Welcome to one of the July 23rd stops on the book tour for Into Neon by Matthew A. Goodwin with Audiobookworm Promotions. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for spotlights, audio excerpts, reviews, and guest & interview content with the author!
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Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.
Audiobook Empire made the process so easy for me. The idea of setting up an audiobook was something I had wanted to do since publication, but actually putting it all together seemed daunting. Given how streamlined they made this for me, I am planning to release my entire series in audio format.
Do you believe certain types of writing translate better into audiobook format?
No, I think there is a place for all types of literature in audio format. I am as likely to listen to a six-hour murder mystery as I am a thirty-four-hour biography.
Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
Not consciously. I did not even know if people would pick up my book when I first wrote Into Neon. I was mostly just writing a book that I wanted to read, and I have been thrilled with the positive response. An audiobook seemed almost like an impossible dream when I was first writing and so it is a dream come true that it is coming out now.
How did you select your narrator?
This was a no brainer. Zach brought the perfect energy to the project, crafted the voices of the characters exactly right and, as an added bonus, is a huge fan of cyberpunk. Since I write in a somewhat niche genre, having a narrator who loves it is something I really appreciate.
How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process? Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters?
We worked quite closely, and Zach worked hard to find the right voice for all the various characters in the book. There were only a few names of things that I had to make sure were right, but it turned out that he was already saying the words the way I wanted.
Were there any real-life inspirations behind your writing?
The real world is the foundation on which all good cyberpunk is created. If you are going to envision a realistic near-future, you must understand the present as well. Looking at trends in technology and society certainly help to craft a science fiction setting that fells real.
How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?
Reading is the thing that seems to help break the log jams in my mind or get me excited again. Reading outside of my genre helps too. Sometimes I just need a break from the thing that I am thinking about all the time and escaping into the world of another author seems to do the trick.
Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
Absolutely! Audiobooks were what taught me to love science fiction and fantasy when I was young. The Hobbit audiobook and the radio dramatization of The Empire Strikes Back were in my Walkman all the time! As I grew up, my passion for audiobooks never left. I still listen whenever I can and will never stop.
If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go?
I am not sure that I would use the power since it pretty much ALWAYS goes wrong, but if I could go back and walk the streets of Ancient Rome, I would want to do it. I love history but that society, more than just about any other, fascinates me.
What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
I would tell them that my series is available in paperback and hardcover as well! But really, in an era where people are more than happy to tell you that they “don’t read,” we should be celebrating anyone who is taking the time to consume books, regardless of how. If you are supporting authors and enjoying literature in any way, that is absolutely great!
How did you celebrate after finishing this novel?
Into Neon was my first published novel so we had a big launch party when the book came out. I don’t really like being the center of attention but it was really nice to celebrate the accomplishment. Nowadays when I finish a book, I usually take a sip of coffee and think, “what’s next?”
In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of writing a stand-alone novel vs. writing a series?
I tend to write series but have written some short stand-alone stories as well. There is something to be said for establishing a world and letting a story have finality all at once, but I prefer to let a tale develop over many books. It gives you a chance to let the characters breathe a bit more and for the author to really delve into the world.
What’s your favorite…
Food: A good steak is hard to beat but when all is said and done, I really love a good chicken biryani. It is the comfort food I turn to when things are hard, what I eat when I want to celebrate and what my son wanted for his birthday dinner.
Song: “Where did you sleep last night,” as performed by Nirvana will always be one of my favorite songs and evokes emotion no matter how many times I hear it.
Album: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is pretty much a perfect album though listening to the cast recording of Hamilton inspired me to want to write again after a long break.
Book: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. It was the book that taught me about cyberpunk, but it was also one of the first books that made me want to write.
Television show: I often say The Simpsons or Deadwood but my wife correctly reminds me that it is actually The West Wing. It was so smart, thoughtful and thought-provoking. Sorkin makes me want to be a better writer.
Movie: Lawrence of Arabia has been my favorite movie for a very long time. There are so many movies that I love but Lawrence has always inspired me. Gorgeous visuals, a stunning soundtrack and a fascinatingly morally gray character make for an incredible film.
Sports team: I have lived in San Francisco my whole and grew up watching Joe Montana and Jerry Rice so the 49ers will always be my favorite sports team.
City: I have called The City by the Bay my home for most of my life and I love it! Most cyberpunk books take place in a near-future San Francisco and it is the perfect place to write my genre. With its hippie past and tech present, it embodies high tech / low life perfectly.
Are any of those things referenced in appearance in your work?
Oh yes. I think it is natural to have the things that inspire us find their way into our works. Not only do I include nods to things I love, I also have a character who outright quotes the popular culture of a bygone age as a way to connect readers of the present to the world of the future.
What bits of advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Just keep writing. It is easy to get bogged down in distractions but the best thing a writer can do is write. Like anything else, you get better the more you practice and writing is no different.
Do you have any tips for authors going through the process of turning their books into audiobooks?
Use Audiobook Empire.
What’s next for you?
I have several more books to come in the Cyberpunk Saga series as well as audiobooks coming for the rest of them as well. Follow ThutoWorld on your favorite social media to keep up with all my news.
About the Book
A Cyberpunk Saga Book One
by Matthew A. Goodwin
Published 3 July 2019
Page Count: 216
Published 15 June 2021
Length: 6 hours 15 minutes
Narrator: Zachary Johnson
Genre: Cyberpunk, Science Fiction
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
“Star Wars Meets Blade Runner In An Awesome Adventure!” -Amazon Review (5 Stars)
Moss’ life is going nowhere until a mysterious woman knocks on his door and leaves him with the key to take down one of the world’s largest corporations. When he discovers a familial connection to the stranger, Moss leaves the comfort of his home with his best friend for the sprawling megacity.
There, he joins a group of ruffians dedicated to freeing people from the yoke of the evil companies. Police-for-hire, motorcycle gangs and betrayal threaten them at every turn.
Can Moss help this small group of rebels fight the power before it’s too late? Find out in Into Neon: A Cyberpunk Saga.
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My Rating: 5 Stars
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I was granted complimentary audiobook access to Into Neon as part of my participation in a blog tour for this title with Audiobookworm Promotions. Thank you to all involved in affording me this opportunity! My thoughts are my own and my review is honest.
Into Neon is a dystopian cyberpunk taking down the oppressive system sort of adventure with high stakes and very likable characters. Moss used to be a reliable, loyal cog in a massive corporate wheel until underground reality came knocking and asked him to help take that corporate wheel down. Turns out it’s his birthright! His grandmother started this movement…
This book pulls you in from the first sentence and doesn’t let you out until the last. Fortunately for my very tired brain trying to get ahead on the coming weekend’s blog posts, it’s only just over 6 hours long in audiobook format and I routinely listen at 2x speed, because I’m not sure I could have obliged this book’s demand to listen all in one sitting otherwise, and I wouldn’t have slept well leaving this partially unread.
Into Neon is full of book nerd easter eggs, like writing on a wall that says Fahrenheit 415 (“That’s the old area code.”) I caught that! I love it. Fahrenheit 451 is exactly the type of vibes this book gives, but updated for the future. Not Fahrenheit 451’s future, but ours.
This book also have excellent LGBTQIA+ representation, heavily featuring they/them pronoun users and everybody else just gets it.
When can I read book two?
If you like smart adventures full of cybernetics, LGBTQIA+ rep, taking down big brother plots, and great well-rounded characters, this book needs to be your next read!
About the Author
Matthew A. Goodwin has been writing about spaceships, dragons and adventures since he was twelve years old. His passion for fantasy began when he discovered a box set of the Hobbit radio drama on cassette tape in his school’s library at the age of seven. He fell in love with fantasy worlds and soon discovered D&D and Warhammer miniatures.
Not wanting to be limited by worlds designed by others, he created Thutopia (now called the Thuton Empire), a fantasy world of his own which he still writes about to this day.
Like many kids with an affinity for fantasy, a love of science fiction soon followed. He loved sweeping space operas and gritty cyberpunk stories which asked questions about man’s relationship to technology. That led him to write his first published work, Into Neon: A Cyberpunk Saga, which takes place in a larger science fiction universe.
He has a passion for travel and wildlife and when he is not off trying to see the world, he lives in San Francisco with his wife and son.
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