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Matt Wright on ‘Breaking Colossus’ – A Riveting Space Opera

Today I had a wonderful interview with Matt Wright, author of Breaking Colossus, a riveting space opera that takes readers on a gripping intergalactic journey. Filled with epic battles, complex family dynamics, and high-stakes political intrigue, Breaking Colossus is a page-turner that leaves you on the edge of your seat.

During our conversation, Matt shared insights into his writing process and the inspirations behind this thrilling tale of duty, honor, and sacrifice in the face of insurmountable odds. It was truly an honor to speak with him and gain a deeper understanding of the story behind Breaking Colossus.

To read my detailed book review for Breaking Colossus, click here.

Matt, tell us more about yourself and your journey as an author.

Hi! My name is Matt Wright. I’m a self-published author living in Albuquerque, New Mexico with my wife, Elizabeth and my 70-lb black lab, Joey. In 2020, I graduated with a master’s of fine arts in genre fiction. The next year, I returned and got my master of arts in publishing.

I’ve been writing full-length novels ever since I was in high school. In 2021 and 2022, I published my Sun Maker Saga, which was an epic fantasy/space opera series of 6 books. In December of 2022, I published the first book of a new series called Breaking Colossus, which was originally the thesis novel for my genre fiction program.

Many people might wonder why my books are worth their time, especially since I am a new self-published author. There are hundreds of thousands of self-published authors out there, and more enter into the fray every week.

Breaking Colossus by Matt Wright

So, what makes me unique? What makes me worth your time? I don’t claim to be the greatest fantasy/sci-fi writer of all time, but one of my goals is to create character relationships that will stick with you.

As you accompany my characters on their journeys, maybe you can learn a few things about yourself and the world around you. Maybe my stories can change you.

What inspired you to become an author?

I remember it vividly. I was about 15 or 16 and living in Hawai’i since my dad was working for the Navy at the time. I wrote and finished my first book (which will remain nameless and shall never see the light of day).

After thinking on it, I told my dad I wanted to be a writer as I passed him in the hallway of our home. I don’t remember exactly what his response was, but I remember how determined I was to make this writing thing my career.

Eventually I discovered Brandon Sanderson whose YouTube videos convinced me that I, too, could become a professional author. Then I met (and briefly worked for) *his* mentor, David Farland and took several classes from him. The rest is history.

Please tell us more about the book in a few short sentences.

Breaking Colossus is a space opera retelling of Homer’s Odyssey, told from different points of view. I got the idea of writing a space opera back when the Star Wars sequel trilogy was coming out and it (unfortunately) disappointed me.

I wanted to write a story that I enjoyed better than the ones I was getting at the time.

Describe a typical writing day.

Writing is tough when you have a full-time day job.

Most people have to start off this way to pay the bills. Currently, I get home around 5pm, then take care of my dog, Joey, eat dinner, etc. before I ever get any personal time to write.

Luckily, I am a fairly quick writer. I can write about 2,000 words within an hour or two–more if I’m having a *really* good day.

I go to bed around 10:30pm, then wake up and start the day over again!

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

If I ever get time, I’m a total gamer. I will play games like Skyrim that are low-stress and actually conducive to my creativity.

We all need a way to recharge our batteries, and playing open-ended games is my go-to activity.

I also need to read and keep up with the sci-fi and fantasy market, but I’m a super slow reader, so there’s really no chance of me staying on top of my TBR pile–ever!

What was the most challenging thing about writing this book?

I’ve always had a difficult time with revision, but my thesis advisor was very helpful as I slogged through the revision process.

Which part of the book is your favorite?

I’m particularly proud of the ending. I think it’s unique in that you don’t see endings like this very often. But it also makes it very difficult to follow up with a sequel…(no spoilers!)

How do you develop your plot and characters?

I develop almost everything in the first draft.

Before I even start writing, I will take a bunch of notes, come up with names, places, plot points, etc. It’s basically just brainstorm soup. Then, I will create an outline where I summarize every chapter into one sentence. Next, writing the story is how I focus my ideas and characters.

Depending how the story unfolds, I may stray from my outline *just a little.* But usually my outline will have everything I need to do from beginning to end. Doing all the brainstorming and outlining up front makes the writing easier for me.

What do you think makes a good story?

There’s a difference between a good story and a great story.

A good story, to me, is a “passable” one that I could enjoy but it doesn’t leave much of an impression on me. A good story requires good character arcs, good structure, a good ending.

A “great” story, on the other hand, will have me in tears by the end. It will connect with me emotionally and show me character relationships that I care about. It will show me the characters’ actions that I may personally disagree with, but which make sense.

Great storytelling is on a whole different level than most stories/movies out there. They’re the ones you can’t stop thinking about after you’re finished reading/watching it. They are the stories that inspire you and you can’t remain the same person you were before you experienced it.

In short, great stories change you because the characters and their relationships change too—and those changes are worth your time and energy to follow.

How do you do research for your books?

It depends on the story. But since no one likes that answer, I will say through internet search, Google, library…by any means necessary. I am currently brainstorming an epic fantasy series that’s based on a particular historical period.

Because I would like to be accurate to the time period upon which the story is based, it requires quite a bit more research than Breaking Colossus or Sun Maker. That means tons of reading and synthesizing sources.

Tell us more about the publishing process behind the book. Have you reached out to anyone?

I am still learning how to self-publish. Both the Sun Maker Saga and Breaking Colossus have been soft releases, which means that my marketing hasn’t been as hard-hitting. I am slowly building up to harder releases with wider marketing plans. First, I must increase my repertoire.

What are some tools you used to write this book from start to end?

I have a MacBook Pro. I do all my brainstorming and research through Apple Notes (although OneNote is a good alternative).

I do my outlining and writing in Scrivener. I keep track of my universe through Aeon Timeline. Trello tracks my production. I use Word and the Grammarly and ProWritingAid add-ins to edit and revise chapter by chapter.

I then transfer it to Vellum to format and typeset the book for uploading to KDP, Draft2Digital, and IngramSpark.

What authors inspired you into becoming an author yourself, if any?

In chronological order:

J.R.R. Tolkien,
Stephen R. Donaldson,
Brandon Sanderson,
David Farland,
Frank Herbert.

What are your future plans and where can our readers find you?

I am currently working on the sequel to Breaking Colossus called Revenant’s War and it’s a continuation of the first book but from Grey’s and Alora’s points of view. It’s probably one of the more difficult books I’ve had to write by virtue of being a sequel, so it will likely take a lot longer.

You can find me at StarsReach.Net!