Matt stories are intense, to say the least, focusing on real-world problems like the degeneration of society when subjected with isolation and a very weird problem that is The Black Square. Or Fuck Oranges, Yet another chilling tale that explores how close friends fall apart when faced with the abomination that is the orange.
I’ve been dying to ask Matt some questions since I first read The Black Square as it really hit me on a profound level. So I’m super excited to ask these questions.
Where are you from?
Do you have a day job, if so what?
Writing is my career, as well as running a small publishing company for online authors.
What do you do to unwind?
Video games. Way too many video games 🙂
You’re on death row, and you have your last meal. Starters, Main and Dessert. What are they?
All three are Chipotle!
Q1: What was the first piece you published and was it any good?
A: One of the very first stories I wrote was the creepypasta Psychosis, which is now everywhere. The first story I wrote as part of my username on Reddit, m59gar, is The Lodge, a short tale that can be found here: The Lodge.
Q2: Are you afraid that the tragedy you pen on paper, will be incarnated as an event in the real world?
A: Not in our world, but I’m fairly sure these horrible places exist somewhere out in the multiverse. Let’s hope we’re not in a story ourselves.
Q3: What is your scariest creation/creature/person?
A: Probably unreasonable human beings. There are plenty of scenarios that are survivable if only the people involved could use their heads and work together. Unfortunately, unreasonable human beings are the biggest danger the vast majority of the time, including in real life, with issues like global warming.
Q4: Who or what most inspires your work?
A: I’d have to H.P. Lovecraft’s volume of work first and most inspired me to try my hand at writing in a serious manner. He had a way of building mythos that I still emulate today.
Q5: What fruit would you have your character use to kill someone?
A: A tomato. There are just so many things wrong with a tomato-as-murder-weapon plan, I’d like to see how it panned out.
Q6: Do you worry about your sanity when you craft your twisted stories? Scary yourself so much that it leaves you thinking “where did that come from?”
A: Weirdly enough, I think I’m more sane because I can express these ideas and purge them from me. Old stories fade in the mind, and the fears I once had fade with them. I’m perfectly happy in the dark, for example, because the real world can’t possibly offer anything more horrible than what I’ve put to paper and later mostly forgotten about.
Q7: How much of your work is influenced by your daily life?
A: I am constantly inspired toward ideas by the people around me and the shows and movies we watch and talk about. For that reason, I really appreciate the people in my life.
Q8: What advice would you give a newbie horror writer?
A: Oh man, this is always a tough one, because so many answers spring to mind and yet newbie horror writers by definition won’t see this or listen. If there’s one thing I would stress above all right now, it’s meta-awareness. Horror is no longer the rare thing it once was, and the vast majority of readers have read as much or even more horror than you have. It’s no longer immersive to have a classic ‘disbelief’ phase where the main character comes off as crazy, especially not with how constantly we are in contact with each other. Nowadays, if something paranormal happened to me, I would have my phone out instantly to call someone or take pictures. Furthermore, once the threat is identified, the characters in the story must react intelligently. After all, they’ve grown up on horror movies. It’s no longer believable to have characters ‘freeze’, not have any idea what’s happening, or doubt their own sanity for too long. A modern horror character sees a creature or murderer and thinks, “Crap! This is just like that movie on the SyFy Channel! What did they do in that movie to beat this thing?”
Q9: What scares you personally?
A: Unreasonable people in real life. If we all worked together and listened to one another, we could overcome anything – but unreasonable people who are convinced they’re right (when they’re not) might just be the death of us all in the end.
Q10: The perception of horror writes is that he/she is just a little bit weirder than everybody else. In your experience, do you find yourself — and other horror authors — to be stranger than the average person?
A: Haha, yes, absolutely. I’m a natural contrarian that immediately moves to oppose any structure which seeks to impose itself on me, so I’ve spent most of my life doing something different and struggling with authority figures. I absolutely believe that stems from a childhood growing up on horror and science fiction. It’s very difficult to accept your place on a totem pole when you’ve read whole novels about how the system crushes its cogs, and it’s very difficult to fall in line due to fear of the mundane other when you’ve seen TRUE terror. After working with true terror, nothing they say on the radio or the television can really bother you. Oh no, the stock market’s down or something. At least we’re not having our brains drilled out by weird flying bone creatures!