Author Interview – Matthew Yaeger

Posted on Thursday, July 11, 2013

Who or what influenced your writing once you began? Books mostly.  I’ve always been an avid reader and loved getting lost in a good book.  You know that feeling when a good story has you in its grip and when you set the book down it takes a moment to reorient yourself?  Or when your pulse picks up during an action scene, or when you read a sad scene and it wrenches at your gut even though it’s completely fictional?  That’s magic.  Who wouldn’t want to be able to learn to do that?

Who or what influenced your writing over the years? Books and movies mostly.  It would take too long to list all of the people that I consider inspirations, but as an example I admire Robert Rodriguez and Joe Lansdale both for their abilities in their mediums to go completely balls-out when telling a story, or how both Elmore Leonard and Tarantino can tell you more about a character through their dialog than through any overt action.

What made you want to be a writer? Like I said, it was this or X-Wing Pilot and they haven’t made those yet.

What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general? Finding the beginning.  The end is easy, it’s when the story is done being told.  But beginnings, man, those are a pain.  Do I start a bit before the story I want to tell to try and introduce the characters a bit more, do you just jump right into it feet first, it’s difficult.  Like getting a roll of scotch tape and trying to figure out where the edge it to peel it up.

Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it? The my biggest roadblock is just myself.  There are a couple of ideas that bounced around in my head and for a while I would stare at a page not because I didn’t want to write the idea down, it was because I’d worry about it too much.  Is this idea dumb, is it too weird, what would someone think reading it, maybe I should try it a different way, etc.  I had caught the story by the tail but I was the one getting in the way of actually writing it down.  I learned that I need to chill out sometimes and just let the story out.

Do you intend to make writing a career? Well sure, who doesn’t want to do something they love to do?  If that doesn’t happen I’m okay with that as well.  Writing not being a career takes some pressure off.  I can do it because I want to, not because my mortgage depends on it.

Have you develop

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Genre – Horror

Rating – PG13

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ed a specific writing style? If clumsy counts as a style, sure.

What is your greatest strength as a writer? A friend said that he thought my writing was honest.  I liked that, so I’ll go with it.  The book I wrote has several horror short stories, and to me the horror of failure or the fear of abuse is just as powerful the terror of monsters in other stories.  I’d like to think that I’m honest to the story I’m telling as well as to the reader.

Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it? Try to clear my head.  Typically if I have writers block it’s because in the back of my head I’m thinking about some household chores I could be doing, or a video game I could be playing, or any of the other hundred temptations that suddenly make the story I thought I knew suddenly slip right out of my mental grasp.  I like to go somewhere quiet with less distractions and it help me a lot.

Can you share a little of your current work with us? Bedtime Stories for the Insomniac is a collection of short horror stories, like a story about a man whose life is spiraling out of control because of debt who believes he has to become a monster to try and keep afloat.  Only he discovers that there are real monsters out there.

How did you come up with the title? I thought it was clever and ironic, because if you were already having trouble sleeping you wouldn’t read horror stories.  Tip for other writers, what seems clever and ironic to you might also seem confusing to potential readers.  Oops.


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