A series of questions that has been doing the rounds lately:
What is the working title of your next book?
The working title, and the one that I imagine will stick, is called DAVEY RIBBON.
Where did the idea of the book come from?
Years ago (I think this may have been as far back as 2006), my younger brother and I decided on a brainstorming session for a collaborative effort of dark fiction. We are both cut from similar creative cloth (he a talented illustrator), with myself applying a life-long fixation with the horror genre into the Australian horror community by writing for HorrorScope. It was a session that didn't last long ... but he provided me with a few illustrations that would eventually germinate into what would become DAVEY RIBBON. Mainly, this was my ambitious attempt to pay homage to the stories I grew up with featuring small town mythos. I had already pursued the world-building path with the broader arc of a story called OLEARIA. Now it was time to scale down the canvas - to use a modern American town and its populace as a cauldron on the cusp of Hell. The trick here was sculpting a worthy antagonist - creating a fiend that was almost child-like in its sense of manipulating human beings.
What genre does your book fall under?
I think the story is probably too subtle for HORROR. Let’s just stick with dark fiction.
What actors would you choose to play the part in a movie rendition?
I wouldn’t want to give away the title character with an image... or any others for that matter. The beauty of the written word is that it creates a lens that is entirely at the discretion of the reader. If you had gone to see The Shining before actually reading the book, chances are you would see nobody else but Jack Nicholson’s face strutting around on those pages. For me, that’s utterly limiting.
That said, I could easily imagine Timothy Hutton playing Sean Hunt - and perhaps a younger Max Von Sydow playing Norman Perks. If she was at all interested I’d let Amy Lee of Evanescence play Samara Reagan.
What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
The story of Davey Ribbon was told in reverential whispers.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Although I’m a big advocate for self publishing, I think this one deserves to have a broader audience. So with that in mind I’ll be seeking a traditional publisher.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Although the story isn’t overly ambitious this was years in the making because I kept putting it aside for months at a time. It was only on the advice of someone very dear to me that I decided to go ahead and finish the story.
What other books would you compare this to with stories in your genre?
The initial seeds were probably planted with King’s Needful Things. But after that it has kind of morphed into more of a ghost story along the lines of the movie Darkness Falls.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
No one thing, really. Just that it was time to try and dig something big out of the sand.
What else about the book might pique a reader’s interest?
For those people who have read and enjoyed my shorter works, this is Matthew Tait shifting gears and moving up a notch. Although a lot of the story here can be classified as homage, there is also a lot of recognizable heart from my own life - something that I try to instil in everything I write. It’s the old adage of simple revenge – but it also how myths and legends are told through reverential whispers ... and how they are manipulated over time to be given a form of life itself.
And one last thing ... if it had a soundtrack it would be something composed by Christopher Young.
Passing the baton onto Troy Barnes, Paul Mannering and Brad Hodges.