Matthew lives in beautiful Perth, Australia, where he makes the most of every day. He has many writing projects on the go, works as a physiotherapist and group fitness instructor, and somehow still manages to squeeze in a social life. He has published his own book, Nightmare Stories, and his short stories have been included in anthologies such as: From the Stories of Old, Between Heroes and Villains, Whispers in the Shadows, Seven Deadly Sins: Gluttony, and Seven Deadly Sins: Wrath.
Q: What inspired your retelling?
A: Fairy tale characters are generally very black and white as in either good or evil. When you think about Jack from Jack and the Beanstalk, he seems like a good character at first, but the more you consider his story, the more you realise that neither he nor the villain (the giant) are fully good or evil. I wanted to play on that idea as the centre point for a story where I mashed up other fairy tales.
Q: Oh, that sounds very interesting. What was the hardest part of writing it?
A: The hardest part is turning the craziness of all my ideas into a logical and comprehensible story. So that means many rewrites and revisions, and after a while my brain goes into meltdown.
Q: What short stories have you written for a JLA before?
A: The Female Warrior in From the Stories of Old, Lord Chimera in Between Heroes and Villains, and 43 Market Street in Whispers in the Shadows
Q: Wow! All three anthologies? How did this experience differ from your previous JLA stories?
A: Because I have participated in all previous JLAs, the process is getting much easier and smoother. We all work together really well.
Q: So, you’ve rewritten Mulan before, and now a mash up focusing on Jack and the Beanstalk. What other fairy tale would you like to rewrite?
A: I have a few ideas in mind for possible future anthologies. One idea I currently like is bringing Red Riding Hood into the 21st century and turning the Big Bad Wolf into a stalker.
Q: That’s a new idea. I’d love to read it. Do you prefer a HEA?
A: I prefer a happily ever after or a bittersweet ending in a fairy tale. Sometimes a sad ending suits the story, and in that case I will enjoy it. But generally, the happier the better!
Q: That’s true. The answer always varies depending on the story. Now, about you as a writer—how do you combat writer’s block?
A: Usually I try and get outdoors to clear my head. I might take my dog for a run along the beach, or go for a hike in the forest, or something like that.
Q: Are your a “pantser” or “plotter”?
A: I’m a comfortable mixture of both. I like to plot out the main story points, but then I pants the zigzag journey to get there.
Q: Interesting how everyone’s brain works differently. What’s your favorite original fairy tale?
A: Growing up, the Elves and the Shoemaker was one of my favourite fairy tales. I loved thinking about living in a world where magic like that could be real.
Q: And your favorite adapted fairy tale?
A: Disney’s Mulan is probably my favourite, mainly because of the awesome soundtrack!
A: My dog. He keeps me company while I write and always looks like he’s interested to hear what I’m rambling on about.
Q: That’s adorable. My dog likes to sit on my computer when I get too into my writing that I forget to pet her. What’s the biggest obstacle to your writing?
A: Time. I am very time poor, so maximising my writing time is essential.
Q: Sometimes that’s a good thing, though. It keeps you from procrastinating. Why are you so busy? What is your non-writer alter-ego?
A: I work as a physical therapist and I teach spin classes.
Q: What is your spirit animal? Something like a busy bee?
A: I took a quiz and it said my spirit animal is the turtle which apparently means I stick to my path in peace, determination, and serenity. I can live with that.
Q: Wow. That is not at all what I expected. Anyway, what other projects are you working on?
A: I’m currently working on two projects, both trilogies, and I have ideas for another trilogy and a few standalone novels. So much to write, and so little time! The writer’s curse.
Q: Don’t I know it! Finally, Oxford comma, yes or no?