Author | Matt-M-McElroy

Matt-M-McElroy

Matt acts as the “Editor-in-Chief” of Flames Rising, which usually means writing reviews, setting up interviews, posting news and checking out the latest Horror & Dark Fantasy products from a variety of publishers. He also recruits reviewers, posts previews and works with publishers to explore new ideas for promoting the genre.

Matt occasionally dabbles in freelance writing and game design. Recently he worked on the Ghostories Enhancement Pack for Precis Intermedia and the novella "Time to Burn" in the Tales of the Seven Dogs Society collection from Abstract Nova Entertainment.


Matt-M-McElroy

Saying Goodbye to my friend Steven

Posted on July 10, 2016 by

Last week, I was horrified to learn that Steven D. Russell of Rite Publishing was killed in an car accident on July 5th, 2016. Steven was one of the first DriveThruRPG publishers I was able to build a friendship with that I had not already known from my previous experiences in the RPG industry. Having run Flames Rising for several years (and a little freelance writing here and there), I had naturally built up a number of friendships and working relationships before I started working for DriveThruRPG. But, those friendships represented only a fraction of the industry, and jumping into the publisher services role offered me a ton of opportunities to get to know even more people from companies big and small. Steven was one of them, and that friendship was built over time as his company (and DriveThruRPG) grew.

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Matt-M-McElroy

What it Means to Work with Everyone

Posted on April 10, 2015 by

Normally, it can be difficult for me to talk about my day job and/or part-time gig as a freelancer here on Flames Rising due to any number of reasons. However, after learning so much over the past few years I wanted to start talking about various aspects of what I do.

Today, I want to address what it means to work with everyone…

There are thousands of active titles on the sites I manage for DriveThruRPG.com, DriveThruComics.com, and DriveThruFiction.com. I’ve had the pleasure of working with publishers and creators that are beyond awesome. I’ve also worked with publishers and creators who say and do things I disagree with in any number of different ways.

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Matt-M-McElroy

Ghouls by Night, an Outline via Open Development

Posted on September 29, 2013 by

I’m doing a little freelance RPG development for Onyx Path Publishing in the off hours from my “day job” as Marketing Director for DriveThruComics, DriveThruRPG and related sites. As a developer I get to pitch new ideas for books and focus on the overall concept and design, while bringing on talented freelancers to bring those concepts to the written page.

One of the books I pitched last year was an expanded look at Ghouls and Revenants for Vampire: the Masquerade.

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Matt-M-McElroy

Geek.Kon approaches! Panels! Games! Fun!

Posted on August 21, 2013 by

Geek.Kon is Madison Wisconsin’s very own anime convention, sci-fi convention, and gaming convention all rolled into one! As the name implies, Geek.Kon is a place to celebrate all that is geeky from strong foundations in anime, science fiction, video gaming, tabletop gaming, and costuming to up and coming fandoms like steampunk and gothic lolita. From Lord of the Rings to Doctor Who, Mario to Solid Snake, Geek.Kon covers it all.

Several of the Flames Rising crew will be at the convention and on panels throughout the weekend.

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Matt-M-McElroy

Action, Adventure, Costumes and more at NYCC

Posted on October 16, 2012 by

I just got back from New York Comic Con and I had a great time at the show. I was mostly there in my role as Marketing Director for DriveThruComics.com, but I somehow found the time to have a little fun for Flames Rising too.

There were certainly plenty of awesome Horror & Dark Fantasy items on display to catch any fans interest. One of my first stops was the Black Watch Comics booth to check out The North End of the World by David Hunsaker and Christopher Shy. Conveniently for me, the Monarch Comics booth with new and collected issues of the Witch Hunter series was right next door. This is also where I ran into Brian and Matt from the Secret Identity Podcast (of which Brian got me to do a short interview, yikes!) so this area kind of became my “home base” for the show. Great books, good friends and a cool place to hang out between other meetings and wandering the show floor.

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Matt-M-McElroy

Matt’s PAX 2012 Adventures

Posted on September 4, 2012 by

PAX Prime 2012 has wrapped up and I had a great time at the show. That unfortunately meant I had to miss out on other great times like Dragon*Con in Atlanta and WorldCon in Chicago. I could go off about the scheduling demons that need to be exorcised to make that not happen again. I’ve heard all kinds of cool stories from those other shows that I missed out on…but anyway, PAX was pretty awesome so let’s talk about that…

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Matt-M-McElroy

2012 ENnie Awards Nominees Announced

Posted on July 13, 2012 by

Congratulations to the 2012 ENnie Awards nominees!

See the full list at Ennie-awards.com.

Some excellent Horror & Dark Fantasy entries in the list this year from Pelgrane Press (Trail of Cthulhu), Cubicle 7 (Cthulhu Britanica), Steve Jackson Games (GURPS Horror), Chaosium (Call of Cthulhu), Green Ronin (Dragon Age), White Wolf (Vampire: the Masquerade) and a few others. Of course there are some dark fantasy elements in the various Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder nominations as well. Traditionally Wizards of the Coast and Paizo do rather well at the ENnies, which is not surprising consider ENWorld is a D&D site first and everything else second. I’m usually more interested in who wins the Silver awards for each category.

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Matt-M-McElroy

No Grand Masquerade in 2012

Posted on June 8, 2012 by

So, this is something a number of us have suspected for a few months, but now there is “official” confirmation. Chris McDonough has sent Open Letter From CCP to the membership of the Mind’s Eye Society (aka the Camarilla fan club).

In the letter there is some information about the transition of the club formerly known as The Camarilla out of White Wolf/CCP hands and back to the fans themselves. This has been an ongoing process and I’m on the outside looking in (i.e. a friend, but not an active member of the club), however, I think it is a good thing. Fan clubs should be run by fans and while it might be nice to have a company handle all of the funding and management tasks, it really should fall to the fans to manage those details.

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Matt-M-McElroy

The Vampire Retrospective Project Continues…

Posted on February 29, 2012 by

When I first launched the Vampire Retrospective Project I had intended it to be a short run to the end of the year and that was it. The response has been very positive from fans, developers and freelancers that have worked on various editions of Vampire: the Masquerade and other RPGs over the years. I’ve also had a few people contact me that wished they could have taken part, but missed the deadline due to work or other conflicts.

So…I’m making the project an open-ended event here on Flames Rising. Especially now that Vampire: the Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition is out and people are starting up games all over the world. If you missed out on sending in an essay, here is your chance, I’d love to hear about your experiences with Vampire (any and all editions or variants).

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Matt-M-McElroy

Haunted Reviews and an Award!

Posted on January 25, 2012 by

Who willingly walks into a haunted house?

Our readers do!

Since we launched Haunted: 11 Tales of Ghostly Horror in October we’ve received some excellent reviews and recently we won an award for the anthology. We also just found out that Haunted: 11 Tales of Ghostly Horror won the Best Anthology category in the Preditors & Editors Readers’ Poll. The P&E Readers’ Poll is an annual event hosted by the Critters Writers Workshop where readers and fans can vote on their favorite books, authors and publishers. Thanks to our readers we took the top spot in this year’s event and we’re honored that so many would vote for our little collection of horror.

Haunted: 11 Tales of Ghostly Horror is available in eBook (PDF, ePub and Mobi/Kindle) and Print formats at DriveThruFiction.com. It is also available at the B&N Nook Store.

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Matt-M-McElroy

Ron Marz Tells Us About Top Cow’s Artifacts

Posted on December 28, 2011 by

One of the best things about my role at DriveThruComics.com is working with an amazing group of authors and artists that are producing some awesome comics. One of our publishers has a universe shattering series going on now and I recently had the chance to talk to Artifacts series author/architect Ron Marz about it. This interview was originally crafted for the DriveThruComics Newsletter, so I wanted to do things a little differently. I did some “crowd-sourcing” for questions from folks reading the series. I added those suggestions to my questions and fired them off to Ron.

Artifacts was originally a limited series that involves the bearers of 13 mythological items such as the Witchblade and The Darkness. Recently it was announced that Artifacts will continue past issue 13 and the affects on the Top Cow Universe will be lasting. Here Ron tells us a bit more about the series…

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Matt-M-McElroy

Streets of Bedlam Interview with Jason L Blair

Posted on December 6, 2011 by

Streets of Bedlam is a pen-and-paper roleplaying game in which you play characters with histories, who’ve done bad things, who may do a few more, but who have a code they stick to, fuzzy though it may be, that guides them through life and allows them to make a difference. Everybody in this town wants something but your characters are aiming higher than most and maybe, just maybe, they’ll do some good. At the very least, maybe they’ll stop some bad from happening.

Written and designed by critically-acclaimed game writer Jason L Blair, the man behind Little Fears, Streets of Bedlam will be built around the award-winning Savage Worlds ruleset published by Pinnacle Entertainment Group.

In this interview I ask Jason for details about the inspirations he drew from and the characters that you play in Streets of Bedlam.

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Matt-M-McElroy

More White Wolf Books Back in Print at DriveThruRPG!

Posted on December 2, 2011 by

One of the tasks I have as Publisher Relations Manager at DriveThruRPG.com is working with publishers to get their books into the Now in Print program.

One publisher that has embraced this program as part of their new publishing model is White Wolf. Not only are they releasing all of their new titles in both PDF and Print, they are working with us to add all of the out-of-print World of Darkness and Exalted titles back in print and available again. The process has certainly had some challenges and taken much longer to get rolling than everyone involved had hoped, but the books are great and the fans have (mostly) been excited about these developments.

Some of the challenges with a project of this size include formatting issues. Some of the books are rather old and access to the original production files is hit-or-miss, meaning some of the books will be built from high-quality scans rather than digital production.

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Matt-M-McElroy

FR Press Announces Slices of Fate, the Collected Works of Author Eddy Webb

Posted on November 30, 2011 by

Matt M McElroy, Publisher of FR Press, announced today that Slices of Fate, the collected works of author Eddy Webb, will debut early December 2011.

“Slices of Fate is a collection that spans the depth and breadth of Webb’s work,” said editor Monica Valentinelli. “Arranged chronologically, this is a beautiful representation of the stories and voices Webb has to offer his readers.”

Stories range from the author’s nod to literary tales like “A Sheepish Trip to Yorkshire” to more speculative works like “The Battlefield.” Essays include a series on two of Webb’s loves: wrestling and Sherlock Holmes. Combined with several pieces of microfiction, the collection is an in-depth representation of the author’s work thus far.

Both digital and print editions of the collection will be available through online retailers like DriveThruFiction.com in early December 2011.

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Matt-M-McElroy

Looking back at the Design Essay Series

Posted on August 26, 2011 by

The Flames Rising Design Essay Series started in 2008 when Preston DuBose and I were chatting about different projects we’ve worked on (including Buried Tales of Pinebox, Texas which we had recently released) and I asked him to write a little something about the next project on his agenda, you can find the essay below. Like other parts of the site, this series started out in RPGs, but soon expanded to include Fiction, Comics and we even have one essay about Film.

The series continues to evolve and has become an ongoing project where authors, game designers and others can tell Flames Rising readers about the creative process that went into a particular project. We have no plans on stopping this series, but I thought I’d take a moment to look back at some of the essays we’ve posted so far:

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Matt-M-McElroy

Talking Horror Comics and Hack/Slash with Brea Grant

Posted on August 18, 2011 by

Many Flames Rising readers may recognize Brea Grant from her role as Daphne on the popular television show Heroes. Did you know that the multi-talented Brea also writes comics? I recently had the chance to talk comics and acting with her for the site. We talked about her upcoming comic-related projects as a comic book writer and her new role as Cassie Hack in the upcoming Hack/Slash motion comic series.

What can you tell us about your upcoming role as Cassie Hack?

I will be the voice and sort of the face of Cassie in the new animated comic. We’re using animation, rotoscoping, green screen, all sorts of stuff to make it super cool and fantastic. So it’ll technically be my face but a lot of animation as well.

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Matt-M-McElroy

Bloodsuckers Available Now from Fireside Games!

Posted on August 17, 2011 by

Save the town of Blackwood, or drain it dry. The choice is yours.

The once quiet small town of Blackwood has become a battleground. A coven of vampires has crept in under the cover of darkness to drain the very life from its helpless citizens. As powerful as these creatures of legend are, they do not prowl the streets unchallenged. A team of skilled vampire hunters with an arsenal of modern weapons has tracked these bloodsuckers down and the battle for the soul of Blackwood is about to begin.

Bloodsuckers is a highly thematic strategy card game for 2 to 4 players ages 13 and up.

Designed By: Justin De Witt and Anne-Marie De Witt (Creators of the Castle Panic Board Game)

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Matt-M-McElroy

SJGames Week: Awful Green Things From Outer Space Review

Posted on July 27, 2011 by

The crew of the exploration ship Znutar just wanted to cruise around the Galaxy, discovering strange new worlds and playing pool. But then their ship was invaded by the Awful Green Things . . . and suddenly they were fighting for their lives!

I recently had the chance to try this game. Amazingly, I had never even demoed the Awful Green Things From Outer Space before. I’d seen it sitting on the shelves of the local game store before and thought it looked like fun. Naturally, I played the role of the alien monsters the first time out, but both sides are just as fun in the end.

Before game play can begin, there’s a little set up involved in this primarily two-player (or two teams) game. First, the Znutar crew has to be placed into different locations on the ship. Then, players need to resolve the starting locations for the Awful Green Things, weapons, etc. Once you’ve played a few times, the set up will go fairly quickly. It took us about five or ten minutes to set up the game the first time we played.

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Matt-M-McElroy

Two Lovecraftian Kickstarter Projects

Posted on April 27, 2011 by

I’ve recently discovered two very cool looking Lovecraft inspired projects on Kickstarter. The first is the Unisystem RPG called –Eldritch Skies– from Battlefield Press. The future is here. Machine-made telepathy, augmentations, and unprecedented levels of automation have changed the face of Earth. But the science of sorcery, and our primitive understandings of what lies outside, […]

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Matt-M-McElroy

Lobster Johnson: The Satan Factory Review

Posted on April 6, 2011 by

Lobster Johnson is a character from the Hellboy mythos. He is a crime fighter and masked vigilante with a team of loyal sidekicks? assistants? that help him take out mobsters, villains and other assorted scum. The Satan Factory is a pulp novel about The Lobster’s battle against a failed mob doctor named Jonas Chapel who stumbled into some very dark magic.

I enjoyed all of the appearances of Lobster Johnson in the Hellboy comics I’ve come across, so I was especially pleased to see this novel on the shelf at the store and scooped it up right away. I was wondering how well the character would translate from comic to fiction, and I wasn’t sure if the character could carry a book by himself (with no Hellboy trash talking in the pages). My concern was not needed, Sniegoski delivered a great story with some great characters.

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11 Tales of Ghostly Horror

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    Note: We are especially looking for folks interested in reviewing eBooks (both Fiction & Comics). We have lots of great titles in digital format and even get advance copies sometimes.

    Use the Contact Page to submit reviews or let us know if you have any questions.