E: Hail and well met, Matthew! Thanks for popping in. And you brought me pie! I Knew I was going to like you. Just put it up someplace high so Charlie doesn’t eat the middle out of it. He only likes the middles. Some corpses, I tell ya.
M: Gorgeous place. Thanks for having me. I heard about Charlie. The pie was from the forest, and the Ritalin was from Connecticut. Charlie don´t touch that.
Charlie did, in fact, touch the Ritalin. Sweet mother of pie, if he wasn’t already dead I would have killed him.
E: You had a book come out earlier this year, The Ritalin Orgy from Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing. It’s the next book in my review pile, actually. Once I get caught up on some of these papers, I plan to dive on in. What can you tell us about it?
M: It’s a novel about a teacher losing his mind at a boarding school. It’s about the morons and rich snobs who bully and haze their way to fancy careers. It’s about the faculty who live amid the privileged and the scholarship students doing what they can to survive. The Orgy is not of a sexual nature. The Ritalin use is pervasive and now replaced with cocaine.
E: What made you write this particular book?
M: I had written a few manuscripts about this prep school and wanted to get it out of my system before dying. If I can save one life, it is worth it.
E: You have 10 stories coming out. Can you tell us a little bit about those and what publications those will be in?
M: I have a novelette about a drug smuggler coming out with Sententia: The Journal: 6. I have narrative nonfiction forthcoming in Pea River Journal and Gravel. One piece is about a Mexican highway and the other is about getting high while working at National Rental Car. I have flash fiction and short stories coming out in SmokeLong Quarterly, The Adroit Journal, Vending Machine Press, and other venues. I have a restaurant review forthcoming from Sleet Magazine. I have more stories submitted but am trying to focus on starting a new novel. Sometimes such attempts turn into shorter pieces. These sometimes find homes and readers.
E: You have a substantial amount of story publications. And by substantial, I mean holy crapballs, that’s a lot of stories! What does your writing schedule look like? Do you writer at the same time every day or do you grab time when you can? Living in paradise, I imagine it would be easy to get distracted.
M: It is easy to get distracted. I try to write as soon as I wake up, but would be lying if I said I write thousands of words on end. There are days I do not write. These are the worst days. I am trying to eliminate these and bang out at least 500-1,000 words. When writing a novel, I typical write at least 2,000 words every day for a few months till I have enough pages for a first draft. Many things I write do not get published, either because they are terrible, I never finish them, or they get lost for another project.
E: You have a second novel coming out. Can you tell us anything about it?
M: First, I have to write it.
E: You have a lot of Hunter S. Thompson quotes listed as inspirational. What is it about him that draws you in?
M: I admire the prose and humor and recreational drug use. Also, the freelance writer mentality of living in a foreign country is something that I enjoy.
Interesting side note: Inspirare, in addition to meaning to inspire, can also mean to breathe or to inhale. Or maybe it’s not that interesting and it’s just me being an English Major. Carry on.
M: I think it is interesting. I was lost in Old English and Greek vernacular, and that caught my eye.
E: There are a lot of conventions and such coming up. Are you planning to attend any of them? And are there any upcoming promotional dates for you?
M: I would be up for anything if the possibility existed. I am confined to Mexico with my son and wife and many of these things cost money, so I am not a conventional convention star. Put me at a bar in front of the ocean, and I will read you some stories, some Ritalin Orgy or other tales for your inebriated pleasures.