This is my interview with new, upcoming author Matt Drabble. I recently reviewed Matt’s book; “Gated”.
So here’s the Interview!
So Matt, what gave you the inspiration to become an author?
My inspiration to become an author stems from the inevitable and somewhat naive idea that I could write a book. I think that most avid readers always believe that they have a book in them and I was no different. I had played around with my first novel “Rapture Falls” over several years. Picking it up and working on it for a while before putting it back in a drawer again. My shove into action came when I had a bad back injury a couple of years ago. When I wasn’t healing as I should have been further testing resulted in a diagnosis of a condition called ankylosing spondylitis, which is a degenerative and chronic back condition. Sidelined through this injury and due to the austerity measures imposed by the current government I found myself unable to work properly and unable to qualify for any financial aid. I had to find a way to try to make a financial contribution to our income and writing has become my attempt at a new career.
As you’ve mentioned before you’re a Stephen King Fan, What’s your favourite King Book?
Favourite Stephen King book would probably be “Bag of Bones” I love the sad depiction of a widower left haunting the world around him as a metaphorical ghost as he drifts through life with no ties until he meets his anchor.
Your book, Gated, reads quite X-File-esque, did you get any inspiration from the show?
I was always a fan of the early X-Files TV show. I wouldn’t say that they had much of an influence in the writing of “Gated” but there is more than a nod I guess in my book of short stories “Asylum – 13 Tales of Terror”
Do you have a favourite X-Files episode?
I always liked “Tooms”
What made you want to write Horror?
Horror is always a misunderstood genre in my opinion. It has taken Stephen King decades to receive the appropriate recognition due to his subject matter. I think that horror can best depict the human condition and range of heightened emotions in all of us, and it can be fun too.
How do you feel “Gated” has been received?
“Gated” has been downloaded now almost 17,000 time since Dec 2012. It was my first attempt to write a novel with a wider potential audience in mind. It has been pretty nerve-racking to get used to the idea of my work being read by so many readers and by so many potential reviewers. The story and style have both been well received and praised with the only recurring negative comments being directed towards the technical/proofreading aspects of the book. I have been fortunate enough to discover an old school friend who is now living in Australia who is working as a proofreader and he is now working with me on editing my books. “Gated” will have an updated version available in a week or so which will hopefully eliminate any remaining errors.
I recently saw you in an article, how did that make you feel?
I was concerned at being held up as any kind of success in print as I think that I am typically self-deprecating British in that we hate to sing our own praises and feel that the moment we think we are any good at anything karma will take us down a peg or two. I think that my uncomfortable smile in the newspaper article speaks volumes as to my mood at the time.
Your newest book is “Abra-Cadaver”, what can you tell me about it?
I currently have 2 novels around the halfway completed mark. After “Asylum – 13 Tales of Terror” I started work on “The Montague Portrait” which was a horror/thriller in the same sort of vein as the late great James Herbert. Unfortunately I kind of lost confidence with the book and it is currently doing the rounds with some readers that I use as test subjects for their opinions before I decide whether or not to proceed with it. Whilst I am waiting for opinions to roll in I have started on “Abra-Cadaver” which I am finding is great fun to write. “Abra-Cadaver” is a story about Tommy Ross’ 12th birthday party. Surrounded as usual by his close-knit group of friends, a magician, The Captivating Cosmo X – Master of the Unknown is performing. Fascinated by magic Tommy and his friends sneak into the guys van and mess around with some of the equipment, before being chased out. During the “Guillotine of Death” trick his assistant is beheaded in front of Tommy in the front row splattering him with warm sticky blood and mentally scarring them all in different ways forever. The magician pleads his innocence at the trial claiming that the trick malfunctioned. Tommy and his friends stay silent about playing around with the equipment before hand. The investigation discovers that the magicians assistant/wife was having an affair at the time and call this motive. He is found guilty and sent to prison for life, screaming bloody vengeance. Tommy and his friends share a guilty secret that poisons them all. Tommy’s parents divorce and he leaves town at age 13. Twenty odd years later Tommy is returning to Denver Mills after his fathers passing to settle the estate. He is reunited with his friends and we see how they have all changed and evolved. But there has been an escape at Blackwater Heights, the comatose Captivating Cosmo X has woken up and he has promises to keep, and he’s heading home with a whole new bag of tricks. It is turning out to be quite fun to write, a kind of slasher film type of novel, but with emotional depth to the group of friends and their relationships to each other. I’m about 33,500 words in at the minute.
Are you interested in exploring other genres, or do you feel your feet are firmly planted in horror?
I think that at some point I would like to branch out at some point and test myself in other genres but for now I am firmly attempting to build an audience and a style that people would recognise as mine.
And finally, do you have any words for aspiring authors?
Thanks very much for your time Matt, I appreciate having the chance to interview you.