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Highlights of June

June is one of my favorite months, especially up in New England. The weather is mostly lovely, the flowers are out, my birthday happens, there's this awesome convention called Liberty Con...

It's just a lot of good stuff.

It's also the middle of the year, meaning deadlines are loomingly looming, but that's a whole different story (and a different gif, yikes).

So before I get back to writing, two really fun things: my Liberty Con schedule and the next Valkyries author interview!

Liberty Con is an amazing con - not too big, but big enough to have so many of my favorite people, and always a fantastic assortment of guests. It's been too long since I've gotten to be there, and I can't wait to be back.

Schedules of course are subject to change, but for right now here's where you can find me if you're joining the party in Chattanooga:

I'm hugely looking forward to all of it -- each of these are going to be so much fun. That science fiction, mystery, and noir panel? Whaaaaat? I can't wait to talk about all the things!

I also can't wait to bring you more Valkyries action, so let's do a little something with that, shall we?

Interview with Matt Novotny:

  • What do you write and why do you write it?

So far I’ve published Military/Science Fiction, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Post-Apocalyptic, and a mash-up that can best be described as Noir Sci-Fi weird fiction. I have some fantasy in development which was actually where I started, and I love Dark Fantasy/Horror/Weird Fiction. I’ve really enjoyed the opportunities I’ve had to branch out and explore the genres I write in.

  • What do you want people to know about your stories?

I try and write stories where there is always a certain amount of ambiguity, particularly in the Hero’s journey. Sometimes you have to write in a straight line, but the why is where the twist is. To me, the more flawed a character is, the more interesting they are. That’s especially true for supporting characters that might appear in another story down the road, because you never know how much of their story there still is to tell. I’m also fond of easter eggs that are a little obscure. If you are looking for them, I want you to dig.

  • What book do you love to recommend or are you super into right now?

God’s Demon, by Wayne Barlowe.

  • In Hit World, everyone has a knack or talent that just might be magical. What’s yours?

Stopping group conversations dead while people parse my comments – Yes, chances are I did say what you heard. No cow is sacred until it’s on the grill.

Speed round

  • What’s your theme song? Really a tough one – Right now I’d go with Slayer’s “Seasons in the Abyss”

  • What’s your go-to game night choice? Cards against Humanity

  • What sitcom would you star in? Warehouse 13.

  • What is/are your favorite treat(s)? Hard to resist a good tiramisu, and Rocky Road is never wrong.

  • Team Beach or Team mountains? Team Mountains.

  • What are your favorite pizza toppings? Sausage, Pepperoni and mushroom.

  • Are you a morning or night person? Night person all the way.

About your girl:

  • How would you introduce your Valkyrie?

Mila is a woman with a particular set of skills, and she’s having a rough time discovering how those work in a world she couldn’t have imagined.

  • Three words that describe your Valkyrie:

That’s hard because she really changes, but begin at the beginning: Angry, Grateful, and Lost.

  • What inspired the development of your character and/or the plot of your story?

Mila was one of the antagonist characters in “Cast the First Stone”, but the more I thought about her the more I knew she needed her own story. There were a lot of questions for this character, and I was really fortunate that the Valkyries project gave me a perfect opportunity to explore those. The character in “Cast” was based on Lyudmila Pavlichenko – a Soviet sniper in the red army during WW2 with 309 confirmed kills. She was so lethal that her nickname was “Lady Death”, but of course since it’s Hit World, there’s a huge twist. Glass Houses needed to answer the question of what came next. When I started plotting for Glass Houses it was going to be an Ivanova story, but Milla was pretty insistent that I owed her, and as I dug in things definitely changed. It was another stroke of luck when I had a “why not both” moment, and I think both characters are stronger for it. I’ve been fortunate to have a lot of very strong women in my life. Parts of them definitely made an appearance here.

  • What actor(s) would be perfect to play one of your characters?

For Mila, Lee-Anne Liebenberg or Emily Wickersham. For Ivanova, A young Diana Rigg, or Lexa Doig. For Solomon, Brian Dietzen

  • What's your favorite thing about Hit World, your Valkyrie, or badass ladies in general?

I love the worldbuilding opportunities in HitWorld. Being able to explore some of the darker corners in the “world behind the world” Is tremendous fun.

Bonus round:

  • What question do you have for me?

Can you give some background on how the Valkyries project got started and what some of your plans are for the future?

Marisa: Why yes, yes I can! Bill Webb and Larry Hoy started the Hit World Universe. The shorter version: after I submitted a story to the first Hit World anthology, You Pay We Slay, Bill Webb called and said he had an idea for an offshoot of Hit World that was more female-lead heavy, and would I be interested in taking it on? Yes, yes I was.

Plans for the future include novels with some of the Valkyries folks will meet in the Valkyries Initiative. The ladies will have a very specific mission that goes...not at all as planned.

Who would have guessed?

Find out more about Matt at

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