Hey everyone! I wanted to introduce to you a new up-and-coming Paranormal/Urban Fantasy author Matthew Goldstein! Fandom Fatales had reviewed his first book of the Dark Mind trilogy in the past and Matthew kindly took some time to answer some questions now that he has completed his trilogy. Matthew has been writing since he was little and has a very deep and unique perspective on creativity and finding inspirations as a writer.
Fandom Fatales will also be holding a giveaway for TWO trade paperbacks (limited printing!) of the first book in the Dark Mind series for TWO lucky winners! Details are listed after the interview so please read carefully if you would like to enter!
1. Can you tell us about yourself? Where did you grow up? When did you first get interested in writing as well as this type of genre?
I grew up in Staten Island, and I have wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. What first sparked my imagination was my love of reading supernatural children’s books like Goosebumps and Animorphs. I wanted to have an emotional impact on people the same way that these books were impacting me. My first attempts at creative writing were at eight years old, and I completed my first novel at eighteen.
As far as interest in this genre, I think that goes way back to my preteens, specifically Christopher Pike. I still remember the way his books excited and chilled me and left me on edge. That helped guide the kinds of feelings I wanted to portray through my own writing. Additionally, he always explored various supernatural elements, which contributed to my affinity for the supernatural. My favorite aspect of being a writer is thinking of original concepts that have never been done before, to bring something fresh to the world. With the supernatural, the possibilities for creativity are endless.
2. How long did it take you to write your first book? Could you take us through your process? Was the Dark Mind trilogy easier to write once you nailed down your style?
The first Dark Mind book was the fourth book that I have written but the first I wanted to publish. It took by far the longest to complete of anything I have written. The idea for Dark Mind was actually the first idea I ever had for a book, but since I liked the idea so much, I let it stew around in my mind for years before I felt prepared to tackle it.
My first step in the writing process is to come up with a one sentence description of the story, a starting point, and an ending, so I know generally where it’s going. From the starting point, I let the story evolve naturally based on character actions that make sense within their situation. If I get an idea for something that I want to happen later, I make note of it and slowly figure out how to work it in. Once the writing is completed, I started the editing process, which can take as long as the writing process. After that I send it off to friends and family for multiple rounds of feedback. Then I go through the excruciating part, the nitty gritty grammar editing.
The two sequels were far easier to write for two main reasons. The first was that I had firmly established all of the characters. I could just let them loose, and they basically told the story themselves. The second was indeed the style. I had established the world, the tone, and the overarching story, and the remaining pieces mostly fell into place. Aspects of the story did continue to surprise me as I wrote it, but the overall flow came easier for the sequels. Whereas the first book took me around four years to write, the sequels took me a year each.
3. I felt that the main character and his abilities were very unique and interesting. Could you tell us what encouraged you to create this character? Do you see yourself in him?
I do think I put a piece of myself into each of the main characters that I create. Cole and I are certainly very different, but the similarities show through in the little things, such as the experience of my parents packing me unusual foods for school lunch. The biggest inspiration for his character was actually Cole from The Sixth Sense, after whom he is named. I was drawn to this character because they are in similar situations. They are both young boys with an extraordinary ability that they can’t prove exists, and which sets them apart from their peers at school. As far as his abilities themselves, I got the idea for them when I was eight years old. I cannot tell you exactly where that idea came from, except likely from an overactive imagination in combination with a weird dream, where many of my ideas originate. I’ve learned to keep a notepad by my desk, so when I wake up from an interesting dream, I can write it down before I forget.
4. What other books or authors have inspired you while being an author yourself?
K.A. Applegate of the Animorphs series was my first inspiration. I wrote her a letter in fifth grade about being inspired by her books, and her personalized response has encouraged me to this day. Throughout my teenage years, Michael Crichton was my major inspiration as a writer. I loved the way he weaved science into a fast-paced thriller, and how his fantastical ideas always bordered on the possible. More recently I have been inspired by the science fiction greats, mainly Ray Bradbury, H.G. Wells, and George Orwell. They have led to me to want to convey deeper meaning and to contribute to the world through my writing. Harry Potter was certainly another inspiration throughout my life, sparking an interest in the endless possibilities of fantasy.
5. What more can we expect from you now that the Dark Mind trilogy has been finished? Do you intend to continue the story about Cole or do you have other future works in progress?
I do not have any current plans to continue the Dark Mind series, but as I’ve learned from others, never say never. For now, I am interested in moving on to something completely different. I always like trying my hand at new things, whether to learn more about the craft of writing or to have fun experimenting with new genres. I normally gravitate toward either urban paranormal or science fiction, but my new series is delving into new territory for me: high fantasy. This started with a short story that I wrote for a resume years ago, and I was so satisfied with the result that I was inspired to expand it into a novel (which turned into a series). What drew me toward this story was the desire, as I mentioned, to explore deeper themes in my novels, as well as the excitement of creating a wholly original world. High fantasy provided the means to be as creative as I wanted while also tackling serious topics such as the dangers of prejudice and war, which this novel is partially about. I am excited to share this new world and hope to have it published soon.
And that’s it folks! We really hope you enjoyed reading about Matthew and his books! If you want to learn more you can visit Matthew’s website at www.matthewgoldsteinbooks.com. You can also check out Dark Mind on Amazon!
As mentioned above, we will be giving away TWO trade paperbacks of the the first book in the Dark Mind series! The giveaway will last from Friday, February 1st – Friday, February 17th 9pm EST. Winners will be selected and contacted soon after. If you’d like a chance to win, please see below:
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