Getting even more personal with Matt Hickman
It is no secret that I think Matt Hickman is an amazing writer. His book Amnesia was my number one book last year and for good reasons. If you haven’t read it you are really missing an awesome story. From his stories in anthologies to his writing with other authors one thing is certain he has wicked talent. I’m telling you he is one to watch. Not only is he a writer but he is a great friend and an incredible dad. His pictures with his kids always make me smile and bring back fond childhood memories. If you haven’t met him you need to do so right now. Please welcome Matt Hickman back again to Roadie Notes……
1. It’s been awhile since we talked what new books do you have out now? Latest release?
Since we last spoke I’ve released a collaboration with Stuart Keane called Gemini – a serial killer story that we wrote from the viewpoint of two opposing female characters. It was a really interesting book to write and Stuart was a pleasure to bounce ideas off. I’ve released Amnesia through Matt Shaw Publications which has been my most successful book so far, I was honoured to have a certain someone name it as their number one read of 2016, especially as I was concerned about people thinking the content was a little extreme. I’ve featured in a few anthologies, one named VS which was an interesting charity project where a load of British authors were teamed against a load of American authors to face off. I was drawn against talented authors, Melissa Lason and Michelle Garza – The Sisters of Slaughter. I can’t tell you which way the judges voted, but I couldn’t have been happier with who I got to face. They are a great talent and good friends of mine. In addition, I have also featured in another couple of charity anthologies – Bah Humbug, released by Matt Shaw Publications was a fun anti – Christmas project featuring some of the best names in horror, and a project called Dark Places, Evil Faces which has been compiled by Mark Lumby, which features some top authors such as Graham Masterton, Jack Ketchum and Ramsey Campbell. My last release was a collaboration with Matt Shaw called State of Decay, a really dark, gritty urban horror story about a man pushed over the edge by a society that’s falling apart around him. Matt is one of my contemporary writing heroes and I was stoked to share the covers with him.
2. If you could pick any author alive or dead to have lunch with who would it be? Why?
Hhhhmmmmmmmm, I’ve shared lunch with a few authors over the past few years actually. I would probably say Richard Laymon. I would just love to get a glimpse inside that depraved mind to see how he conjured up his ideas and whether it was all as natural and seamless as it appears on the pages, or whether there were times that he struggled.
3. What is the strangest thing a fan has ever done?
I hate the term fan. I don’t have them, I’m nowhere near big enough to consider using that word and even if I was, I still wouldn’t. The strangest thing was probably some guy who just kept on dropping me really strange, passive-aggressive comments on everything I put on social media. I had enough and confronted him, explaining that I had better things to do than mess about with him. I told him to pipe down or f**k off. He chose the latter. Strange boy.
4. What is the one thing you dread to do when writing?
I used to dread the initial release of a book and receiving the first feedback. I’ve learned now to relax with the whole process and understand that one person’s point of view is exactly that. In some cases, negative feedback can be a whole spin on positive. I appreciate that I can’t please them all, so chill. I don’t dread anything else, I’m a pretty laid back little monkey. I love the whole thing.
5. Did you have imaginary friends growing up? Tell me about them
No, I never did, however my daughter had one that she called Lucy Poo. My wife went to see a spiritual medium once who claimed that my daughter may have ‘the gift.’ I may consider this my retirement fund.
6. Do you go to conventions? If not why?
I do go to conventions. I love them. I love going as a trader and meeting readers face to face. I’m still fairly new to them but I’m a fairly personable bloke and love having a good chin wag with anyone. I also love attending conventions from the other side of the table, its great meeting up with like-minded people from within this community. I have a few lined up this year.
7. How many times did you have to submit your first story before it was accepted?
Once. It was a story called Anna which I submitted to Dark Chapter Press for an anthology called Kids. I haven’t really looked back since that acceptance.
8. Ever consider not writing? If so what made you continue?
The only time that I’ve stopped was over the last month or so, while I’ve been getting a new job off the ground, where travelling and long days just didn’t leave me any chance. I’m back at it now, every night. I ignore people who claim they don’t have time for this and that. Nobody is ever going to do anything for you.
9. Ever thought about writing in a different category?
A lot of the short stories I write lean towards humour, usually in a very, very dark way. In addition, I wrote a crime thriller, a collaboration with Andy Lennon called Bound where we threw in some very horrific elements. It worked well. I think I’d be fairly comfortable having a go at anything, I thrive on challenge.
10. Any new additions to the family?
No. Two kids are more than enough for me. I did buy a new iron last week. I have to water it, does an iron count?
11. What is coming up next for you?
Next up, I’m releasing my first collection of shorts called Sinister Scribblings. It’s all of my short stories so far that have been published elsewhere in one book, along with some bonus new material that I’ve thrown in. Next up, I’m finishing the sequel to Jeremy. I have a queue of people who are asking to collaborate with me, but I need to concentrate on my own stuff for the next few months.
12. Do you do release parties? Do you think they work?
I do them because if nothing else they’re a great laugh. They can be stressful from this side of the screen but I believe they’re great for promotion. They can be an acquired taste, but I enjoy them. I love the fact that many of the readers who attend actually make new friends with other people that they’d never have bumped into.
13. Do you have crazy stalker fans? Have you ever had one you wish would go away?
See above. If anyone needs to be forcibly removed, I’ll do so myself. I don’t suffer idiots too well and I’m too long in the tooth for childish antics. There can be the odd upstart within this community that decides they want to try to rock the boat, but they usually show themselves up fairly quickly and move themselves on. Most people in this community are top notch people.
14. Do you still have a “day job” ? If so what do you do?
I’m a sales manager for a construction company. It’s a bit of an anorak job, but it pays the bills. It involves a lot of travelling, so at least I get to see our green and pleasant land, even if it is from standing traffic on the motorway.
15. What is your process for writing? Do you have a voice in your head?
Not really, as soon as I have an embryo of an idea, I get down and start writing it. I make it up as I go. I don’t plan anything, even novels. I am the dictionary definition of winging it. In fact, if you look up winging it in a dictionary, there’s probably a picture of me looking gormless and picking my nose.
16. Is there a book you want to make a sequel to you haven’t yet?
I’ve started work on a book called Becky which is a sequel to Jeremy, I have a good idea of how it’s going to pan out, and Jeremy will be back with an almighty bang. He’s the character that most people have said they would like to see return. I considered bringing a few of the characters from Amnesia back into stand-alone novellas of their own but doubt I’ll ever get round to it.
Thanks again to anyone that takes time to pick up my work and give it a go, you rock! It’s the best feeling in the world that people are enjoying something that you’ve created. Long may it continue. If you’re on Facebook, come and say hello, I don’t bite. Thanks to my wonderful friends and peers for their continued support and encouragement. Too many to mention individually, but you know who you are.
You can connect with Matt Hickman here:
Some of Matt Hickman’s books: