Paul Matts, son of Leicester, England, former impresario of a punk rock club, and now writer of words, stomps into Messy Business, surveys the scene, and puts himself right in the mixer.
A friend of mine doesn’t read fiction, paraphrasing Frank Skinner about it all being made-up and he has no time for any of that. What words do you have for such a philistine?
Get out of my way! Seriously (or maybe not), I’d give them a copy of ‘On the Road’ or ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’ and arrange to see them a week later. If they hadn’t read either I’d lock them in a room with clear instruction to tap three times on the door when they’d finished one or the other. If, at that point, they weren’t converted, I wouldn’t waste any more time or words on the individual in question. I might even execute them.
What must a protagonist have to make you read on?
I always want a believable protagonist, someone who I can relate to in some way. Assuming they have that, then a sense of humour is next on my list. Applies to real life as well, incidentally.
Do you need a likable protagonist?
No not at all. Even people you hate, or at least dislike, can be believable and possess a sense of humour. The same can certainly apply to a protagonist.
Name a great antagonist, in a novel or movie, and what they do for you.
At a young age I studied King Lear at college, and the character of Edmund really captured my attention. A sneaky, charming show off who used his bastard status as an energy to reap revenge when and where he saw fit. Quite the Machiavellian. A rebel with a clue. Raise a glass, everyone!
What makes you throw a book out the window?
I am pretty patient and rarely chuck one out the window. But when I do it’s because the I cannot relate to any of the characters. Human beings are a fascinating breed, and in some shape or form I want to be able to get an idea where a character is coming from.
Do you grit your teeth all the way to the end of a dodgy novel?
Not quite. I need to be into it about a third of the way in, though. It should have potential by that point.
What gets you writing? Is it a great novel, maybe? Something you saw on the street or on TV? Something else?
Music is a great inspiration to me. The lyrics to a song, the emotion in a singer’s voice usually does the trick. Also, the great outdoors. I am a gardener and that gives a lot of time for contemplation. All sorts can pop into your head.
What did you learn about writing from the last book you wrote?
I am new to writing so I learnt a lot really, and will continue to do so, I hope. Increasing the depth of minor characters as well as the main ones. More emphasis on grabbing the reader’s attention from the early pages, ideally from the first paragraph. Also, ensuring the plot skips along nicely, without getting bogged down. Loads really.
What’s your next book, in 30 words or less?
Toy Guitars. A kitchen-sink comedy drama narrated by fourteen-year old Matt Morgan who is watching his family being ripped apart by teenage pregnancy.
Where can readers connect with you?
Here you go;
.Website – www.paulmatts.com