April 2009

Matthew Peterson
Author of the Parallel Worlds Series

Matthew Peterson
Matthew Peterson

Upcoming Events

Apr 17, 2009  8:30-10:30 am
Vistancia Elementary
I'll be a judge for a speech event

Apr 18, 2009  9-5 pm
Grand Desert Day
Morristown Library in AZ

July 2-5, 2009
FiestaCon (WesterCon 62)
Tempe, AZ

Website Links

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Get a copy of Paraworld Zero

Paperback, Audiobook, E-Book
Click here for links to stores

Hello there! As tax season looms and the economy gets worse, I just keep reminding myself that there are still lots of wonderful things just around the corner . . . like Easter and spring! The Bologna Children’s Book Fair is over, and I did make some good contacts from that, including an agent in Germany who asked for my book and renewed ties to an agent in Korea. I think my fingers are getting sore from crossing them for so long, but I still have faith that all the awards my first book, Paraworld Zero, has been receiving will help me to get a new publisher. I haven’t submitted my second book yet to anyone, but soon . . . very soon!

After all this time, I'm still getting great reviews for Paraworld Zero. This one just came in from ReaderViewsKids.com for the audiobook. "...a well-written, well-narrated piece of literature... Paraworld Zero is for readers who enjoy stories of strange worlds, stranger creatures and some of the strangest (but good) characters to be ever audioed."

Pinewood Derby Miracle

Pinewood Derby

We had a momentous event happen in our family this month. For the first time in the Peterson history, someone actually got first place at the Cub Scout pinewood derby! Last year, my boys got last place. When I was a kid, I always got last place. If there was one constant in the universe it was that any pinewood derby car I touched would instantly lose. It must have been a total fluke!

Pinewood Derby Tip: I'm no expert, but I did get a tip from someone a while ago and it seemed to help. The wheels and weight distribution is key. One thing we did was buff the hole in the center of the wheels (the part where the nail goes) with a pipe cleaner and a drill. This removed friction and let the wheels spin better.

Editing Magical Learning

Editing my Book

Most published authors will tell you that the easy part is writing the first draft, but after that, the difficult and sometimes tedious part starts . . . editing! My second book, Magical Learning, ended up being about 400 pages, so I’ve got my work cut out for me. I initially used MS Word's grammar checker but found it to be less than desirable. It did find some errors, but it seemed to gloss over most of my manuscript. After doing some research online I discovered that WordPerfect’s grammar checker (i.e. Grammatik) is far better, so I got the latest version of WordPerfect and went to town. After tweaking the settings, I realized that WordPerfect can check for a lot of other things like cliches, passive verbs, long sentences, redundant words, etc. It took me over a week to go through the entire book, though, but it was worth it. My favorite feature was the “commonly misused words” checker. That helps prevent you from using a sentence like “she picked up her bowls” instead of “she picked up her bowels.”

Note that grammar checkers are far from perfect. In fact, I’d say the majority of the suggestions I got were useless or downright incorrect. Because of this, if you don’t have a firm background in punctuation and grammar, you could do more harm than good to your book if you accept all of the suggestions on blind faith.

Tip for Grammatik in WordPerfect: Go to Tools in the top menu and select Grammatik. The grammar checker will appear at the bottom of the screen. From the lower right of the screen, click Options and then Checking Styles... Then you can select what type of document you’re checking, like fiction, technical, etc. You can even create your own custom style, which I did. Grammatik will also do a global analysis of your document and let you know percentages of passive voice, sentence complexity, vocabulary complexity, and the Flesch-Kincaid grade level. For example, Magical Learning is at a 5.5 grade level for readability.

Taxed to Death


I dread tax season more than any time of the year. Last year it took me a week to do our taxes. This year it only took me a day and a half. I found this funny plate on an old beat-up car in Alabama. I thought I’d share it with you all. How true it is.



Last remarks...

I can’t believe how fast the year is going. It’s already Easter! I hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend, regardless if you’re celebrating it with the Easter bunny and candy eggs or the resurrection of the savior.


Matthew Peterson - 20403 N. Lake Pleasant Road, Ste. 117-125, Peoria, AZ 85382