I became friends with Matt Shaw several years ago. He is very smart and extremely talented. He loves animals and his amazing wife. He has a brilliant mind and can create anything your heart dreams of from personal stories to mind-blowing graphic horror. He has a flair for story telling unlike most anyone I know. He will help a new author or one that has been around for ages. He will kill me for saying this but my favorite book he has written is The Missing Years of Thomas Pritchard. So different from the normal Shaw books. If you haven’t read it I highly recommend it and any of Matt’s books. If you don’t know Matt please take some time and connect with him. Please welcome Matt Shaw to Roadie Notes…….
1. How old were you when you first wrote your first story?
I was 12. My old man threw his back out (good, hope it hurt) during the summer holidays and couldn’t do anything. Because I was a nice son who loved his old man (how times change) I stayed home nearly every day of those summer holidays to look after him. We played board games, chatted, watched films… Those were good times. However, he was on really heavy medication for the pain which would occasionally make him sleep. This was when I was writing. I would be up in the bedroom with my mum’s typewriter bashing away. God knows how many words it was but it was a pretty big book. It was also completely shit but it didn’t stop me from sending it off and getting my first batch of rejections. I even remember the first line: What in the Greek Buggery Bollocks is this? I’m telling you – I should have won an award… Oh, and as for the rejection, they were really nice and encouraged me to stay in school. Their polite way of saying, ‘This was shit. You need school.’
2. How many books have you written?
No idea. Short stories, novellas, novels… It’s over 150.
3. Anything you won’t write about?
Not any more. I once said no animal cruelty but my new book features it. Before you turn off, I shall explain. It’s called “For the Animals” and it is about a man going after assholes who hurt animals. You know – those dickheads we see in Facebook videos where they’re kicking dogs, or something? What they do to the animals – they get back onto them ten-fold. It is going to be brutal.
The problem is, I’m known for extreme horror. I’ve killed babies, animals, women, men, children… The moment you start self-censoring is the moment you lose the game really. We, in extreme horror, need to push boundaries. The important thing, though, is to ensure it has a story attached. Don’t just throw stuff in there to shock people. It is boring.
4. Tell me about you. Age (if you don’t mind answering), married, kids, do you have another job etc…
I do this full-time and have for 4 years. It’s good but also hard. Sales start slumping and you end up panicking and working really long hours to keep things moving along nicely. You’ll notice I have at least one release a month. Sometimes more, never less.
I am 35 years old going on 50, married to Marie and fuck all kids thank God. We do have pets though; three rats (who are so old they’re going bald), one cat and a ten week old pug who is a complete cunt
5. What’s your favorite book you have written?
The Missing Years of Thomas Pritchard or Sick B*stards. Completely different genres but I love them for different reasons. There is a lot of heart in The Missing Years but Sick B*stards got me my career. Can’t knock that.
6. Who or what inspired you to write?
I wanted to make films. I wanted to write scripts, direct them and even act in them. The problem is – to do that you need money. I had loads of stories in my head though so they had to come out one way… Stories! It wasn’t just a case of picking up the pen and writing them though – it started because I was seeing a shrink due to anger issues. They encouraged me to write my thoughts down and I ended up writing a book called Im Fine – my memoirs dealing with depression. It was such fun writing it that I turned Happy Ever After from screenplay to novel. And so I had the bug. I gradually started translating all my old screenplays to stories.
7. What do you like to do for fun?
I do extreme stuff and pretend it is business related to ensure I can claim it as business expenses. It’s easy – you book it, get home and write a book and “boom” – it’s a business expense (insert smiley face here). The last one I did was an eight-day trek across the Arctic using Huskies and sleds (wrote the book Broken about it). It was actually Hell on earth. In a few months I am doing the Inca Trail. Not sure what book I will be doing on that one yet and – then – next year I am booked in to White Water Raft down The Zambezi River. Again, haven’t decided on the book to write about it but… I’ll think of something!
The rest of the time I am in the house working hard. Occasionally I might get to go to the cinema (just watched The BFG, Tarzan and Suicide Squad – loved them all). Oh – and I like climbing. I go bouldering twice a week.
I also work as a rent boy.
8. Any traditions you do when you finish a book?
I tend to book three hookers and buy several massive bags of cocaine. We snort and fuck all night – not necessarily in that order. Okay, that was a lie. I tend to load a new document and start the next book. Sometimes I might play a computer game but I get bored after ten minutes and want to start writing again.
9. Where do you write? Quite or music?
You made a typo. You said “Quite” instead of “quiet”. Now, I was going to correct it but I thought I would leave it there so if I make one and someone moans, I can point this out to them too. Simple! I write in the living room, on the sofa with feet up on the coffee table. I hate the quiet. I have the television on in the background – funnily enough I am watching Friends as I write this. Other times it is Judge Rinder or Jeremy Kyle. Nothing sensible – just something to kill the silence and not be too much of a distraction.
10. Anything you would change about your writing?
Nope. I write pulp fiction and I am happy with that. My work is evolving as I continue anyway but you can still see “me” in it, if that makes sense. I don’t want to be too wordy, I don’t want to be pretentious. I just want readers to have fun when they’re reading my stuff.
11. What is your dream? Famous writer?
I’m living the dream at the moment. I have work being translated to other languages (Korean, German, French), I have film options sold, I have a graphic novel being made, I have cuddly toys based on my work… I’m having fun!
12. Where do you live?
14. What’s your favorite thing about writing?
Getting away from “me”. I get to be someone else. I get to kill people time and time again and not have to get raped in prison (I am way too pretty for prison).
I try to offer readers a good deal with my work. 99.9% of my work is available on Kindle Unlimited but now I have also gone over to Patreon. It’s an ongoing crowdfunding type site where people can support you to carry on what you’re doing. I’ve set this up but I’ve done it in a way that readers can get a short story every month (plus loads more content) for only $1.00. Can’t beat that for value! For $5.00 they get two short stories and a novella a month before it is released to Amazon! I’m not sure if it is the way to go in the future but – it’s a way of offering readers something even more than if they just bought my work on Amazon.
Also – really excited about a new book I am writing on. It’s not an anthology but it does feature other authors! Called “The Devil’s Guests” it features guest chapters from authors who introduce a character that my character kills in part two of the book. The authors so far? Wrath James White, David Moody, Kealan Patrick Burke, Jasper Bark, Gary McMahon, Jeff Strand, Wade H. Garrett, Ryan Harding, Shane McKenzie, Armand Rosamilia and an introduction from Joe Mynhardt (Crystal Lake Publishing). And – if that wasn’t enough – I have bonus short stories from other authors too…. Watch this space!
You can connect with Matt here:
As always, thank you for letting us get to know you better. I wish you continued success and much happiness my friend. May all your dreams come true!