What inspired you to write initially?
There was an intense curiosity about how it was done. I used to read Stephen King stories on a
portable cassette recorder and copy them out. For the longest time, I procrastinated, because I
was frightened of doing it badly. Then I decided to embrace the fear and go for it. It all stemmed
What is the one piece of advice you would give any writer?
Do it. Start and don’t stop.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Writing. It’s my purpose in life. A constant source of joy for me, interspersed with the usual
contemplation and self-doubt.
If you could do it all again would you still be a writer?
I would have started sooner.
How do you start your book and do you know exactly where you are going with it?
My approach has changed. I used to start with a single phrase or idea. A what-if? There’s a
synaesthesia of ideas and images, but it has to be a story. No, but there has to be a sense of
one. Nowadays there is an outline to keep me focused on hitting the points of story structure
and also avoids procrastination. There’s a novelty in knowing where I am going now. A
disciplined approach is always the best approach for me. It’s all subjective, isn’t it, like how
Hemingway says ‘we are all amateurs in a field without masters,’
Do you start with the title or does that come later?
I’ve gone through multiple titles in the books. Some because they had the same mouth feel and
rhythm as another, others because the story didn’t reflect the title before. With the Ron
Brandywood series, I’ve titled them because it sets me the challenge of working it as a theme or
image in the book alongside the longer term arc of the characters.
How do you stay motivated?
The feeling of having written. People who enjoy sharing my writing and saying lovely things
about it as well as buying the books. Discipline. Habit.
What gave you the idea for the Lightning Thesaurus?
Again, it was the literary synaesthesia. A joke, in one sense, but it was an entertaining enough
idea to start seeing how it worked. He’s based loosely on a Dungeons and Dragons character
I’ve played, as were a lot of the supporting characters, but I’ve reworked them to the stories
which I’m telling.
All your books are very different, do you have a favourite?
The Lightning Thesaurus. There was a purity to it, written at an interesting period in my life and
with a tremendous playfulness which stays with me to this day.
Do you have a favourite Author?
Stephen King. He’s akin to Prince, in so much as even his lesser work is interesting.
Do you have a current project?
The ninth book in the Ron Brandywood series.
The Lightening Thesaurus is now out on Amazon.
Check out all Matt’s books which are also available on Amazon.
You can also check out his website www.mbblissett.com