Welcome to Visio and Verse, the place for Art and Authors this morning, Matthew. It's a pleasure to have you here. Tell us, where do you call Home?
A seaside town called Broadstairs, in Kent – the south-east of England. I’ve lived in and around the town all my life, and love it here. It hosts the country’s second-largest folk festival in the summer, and goes a lot quieter in the winter, and I’m proud to call it home.
It sounds just lovely. What have you written?
Two full-length novels, both in the contemporary fantasy genre. My first book, Fall From Grace, was published in October 2011, and its sequel, Leap of Faith, came out just recently in September 2013.
They’ve both been published by Inspired Quill, a fairly new indie publishing house. IQ began trading just six months before my first book came out, which set for an interesting and busy production period; it was a learning curve for all of us, and great fun – but when Leap of Faith came out two years later, it was a lot calmer!
What is your favorite genre to write?
Fantasy / sci-fi, most definitely, but I do want to try some writing in crime and drama genres at some point in the future.
Scrambled egg on toast – I’m obsessed!
Where would you like to visit?
New York; I’ve heard it’s a fantastic city to see. I’m not a very seasoned traveler; the furthest I’ve ever been is to Calais in France, so I need to up my game in the next few years. I’m considering doing a walking marathon in Iceland at some point in the future.
Favorite musical artist? Do you listen to music when you write? What?
I don’t have one particular favourite, but Fun is a great current group – although with many others.
I do always listen to music when I write; it helps me feel a lot more creative. What I listen to depends on what I’m writing. I usually search on Youtube to find various medleys – dramatic, sad, etc. I couldn’t write very easily without music.
What makes you laugh?
My friends; they’re very witty people, leaving me in the dust!
There’s quite a few comedians that make me laugh, and I’m always on the look-out for new people on the comedy circuit.
How old were you when you started writing?
10! I wrote a short story to escape from a geography class (which I hated throughout my school career). A shame, really, as I’m useless at map-reading now.
Still, I’ve got a writing career out of it; swings and roundabouts and all that.
That's okay about the map-thing, Matt. They even put GPS in rental cars.Where do you get your inspiration?
Partly from reading and listening to other people and writers talking; I’m a great magpie for picking up snippets of conversation that set my mind wandering and thinking “What if …?”
Of course, part of my inspiration comes from my own odd imagination; I wish I could tell you exactly how it works, but it’s a mystery even to me. I just enjoy it while it lasts!
What do you do when you get a writer's block?
Tell my brain to buck its ideas up; I haven’t got time for any of that sort of thing!
And that works? Who is your favorite author?
I can’t honestly be tied down to one author; I worship at the altar of the greats; China Mieville, Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Harlan Coburn and the legends – Arthur C Clarke, Agatha Christie, H G Wells, etc.
Best book you ever read.
Again, I’d struggle to pick just one, but H G Wells’ “Time Machine” certainly was an early inspiration to me.
Who is the one person who has influenced your personal life the most and why?
Must I pick just one? I’m going to buck the trend here and sod the rules!
My parents and the three grandparents I knew have all been magnificent influences. My dad was a journalist for about 50 years before he eventually retired, with a great passion for words, and he instilled a love of words in me. My mum loved fiction, so there were always books sitting around the house, which taught me to respect writing – in whatever genre it might have been (but especially gritty crime and grizzly murder – I worry about my mum sometimes), and I knew then that I would have always preferred writing fiction to non-fiction.
My grandparents were awesome folk; my mum’s dad (who I sadly never met) actually wrote a book once, but sadly never had it published. I would have relished the chance to have had a good conversation with him about that.
When I was diagnosed with dyspraxia, at 15, they, above everyone, pushed me on and made me realize that there was so much I could do with my life. I am very fortunate to have such a lovely family.
If you could sit down and have a conversation with ONE person, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why?
Shakespeare. His words are poetry on the pages, and I would want to learn what made him tick – how he thought, how he used his inspiration … all that and more!
What advice would you give someone who aspired to be a writer?
Keep going. Never give up. If you love writing – if you feel inside that you love writing (and you’ll know exactly what I mean if you do), then don’t you dare ever give up. Keep writing.
Well, Matthew, you are delightful. Thank you for your refreshing look at things and "sodding" my rules. Come back and see us again when your next fantasy novel comes out. We go cover reveals, and in special cases, book reviews.
My website is www.matthewmunson.co.uk and my Facebook page is www.facebook.com/matthewmunsonauthor
My books can be brought from Amazon, Play.com, Waterstones, W H Smiths … pretty much everywhere!