Featured Author – Matthew Plourde June 14, 2011Posted by Jaidis in Books, Featured Authors.
Today I want to shine the Author Spotlight on the author of Eden….Matthew Plourde! Mr. Plourde has generously allowed me to interview him to find out all about his book Eden and his writing habits.
Without giving too much away, can you tell us what your book is about?
Eden explores redemption and self-discovery with the backdrop of our world ruined. Set in the fictional near-future, one woman struggles for survival in her new world. Guided by a mysterious, scarred man she attempts to piece together the puzzle in the wake of a massive earthquake. As the story unfolds, we learn there is much more happening than our heroine first assumed.
Alexandra’s journey to mankind’s mythical birthplace will leave the reader guessing, grieving, hoping and cheering.
How long did it take you to write this book?
Ten long, interrupted and uncertain years.
What was your inspiration to write this book?
My fascination with a particular personality from the Bible (no, I cannot tell you who that is – it would ruin the surprise!). I wanted to write a contemporary story about him/her, but I wasn’t happy with how it was developing. Then, an Avril Lavigne song pulled it all together for me. Eden is as much about this “forgotten hero” as it is Alexandra Contreras, our pov character.
Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
Without crossing into “religious preachy fiction” territory, Eden explores some Biblical concepts from a not-so-common platform: what if most of the Old Testament was more than mere myth?
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Like the moment I met my wife, that memory is lost to the dark alleyways of my brain. However, I do remember always writing little stories as a kid and giving them to my mom to read. I was first published in high school, by a school distribution.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I cannot write fast enough. When I’m in my groove (which is often now that Eden is finished), I feel like a runner tripping over my feet. My thoughts are too quick for my fingers, and for the time I have to write.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Spend time with my family and friends… and play as many games as I can! Like Jane McGonigal, I believe the world can be saved by playing games.
What does your family think of your writing?
They love it, but they are obligated to! My wife is my #1 fan and she gets to read everything before y’all. If you ever pass her on the street, be sure to thank her for that. She has saved everyone from some of my garbage!
How many books have you written so far?
Two books. Eden was my first novel. My second book, a sci-fi yarn called “The Antaran Legacy” is also available everywhere online.
How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?
Did a little personal dance in my computer chair and then resumed whatever I was doing (probably playing a game).
What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a published author?
Become an expert query letter writer. Read the self-help books, digest samples and get involved in writer communities. For as much as I am a revolutionary, I urge every new writer to try things the traditional route first. If that doesn’t work, come talk to me! Seriously. I’ve helped other self-published authors take the first few steps and I’m more than happy to help anyone else as well.
Do you hear from your readers much?
Not yet – still building that audience. With over 1,500 copies of Eden out there to strangers, I was hoping for a little more action in my inbox. I think, perhaps, post-apoc fans are the quiet type…
What do you think makes a good story?
This is my favorite question to answer! A good story flows naturally from the characters and never relies on plot crutches or “dumb character”. Good story also pours from the writer’s heart, not his/her mind. When you start concerning yourself with money, the phantom reader or your outline (you shouldn’t have one), then I believe your story suffers. Let it come naturally, and from a place of pure joy.
I actually blog about the topic of “story” quite a bit… more than is healthy to be sure.
What genre do you find the most difficult to write in and why?
Comedy. I have supreme respect for writers who can make their audience laugh on end. It takes rare talent and a natural gift (I believe) to write humor. Just like I don’t understand musical concepts, I’m not sure I’ll ever grasp the art of writing comedy.
Do you ever experience writer’s block and if so, how to you overcome it?
Just recently I survived my first bout with writer’s block. Since this was new for me, I had to discover my own resolution methods. In the end, I found that leaving the manuscript alone for a few weeks solved the problem.
What is the last book you read?
The First Lensman by EE “Doc” Smith
Do you have any writing projects you are currently working on?
Oh yes! Always! I just finished the graphic novel script for Eden – we’re building that over the next few months. I’m also working on the next book in the Eden saga: Babylon. Look for a late 2011 release date for that title.
How many books do you read a week/month?
Sadly, my days are too full of work/family/writing/games to wedge too many books in there. All my reading happens over my week-long summer camping trip each year. During that binge, I read 1 book every 2 days, roughly.
If you could have dinner with 1 person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Plato. He knew something about our holographic universe and I want to pick his brain on that topic. That, and he believes in an enlightened utopia – another topic of which I am vastly interested.
If you had to compare yourself to an animal, which one would it be and why?
I am the coyote (you’ll see some of this in Babylon). While researching Eden, I learned all about coyotes. They are oblivious to their own limitations and will sometimes jump from a cliff if they witness a bird do the same. After all, if a bird can fly, why can’t a coyote?
That’s me: reality be damned, I’m gonna do it my way.
If you had to have one word or phrase written on your forehead for an entire week, what would it be?
Don’t be a jerk.
What is the best advice anyone has ever given to you?
While struggling to survive the massive doses of radiation my doctors heaped on my head/neck, my visiting nurse urged me to remember: “this is temporary.” Now, when things aren’t going so well, I recall those words and find the strength to persevere.
One food you would never eat?
Anything that guy eats on that ‘Bizarre Foods’ travel channel show. Some sick stuff there.
Biggest Pet Peeve?
People who buy lottery tickets in front of me at the convenience store. Seriously? I need to wait five minutes while you tell the cashier your losing numbers and/or scan in the few scratch tickets that got you $1 each? All I want to do is buy this gallon of milk and loaf of bread… why must I wait in utter hell for you to prove you have no grasp of mathematics? Step aside and just let me be on my way already!
/opens pill bottle with shaky hands
I’d like to thank Mr. Plourde for the insightful interview!
Please be sure to visit Matthew over at his BLOG and let him know how much you enjoyed his interview!
Get your own copy of Eden on Kindle!
The amazing Hazel O’Shea recently had the pleasure of reading Eden! Her complete review can be found HERE but here is a snippet:
“I absolutely loved this book! The story does focus on biblical theories and beliefs, but in no way preaches to the reader. Whether you’re Christian or not, you will enjoy this book and walk away with a feeling of love and hope! I had the most difficult time putting this book down because every page brought something new to the story! Mr. Plourde does not tell you this story, he shows you the story. Creating an attachment between you and the characters allowing you to be right there with them, in every moment. Eden is now on my list of favorites and I highly recommend reading this to everyone looking for an inspiring and adventuresome read!”