Patrick C. Greene Unveils Michael Matula
Michael D. Matula is the author of the story
YOU’LL THANK ME BY TOMORROW
in the new anthology from Sekhmet Press
Hi Michael! Thank you for joining me today. Let’s kick off this interview with the most important question. Have you ever encountered a ghost?
Not to my knowledge. I went on a camping trip as a teenager and had some sightings in the woods that I couldn’t explain, though I always attributed that to an overactive imagination, and the fact that the kids I was with had been filling my head with stories that entire weekend. I’m quite skeptical of paranormal phenomena now, but at the time, it didn’t take much to convince me there was something spooky out there.
What kind of music do you listen to for inspiration?
When I do listen to music while I write, which isn’t super often these days, it’s usually something retro and familiar. Something that fades into the background.
Have you ever started a project, felt it run out of steam and had to abandon it?
Definitely. I often go back to old stories and work on completing/revising them. I’m not sure if the stories themselves run out of steam, but I’m often unsure where to take them, or get stuck at a crossroads. That usually happens for me when I didn’t write out an outline beforehand. When I start from an outline that I feel is strong, then I can usually keep the ball rolling.
What’s the most shocking book or story you’ve ever read?
I think the last thing I remember disturbing me was a Terry Goodkind fantasy novel. My memory’s a bit foggy on it, since I was pretty young at the time, and I didn’t get that much further in the book, but I remember it describing children getting cut apart in pretty graphic detail. Since I’ve become a writer, though, it’s much harder to shock me. It’s like trying to shock a Hollywood makeup effects artist by throwing around a bucket of fake blood.
Do you remember a particular moment or incident that made you decide to be a writer?
Back in high school, I was trying to finish sketching out thumbnails for a comic book when I got an idea for another story. I didn’t have time to draw one comic, let alone two, but I loved the idea, so I wrote out the story instead, just so I could get the idea down on paper. I think that’s around when I caught the writing bug.
Do you have a certain space and time set aside for writing or is it more of a free-form process?
It’s more free-form, as I try to write whenever I can find the time. I write best when I get started first thing in the morning, but that’s not always doable, unfortunately.
How would you describe your writing style?
Character focused. I try to get in the heads of my characters and let them tell the story. This can sometimes take me to some weird places, though, as some of my characters aren’t exactly fun to be around.
What other sorts of themes or genres would you like to explore?
I’m open to almost any genre. I’ve always had pretty varied tastes, and so long as there’s an element of danger, I’m up for it. Fantasy was the genre I first fell in love with, though I seem to have an easier time writing contemporary stories.
Please briefly describe your path to publication.
A couple years ago, I started revising the manuscript for TRY NOT TO BURN. Once I was happy with it, I started submitting it again. After trying a few agents and not getting anywhere, I revised it yet again, cutting down the word count significantly, and sent it off to a pair of publishers. One of them passed on it, and the other offered me a contract.
Who are your favorite fictional antagonist and protagonist and what was it about them that struck a chord for you?
Jack Burton (from Big Trouble in Little China) is probably my favorite protagonist, largely due to Kurt Russell’s performance, and lines like “If we’re not back by dawn…call the president.” As for my favorite antagonist, that’s a tougher one for me. I’m tempted to go with Hannibal Lecter, partially because I just watched season 1 of Hannibal, and the combination of sadism and sophistication is as captivating as it is gruesome.
Aside from writing, what is your favorite artistic medium?
I enjoy drawing when I can squeeze in the time, and I occasionally post some of my sketches on my website.
Thanks again for joining me today and letting us get to know you better. I wish you the best of luck with Wrapped In White and all of your future endeavours.
Michael Matula is a thriller novelist and story writer from just outside of Chicago, IL. He once dreamed of being a comic book artist, sketching pictures and caption bubbles in class when he really should have been studying. Unable to draw fast enough to keep up with all the ideas and storylines he came up with, he wrote out a side story for one of his characters. He ended up falling in love with writing and never really looked back. His first novel, TRY NOT TO BURN, was published by Post Mortem Press, and has been called a “mash-up of The Matrix and Dante’s Inferno.” His short fiction has been published by Sci-Fi Short Story Magazine and DarkFuse, and also appeared in WRAPPED IN RED, a vampire anthology from Sekhmet Press. His next story, “You’ll Thank Me By Tomorrow,” will appear in WRAPPED IN WHITE, a ghost anthology, later this year.