This interview is the third in a series of the people I attended Viable Paradise with, all those young and upcoming writers. In Matt’s case, since he’s also an Iowan, I have the added advantage of getting to see him from time to time.
Thanks for the interview, Matt. Confessional time: Gary Gygax helped my plotting too…
Tamago: How did you become interested in being a writer?
Matt: When you have two brothers, being able to make up a story on the spot is pretty much a survival skill. Turns out I was pretty good at it. Mom made sure all us boys learned to read when we were young and that helped a lot it. I love telling stories and entertaining people. That’s why I write. I wrote my first story when I was in the 4th grade and it was read in front of the entire school. I also give huge credit to my dad from whom I seem to have inherited a writing gene (he wrote the yearly musical for Dubuque’s barbershop chorus among other things) and Jim Maddox, my high school English teacher who once told me “You can do better than this” and he was right.
Tamago: I understand that the first book you wrote was a fantasy called Asymonte. What’s the plot of that novel?
Matt: Asymonte : Night of Whispers was my shot at an epic fantasy. It centers around a country (Asymonte) that has recently gained its freedom from the Magi, direct descendants from the Gods. The main character is one of the Hunters responsible for their overthrow and through the course of events, he discovers that the Magi were keeping an even greater threat at bay. In his effort to save the few remaining Magi, he learns about his own past and how his fate is tied to that of the Magi and Asymonte. In 2005, I submitted it to Wizards of the Coast’s Open Call/Open World contest and earned a personalized rejection with a request to enter again. Gave me a good feeling boost and an idea that I was on the right track.
Tamago: What are you working on now?
Matt: I’m wrapping up Genie Memories (a sci-fi superhero thriller) and polishing a light fantasy short story called Korl Builds a Wall. After that I have another sci-fi novel that has been percolating in my brain for the past couple of months. More futuristic, more space travel and aliens.