end? I do not know 🙂

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