top of page



Article Published on: 16th SEP 2023 |


Like her parents, Antosha Scarlett is an archaeologist. She travels the world, seeking out forgotten pasts and retrieving lost artifacts. On returning home to Avíola Viete from one such exhibition, Antosha is attacked by an assassin, only just managing to escape.

After Antosha receives an invitation to work on the site of The Lost City by renowned archaeologist, Tombask Wilshire, she is torn. It is every archaeologist's dream but many years ago, it was Tombask who invited Antosha's parents to The Lost City when she was a child - and where a terrible tragedy took place. Setting out towards The Lost City, Antosha is hunted across the seas. She finds friendship and safety with Nathious Swanson only to discover that he has his own secrets, and soon, everything Antosha knows becomes threatened.

With the past racing to catch up with Antosha, everyone has their own agenda and the magical powers and abilities that she and those around her have might not be enough to protect her. Will she make it out alive, or will the magical secrets of The Lost City destroy everything Antosha has worked for, and everyone she loves?

  • Loved this book. It had many plot twists that kept you guessing on what would happen next. Reminded me of Indiana Jones type mystery with lots of action. Can't wait for more books from this author. If you get a chance I recommend you take time to read the book. - Reviewed in the United States

  • Loved this book so much that, took it on vacation and couldn’t put out down. Filled with twists and turns, it kept you guessing. Can’t wait to see what else the author has to offer. Hopefully, they make this into a movie. Do yourself a favour and check it out. - Reviewed in the United States

  • This is an exceptional adventure-filled book. I like how the author used easy-to-understand language and writing style. For me, it felt like every chapter advanced the plot even further as I read. Great job. I totally recommend it! - Reviewed in the United States




Matrika Hay is an actor, singer, and trained stage combat performer (including all kinds of weapons training). Although being born in India she was adopted and flown to Kauai, HI at only four months old. She remained there until moving to Tucson, AZ with her mother and older brother. It was there she was introduced to the world of theater at the age of thirteen, but she didn’t get into singing until her high school years. It was during those years she found her place. Not What Meets the Eye is her debut novel.

With over a decade of bringing another distinguished piece of work to life, she has taken to telling her own tales. In this work of historical fantasy, she takes us on a ride of action and mystery, putting all the knowledge she’s acquired through years of working in the professional theatre and film industry. Matrika has been a lifelong storyteller, having her first poem published in the Anthology of Poetry by Young Americans Volume CLV in 2001. And has recently written and produced The Foley Chronicles, a theatrical radio drama podcast series. All while working a full-time job in New York City, in between her theater gigs she loves to play video games (on all platforms), and rock climbing. She also enjoys cooking amazing meals, mostly for other people rather than just for herself. In the times she’s able to head out on the water she enjoys kayaking.

Within the pages of her historical fantasy masterpiece, Matrika sweeps us into a world of both enchanting action and enigmatic intrigue. With a rich reservoir of insights honed through extensive experience in the professional theatre and film industry, she orchestrates a tale that brims with suspense. Matrika's innate talent for storytelling traces back to her earliest accomplishment: the publication of her maiden poem in the Anthology of Poetry by Young Americans Volume CLV, a significant milestone achieved in 2001. Displaying her boundless creative energy, she recently conceived and executed The Foley Chronicles, an enthralling radio drama podcast series that stands as a testament to her versatility. Amid the bustling pace of her life in New York City, where she successfully balances a full-time job and her theater commitments, Matrika embraces an eclectic array of passions.




Q: Can you share with us the inspiration behind your debut novel, "Not What Meets the Eye"?

A. I’ve always loved adventure and learning about ancient Egypt, Rome, Aztecs, and Mayan civilizations, just to name a few. The stories of these discoveries and how they’ve shaped and changed our history are ever-changing; and as such drove me to create my own. But it’s not only human civilizations, I’ve always loved paleontology as well.

Q: As a professional singer and actor, how did you transition into the world of writing? What prompted you to explore storytelling through writing?

A. As a professional performer, the transition was relativity easy, In a way I’ve always been a storyteller even before I was a performer. In elementary school one teacher had us write and illustrate short stories and then have them bound into small booklets. In middle school, we got additional points for creativity on book reports. I remember when I wrote a ‘dairy of the day in the life’ where I hand wrote on burnt aged paper bound in string. But it as the imagery of the story that sealed it. It’s harder to try to describe something in a book than a simple blurb on the side of a script.

Q: The adventure and mystery in your book are reminiscent of an Indiana Jones-style tale. What drew you to this genre, and how did you approach crafting your unique narrative within it?

A. I love Indiana Jones. Action/ adventure has always been one of my favorite genres for film and tv. I thought if this ever gets turned into a movie would it be entertaining enough to watch? But I drew from the multiple questions that still remain for our ancient cultures. With the new discoveries made by archaeologists with the Mayans, Egyptians, and Romans. Many of the things that are in ‘Not What Meets the Eye’ have and did happen, this is just another way of exploring what could have been.

Q: "Not What Meets the Eye" explores the idea of uncovering secrets from the past. How did your deep passion for history influence the plot and themes of the story?

A. My passion for history originally began with dinosaurs. As a kid, like countless others, I was enthralled with these magnificent creatures. Over the years the theories, lives, and even looks of them have changed-and still do to this day. The same goes for our history. With every new discovery, archaeologists make rewrites of our time on this planet. So I thought what if things were different? Would we still find ourselves in similar situations?

Q: The Lost City is a central location in the novel. How did you approach world-building to bring this setting to life, and what kind of research did you undertake to make it feel authentic?

A. With the Lost City, it had to be a large discovery, something that if found today would blow everything apart. I researched places and locations that were beyond believable. Like Manchu Picchu, and other large-scale excavation sites. I researched what these explorers went through, what they did, and had to overcome to prove what they knew was real and be able to bring it to the scientific community, against overwhelming stubborn objections and skepticism. But not just the size scale, but it had to be a place where people lived, and how they lived.

Q: "Not What Meets the Eye" is your debut novel. What were some of the most rewarding and challenging aspects of the publishing journey for you?

A. The most challenging aspect of the whole thing, and will continue to be, is battling dyslexia. It’s not just the spelling of words, but when I write I don’t see the problem when I change tenses in the middle of a sentence. Having to overcome that has been the most difficult thing to overcome. I’ve been told countless times by people that I wouldn’t be published because of this. Even if the idea and story were good no one would be able to understand it and it would take a lot much time and money for a company or editor to deal with. Being a performer I’m used to countless denials and that just leads me to push harder. So being picked up by a publisher on my first book was beyond amazing.

Q: As readers eagerly await more from you, can you offer a glimpse into any future projects or ideas you have in mind for your writing?

A. I am proud to say that I will have another novel published by Olympia hopefully in the next two years. It is called ‘Flash of Stability’ and it is a sci-fi novel. I don’t want the author who be cornered into just one genre. Same as being a performer; it’s more fun when you can branch out. I also write my own podcast called ‘The Foley Chronicles’, and am working on the third and fourth episodes. I’ve several other stories in the works that range from crime to epic fantasy.

Q: What message or experience would you like readers to take away from "Not What Meets the Eye"?

A. Experience is sometimes the paths we follow may not always be for the best. Truth hurts, but we all need that one person who will tell it as it is no matter what. I’ve found the tough friends are the ones you keep the longest and the ones you need. Life is fleeting. Take heart and cherish the people we have around us.

bottom of page