Interview with Letitia Matthews II

When did you first start writing?
Before I was ten years old. I started working on my first real story at about 9 years of age. I still have it.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the South African Drakensberg, in a small town community. I had a wholesome, stable childhood and I think this helped me to learn to appreciate nature, wildlife and the value of the little things in life.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Writing is a journey for me. When I write fiction, it feels as though my characters already exist, and they just take me along on their journey and I get to tell it. I start at the beginning and end at the end... and sometimes they have secrets that they only show me along the way! It's a wonderful feeling! Like reading a really gripping book... only better! Writing devotional and inspirational material is far more challenging. It requires unfettered vulnerability and sometimes it takes me a while to get my courage up. But, when a reader reaches out and tells me how much my words blessed or comforted them, it makes it all worthwhile. I write because I need to - just like breathing.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book, Whispers in the Wild, marks the end of a severe daced-long writer's block, following the death of my first husband. I had resigned myself to never writing again, and when my writing gift was reawakend, it was such a relief to just write again, that I thought I would run out of ink and/ paper! It happened during a week's holiday in my favourite place - the world-famous Kruger National Park. This book was born that week, although it took me a few more years to actually complete it. The entire book was planned and conceived that week. It was a deeply personal and meaningful journey for me.
What are you working on next?
I am on a mission to publish all the manuscripts I have lying in drawers! So, hopefully, I will publish two more novels, two childrens stories and another one month devotional by the end of the year. I already have two new books in the pipeline too - a novel and a surprise:-).
Describe your desk
My desk is built into a work station on our patio. We live in the heart of the African bush, with wild animals romaing freely through our gardens. So, as I work, I can enjoy the sounds of nature all around me, and fully embrace the privilege of all the animal visitors that pop in during the day. At night, I can often hear the lions, hippos and hyenas singing their lullabies across the bush... I think I have the best desk in the whole world.
How do you approach cover design?
I think the cover should be a portal that gives potential readers a glimpse of what the book or story is about. So, I try to combine elements that represent the story in a striking visual statement, that will hopefully, grab the reader's interest. As a graphic designer and avid photographer, I enjoy creating my own covers, and prefer to work in Photoshop.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I'm still learning every single day. But, I am a big fan of Facebook advertising, and I think nothing can beat engaging with your readers personally as much as possible. Running special offers and free book deals from time to time is also a fun way of getting exposure.
What do you read for pleasure?
Fiction, with happy endings! I'm a happy ending junkie, so I love stories that end well, even if the journey is painful.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My phone. I invested in a very expensive tab for this purpose, but found that I always used my phone instead. Probably because it's just so convenient.
What do your fans mean to you?
I don't feel like they are fans. I feel like they are friends, on the same journey as me, and their time and participation in my journey blesses me more than I can ever say.
Published 2017-09-16.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Zulu Love Letters
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 54,240. Language: English. Published: September 20, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
The open grave of her father forces fashion designer Kimberley Dunlop, to confront the ghosts of her past. Returning to a life she fled from two years prior, Kimberly has no place to run, and very few allies. The past is shrouded in secrets so devastating that they have the power to destroy the future. But Kimberly is soon forced to keep secrets of her own, to save her future.
Whispers In The Wild
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 28,310. Language: English (South African dialect). Published: September 12, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » Religion & Spirituality » Christian Life / Devotional
This one-month devotional, inspired by the author's love for the iconic Kruger National Park, is a refreshing journey of faith, humour and authenticity. It marks the author's reawakening after a decade-long writer's block, and documents beautiful inspirations, lessons and challenges from the wild. A treasure for both lovers of nature and animals. It has beautiful photos and a journal element too.