With just three days left until DogCon 2 let’s take a moment to focus on the star of the show: Matt Betts! The fact that DogCon 2 is being held in Columbus, Ohio is due to hometown author Betts and his desire to debut his book with friends and family. His connections on the ground really helped make everything possible. While this free event brings together artists, musicians, and authors from all over the country, literary treasures of Columbus such as the Thurber Center and Kafe Kerouac will make it a happening only Ohio could offer. For more about Matt and his debut novel from Dog Star Books, read on…
Matt Betts was born and raised in Lima, OH and went to college in Toledo. He currently lives in Columbus with his wife Mackenzie, and their two wonderful boys. Growing up, Matt consumed vast amounts of pop culture. He read comics, watched cartoons, listened to various popular music, regularly viewed the old monster movies on weekend television and read everything he could find.
Matt went to college to study communications, specializing in broadcasting. He signed on with the campus radio station as a news anchor and reporter not long after he arrived at college – before he took his first communications class, in fact. After graduation, he worked for a number of radio stations as a DJ, a reporter and anchor. More than any other format, Matt worked at Oldies stations, which fed his love of Elvis, the Beatles and other great early rock icons.
Further feeding his love affair with pop culture, Matt also worked as a waiter in a Toledo comedy club while attending college. This allowed him to see how famous comics built and fine-tuned their acts. For comedians, like authors, the ending of a story is just as important as the beginning and vice versa. If a comic couldn’t sell the setup, the audience most likely wouldn’t stay with them for punch line. Over the course of a week, it was possible to see a comedian transform a decent joke into a better one through slightly different wording or different delivery.
Matt met and interviewed comedian and actor Larry Miller one night at the club. Larry gave some advice that stuck with Matt long after. Larry was a classically trained musician who still played regularly and when asked if it was all too much, Larry suggested that creativity is creativity. You don’t have to do just one thing. Whether you’re writing a poem or a script, that creativity feeds the other things you do. It helps you be a better actor, musician, etc. It is advice Matt has applied to his writing career from the beginning, allowing his love of pop culture to infuse and inform all of his work, including poetry, short fiction and his longer works.
Matt’s short and flash fiction has focused a lot on humor and horror. His work appears in Arkham Tales, Ethereal Tales, the Triangulation: Taking Flight anthology, Bizarro Fiction! The Journal of Experimental Fiction 37, A Thousand Faces and Cinema Spec: Tales of Hollywood and Fantasy.
Matt’s poetry has been published in numerous venues, and his poem “Godzilla’s Better Half” was nominated for a Rhysling Award, the Science Fiction Poetry Association’s highest honor. His poetry has appeared in Star*Line, Escape Clause, The Book of Tentacles, Illumen, the 2010 Rhysling Anthology, Kaleidotrope and others. One of his pieces was also mentioned in a New York Times article on zombie poetry.
Matt currently works for CGI Federal in Columbus as a writer and coordinator.
Read his blog Zombie Wrangler.
About Odd Men Out
The Civil War has ended but not because the South surrendered, instead it’s on hold while both sides face a new enemy—the chewers, dead men who’ve come back to life. Cyrus Joseph Spencer didn’t fight in the war and couldn’t care less about the United Nations of America that resulted from it. His main concern is making money and protecting his crew from all manner of danger. But when tragedy strikes he’s forced to take shelter on board a dirigible piloted by the U.N.’s peace-keeping force. It’s soon apparent that many more dangers are lurking and Cyrus must decide whether to throw in with strangers in a desperate bid to protect the country or cast off on his own.
“It’s impossible to say this too strongly: this steampunk-horror-historical-thriller crossbreed is an amazing book. Word of mouth could turn this from an under-the-radar debut novel from a little-known imprint into a genre-busting cult classic. Get on board now.”
—David Pitt, Booklist (starred review)
“The stakes are high and the action and surprises are nonstop as Betts skillfully mixes elements of steampunk, alternate history, science fiction, and horror.”
“A compelling story line, light humor, and a steampunk vibe make this an interesting and fun read.”
“Betts has built a vivid steampunk history of the Reconstruction, one where giant lizards and zombies roam a desolate United Nations of America.”
—Paul Melko, Award-Winning Author of The Walls of the Universe and The Broken Universe
“Matt Betts is a god of pop culture. His debut novel, Odd Men Out, is a glorious blend of everything that is right with the sci-fi genre. He manages to put together a book with shades of Firefly, Miyazaki, and Godzilla while keeping it fresh and true to his own deliciously askew voice.”
—Mercedes M. Yardley, author of Beautiful Sorrows
Come meet Matt at DogCon 2! Information about lodging and the FREE events is at http://rawdogscreaming.com/events/2013-dogcon-2/