MT – who goes by Mudcat – has been writing for years in his current, and other, series. We live near each other in Ohio and attend the same monthly writer group (which we discuss in the 2nd half of the podcast.)
His books are a combination sci-fi thriller and police procedural drama.
[00:00:47] Stephen: Welcome to episode 1 0 6 of discovered wordsmiths. Today. I have empty bass who goes by mud cat. He’s someone I actually know and have met in person, which isn’t always the case. When you do a [00:01:00] podcast like this, and you’re talking to people not only from all over the country, but all over the world. So a lot of times you don’t get to meet them face to face, unless you happen to run into him at a conference or.
So it’s nice to have someone that I’ve talked to physically in-person sat at the same table. We know each other through a community that we are a part of up in Cleveland, finished publish, polished, publish. We used to meet at the old airport, the Burke front, small airport, I should say. And now they meet in a barn, but we’ve been doing it mostly remote.
Mudcat has an interesting series of books that are murdered by Munchhausen and their Saifai. And he’s been writing them for awhile and he’s got other books, but just the murder, but Munchausen always captured my interest because that was such an interesting series focus. So anyway we had a good discussion about his books and we have a good discussion in the second part about.
[00:02:00] Community. So check that out. But also if you’ve been listening to the podcast, please go find these authors, go read their books. That’s why we do it. That’s what they want. And these books are wonderful. There’s a lot of good authors go to the website, find other books that you may not have heard the.
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So if you like an author, whether they’re on my podcast or not, please go do a review, go like their book, wherever you get it from, it will help them a lot. So anyway, I’m done battling let’s hear from us. Mudcat welcome to discover word Smith officially. How are you today? I’m doing
[00:03:37] MT: great. Thanks for having me
[00:03:38] Stephen: on enjoying the nice weather that went from snow to downpour.
[00:03:43] MT: We got a little bit of downpour, but now it’s getting cold. It went from 55 down to 36 while I was I wasn’t about today.
[00:03:51] Stephen: Yeah. We’re probably going to get more so great. Yay. Good. Yeah. I know you a little bit from a group where in [00:04:00] together, which we’ll talk about later, but nobody else might probably knows you except other members of the group.
So why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself and things you like to do outside of writing.
[00:04:10] MT: Okay. Like just a quick nuts. I’ve got, I think 13 books on Amazon, ready to go, ready to buy and working on, I got one at the editor and one another one in the series of the aviation stories that I’m working on putting that together.
But I was, if you don’t hold it against me, I was an English major in college and English and philosophy actually. And I did that to did some writing there and then. Got out of school and was mostly interested in music, being in a band, playing guitar, following that dream for awhile, he did that for a bit in Cleveland, playing in the flats and doing all this stuff in the old days.
And then I got to a point where I just needed a change and I moved to Colorado and lived there for 10 years [00:05:00] helping to. And then when I got out there, that’s when I really started to put pen to paper and really get serious about novels instead of lyrics adverse. So I did that. And then while I was out there I actually got my private pilot’s license at Hopkins airport.
And then when I moved out there, I got my commercial license, my instrument rating, and my flight instructor. Certificates. So Todd a little bit, not much. Cause I was still, I was working and stuff like that. And then came back here in 1989 and just kept writing and putting things together and I start playing music again and just having fun.
[00:05:42] Stephen: No pilot’s license or any of your books, you said you’re writing a series of books.
[00:05:51] MT: Yeah, I’ve got a series it’s called a, I call it the white Hawk, aviation adventure stories. And it’s actually starts in [00:06:00] 1950 with a guy who was in world war II and he gets involved. He’s actually flying as a movie star pilot, and then he solves his brother’s murder on the side.
Then the next book is called jungle land where. He goes to the Belgian Congo and becomes a mercenary there and fights there. And then this one I’m working on, I’m writing out. Now the first draft is called racing the dream, and it goes back to the sixties and is about airplane racing cause Cleveland used to be the center of airplane racing from the thirties and forties.
Huge. That’s where Jimmy Doolittle set records and it was huge. And that kind of fell off the face of the earth for awhile. And then in the sixties is providing, I’m centering it on that. It’s going to end up in Cleveland. Cause I talked to guy named Jack who put together the air races at the Cleveland air shows over.
Labor day weekend, so it’ll be fun. So [00:07:00] I’ve got that. And then I’ve got other books with airplanes scattered here and there. It fits in
[00:07:05] Stephen: any of your characters, play music.
[00:07:07] MT: Called crossroads, which is about my guy gone days in Cleveland and the rock band, but it’s more of a crazy rolling stones by Hitchcock kind of thing.
But it’s actually got like 28 different lyrics throughout the whole book written through it, to go with all of the sounds. So there’s that one. And then I’ve got an idea for another book that’s going to involve the second one in a series, which. It’s about this lawyer, fixer guy, but he’s going to get involved.
With the music scene.
[00:07:41] Stephen: So they say,
[00:07:43] MT: write what you know, or no one to write.
[00:07:46] Stephen: So 13 bucks, some of the other ones that’s not the newest one. That’s about to come out, which is actually number four in a totally different series. And I know this one because you’ve been working on [00:08:00] these, this series for several times that I’ve been to the, a group up in Cleveland.
Tell us a little bit about that.
[00:08:06] MT: It’s this is like no pilots in this one. This is a police futuristic police procedural. And the whole premise is that I don’t know, the 2040s, 2050s, all of the Alexa’s and series come off the table and become embodied and really lifelike. Robot they’re indistinguishable from human beings.
So th there, this police group is charged with investigating robots to get hacked and then turned into Hitman to go after people violating the three laws about doing harm to humans, but others, evil people and evil people do evil things. They’ll get into the robots, they’ll change them and then send them off to kill somebody.
So their job is to track them. And the first three books follow up. Villain that kind of recreating serial killer. So he recreates [00:09:00] Jack the ripper. He recreates John Wayne Gacy. He recreates Eleni Marranos. So that’s what that, so that’s the first three. And then this one picks up a called motherless children.
And so they pick up on investigating another set of crimes that seems to be going after a sexual predator.
[00:09:21] Stephen: So after writing Highlands to a series like this, it sounds like it’s still thriller. Totally different focus. To
[00:09:33] MT: be honest with ya, you have ideas all the time. And the first chapter of. The first murder by Munchausen book just came to me.
It was like a police procedural in a warehouse tracking down a killer robot. And I just wrote it out. And I said, this sounds interesting. And so I started working on it and I wanted to get away from. To be honest with you at that time, all the writers [00:10:00] groups I was in, everybody’s doing zombie and I just got I’ve had enough of that.
So I wanted to try to find the next villain. And I thought in the future robot Hitman would be a good one. Yeah.
[00:10:16] Stephen: So you were going to tell somebody about your book. What, are there any other books out there that you would say are similar? Nothing, not theme necessarily maybe style or topic or something
[00:10:29] MT: I would guess similar would be. Dramatically would be to what is it by Phillip K Dick or with a blade runner predecessor or two Androids dream of electric sheep.
So that’s in that genre, but really I was not so much focused on the robots themselves cause they’re mechanical and stuff like that. The real thing is like a BOSH story from Michael Conley, where it’s more of a police [00:11:00] procedural, but set against this.
[00:11:05] Stephen: And I liked that because it’s about the story you’re focused on what the story is. And by doing that, you can see where the important thing is. Cause I know a lot of people would have probably focused more on robots, but that doesn’t necessarily make the story. So I think that was probably a great choice.
I love hearing that.
[00:11:25] MT: Yeah. The big thing is the robots themselves are not evil, but the people who control. That’s where the evil office and that’s really where the story is. They’re just basically, they’re just like a weapon that people turn loose. So you really got to go back to the cyber hackers.
Breaking into modifying them to,
[00:11:49] Stephen: it probably makes us even more interesting writers listening, or there’s a good lesson to learn from that. Make sure you’re getting the story. That is [00:12:00] the story. That’s good. So what if you had a choice, if you were approach, would you rather turn these into movies or TV?
[00:12:09] MT: Either one, if somebody came knocking at my door, I don’t think I turned the TV away for the movie. If they wanted to do any of my books, I’d be up for it. I think the Munchhausen that seems to fall into a good Netflix kind of. Series kind of thing. When you could go a long way with
[00:12:28] Stephen: that stuff, do you have an idea of who would play like the lead?
[00:12:34] MT: Not really. I’m about to touch with.
[00:12:37] Stephen: Oh, really? Like the meat, right? Yeah. I think they’d be perfect. Cause I’d really like to meet him.
[00:12:44] MT: I’m not really up on the actors and actresses and stuff. I watch
[00:12:49] Stephen: them as it comes across. And these are independently published, correct? Yeah.
[00:12:55] MT: Yeah. I have my own publishing company, so I put together the eBooks [00:13:00] and put those up and then I. I work with putting together though, the printed copies, the files for, I published through England sparks.
You can get them at Barnes noble or apple or anywhere else you want, but I put them all together.
[00:13:15] Stephen: Did you think of traditionally published, trying to get an agent and all that? Or did you always want to do independent?
[00:13:24] MT: I have enough rejection slips to up the wallpaper of man-cave right? Cause that’s when I started early on.
And I was writing all the time. I was in Colorado and that was the only option was either that or vanity publishing. So I’d send them out some out and get the rejections. And then I got to. I got involved with when the eBooks started coming out. I got involved in that early. In fact, I have a Sony evil creator way long time ago, and then I got a new look and then now I haven’t got an iPad.
[00:14:00] I just thought that was great. I could have all the books I wanted in one place without carrying my library. So I thought it was great. And then around 2011, I learned about Smashwords. Which allows you to go publish your ebook. And they were distributed to apple or Barnes and noble and sell it themselves and stuff like that.
So I jumped in on that, published a couple. And then I learned about Ingram spark with the print on demand and I got involved with they’ve got, I think I’ve got 10 of the 13 in print. Yeah. Or nine of the 10 in print ones, the other ones are just eBooks.
[00:14:39] Stephen: Okay. So you had this long books, so it must’ve been like almost holy grail to start publishing yourself and get these out.
How’d that feel?
[00:14:52] MT: Oh, it felt great because the whole idea is you want people to read your books and really that’s the important part. When you go through [00:15:00] traditional publishing, there are so many gatekeepers and like they set up the groups, there’s a cost for them to invest in your book. Know it’s very few people get through that.
And usually the people that do are famous people, right? Bill O’Reilly and people. Built-in audiences. So the chance to actually publish and start getting the book out there to be read or was great.
[00:15:26] Stephen: So what type of feedback are you getting from readers of your books?
[00:15:31] MT: I got some pretty good reviews starting to build up.
I been promoting things and getting readers and I just signed up at the beginning of the year and Kindle unlimited so people can work through. In that program that can read it for free and I’m just starting to build up. Good reviews. Good stars ratings. So it’s satisfying
[00:15:52] Stephen: to see that. Nice. Yeah, it feel good when people are actually reading, it gives you that little bit [00:16:00] of self satisfaction all this time.
You’ve been working on it. That’s pretty nice. Yeah.
[00:16:04] MT: Yeah. And then the big challenge is trying to promote it because that’s the, it used to be the big thing is the publisher would have a marketing budget and promoted. And everything like that, but that’s all up to me. And even mid-level writers, I know with publishing like Malcolm, they’re still responsible for a lot of their own self promotion.
[00:16:27] Stephen: So you said you’re on with your books now, do you have a website people can go to and find out more info?
[00:16:35] MT: Absolutely. It’s my website is M T bank. MTBA S s.net. And so that’s my website. There is empty bass.com, but that’s a Redskins football. I couldn’t get that one, but I got the net. No. Yeah. When you Google me, you’ll half of the time you’ll get Montana bass fishing and then the other half you’ll get some of my books.[00:17:00]
[00:17:00] Stephen: So what plans do you have for books after this fourth Munchausen book?
[00:17:08] MT: But that one I sent to the editor last week for to get the final draft back from her. I’m working on erasing the dream, which is the aviation follow on. And then the one after that is, is called outside the wire. And that’s the second and another series with a Navy seal who becomes a lawyer, fixer.
The music business. That’s why it’s outside
[00:17:34] Stephen: the wire. So get to read when you’re not writing. What are some of your favorite books and authors?
[00:17:43] MT: Oh, like some of my favorite authors are like Joseph Heller, Kurt Vonnegut, Carl hasten, more Twain. Those are my favorites. And mostly. I read one fiction book and [00:18:00] one nonfiction book as I go bounce back and forth.
So most of the time I’m trying to find new stuff. I’m reading. I do a lot of reading the first book and series, but first of all, Meyer book, the first BOSH book, just to see how. How these evolving series kicked off while they develop. So I do a lot of that right now. I think I got a Jack Reacher book that’s next.
And then I read a lot of aviation books and then just stuff that catches my eye.
[00:18:36] Stephen: Okay. Now the bookstore where you live, that you like to go to.
[00:18:42] MT: Got a Barnes and noble and an a millions books. Those are okay. There’s a nice liquid bookshop in Lakewood. Which is it’s a lot of used books and it got Collin runs it, and he does a good job of finding different stuff and keeping, keeping things interesting over there [00:19:00] is a good shop.
[00:19:01] Stephen: Okay. I’ll put a link to it. I like to try and find out some favorite bookstores, compiling all these on the website. So cool. Yeah.
[00:19:09] MT: And that’s on my side. And then on the other side of town, of course, there’s just, I drew a blank. It’s a. The one near Coventry. Oh, it’ll come to me. I can’t remember, but it’s over there.
I’ve done there. Their author alley stone. Oh, I
[00:19:25] Stephen: talked to another author, said what call? Is it Logan barriers? Yep. I’ve been in contact with them a couple of times about stuff. She’s a good person. Yeah. So my Gabby things start having some author stuff. If you were on an elevator with somebody that wanted to know why they should read your book, what would you tell them?
[00:19:46] MT: famous elevator pitch. If you don’t read this, you’ll die. I guess
[00:19:53] Stephen: that’s a whole story of its own.
[00:19:55] MT: I should’ve thought of that.
[00:19:59] Stephen: [00:20:00] The series, title home by Munchhausen always intrigued me hearing it. That’s a term. You don’t hear a whole lot.
[00:20:07] MT: You hear it in the medical part when actually Dave at the Cleveland writers group, I read it. I think I read the very first chapter long time ago. You pointed at that and said murder by Munchin housing.
That’s the title of the book
[00:20:23] Stephen: definitely catches it. All right. Thank you for sharing your booking stuff with us. I appreciate you taking some time for that.