Local author Matthew Wolf releases latest in fantasy novel series
Like many grappling with the results of a world turned upside down thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, author and Solana Beach resident Matthew Wolf has learned to adapt to these strange times. “Prior to the pandemic, I would travel the United States to sign and sell the books at comic conventions, book conventions, book stores, and trade shows,” he says, referring to his fantasy book series, the Ronin Saga. These days, however, he’s funneled his energy into other avenues. “As far as productivity, I feel like I’ve been way more productive, writing about eight hours most days.”
The latest venture for the Torrey Pines High School grad is Tides of Fate, the epic fourth book in his popular fantasy series. A series over a decade in the making, Wolf has followed in the footsteps of authors like J.R.R. Tolkien of the Lord of the Rings series or George R.R. Martin of Game of Thrones to spin a vast tale all his own. The latest story transports readers into a mystical world that relays stories of pirates, water serpents and battles at sea.
“The characters are so deeply entrenched,” Wolf replies when asked why he’s continued to visit the world of Ronin over four books, with another five planned. (This newspaper first covered Wolf in 2013.) “It’s such a pleasure to write and go deeper into the world. Fans would be pretty bummed if I stopped the story here. Also, it still feels so full of life and every page a new unknown I didn’t expect jumps out at me. So humility aside, I believe the Saga gets leaps and bounds better with every book.”
When it comes to Wolf’s latest release he began exploring turning the saga into audiobooks for the first time, in large part in order to make up for lost sales of physical copies during the pandemic. “I’ve always known that audiobooks are a large part of author sales, but I never really knew how much until I talked with some industry professionals,” he says of the latest facet of his output.
As a result, Wolf collaborated with Tim Gerard Reynolds, a veteran narrator who has previously recorded audiobooks for the likes of Salman Rushdie and Colm Tóbín. “I sent him the first book, taking a risk to see if he’d be interested in the project and he sent back, ‘I’d love to wield the sword of the Ronin,’” recalls Wolf. “I got goosebumps, I teared up and my jaw dropped.”
So far, Reynolds has recorded the first two books in the series, and when they were released on platform Audible they rocketed into the Top 10 alongside the audiobooks by Michelle Obama and J.K. Rowling. As a result, he’s collected a dedicated global fanbase. “It’s usually just fans who return year after year that make me smile,” he says of his devoted following. “I had broken my foot and had trouble getting around a year or so ago, and I had a fan one time show up with food to my doorstep and offer to drive me around that whole week.” Another time a husband asked Wolf if he could call his wife on her birthday.
Today, Wolf is optimistic despite the pandemic still a dominating force in everyone’s daily lives. “Luckily, all we can do is go forward now and create,” he says, looking back on his accomplishments with pride, with a simultaneous eye on the future. “I’m grateful the pages are flowing.”
For more information, visit www.matt-wolf.com
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