About Matt Author + Poet + Zombie Wrangler

About Matt


web_Booklovers2014_PortraitShoppe_MG_1246Matt Betts was born and raised in Lima, Ohio and went to college in Toledo. He currently lives in Columbus with his wife Mackenzie, and their two wonderful boys. Growing up, Matt consumed vast amounts of pop culture. He read comics, watched cartoons, listened to various popular music, regularly viewed the old monster movies on weekend television and read everything he could find.

Matt went to college to study communications, specializing in broadcasting. He signed on with the campus radio station as a news anchor and reporter not long after he arrived at college – before he took his first communications class, in fact. After graduation, he worked for a number of radio stations as a DJ, a reporter and anchor. More than any other format, Matt worked at Oldies stations, which fed his love of Elvis, the Beatles and other great early rock icons.

Further feeding his love affair with pop culture, Matt also worked as a waiter in a Toledo comedy club while attending college. This allowed him to see how famous comics built and fine-tuned their acts. For comedians, like authors, the ending of a story is just as important as the beginning and vice versa. If a web_Booklovers2014_PortraitShoppe_MG_1327comic couldn’t sell the setup, the audience most likely wouldn’t stay with them for punch line. Over the course of a week, it was possible to see a comedian transform a decent joke into a better one through slightly different wording or different delivery.

Matt met and interviewed comedian and actor Larry Miller one night at the club. Larry gave some advice that stuck with Matt long after. Larry was a classically trained musician who still played regularly and when asked if it was all too much, Larry suggested that creativity is creativity. You don’t have to do just one thing. Whether you’re writing a poem or a script, that creativity feeds the other things you do. It helps you be a better actor, musician, etc. It is advice Matt has applied to his writing career from the beginning, allowing his love of pop culture to infuse and inform all of his work, including poetry, short fiction and his longer works.

Matt’s short and flash fiction has focused a lot on humor and horror. His work appears in Arkham Tales, Ethereal Tales, the Triangulation: Taking Flight anthology, Bizarro Fiction! The Journal of Experimental Fiction 37, A Thousand Faces and Cinema Spec: Tales of Hollywood and Fantasy.

Matt’s poetry has been published in numerous venues, and his poem “Godzilla’s Better Half” was nominated for a Rhysling Award, the Science Fiction Poetry Association’s highest honor. His poetry has appeared in Star*Line, Escape Clause, The Book of Tentacles, Illumen, the 2010 Rhysling Anthology, Kaleidotrope and others. One of his pieces was also mentioned in a New York Times article on zombie poetry.

Reviews of Matt’s Workplaceholder-omo

“It’s impossible to say this too strongly: this steampunk-horror-historical-thriller crossbreed is an amazing book. Word of mouth could turn this from an under-the-radar debut novel from a little-known imprint into a genre-busting cult classic. Get on board now.” —David Pitt, Booklist on Odd Men Out (starred review)

“The stakes are high and the action and surprises are nonstop as Betts skillfully mixes elements of steampunk, alternate history, science fiction, and horror.” —Publishers Weekly on Odd Men Out

“A compelling story line, light humor, and a steampunk vibe make this an interesting and fun read.” ­—Library Journal on Odd Men Out

“Betts has built a vivid steampunk history of the Reconstruction, one where giant lizards and zombies roam a desolate United Nations of America.” —Paul Melko, Award-Winning Author of The Walls of the Universe and The Broken Universe, on Odd Men Out

“Matt Betts is a god of pop culture. His debut novel, Odd Men Out, is a glorious blend of everything that is right with the sci-fi genre. He manages to put together a book with shades of Firefly, Miyazaki, and Godzilla while keeping it fresh and true to his own deliciously askew voice.” —Mercedes M. Yardley, author of Beautiful Sorrows, on Odd Men Out

“Matt Betts’ book Odd Men Out has a ton of things that anyone of sound mind should like.” —Joe Crowe, RevolutionSF.com on Odd Men Out

Indelible Ink Cover_SM“Dark, imaginative, and thrilling, Indelible Ink is part urban fantasy, part crime novel, and completely enthralling. A first-rate adventure from the ever-reliable pen of Matt Betts.” —Tim Waggoner, author of Dream Stalkers, on Indelible Ink

“Women assassins, guns, black magic and government conspiracy; what’s not to love about Matt Betts’ latest novel, Indelible Ink? Grab a copy now, before the powers that be decide you can’t be trusted with the truth.”—Tom Barlow, author of I’ll Meet You Yesterday, on Indelible Ink

“Matt Betts doesn’t seem to know all writers get put into a box. He ignores genres and boundaries and simply writes what his imagination wants. His stories are what make reading fun.”—Greg Hall, author of Everyone Hates a Hero, on Indelible Ink

“This urban fantasy has a strong female slant that I enjoyed, and the quirky cha racter of FEI Agent Pel is one of my favorites. Betts’ use of the ‘ink’ and monstrous power it holds is intriguing and quite unlike anything I had read before. Deena is one tough fighter that I wouldn’t want to come across in a dark alley, or in a Starbucks either, for that matter. In case of impending apocalypse, I want her on my side.” —Mercedes M. Yardley, author of Nameless, on Indelible Ink

“A thrilling, clever, and quick paced fantasy!”—Ellie Ann, NY Times Bestselling Author, on Indelible Ink

“Mysterious powers and perpetual mayhem rip through this secret world where guns are bad, but something worse can lurk beneath the skin.”—Nayad Monroe, Editor of Not Our Kind, on Indelible Ink

“Betts’s horror caper has its charms, including the portrayal of Deena’s changing mind-set as she grows younger and then older again, and a sniper whose hallucinations of his mother, mentor, and childhood teddy bear constantly berate and insult him.”—Publishers Weekly on Indelible Ink

“Treasure hunters, giant robots, and genetically modified monsters collide in this sci-fi romp set in the aftermath of a future world war. Betts drags readers along for a thrill ride and keeps them guessing while he’s at it. Briskly paced and exciting with an endearing cast of characters, The Shadow beneath the Waves will appeal to fans of sci-fi and adventure alike.” —Carrie Gessner, author of The Stroke of Thirteen on The Shadow beneath the Waves

“Betts has created an engaging novel that doesn’t rely on the standard monster vs robot tropes – he embraces them and then makes them his own. The plot twists are well thought out and adds to the whole experience. Could easily become a movie!” —Monster Dear Monster podcast on The Shadow beneath the Waves

“You had me at ‘sea monster vs. giant robot.'” — Joe Crowe, DragonCon’s American Sci-Fi Classics Director on The Shadow beneath the Waves

 “What starts out as a quirky tale about a burnt-out Imaginary Friend turns into a locked room murder mystery for a creature that cannot die. An entertaining mash-up of “Monsters Inc.” and “Chinatown” in a world populated by Bigfoot, Tooth Fairies, and Boogeymen. Perhaps, the start of its own genre: Imagin-noire.”Josef Matulich, author of Camp Arcanum on The Boogeyman’s Intern

 “In The Boogeyman’s Intern, Betts injects equal shots of wit and humor into a genre that often takes itself too seriously, all while never jeopardizing what makes it unique. With deft prose and sharp dialogue, this book is a refreshing take on the fantastical.” – Tim McWhorter, author of the horror thrillers, Bone White and Blackened on The Boogeyman’s Intern

 “The Boogeyman’s Intern rips the veil away from The Hill and its infamous residents. Written with his characteristic humor and heart, Matt Betts illuminates the characters who appear in both our dreams and our darkest nightmares. Quite simply, he’s done it again.” – Mercedes M. Yardley, Bram Stoker Award-Winning Author of Nameless: The Darkness Comes on The Boogeyman’s Intern


Interviews and Book Readings