“It’s very surreal,” Mata said as he held a copy of his novel. “This is what I want, to see my name on the cover, to see my work on bookshelves.”
After running out of entertaining things to read, Mata decided it was time to write his own novel. He had been writing short stories since he was in elementary school and attempted to write a novel during his sophomore year of high school before he took an interest in screenplays. After years of kicking ideas around in his head, he began to compile his notes.
The end result is part one in a series of six about the first female Paladin named Ijol Halen, who is destined to follow in her father’s footsteps as the King of Uvidalov’s Crown Champion. However, a crew of six evil wizards plots to keep the young warrior from her birthright.
Mata, 30, said the book has a flare of “The Lord of the Rings” as it follows the protagonist and her friends as they elude evil while protecting a sacred artifact from the wizards.
“It’s a fun adventure with lots of action,” Mata said. “I want to take the fantasy genre to a new level. You don’t often see the girl as the hero. It’s always the dude with the family sword off to fight the battle, so it was important for me to incorporate a strong female lead. It’s rare to find the girl power in fantasy.”
Mata makes sure to note that there are also a lot of fighting and battle sequences throughout the book as well. He said while there is violent content in his works, there isn’t anything too grotesque, so the novel is appropriate for readers at the junior high level and beyond.
Mata is already at work on the second part of the story, and hopes to have the entire series published within five years.
Mata admits that his first book deal came with a lot of luck. He Googled “publishers” and sent an electronic query letter to Publish America. Within a week, he had a response of interest and a few months later, he received his contract. “I was expecting ‘no,’ but I was surprised by how quickly the process moves. I started typing everything out to prepare sample chapters, but something went wrong with the computer, a bug or something, and I lost it all. Luckily, I hand write everything, so I wasn’t completely lost. My mom and my girlfriend helped type it in to meet the deadline.”
He said he has no plans for fame, but wouldn’t hate it if it happened. “I’m not doing this to be famous. If it happens, it happens, but I don’t want to be in magazines or on TV. I just want to be able to write full time, and entertain readers. I want to share the stories going through my head with as many people as possible.”
Mata, who currently works part-time at Aaron Brothers, said friends and family have been supportive of his aspirations.
“My mom bought 10 copies to hand out to family, and many of my friends have said they will buy a copy. I know some of them won’t read it, but they’ll at least buy it to support what I’m doing.”
Mata’s current project is promoting his novel. It is not available in major bookstores yet, but it is available online. “I still need to talk with bookstore managers in the area about setting up book signings. Right now, I’m letting it sink in.”
“Asoiavan: Enter the Six” is currently available at the Los Medanos College bookstore in Pittsburg. It is also available online at Amazon. For more information, visit Publish America.