Happy Sunday everyone!
Well, if you’ve been wondering where I have been, let me tell you. It’s all good but I had some computer issues and have been off line for the last week. That really sucked! I am so used to just hopping on the computer, typing away and BAM! I got shut down for a few days but I am here now, back and stronger than ever.
I had to miss the FREAKY FRIDAY topic last week but will write about it next time. The topic then will be LET’S TALK ABOUT DEMONS!
March is almost here and you know what that means! Starting next month, I will be hosting ROCKSTAR WEDNESDAY and offering you a backstage pass so to speak into some of the coolest bands I know.
If you are a band or a solo performer (any genre) and you would like some FREE publicity, drop me a line and let me know. I am scheduling now for March!
Today is AUTHOR OF THE WEEK and this segment will be moving to Monday’s next month so I can concentrate on my SIX SENTENCE SUNDAY.
I will also be letting you in on a new book that I am writing and it SO totally different than what you are used to from me. It’s not HORROR, not INSPIRATIONAL, but…well, you’ll just have to come back and see.
Since I have been off line for a week, I will be getting back on tomorrow (Monday) and filling you in on everything that is new.
For now…welcome to AUTHOR OF THE WEEK and my guest, British author MATTHEW ROWE!
Have a great day and thanks for stopping by to say hello! 🙂
~AUTHOR OF THE WEEK~
Meet author MATTHEW ROWE
Matthew is the British author of the urban fantasy
BETTER OFF DEAD
“A world where sorcerers are saucy, vampires are a pain in the neck and everyone is clawing to be on top.
The city of Londinium is in a period of civil unrest, but it’s not because the tube is always late, or because people are tired of zombies shedding limbs in public, nor is it because the humans are tired of trying to eke out a living only to meet a messy end in a dark alley.
An unknown vampire has proclaimed himself ruler, and if there is one thing the people, both living and dead, hate more than a tyrannical ruler, it’s a secretive one. One young vampire is charged with discovering the prince’s identity. The only problem: he doesn’t want to.
Ramses, the world’s first genuine cat burglar, is far more concerned with eliminating the threat posed by the feline race rather than that of some pesky vampire lord, a dragon and civil war.
Can this undead slacker learn to grow up at last, foil this mysterious plot and halt the biggest supernatural conflict in history or will he need help from his mummy?”
Matthew, who was born in Boston,Lincs Sheffield, UK and now lives in Sendai, Miyagi, Japan describes himself as: “A recently radioactive, paranoid earthquake survivor who is pretty sure he has found his place in the world, even if it’s a bit shaky.
BETTER OFF DEAD is his first novel, but far from being his last. He hopes it goes some way to showing his determination to be a writer, since the bigwigs are a little unsure about his mutterings, strange smells and capability. Not just as a writer, but also as a human being.
He’s only just hit his thirties though, so he has plenty of time to learn how to dance.
He would also like you to know that he has a shiny website that showcases his range of creative efforts at an address not entirely dissimilar to this one, www.mattcannotwrite.co.uk “
I had the pleasure of talking to Matthew recently and getting to know him a bit better. He is an awesome guy with a quirky sense of humor which I love and I enjoyed his anwers and his advice!
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I think I always knew. Is that destiny? I don’t remember a time when I didn’t. However, the first time I significantly thought about it was at Junior school. I was probably about 7 years old. We all took a fun personality-career on a clunky old BBC computer and the top suggested career for me was ‘author’. The only activities I really liked in Junior school was when we got to write something creative. I always wrote little bits in my free time. I even started my first novel when I was 16 years old, but the story ran out after 7 chapters.
What type of genre do you write in?
My only consistent genre is supernatural. I’d like to say that I write modern fairy tales but that isn’t always true. All of my stories have some kind of dark, other worldly element. Sometimes I use it for humour, sometimes I don’t. My anthology is a mixture of horror, comedy, science-fiction and straight sword and sorcery.
I like to be original. I hate cliches. If I use them, it is to poke fun at them or set up a bigger premise. If I wrote for one genre, I’d probably write a story that’s been done before. If I mix it up, no one knows what to expect. Even me! I just let the story go where it wants to and then I reign it in to make a tight plot at the end of the process. Also, monkeys; they are my inspiration in anything. If you think about monkeys they can’t be serious, even when they try. They are funny and cute in everything they do. That’s me, but without the cuteness and maybe more of the bad smell.
Where do you get your ideas for your writing?
Other peoples’ ideas. I don’t steal them, but I ask myself “what if (such and such) happened here?” or “What if he did that instead?”. I read books and I watch movies and ideas come to me from those stories. Usually its a character trait, journey or a situation. I expand on it from there, searching out a purpose for the story and what genre I think would suit it best. Usually it is clear immediately if it’s going to be a comedy story or serious. In my anthology ‘Not All Of Them About Zombies’ I have an introduction for each story and I talk about what inspired me to write each of them. Dreams are another good source. It can be hard to find a coherent plot in dreams but some of my best stories come from them.
Douglas Adams, Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. They ARE my childhood. Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy was certainly one of the first ‘grown up’ books I ever read. I remember the second time I ever read it was when I was 8 or 9. It was just so bizarre. The comedy was most important and it was so strong that it didn’t matter that there wasn’t really a plot. That was part of its charm; the characters bounced around from one mad event to the next and it was oh so witty. Since then I have read most of his books several times.
I then got into Terry Pratchett and devoured most of his books right through my teenage years. His humour was more subtle but I loved how he did something different with the fantasy genre and poked fun at both real and fictional worlds as he went, and still does!
Then in my late teens and onward I discovered Neil Gaiman, and I can honestly say that he writes the stories I want to write. Most of them are gritty but magical, realistic and fantastic, real modern fairy tales. He still is my favourite author. I even love the films of his books. His traits are so strong that they shine through even a secondhand production and sing. I could watch a movie I had no idea he had written and know it was him before the credits rolled. Mainly because it probably says in the opening titles but you know what I mean.
In your opinion, what key parts of a story make it great?
Characters. If you don’t have interesting characters then your reader isn’t going to stick around for a whole novel to see what happens to them. I think dramas, realistic tales, are far more difficult to write for because you have to make a believably flawed character that isn’t boring or annoying. I’m not sure I can do that. So I write comedy a lot of the time and to do that I merely need characters who are bizarre and over-the-top enough to amuse the reader and keep them going to see what madness they get into next. That’s easier for me, but the characters are still flawed. They just have hugely exaggerated flaws.
Take Ramses from my first novel ‘Better Off Dead’. He’s a vampire who really loves his unlife, and he has a problem with cats. He has a problem with cats in the same way that Hitler had a problem with Jews. He truly believes they are a malignant race hell bent on world domination. He’s constructed an intricate and bizarre fantasy world that comes into question during his adventures. A lot of the comedy comes from his reactions to that as he learns to grow up.
My next novel has a much deeper character arc, but it’s still a comedy. That’s going to be a SF comedy called No Technobabble Please, We’re Earthlings! and it’ll be released in e-book form, rather appropriately, this year. There’s some details on my site, but I don’t want to give away too much yet.
By the way, I love cats. Please don’t think that an author shares the views of his characters. That’s a pet peeve of mine and if you think so, I will come and eat your babies. Only joking…. Maybe.
What activities do you do for inspiration?
I live my life. I’m never short of inspiration; I love movies. I read whenever I can – though I find I have to make time for it nowadays; I play games. Anything that gets me involved in another world or gives me time to think about this one will give me inspiration. I often go on and on in my blog about the weirdest ideas that were triggered by a single mundane event in my day or a conversation I had. You wouldn’t believe it if I told you. So I recommend you read it, and comment! Every time my blog gets a comment an otherwise disabled baby gets to be born with all it’s limbs. I have a special understanding with God. True story.
Do you belong to any writing communities, or critique groups?
I used to. I don’t right now. I’m between writing groups, you might say. When I first started writing seriously I joined a little e-mail group and that was nice for a start. It was very private and we could all build each other’s confidence and protect our egos. Then I stepped out into the big wide world and I joined a site called Fanstory.com– I don’t know if it’s still going… *checks* … yes it is, but everyone I know there left long ago. It sounds like it’s for fan fiction only, but it’s not.
For a tiny yearly fee you can post work and you are encouraged to read others by a cool coins system. You can then use the coins to buy adverts and promote your work on the site. I made some really good friends there (Marzipan!) and learned a lot from them. That’s where I picked 82.334% of my writing skills, I think. It’s hard to tell without a calculator handy. People I know started leaving and I left too because I couldn’t get critiques anymore. After that I started trying to sell my work.
I also do a writers circle by mail when I am in the UK. There’s a small group of us and we post a chapter at a time. The method is very personal and the work is very good. It’s so nice to sit down with the submissions and have a read through. I got wrapped up in the stories… I miss them. I’m still in touch with most of it’s members so I hope they can be successful too!
What is the title of your upcoming/newly released novel, and where can we find it?
My recent and first novel is ‘Better Off Dead’ a Young Adult Urban Fantasy set in a world where sorcerers are saucy, vampires are a pain in the neck and everyone is clawing to be on top.
It’s available from Lulu.com now (http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/better-off-dead/18790219) and is set to appear on Amazon by the time you read this! Check my web site for links or search for Better Off Dead by Matthew Rowe on Amazon! Of course, readers can always contact me for a signed copy. I accept paypal.
What is the best way for your fans to contact you?
My website (http://www.MattCannotWrite.co.uk) has direct e-mail links and I watch comments on my blog like I’m a hawk and they are juicy little rabbits. My blog is pretty new so I’m at that impatient and boring time of building an audience. I literally can’t wait for regular readers and when they come I shall shower them with love, sweets, monkeys and disease free prostitutes…. prostitutes aren’t available to minors. Sorry. But serious, I love interacting with people and I intend to entertain. I also do regular writing activities so it’s a good place for writers too.
What is your ultimate goal/dream concerning your writing?
The usual; movies, fame, gold statues, being more read than the bible. Can you imagine a world where the major belief system is based upon my work? With all the vampires, demons, murderers, apocalypses, monkeys, zombies, school bullies and deadly diseases there will be marginally less violence than under Christianity, or Islam.
Any final thoughts?
I probably should have a bath….
BETTER OFF DEAD can be found on Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Better-Off-Dead-Matthew-Rowe/dp/1447873270/ref=sr_1_9?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1330275233&sr=1-9
Other works by MATTHEW ROWE
“NOT ALL OF THEM ABOUT ZOMBIES”
How to contact Matthew:
His site: http://www.mattcannotwrite.co.uk/
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“No work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.