Jem Matzan

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Born
in Rochester, NY, The United States
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Member Since
January 2013


Jem Matzan writes uniquely-structured independent fiction books that explore modern psychological and cultural problems through exciting character-driven adventures.

Jem's writing career began in technology journalism as a staff writer and editor for NewsForge and Linux.com in the early 2000s. He's edited, written, ghostwritten, or contributed to more than a dozen books on information technology.

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Popular Answered Questions

Jem Matzan If I'm writing something work-for-hire, I have a list of topics or an outline to work from, so I don't get writer's block with those projects. If I've…moreIf I'm writing something work-for-hire, I have a list of topics or an outline to work from, so I don't get writer's block with those projects. If I've covered the topic sufficiently, then it's done. If there are topics or items that I can't get enough information for, then I'll remove them from the project until the resources are available. I think a lot of fiction writers do the same thing; they create an outline and fill in the blanks. I don't outline my fiction, though.

I have a lot of tactics for overcoming writer's block with fiction. If I feel intimidated by starting where I left off, I'll go back a few hundred words and read and revise, and by the time I get to the end, I often have the momentum to continue. I might also go back to the beginning and read and revise from there. Or I'll consult my notes file for ideas; it contains a list of ideas, lines of dialogue, character summaries, and revision goals.

I think we write stories to -- consciously or not -- solve some kind of problem or answer an internal question. The story uses elements from our experience to help us subconsciously develop solutions. So if you are truly at an impasse in your writing, then you need to fuel the fire by doing new things with your life. Even if it's going to a different grocery store, or finding a new route to the office, it's going to help you form new connections that will spur your creativity.

There is more to creating a book than writing the manuscript, though: marketing plans, internal and cover art, ancillary content (synopsis, pitch, promotional articles, etc.), character summaries, notes for revision. There is always some effort you can put into the project to drive it forward on those days when you just don't have the mental clarity to write in the manuscript.(less)
Jem Matzan Until this question came up here, I didn't think much about this topic, and now that I've considered it, I don't really like fictional couples. I tend…moreUntil this question came up here, I didn't think much about this topic, and now that I've considered it, I don't really like fictional couples. I tend to write about people who are uniquely alone; their relationships are short.

When I think of other people's stories, no particular couple stands out because I just don't get much enjoyment out of reading about other people's relationships, real or not.

In terms of audiobooks I've narrated, I'm going to go with a non-standard answer: Murray and Tommy from Tropical Depression. They're not lovers, but they have a unique bond through friendship. It's one of those great rare human experiences: being friends with someone who could not be friends with anyone else.(less)
Average rating: 3.47 · 59 ratings · 32 reviews · 29 distinct worksSimilar authors
The Hero

3.70 avg rating — 23 ratings — published 2002 — 5 editions
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Try Catch Finally

liked it 3.00 avg rating — 6 ratings3 editions
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SUSE Linux 10.1 Kick Start

it was ok 2.00 avg rating — 1 rating — published 2006
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The Openbsd 4.0 Crash Course

did not like it 1.00 avg rating — 1 rating — published 2007 — 4 editions
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Suse Linux 10.1 Kick Start

0.00 avg rating — 0 ratings
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The Freebsd 6.2 Crash Course

0.00 avg rating — 0 ratings — published 2007
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The Search for the Emerald ...

0.00 avg rating — 0 ratings — published 2003 — 2 editions
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Tales from the Twentieth Ce...

0.00 avg rating — 0 ratings — published 2000 — 2 editions
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Lost Treasure

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3.81 avg rating — 566 ratings — published 2010 — 4 editions
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The Not-World

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3.55 avg rating — 42 ratings — published 1975 — 5 editions
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More books by Jem Matzan…

A Good Run That Ends Where it Began

Just as I prepared to write a blog post about this on Goodreads, I saw that it had been exactly five years since I posted this:

"In creating an audio book for The Hero, I've stumbled into full-voiced narration work for other people's books. I submitted some auditions just so I could practice in front of a mic and get some useful feedback, but it turned out that I did really well just as I was. I've Read more of this blog post »
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Published on March 16, 2020 17:47

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Jem’s Recent Updates

Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind
"It is always curious to see fantasy authors who don't consider themselves to be fantasy authors. Case-in-point: Terry Goodkind. The former landscape painter has told us how he isn't a fantasy author in every interview he's ever given:

"The books I wri" Read more of this review »
Jem Matzan shared a quote
Try Catch Finally by Jem Matzan
“Halleck is not an Israeli name, it’s an American name. Well, I mean if some woman in Israel happened to name her kid Halleck at some point in history, then I guess the argument for being an Israeli name could be made on a technicality, but it’s not ethnically Jewish. It’s a made-up name. It came from nowhere and means nothing. You can’t possibly get more American than that.”
Jem Matzan
Jem Matzan shared a quote
Try Catch Finally by Jem Matzan
“Thousands of software click-wrap license agreements and website privacy policies had made Halleck numb to the injustice of forced consent in trade for necessary access.”
Jem Matzan
Jem Matzan has read
Nacho Unleashed by Laurence Shames
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Jem Matzan and 3 other people liked Laurence Shames's blog post: Freedom Is a Talking Dog
"Some books—the writing of them, I mean—just seem to start themselves. A first sentence pops into your head. You hear a scrap of dialogue—either out in the world or between your own ears—that’s way too good to waste. Maybe a whole first scene plays..." Read more of this blog post »
The Not-World by Thomas Burnett Swann
"Another odd book by Swann - goofy, kooky, dated, and not at all politically correct.

I thought it was completely adorable."
Sinbad by Edward M. Erdelac
"Sinbad is undoubtedly one of those characters whose very name fires up our imagination, and takes us to thrilling voyages full of wonder, danger, and action. Airship 27 has, in their second volume of the new adventures of Sinbad, presented us with th" Read more of this review »
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Try Catch Finally by Jem Matzan
Try Catch Finally
by Jem Matzan (Goodreads Author)
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One Big Joke by Laurence Shames
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Money Talks by Laurence Shames
Money Talks
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More of Jem's books…
“No back doors! I had a back door, but every fucker who thought he was bad wouldn't use the front door because everyone knows that if you're bad, you slip out through the back. I boarded it up - use the front door like everybody else.”
Jem Matzan, The Hero

“You killed a horse!"
My voice was still rough and low. "Well... he shouldn't 've been carrying you.”
Jem Matzan, The Hero

“Halleck hated being called 'sir.' It was one of many instances in American culture where what was formerly known as good manners was now actually bad manners. Being called 'sir' was Anand’s ostensibly polite way of calling Halleck a regular asshole who habitually demands things that he is not entitled to receive.”
Jem Matzan, Try Catch Finally

“Halleck hated being called 'sir.' It was one of many instances in American culture where what was formerly known as good manners was now actually bad manners. Being called 'sir' was Anand’s ostensibly polite way of calling Halleck a regular asshole who habitually demands things that he is not entitled to receive.”
Jem Matzan, Try Catch Finally

“Thousands of software click-wrap license agreements and website privacy policies had made Halleck numb to the injustice of forced consent in trade for necessary access.”
Jem Matzan, Try Catch Finally

“Halleck is not an Israeli name, it’s an American name. Well, I mean if some woman in Israel happened to name her kid Halleck at some point in history, then I guess the argument for being an Israeli name could be made on a technicality, but it’s not ethnically Jewish. It’s a made-up name. It came from nowhere and means nothing. You can’t possibly get more American than that.”
Jem Matzan, Try Catch Finally

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