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Originally from Liverpool, England, Hughes moved to Canada with his family when he was a boy, and struggled as one of Canada's many working poor. In his adolescence he served a year as a volunteer with the Company of Young Canadians. Later, university education was cut short, and he took a factory job making school desks, drove a grocery delivery truck, and for a time was a night janitor in a GM dealership and even worked as an orderly in a private psychiatric hospital.
As an adult, he's plied the trade of writing first as a journalist, then as a staff speechwriter to the Canadian Ministers of Justice and Environment. From 1979 until a few years ago he worked as a freelance corporate and political speechwriter in British Columbia. He is a former director of the Federation of British Columbia Writers and used to belong to Mensa Canada. He says, "These days I'm conserving my energies to write fiction." He goes on to say, "I've been married to a very patient woman since the late 1960s, and I have three grown sons."
At the moment Matt and his wife are house-sitting in Ireland, and hope to return to Canada late in 2012.