I am an award-winning public speaker and writer. My novel Amiga came from my experiences in the computer industry in the 1980s as a technical writer and computer journalist. My awards for writing and public speaking include Distinguished Toastmaster and an Award of Excellence from the International Online Communications Competition. I graduated Summa Cum Laude from California State University, Northridge. My hometown of Reseda, California plays a prominent role in many of my works.
I live in Lake Forest, California with his wife of nearly 30 years. I have two children, a granddaughter, and lots of cats.
What inspires you to write?
Connection. I get satisfaction from seeing someone be moved or informed from something I've written. For example, when I was a Little League president, there was an incident that affected one of our all-star teams. I wrote a letter of apology to the players of that team. The following year, the parent of one of those players thanked me for writing the letter. He said that his son was ready to quit baseball, but my letter encouraged him to stay. This proves you don't have to reach millions to make an impact. If you've touched the life of only one person, you've done your job.
Tell us about your writing process.
I start with an outline. But once I start writing, all bets are off. My characters have minds of their own and will go into directions I didn't expect. I'll drop scenes that slow down the story and rewrite sections because they no longer fit the story. Writing is an organic process, and you have to go where the story leads you. This is why I use Scrivener because it makes it easy to reorganize my story as I write.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
All the time! I play out scenes in my head and speak dialogue aloud. I've had family members ask me, "Matt, are you OK?" I reply, "I'm fine. (sniff) I just had an emotional scene with my characters."
Who are your favorite authors?
I was introduced to Kurt Vonnegut in high school and binge-read him in college. The first new hardcover I ever bought for myself was his 1979 novel Jailbird. Of contemporary authors, I like John Green. What Vonnegut and Green have in common is the ability to blend humor with tragedy. Recently, I've been reading more indie and self-published authors.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I've self-published since 2005. My first novel from a publisher came out in 2019 with Amiga from Black Rose Writing.
I like the flexibility and creative control with self-publishing, but traditional publishing offers more support and resources. Traditionally published books still have additional respectability, which is especially helpful with fiction. I'm looking at traditional publishing for future novels.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
The mantra "reading is dead" is dead. People want stories and ideas that don't fit into 280-character tweets. I've seen tremendous growth in recent years in independent bookstores and small presses. The quality of self-published books has greatly improved. Although eBooks make up 2/3 of my sales, readers still want paperbacks (especially signed by the author). I have confidence in the future of book publishing
What genres do you write?
fiction, non-fiction, public speaking, historical fiction, women's fiction
What formats are your books in?
All information is provided by the author and is presented as it was submitted so you the reader get to hear the author’s own “voice” in their interview.