Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
Matthew Williams. I’m 42.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I was born in Evesham, England. I grew up in the village of Feckenham, Worcestershire, and have spent all of my life living around the Midlands area of the UK.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I have HNC’s in both electrical and mechanical engineering and I work as a maintenance manager in the paper industry. I have 2 sons and a very loving wife. I am extremely happy with my life and I love to travel with my wife and my youngest son, it really does broaden the mind.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I am just about halfway through my third novel ‘Talia’s Kiss’ and I have the framework for my fourth novel. It is, as yet, untitled; but it’s likely to be an apocalyptic story.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
It was purely by accident and it happened in 1999. I am dyslexic and I managed to overcome reading difficulties by reading. When I was first promoted to be a manager, it was written communication that I found difficult. I decided to write a short story that had been bouncing around in my head for years, it certainly helped my confidence. 7 years later, I found that short story and reworked it into my first novel ‘The Shady Corner’.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I think it was very recently to be honest. After my first novel was published in 2008, and then republished in 2012, I didn’t consider myself to be a writer at all. After I completed my second novel at the end of 2016 and finally read it back, I realised that I really can create a good story, the feedback that continues to follow since it was published in March 2017 reinforces that I am a writer. I just wish I had the time to write more. My head is bursting with new ideas lol.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My first novel ‘The Shady Corner’ was based on an idea of what may happen after you die. The idea evolved as I wrote the story, but fundamentally that initial idea stood firm and became the twist and the end of the story.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The work in progress title was actually just three words from the opening sentence in the book. Until the story was finished I hadn’t given the title any thought whatsoever. But once the story was complete and the character of David Wilcox had grown into the monster that he is ‘The Shady Corner’ which was always the work in progress title seemed to fit perfectly, when you relate it to the dark corners of the mind.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
My writing style is always developing, and has been likened to James Herbert by some of my readers. My stories are horror/suspense/thriller, so I guess the biggest challenge is to keep the stories original and fresh. So many stories exist in the world of horror and it is a very broad genre. That makes it difficult to do something new, but I have been told that I am doing ok so far.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Apart from the actual horror in my books, a great deal is based on real people, places, events, and experiences. I find that it helps with the visual in my own head as I am writing.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I haven’t had to travel for my writing yet, although I recently spend some time in Switzerland and the framework for my fourth novel was born there.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
The cover for The Shady Corner is entirely my own work, it is even my own face interlaced with that of a skull to give it a more evil look. The cover for Shadowchild was my design, but was brought to life by my publishers.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
No. My work is purely fictional, because of the nature of what I write and the ideas that find their way on to the page, I have found that some of the story arcs do offend some readers. This is not intentional at all, I write what I write to realise something original, this does mean that the messages may be controversial if they clash with the readers own opinions or beliefs.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
I don’t read enough to be honest. But I would have to say that my favourite author is Stephen King. He has let me down on a few occasions, but on the whole his stories are wonderful. I am currently reading More Nightly Visits by Stephen Helmes, I loved his first book. What struck me was the imagination and simplicity of his short stories, it reminded me of Nightmares and Dreamscapes by Stephen King in a lot of ways, it’s very good.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
I love the way you’ve worded that question, being a horror writer I deal with entities all the time lol. But aside from my wife, nobody’s support comes close.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I would love for writing to be my career, since finding the stories inside me, there is nothing that would please me more.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I have received great feedback regarding my latest novel ‘Shadowchild’ I have also received some criticism regarding certain aspects of the book. At the time of writing it, I was extremely happy with the finished novel and I have to say that is still the case. I am not naïve enough to believe that I can please everyone. Just one million happy readers will do lol.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Absolutely, I believe that I am still learning in all aspects of life. I don’t ever want to stop learning.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
For ‘The Shady Corner’ I could see James McAvoy as the lead after watching him in the lead role in Split recently.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Listen to your critics and be patient are the main things that I’ve learned. And I don’t know if this is true of all authors, but try not to over plan every detail. I did this with The Shady Corner and had to keep going back to rewrite whole chapters when fresh and better ideas popped up. I do always find that my stories evolve as I write them.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I write horror stories and I intend to shock and scare my readers, while hopefully giving them an original feel and a satisfying ending.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
More Nightly Visits by Stephen Helmes&The Restaurant at the end of the Universe by Douglas Adams – both great so far.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The first book that I really remember reading was Danny Champion of the World by Roald Dahl
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Many things make me laugh, Ricky Gervais probably more than most though. As for what makes me cry, I’d have to say movies probably do it for me the most, but I have made myself cry on occasion while writing. Sometimes I am so deep in the characters head that I feel their pain when bad things happen to them.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Just one! My God how do I choose just one! Okay I’ll go for James Hetfield from Metallica.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Travel with my family.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Favourite TV – Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, Red Dwarf.
Favourite Movies – Eden Lake, The Green Mile, District 9, Star Wars (any of them lol), the list could go on forever.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
I enjoy a range of food and my wife is a great cook so we eat well, but if there was one food that I struggle to be without, it’s a good curry.
Favourite colours – Red and Black
I love music so much it’s unreal. I’ve always said that if I had a choice of going deaf or going blind, then I’d go blind, because I couldn’t live without music. Metallica, Eminem, Matt Cardle, Adele, Rihanna; basically if I like it then I listen to it.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Spend all my time with my family and travel the world.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Loving and dedicated husband and father, so long as I achieve that then my life was a success.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?