Friday, October 23, 2015

THE GAL'S 31 DAYS OF HORROR: AMONG THE STACKS: Matt Shaw


The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Hey, Matt.  Welcome to The Gal and thanks for being a part of The Gal's 31 Days of Horror.  I am so excited about this interview, and psyched that you're here on my blog.
            Let's start off with an easy question: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Matt Shaw:
I sometimes like to pretend I am a bit of a rockstar.  I get up in the morning and prance to the bathroom, to burns my teeth of course, and I often do interviews with myself in the bathroom mirror. And then I realize I am not a rockstar.  I realise no one is interviewing me on Day-time television... And that's when I start to write; when all the self-loathing and hatred for myself begins to spill from my pores.  Must happen a lot now because, despite being 34, I have more than 70 titles out now!

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What are five things most people don't know about you?

Matt Shaw:
Despite what I write, I'm actually quite a sensitive guy who wears his heart on his sleeve.  My own father despises me.  I have had over 20 different jobs.  I am an avid animal lover and hate seeing them hurt.  I wept for a weekend when my chinchilla died.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What is the first book you remember reading?

Matt Shaw:
I remember a book called The Curse of the Vampire's Socks.  I can't remember who it was from, but it was full of rhymes.  My favourite - which I read again and again - was about a boy called Horace who sat down and ate himself one day.  It had great pictures of him tucking into his leg with a knife and fork.  And, yes, it was a kid's book.  It was by one of the people behind Monty Python.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What are you reading now? 

Matt Shaw:
Graham Norton's The Life and Loves of a He-Devil.  Very funny book.  It actually makes me want to move to Ireland, the way he speaks so fondly of it.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What made you decide you want to write?  When did you begin writing?

Matt Shaw:
I wrote my first book aged 12.  It was rubbish.  From the age of 13-18, I spent my time writing screenplays and then, aged 25, I started turning those screenplays into novels and short stories having found a place to self-publish them.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have a special place you like to write?

Matt Shaw:
Why do I think that sounds rude?  I like to do it in the bathroom behind locked doors <insert creepy face here>
            My favourite place to write is my office.  My favourite place to write ideas is either down by a lake near to where I live or on the sun-lounger at my local health club.  But that only works when the sun is out, which is rare in England.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have any quirks or processes that you go through when you write?

Matt Shaw:
I don't think so.  I just get my head down and get on with it.  Occasionally I will stop to catch up with readers on Facebook for a bit and then back to writing.  Usually I don't even have notes when I am writing.  It just flows through me like a dodgy curry.  If things start getting complicated in the story, I might make quick notes.  And I do like to keep a list of names used in the book, too.  I am fucking terrible at remembering names!  You know I am serious because I swore.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Where do the ideas for your books come from?

Matt Shaw:
Bad dreams.  Converting screenplays.  Or sometimes they will just pop into my head.  I guess my family should be worried...

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What books have most inspired you?

Matt Shaw:
Roald Dahl's work inspired me.  It's the sting in his tales which make me happy.  That's why I always like to go for endings which blow the reader away with a proper WTF moment.  Great fun!

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Matt Shaw:
I don't like writing about hurting animals and try to avoid it.  I think on two occasions the story has called for it but, yeah, I don't make a point of it.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What do you think makes a good story?

Matt Shaw:
Interesting characters, good plot twists, and a decent theme which isn't over-used (zombies, vampires).

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

Matt Shaw:
Peter Jenkins from Happy Ever After.  He is a sad loner who just wants to be loved.  Admittedly he stalks and kidnaps women to find his one true love and I haven't gone that far yet but - yes - I want what he wants.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Why did you pick your particular genre?

Matt Shaw:
I have a dark imagination.  Writing down the dark thoughts I have helps me to cleanse my soul.  But I don't just stick one genre, though.  I dally around in lots of different ones as I try and write something which will appeal to lots of different folk.  No sense pigeon-holing myself.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

Matt Shaw:
Mine are good :)
            I am joking.  I couldn't tell you.  I purposefully do not read about books in the same genre as me as I don't want to accidentally get influenced by them.  I try not to think of other writers, there's little point.  I let them do their thing whilst I do mine.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What is in your 'trunk'?  

Matt Shaw:
I have a film project lined up, but at the moment I just do not have time to do it.  My writing is taking me over to America twice in the coming months, as well as many different conventions this year so... The film can wait.  That doesn't mean there will be no films though for I've sold the film options for four of them now and progress is slow but definite.  There will be at least one Matt Shaw film within the next couple of years which is exciting.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What can we expect from you in the future?

Matt Shaw:
At least a book a month ranging from erotica to extreme horror to psychological horror and the occasional romance to throw people off.  I will not stop.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Where can we find you?  (You know, STaLKeR links.)

Matt Shaw:
It's always nice to hear from people :)

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
It's been an honor having you here today, Matt. :)  Thanks for stopping by.


About the author:
Matt Shaw was born, quite by accident (his mother tripped, he shot out), on September 30th, 1980 in Winchester hospital where he was immediately placed on the baby ward and eBay.  Some twelve years later (wandering the corridors of the hospital and playing with road kill when he was on day release), the listing closed and he remained unsold, he was booted out of the hospital to start his life as a writer and hobbit - beginning with writing screenplays and short stories for his own amusement before finally getting published when he was twenty-seven years and forty-five seconds old.
            Once published weekly in a lad's magazine with his photography work, Matt Shaw is also a published author and cartoonist.  Has to be said, he can be a bit of a flirt and definitely, without a shadow of a doubt, somewhat of a klutz.

Favourite books:
"Roald Dahl's Collection of Short Stories"
Tim Burton's Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy
Anything, really, written by himself.  Because he is that good.

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