I’ve been hard at work on The Legend of Mad Matilda over the past five months. And in that time a lot has changed regarding the story.
Instead of calling it The Legend of Mad Matilda, I’ve decided to change the title to The Legendary Mad Matilda. I felt the new title had more of a Tim Burton vibe to it. And the Legendary Mad Matilda pays a nice homage to oldschool Marvel comics like The Amazing Spider-Man, The Uncanny X-Men, and The Invincible Iron Man. With Mad Matilda being an urban legend in the Industrial Rave scene of the Goth Subculture I thought the title would tell everyone who she is.
The Legendary Mad Matilda has come a long way in the last five months. I’ve gone from outline to first draft in that time, and now that I’m close to finishing the second draft I’m laying out the pages of the paperback and I’m doing grammar and spell checks. The book reads very fast, likeSpellbound and Spinsterella it reads like a movie.
Legendary Mad Matilda takes place in 1995 and is the bridge book between Spellbound which chronicles Matilda’s Baby Bat years and Spinsterella, the story of Matilda as an Elder Goth. In some ways its like The Empire Strikes Back of the Spinsterella Trilogy, it’s the book that chronicles the darkest period in Matilda’s life as she deals with the growing pains of being in the adolescent phase of being a Goth. In the heyday of the 1990’s Goth subculture Mattie is trying to get back on her feet after running into the troubles she mentioned in Spinsterella, and trying to find her place in the subculture as an adult.
The big challenge for me on the second round of edits is trying to make reference to 1990’s current events and make references to things going on in that era as Matilda’s story went on. While I was able to make references to the OJ Simpson Trial, Rudy Guiliani’s Quality of life campaign, Harlem and Union Square’s gentrification, trash talk shows like Jenny Jones, 90’s movies like Clueless and The Crow and NBC’s Must See TV, it’s been a challenge making references to other things going on in the decade. With Spellbound readers were immersed in the year 1989, and I want them to be equally immersed in the year of 1995.
The other big challenge is making sure that all the references to the Goth Subculture were in the story and they were as accurate as possible. With The Legendary Mad Matilda I want people to learn as much as they can about the subculture. Oftentimes when I read stories like Andi Watson and Josh Howard’s Clubbing that feature Goth characters, the Goth subculture isn’t really presented in an accurate way. When it comes to Goth, they just use the dark aesthetic of a Goth’s appearance as window dressing and don’t dig deep into the characters reasons for being a part of the subculture or their motivations for staying in the scene. With Legendary Mad Matilda I wanted to delve deep into Mattie’s motivations for wanting to remain a part of the subculture as she struggles with life after college and the start of her first full-time job.
And then there’s the music. With the foundation of the Goth Subculture being the music, I make a LOT of references to Goth music. I had to listen to a LOT of music to find songs that fit certain scenes. And when it comes to Legendary Mad Matilda the music in the story is a fusion of Goth music, and dark themed R&B songs like TLC’s Waterfalls. If I had to design a Legendary Mad Matilda soundtrack for a movie it’d be that fusion of Goth, R&B and Rap. I want the music to be like character in the story, in the background setting the mood for certain scenes and setting the tone in others.
The concept for the Legendary Mad Matilda cover has also come a long way since the original design I drew. I’ve pondered putting a half-face on the cover because it would allow the reader to see themselves as Mattie. So far the concept cover has received a lot of positive responses so far on social media. People seem to like the Tim Burtonesque take on things.
I’d love to hire Bill Walko or Josh Howard to design Legendary Mad Matilda’s cover because I believe it’d really POP. In the hands of a professional artist I think the cover could really catch the attention of readers and persuade them to pick it up.
I’d love to have The Legendary Mad Matilda out by Halloween of this year like Spellbound so readers can pick up ALL of the parts of the Spinsterella Trilogy for the holiday season but the book is one of five titles that are currently delayed due to a lack of funds to pay for the cover. I’m mulling over doing another Kickstarter or some sort of campaign to pay for a cover, but I don’t know if it’d be worth the time. We’ll see where things go.
In spite of my financial troubles I’m gonna do whatever I can to release The Legendary Mad Matilda in some way shape or form this year. I don’t want to leave Mattie’s story incomplete for readers