Located in the Central Valley of California, Matthew Davis is an author writing weird occult fantasy and exploring the stranger side of horror. He’s also an artist specializing in graphic and cover design, having done work previously for clients including Apex Publishing, Sinister Grin, and more. When he’s not busy pursuing creative endeavors, he usually spends his time with his family. Or watching cartoons.
KR: Could you tell me a little about yourself please?
My name is Matt, and I’m an artist and writer from the Central Valley of California. I’m also a husband to a wonderful wife, and father to a raucous pack of children. I’m drawn to the weird, the grotesque, and the absurd, things which often play central roles in my work.
KR: What do you like to do when not writing?
Reading, drawing, and listening to music are integral to my existence whenever I’m not writing. I tend to break down pretty quickly if I don’t have my headphones on. I also spend a lot of time with my family, who are the heart and soul of my existence.
KR: What is your favourite childhood book?
I was lucky enough to have parents who believed children should read, in particular a father who was an avid fan of fantasy and science-fiction. Childhood’s End, by Arthur C. Clarke, made a big impact on me at a young age. The Chronicles of Prydain, by Lloyd Alexander, has had a lasting influence on my concept of fantasy as well. As far as an actual favorite? Probably Clive Barker’s Thief of Always.
KR: What is your favourite album, and does music play any role in your writing?
Like I mentioned before, music plays an important role in my entire life. I just don’t function as well without it. I listen to just about everything, and it very directly informs and influences my writing. The Downward Spiral from NIN’s was, and remains, my absolute favorite album and one that I’ve listened to countless times.
KR: Do you have a favourite horror movie/director?
This is a brutal question. My favorite horror movie is probably Event Horizon. There’s just not enough cosmic horror out there, and it’s a shame.
Guillermo del Toro has quickly risen to become not just one of my favorite horror directors, but one of my favorite directors in general. John Carpenter is also up there.
KR: What are you reading now?
I just finished reading the Caroline Alexander translation of Homer’s Iliad. Next up I’m probably going to tackle my third read-through of The Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson. In my opinion it’s the standard by which all modern fantasy should be measured. Nothing really compares to it in scope and depth.
KR: Who were the authors that inspired you to write?
I’ve always been fascinated by stories. It wasn’t until I was a teenager and going through what could politely be called a “rough time” that I stumbled across the work of two magical humans: Nancy A. Collins and Poppy Z. Brite. Their writing dragged me out of a very dark place, and helped cement the notion that someday I’d be a writer.
KR: Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer to just see where an idea takes you?
A little bit of both. I tend to develop a “high concept” for a story, and then lay down the bare bones of an outline. From there it’s a matter of letting the story tell itself to me, and seeing where it goes.
KR: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
I can get lost in research. The internet is a remarkable resource that was made for the dissemination of knowledge. As far as how much? It depends on the story itself, but I typically do some researching throughout the entire writing process.
KR: Describe your usual writing day?
The bulk of my writing gets done between 03:00 and 05:00 (in the A.M.). After that the day tends to get away from me. Those early, quiet, dark hours are mine alone and I take advantage of every minute. You could say I’m an early riser.
KR: Do you have a favourite story/short that you’ve written (published or not)?
I do, and it’s not published yet because I haven’t finished it but I hope to get that done this year and find a home for it with a publisher.
KR: Do you read your book reviews?
Every one of them.
KR: Any advice for a fledgling author?
Writing, particularly with the intent of becoming a career writer, is the long-game. You need a strong willingness to compromise, dedication, and above all patience. You will fall, you will hurt, you will want to quit. But you will get through it if you just keep moving forward, whether by inches or miles. Always forward.
KR: What scares you?
Oblivion, emptiness, nothingness.
KR: E-Book, Paperback or Hardback?
Old, moldering, yellowed paperbacks.
KR: Can you tell me about your latest release please?
Coming later this year I have a new weird occult fantasy titled Darkweird. It’s the followup to my first book Red Sky Blues. It’s the story of a guy who has no business being anyone’s hero doing the best he can to survive a supernatural apocalypse and maybe save the world along the way.
KR: You can read a brilliant excerpt from Red Sky Blues here
KR: What are you working on now?
The third and final installment of my Grey Days series of weird occult fantasy books, and a number of short stories.
KR: You find yourself on a desert island, which three people would you wish to be deserted with you and why?
You can choose…
a) One fictional character from your writing.
Swift, an immortal entity from the beginning of time with a crooked sense of humor and a mean right hook.
b) One fictional character from any other book.
Fiddler, from Steven Erikson’s Malazan Book of the Fallen.
c) One real life person that is not a family member or friend.
All my favorite people are dead. Kahlil Gibran if that’s acceptable, otherwise I guess probably Elon Musk? Not that I like the dude but he’d probably phone in a helicopter and get us the hell of that island real quick.
KR: Thank you very much Matt.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @thatweirdghost
To find out more about Matt please visit his official website www.crossingavoid.com
You can check out Matt’s author page here
Evil books. Ancient powers. Zombie pigs? Thomas Grey, occult scholar and reclusive mage, is having a terrible day. Down on his luck and facing a looming electrical bill, he is hired by the supernatural overlord of his hometown to track down a magical book of colossal cosmic evil: The Libro Nihil. The hunt leads Thomas on an adventure across the sleepy cow town of Hanford steeped with mystery, magic, and an absurd amount of mayhem. Aided by his crotchety, spell-slinging mentor as well as his friend and sometimes bodyguard, Thomas finds himself embroiled in a bizarre and terrifying conspiracy to awaken a sleeping evil that promises to push his magical prowess and threshold for pain to their limits. It looks like a bad, bad day to have gotten out of bed. But a guy’s got to get paid. Red Sky Blues is the first book in the new urban weird series Grey Days. It also includes a collection of short stories, and interior art by comic artist Will Kirkby.
You can buy Red Sky Blues from Amazon US