Matthew D. Ryan


Looking for a vampire that actually kills people? So was I. So, I created one: Lucian val Drasmyr. He's not a teen heart throb. He's a killer. My first novel, Drasmyr, features him as the chief antagonist and a formidable force for darkness. Just in case I was unclear: he is pure evil. Unholy. Diabolical. A true scourge from Hell.

I'm Matthew D. Ryan and I'm a fantasy author. My topics of choice include the aforementioned vampires, as well as dragons, wizards, magic … that sort of thing. I get my inspiration from multiple sources, not least of which is my almost complete immersion in the fantasy genre over many, many years. I've read more fantasy novels than I can remember; I've been playing RPG games like D&D as both Dungeonmaster/Gamemaster and player for nearly forty years; and I've watched innumerable movies and television programs steeped in the fantastic and miraculous. All of that gives me a fertile imagination and a rich background of experience to draw upon. Writing about vampires or dragons is almost second nature for me now.

My first novel, Drasmyr, started out as a short story. Then it grew into a stand-alone novel. Then it shifted into the prequel to my dark fantasy series, From the Ashes of Ruin. 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 run a number of web-sites and blogs in my day, as well; and I've also done a couple speaking engagements on both worldbuilding and the writing process.

So, if you like vampires or dragons, or are just into the fantasy genre in general, I'm your guy. Download one of my books now. I heartily recommend Drasmyr.

Oh, by the way, if you go to my site: The Wizard's Inkwell (link below), I've started writing 5th Edition D & D Adventures (Under the SRD License). If you play D & D, you can download an adventure or two and make a go at it. They're great fun!

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


The Citadel (Bk. III: From the Ashes of Ruin)
Series: From the Ashes of Ruin. You set the price! Words: 127,240. Language: English. Published: February 14, 2021. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Dark, Fiction » Fantasy » General
Looking for a fantasy novel you can really sink into? Well-crafted and full of twists and turns? Escape into a world of danger and intrigue, where magic is real and monsters are aplenty. Explore the nature, not only of the good, but of the evil as well, and sometimes even the morally ambiguous—just for kicks. Don't miss out! Buy “The Citadel” now!
Truths of a Liar
You set the price! Words: 17,480. Language: English. Published: June 28, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Dark, Fiction » Religious
"Truths of a Liar", a fantasy novella by Matthew D. Ryan, describes a religion of miracles with a potent enemy. Kenji Qualistar joins the deathdancers, a group within his Faith that kills those outside his religion. Kenji faces the question before every believer, whatever their Faith: Not everyone believes as he does. Should they? If he believes they should, what must he do about it? Download now!
Cats of the Fey
You set the price! Words: 14,630. Language: English. Published: May 20, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories, Fiction » Fantasy » General
3 fantasy short stories THE DEVIL'S CAT—IN GOLAI A tale of a diabolical cat with magic powers. Pedro, a hunter, is hired to help hunt the Devil's Cat. THE DEVIL'S CAT—THE BARGAIN A 2nd tale of the diabolical Devil's Cat. A woman is caught in its diabolical claws. THE WHITE PANTHER The lithlyn Dedicated, the finest hunters ever. Askariel is to join them, if he can kill the White Panther. Buy now!
When Storm Clouds Rise
You set the price! Words: 17,910. Language: English. Published: April 8, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General
An Old Man Tending Flowers. Innocent, Right? It was a beautiful garden, Jak thought. A vibrant array of myriad colors splashing together in a symphony of light. But this glimpse of heaven just might drag him into hell. It’s a story that serves as a firm reminder that beauty is by no means a measure of virtue. Three tales of mystery, magic, and mayhem. A must have. Buy “When Storm Clouds Rise” now
You set the price! Words: 23,910. Language: English. Published: January 1, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General, Fiction » Fairy tales
(4.33 from 6 reviews)
The Heart Crystal was the Key. If only, young Shardshaper Apprentice Akarra could master it. In Prism the people are made of quartz. And that's just the beginning. Explore the very boundaries of imagination. "In a spectacular leap … Ryan creates an entirely new form of life…" Don't miss out. Buy Prism now.
The Sceptre of Morgulan (Bk. II: From the Ashes of Ruin)
Series: From the Ashes of Ruin. You set the price! Words: 119,350. Language: English. Published: November 10, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
(5.00 from 4 reviews)
Morgulan will soon return and bring with him the myriad horrors of Hell. Who can stand against him? Who can stop him from claiming his dreaded sceptre? Don't miss out on this epic fantasy struggle that regularly earns four and five stars on-line. It is a truly masterful blend of sword, sorcery, and horror. Buy The Sceptre of Morgulan now!
The Children of Lubrochius (Bk. I: From the Ashes of Ruin)
Series: From the Ashes of Ruin. You set the price! Words: 166,420. Language: English. Published: March 5, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy, Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
(4.67 from 3 reviews)
Looking for a well-crafted, succulent fantasy read? Drasmyr introduced you to Coragan and his friends as they crossed paths with a powerful vampire. Now, they must deal with a cult of demon worshippers. It's a Sword and Sorcery thrill ride that consistently earns four to five stars. Don't miss out. Buy The Children of Lubrochius Now!
Of Dragons, Love, and Poison
You set the price! Words: 17,160. Language: English. Published: February 17, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories, Fiction » Fantasy » General
(5.00 from 1 review)
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. Buy now!
Drasmyr (Prequel: From the Ashes of Ruin)
Series: From the Ashes of Ruin. You set the price! Words: 131,040. Language: English. Published: February 9, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Dark, Fiction » Fantasy » General
(4.57 from 7 reviews)
Tired of Sexy Vampires? Me, too. I give you Drasmyr, a vampire both ancient and evil. He's about to clash with a guild of wizards and a bounty hunter of legend. Drasmyr is a Sword and Sorcery thrill ride that regularly earns between 4 and 5 stars. Don't miss out. This is the vampire you remember from your gaming days. Buy now!

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 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.