Interview with Matthew Scott M.

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
A few months after I moved to Hawaii I had a dream, which I won't go into detail, but it was very vivid, it shook me. I woke up and did something I'd never done before, I wrote down every detail I could remember. And that's really when I started writing. It was the first time I truly felt in my life that I was doing something I enjoyed and was proud of.
What is your writing process?
I'm still figuring that out. I am most comfortable mapping the story out ahead of time. I think the problem I've found with that process is the risk of boxing characters into situations or forcing them into situations that might not necessarily be natural for them or the story because you have this predestination already mapped out. I've mapped stuff out and done a chapter and the character went and did or said something that completely changed what i might have had planned later in the book and you think, "oh crap, this is so good but what about that other thing I wanted them to do?" That's sort of the madness and fun of writing. Once I started being flexible I found I was more proud of the work that came out of that process.
Do you remember the first story you ever read for pleasure, and the impact it had on you?
When I first got into writing, I had this preconceived notion that a good book needed to be long, it was some insecurity I had I guess. Of Mice and Men was the first book I read for pleasure, it's barely 100 pages. I realized a good story is a good story whether it's 100 pages or 1500 pages.
How do you approach cover design?
Have as much pride in your book cover as you do in the story you write. It would be a shame for someone to pass up a good story because the cover sucks. There are so many bad book covers, I would never publish a book cover I wasn't proud of.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I didn't grow up in Hawaii, but I lived there for close to 10 years and it had a huge influence on my writing. It has this romantic and mystical feeling to it, there's no shortage of the different kinds of stories you can tell there.
What motivated you to become an Indie author?
The idea of getting published by a big company is a dream of many authors and I'm not at all saying that you shouldn't pursue that dream if you have it, I had that dream once. But I realized how important it was for me personally to have creative authority over my work from beginning to end. I enjoy collaborating with a professional editor, but I have the last word on how it turns out, that's a sacred part of the whole process for me.
Published 2015-03-26.
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