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.
Posted on October 16, 2012 by Matt-M-McElroy
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.
Posted on September 4, 2012 by Matt-M-McElroy
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…
Posted on July 13, 2012 by Matt-M-McElroy
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.
Posted on June 8, 2012 by Matt-M-McElroy
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.
Posted on February 29, 2012 by Matt-M-McElroy
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).
Posted on January 25, 2012 by Matt-M-McElroy
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.
Posted on December 28, 2011 by Matt-M-McElroy
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…
Posted on December 6, 2011 by Matt-M-McElroy
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.
Posted on December 2, 2011 by Matt-M-McElroy
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.
Posted on November 30, 2011 by Matt-M-McElroy
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.
Posted on August 26, 2011 by Matt-M-McElroy
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:
Posted on August 18, 2011 by Matt-M-McElroy
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.
Posted on August 17, 2011 by Matt-M-McElroy
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)
Posted on July 27, 2011 by Matt-M-McElroy
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.
Posted on April 27, 2011 by Matt-M-McElroy
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, [...]
Posted on April 6, 2011 by Matt-M-McElroy
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.
Posted on March 14, 2011 by Matt-M-McElroy
When I first read Dragon Age: The Calling, I hadn’t played any of the Dragon Age video games (although I did start playing Dragon Age: Origins for my PS3). My experiences with the Dragon Age setting was from playing a few sessions of the Dragon Age RPG that is published by Green Ronin and reading a few of the IDW Comics. The setting was what hooked me enough to pick up this novel and dive into the world.
Posted on December 31, 2010 by Matt-M-McElroy
2010 is just about over, where did the time go?
This was a pretty big year for me all around, with my expanded role at OneBookShelf (the company behind DriveThruRPG, DriveThruComics and related sites). If you don’t already know, I’m the Publisher Relations and Marketing Manager for OneBookShelf. I had the chance to work some awesome publishers and travel to quite a few conventions across the country. Recently, we got a print program up and running where folks can order print editions of titles like Descended From Darkness from Apex Book Company, Laws of the Night from White Wolf and King Arthur Pendragon from Nocturnal just to name a few. This has been a busy and detailed process working with some great publishers to get this program up and running and I’m looking forward to seeing it further develop in the new year.
Posted on December 7, 2010 by Matt-M-McElroy
Zombie Week continues here at Flames Rising with a new interview about zombies…and pirates!
In this interview, FlamesRising.com got the chance to sit down with Daniel Davis. Daniel is a hobby games designer who has worked with Eden Studios on the game line All Flesh Must Be Eaten. Today we talk to Daniel about his experiences with this zombie survival horror game and his work producing the Arrgh! Thar Be Zombies game supplement.
Be sure to check out the Arrgh! Thar Be Zombies! Preview we posted earlier this year.
Posted on October 19, 2010 by Matt-M-McElroy
Drizzt joins Bruenor on his quest for the fabled dwarven kingdom of Gauntlgrym: ruins said to be rich with ancient treasure and arcane lore. But before they even get close, another drow and dwarf pair stumbles across it first: Jarlaxle and Athrogate. In their search for treasure and magic, Jarlaxle and Athrogate inadvertently set into motion a catastrophe that could spell disaster for the unsuspecting people of the city of Neverwinter—a catastrophe big enough to lure even the mercenary Jarlaxle into risking his own coin and skin to stop it. Unfortunately, the more they uncover about the secret of Gauntlgrym, the more it looks like they can’t stop it on their own. They’ll need help, and from the last people they ever thought to fight alongside again: Drizzt and Bruenor.
In this interview, FlamesRising.com editor-in-chief Matt M. McElroy sits down with best-selling author R.A. Salvatore to discuss his new book entitled GAUNTLGRYM. After the interview, uncover a vital clue to help you win a contest for a signed copy of the book and a trip for two to D&D Experience in Fort Wayne, Indiana.