Rob (Robin) Matchett was born in Paris, France, in 1956 of Canadian parents, and moved to Canada at four years old. Apparently on the way, he spent hours in a porthole watching the sea, pondering existence. Now his life continues through a porthole – a regret being he didn’t remain in France a few more years. Though, embracing Canada he went native, steeped in the elements from where land-locked on the crest of a giant windblown hill, he commands from the bridge of a ship, foundered on springs, fields and forests. Still unreleased from the yoke of his servitude, he dabbles in the stars, unlocking secrets from history and the future. Many transfigurations have occurred, of which he has faithfully transcribed into various literary forms, including novels, poems and film scripts, and continues to do so. Among other eclectic interests, he is known to be well-read; enjoy wholesome kitchen garden culinary pursuits; calvados; has musical inclinations, and often known to be wired into the Grateful Dead. He is of a retiring nature, addicted to movies and documentaries, considered a professional obligation rather than lesser appraisals.
I began to write poems when I was young though I don’t think I was conscious of being a writer at that time. In my twenties I would go off alone somewhere and write and it dawned on me this was important for me. It wasn’t until after I had written a novel and tried to publish it did I feel like a writer. Even today as I don’t make a living from writing that I find the label ‘writer’ not entirely applicable. It’s probably in my nature that I disdain any labeling at all.
What inspires you to write?
It’s not easy to be definite about inspiration. Sometimes I have a vision of some small seemingly inconsequential thing such as a woman giving birth in the wilderness, then this whole picture begins to emerge piece by piece until a new universe emerges with civilizations and people. Other times a piece of history or new information gets me thinking how wrong some traditional or accepted thinking about a subject can be. Probably the most inspiring is the freedom of writing and how glorious it is putting thoughts to words. Perhaps there is a selfish side to it – to promote oneself by the very act of writing, albeit altruistically. Another is the beauty of language as in a sonnet or well-crafted dialogue, description or story line.
How did you come up with the idea for your current story?
Apocalypta came about by a vision of the future approximately four hundred years from now. I was thinking how different the world was four hundred years before. If one follows that trajectory to the present day many things occur on a human, political, economic, cultural and religious level all simultaneously. Then take that template and apply it forward four hundred years, considering the changes in the last seventy years. We are evolving far quicker than ever before, unless one believes in alien-human hybridization a hundred thousand years ago.
Is there some stories tucked away in some drawer that was written before and never saw the light of the day?
Well, there are novels that I’ve been trying to market that have had little light!
Tell us about your writing process.
For me writing can come from a couple of things. One is inspiration. I really have to believe in the story, which has some fascinating hold on me. Two, discipline. Without it nothing gets done. Three, time. Sacrifices must be made. Work and family can take up all one’s time. Beyond that, one must just find the voice or tag line and just let it flow even if one day you cant write a paragraph or line, but the next day don’t stop trying…sooner or later the brain will respond and release the outflow.
What is your favorite scene in the book? Why?
That’s a tough question. There are so many. Little Terrie (Flower Child) spending the night in the forest with her dog, after her mom told her to hide there to escape from these bad men. Another is the conversation between an alien ‘Johnny Appleseed’ and human scientist-author Jimmy Pidgeon about the fate of the earth and humanity. There are so many favorite scenes.
Did any of your characters inherit some of your own quirks?
No. Not intentionally. I like to think my characters are living breathing individuals.
What is your most interesting writing quirk?
I used to write on an old chair that was lumpy and uncomfortable. I wouldn’t notice it when I wrote. Now that I have a comfortable chair I don’t write so much….!
What is your usual writing routine?
For the most part I'm a morning person, but sometimes whenever I have time.
Do you read? Who are your favourite authors and how have they influenced your writing style?
I read every day, sometimes three or four books or more going on. Lately ive been reading Enigma by Robert Harris. Recently I finished Quo Vadis by Henryk Sienkiewicz. Im also reading the War that Ended the Peace by Margaret MacMillan, Meetings With Paul by Philip Krapf, and others. My favorite authors are many. I especially like Alexandre Dumas and Victor Hugo. I revere Edward de Vere (shake-speare) a very controversial authorship review! I like Silvia Plath and Sappho…Herman Hesse… Ursula Le Guin…so many I cant count…Laurence Gardner…Dr. Barbara Thiering…
What is the best piece of advice you have received, as a writer, till date?
A professor friend, now deceased once, said to me to never give up on creativity – it will keep you focussed and happy.
What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to get into writing?
Write about what interests you most and learn to be disciplined about it.
What would be the Dream Cast for you book if it was to be turned into a movie?
Oh…that’s tough…don’t know really. I’d like to give unknowns a chance…but here goes: Cephren could played by Russell Crowe, Cleo by Jennifer Lawrence, Trinny – Eva Green, Heyoka – Marion Cotillard, Jimmy Pidgeon – Chistian Bale, Darabak – Viggo Mortensen, Flower Child – Shailene Woodley, Remy – Garrett Hedlund, Del Barker – Benedict Cumberbatch, Old Scratch – Gene Hackman, George Washington – Denzel Washington, Runaway Dumptruck – Idris Elba, Daniel Perreault – Anne Hathaway….
If you were to be stranded on the famous deserted island, what three things would you carry?
Spear gun, tool kit with flares, two gallon tin of dulce de leche
How do you spend your free time? Do you have a favorite place to go and unwind?
Play guitar, watch documentaries, movies, read, cook… I like to walk my farm property.
Can you share with us something off your bucket list?
Spend a few months touring France and Europe in a camper with trailer and motorbike.
Tell us three fun facts about yourself.
I shave once a week…I was born in France but don’t speak French very well…every morning I eat 10% fat Mediterranean plain yoghurt either mixed with Argentinian dulce de leche or Turkish cherry jam…
What do you have in store next for your readers?
I’ve been researching and planning to write a script about the purportedly actual story of jesus (yeshua) according to the pesherim (Essenic decode of dates and metaphors – hidden meanings imbedded in the gospels and dead sea scrolls)
Is there anything else you’d like to share with your readers?
The use of our imagination through necessity is the driving force of human progress.
The truth of our journey past and present remains in large part a mystery because of politics.
The truth is always forthcoming but few care to realize it because it runs contrary to accepted thinking.
Apocalypta is a novel about a post-apocalyptic world at the cusp of the 25th century. With the discovery of a synaptic memory chip holding the memories of individuals in the past, there is an attempt to avert a return to the terrible conflagrations of the past. This chip - 'the eyes of god' - holds salvation through the truth. The main character, implanted with the chip, bids the reader to follow history back to our present time in order to understand the future. Moreover, humanity has a chance to become members of a galactic confederation, which through various species have been instrumental in our emergence from earliest times. Many unusual characters color this story, which is ultimately about the struggle for humanity to rise to a higher place in its long quest for survival.
1st Prize: $50 Amazon.com gift certificate and autographed copy of Apocalypta
2nd Prize: $25 Amazon.com gift certificate and autographed copy of Apocalypta
3rd Prize: Autographed copy of Apocalypta