Mercedes Fox ~ Author

My Writing Blog

Tag: humor

Meet Author Madelyn Morgan

Hola! Welcome to Interview FoxSeat featuring author Madelyn Morgan

Madelyn Morgan is a music business marketing executive. After years of using her creative talent for the benefit of others, she decided to focus on her first love, writing. She also hosts a weekly radio segment (her second love), also called Mad About Men, which airs on WIYY, Baltimore. Morgan lives in New York City with her teenage kid (her true love), who is not allowed to read this book until she’s 18. Maybe 21. Maybe never.

Book sample:  MAD ABOUT MEN, a MenMoir

Genre: Humor, Memoir

Synopsis:  MAD ABOUT MEN IS:

  • A (mostly) true, laugh-out-loud account of a successful executive single mother’s search for love.
  • “Racy, raw, sometimes vulgar, always hilarious,” according to a guy in Chapter 32 who actually read it.
  • An account of dating and sex from a liberated, confident, unapologetic MILF in her 40s.
  • A warmly relatable story, even though it sounds like a sordid, lustful tale of promiscuity (which it also is, the author admits).

MAD ABOUT MEN IS NOT:

  • A self-help book about relationships.
  • About a woman who finds herself after some extreme, soul-searching, incredible journey.
  • A sticking-finger-in-throat sappy account of finding true love and living happily ever after.
  • Only for women to read.

Madelyn gains a new perspective on relationships after a series of major losses (some devastating, some not so much). Root for her as she entertains each potential suitor and laugh with her (or at her) as she tries to make sense of what she wants, what men want, and what to do next. Whether or not you’ve ever swiped right, Match’ed, or flirted with the flight attendant, you’ll relate to Madelyn’s search for love and (hot) sex—not necessarily in that order. Go ahead and judge her, she won’t mind.

Sample:  CHAPTER 1:  BANG!

My editor said I needed to start this book with a bang. So here goes…

One day, I had phenomenal sex with a particularly gorgeous personal trainer from my gym. He had the most stunningly perfect body, as those trainers tend to have. Caramel skin, abs like you read about in Six Pack magazine, thick, gorgeous, kissable lips, tricep cuts—one of my favorite parts of a fit man’s body—and the perfect-sized dick with a sweet little tattoo of unknown design in that sexy area just below his perfectly protruding hip bone.

We had been flirting hard for several months, until one Saturday afternoon at the gym we hugged each other “hello” so tightly that it was obvious something else was brewing.

After we had a spontaneous lunch together that same day, we went for a long walk along the Manhattan waterfront, held hands, and made out like high-schoolers. When he walked me back to my apartment there was very little discussion about what would be happening next.

I had been wanting to be properly laid for a long time. It’s not that I wasn’t having sex regularly with my then-boyfriend; it was just bad sex. One-way sex. I was in a rut and needed my world rocked, which it was on that day, multiple times.

I’m not sure if this is what my editor meant by start the book with a bang.

***

So, now let me back up and introduce myself. Wait. First, did you read Eat, Pray, Love? I know, I know, stop gagging. You may roll your eyes at that reference, or you can just admit that it was an excellent read and her journey was amazing and the book was brilliant, but it was just that disappointing movie that’s making you react negatively. Anyway, early in the book, Elizabeth Gilbert didn’t recount the details of her marriage’s end. She gave you just enough of the story so you could follow along on her journey. So, I think a nice bullet-point summary will bring you up to speed here.

  • I work in the music business.
  • I married a guy I met through work.
  • I had a miscarriage, then had a genius-perfect-child, then another miscarriage. One for three—that was enough of that pregnancy madness.
  • Four years after genius-perfect-daughter’s arrival, I had started a new job in which I was expected to deliver big results. This involves generally having your shit together. Upon my beginning said job, within a six-month period of time:
    • My husband left me.
    • My mother died.
    • My sister died.

That kind of shit seriously fucks with you. One or maybe two of those things happening in a year is bad enough. But I felt like the dump truck of hell had just backed up making that annoying beeping noise, positioned itself right over me, reared up, and unloaded a full bed of steaming, hellish contents on my head, stopped beeping, and then drove off.

What is the current book you are promoting? I am currently promoting my “men-moir,” MAD ABOUT MEN. It’s a memoir. It’s about men. Hence, menmoir. In the book’s disclaimer, I declared it a new genre; creative-memoir-non-fiction-biography-humor type thingy. Some of the stories, names, dialogues have been fictionalized, mainly so I don’t get sued for humor’s sake.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?  I had been regularly emailing my best friend, Chloe, with the dating stories that are in the book, as they were happening. Many of our emails are actually featured in the book, and they help tell the story. She found them hilarious, and at one point, she threatened to “start a blog,” because she figured other people would also find my writing funny.

I thought, “Why should she start a blog with my stories?” and that sparked the idea to form my stories into something more cohesive. Originally, I thought I’d write them like short stories that could stand on their own, but also relate to each other, like a David Sedaris collection (he’s one of my faves). But then, as I got going, the stories started to interconnect, and I realized I actually had a book in me. So that’s when I decided to get serious about writing it.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?  My favorite time to write is in the morning, with my coffee. I could spend hours without eating, or drinking (anything but my one cup of coffee), or peeing, while my creative juices flow. Unfortunately, I have a day job. I actually have several day jobs. I also have a kid. And, I like to work out first thing in the morning. So, those blissful, peaceful, productive mornings are very rare.

I also like to write while I’m on a plane. No matter how long or short, a flight is a nice stretch of time where no one bothers me, I don’t get distracted, and I’m basically strapped to my seat, forced to focus.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?  Honestly, the hardest thing about writing my book was replying “APPROVED” after reviewing the final PDF proof from the publisher. Once I APPROVED it, there was no turning back.

It was difficult, but fun, and cathartic to write the book. It was encouraging to share it with my editor, and a few friends – people who already know me ­– because they all enjoyed it. It was exciting to talk about it “coming soon,” on my radio show.

But the point of no return, that moment of hitting SEND on the approval email, was the hardest thing. I instantly had second thoughts. The book is very personal, and it’s scary to think what people who don’t know the true me will think after reading it. I really just wanted a laugh, so hopefully that can happen, even at my expense. I have received some great reviews and positive feedback, so that’s very encouraging.

Which writers inspire you?  I enjoy writers who make me laugh. Tops on my list are David Sedaris, Augusten Burroughs (who brought me to tears of laughter more than once), and Chelsea Handler. I also fell in love with Kate Mulgrew’s memoir, although it’s not at all funny, she is a brilliant writer and an incredible talent. After I read her memoir, I thought, “Oh, mine is crap. I can’t write my stupid book.”

I’ve read a zillion memoirs in the name of comparative research, and one that particularly stood out was Aziz Ansari’s. Also Taraji P. Henson’s personal story was very moving. Not that either have anything to do with inspiring my writing, I just wanted to give those a shout out.  Honorable mention to Jessi Klein and Jenny Lawson for their humor writing chops.

If your book were made into a movie, whom would you cast?  Funny you should ask, because my book is currently being created into a television series. Everyone involved has their own idea of who should play me, but I can’t really see any of them. Maybe I’m too close to it, I don’t know. Maybe we should just have a casting call and hire a charming, funny, talented new-comer.

Where do you come up with your stories? As you know if you read MAD ABOUT MEN, my life is not very traditional nor simple. My stories come from my own experiences. Believe it or not, I have more than what’s in the book. And now, I am having few email exchanges with readers who reached out to share their own experiences. I am actually going to use some of those (with permission, of course), because at some point I’ll run out of my own. But it’s nice to know that I’m not alone, and that many women can relate, and have their own similar dating horror stories. I welcome any and all readers to share theirs with me!

Do you or have you sat down and read your book fresh off the presses as if it wasn’t yours? And if you did, what was it like?  Oh, so, other people do that? Yes, I did do that! I read my entire book from beginning to end in one sitting when the test print arrived. It was very gratifying. Until I found a typo. MF: OMG! I’m rolling here! That’s funny!

What book are you currently reading or just finished?  I just finished The List, by British comedy writer, Joanna Bolouri, and I’m on to her next one now called I Followed The Rules. This woman is hilarious. I even wrote her an email after I read The List, commending her on her bravery for tackling the subject of sex in great depth. Like a fan, I emailed her, and she emailed me back! Also, I’d like to take this opportunity to say that I love getting emails from people who read my book and have something to say. Can you relate? Do you have a horror story to share? Have a question? I encourage you to reach out if you are so compelled. Madaboutmen98@gmail.com.

There ya have it folks! Many thanks Madelyn! For more about Madelyn, her work, and to get your own copy, follow the links below:

Website / Blog / Facebook / Twitter / SoundCloud / Goodreads / Amazon / Instagram

Meet Author Stef Smulders

Halo me lovelies! Welcome to Interview FoxSeat with guest author Stef Smulders

Stef Smulders was born in The Netherlands in 1960 and moved with husband Nico and their dog to Italy in 2008 to start bed-and-breakfast Villa I Due Padroni in the beautiful wine region Oltrepò Pavese south of Milan. In 2014 he published his first volume of short, anecdotical stories (in Dutch) about daily life among the Italians entitled “Italiaanse Toestanden”. It was well received by readers, leading to a second volume of humorous anecdotes. A third volume is to be published spring 2017.

Enjoy a short sample of Stef’s work: Living in Italy: the Real Deal – How to Survive the Good Life; a creative nonfiction boekomslagpaperbackfrontukcollection of witty short stories about the adventures of a Dutch expat in Italy

How long does it usually take you to complete a book?  I write about 1000 words a day so for a 200-300 pages (60.000 words) book I take two months and then about as much to correct and process proofreaders’ comments.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?  I had written about my adventures on a weblog since years and wanted to do something more permanent with the material as it seemed worth it.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?  No, I do not have specific times, I just start when I feel like it. Sometimes I prepare by reading a bit and thinking about what the contents of the next piece should be and then later on I write the piece in one go. It takes about an hour or hour and a half to produce a 1000 word piece.

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?  I have become much more confident after I managed to finish my first book. I know now that I am able to do it.

Do you listen to music or watch TV/movie while you write?  No, the less disturbance the better. Classical musicproostpadroni is okay though.

What have you written?  I have published two books in Dutch about my experiences as an expat in Italy and written a third, to be published next spring. Then I have also written a novel based on my youth, which is currently under review with a publisher.

What is the current book you are promoting?  The English translation of my first collection of anecdotal stories about my life as an expat in Italy.

You mentioned you’re writing a new story. How about a teaser?  When we bought our home nine months ago it was ready to move into. And now?
We are shipwrecked in the kitchen of the downstairs apartment. A single sheet of plastic between the hall and the sitting room is the only thing that protects us from the heavy dust of the building site. All day, we are assaulted by the sound of workmen shouting, drilling and hammering. A couple of hours ago the electricity cut out and it’s starting to get chilly in here. Every evening we escape upstairs via the dusty, grimy staircase, where we try to find solace by watching TV in our future living room. The living room is also separated by a sheet of plastic from the kitchen, the bedroom and the office. There are gaping holes in the walls in all of these three rooms, made weeks ago in preparation for the doors and a new window. Now they are serving as tunnels bringing in the draught and the cold. Exhausted and numbed from the endless turmoil surrounding us, we are staring out into space in silence. We are hardly aware of what’s on the screen. WHAT HAVE WE LET OURSELVES IN FOR?

Who is your favorite character in your book and why?  Probably the builder Torti, the grumpy old man, although in reality it wasn’t funny, from a distance he’s quite a character.

What is your next project? I have lots of ideas, maybe a book about the Crazy Canadian Camper Adventures we experienced during a decade of traveling through Canada. Or a satire based on Alice in Wonderland. Or … etc. 😉

Would you say there is a stigma to being self-published?  In the Netherlands yes, surely. It is very difficult to get img_0153publicity or reviews from more official journals, magazines, and websites. I noticed that this is much less a problem in the English speaking world.

Is there a book you love you’d like to recommend to others?  In my own genre I would recommend the books by Tim Parks and Beppe Severgnini, both very insightful and funny.

Many thanks! For more about Stef and his work, follow the links below:

Website / Facebook / Goodreads / Amazon / Smashwords / BookTrailer

Meet Author Kara Martinez Bachman

Halo my lovelies! Welcome to Interview FoxSeat with author Kara Martinez Bachman

Author and journalist Kara Martinez Bachman’s work has appeared in The Writer, Funny Times, and has been heard on NPR’s State of the Re:Union. She’s a former staff reporter and community editor — and is still a freelancer — for the New Orleans Times-Picayune and NOLA.com, where she primarily covers entertainment and home stories. She’s also managing editor of two editions of Parents & Kids magazine in southern Mississippi.

Her essays, poetry and nonfiction reporting have been included in several anthologies, numerous parenting magazines, and a variety of regional, national and foreign publications, websites and literary journals.

She’s a married mom to two kids, is a native of New Orleans, and loves donuts, dogs, kahlua, laughing, complaining, sloth, nostalgia, and most words.

Follow the provided link for some of Kara’s work: “Kissing the Crisis: Field Notes on Foul-Mouthed Babies, Disenchanted Women, and Careening into Middle Age” It’s nonfiction/essays/humor. You are free to link to the sample here: http://karamartinezbachman.com/book-sample

When did you decide to become a writer? I think I decided to someday become a published author when I won my first writing competition. It must have been in about 7th or 8th grade–it was an essay on gorillas for a writing competition about endangered species. I was presented akissing-the-crisis-front-cover trophy by the then-famous zookeeper from the San Diego Zoo, Joan Embry. I remember thinking that day: “I can do this!”

Unfortunately, it took me years to “do it” professionally. It wasn’t until I was in my late thirties that I began actually getting paid for writing and looked at it as a “job.” Of course it’s always a low-paying job–so let’s not even address that fun little factoid. But getting paid to do what you love is pretty cool, regardless what gets you excited in life. This is actually one of the topics covered in “Kissing the Crisis,” the idea that it’s never too late to follow through on a career or hobby in the things we had a passion for as children. We should use those early impulses as a guide, as they’re usually the most on-target because they’re pure and untainted.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something? Believe it or not, I decided to write a book because a few friends I’d “met” while online goofing off and making funny comments in forums I belonged to kept telling me I should! After hearing over and over that these silly things I wrote down actually affected some people, I thought, what the heck … let’s try this thing. I had already been working as a freelancer by this time and had already begun to build writing credits, so decided to take the leap.

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively? Working in journalism and editing has actually been huge in honing skills on the creative side. I always thought these different sides of the aisle were so different, that there’s nonfiction and fiction and never the twain shall meet in terms of technique and skillset. But boy, was I wrong! For instance, working as a news reporter, where I sometimes have an extremely limited word count to work with, taught me to say more with fewer words. And this dynamic is especially true for those of us who write in the essay form or who write any kind of creative nonfiction or true-life narrative. An essayist has to in some ways perfect the ways of nonfiction while also weaving in the creativity you find in works of fiction. It’s a cool balance, and that’s why essays are my favorite.

Do you listen to music or watch TV/movie while you write? I’ve already got the voices in my head to battle with … why would I want to add to the noise? Just joking of course, but seriously, that would be impossible for me. I never understand how people can write with anything but silence or white noise.

Do you design your own book covers or have someone else? If you use someone else would you tell us who/website? My publisher, Quill Driver Books, came up with the cover art. They did an awesome job. I immediately knew the frazzled woman holding her child was the perfect choice. There’s something funny about how the baby’s eyes are covered, as if he’s embarrassed and ashamed, too! I literally smiled when I first saw it–the idea of an embarrassed baby whose identity needs to be hidden is kinda funny.

Any advice for aspiring authors? Since “Kissing the Crisis” is my first book, the only insight I have to share is: if you think you have a good book, never give up in making it happen. It was a long haul for me, mostly because I really wanted to go the traditional route, and eventually I found a publisher who really “got” what I was trying to do with this book. Sometimes first-person essays are difficult to explain to people who don’t read the genre, and that was a bit_86a4378 of a challenge here, I think. It’s not a novel, no. It’s not informational nonfiction, no. And no, it’s not really a memoir; I’m not interesting enough to have a “life story” anybody wants to hear as a chronological play-by-play. The first person humor essay format is something altogether different, and unless a reader is familiar with writers such as David Sedaris or Sloane Crosley, it’s sometimes difficult to explain as a product. But dang, it’s my favorite genre to read for entertainment for sure, especially humor essays.

What is your favorite movie or TV show? My favorite films of all time are probably “Casablanca” and a sweet little Italian film called “Cinema Paradiso.” On TV, I really loved the Alan Ball-penned series “Six Feet Under,” and a close second is the short-lived but really brilliant and funny series about teen life for Generation X, “Freaks and Geeks.” I love, love love that show and watch it again in its entrety every year.

Which writers inspire you? Well, it might be weird that my favorite inspirations are not essayists, but I’d have to say the novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez and poets Walt Whitman and Gerard Manley Hopkins. It’s funny because every now and then I find myself writing a descriptive paragraph that sounds like a list, and I step back and see it resembles the descriptive list-making Whitman would do. Ha, maybe it’s just me droning on and on and I delude myself by calling it Whitmanesque list-making!

What is the current book you are promoting? https://www.amazon.com/Kissing-Crisis-Foul-Mouthed-Disenchanted-Careening/dp/1610352904/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1474660008&sr=8-1&keywords=kissing+the+crisis

Do you have any formal education in creative writing? If not are you planning to go to school? I have a B.A. in English, which of course involved study of literature, but also journalism, creative writing and professional writing.

Do you have any “how to write” type books/instructional you’d like to recommend? My favorites are “On Writing Well” by William Zinsser and a really fun book about the nuts and bolts of writing_86a4422-1 and editing, “Eats Shoots and Leaves” by Lynne Truss.

Who is your favorite author and which of their books is your favorite? In fiction, it would be Gabriel Garcia Marquez. His writing is so beautiful. My favorites are “Love in the Time of Cholera” and “A Hundred Years of Solitude.” In nonfiction, it would have to be David Sedaris and maybe journalist Malcolm Gladwell–I always love his books.

Thanks much! For more about Kara and her work, follow the links below:

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Amazon / Instagram

Meet Author Matthew Drzymala

Howdy me lovelies! Welcome to Interview FoxSeat with guest author Matthew Drzymala

Matthew Drzymala is 34 and from Manchester UK, but now lives in Liverpool.

He is the author of the award-winning comedy book series, The Bumpkinton Tales as well as the short story, Brainstorm.

He has lived his dream and now lives in an apartment overlooking a river, where he writes and eats scones.

Book grabber: The Bumpkinton Tales: Volume One

Welcome to Bumpkinton!

Come in, have a cup of tea and a scone, and lose yourself in five humorous tales from the village.

Follow Father Whitworth O’Grady as he chokes on a penny, Albert Scatterhorn as he becomes the grubbiest Father Christmas fullcovernew3aever, and Amelia Goose as she feuds with… well, anybody. Plus a whole host of characters as they attend the village’s first Singles Night with an egotistical ladies’ man.

Jump in and find out more for yourself…

GENRE: Humour

Why do you write? I write because I love it. Writing is such an escape, and when I’m in the zone, I barely notice anything going on around me. Whether the words are flowing or if I’m stuck in a writing rut, I love it.

When did you decide to become a writer?  I took part in NaNoWriMo in 2011, and it went from there. The year after I took a creative writing course and have been writing books ever since.

How long does it usually take you to complete a book? I would say around 5-6 months for a novella, maybe a little less for a short story.

I’m currently tackling my first novel, and so far it’s taken 18 months. It’s been a massive learning curve!

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?  I had some ideas, and they grew from there. I have so many half-finished stories that I could release 5 or 6 stories in a short space of time, but I tend to pour over everything, so my releases are a little more spaced out.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?  I write every Saturday and Sunday morning for around 4 hours and then a little bit in the day if I can.

Weekdays are more difficult due to my day job, but I’ll try and make some time in the week. Sometimes I’ll write for an hour when I get home from work, but my midweek writing is more sporadic and not massively structured like my weekend work is.

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively? I’m learning all the time. I look back at the things I was writing a couple of years ago and see what I would do differently. It’s true, you do progress the more you write.

Do you listen to music or watch TV/movie while you write? No, I have the attention span of a gnat, I need complete silence, and if I don’t disconnect the internet, then I always end up browsing.

I’m terrible for that!

What have you written? So far I have written mostly comedy. My Bumpkinton series have four individual eBooks, but all those were put into the collection in May 2016. I added a bonus story was added, making five stories, which make up The Bumpkinton Tales: Volume One.

I have a darker story too, Brainstorm. It’s a departure from Bumpkinton. It’s set in New York and is the day in the life of a clinical psychologist.

I like writing darker works, I just haven’t got around to releasing my other work yet.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just seeing where an idea takes you? I always know the ending when I start. I never plot. I know, that should be a no-no, but I tend to see where it goes. I always know certain things are going to happen, not necessarily when, but I work from point to point.

It makes sense to me if no-one else!

Do you design your own book covers or have someone else? If you use someone else would you tell us who/website?  My friend Anna designed my current covers. She’s a designer, having worked for some of the leading companies in the world. Her website is: www.wildsville.co.uk

Is there any marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures? I always use BookHippo.co.uk, I always get sales when I use them. Other than that, no. Sales can be hard to get, and I’ve tried every tactic imaginable.

I focus on selling in local shops and face to face to people. Yes, Amazon rankings are helpful, but it’s difficult to get noticed, so I don’t lose sleep over Amazon and the rest.

I do try and get sales where I can through them and promote like mad online, but face to face tends to work better for me.

Any advice for aspiring authors? Write! That’s all you can say. Writers write, even when you want to pull your hair out and scream. It’s so rewarding when you finish a story. I love meeting people and talking dsc_0053about my writing, that’s a big bonus for me.

Just write. It’s great, it’s crazy, but you’ll love it.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he do that is so special? I have a number of characters, but I would say the main one I use is Father Whitworth O’Grady. He’s a priest who is easily stressed.

My stories have so many characters that there’s no main one as such. Amelia Goose is a favourite amongst my readers. She’s a complete cow who is nasty to people and elongates words when she speaks for absolutely no reason.

She can be annoying to write, actually, but readers seem to like her!

Where do your ideas come from? Anywhere, my stories are set in a small village, so it’s finding something petty and mundane and turning it into something funny.

I also ask my partner and friends for story ideas. I have friends who live in villages, so sometimes they give me snippets of what goes on where they live, which I’ve included in my stories.

What is the hardest thing about writing? Editing. When you’ve read your book 15 times in 4 days, your brain can end up fuzzy. It’s needed, but editing is probably the most boring thing. However, it helps me as I end up with much better ideas on the 3rd or 4th edit and it contributes to change the way the story is going at times.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?  It was written over four years, with five separate short stories, so the main issue was getting them all into one book and making sure all the small details such as margins, etc. worked.

The stories themselves weren’t overly tricky when I wrote them, except for maybe The Bachelor. I inserted a new story thread in around one month before release, so that was a bit tight to get done!

What is your favorite movie or TV show? Movie: Lord of the Rings. TV: The X-Files.

Which writers inspire you? Terry Pratchett, Jo Nesbo, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, PG Wodehouse and J.K Rowling.

What is the current book you are promoting? The Bumpkinton Tales: Volume One.

The book consists of 5 short stories and novellas called Last Christmas, Bittersweet, The Bachelor, The Family Jewels and Albert’s Christmas.

They are all set in the fictional village of Bumpkinton and include a host of hilarious and quirky characters.

The humour is quite British, but they are suitable for readers further afield too.

Some of the wording now and again is regional, but a quick Google search sorts that out, but it’s few and far between.

Who is your favorite character in your book and why?  My personal favourite is Father Whitworth O’Grady, mostly because he is the character I relate to most. He likes a lot of the same things I do, and he is so easy to write. I never run out of things to write when he’s in a scene.

Who is your least favorite character and why? Probably Amelia Goose, not that I dislike her as such. She can be an annoying character at times, and I find her tiresome to write, but that’s mostly due to the nature of her personality. I don’t hate her or hate writing, her, but she’s probably the one I don’t enjoy writing as much as people do reading about her.

Do you have any formal education in creative writing? If not are you planning to go to school?  I took a creative writing course in 2012/13. It was a fantastic experience. I was nominated for a national adult learner award for taking the skills I learned on the course and putting them into action.

Do you have any “how to write” type books/instructional you’d like to recommend?  Books, no, but I do have an article on my website about my approach to writing comedy books. The link can be found here: http://matthewdrzymala.com/2016/10/04/writing-comedy/

If your book were made into a movie, whom would you cast?  Patrick Dempsey as Father Whitworth O’Grady, but he’d have to put on a British accent, haha!

What is your next project?  My next book will be the first Bumpkinton novel. It’s called The Fantastical Gregory Shortbread and involves a spate of crimes in the village. They need to raise money to fix the damage, but typically things don’t go according to plan.

That’s where Gregory Shortbread comes in. He is a traveling theatre extraordinaire, and his shows draw in hundreds wherever he goes.

He stumbles across Bumpkinton, but will his run of good fortune end there?

Who is your favorite fictional character and why?  Sherlock Holmes. Well, he’s just a genius isn’t he?

What one person from history would you like to meet and why?  Elvis Presley, mostly because that’s who my partner would want to meet, so I’d make it happen for her.

If there was one thing you could do to change the world, what would it be?  People fighting over ridiculous reasons. The world depresses me massively.

Who inspires your writing?  My fiancée. She is my constant supporter and encourages me all of the time. I should probably mention an author here, but it’s Elaine.

Where do you come up with your stories? Anywhere really. My fiancée has come up with an idea or two before now. Friends also ask me to write certain themes, which I have in my head and will tackle.

Personally, I just have an idea pop into my head. I rarely sit and try and force an idea. One will present itself when it’s ready.

Who is your favorite author and which of their books is your favorite?  Probably Terry Pratchett and probably Guards! Guards! or Night Watch from his Discworld series.

Do you or have you sat down and read your book fresh off the presses as if it wasn’t yours? And if you did, what was it like?  Only for proofreading purposes. I hate reading my own work. I end up noticing a detail that I wish I could fix. I find it best to get it done and move on.

If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why? The Green Mile by Stephen King. Love it! Love it! Love it!  Is that a good enough reason?

What is one great lesson you have learned as a writer? You can always improve. You’ll look back on older works and realize how much better you could write it with more experience.

What are some of your favorite books and why?  The Green Mile, most Terry Pratchett books, Jo Nesbo’s Harry Hole series. I just love how they’re written. Each has their own distinct style that resonates with me when I read them.

Plus they are masters of their craft!

What do you think of traditional publishing vs. self-publishing?  I self-publish, and it’s hard work, but I love it. I would publish traditionally if the opportunity presented itself.

I’m working hard to get myself out there. I run an author workshop for schools, so I am hoping in time to get my books to more people. A traditional publisher would open up more avenues for me, but doing it yourself is massively rewarding.

Would you say there is a stigma to being self-published? I think so. People do see it as writers who have no real pride in their work and are happy to release anything without it being proofed or edited.

I take my work seriously. I have beta readers as well as proofers and an editor. I want it to be the best it can be!

What book are you currently reading or just finished? I’m currently reading Cosmo by Frank Cottrell Boyce.

What do your fans mean to you? Everything. I write humour and it’s a tough genre to crack. I have some readers who contact me and say how much they enjoy my work, and it means so much.

Is there a book you love you’d like to recommend to others? The Green Mile. Honestly, even if you’ve seen the film, the book is an absolute delight.

Tell us something unique about you. I have double jointed thumbs.

Is there anything else you would like to add? I’d just like to thank you for including me on your page. It’s always great to be interviewed, and your questions are fantastic.

Also, hello to readers who have never heard of me. *waves*

Many thanks Matthew for stopping by! For more about Matthew and his work, follow the links below:

Website / Blog / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Amazon / Smashwords / BarnesNoble / Instagram

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