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By L. Dean Murphy

Matt Forbeck’s latest title is sort of TITANIC meets 30 DAYS OF NIGHT. When survivors of the Titanic are picked up by the passenger steamship Carpathia, they thought their problems were over. But something’s been dormant in the darkest recesses of the ship. Something old. Something hungry.

Forbeck added, “Imagine if the ship that picked up the survivors of the worst shipwreck in history was packed full of vampires. Now mix in a love triangle involving the children of the heroes of the original DRACULA novel, and you’ve got a good start.”

“CARPATHIA is a dangerous collision of rich historical drama and epic horror. Beautifully written, completely disturbing… and highly recommended,” said Jonathan Maberry, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of ASSASSIN’S CODE and DEAD OF NIGHT.

Chuck Wendig, author of BLACKBIRDS, said, “Hell comes to the high seas as James Cameron’s TITANIC crashes full-force into the iceberg that is Bram Stoker’s DRACULA. Forbeck sinks his fangs into one helluva horror story, robbing from real history to set up an epic showdown between man and vampire (and between vampire and vampire) on RMS Carpathia.”

THE GUARDIAN said of Forbeck’s critically acclaimed novel: “AMORTALS is Chandler by way of BLADE RUNNER, with the pace of an express train. Great fun.”

And THE BIG THRILL said of Forbeck’s novel last year, “VEGAS KNIGHTS is a cutting-edge paranormal thriller made real in the city of secrets.”

Forbeck tells ITW readers what he feels the most compelling scene is. “A pack of hungry vampires decide to play shark with survivors freezing in the waters of the North Atlantic after the Titanic goes down. It’s terrifying, of course, and just as horrible as you might imagine.”

The Titanic’s centennial anniversary influenced the novel. Forbeck says, “I wanted to have the book out in time to take advantage of the attention that the anniversary is sure to bring. However, that wasn’t the original inspiration, only the reason I wrote it now rather than years later. The ship that picked up Titanic’s survivors was the Carpathia. That ship was named for a mountain range that snakes around the edge of Transylvania and in which sits none other than Castle Dracula. Once you make that connection, it all comes together.”

Before Forbeck began writing, he “read anything I could get my hands on. I’m partial to science fiction and fantasy, but I also love mysteries, thrillers, horror, and pulpy adventure, along with all sorts of nonfiction work. I also enjoy reading comic books and graphic novels, to the point that I revised THE MARVEL ENCYCLOPEDIA for DK Publishing a couple years back and have worked on several games involving Marvel and DC characters.” Forbeck says that the authors who most inspired him are Hemingway, William Gibson, Tolkien, and Raymond Chandler. He added, “It’s not just the content of their stories but their styles that keeps me coming back to them time and again.”

Like most authors, Forbeck has advice for aspiring writers. “Keep at it, and keep having fun. Read everything you can, and write everything that strikes your fancy. While a hundred-thousand-word novel might seem like a lot, if you write just a thousand words a day, you’ll have a first draft in only one hundred days. Not bad.”

As for mechanics of writing, Forbeck said, “I work from an outline, but the stories change as I write them. That’s half the fun of writing: discovering as you go. I don’t worry about the changes. I welcome them. I just rework the outline from wherever I wind up and keep going. I never go back during a first draft. Momentum is hard to build and easy to lose. Better to finish first and revise later. You’re going to end up revising anyhow, so don’t waste time doing it as you write.” He added that “stubbornness and networking” have been helpful with his career.

The shockingly prolific author shared plans for 2012. “CARPATHIA is coming out at the end of February. I’m also writing MAGIC: THE GATHERING comic for IDW, based on the hit collectible card game, and that starts in February too. On top of that, I have this mad scheme called 12 for ’12, in which I plan to write a dozen novels this year. I used Kickstarter (a wonderful crowdfunding site) to take pre-orders for the first trilogy, and I’m working on those right now. There will be nine more after that, of course, so there’s still time to join in on the fun.”

Forbeckʼs favorite reader comments are “I couldn’t put down your book” and “You owe me some sleep.”

Despite causing lost sleep, Forbeck shared thoughts about eBooks versus Tree-Books. “I love them both and don’t see why they have to fight. Honestly, I prefer eBooks for their ease of handling, the way I can buy them on an impulse, and the fact that I can have a full library in my pocket. Traditional books are wonderful for collecting or being displayed on a shelf—or as a gift—but eBooks have them beat in many other ways. Also, for my 12 for ’12 plan, I’m going to self-publish the books. I love my regular publisher—Angry Robot, which won a World Fantasy Award—but I’m eager to try things on my own as well and see what kinds of things I can experiment with that I can’t manage through the traditional market.”


Matt Forbeck has been a full-time creator of award-winning games and fiction since 1989. He designs games and toys and writes novels, short stories, comic books, nonfiction, and computer game scripts and stories for dozens of companies. His 16 published novels include the critically acclaimed AMORTALS. You can also visit Forbeck at his website.


Dean Murphy
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