Amortals by Matt Forbeck
Today you die. Today you are reborn. Today you hunt the man who killed you. When Secret Service agent Ronan “Methusaleh” Dooley is brutally murdered, he’s brought back from the dead yet again to hunt his killer, and in doing so uncover a terrible conspiracy.
Mike Stackpole says, “In Amortals, Matt Forbeck does what all great science fiction authors do: weave thought-provoking concepts through a cracking good story. The morality of immortality is a fascinating idea with which Matt Forbeck deals deftly. If you are looking for a great story with action, politics, great characters and an eye toward what might well be our future, Matt Forbeck’s Amortals is not to be missed!”
And the praise goes on, and on, and on, and on. Don’t believe me, visit Forbeck’s website at http://www.forbeck.com/amortals/ and see for yourself.
So, are you as curious about who Matt Forbeck is as I was?
A little digging turned up that this debut author has worked full-time on games and fiction since 1989. He graduated from the Residental College at the University of Michigan with a degree in Creative Writing, and then worked mostly as a freelancer—except for a four-year stint as the president of Pinnacle Entertainment Group, and then two more years as the director of the adventure games division at Human Head Studios.
He has designed collectible card games, roleplaying games, miniatures games, board games, and logic systems for toys and has directed voiceover work and written short fiction, comic books, novels, screenplays, and computer game scripts and stories. His work has been translated into Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swedish. His projects have been nominated for 24 Origins Awards (for outstanding work in the gaming industry) and won 13.
Recently, I caught up the Forbeck to ask him a few question:
Amortals is your first published novel, correct? What made you decide it was time to write a thriller?
Actually, it’s my fourteenth published novel. All of the others have been tie-in novels, though, mostly based on games like Dungeons & Dragons. Amortals is my first original novel though. After wandering around in other people’s worlds for so long, I wanted to come up with one of my own and a killer story to go with it.
I’ve been kicking around the ideas behind Amortals for years, but I just never could seem to find the time to sit down and write the book. This is the working writer’s dilemma: how do you give up paying work as a writer so you can gamble on writing a book that someone may or may not buy? Fortunately, I was able to sell the book to Angry Robot as a page-and-a-half pitch, which solved that problem for me.
This is cutting-edge science. How do you get your information, or do you just make it all up?
I’ve been a fan of science and science fiction since I was a kid, and I’m a bit of a tech geek. I studied electrical engineering and computer science for two years in college before I decided to get my creative writing degree instead. Much of the tech that appears in Amortals is based on real-world science, and because of that it paints a fairly valid image of what the future might hold for us.
Do you think this is really possible in our future?
That we could back up our brains? I don’t know. Given today’s technology, probably not, but I don’t know that someone like Leonardo da Vinci could have predicted something like the iPad either. It’s almost impossible to predict the far future, and the near future seems to be hurtling at us faster every second. We live in the future.
What can you possibly follow this with? Do you have another book-in-progress to watch for?
There’s room for a sequel to Amortals for sure, but my next book after Amortals is another original called Vegas Knights. It’s an urban fantasy story about two college kids who learn a little magic and decide to go to Las Vegas on spring break and try to take the casinos for everything they’ve got. Of course, it doesn’t go as they planned, but then what does?
What kind of promotion will you be doing?
Interviews like this, for one! I’m also going to be at a number of different conventions, and I’m reaching out not just to thriller readers but fans of my games, toys, and other books. Plus, I write updates on my blog and on sites like StorytellersUnplugged.com and EscapistMagazine.com among others. I also plan to pitch in with whatever great ideas Angry Robot comes up with.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I just want to thank everyone who reads my books and plays my games. I’m thrilled to be able to make a living by giving people thoughtful and intriguing entertainment, and your support makes it all possible.
Matt lives in Beloit, Wisconsin, with his wife Ann and their children: Marty, Pat, Nick, Ken, and Helen. How he finds time to write may also have to do with science fiction.
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