Matt Galanos has a busy day job as chief financial officer of the Australian Turf Club, which owns and runs a number of racing and entertainment facilities across Sydney. He turned to writing—a personal passion of his—during the Covid-19 lockdowns, penning several fantasy fiction novels about a young knight called Dane Thorburn.
The third and most recent book in the ‘Dan Thorburn’ series is Dane Thornburn and Nature’s Revenge, with his fourth book—also written in lockdown—due to be released early next year.
‘Covid has allowed people to pick up hobbies, spend more time doing things they really enjoy and in many cases, translate hobbies into side gigs and full-time ventures,’ Galanos said. ‘From a writer’s perspective, Covid has allowed me the time to focus on writing.
Galanos spoke to Independent Publishing about writing and publishing the ‘Dane Thorburn’ series.
Describe your latest book in under 50 words.
In Dane Thorburn and Nature’s Revenge, Princess Vanessa becomes inexplicably ill at the same time four mystical creatures emerge, wreaking havoc across the kingdom.
Royal Knight Dane Thorburn races against time, trying to vanquish the creatures and uncover the missing link between them and Vanessa before she dies.
What year did you start and where are you based?
I first started writing in 2003 and I’m based in Sydney.
When you self-publish you have complete control over everything, so the final product is entirely your vision.
Self-publishing can be done affordably, and with a high-quality end product.
From a marketing and promotion perspective, while a traditional publisher will do some promotion for you, it will only be for a limited time, before they move on to the next book, so the writer has to do a lot of the work regardless of how the book is published.
Who has been your book’s audience?
The primary audience is middle-grade (10–15 years) but it appeals to all age groups.
How many people did you contract on your book and what did you do yourself?
I worked with a self-publishing company [Inspiring Publishers] and had full control over everything.
What makes your book unique?
It’s easy to read, fast-paced, and rather than the anti-heroes you find in a lot of modern writing, Dane is a genuine person who wants to serve his King, Princess and the people.
What has been your biggest success?
To hear people of all ages say they loved the books, that they couldn’t put them down, and that they can’t wait for the next one. Feedback like that is extremely gratifying and makes it all worthwhile.
What has been your biggest challenge?
Finding time to do promotion—at times there’s just not enough hours in the day.
What would be your top tip for those starting out in self-publishing?
Don’t think about it—just do it!
To read more about Matt, his books and his thoughts and tips for writing, visit his blog here.