Interview With Author Matt Menter

 

Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 11.44.37 PMWhat is your book’s genre or category and what draws you to the genre?

The genre is medieval fantasy. I’ve always loved creating imaginary worlds and for a long time, I wanted to create a story of knights and magic. I wanted it to be a story full of castles, monsters, witches, wizards, and barbarians. It’s also a story of two gay characters fighting for love, so it falls into the LGBT category. I liked the idea of combining these two genres and seeing how that might play out.

Can you describe the story in one or two sentences for our readers?

GOD OF WINTER tells the story of King Taran, who tells stories of his reign through letters to the lover he is forbidden to be with. As the years press on, as war and bloodshed continue to find their way to his doors, he must decide where his allegiance lies; to the one he loves, or to the kingdom that needs him.

Tell us the story behind the story. What influenced you to write it and how long did it take you?

This book began as just letters with a first-person voice. I liked this idea of an old king, speaking to the man he loves from high atop his castle. I returned to the story here and there. Sometimes, it would appear in the form of blog posts. Over time, if I was going through something, I would write these posts in the voice of the character. After awhile, I started to see that I had a number of these letters, and they were really beginning to say something interesting. By then, I thought it would be great to turn this into a more cohesive, streamlined novel. Soon, it was just a lot of finessing, cleaning up moments, adding in new characters, and building out different sections that were originally left unexplained. All this took about eight months.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?

King Taran is our main character. We start with him, in his youth, during the early days of leading the kingdom. Then, we gradually move to the times in his life where he has seen too many wars and too many seasons. This evolution through the years is what defines who he is. He is brash, egotistical. He is tortured by a heavy heart. He struggles with how to live his life. He is a man of two faces. Does he give up his kingdom and give in to love? Or does he stay and rule? He is always pulled in two different directions. He is an honest king. A good king. He leads armies into battle, and yet, he cannot face himself in the mirror. He is constantly in turmoil over what to do with the life he has been handed. Most of all, love is what he wants. He wants to love the one he cannot be with, he wants love from the villagers who call him their king. He wants to be everything to everybody. Yet he knows this isn’t possible, and it rips him apart.

Is there a part of you in any of the characters?

What the main character goes through, the questions he asks himself, is very much similar to me. Much of what he talks about was directly influenced by experiences I was having in my own life. He questions, he wonders, he overthinks. He always second guesses whether someone’s love is true. He has grand opinions on love and what it does to us. I am very much like this. I question love, and yet, it matters to me. I was going through a difficult time as I was writing this, so many of the questions King Taran asks are the same ones that I was asking.

If you assigned an actor/actress to the characters in your novel, who would they be?

I think King Taran could be played by Russell Crowe or Ian McKellen. Both bring a gravitas, a sense of loss and longing, to the character. They have a way of saying so much with their eyes alone. I love that.

Do you have a favorite book or art that inspires you?

I am always fascinated by westerns. I love the imagery of open landscapes, lonely souls, broken hearts, and things left unsaid. Westerns always leave just enough room to make you see things you never saw before. I think the best art leaves things to the imagination. I don’t like art that connects all the dots for you. When I’m writing, I’m more inspired by the themes and feelings that come up in the work. In this case, it was this sense of longing, abandonment, being pulled in two directions. I started with this image of a king alone in his tower, writing letters by candlelight. From there, I asked myself, “Ok. How did he get here? Who is he talking to? What is going on in the kingdom below him? What happens next?”

When did you decide to become a writer?

Writing has always been a part of my life. It’s the one pursuit that has found me again and again. I would always burn through journals, getting as many ideas down on as I could. I first started out by writing plays. I spent my teens and 20s in the theater. This is how I learned about character, and motivation, and setting a scene. After theater, I began to dabble in screenplays. This was just another way to build a world. One day, about a year or two ago, I started to try and write novels, taking into account all I learned from film and theater.

How do you find the time to write?

The only way I make sure to write often enough is to stay on a strict writing timeline. If I am at work on a novel or a screenplay, every evening is spent writing. I come home from work, and get right to my desk to begin putting pages together. If I miss a day, I do more the next day to make up for what I missed. I know that if I want this finished, I have to carve out the necessary amount of time. When it’s a movie, I force myself to get 10-12 pages a night. When it’s a novel, it’s 1000-1200 words a night. This is wishful thinking, but I do my best!

What are you working on right now?

Right now, I am in the early stages of a new novel. I’m also working on the beginnings of a business that is dedicated to telling LGBTQ stories for the world. The first project for this company would be a feature film.

How can readers find you online?

They can find me on my site:

Homepage: http://www.glittercorps.com

On Twitter: @GlitterCorps

Excerpt from God Of Winter

Love was once a simple thing. And we were outlaws in it. We rode against the wind. When storms would face us, we would bat them away. I remember holding you, and knowing there was good left in the world. But holding you meant we were breaking the law. I had always been one to play by the rules. But with you, I didn’t want to. Love with you meant being reckless. Love with you was standing at the edge of the sea, the waves hitting at my garments. One slip off the rocks, and I would be no more. We were disobeyers, leaving the normal behind. We ran. We ran from hate, from fear, from the lies the world told us. We ran as fast as our legs could carry. That’s what loving you meant to me. The great dare of my life.

Love can find its way into little corners of the world. Love

doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t say who can have it and who cannot. Love is in the kisses you share at midnight, the long embraces you never wish would end. Love takes time. And with time, love grows strong.

And other times, it fades. A simple truth, but a necessary one. Sometimes, the journey ends and the two lovers don’t find themselves on the same road. You venture off-course, you lose your way, you find a new horizon. Dark clouds take over the land of your mind and there is no escape.

I have always believed that every mistake in love is no mistake at all. For opening yourself to love is the greatest of all risks. You can fail, you can cry, and you can break. But know that even when love ruins you, it was still worth doing. What matters is that you loved someone. A heart that loves is a heart that has the purest blood running through it. A heart closed off to love is one anguished by fear.

Buy God Of Winter on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

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