I figured for my first interview questionnaire, I ought to begin with a bang. Dave Matthes is a writer and actor, and I had a chance to ask him some questions that pertained to the field. Keep in mind that this interview will involve language, so if you don’t like the words fuck or dick, stop reading. I will change absolutely nothing of his responses.
1. When did you first decide you wanted to be a writer, and how did you get your first idea?
I started writing around First Grade. During that particular summer, our school had summer camp courses the kids could take, I took one on creative writing. Obviously I wasn’t the amazing writer I am today, so when I started my work it was pretty…not pretty. But after a while, writing short stories turned into novels. I wrote a science fiction trilogy when I was in college, but decided not to publish them for personal reasons. After that, I began working overnights alone, and thus the journal of “The Slut Always Rides Shotgun” was born. From then on…writing has been an incurable disease, and I like it that way.
2. What do you say to someone who says they want to write?
Stop saying you want to write, and fucking write.
3. How do you overcome writer’s block?
Firstly, anyone who says they don’t come across writer’s block at one time or another is full of shit. No matter what they call it, we writers all have lulls in our ventures. But anyway, overcoming is not really an issue because I happen to think writer’s block is healthy. It’s a pause…sort of like a peace between two chaos’s. When it passes it passes, never try to force it if you can’t seem to get anything out. The words will come when they want to. If anything, use the time to work on your other pursuits…like working out so as to lose that beer or whiskey gut you acquired while writing took up most of your time prior to.
4. What’s better: mass market publishing house with an agent, or self-publishing? Why?
I’ve only ever self-published, so I can’t really speak from the other point of view. But I do know this: with self-publishing, one has all the control. The second you hand over any sort of rights or decision making to a publisher or editor in regards to your book, you cease to become a real writer.
5. Someone says they’ve written a story and want to get it published. You know this person doesn’t know the first thing about the field of writing, and what it takes to get published. What’s your response?
First, make sure you have a backbone that won’t break easily. If your plan is to submit your work to editors or publishers, prepare for mass amounts of rejection. Basically, if you want to be a writer, you can’t be a bitch. As I once said, if you can’t handle getting wet, don’t walk out into the storm. Also, the most important piece of advice one can give an aspiring writer: never take advice from other writers.
6. How did you feel about your first novel when you first finished it? When you got your first review?
My dick solidified into a state I never thought was possible.
7. You’ve published how many amount of books?
5 total, (seven if you count the extended editions of my first two, but I don’t really count them as separate books) and this January I’ll be releasing my sixth.
8. How did you come to write the way you write?
My first two books were written as journals. So you can’t really get much more honest and gritty than that. But basically, I see most of the shit that’s released out there…take for instance all that teen-paranormal bullshit, or 50 Shades of Whatever-the-Fuck type stuff and all its imitators. The market has become completely and unforgivably over-saturated with it. So part of me tries to avoid writing in those styles. It’s formulaic, something I try to avoid while writing. If I can, I like to try something different with each book I write, whether it have to do with the style, themes, or even the format of the text. Just to keep things fresh.
9. What do you enjoy writing the most?
Novels for the most part, but I’ve recently acquired a taste for poetry.
10. What do you enjoy the most ABOUT writing?
It’s a release of emotions that nothing I’ve ever encountered can duplicate. I used to say I did it for the reviews, or hearing or seeing people voice that they love my work (or even hate it, because let’s face it, haters are everywhere), but that was before. I write because it’s my way of evicting all the pent up bullshit inside.
11. Some authors insisted that they can’t just love one story. Do you have a favorite story, or do you love them all equally?
I think it’d probably have to be “Sleepeth Not, the Bastard”. It’s my most intricate story on the technical side, and it also took a lot outta me while writing, emotion wise. The editing process took longer than it should have because the people who supposedly wanted to help with the editing were actually no help at all. Long story short, bringing to book to completion has been my longest, most painstaking effort yet. And for that alone it’s my favorite.
Dave Matthes is the proclaimed author of several books, his most popular being The Slut Always Rides Shotgun, which has been transitioned to the silver screen in 2013. His other novels can be found through Goodreads, his fanpage, and Amazon.
This post can also be found on Thoughtful Minds United.