We're All Damaged

Monday, May 2, 2016

Damaged Early

I'm thrilled to announce that my friends at Amazon have picked We're All Damaged as a Kindle First for May.

What does that mean? Several things...and they're all good. For starters, even though the book doesn't officially come out until June 1, the e-version is available right now, a whole month early. And, here's the best part. If you're an Amazon Prime member, it's absolutely free. If you don't have Amazon Prime, don't worry. Non-Primers can download it for just $1.99. Which is basically free.

So, if you enjoyed my first novel, or if you're a fan of this blog, I invite you to get We're All Damaged now. I like the book a lot, even though it almost killed me, and I'm happy the world finally gets a chance to see it.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016


The other night, after we got the kids to bed, my wife remembered that she forgot to fill her car up with gas on the way home from work. The fact that she was saying this aloud—and saying it with some concern—was alarming. When it comes to things like gas in her car, she likes to live dangerously.

“How much do you have?” I asked.

“Not much.”

“How not much?”

She shrugged.  “I’ll get it in the morning.  I think I have enough to make it to the gas station.”

Like a lot of modern couples, our division of marital labor is pretty egalitarian. She takes care of anything to do with math. I cover all recycling- and garbage-related issues. She handles the indecipherable monstrosity that is our cell phone plan. And, I’m in charge of car stuff.  So, technically speaking, this fell under my purview.  After five minutes of looking for her keys (they were in a jacket she didn’t remember wearing) I was off.

The gas station is about a mile from our house, and I made it without incident. On the way back, though, I got snagged by the red light outside our neighborhood. It’s a famously long light, but I didn’t really mind. The windows were down. It was one of the first truly warm evenings of Spring. The stereo in her car is nicer than the stereo in mine, so I had the volume up. The station was set to 80s on 8 on SiriusXM. 

For a while I just zoned out. Then a song started that I kind of recognized. It had a dance vibe. The intro was catchy and fun—a little silly. It took me until just before the chorus to realize that I was listening to It’s Raining Men by the Weather Girls. It took me until just after the chorus to realize that I wasn’t alone. A car had pulled up beside me, a Cadillac. An elderly man was driving. His wife, I assume, was in the passenger seat. Their windows were down, too, and they were both looking at me.

“Hey there.  Lovely evening we’re having.”

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Ready Chapter One

My new novel, We're All Damaged, doesn't hit stores and e-stores until June 1, which is still two whole stupid months away. However, if you're feeling impatient, Amazon has Chapter 1 available to preview. And, best of all, like those free samples I gorge on at the grocery store every weekend, it doesn't cost a thing. Just click here, then click the picture of my book that has the Look Inside! logo over it. It's easy. I recommend reading slowly, though. It's a pretty short chapter. Hope you like it!


Saturday, February 13, 2016

The Cover

Not sure if this counts as a big reveal, since Amazon has had it up for two days now, but I'm excited anyway. We're All Damaged officially has a cover, and here it is, courtesy of designer Joan Wong.

And, speaking of Amazon, the book is available for preorder now in three formats: ebook, paperback, and hardcover.

Stay tuned for information on promotions, appearances, and events as pub day approaches.


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Don't Look At Me

For a number of silly, mostly irrational reasons, writers find everything associated with getting their author photo taken to be incredibly stressful. What do I wear? Should I smile? Do I appear to be trying too hard? Why does my face look like this? Etc.

I'm happy to report that I've found the cure for all of that insanity, and his name is Jason Rice.

A few weeks ago, Jason visited me in Baltimore armed with nothing but an iPhone. "Where's your camera?" I asked when I met him in my office parking lot. He laughed. "Everyone always asks me that," he said.  

For just over an hour, we walked around downtown Baltimore and chatted about writing, books, movies, and football. Every few minutes, he'd tell me to stop, and then he'd take a picture of me with his phone. I was free to smile or scowl or just stare. Whatever I wanted. It was stress-free, fun even, and I couldn't be happier with the results.

Pictured here are four of my favorite outtakes, which I'm sure I'll use in various places. The photo on the right side of this page is my new, official author photo. A slightly different, more colorized version will appear on the back cover of We're all Damaged, which comes out on June 1.

If you're a writer, an artist, or just someone who needs some really cool, interesting photography, I recommend getting in touch with Jason Rice immediately. His contact info and portfolio are available on his site, tomcrownkills.com.


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Things That Scream in the Woods

When the screaming started, my wife and I were lying in bed. We looked up from our books in unison. We held our breath and waited.

It’s amazing the things you hear in the nighttime. It never ends up being what you think it is. The murderer jimmying the deadbolt is just the house settling. The pipe bursting, gushing, and flooding is just the dog slurping from his water bowl. The vanload of prison escapees pulling into the driveway is the furnace turning on. 

But this. This was definitely screaming. We heard it again. I thought of the kids. A nightmare. Something worse. An injury. Bleeding.

By the third scream, we had our wits about us. It was coming from the woods behind our house. I kicked the comforter off. Why would the kids be in the woods behind our house? The fourth scream, fortunately, was the scream that put us both at ease. It wasn’t the kids. In fact, it wasn’t even human.

There was a time in our lives when we never would have known who or what was screaming. It would have remained a mystery, haunting us. But, because it’s 2016, we get to know everything, and we get to know it immediately. I reached for my iPhone on the nightstand.

“Siri, search for things that scream in the woods.”

There was a fifth scream. A sixth. I scrolled through some links. I tapped the first one that seemed legit. It took me to a list of the top ten most common fox calls, complete with audio files. What we’d heard, loud and ominous in the night, were mating calls. We heard a seventh scream. A fox was looking for a girlfriend.

Good luck, buddy.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Let's Get Damaged

Well, it’s finally happened. 2016 has arrived, and that means the year of my second novel, WE’RE ALL DAMAGED, is finally upon us.

(I’ll pause here for a moment so you can finish freaking out.)

As the world collectively awaits the publication day in June, I’ve informed my imaginary staff of idiot interns here at The Norman Nation that I plan to be a lot more active.

What does that mean?  

For starters, it means I’m going to actually write and post things to this blog more often than once or twice a year. That’s right people. Prepare yourselves for more Matthew Norman than you ever imagined.

What will I write about? Good question. Here’s what.

My children. My wife. My dog. Traffic. Random TV shows that I’m watching. Books that I’m reading. The weather. The two raccoons that repeatedly toss garbage all over my driveway like sneaky little assholes. All of it. Whatever crosses my mind.  

But, wait…there’s more.

I’m going to post about the new book, too. I’ll reveal the cover. I’ll give away advanced reader copies. I’ll answer questions from readers—and from time to time I’ll even answer those questions truthfully. I’ll tell you about readings and signings and embarrassing things that happen at those readings and signings. I’ll comment on whatever enormous literary prizes the book eventually wins. Again, everything.  Long story short: think of The Norman Nation as your official WE’RE ALL DAMAGED headquarters.

And look, I’ve already started. Move your eyes slightly to the right. See that picture? There’s about a ninety percent chance that will be my new author photo. I look very serious, don’t I? Well…you should see the black and white version.

Happy New Year, everyone. See you soon! And feel free to drop me a line. Allow me to apologize in advance if my reply to you makes no sense. My interns handle most of my correspondence, and, as I mentioned above…they’re idiots.