Matthew D. Ryan

Biography

Matthew D. Ryan is a published author living in upstate New York on the shores of Lake Champlain. He has a background in philosophy, mathematics, and computer science. He believes he saw the legendary Lake Champlain Monster (a.k.a Champy) once during a nighttime adventure with his brother canoeing to Valcour Island. His work has been featured on-line at Aphelion.com and YesteryearFiction.com. He has been deeply involved in the fantasy genre for most of his life as a reader, writer, and game designer. He is the operator of the web site matthewdryan.com which features his blog, “A Toast to Dragons,” a blog dedicated to fantasy literature, and, to a lesser extent, sci-fi. Mr. Ryan says he receives his inspiration from his many years as an avid role-player and fantasy book reader. He has spent many long hours devising adventures and story-lines as well as gaming systems for role-playing games. He has played a motley assortment of characters in RPG worlds, and digested the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien, Robert Jordan, and others. As a result, he is quite comfortable in the fantasy genre and feels it was a natural shift for him to move into fantasy writing.

Mr. Ryan is the author of the exciting dark fantasy novels "Drasmyr," "The Children of Lubrochius," and "The Sceptre of Morgulan," as well as a growing number of short stories. His first novel, "Drasmyr," won the book of the month award on Long and Short Reviews: Young Adult for the month of September 2012. The story features a traditional Dracula type vampire in a Middle-Earth type setting. It is a dark fantasy geared toward teens and adults that has consistently earned reviews in the four and five star range. Drasmyr serves as the prequel to the series "From the Ashes of Ruin." In addition to this series, Mr. Ryan has published several short stories on-line, including: “Haladryn and the Minotaur”(published at the now defunct Pegasus On-line), “The River’s Eye”(published at YesteryearFiction.com) , “Escape”(published at Aphelion.com), and the three-story collection "Of Dragons, Love, and Poison." He has also spoken on the topic of “World-Building” utilizing his considerable experience as an author and game-designer. When not engrossed in his fantasy worlds, Mr. Ryan can be found volunteering at the local food shelf or playing with his cat, Confucius, who is as wise and wily as his name suggests.

Smashwords Interview

What is your e-reading device of choice?
I generally use an iPad for most of the e-reading I do. When I first started I used my Android phone. Nowadays I use a different newer phone but mostly just for email and twitter. For ebooks, like those found here at Smashwords, I still use the iPad. That just seems to be the most appropriate size and the most book-like in user experience. When I've read ebooks on phones, things seem cramped and hurried. And an actual computer screen has the opposite effect which is just as uncomfortable.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I usually go looking for them. I don't do a lot of random searching; I lack the time. And if the truth be told, I still prefer pbooks. So most of my leisure reading is of real, physical books. I think there is a real qualitative difference between reading ebooks and pbooks. Ebooks are a new medium that comes in different forms. The technology is changing things and it may take some time for us to figure out exactly how.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Matthew D. Ryan online


Where to buy in print


Books

The Sceptre of Morgulan (Bk. II: From the Ashes of Ruin)
Series: From the Ashes of Ruin. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 119,330. Language: English. Published: November 10, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
(5.00)
Coragan of Esperia has another job to do. Can he and his companions capture the Sceptre of Morgulan and prevent an apocalypse? Or will Korina outmaneuver them again and escape with the prize? So much hinges on the efforts of so few—if they fail in their quest, if the evil witch Korina the Black succeeds, she may gain an unrivaled power; a power she will not hesitate to use.
Delusions of Grandeur
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 39,740. Language: English. Published: April 14, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Psychology » Psychological disorders
Who is the antichrist? Unfortunately, I have been afflicted with schizoaffective disorder and am convinced that I am he. The delusional belief system I’ve developed in support of this belief is complicated and extensive. If you are interested in psychology, religion, or prophecy, you will like this book. Also, others suffering from mental illness may find comfort from another’s story.
The Children of Lubrochius (Bk. I: From the Ashes of Ruin)
Series: From the Ashes of Ruin. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 171,980. Language: English. Published: March 5, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy, Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
(5.00)
The vampire, Lucian val Drasmyr, has been defeated, but not destroyed: Now he serves another evil: Korina Bolaris, a young and gifted sorceress bent on subverting the power structure of Drisdak. Only Coragan of Esperia can hope to stop them. But is even he prepared to face the dark cult who claims her as their own: the Children of Lubrochius?
Of Dragons, Love, and Poison
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 17,120. Language: English. Published: February 17, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories, Fiction » Fantasy » General
(5.00)
A collection of three short stories (1st included free in sample) from Matthew D. Ryan. Of Dragons, Love, and Poison: The king’s family has vanished and the warrior Thrigon is tasked with finding them. The Red Archer: An exciting tale that pits the world’s greatest archer against a master thief. Fate Unchained: A young prince must confront his younger brother for the fate of a kingdom.
Drasmyr (Prequel: From the Ashes of Ruin)
Series: From the Ashes of Ruin. Price: Free! Words: 130,980. Language: English. Published: February 9, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Dark, Fiction » Fantasy » General
(4.67)
In a world of wizards and vampires a clever man may make a fortune. But hunting the undead is no small task, as Coragan the bounty hunter will soon find out. He will need all his wits and the help of his comrades. Together, they must pit themselves against a creature so old time itself bends knee, an ancient vampire by the name of Lucian val Drasmyr.

Matthew D. Ryan's tag cloud

adventure    ancient    antichrist    archer    bipolar    christian    cult    delusion    demon    dragon    drasmyr    evil    forces of darkness    lubrochius    magic    mental illness    morgulan    prophecy    psychology    quest    religion    rogue    satan    sceptre    schizoaffective    sorcerer    sword    thief    vampire    warrior    witch    wizard    wizards   

Smashwords book reviews by Matthew D. Ryan

  • Smashwords Book Marketing Guide on June 25, 2012

    This is an excellent book. It should be given five stars, if for no other reason than all Smashwords authors should read it. Regardless, it is well written and concise, and gives much needed advice to the newbie author.
  • Smashwords Style Guide on June 25, 2012

    This is an excellent book. It gives you step-by-step instruction to uploading your work onto Smashwords. I never would have been able to figure it out without it. My only complaint is that, since the industry changes so rapidly, the information can become outdated. For example, I have Microsoft 2010 and the book references 2007--so there were discrepancies, but they were small, and I figured them out.
  • The Unsuspecting Mage: The Morcyth Saga Book One on March 31, 2013

    “The Unsuspecting Mage” is book one of the seven book series, The Morcyth Saga, by Brian S. Pratt. It tells the story of James, a high school student from our very own Earth who, when he answers an unusual ad in the paper, finds himself thrust into a strange and dangerous unknown world with little to help him except a short book on magic (which he quickly loses—of course). The story is pretty straightforward. James needs to return home, but he has no idea how to get there. He’s given some clues on what he’s wanted for in this world by a strange little impish creature that keeps showing up to “help” him. Other than that, he’s on his own. Eventually, he finds himself on a quest for information regarding the good god Morcyth whose religion was wiped out several centuries ago. This leads him from city to city across the land with a young boy named Miko to accompany him. He makes a few enemies (and a few friends) along the way. The book reaches its climax in a besieged city called the City of the Light. I won’t spoil the ending. Overall, I found this book to be … unexceptional. That is what describes it best. It wasn’t awful by any stretch of the imagination; I was able to read it without too much difficulty over the course of a week or so. However, the writing wasn’t good enough to persuade me to get the next book in the series. Strengths: there are a couple: most notably the positive moral character of the main character James. He comes across as a decent enough guy who makes morally decent decisions. That can be a plus or a minus depending upon the reader. Sometimes, he seemed almost too much of a goodie-two-shoes (or is it goodie-too-shoes?), in an unrealistic way—he always had sage advice and a willingness to go out of his way to help people to whom he owed nothing. Weaknesses: there were a few. Most notable, the work (at least the version I got) was riddled with typos. And some of them were quite serious—entire missing words and whatnot. It got kind of annoying after a while. Also, and this may even be more significant, there was very little tension. Most of the people he encounters in his travels are normal everyday-types who aren’t out to hurt anybody, or deceive anybody; there are one or two exceptions, but they are mostly on the periphery. It doesn’t make for an exciting story. There was a lot of useless dialogue consisting of “Hi. How are you?” “Oh, I’m fine. And you?” and similar type stuff. On a side note, the book is written in present tense. That can work, sometimes, if it’s done correctly. In this case, I think it averages out to be a neutral, adding nothing special to the work, nor taking too much away. Overall, I’ll give this work two and half, or maybe three stars, out of five, if I’m feeling generous.
  • The Unsuspecting Mage: The Morcyth Saga Book One on March 31, 2013

    “The Unsuspecting Mage” is book one of the seven book series, The Morcyth Saga, by Brian S. Pratt. It tells the story of James, a high school student from our very own Earth who, when he answers an unusual ad in the paper, finds himself thrust into a strange and dangerous unknown world with little to help him except a short book on magic (which he quickly loses—of course). The story is pretty straightforward. James needs to return home, but he has no idea how to get there. He’s given some clues on what he’s wanted for in this world by a strange little impish creature that keeps showing up to “help” him. Other than that, he’s on his own. Eventually, he finds himself on a quest for information regarding the good god Morcyth whose religion was wiped out several centuries ago. This leads him from city to city across the land with a young boy named Miko to accompany him. He makes a few enemies (and a few friends) along the way. The book reaches its climax in a besieged city called the City of the Light. I won’t spoil the ending. Overall, I found this book to be … unexceptional. That is what describes it best. It wasn’t awful by any stretch of the imagination; I was able to read it without too much difficulty over the course of a week or so. However, the writing wasn’t good enough to persuade me to get the next book in the series. Strengths: there are a couple: most notably the positive moral character of the main character James. He comes across as a decent enough guy who makes morally decent decisions. That can be a plus or a minus depending upon the reader. Sometimes, he seemed almost too much of a goodie-two-shoes (or is it goodie-too-shoes?), in an unrealistic way—he always had sage advice and a willingness to go out of his way to help people to whom he owed nothing. Weaknesses: there were a few. Most notable, the work (at least the version I got) was riddled with typos. And some of them were quite serious—entire missing words and whatnot. It got kind of annoying after a while. Also, and this may even be more significant, there was very little tension. Most of the people he encounters in his travels are normal everyday-types who aren’t out to hurt anybody, or deceive anybody; there are one or two exceptions, but they are mostly on the periphery. It doesn’t make for an exciting story. There was a lot of useless dialogue consisting of “Hi. How are you?” “Oh, I’m fine. And you?” and similar type stuff. On a side note, the book is written in present tense. That can work, sometimes, if it’s done correctly. In this case, I think it averages out to be a neutral, adding nothing special to the work, nor taking too much away. Overall, I’ll give this work two and half, or maybe three stars, out of five, if I’m feeling generous.
  • The Eighth Power: Book I: The Book of the Living on April 03, 2013

    “The Eighth Power: Book I: The Book of the Living” by Paul Lytle is a reasonably short fantasy novel telling the story of a farmer named Barrin Iylin and his newborn son, Ayrim. This being the first book in the series, much of the story is focused on Barrin, but it is clear the series itself will be focused on Ayrim. This book seems almost like a prequel, providing the set up for what will surely follow. The story is pretty basic. It’s a fantasy world populated by men and a nefarious race of creatures called ern. An integral part of the world are the Prophets (Mages or Wizards, depending on what you want to call them), each of whom is a master of a single elemental form of magic. There are six gods, one for each elemental form of magic, and, something which I found quite creative, a being/non-being called the Absence. The Absence is basically what emerged from nothingness in the absence of the other gods (He explains it better—I just thought it was kind of cool). Anyway, the story begins with the deaths of two Prophets (spoiler alert). Because they died, there power goes out into the world to enter two newborns. This sets off a race between the forces of good and the forces of darkness to find these newborns. Ayrim Iylin is born on the correct day, but according to the Prophet that finds him, is not one of the newborn Prophets. However, the forces of darkness are not taking any chances and are bent on killing ALL babies born on that day. So, Barrin is thrust into a situation where he must see to the safety of his newborn son, or die trying. Strengths: For one, this book came with a map which is always a plus. It’s always fun to follow a story along a map as it progresses. Also, there were a number of interesting ideas in the book; as I mentioned above, I was particularly intrigued by the Absence. Weaknesses: well, I take the most issue with the writing. I will say that Paul Lytle has potential, but his skills aren’t quite there yet. His thoughts had a tendency to ramble on in a few places, and he also had a tendency to use archaic constructions (that can work, sometimes, but he over did it and the book became a chore to read). By archaic, I mean taking a sentence like “He was tall,” and changing it to “Tall, he was,” and doing that throughout the book. I think Tolkien did that sometimes, but it worked for Tolkien. Here it just bogged down the story. Overall, I’ll give this book two stars out of five.