Born in a little town known as South Amboy NJ in 1973, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Somewhere between fifteen to eighteen of them spent developing the world in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, and The Awakened Series take place. He has several other projects in the works as well as a collaborative science fiction endeavor with author Tony Healey.
Matthew's newest title, The Eldritch Heart, is a young adult/fantasy book. The book will be released on August 1, 2017 via Curiosity Quills Press. Read more about Matthew in his interview below.
To find out more about his upcoming title, check out our spotlight books feature on August 10, 2017.
How long have you been writing?
In one form or another, I suppose I can trace it back to when I was around thirteen or so… though at that time, it existed primarily as the itch to create characters and worlds. I wrote little things here and there, and the vast majority of it (that wasn’t for school) wound up being related to role playing games – creating characters, stories, multi-branching plots, that sort of thing. I spent a long time distracted by video games though, and as I imagine most kids do, being commanded to do something by teachers made me loathe doing it. Hence, I spent a good few years disinterested in reading, because every damn summer I got handed a list of 6-8 novels they wanted me to read before the next school year started.
I ‘dabbled’ at a novel in the late 90s, which became a monstrous thing at over 400k words. It’s still not seen the light of day – maybe it never will. Most recently, around 2012, someone I used to work with commented that I ought to try writing. (Little did he know). That planted the seed, and eventually, World of Warcraft got boring enough for me to break free of the addiction. My writing, in the sense of taking it ‘seriously,’ technically began about May or so of 2012.
What is your most recent literary/artistic project?
The most recent project I worked on is a collaboration with JR Rain, an urban fantasy story titled Winter Solstice: Convergence. I’ve also recently finished a draft of a spinoff series I’ll be working with him on set in his Samantha Moon world. Presently, I’m writing another urban fantasy story, and after that, I have plans to write a middle-grade Lit RPG novel.
What inspires you to write?
Mostly, inspiration comes from the characters rattling around in my skull trying to get out. I am sure I’ve become as addicted to writing as I had been to WoW. It’s something I do that I enjoy. Writing doesn’t feel like a chore to me; I crave having the time to sit down and work on a book or story. Another aspect of it that keeps me going is the idea that I can offer a small period of escape to readers, allowing them to forget about the real world for a little while.
Who’s your favorite author and why?
Hmm. Usually, my answer to this question is William Gibson. He’s considered the father of the genre I write in the most (cyberpunk).
What advice can you give to other authors or writers?
The best thing a writer can do is take the time/brainpower to create deep and detailed characters. If your characters feel like real people and not template archetypes, even a basic story-line becomes tolerable (or even engaging if the characters are done well). Think of who the character is, what drives them, and jot down a bunch of idiosyncrasies. What kind of music do they listen to? Any phobias? Any little strange habits? What gets under their skin fast (e.g. the character cannot stand arrogant people). Much of this stuff may never reach the reader’s eyes, but it shapes how the character reacts to situations and how they interact with other characters. Few things irk me as much in a book as when a character does something completely random that doesn’t fit who they are, only because the author wants to set up some future chain of events and needs the character to do something. Readers are keenly aware of characters acting out of sorts like this.
Also, seek out feedback from not-relatives, and don’t jump to change everything anyone picks on. If you get multiple people raising the same point, consider changing something. But if you ask eight people to read it and all eight grumble about completely different things, chances are that’s normal and you don’t really need to change things unless it also bothers you.
Where can readers go to find out more information about your work?
I’m on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/MatthewSCoxAuthor/
Readers can find a list of my books here: http://www.matthewcoxbooks.com/wordpress/books/
Or read some first few chapters here: http://www.matthewcoxbooks.com/wordpress/preview-chapters/
And check out my page at CQ’s site: https://curiosityquills.com/authors/matthew-cox/