11 September, 2015

#Interview with Matt Doyle, #Author of WICK

About the Author:
Matt Doyle lives in the South East of England. His house is inhabited by a wide variety of people and animals including (at time of typing) his partner, his three kids, two dogs, a cat, a snake, a rat, a rabbit, a selection of teas and a handful of wild windows.

He has spent his life chasing dreams, a habit which has seen him gain varying degrees of success in a great number of fields. This has included spending ten years as a professional wrestler (both working shows under the ring names Tad, and working backstage booking and running several successful shows in his local area), completing a range of cosplay projects and scripting the webcomic ‘Tales of the Winterborn’.

His latest venture involves diving headlong into another world he has wanted to be a apart of since childhood: that of an author.

Interview with Author:

When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer/ a storyteller? 
It’s been ever since I was a kid. I always loved writing, but most importantly I always loved reading. Whether I was sick in bed, wanted a temporary escape from the world or just wanted some entertainment, books gave me all of that and more. That was something that was, and remains, really important in my life. I want to be able to give that to others.

What inspires you to write? 
The desire to give other people worlds to immerse themselves in is one thing. In general though, a lot of different things inspire me at different times. Sections of songs, scenes from TV shows, other books, conversations, people, things I over hear and totally don’t eavesdrop on. Just about anything can be an inspiration … just not always when I want it to be.

How did you come up with the idea for your current story? 
My current novel ‘WICK’ was quite a journey. I’d actually set out to write a completely different book that was inspired by an episode of the anime ‘Bodacious Space Pirates’. The problem was, there just wasn’t enough there to get a full novel down on paper. Once I realised that, I started experimenting with a couple of different ideas and trying them out in the same universe. What essentially happened was that a lot of different things from my life got smashed together: I love playing the Yu-Gi-Oh! and Pok√©mon collectible card games, so that got in there. I spent nearly ten years as a professional wrestler in the UK, so I applied that to the game that the characters play. I’d been reading and watching Ghost in the Shell a lot, so that kinda snuck into the story too. Before I knew it, so many different things were swimming around in the pot that I just ended up with this weird mix of genres and sub-genres. From there, I kind of just figured that if ‘Burst Angel’ can be a genre-bender anime, then I can write a genre-bender novel.

Are there some stories tucked away in some drawer that was written before and never saw the light of the day? 
Absolutely. A lot of my old stories were poorly executed HP Lovecraft knock-offs that have only been read by a handful of people. Currently, there are a couple of short stories swimming around in my head, as well as a children’s novel series, a children’s picture book, the original idea that became ‘WICK’ and some further stories from ‘The Spark Form Chronicles’.

Tell us about your writing process. 
I tend use a mix of techniques when writing. In general, I like to have some music on in the background and a joss stick burning next to me. Oh, a cup of herbal tea. As to the writing itself, that varies. Sometimes I just write what comes to mind with nothing but a vague goal in mind, other times I work from copious amounts of notes that I’ve made and stashed away in unorganised piles.

What is your favourite scene in the book? Why? 
My favourite scene in ‘WICK’ … that’s a tough one actually, there are so many scenes that I enjoyed writing. The opening chapter with John Forrester entering the arena and racing his Carnival (his holographic AI, herself an anthropomorphic wolf/rabbit hybrid) to their changing room is a definite favourite though. It really sets out how John thinks and speaks, and introduces his general quirkiness. It’s definitely a fun one to read.

Did any of your characters inherit some of your own quirks? 
To a degree, definitely. I’m not as OTT as John Forrester, but when I do get a bit … odd … when I’m in a fun mood. Meera Thorne I think inherited my insecurities and magnified them as well.

What is your most interesting writing quirk? 
I’m not sure it classes as interesting, and it’s certainly not uncommon, but I do suffer from the curse of habitual self editing. There was a point that I actually wrote a single paragraph and then proceeded to spend the rest of the evening rewriting one single sentence in the middle of it. Or maybe two sentences. Either way, the evening was a bit of a waste and resulted in me having to have a serious talk with myself. While I can be a bit argumentative, I am happy to say that I lost that argument and so I prevailed I convinced myself to hold off on too much instantaneous editing. Maybe that’s my quirk actually. I talk to myself a lot, sometimes playing out something I want to write before I write it. Then I forget what I just said myself and have to start over.

About the Book:
How do you define a life?

With overblown visuals, stunning entrances and bloody battles played out in real time by holograms, Spark Forming has become far more than a simple card game. Drawing in fans from across the Colonies, no other sporting event creates a bigger buzz than the annual two day tournament to crown a new Spark Form World Champion. Yet the scramble for the title is not the only source of conflict this year, and for some competitor’s the real battles will take place away from the TV cameras.

What defines a person’s life and drives them to keep moving forward? When a game grows to reflect a society struggling to hang on, are some lives more valid than others? Can an AI ever truly be alive?

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