22 May 2012

Caves of Etretat!

Happy Tuesday! Today, I'm welcomng Matthew Chatelain, author of the Caves of Etretat. Enjoy!

Welcome to my little old blog! Tell us a little about yourself.

Loved writing as a kid. Grew up. Dad said don't write, no money in it. Became used bookstore owner. Bad heart. Wife took over. Became househusband. Twiddled thumbs. Felt useless not making money. Decided to go back to being writer, childhood dream. Wanted to write a first book.  Got roped into a crazy historical mystery answering everything. One book ended up being four. Took five years of my life. Fifty-two, job's done. No limousine to publisher. No agent response. Self-editing, big lesson. Self-publishing, not too bad. Self promotion, new learning curve. Less time to write but faster at writing. Going good.

Thanks! How about your most recent (or upcoming) release?

I have written a four book epic action adventure series, 'The Sirenne Saga'. Book One 'The Caves of Etretat' and Book Two, 'The Four Books of Etretat', are now available.

In the first novel of the series, 'The Caves of Etretat', Paul Sirenne uncovers a lost family secret, leading him on a historical treasure chase, shortly after his father is found brutally murdered. Assisted by three friends via the internet and hunted by a serial killer, he ends up in touristic Etretat, France, on the trail of a hundred year old mystery, hidden in Maurice Leblanc's book 'The Hollow Needle'. Falling in love with Leblanc's great-granddaughter and running at a breakneck pace, he deals with puzzles, theories, codes and historical mysteries, exposing a secret war for control of a cave fortress in Etretat's chalk cliffs

In the second novel, (The Four Books of Etretat), Sirenne discovers the real reason for the hidden war: the secret of immortality. Becoming an immortal himself, Sirenne learns of the Abbey, a thousand year old organization dedicated to chasing the oldest immortal on earth, known as the Greyman. The Abbey has given Sirenne control of the caves and its secrets, apparently preparing him for a confrontation with the Greyman. Unfortunately, the serial killer who killed Sirenne's father, Weissmuller, has discovered this knowledge before Sirenne. Now an immortal and constantly dogging Sirenne's steps, Weissmuller seems to be playing a game of his own.

The Sirenne Saga is a four-book epic adventure following Paul Sirenne, an average man unknowingly manipulated into becoming the key in the final phase of a complex conspiracy spanning millennia. Inextricably woven into history, the series re-writes everything we know in a non-stop rollercoaster of a ride where nothing is ever as it seems.

Now for the fun. Llamas or camels?

Depends on which one spits most (or furthest, or accurately) ((Not sure which is most important. Perhaps a rating based on all three)). I tend to lean towards camels but strictly because of Monty Python's camel sketch. Remember the famous line: "Almost… uhm nearly… uhm, very close to, pretty much almost nearly one, I'd say." If you haven't seen the skit, the quote won't mean much to you, so sorry about that. Allow me to assure you that it is indeed funny, so you may permit yourself a sincere chuckle or two. It is definitely worth it.

You’ve just been cornered on the street by Steven Spielberg, who wants to make your book into an epic three part movie. Who’s going to play the leads?

Four parts. Main lead could be played by Chris Pine. Liam O'Flanahan, the irish conspiracy publisher should be played by Paul Giamatti. Jonathan Briar, the archeology  professor, could be played by Terry O'Quinn, the actor who played John Locke in 'Lost'. Problem is, my wife's with me when Spielberg corners me. She's eyeing me pretty bad, so I can't say who I'd really want for Raymonde Leblanc, the love interest. The one guy left, Fabian Coulter, Sirenne's young sidekick, needs a young actor but I'm too old to know any of them. I'm stuck in the sixties, movie-wise. Spielberg gets his henchman to pressure me, twisting my arm, but there's no way I'm going to expose myself any more. I do a backhand flip, getting out of the henchman's grasp and pull out a shiv, hidden in my belt buckle. I don't intend to use it, just to get Spielberg to back off, at least until I do some more research, or when I'm not with my wife. Spielberg gets it, giving me 'the wink', and goes down a side alley, his henchman slinking behind him. I get in my limousine and drive off, bothered by the whole incident but not sure why.

You’re the President of the world! What’s your first new rule?

Out with money. Second rule: enforced population control. Local living, local buying. Community life. Not many people like me. I don't care. I've fixed the world. I'll use the huge prisons built all over the place to house all tax, Wall street, and investment related workers. They can be 'retrained' for actual useful work.

If you could be locked into one of your stories, which one would it be? Which character would you be and why?

I've written a four book series. Most of the characters are recurrent. Paul Sirenne, the main character would be my choice. There are two very good reasons. Both of them are story spoilers, so I'm not going to tell you why directly. I can provide some acerbic clues: Clue One: In the end, it doesn't matter who I pick. Clue Two: There's really nobody else to compare him to.  Unfortunately, you may have to read to the end of the four book series to figure out if my clues are good or not. Sorry for the trick but there it is.

Here’s a box of Crayons. What are you going to draw?

First, I need to sharpen the crayons. I want a nice sharp tip. I need a light box and some translucent paper. A magnifying glass, because my eyes are gone.  I try to draw something but the stupid tip breaks. It doesn't matter anyway, because don't really care to draw with crayons. All I care about is perspective of the object, the light play, how it can be used to create illusions. Shades of black are best used for that. I toss the crayons and grab some sharp pencils kept for such an emergency. I draw an impossible triangle, Escher's masterpiece. One simple shape. Three offset shades of the same color. Assemble and, Voila! A two dimensional drawing that will twist your eye out, becoming three dimensional. It reveals the human tendency to create illusion where none exists. In that lies an explanation to mankind's biggest mystery. Read my series for more.

Where can we find you around the vast interwebs?

www.mattchatelain.com is my home. This link will send you to the audio excerpts for 'The Caves of Etretat': http://mattchatelain.com/the_sirenne_saga/sirenne_saga_audio_excerpts . This link will allow you to sign up for my contest to win signed books: http://mattchatelain.com/contestlinks . Leave me a note if you visit, love to hear from you.

And where might we find your books for sale?

My books (The Caves of Etretat, The Four Books of Etretat) are available as Ebook for $3.95 at Kindle and in hardcopy for $14.95 at Amazon.com. Links for both may be found at my website, along with some related links for free Kindle books.

Thanks for dropping by! Any other thoughts?

We all wonder where conspiracies start. Is there something real behind them? What about vampires? Are they real? What is real in the end? Can anything be proven to be real… or is it all illusion? If you are inside the illusion, what argument can you use to prove it is an illusion? Even if it is an illusion, so what?
What if all illusions, all conspiracies, came from the same place? What if you knew where that place was? What would you do? Read my series to find out.


In 2007, Canadian bookstore owner Paul Sirenne is suddenly thrust into a quest for answers, when his parents are found brutally murdered, their bodies cut up and shaped into the letters H.N. Finding a note inside his father's copy of 'The Hollow Needle', by Maurice Leblanc, Sirenne is determined to uncover the roots of his long-forgotten family secret.

He heads to the town of Etretat, France, on the trail of a hundred year old mystery hidden in the pages of the 'Hollow Needle'. Falling in love with Leblanc's great-granddaughter, he deals with puzzles, theories, codes and historical mysteries, leading him to believe that Leblanc held a secret war against Adolf Hitler, fighting for the control of an incredible complex of caves hidden in Etretat's chalk cliffs.

'THE CAVES OF ETRETAT' is the first in a four-book epic adventure following Paul Sirenne, an average man unknowingly manipulated into becoming the key in the final phase of a complex conspiracy spanning millennia. Inextricably woven into history, the series re-writes everything we know in a non-stop rollercoaster of a ride where nothing is ever as it seems.


EXCERPTS (Please choose only ONE to use with your post):

Excerpt one

While I drove toward my father's place, my rear view mirror allowed me the occasional glimpse of a familiar vehicle and its driver, Norton. His companions were nowhere to be seen. Perhaps he was intent on protecting me but I doubted it. His comments had seemed disjointed to me, despite the circumstances. Everything he said had come across insincere, as if he were following another agenda. I resolved to ignore him for the time being. Let him do his watching.

To some, police protection might seem comforting. To me, it felt like an irritant. I preferred to mind my own business and for others to do the same, even in dire circumstances. That way I hurt no one and no one got hurt. I almost changed my opinion when I arrived at my father’s house. Even Norton's company would have been preferable to that of my own thoughts. I hurried up the entrance staircase and stopped in front of the door, taking a deep breath. I felt frozen in place, unable to open it.

Breaking the spell and forcing myself to move, I removed the police tape with a trembling hand and entered, closing the door behind me. I looked around the entrance hallway. Everything looked normal but it felt wrong, empty, too quiet. I walked into the living room and there it was: the bloody outline of the H and the N. I was horrified by the bloodstained dots after each gruesome letter, knowing what had left those imprints.

Seized by a sudden, irresistible impulse, I ran to the kitchen, filled a large bucket with hot water and picked up a heavy bristle brush.

Those stains had to go!

I returned to the living room, trying to stay calm, to think nothing about what the stains represented. I knelt down, splashed some water on the floor, and began scrubbing the dark stains. I didn’t care if I scratched the wood. At some point, I started crying in great, wracking sobs, the tears streaming down my cheeks, dripping onto the bloodstains on the floor.

By the time I was done, my tears had dried, evaporated by a burning resolve unlike any I had before. I did not know how, I did not know when, but I would catch that monstrous killer. He would pay for what he had done.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Born in Ottawa, fifty-two years ago, I have been the owner of a used bookstore I opened in Ontario, since 1990. I have been writing since I was ten. Beginning with poetry, I quickly moved on to short stories and non-fiction pieces. I stayed in that format for many years, eventually self-publishing a franchise manual (How to Open Your Own Used Bookstore), as well as a variety of booklets, such as 'How to Save Money at Home', 'Build a Greenhouse with Style' and the ten booklet series of Eddy Brock, Brockville Detective.

Having semi-retired from the bookstore, I embarked on the project of writing my first serious novel, which I expanded to a four book series after discovering an incredible mystery hidden within Maurice Leblanc's books.

My interests are eclectic. I like Quantum Physics, Cosmology, history, archaeology, science in general, mechanics, free power, recycling and re-use. I'm a good handyman and can usually fix just about anything. I'm good with computers. I love movies, both good and bad, preferring action and war movies. I can draw and paint fairly well but am so obsessed with perspective and light that I cannot think of much else. I am too detail oriented. Takes too long to finish anything.

Website:   http://www.mattchatelain.com
Facebook page:   http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=100003486781507



Matt will be awarding a $20 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour as well as to the host whose post receives the most comments (excluding his or the host's) during the tour.


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting Matt today.

Matt Chatelain Author said...

Hi everyone. Thanks for coming and reading my interview. If you have any questions, feel fre to ask. I'll be checking the site throughout the day.

Anonymous said...

Interesting interview. There's a Shop Local movement in a nearby town, and it seems to be working...


Catherine Lee said...

I like the staccato "Tell us a little about yourself." I'm a Monty Python fan and have never seen the camel sketch. Poor Spielberg...having a shiv pulled on him. Bet that doesn't happen too often!? And, finally, it's interesting what you'd do a President of the World! This has been an enlightening interview!

Matt Chatelain Author said...

shop local turns out to be the secret weapon people have to destabilise corporations. Shhh...don't tell anyone. It's the subject of my next series...sort of.

The camel interview is famous for several reasons. One, it takes place in Canada. Two, it contains no camels.

marybelle said...

LOVED the interview questions. What a brilliant way to show us the another side to the author.