Jan 25, 2012

Matthew Tait, author of Slander Hall, talks about writing and Tim-Tams

Okay, Matthew Tait, this is a little Q & A to get to know a little more about you and thicken up those stalker portfolios.

1 – Milk or dark chocolate?

Dark Chocolate. I like anything exotic. Over here we have these awesome chocolate biscuits called Tim-Tams and they’ve recently brought out a dark chocolate range. Suffice to say I can’t get enough of them.

2 – What are your feelings in reference to LEGO’s?

Fellow Tales of Darkness and Dismay author Daniel I Russell might be the better one to answer that question because my own feelings toward Lego’s are almost entirely non-existent. I don’t own any Lego and don’t believe I ever have. However, if I were to purchase such educational plastic I’d have to go with some STAR WARS Lego.

3 – I know a lot of people as what the favourite are in regard to horror movies, but my question to you...what is your favourites comedy and why?

OFFICE SPACE. Hands down no other comedy comes even close in my mental rolodex of favourites. It’s rich enough for repeat viewings and very powerfully portrays the horrors of working a 9-5 desk job … which is something I’ve always tried to avoid. Perhaps that’s why the full-time writing lifestyle appeals to me like no other.  

4 – What is the story/novel you are most proud of?

A few years back I penned something called CAR CRASH WEATHER – which ended up receiving a commendation. I’m very proud of it because it was the first time I stood back and thought: I think I can actually do this

5 – What is the most interesting thing you have learned?

Interesting question. I’d have to say the most interesting thing I’ve ever learned came very early on in life: finding out that stars are actually other suns … most of them a lot larger than ours.

6 – Do you do a lot of research for your writing?

Not particularly. I find the best fiction comes from the heart … or what I think of as instinct or faith. When dealing with the tropes of other worlds and metaphysical horrors there’s really not all that much research required … because the entire story is one big playground and the canvas is huge for invention.

7 – Tell me about the novels you have written?

SLANDER HALL is about my tenth attempt to tell a coherent tale. Of course, most of the early ones are just far too ghastly to ever see the light of day. A few years back I wrote something called DARK MERIDIAN and now it has a sequel called OLEARIA. I plan on doing a few more drafts but I hope it eventually sees publication. We all have our muses, and I guess DARK MERIDIAN is my Clive Barker book but bristling at the seams with my own philosophies.  Last year I released a collection of short stories to Amazon called GHOSTS IN A DESERT WORLD – and I think there’s enough continuity in the stories to give the whole thing a ‘novel’ feel. Right now I’m in the closing stages of a huge thing called DAVEY RIBBON. If anything eventually breaks me out into mainstream I think it will be this one.

8 – Do you consider yourself prolific?

I’ve become somewhat prolific in the reviewing world with my work at HORRORSCOPE and now HELLNOTES – and I’m very thankful for the new world this has opened up. I’ve been introduced to some heavy-hitters in the genre I love the most. Something that I only used to dream about.

9 – How do you like to tell a story? Character driven, location of importance, or something else entirely?

Character. Definitely. Some of my favourite stories are actually the ones where not a lot of action takes place … except for in the protagonists head. Perfect examples of this would be Gerald’s Game by Stephen King. There’s not a lot of dialogue in any of my stories: I’m more a fan of syntax that’s bulky and weighted with metaphor.

10– What kind of music do you listen to when writing?

I’m going to give a very similar answer to the one I gave Nerine. J

It is no secret among my writing friends how much Clive Barker has influenced me over the years. Not only as a writer but ultimately as a person. His keen insights and philosophies have always been pertinent with my own. When composing, I like nothing more than listening to Danny Elfman’s soundtrack from the film Nightbreed. The opening sequence of music never fails to induce a frisson of pleasure. But I am just enamoured to the music of Lord of Illusions or even Candyman. There is a haunting quality to all of it – an apocalyptic ease I try to imbue into everything I write. When editing, the tune changes somewhat and my heroes from the nighties all get a spin: Nirvana, Bush, Alice in Chains and most of the music featured around that era.

11 – What is the most difficult thing you find about being a writer?

Convincing other people that you are not wasting your time. On the surface it appears you are doing very little: merely sitting in the act of typing. But obviously there is a lot more going on. What Stephen King called ‘dreaming awake’ or ‘creative sleep.’

12 – Something about you that no one would believe.

I really dig romance. Not only up on the big screen but also how it relates to real life.

13 – Okay, now promote yourself here, what else have you done that you would like people to know about?

After being very stoked with sales I now have my collection GHOSTS IN A DESERT WORLD available for free over at Amazon and Smashwords. 

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