Author | 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.

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.


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)


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.


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, […]


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.


Dragon Age: The Calling Novel Review

Posted on March 14, 2011 by

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.


Matt looks back at 2010

Posted on December 31, 2010 by

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.


Zombie Week: Interview with Daniel Davis

Posted on December 7, 2010 by

Zombie Week continues here at Flames Rising with a new interview about zombies…and pirates!

In this interview, 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.


Discussing Gauntlgrym with author R.A. Salvatore and Contest!

Posted on October 19, 2010 by

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, 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.


Elminster Must Die, an interview with Ed Greenwood

Posted on August 10, 2010 by

Elminster Returns!

Elminster Must Die is the debut 4th edition appearance of one of the Forgotten Realms world’s most iconic characters, written by the creator of the original Forgotten Realms campaign setting. An instant classic, and a must-read for every Realms fan.

When the goddess of magic was murdered, Elminster’s world shattered. Once the most powerful wizard in the world, immortal, beloved of the goddess of magic, and the bane of villainy, he is now a tired old man. He is powerful but mortal, and with all the enemies a man who makes a habit of saving the world tends to accumulate. To make matters worse, Elminster has needs—feeding powerful magic items to the Simbul, his lover, is the only thing that keeps her sane—but their increasingly risky collection leads his enemies right to him.

Flames Rising is pleased to present a new interview with Elminster Must Die author Ed Greenwood.


Shane DeFreest tells us about The Grand Masquerade

Posted on August 2, 2010 by is pleased to present you with an inside look at an event called “The Grand Masquerade.” This annual event, hosted by White Wolf Publishing, is held for fans of the World of Darkness. This interview was conducted by’s editor-in-chief Matt M McElroy, who is also a long-time fan, Storyteller and promoter of White Wolf.

I had the chance recently to sit down with Shane DeFreest, World of Darkness Community Developer for CCP/White Wolf, and ask him about the upcoming gathering called The Grand Masquerade. The Grand Masquerade is a World of Darkness Convention being held on September 23-26, 2010 at the Roosevelt Waldorf Astoria Hotel located in the New Orleans French Quarter.


Back from Atlanta and trying something new.

Posted on June 16, 2010 by

I have been posting short updates and industry news that I’ve come across over on my LiveJournal for the past few months. Someone suggested that Flames Rising readers might like to hear some of the rattling that goes on in my head so…we’re going to give it shot. These posts will indeed be a bit of a random mix of links and commentary and most likely won’t follow any kind of set pattern. Feedback and comments are welcome.

Last week I was in Atlanta on business for the “day job” (aka I’m still trying to catch up on my e-mail, so if I owe you something give me a few extra days. That or it got lost in the shuffle so feel free to ping me with a reminder…


Scion RPG Preview: Yazata

Posted on April 9, 2010 by is pleased to present you with an exclusive preview for a new supplement for SCION, published by White Wolf Publishing. Entitled Yazata: The Persian Gods, this supplement takes an in-depth look at the gods of ancient Persia. What’s in store for fans of SCION? New Boons, Knacks, Birthrights and Purviews, including a new general Purview called “Stars” which we have an exclusive sneak peek of right here at Flames Rising.

    Yazata Developer Eddy Webb tells us “This is what’s great about fan-proposed products. Siavash sent in a proposal, and instantly we saw the potential of it. It took a while to find the right place for it in our schedule, but I think the work that he and Dean put into it is worth the wait.”


    Vampire Apocalypse Fallout Review

    Posted on February 23, 2010 by

    Fallout is the third volume in the Vampire Apocalypse series written by Derek Gunn. This story picks up almost immediately after the previous book, Descent into Chaos, wraps up. Now, the free humans are still recovering from the events of the previous novel, and have new challenges to face. Burdened by a huge influx of rescued people to their hidden community, the main characters have a lot of challenges weaning them off a deadly serum and integrating them into their new lives as survivors and freedom fighters.

    I’ll say from the start that this review will be difficult to write without spoiling something in the story. There is a lot of action in this volume and plenty of twists and turns to the ongoing narrative. So, I’ll attempt to spoil as little as possible in the review, but a few minor bits might slip through in the process…


    Castle Panic Game Review

    Posted on February 2, 2010 by

    Castle Panic is a cooperative board game where players work together to protect their castle from an invading horde of Orcs, Trolls and their little Goblin minions. These monsters are bent on destroying what the humans have built and have a few nasty tricks up their sleeves to help them batter down the defenses of the castle.

    My favorite element of Castle Panic is the teamwork to defend the castle from the attacking monster army. With a little strategy, plenty of communication and often…a little luck, the Heroes can defeat the Monsters with most of the castle intact at the end of the day.


    Dancers in the Dusk RPG Review

    Posted on November 5, 2009 by

    Dancers in the Dusk and Swords at Dawn are bonus content books for Changeling: the Lost. Not part of the original planned publishing schedule these books were the result of excellent sales, fan support and the very creative folks at White Wolf stepping into the Hedge once more for another look around.

    This book is an excellent mixture of art and writing, much like the rest of the Lost books. However, for reasons difficult to pinpoint exactly this book was a great read. There are tons of great story ideas and plots twists a Storyteller can introduce into a chronicle or even just make use of as inspiration for new ideas and threats to keep the tension going throughout the game.


    ICC 2009 – A Few More Monsters

    Posted on November 2, 2009 by

    As ICC 2009 rolled into its second day of events I had the chance to attend a retrospective panel that featured developers of both Mage and Werewolf games (past and present). On the panel were Ethan Skemp, Bill Bridges, Eddy Webb and Jess Heinig. The panel offered a good look back at some of the design choices and core themes of both games and gave fans a chance to ask some questions about the differences, from the developers point of view what the biggest differences were between the previous World of Darkness editions of the games and the new World of Darkness versions.


    ICC 2009 – Vampires in Atlanta

    Posted on October 30, 2009 by

    I’m attending International Camarilla Convention 2009 and for the first time, ICC is taking place in Atlanta…White Wolf’s stomping ground.

    This year’s ICC has a ton of great looking events going on. Ranging from Requiem, Forsaken, Awakening and Lost LARP games that are part of the current global storyline, to a oWoD Sabbat LARP that is also a charity event raising funds for Get Well Gamers. In addition to the various LARP events there are some interesting panel discussions on the schedule that include several White Wolf staffers and other guests.


    Review Copies and the FTC

    Posted on October 6, 2009 by

    The recent headline from the NYTimes reads:

    Bloggers Must Disclose Payments for Reviews

    The Federal Trade Commission on Monday took steps to make product information and online reviews more accurate for consumers, regulating blogging for the first time and mandating that testimonials reflect typical results.

    The FTC will require that writers on the Web clearly disclose any freebies or payments they get from companies for reviewing their products. The commission also said advertisers featuring testimonials that claim dramatic results cannot hide behind disclaimers that the results aren’t typical.


    Of Evil and Darkness Trailer

    Posted on September 24, 2009 by

    Cinemacomics brings us a new modern horror comic series called OF EVIL AND DARKNESS. To highlight their new horror comic, they put together a trailer that offers a sneak peek at the artwork and story designed by Jay Carvajal. OF EVIL AND DARKNESS is a mature-rated horror comic that deals with the paranormal.


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