Matt Doyle Interview





Tell us a little about yourself and your background? 
Hi there everybody,
my name is Matt Doyle, and if I’m being honest, I don’t have a clue where to
begin with this…the best I can do is promise to try not to be too verbose.
So, like most people,
I was born. Unlike most people, the place of my birth was in the Medway Towns
in the South East of England. Like even fewer people, I have reached adulthood
and remain living there (although I appear to be slowly moving closer to the
edge).
Never having been a fan
of being told that I can’t do something, I’ve spent most of my life chasing
dreams, regardless of how unsuited I may seem to achieving to them. Most
notably, this resulted in me spending nearly ten years as a professional
wrestling, primarily for NWA-UK Hammerlock and Riot Act Wrestling. In doing so,
I was fortunate enough to meet one of my all-time favourites from the ring Jake
‘The Snake’ Roberts and wrestle some of the best known guys in the UK.
Since retiring, I set
my sights on achieving another of my childhood dreams: that of becoming an
author. I’ve always loved books, from the days of sending my parents out to buy
Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels when I was off school and terribly ill,
through my teen years with my first forays into Stephen King, right up to my
more recent and oddly diverse reading lists. Basically, I devour books of most
genres at the same rate that my youngest dog devours my oldest dog’s food when
she’s not looking.
Which writers inspire you? 

So many, and in so
many different ways. I’ve always loved Pratchett, I think he was my first real
influence in writing (him and the various Point Horror books that I nabbed from
the local library). As time has gone on, I’ve found inspiration in a lot of
other authors: Neil Gaiman, HP Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe and Alice Borchardt
have been there for a while now. Most recently, Patricia Briggs, Cherie Priest,
Derek Landy, Mark Z Danielewski, Hugh Howey and Scott Siggler have added
themselves to mix. SD Perry’s work in the Aliens vs Predator universe always
leaves me wanting to write, and the various novels from the Dragonlance
universe have been doing the same of late. Aside from that though, I take a lot
of inspiration from manga too. Masamune Shirow had a fair amount of influence
on my current novel, ‘WICK’, and both Rei Hiroe and Shirow Miwa always grab my
attention. If I want some humour in my diet, then Tomoya Haruno’s ‘D-Frag!’ is
great to dive into.
I could also write
about the music that inspires me…but that would be a terribly long list too.
Have you written any other novels in collaboration with other writers?

Not as yet. As it is,
I really wouldn’t have a clue how.  On
top of that, I’m really not sure how if writing with me would be a worthwhile
experience for anyone. I can be a bit of a pain, or so I’m told.
When did you decide to become a writer?

I’ve always enjoyed
storytelling. Creative writing was pretty much the only thing that I remained
consistently good at through my entire school life, and the idea of having a
book out that people actually bought and read was something that really appealed
to me from a young age. Since leaving school, I’ve been badgering away at it
from various angles (including short stories, failed novels and a webcomic
called ‘Tales of the Winterborn’) and just refused to back down on the idea
that I can do this.
Do you write full-time or part-time? 

Part time. I have a
partner, kids, pets and a mortgage, so having a day job is important. Will I
ever be at a point where writing is my full time job? Who knows? I’m not about
to give up on the possibility any time soon though.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer
just see where an idea takes you?
 

I always have an idea
where a story starts and where it ends, but what happens in the middle can
vary. I recently released ‘WICK’, the first book in my series ‘The Spark Form
Chronicles’, and that took me on an odd journey. I actually started writing a
different book entirely, but realized pretty quickly that the idea wasn’t fully
formed enough to become a full novel. Since that was my goal, I started looking
at the story differently. I’d initially just been writing what came to my head
(a rip off of one episode of Bodacious Space Pirates as it happens) but that
really wasn’t working. So instead, I took the ideas I liked, fleshed them out
on paper and started adding to them. The book went quickly from a single person
POV space novel to a SciFi story set closer to home and told by five different
POV characters (two of which were from the original novel but with altered
personalities and slightly modified backstories). From there, I worked with a
mix of techniques. Large portions were written by just riding the ideas
wherever they wanted to take me, but equally so, other sections had a lot of
planning put into them. I’m not sure I have a preference for one technique or
the other, I prefer to just work however feels best at the time.
Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers? 

Pester everyone
relentlessly. I’ve struggled a bit to get reviews for WICK, everyone seems to
have massive queues at the minute, but for the most part I’ve taken the ‘e-mail
everyone and ask nicely’ approach.
What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews? 

Writing is an art
form and art is subjective. That being the case, I think that if you go into a
project without expecting a couple of bad reviews along the way then you’re either
naïve or over-confident. The fact is, I don’t expect everyone in the world to
like everything I do, so bad reviews don’t bother me. If they’re written in a
constructive way, then there’s every chance I’ll learn something from them
too…or, writing being subjective, the dislike will be purely down to a
difference of opinion. Either way, bad reviews don’t have to be negative
experiences.
Good reviews though,
they’re great. That being said, I’d rather have a good review that says exactly
what the reviewer liked about my work. That way, I can try to see trends in
what people are enjoying or (if I’m lucky) find out that something I wasn’t so
sure on was actually a good idea after all. I think that a simple ‘this was
great, everything is fantastic’ is less helpful though. In the same way that
‘this is awful, I hated all of it’ doesn’t give you any specifics to improve
upon, the non-specific praise doesn’t really help you see what you’re doing
right.
So yeah, good or bad,
it’s all fine with me as long as they’re helpful. Non-helpful reviews I can
accept just fine, but find them to be a missed opportunity.
How can readers discover more about you and you work?

I have a website, http://mattdoylemedia.com . It’s a bit bare bones at the moment, but I’m hoping to grow it to
include a ton of stuff based around my various projects. At the moment, it has
details about ‘WICK’, some information about my cosplay / crossplay exploits,
and links to my social media accounts. I want to add reviews, articles,
historical wrestling stuff and maybe some other stuff that I haven’t thought of
yet. If you don’t want to go to the main site for the links, then you can also
find me on:
Any Comments for the Blog readers?

Thank you for taking
the time to read though my inane gibberish. Believe it or not, this whole thing
classifies as me succeeding in not being overly verbose! Whether you’ve found
me to be interesting or somewhat on the dull side, please do check out ‘WICK’ though. It’s a bit of a genre bender which, while primarily
a Slice of Life / SciFi hybrid, also touches on a bunch of other genres
including: New Adult, Young Adult, Dystopia and LGBT. It even has a touch of
Furry in it. If that sounds interesting, intriguing or so bad that you would
totally check it out just to see if it’s awful, then there are purchase links
on my website. At the moment, it’s exclusively on Kindle, and is available to
borrow through Kindle Unlimited.
Any feedback for me or the blog?

Absolutely. Thank you
for being open to helping Indie authors try to getting their feet on the ladder.
Without sites like this, a lot of people would be struggling a lot more than
they are, and I think it’s important to try to nurture growth like that. Can you
imagine the stories we’d have missed out on if people like Hugh Howey had been
unable to make their work available?



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