Tuesday, April 8, 2008

[Interview:] Matthew Moses

Matthew Moses has a degree in Political Science from Indiana University with a minor in History.

He has worked for a South African periodical and has written three novels of which Anti-Christ: A Satirical End of Days (Booklocker, 2007) is the latest. Moses has also written a screenplay for an independent film.

In this interview, Matthew Moses talks about his concerns as a writer.

When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?

That is a funny story. I never gave much thought to writing until I met this one psychic. She told me a few things that came true and then piqued my interest by telling me I had a future in writing.

I’d always been interested in writing before that. I wrote a screenplay when I was seven and various short stories for my own amusement throughout my childhood and teenage years. I also had a weekly column in my college newspaper that garnered a cult following. I guess you could say I’ve always loved writing. It took a psychic to point it out to me.

How would you describe the writing you are doing?

So far I’ve written three novels. Each has been in a different genre: horror, satire, and literary fiction. I don’t let the genre dictate the story but the story dictate the genre.

There are certain trademarks to my work. There is an undercurrent of humor to each of my tales as well as the average everyman that finds himself caught up in an event that takes him on a journey that surely changes his perceptions of reality.

Who is your target audience?

My target audience would best be described as 18-35 though the older crowd still derives entertainment from my novels.

I am shockingly a comedic guy. The novel, Anti-Christ: A Satirical End of Days, was really my way of dealing with a loss of faith. My issues with organized religion were not something I could simply come out and speak on without angering the “devout” so I thought the best way to relate my views was to “funny” it up. Sweeten the story with humor to make it palatable.

Who has influenced you most?

Trey Parker and Matt Stone really helped to influence my novel. Their work, especially South Park, shows that one can do satire outrageously and intelligently.

How have your personal experiences influenced your writing?

All of my stories are based around events in my life.

In this novel I deal with my loss of faith as well as my philosophical views. As for the characters, most are based on people I’ve encountered in my life and I have met some real characters! As for the hero and villain, they usually are those two separate parts of me that always seem to be in conflict.

What are your main concerns as a writer?

The fact that I’ve self-published shows my lack of faith in the publishing industry.

Over the past two years I’ve been ignored by the powers-that-be in the industry because I don’t have the contacts, the prerequisites, or the work that the industry pushes. Publishers and agents work in a vacuum-sealed environment that leaves little room for anything radical or multi-genre. The industry wants cookie cutter, generic work. God forbid one offers up something unlike the norm. My story has been handled roughly by many because of a misunderstanding on how to market it.

My greatest fear is that my novel won’t be taken seriously because it is self-published. That is why I’ve created a website, www.anti-christ.biz, as well as have left myself open for interviews and commentary. I want to give a proper view of my work and not be pigeon-holed as someone that simply writes for shock value. The only person that believes in my work is me -- so, if anyone is going to get this out to the people, I am the best for the job.

What would you say are the biggest challenges that you face?

The biggest challenge I face is obscurity. I’m doing my best to overcome that monolithic challenge and get my novel out there to the audience.

I write websites, make calls, do my best to garner attention. One needs to be indefatigable if one is to energize a crowd and make a dream a reality.

Do you write everyday?

I try to write everyday, posting my musings and thoughts on my website, www.anti-christ.biz. I usually write one to two hours a day to keep the motor running smoothly.

Anti-Christ: A Satirical End of Days took me three months to write.

It’s not what I put in but what I take out that has proven the most difficult. Rewrites generally require substantial altering of the original narrative. It is hard to remove sections one has written in order to smooth out the story. I mean, when you write something it’s like your child. You don’t want to harm it or toss it away. It’s a part of you.

What did you enjoy most?

Watching where the story would go. I never know where my narrative will take me.

What sets the book apart from other things you have written?

This tale is generally lighter in tone than my regular work.

In what way is it similar?

All of my work follows the tale of an average guy caught up in extraordinary events. I am a lover of epic stories. I can’t help myself.

What will your next book be about?

My next novel, already finished, a supernatural horror story. It follows one Herbert Kraft who has lost his faith in humanity. A FBI profiler, he has found his former idealism smothered beneath the endless savagery of man. Haunted by his final case involving a vicious serial killer, Herbert seeks to confront that monster that stole his final shred of faith in man. What he discovers is a world on the brink of destruction with the dead trying to drag us all into the void with them.

What would you say has been your most significant achievement as a writer?

Finishing my first novel.

How did you get there?

Dreams, commitment, belief in my talents, and the faith that there is an audience out there willing to read my work.

This article has also been featured on Associated Content.

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