Ginger Nuts of Horror
Sparks is the new charity anthology from Burdizzo books and to help support and spread word of it Ginger Nuts of Horror has been running a series on interviews and articles with the contributing authors today The man behind the book, Matty-Bob, or to use his Sunday name Matthew Cash takes the spotlight in today's "A Spark of genius"
Matthew Cash has been a avid reader since however old he was when he learnt to read. He still remembers standing alongside the teacher's desk in his first ever primary school class and reading sentences out and learning to pause when he came to a dot. He has been releasing stuff for over two years, through numerous publishers and his own label Burdizzo Books.
Could you tell the readers a little bit about yourself?
I'm Matty-Bob, I'm a father of two, a full time carer, and I love to read.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Read. Haha. Entertainment wise I am spread between three favourite pastimes, reading, listening to music and watching the occasional film. I'm a fan of walking and getting out socialising but unfortunately it's not something I can do as regularly as I want to.
I love spending time with my family, days out with the kids (when they're not being unruly) and thinking about writing.
Other than the horror genre, what else has been a major influence on your writing?
Earthbound science fiction, the likes of H. G. Wells and John Wyndham. I like the weirdness of Haruki Murakami and Neil Gaiman.
The term horror, especially when applied to fiction always carries such heavy connotations. What’s your feeling on the term “horror” and what do you think we can do to break past these assumptions?
Being a fan means it obviously conjures up excitement, floor to ceiling walls covered in VHS tapes in the video rental shops of my youth, boldly stepping around the back of the children's section and into the darker horror one. Going into bookshops and heading straight for that section.
I don't think we can break past the assumptions that the term ‘horror’ brings. It's a genre that's been about for a long time and it has many different guises. Where scares are concerned there's not really a lot that beats stuff happening in the world everyday. I think the sub-genres need to be clearly labelled as it is a broad spectrum. Horror can be so many different things, and I think people need to see it's not just about monsters, slashers and murderous possessed dolls.
A lot of good horror movements have arisen as a direct result of the socio/political climate, considering the current state of the world where do you see horror going in the next few years?
I think it will stray away from the usual tropes and focus on real life horrors as in my experience they are the most effective.
What are the books and films that helped to define you as an author?
James Herbert's Fog, Shrine and Moon.
Stephen King's It, The Stand, and Pet Semetary.
Stephen Laws’ Ghost Train and The Frighteners.
The original Amityville Horror film, the Halloween franchise, The Wicker Man and all the old Hammer Horror films.
What new and upcoming authors do you think we should take notice off?
Jonathan Butcher. Em Dehaney. G. H. Finn. Pippa Bailey. And anyone else in our anthologies.
How would you describe your writing style?
Are there any reviews of your work, positive or negative that have stayed with you?
Not as such but I always try and get something constructive from the reviews that are left. I'm eager to learn and always wanting to better myself.
What aspects of writing to do you find the most difficult?
Finding the bloody time to do it.
Is there one subject you would never write about as an author?
Not really. I go with what ever subject is talking to me. If a subject is taboo to me then I will either avoid writing it or write at a level I'm comfortable with.
How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?
They've never been too much of a priority for me, mostly I use the first names that pop into my head, unless it's something daft.
Writing, is not a static process, how have you developed as a writer over the years?
I have listened to my peers. A long time ago Graeme Reynolds told me that writing was like a muscle and it needs regular exercise. It's true, to be a writer means you have to write as frequently as you can, about whatever you can. I've learnt to not worry about word counts, to write the story that needs to be written.
What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?
Notebooks or similar apps on your phone. You never know when you're going to get sudden inspiration, or even ten minutes to jot something down. I've lost count of the amount of times I've whipped my phone out whilst waiting for the kids to finish school because I've had an idea, or phrase that needs recording.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received with regards to your writing?
As above, Graeme ‘High Moor’ Reynolds. Writing is like a muscle, use it or lose it.
Getting your worked noticed is one of the hardest things for a writer to achieve, how have you tried to approach this subject?
By knuckling down and trying to produce the best stuff I can, and surrounding myself with people who I can trust to tell me if something isn't working.
To many writers, the characters they write become like children, who is your favourite child, and who is your least favourite to write for and why?
My favourite has to be Diddy Dave Diamond, my scandalous celebrity comedian gone Jigsaw on people. The endless cheesy jokes and his fearlessness.
And are there any that you would like to forget about?
No, they all have their places.
For those who haven’t read any of your books, which of your books do you think best represents your work and why?
Pinprick - as I'm not just about the offensive and gore. I like good writing, and good storylines. I would rather have a book full of weirdness with one or two horribly graphic scenes than one chock-a-block with blood and guts.
Do you have a favorite line or passage from your work, and would you like to share it with us?
“The blackbirds swirled in the sky like a ebony hurricane, blotting out the bright sun.
John turned to his parents who too were raising their arms in herald to the coming of their God.” ‘Morning Has Broken’- The Reverend Burdizzo’s Hymn Book
Can you tell us about your last book, and can you tell us about what you are working on next?
My last solo release was Krackerjack2. I'm still working on finishing the first draft of my next novel FUR, I've started what might become a children's story, and I have the second part of a collaboration with Jonathan Butcher to continue.
If you could erase one horror cliché what would be your choice?
Where people split up for various reasons.
What was the last great book you read, and what was the last book that disappointed you?
Tip Of The Iceberg by Ash Hartwell. And as for disappointment Rivers Of London by Ben Aaronvitch.
What's the one question you wish you would get asked but never do? And what would be the answer
This one, and the question would be the answer.