Blowin’ a Thylogale

Where: Thylogale Walking Track
Hiked: 29th June 2021

One of my favourite things about living in South East Queensland is that there are so many great hiking spots within a few hours of home.

Earlier this week, Abbie and I decided to check out a track on Mount Nebo called the Thylogale Walking Track. I’d spotted the hike on a friend’s Instagram page and thought it looked like a nice place to get a decent walk in.

I was right.

Continue reading “Blowin’ a Thylogale”

Kindle Unlimited versus Publishing Wide – the LitRPG perspective

One thing new authors often wonder about is whether or not enrolling in Kindle Unlimited is the right choice for their books.

So I’m going to give you a little rundown on this from the LitRPG perspective, because this genre of ours tends to be a little different than others.

Continue reading “Kindle Unlimited versus Publishing Wide – the LitRPG perspective”


Well thank fuck we survived 2020, hey?

Honestly, sometimes you have to celebrate the little things.

I wanted to let you all know what I’m up to in 2021, and give you a bit of an update on how things are going.

If you haven’t been able to tell from the whole *waves hands at last year* thing, it wasn’t a good year for me. I put out one book, and while it was the best one I’ve done yet, it didn’t perform anywhere near as well as I’d hoped, so my confidence, motivation and direction was just kind of *waves hands around again in a generally vague fashion*.

I’m going into 2021 with a mission, and that mission’s name is EDGE Force.

Continue reading “2021”

Spooky Books for Halloween

Hello there everybody! With the spooky season almost upon us, you might be looking for a good book to scare the shit out of you. I thought I’d put together a little list to help you with that goal.

These novels are listed in no particular order, and I’m just listing them because I loved them. I received nothing in exchange for these endorsements, but uhh, if Mr. King wants to give a cover quote for my next book, I’m all ears…

Now, without further ado…

Continue reading “Spooky Books for Halloween”

A long overdue update

Hello friends!

I just wanted to take the time to give you all a bit of an update on a couple of things. I’ve been a bit quiet for the past six months, and after saying I was going to give everybody monthly updates, that just hasn’t happened.

My bad.

Continue reading “A long overdue update”

New Release: Legacy of the Bloodreaver

Crematoria Online: A dark fantasy LitRPG series from Matthew J. Barbeler! For fans of Diablo, Bloodborne, Devil May Cry, and The Elder Scrolls.

Making friends has never been Lucas Hutchins’ strong suit, but now he has no choice in the matter. He has a promise to keep, but he’s not strong enough to do it alone.

Lucas forges friendships and alliances with a bunch of ragtag player characters: a purple-haired Apothecary with a passion for baking, a mysterious Occultist who takes role-playing way too seriously, and a Hellkin who just wants everyone to get along.

Meanwhile, the armies of the Crimson Queen are gathering in the realm of Sanguinaria. They mean to invade the Four Kingdoms and bend every man, woman and child to the Crimson Queen’s will.

Lucas must use his wits and his Investigator abilities to find out what the Crimson Queen is up to before it’s too late to fight back.

Get Legacy of the Bloodreaver now!

Praise for Rise of the Crimson Order: Crematoria Online Book One:

“This has got to be one of the best books I’ve ever read with Kindle Unlimited. Bravo.” – Matt, Amazon Review

“one hell of an adventure” – Shawn T. King, Amazon Review

“I loved the detective class and the abilities/actions are very well thought out. It’s refreshing to have something other than sword & board.” – Goonbag, Amazon Review

January 2020 Update

New year, same goals.

I’ve bought into the whole New Years’ Resolution thing in the past, but I pretty much have the same goals every year.

  • Write more
  • Make good health-related decisions

This year I’ve got an addition to the list, which is kind of tied into both.

  • Consume less, create more.

This is kind of a catch-all statement that captures my attitude toward a lot of things. The older I get, the more cynical I get about this consumer-centric capitalist nightmare we all live in. This year I want to be more conscious of the things I spend my money on, and the societal/corporate structures that my spending choices support.

I want to be financially independent and debt-free, so I can pursue a life of literary abandon. But the day job is what pays for the book covers, the editing and the advertising at the moment. Lots of work to do in that space.

It goes without saying that being the best Dad I can be is right up the top of the list.

Crematoria Online

The Legacy of the Bloodreaver Kickstarter is almost over, and I’m almost sure that it’s not going to be funded.

I’m okay with that.

At the beginning of the campaign, I was a little disheartened about the slow start. I’ve run two other Kickstarter campaigns in my life, and they were both effortless, resounding successes. One was funded in 8 hours, the other was funded in 2.

To have such a dead-on-arrival campaign for Legacy of the Bloodreaver didn’t feel great.

But as I was setting up the campaign, I knew the costs were prohibitive. The costs involved in printing a 500 page book, shipping it from Amazon’s KDP warehouse to me to sign in Australia, then to re-send out to backers, is untenable. Combine that with the weak Aussie dollar, and Kickstarter’s fees, I pretty much had to price myself out of success.

The last campaigns I ran ended up costing me money in printing and shipping costs over and above what was raised on Kickstarter, but this time I did my homework and costed the whole campaign accurately so that I would be able to cover costs with the funds raised.

$75 for two books from an Aussie indie writer is just too expensive, it seems.

But that’s cool. It just reaffirms that I should be focussing on ebooks as my primary release platform, and that audiobooks are the next platform I need to pursue. Putting the physical books as a priority doesn’t make sense for me at this juncture.

There’s just under 47 hours left in the campaign at the time of posting this, so if you want to put in a last minute pledge, you’re more than welcome. If the campaign isn’t successful, you won’t be charged a dime.

Anyway, Legacy of the Bloodreaver should be going up for preorder on Amazon very soon. I’m really proud of this book, and I think all you LitRPG folks are going to love it.

The First 10 Weeks of Dadhood

Tobias turned 10 weeks old this week, and it’s a bit crazy how quickly that time has gone. Maybe it’s gone so fast because I’ve only worked my day job five out of those ten weeks, and the remaining time has been a flurry of editing, nappies, spending time with family, and all the chaos that Christmas brings.

It’s not hyperbole when I say that these last ten weeks have been the best of my life. The arrival of this little dude is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. Just look at that cheeky little bugger.

Modest Mouse said it best. “When life gets longer, awful feels softer.”

Other Writing

He’s a little tiny teaser of a cover I’ve had commissioned for Beasts & Bastions volume 1, done by the excellent and twisted horror specialist Dean Samed.

I’m still working on the first draft, but I’m hoping this book will drop sometime in 2020.

I’ve published five chapters of Beasts & Bastions on my website already, but I’m sad/glad to say that these chapters are now defunct. The first two chapters will be changed a bit, but the whole starting in the forest thing is going to be scrapped, and the characters are going to be changed a bit. I’ve got a better opening, which I’m going to start drafting after I get Crematoria Online book 2 out the door.

I’m also going to be helping edit the latest anthology from my local writers group (The book is titled Misbehaving), which is simultaneously exciting and terrifying. On one hand, I don’t feel qualified to edit or critique someone else’s work, but it’s also a fantastic opportunity for growth. So I’m in.

I also had a piece published on about my experience discovering my aboriginal ancestry, and all the baggage that comes with. You can read it here.