GFW Writer Matthew Bryant was interviewed by Nova Reylin at 'My Seryniti' blog the other week and know you all would love to read about his journey in writing TOWERS. Enjoy!!
Matthew Bryant is the author of Towers. When he first approached me I thought maybe this book wasn’t for me. I did tell Matt that my husband might really be into this. It sounded perfect for him. So, my hubby has it on his Nook, started reading last week, sadly his reading time is a lot shorter than mine. He’s about halfway through and the more he tells me about Towers the more jealous I get that he’s reading it!! So I thought I would give you the information about Towers. See what you think. All I know is that the first page is awesome and it sounds like the goodness doesn’t end there!
Author: Matthew Bryant
Release Date: November 3rd 2012
The next job, the next fix, the next thrill has been the mindset of Heath Fallows since the day he abandoned his broken home for the harsher call of the streets. But being a homeless thief in a conglomerate society will only get you so far, and he soon finds himself surviving by skirting outside of business infrastructure.
A career of breaking and entering and drug-peddling is brought to a screeching halt when a successful job leads to being chased down by a supernatural entity and left for dead.
Working outside of his traditional networks, Heath is forced to dig deeper into the underbelly of society, locked closets of high culture, and the deadly unknown beyond the district boundaries to uncover what he overlooked and the truth behind the towers of corporate dominance.
We’ll get that review up as soon as he’s done reading but for now please enjoy this interview with such a lovely author!
Hi Matt! Thank you so much for doing this interview for My Seryniti.
Nova – How did Towers start for you? Image, Idea, Dream?
Matt – I’d originally written a much longer work called Doors. It took me about seven years to finish it and, when it was done, I realized that I hated the book. But I absolutely loved the world that I’d built and Heath – who was a wise-ass side-character who ended up being far more memorable than the main protagonist. So I scrapped the first book and wrote an entirely different story following the mischief and misfortune of Heath Fallows.
Nova – Did you have any growing pains with Towers?
Matt – Certainly not to the level I’d had with the first work. The hardest part was often asking myself, “Wait.. how the hell is he going to survive this scene?” When you have supernatural antagonists squaring off against a nobody, you have to make the protagonist pretty clever with some luck dolloped on.
Nova – I have to admit, I was thinking Towers may not be for me, but then I was reading a Goodreads review and it says this is Dystopian! One of my very favorite genres! Can you tell us a little more about Towers?
Matt – Certainly! The story revolves around Heath Fallows, a runaway who lived with a group of homeless kids for a short period of time, only to have his friends wiped out as ‘vermin’. Civilization as he knows it is broken up into twelve districts, each owned by a major corporation – each at a constant war with the other. Instead of sending in soldiers, these corporations will hire thieves and saboteurs to do their dirty work. This is where Heath falls in, having a natural aptitude at getting in and out of places.
Things take a much darker turn when he realizes one of the districts, the same that killed his friends, is working with the Ancients – a name given to supernatural beings known for their evil nature, but mostly regarded as myth and fairy tale to the average citizen. This begins a long, grueling mission to get to the truth behind this alliance before it gets him – and more unfortunates – captured, exploited, and killed in the process.
Nova – Do you have a message you try to convey when writing a story?
Matt – Absolutely! There are many messages integrated (though sometimes deeply buried) within Towers. Heath’s moral flexibility gives him lots of ‘room for improvement’. I used to teach English at a Juvenile Detention Center, and the rare student that would come back and let us know he’d turned his life around was always cause for celebration.
Nova – What are you reading right now?
Matt – A couple of things. I’ve been diving into Darren Shan’s Cirque Du Freak series – just finished the third book, Tunnels of Blood. They’re cute. A little dark for young adult, but definitely written for the age group. The teenage boy in me is hooked.
Also reviewing Black Moon by Jessica Mcquay. I saw that you gave it five stars, so I’m keeping an open mind. Not my genre, but sometimes people really surprise you. Amy Joy’s Dystopian YA novel, The Acadamie, was certainly not intended for adult male audiences, but was one of the most memorable works I’ve read all year.
Nova – Are there any authors (living or dead) that you would name as influences?
Matt – Yes and no. I would love to be as imaginative as Neil Gaiman – or create worlds as beautifully as Clive Barker – but for now I just do what I do best.
Nova – You mention Clive Barker and Neil Gaiman as a couple of favorite authors. What works of theirs do you like best and why?
Matt – Oh wow. Everything? For Clive Barker, I would have to go with Imajica. It was freakishly long… and I finished it in two days the first time I read it. It was like going to Narnia for adults. Some scenes I could’ve lived without, but the characters were riveting. I love how he makes antagonists just as human, if not more so, as the protagonists.
Neil Gaiman, definitely American Gods. It was an amazingly creative work and has stood for five years now as my all time favorite book. Being a huge fan of mythology growing up, this modern take on everything with some cynical stabs at the faith of today’s society made this a brilliant must-read.
Nova – What do you do when you’re not writing?
Matt – Thinking about writing. Not really. I’m a husband and father above everything else. I have three young, beautiful daughters and they take up most of my days. I tutor at-risk kids in the evenings. I love to read, though can’t do it as much as I’d appreciate these days. But ya know, plenty of time for that in the future!
Nova – Have you always wanted to be an author?
Matt – After I realized that astronauts didn’t fight aliens and police officers spent twelve hours a day sitting in a car with a radar gun or answering neighbor complaints about parking on the curb, making the world more fascinating just seemed the way to go.
Nova – How did you break into the industry?
Matt –Same way anybody does. I wrote a book (well.. a couple of them) I’d been planning on going the traditional publishing route with Towers… then I was disheartened while speaking with a couple of high-profile authors. One in particular said, if he had to do it all over again, he’d go indie.
I wanted to have final say in my book’s content. I wanted to design my own cover. I think the big kicker was… I didn’t want to wait 12-18 months for my book to hit the shelves. Sure it’s not going to be picked up at any of the big chains anytime soon, but I like having control over something this dear to me instead of handing it over to a bunch of strangers who rate books by sales numbers and dollar figures.
The first day Towers was on the market, I had a free day for the Kindle version. Every hour or so I’d check the stats and grin. By the end of the sale, over 350 people worldwide had grabbed a copy of my book. I was ecstatic. Sure it’s a giveaway and some people will grab anything if it’s free. But the idea that my story appealed to so many people felt amazing.
I think Tom Sawyer said it best: “There are wealthy gentlemen in England who drive four-horse passenger-coaches twenty or thirty miles on a daily line, in the summer, because the privilege costs them considerable money; but if they were offered wages for the service, that would turn it into work and then they would resign.”
Nova – What is your writing style? Do you create outlines for your writing or do you just sit and type away?
Matt – I create outlines… pretty intricate ones… and then ignore them and let the characters go wild. Sometimes they follow their lines, and other times they rewrite the scenes. Things flow better this way. You can’t force a character into a scene. Clever readers will see right through it.
Nova – What is your next project? What have you been working on recently?
Matt – I’m back and forth. I’ve been working at the next in the World Between series, Impulse, and working on a couple of urban fairy tale novellas.
Nova – What’s your favorite thing about writing?
Matt – The creation process. I love building people and worlds from scratch, writing out their histories for my own personal resource and then watching them interact with each other. This actually kills me. I’ll be half-way through a manuscript and suddenly get a GREAT idea that I’m dying to work on.
Nova – Least favorite?
Matt – Scenes that don’t fit. Sometimes you write a chapter, then look at it in the grand scheme of things to realize that it just doesn’t fit in with the rest of the story, and have to figure out a completely different way to get the same point across.
Now for the silly questions! Hang on to your hat!
Nova – Do you listen to music while writing? If so, what’s on your playlist!?
Matt – This isn’t silly at all! Music plays a big role in setting and holding the mood of a scene. I listen to a lot of industrial/electronica. Towers was mostly soundtracked by The Luna Sequence with some Celldweller thrown in for the heavier scenes.
Nova – Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Matt – A few. I’m a big fan of the Kairosoft games like Game Dev Story and Venture Town. They’re like cutesy little sim games.
Nova – What is your favorite word?
Matt – “Stratosphere” – no idea why, just like the way it sounds.
Nova – What is your least favorite word?
Matt – “Wakeup.” Most evil word in any language.
Nova – Do you talk to your characters?
Matt – No? They have a distinctive voice in my head, but we don’t discuss politics over coffee or anything.
Nova – What sound do you love?
Matt – Music boxes. The old classic ones with the bumps on the spindle running past a comb of metal teeth. There’s just something timelessly magical about the sounds they create.
Nova – What sound do you hate?
Matt – Whining! Comes a lot in a house full of girls!
Nova – What’s your favorite time of year?
Matt – Autumn. Fortunately, I live in Texas.. so we don’t really have winter, just extended autumn.
Nova – Tell us a bit about your girls!
Matt – I think the most interesting thing about my daughters is that, even though they’re still young (my youngest is 1) they each have very distinctive personalities. And they’re completely different from each other. My middle daughter was diagnosed with autism about a year ago. When she turned three this past September, I left my job to be a stay at home dad and work in the evenings so I could take her to and from therapies. It’s amazing the amount of progress she’s made in such a short time. She went from being completely non-verbal to repeating phrases like ‘apple sauce’ and ‘upside down’. It sounds like such a little thing, but it means the world to us. But getting to stay home all day with my girls is wonderful. It was a really hard adjustment at first, having been used to getting up and going to work every morning, but once you work out some priorities, there’s no place I’d rather be.
Nova – What’s your favorite thing about being a dad?
Matt – Meeting my children. I always hear people say, “Enjoy them while they’re young,” but I look forward to knowing my girls at every age of their life.
Thank you so much for taking the time to indulge my curiosity!
Anytime! I had a great time with it and hope your husband enjoys reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. And thanks again for having me!
Husband to a wonderful woman who challenges me and pushes me in all the best ways… and makes me do laundry. Father to three incredible girls (I am the masculine minority) who make a hero out of me.
I write because it’s my passion. The rest of my heart belongs to my family.