Author Interview……..Matt Betts

A Little About You……….

Ages ago, I used to be a radio reporter and on-air personality. Now I work in the PR and marketing field in addition to writing. I’ve lived in Columbus, Ohio for well over a dozen years and I’ve been involved in a writing group for just about all of it. My wife and I have two kids, both boys. My poetry, flash and short fiction have been published in a number of places and my first novel, Odd Men Out, is coming out in summer of 2013 from Dog Star Books.

 A Little About Your Writing……….

Much of my writing is rooted in pop culture. My poetry, my fiction, my essays and blog all have sensibilities that stem from my love of television, movies, music, novels and comics from when I was growing up. I like to include little nods to the things that have inspired me since childhood. You’ll find tons of them littered throughout my novel. There are little subtle, just-for-me moments, and some obvious things everyone will get. But I like to keep it light. I like to have fun when I’m writing and I always have the hope that whoever reads it will have fun too.

I enjoy writing science fiction. OMO is science fiction and alternate history, with a little horror thrown in as well. Really, there isn’t one genre that I like over another. I love to write about robots and rockets, but I have fun with beasties and bloodsuckers as well.


What Inspired You To Start Writing?

I think I was inspired to write because of my love of reading. My family has always been big on books and I’m sure it fueled my desire to write my own stories. I also remember reading Stephen King books in college and saying “I can do this. How hard can it be?” King’s writing made it seem pretty effortless. It wasn’t. Oddly enough, it turned out to be kind of hard, imagine that. My college professors weren’t much help in making it easier. Most of them I had were not interested in genre fiction, and were vocal about it. For that reason, I stopped writing for quite a while before picking it back up again and getting serious about it recently.

 How Has Writing Changed Your Life?

How hasn’t it? I mean, really it has changed everything. Writing has given me an outlet for creativity, a place to share stories, and more. I can’t express the importance of it in my life. Plus, I look at the people I get to work with because we’re writers or editors. It’s amazing to sit down with other creative types and talk about what they’re working on, or their last book or any number of topics.

 What Is Your Favourite Book, Ever?

It’s so strange that I can’t name an absolute favorite book. I read so much that you’d think it would be easy. I know people who read certain favorites over and over, or once a year they revisit certain books. I just don’t do that. Somehow my favorites shift depending on my mood or my recollection of the time in my life when I read them. I loved Carter Beats the Devil by Glen David Gold, and I’ve read it a number of times. Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire was one that I read over and over back in high school. I haven’t revisited it for quite a while to see if it still holds up for me.

There are a number of non-fiction works that I love: The Devil in the White City, Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets and Sarah Vowell’s Assassination Vacation are all great reads that I would recommend to anyone. I’ve reread those a couple of times each.

 What Is The Best Piece Of Writing Advice You Could Give, And Why?

Read as much as you can. I think the best way to learn to tell a compelling story is to see how others have succeeded at it. Why do your favorite books work so well? Do they have good characters, is the plot unique, the pacing done so well you can’t stop reading? Find out why you don’t like certain other books. What do they get wrong? Pick up some books in your genre at the library or the bookstore and just read the first twenty pages. Would you keep reading? Why or why not?

 If You Were A Dragon, What Kind Of Dragon Would You Be?

This is certainly not a choice to be made lightly. Technically, Godzilla is not a dragon, I know this. But, he still has to be my first choice. I grew up watching Godzilla movies on weekend TV in the 70s and 80s and I loved every one of them. So, call me a cheater, but I’d go with him. Yes, other dragons can fly, breath a cone of cold or spit chlorine gas, but Godzilla has stomped armies and fought robot versions of himself, always coming back for more.





Your thoughts are much appreciated..........Thanks!