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Hi, my name is Matthew D. Ryan. I am a fantasy writer. I own a cat and a dog. The cat's name is Confucius. The dog's name is Cicero. Can you tell I was a philosophy major in college? I loved philosophy back then; still do, although it does have some drawbacks. Regardless, it has heavily influenced much of my writing in numerous ways. I've also seen Champy once. Yes, Champy, the legendary Lake Champlain Monster. It was years ago. My brother, Pat, and I were canoeing over to Valcour Island one evening (yes, it was dark out so all you skeptics can throw that in our face). I saw a ridge moving in the water, but I didn't say anything. Then, my brother said, "I think I'm losing it, because I think I just saw Champy." I said, "Where? Right there?" and pointed to the spot I'd seen the ridge. We both freaked out a little, and started canoeing a little harder. We got to Valcour Island, okay and, to this day, no one ever believes us. Oh, well. We know what we saw.
Anyway, back to fantasy. As I said, I'm a fantasy author. My topics of choice include vampires, dragons, wizards … that sort of thing. Oh, and I don't write about teen heart throb vampires, in case you were worried--that's just not my style. I much prefer vampires that hearken back to the days of Dracula; the really nasty guys. Unholy. Diabolical. Purely evil, through and through. I get my inspiration from multiple sources, but mostly from my almost complete immersion in the fantasy genre. I've read more fantasy novels than I can remember; I've been playing RPG games like D&D as both Gamemaster and player for nearly forty years; and I've watched innumerable movies and television programs steeped in the fantastic and miraculous. It doesn't mean I can deal with reality particularly well (although I still steadfastly believe we saw Champy), but it does give me a fertile imagination and a rich background of ideas to draw from.
My first book, Drasmyr, started out as a short story, grew into a stand-alone novel, then shifted into the prequel to my dark fantasy series, From the Ashes of Ruin. The novel features one of my favorite characters of all time: Lucian val Drasmyr, a one-thousand-year-old vampires who's filled with bloodlust and out for revenge. In addition to Ashes, I've also written several small collections of short stories, a couple novellas, and even a non-fiction book about my struggles with mental illness (I've been diagnosed schizoaffective because I am convinced I am the antichrist…it's a long story. I wrote a book about it called Delusions of Grandeur, so just click the link to find it. And yes, I still affirm that I really did see Champy!). I've run a number of web-sites and blogs in my day, and I've also done a couple talks, here and there, on world-building and the like. So, when it comes to the fantasy genre, I'm your guy.