Thinking in a unique way makes everything you write that much more amazing. Don’t be held back by rules. Do whatever pleases your heart. Let your characters run riot. However, when you edit at the end, do so with the analytical side of your brain.

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NEWS: 11 - May - 2018

Created a Symposium that is listed on this website. Lot's of work, but will be worth it.

Check out the info under SERVICES above.

 

Nine 'Til 9 by Mat Clarke

Price: $1.85 USD. Available through Smashwords: ePub, Kindle, etc. Languages: English. Published July-2014.

A collection of nine stories revolving around the thriller genre. Action, suspense, mystery, horror, adventure, and much more. Our Reader Rating ?/?

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Writing Games, Writing Tips, Writing Exercises by Mat Clarke

Price: $2.99 USD. Available through Smashwords: ePub, Kindle, etc. Languages: English. Published January-2014.

How could a jumble of words with a little punctuation become something that’s interesting to read? Is it a gift from the gods? Something only the highly educated can produce? Or maybe anyone can do it? If you want to know if YOU can achieve your writing goals, then why not have a play around with some words and sentences using my writing games. Our Reader Rating ?/?

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 Mark's Way Out by Mat Clarke 

Price: $0.99 USD. Available through Smashwords: ePub, Kindle, etc. Languages: English. Published January-2014.

A fun adventure story for the curious reader who does not always like the decision a protagonist makes.
Multiple stories and multiple endings. Be wary; death awaits within. 
Mark strays from the group as they take a tour of the underground mines below the ruins of an old castle. Wanting adventure, he journeys deeper into the maze of caverns and strange rooms. Soon he hears a voice. "Get Out!". Our Reader Rating ?/?

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Don't Panic They're Just Hemorrhoids Second Edition by Mat Clarke 

Price: $4.55 USD. Available through Smashwords: ePub, Kindle, etc. Languages: English. Published December-2013.

A booklet on stopping hemorrhoids in their tracks and how to never get them again. Also, how to never get hemorrhoids in the first place! Easy to follow information on the different kinds of hemorrhoids, symptoms and what exactly is happening to your body. Plus, 2 new bonus extras in this revised edition: Lose Weight Easily. Return your eyesight to before you needed glasses. Our Reader Rating ?/?

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 Don't Panic They're Just Hemorrhoids by Mat Clarke 

Price: $3.85 USD. Available through Smashwords: ePub, Kindle, etc. Languages: English. Published January - 2013.

A booklet on stopping hemorrhoids in their tracks & how to never get them again. Also, how to never get hemorrhoids in the first place!
Easy to follow information on the different kinds of hemorrhoids, symptoms and what exactly is happening to your body.
Once you've read this booklet you'll be thoroughly informed and ready to act on this advice and rid yourself of hemorrhoids for good. Our Reader Rating ?/?

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Roadside by Mat Clarke

If you have ever taken a walk along the roadside in the outback, you'll flinch when a truck rumbles past. This story has the potential to not end well. Rated 4/5

Anthologies and collections of short stories with other writers.

Family Matters by Mat Clarke

Price: $20.00 AUD. Available in paperbook via The Melbourne Writers Social Group. Languages: English. Published July - 2017.

A collection wonderful of short stories written by the Melbourne Writers Social group, brought together by the common theme of Family. Our Reader Rating ?/?.

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Fontaine's Enterprise and more by Mat Clarke

Price: $20.00 AUD. Available in paperbook via The Story Mint. Languages: English. Published November - 2016.

These are the books that have gone through The Story Mint’s rigorous process of assessment, analysis and editing. But what do you think? Buy these books, read them and tell us if you agree with us when we say they stack up against the world’s best. Our Reader Rating ?/?.

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Deep Red Pudles by Mat Clarke

Price: $15.00 AUD. Available in paperbook via The Melbourne Writers Social Group. Languages: English. Published July - 2016.

A collection wonderful of short stories written by the Melbourne Writers Social group, brought together by the common theme of Melbourne. Our Reader Rating ?/?.

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Sandy Days by Mat Clarke

Price: $1.29 AUD. Available through Smashwords: ePub, Kindle, etc. Languages: English. Published December - 2012.

A collection wonderful of short stories written by the Melbourne Writers Social group, brought together by the common theme of Holiday Season in Melbourne. Our Reader Rating ?/?.

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Honeymooners by Mat Clarke

Price: $0.00 AUD. Available through Smashwords: ePub, Kindle, etc. Languages: English. Published February - 2012.

A collection wonderful of short stories written by the Melbourne Writers Social group, brought together by the common theme of Valentine's Day. Our Reader Rating ?/?.

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Mat Clarke

Biography

 

From an early age, Mat has used a keyboard as the instrument of his expression. His range is broad, from the chilling, to the obscure, to fan fiction, to thought provoking, to children’s and YA, and a not too small amount of speculative fiction. Yet, his main area of interest has always been the thriller genre.

 

Often traveling, he will be found tapping away in a cafe, bar, on the train, in a plane, in Melbourne, Sydney, Sunshine Coast, New York, Washington DC, Chicago, and the list goes on. This is where he gets his ideas, from you, the streets, and what goes on around the world.

 

Non-fiction work has mostly been inspired by health issues affecting friends and family, as well as the rest of the world, and to make solutions readily acceptable to the public, especially when the ailment is embarrassing.

 

Letter writing has also been a heavy contributor to Mat’s skills, whether it be to government bodies or a company, either to request information on a current associated issue or to offer a solution to an ongoing problem with (if a local government) traffic, public transport, spending, banks, etc. And (if a company) an idea for the product so that it could become better accepted by consumers, or in some cases, healthier for consumers.

 

With a few novels completed, a couple of health booklets, a writing games book, a board game in progress, as well as children’s stories, young adult, and a multitude of short stories, you can expect to see more work by Mat Clarke in the short and long term.

 

In Mat’s spare time, he is an actor, builds hand-made furniture, and is an entrepreneur within multiple fields. He enjoys bush walking, hiking, camping, but also loves big cities; New York being his favourite. He is a movie buff, and also loves good pizza.

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What is your story, Mat?

When I was aged 10 and bored I decided to tap away on our family clunky computer. It was an XT with a hard drive that was around 10 MB. In comparison, standard drives are around 1000 GB, or more. 1 GB = 1000 MB. (Although previous to that I was writing on paper, or on my even older computer that had no hard drive.)

 

I wrote many stories on the XT, which kept my young mind entertained. My preference is not to plan what I write and instead type and let the characters and plot drive the scenes. My first decent length story of almost 10,000 words was a squeal to the big Arnold schwarzenegger hit, “Predator”. In those days I loved gory movies . . . and things have not changed a lot since then. Many of my teen-years stories involved a lot of heads coming off and spinal columns being ripped out and shown to their victim. There were also some attempts at writing comedy (very hard to do for a teenager that was not as funny as he thought was), especially when there was so much blood and guts going on as well.

 

When I was 11 years old, I wrote a script at school and acted it out with a few from our group in class. I wish I still had that video of us. It was performed to the Monster Mash song by Bobby Pickett.

 

From then on I wrote short stories, poetry, non-fiction, and what ever other ideas popped into my head.

 

Fast forward to 2000 and I had already written hundreds of short stories that I thought were absolute gold. One I had begun with a friend, which we are now writing the same story but from two different character’s points of view. With my talent now bursting at the seems, I was ready to write a novel. In 2009 I found the start of a story I had worked on previously. This story was developed when a friend and I went away to Ballarat and stayed in a shack outside of town. I went outside for a break from writing at night and stood in the silence, which you can’t get when living in the city. I remember a soft breeze barely brushing over the leaves nearby and a rustling snaking through the brush and into the distance. That was when I went inside and began writing what was going to be titled, “Wake.” The name went through a few changes and I decided on, “Awaken”. . . for a while. The name has changed again to, “Blood of Evolution”, which fits better with the story:

 

Doctor Emerson has developed a new virus with the potential of curing almost all diseases and improving the body past anything humanity has even seen before. Initial announcements have drawn international interest, although also attempts at hostile takeovers. The hostility has grown, and now Doctor Emerson is running for his life.

 

At about 30,000 words I realised that what I was writing was actually “filler” without much substance. However, I kept going. I new that if what I was writing was not at all useful to the story, then I could always delete it. So I kept going, and I’m glad I did! It was a struggle to get to the end of my first draft, but at 70,000 words I believed I had created an amazing story. Now for the editing part.

 

I edited approximately three times. However, many of my sentences received about 10 edits every time I edited, which meant I actually edited it around 30 times. I was now ready to give it to my sister-in-law, who was studying journalism, and happy to have a read through. I realised then that everything you could do wrong with writing, I was doing. But hey, it’s a learning thing, and it will make me a better writer . . . I hope.

 

My characters all sounded the same. My paragraphs were not indented. I was using the wrong words that meant something else. I had no structure or flow. The ending was not great. It was the first time I had spent any real effort editing, so it was bound to be terrible.

 

I edited it again. I made my characters more real by writing down what each character normally says, does, wear, and the abbreviations they use when they talk. Slang, nick names they used for people, and anything else I could think of were bestowed on each character.

 

I changed the ending so it wrapped up better. I moved things around and gave the main character a proper ending. I restructured more than I thought I needed to. So, in thanks to Melissa Kemble (Clarke), I believed I was now ready.

 

I quit my full time job. I did not really like the work I did anyway, and I had a fully paid off home. No debt and a good amount of money saved in the back, I guessed that I would be published in a few years. This was now my new career.

 

While using LinkedIn I came across another writer and also publisher named Suraya Dewing. She was starting a new business with a unique website that gives writers so much. I of course joined and began chatting about writing. Suraya eventually asked if she could read my work. I gladly said yes, and sent her the first chapter.

 

So, in her home in New Zealand she began going over my work, and then stopped and replied with a few corrections. Within those corrections I found that almost all sentences were wrong. Everything I thought had been gold, which had become super-gold after editing, then platinum after Melissa had helped me with editing, was actually fairly poor. Passive writing, over-writing, too many of the same words used, too much using of “just” and “only”, too many “ly” adverbs, entire pages that waffled on for much too long. I tried to edit from what I knew, but found I could not. I started on the first page, then went back to the start to read through my new gold, but found it to be so bad that I did not know how to fix it. Maybe it could not actually be fixed?

 

I spoke to a friend, who has now unfortunately passed away from a small melanoma (they are really bad things, by the way), who was having a bad day himself: his insides hurt, he could not eat, he was likely going to die soon. And here I was telling him about my writing issues. Naturally he saw this as trivial, and so told me how it was. “Of course you can’t fix your writing, you don’t know what you’re doing.”

 

From anyone else I might have taken offence, but from Gavin, who had only ever told it how it was (although in a more gentle way when he had not been so ill), was so right it was such a realisation that I actually had one of those light bulb things above the head. He was right, I needed to learn how to edit, and edit well!

 

I bought and borrowed every book on writing I could find. It took me three months of reading these books as well as random novels to see how other authors did it, to finally be able to come back and edit that first chapter again. It took a month, and finally I decided I was writing and editing gold again. So, back to the first chapter, second, and third to Suraya. All newly edited. And back came the reply. “Hey, Mat. This is a vast improvement on when you first sent to me. So with the second chapter your dialogue needs a lot of work. It seems as if there is a lot of stuff that does not need to be there . . . and the list went on.

 

Another two to three months of reading, learning, editing, and I sent it back to Suraya. And back came a reply with a little more positivity. Now we were beginning to get into the rhythm of the back and forth sending of my work and it was getting ever so slightly easier to edit.

 

The editing actually went on for around 3 years. Yes it took me that long to learn how to edit to the point where the general public would find my work readable, as well as entertaining. And that may sound funny to you, but those two things are the hardest to achieve.

 

I wrote more novels. I edited lots more. I submitted my work online via email to literary agents. I got a few rejections or nothing at all. So I went to see literary agents and publishers personally at meetings and conferences where you pay to get a chance to pitch your work to these people. I had many great responses in New York City. I had a great time there and met some interesting people. The agents loved my work, so, I sent it off to them the way they wanted it presented. But again, either a rejection or no response at all.

 

I’m working full time again now and writing in my spare time. This is likely the way it will be for quite a long time. No one should expect to be picked up for a book deal straight away. It takes times, effort, and persistence. Every now and then you hear about people getting a book deal, or getting an agent. Maybe they put their work online and someone discovered it. But then you find out how many other people are submitting or self publishing, and you realise it is around one in every millionth person that will get their work published, and even less of people that will be able to come close to making $10,000 PA from it.

 

Occasionally you’ll hear about a person that got a book deal straight after, or soon after, they wrote their book. Other times you’ll here that a book that did really well online. So these things do happen, they just don’t happen often. And even though the odds between winning the lotto and getting published are about the same, at least if you are persisting with writing, improving your writing, building a fan-base, and connecting with other writers, your chances are improving. It’s really the only way you will make it.

 

On a more merry note: you are writing because you enjoy writing. So don’t ever stop no matter what. The joy will be in creating something amazing!

What else fills your days?


Actor, Writer, Producer, Director.


I have been acting from since I was 13 or so. I went to drama school, was the lead in many small performances that groups of family and friends would come and see, and even went to a Performing Arts school after high school. And even though I decided to pursue other work avenues, I still did do many roles in many different TV shows, movies, and TV commercials.
Here’s a link if you want to see the more recent stuff: youtube.com/user/MatClarkeAuthor

 

I also ran a theatre show around the city of Melbourne. The idea was that you buy your tickets and then read the start of the story regarding a mystery. Could be a kidnapping, a murder, or stolen money. You then turn up at a specific place in the city. A character from the performance finds you and, in character, tells you what’s going on, what you have to do, and where you have to go with the aid of a map to be able to solve the mystery. Characters from the show will interact with you along the way where you will solve puzzles, be entertained, and then solve the mystery at the finale. This will be continued in 2018. Stay tuned!

I often go hiking. There are some great places to walk in the Dandenongs . . . not just the 1000 Steps. I also enjoy a ride on my bicycle to local areas rather than driving. You won’t fine me in skin tight riding pants, however.

 

I enjoy building things out of timber. Coffee tables, stools, and what ever else my crazy brain decides I could try.

 

I also run a writing group. You should all come! All types of creatives and non-creatives are welcome.

Where do your ideas for stories come from?

There are many sources, and it is not just ideas, but also thoughts, sentences, paragraphs, plots, scenes, etc.

 

Often when I talk to someone I will pocket away a particular phrase someone has said, or a thing they do, or a little story they tell me. I never use a complete person, just small parts of a person to add to my character’s personality.

 

Travelling on public transport is a great place to overhear conversations and add them to your stories. Or even just the way a person was talking can be useful when added to a character’s personality. Their mood, they way they express themselves. It’s all good information.

 

Television, movies, and live performances. These are other areas where I get ideas, mannerisms, plots, and scenes from. Everything you see, smell, touch, hear, and experience is something you can note down and add to your stories when you need it, or stuck on what to write next.

 

Lastly are dreams. Although, I have sometimes written or recorded my memories of a dream to find them to be nonsense. It’s led me to believe that we dream in emotions first, and visual and audio follow the emotions later, or sometimes not at all. Which means that what we are feeling while we dream drives the scene. Which is possibly why the direction in which our dreams sometimes go are back and forth and everywhere in-between. Also, noting what I saw or hear in the dream often comes out bland until I recall the horror I felt, the joy I felt, or the adventure I was experiencing. Try it and have a think about it afterwards for your next dreamy night.

 

Otherwise, I do not plan. I write and see what happens. Generally I have no idea where I am going to go with a story. And that makes it even more fun for me if I do not know where the story is going next. And if I do not know, then the reader may not know either. Which is great for thrillers! Mystery and suspense thrive on it. Although, don’t mistake mystery for confusion. The last thing you want is your reader to be reading your work and scratching their head and saying: This is daft, I don’t think the writer knew what was going on, so how am I supposed to? Keep the suspense and mystery going, but don’t annoy them with no forward direction.

 
 
Contact Me

You can contact me or speak to me in person in many different ways. If I can help you out with something, then I will. Come along to my writing group and you’ll likely learn something new. At the very least you’ll meet some interesting new people. 

My suggestions for what to read

There’s lots to read on writing, but I definitely suggest you read “Self Editing for Fiction Writers”. I’ve read it over five times. It’s written by Renni Browne and Dave King.

As for fiction, there are just too many. However, here are a few in no particular order. 
“Magician” by Raymond E Feist. 
“Necroscope” by Brain Lumley.
“Mysery” by Stephen King.
“The Mist” by Stephen King.
“The Eyes of the Dragon” by Stephen King.
“Wizard’s First Rule” by Terry Goodkind.
All the Star Trek Next Generation Pocket Books.
“Eragon” by Christopher Paolini.
“A Knight of the Word” by Terry Brooks.
“The Road” by Cormac McCarthy.
“Ice Station by Matthew Reiley.

My Suggestions for Sites

The Story Mint

This is a great place check your writing style, connect with other writers, and join in with writing serial stories. It's run by Suraya Dewing, who is also my mentor.

stringybarkstories.net/competitions/upcoming-competitions

A great place to read short stories. Or if you are a writer, to enter competitions. They also offer feedback on your submitted story, which I have found very useful.

 

aerogrammestudio.com/2016/12/13/short-story-contests-2017

A great site to find many short story competitions.

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Nine 'Til 9​ Short Stories

Preview:

Story 1 of 9: Fated for Death.

Twenty-seven years ago Mary left her mother’s womb and made the journey to start her independent life. She separated from the only other person she had ever known after living symbiotically as two for the full nine months and seven hours.

 

The last hours had come as severe traumatization. A moment in time that still struck Mary deeply. Although, how she could feel it as a true moment, she was unsure. She only knew that a world she had loved and never wanted to leave, had been mercilessly ripped away.

 

Maybe that’s why other people sought out a life companion; afraid to be alone, needing to be joined to another. Maybe it’s why loneliness forever descended upon people and brought overwhelming despair—even when they are with another person. A person that just did not fit right into their round hole.

 

Mary had never had these kinds of feelings. She had learned from an early age of three to become her own companion, and so she had never felt lonely. The sacred bond of mother and daughter, did still exist, but she didn’t love either of her parents and had never grown to love anyone else.

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Top of Sample Stories

Writing Games, Writing Tips, Writings Exercises

Preview:

What you know.

Most people write what they know. Be they writing a blog, a blurb on a non-fiction topic, a book, or possibly poetry or songs (must be a lot of break ups going on out there!). This makes sense considering it requires no research. If it happened to you then you are the best person to write about it. The only thing you need to do then is make it interesting for people to read and put it in a format that people will want to read.

 

If you would like to test your knowledge on worldly affairs and social issues to see what you know, then list five topics or things you like, love or talk about often, and then write as many things about each you can. At the end you’ll discover what you want to write as your next piece.

 

Free Writing or Stream of Consciousness.

This involves writing anything and everything that comes into your head. Some of it will be garbled nonsense, some will be like a twisted dream where scenes overlap and people’s faces change from one person to the next. Then, if you’re lucky, the rest will be something you can work with - or will give you ideas for something you wish to work on next.

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Top of Sample Stories

Mark's Way Out

Preview:

The flashlight spun and clattered about in a demented circle on the dust covered blue stone, shooting beams of light across all four walls and the many grey cobwebs hanging low with dust from ages past in each corner.

 

Mark groaned and rubbed his sore knee. His hand came back wet and sticky. Blood, he thought, but it didn’t hurt like a graze. He retrieved his dropped flashlight and shone it at the ground where his knee had impacted. Stretching up from a crack in the large dark stones a tree root grew across the floor to climb the nearest wall. Clear liquid poured out of the broken root in a bubbling trickle.

 

Maybe straying from the group hadn’t been such a great idea after all. But the tour guide had bored him into a coma right from the beginning, leading them around showing off little more than dirt and rocks.

Mark had initially been excited at the idea of exploring a ruined castle, and climbing through the ruins underneath. An abandoned mine with tunnels that ran for ages; he and Benny should have been happy for hours.

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Don't Panic They're Just Hemorrhoids Second Edition

Preview:

It’s a scary world where your bottom can bleed, itch and burn like it’s on fire. Especially when it’s accompanied by a part of your body swelling up and poking out.

Why is it happening to me?

How is it happening?

Did I do something wrong?

I don’t know what’s going on and I don’t know what to do about it!

 

Never fear, I have researched this ailment extensively so that I can inform you on what exactly is going on down there, and give you the knowledge you need, so you can make an educated decision on what you should do about it straight away. You’ll also discover that having inflamed hemorrhoids is not the end of the world. In fact you’ll live a completely regular life. You just need to know what to do.

 

If you’ve tried to lose weight before but struggled, you’ll find a simple to follow guide inside this book to help you lose weight and keep it off. No strange diets, not strange foods to eat, and you don’t have to become a marathon runner or super athlete!

 

Get your eyesight back to the way it used to be when things weren’t so blurry. Reclaim your younger self’s vision and keep it!

 

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Top of Sample Stories

Don't Panic They're Just Hemorrhoids

Preview:

It’s a scary world where your bottom can bleed, itch and burn like it’s on fire. Especially when it’s accompanied by a part of your body swelling up and poking out.

Why is it happening to me?

How is it happening?

Did I do something wrong?

I don’t know what’s going on and I don’t know what to do about it!

 

Never fear, I have researched this ailment extensively so that I can inform you on what exactly is going on down there, and give you the knowledge you need, so you can make an educated decision on what you should do about it straight away. You’ll also discover that having inflamed hemorrhoids is not the end of the world. In fact you’ll live a completely regular life. You just need to know what to do.

 

Oh, and another thing, yes the swelling will go down and the pain will go away.

Feel better?

Good.

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© 2019 World Writers Collective

MPC1 trading as Last Page p/l

16/12 Edina Road, Ferntree Gully, Australia.

matclarke.author@gmail.com