Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Interview With Author Matthew Merrick [EXILED Week Day 2]

 What an honor it was to get to interview Matt! I adore him!
I think that you will, too, after reading this interview!

I am in pink. 
 Matt is in black.

 Let's get to know you a little bit, Matt. What does the R stand for? Robert

Favorite color, season and hobby, other then writing / reading? 
I love dark blue! Fall is easily my favorite season. It’s warm enough during the day you don’t need a jacket, and at night, I can get away with just wearing a hoodie. I love watching movies. If I’m not writing, that’s probably what I’m doing…or playing video games and occasionally I find myself doing karaoke.  

 Fall and Spring are great in NC, but they just don't last long enough. I live in a hoodie during the colder nights. With thumb holes in the wrists. LOL!

Thumb holes? That’s classic!

What kind of movies are you into?
I’ll watch anything. Yes anything. My wife once made me watch the very hilarious, The Sweetest Thing. That might be the funniest chick flick I’ve ever seen. If I had to make a preference, I like Darker Dramas and Thrillers. Something that sucks me in and keeps me on the edge of my seat. I also love anything based on mythology, specifically Greek and/or Roman.

What video games do you play?
I enjoy RPG’s the most. The Elder Scrolls, Dragon Age, that kind of thing, but I’m also a big fan of the Need For Speed games, as well as First Person Shooters like Killzone.

If you were stuck on a deserted island, and could only bring 3 things, what would you bring? 
My iPod, some sort of solar generator for said iPod, and a boat. 

With a boat, couldn't you get to civilization? Pick something else. ;)
That was kind of the idea, and I’d have music to enjoy the ride. Something else…okay how about a really big knife. Wait…are there animals on the island? If there are no animals then I want something else…no I want something else anyways. I want a book on how to survive on a deserted island. One that can teach me how to make a knife out of leaves and sand, and show me how to build a shelter out of coconuts and seaweed.

Before you knew you wanted to write, what did you want to be when you grew up? 
I wanted to be an actor. I was really into it in high school. Just like writing, I was fascinated by diving into another world and becoming a new character.

That is pretty funny. I have always loved acting and dancing. I even had 7:30 classes all through high school so I could take extra dance / drama classes.

Ah yes, I too took the 7:30 classes to make more room for drama. Although I’m a terrible dancer...unless there are adult beverages involved, then I’m wicked amazing…

What are 3 random facts about you? Well kept secrets. Hrmmm…I think any well kept secrets shall remain kept, but random facts - that I can do.
1.      I have a few very strange… issues, one being that I hate when my feet are dry. To remedy this, I lotion them regularly. On the flip side, not much makes me angrier then when I’m walking and I step in a puddle. I really hate wearing wet socks.
2.      I was a really picky eater growing up. Now that my tastes are evolving, I’m into trying anything. With that, I’ve just recently started eating thing that most people have been eating forever. Ie. I just tried Cesar salad for the first time last year. Its gooooood!
3.      I have career OCD. I cooked for 10 years, and since I got out of the industry, I have a really difficult time finding a job that holds my attention. I start a new job, work my butt off for a year to eighteen months, and then I get bored and need something new. I suppose that’s why I love writing so much; I’m working on something new every few months.  

Dude, really? You cooked for 10 years and were a picky eater? How was that possible? Did you not taste what you cooked? Cesar salad has always been my favorite. Random fact about me: I hate shoes. I will wear flip flops as long into the winter as I can. And my toe nails are almost always hot pink.

I always tasted what I cooked, but I didn’t cook salad, you just chop up lettuce and veggies and toss it in a bowl with sauce. Not a whole lot sampling needed. I know it’s strange though. Other than fish, I’ve eaten very little seafood too, but I worked mostly in Italian style restaurants, or steakhouses, so other than shrimp, scallops, and calamari, there wasn’t a lot of seafood on the menu.

Ok, on to Exiled. Was it a struggle or did it just flow? 
It was almost all flow. I didn’t use an outline for Exiled. I didn’t have any idea what I was doing, whether or not I was going to publish, or what I hoped to accomplish by writing a book. It was just something I started and really enjoyed doing. It wasn’t until I decided to try and get published that I hit a struggle. Having done all the research on agents, querying, publishing, etc. I realized the stress of getting an agent and having my work “validated.” That process really seemed to suck the creativity out of me. Once I gave that up and decided to do it my own way, the flow came rushing back.

You have a way of showing the setting in a way I haven't ever really experienced before. Was that taught or is it just raw talent? 
I suppose it’s the latter. I had never really written any type of fiction before, other than a book I started before Exiled, but lost interest in. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing and I never took it seriously. When I started Exiled, I just closed my eyes, gave myself to the world and characters, and I wrote what I saw.   

When you write, are you a 'Stop, think, chew on stuff' kind of writer or a 'type. type, type.... read later' type? 
Both. After Exiled, I started using outlines. I write the outline so I know where the story is going, and then I just write. If it goes off course from what I originally planned, so be it, I’ll fix it later. Unless I take more than a few days break from writing for some reason, I won’t read anything until I’m done the first draft. 

Well, it works! Don't change a thing!

Where do you write? Are you most comfortable at a desk or do you write anywhere that inspires you? 
I’ll write anywhere I can sit down comfortably with my laptop, but it’s almost always set up at my kitchen table. That’s pretty much where I do all my writing.

I know you are hard at work on book 3, but what do you have planned for after? Are you going to take a break or jump into something new? 
I just finished the outline for book 3, and the past few months I’ve been bouncing back and forth between “Will it be a trilogy” or “Will it be a six book series.” I’ve actually settled slightly in between. The Protector series is going to be a four book series, so while book 3 is with the editors, I’ll write the outline for book 4 and get started on it right away. I want to be able to release the last book within six months of the third (if all goes according to plan, but since when does that happen?). After that’s done, I’ve been working on ideas and characters for a new series. It’s still Fantasy, but I don’t think it’s going to be YA. I think my next series will be geared for a 17+ audience. I won’t know for sure until I actually sit down to write it, but that’s the general direction I’m heading.  

Uh oh! 17+, huh? How 'adult' are we talking here? 

I don’t believe in doing anything halfway, so if I venture away from YA and write an adult series, it will be very ‘adult´oriented. Just sayin…

 See! How amazing is Matt? Now can everyone see why we are friends?
 Come on back tomorrow for a guest post from Matt! 


  1. Love it <3
    - & I totally get the thumb hole thing! :)
    I also think it's pretty freaking awesome that Exiled was just... written.. No outline included :) Props Matt - Mad Props :)

    Insightful Minds

  2. This was a very cool interview! Matty knows I think he is the king of awesomeness, but this was great to read more about him. Great questions!

    Can I just say I really hope you do write that adult novel! You know I'll be reading it! Haha :-)