Thursday, March 31, 2016

In discussion with Bloody Parchment's Matt Hayward

In the last of our interviews with SA HorrorFest Bloody Parchment finalists, we've got Matt Hayward stopping by my spot today. (BTW, if you're yet to purchase your copy of Bloody Parchment, it's over on Amazon, Kobo and Smashwords – do support our wonderful authors.)

Welcome, Matt. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I'm an author/musician living in the mountains of Wicklow, Ireland. My music career has been kind, and I've gotten to play and write with such people as Edie Brickell, Malfunkshun, Clannad, Nick Pollock (My Sister's Machine), and many others. My band Lace Weeper released our debut album in March of last year which featured Nirvana drummer Chad Channing on a couple of tracks and was nominated for album of the year.  I also put out my first solo EP in December and Alan M Clark, who did books covers for so many in the horror field, provided artwork for me. That was a huge honor.

What gives in your story? 

I wanted to write a story set in a time when Rock N Roll was something new and exciting. I included a lot of homages to tracks I enjoy, and scattered them throughout the tale like a soundtrack. I enjoy pulp for pulp's sake, it's what I like to read and what I enjoy writing, so a monster story with teenagers smoking cigarettes and driving fast cars in a small town is all I set out to do, just something entertaining, like a quick rock song.

Why do you love about reading and writing speculative fiction?

Mostly, I want characters that draw me in and stay with me long after the book's been put away. In terms of setting, I know a lot of people want to find the latest twist on old tropes, and that's great, but I really do enjoy the standard settings and creatures. Vampire in a small town? I'm in. Zombie apocalypse? Sure. As long as I connect with the characters and get to see them pull through.

Is there a novel or movie that you feel has been the most influential on you, that you keep coming back to? 

For writing, it's strange, I get influenced by different kinds of mediums. Comedians, for example. People like Bill Hicks, George Carlin, Doug Stanhope, they've all had a massive impact on what I write about, even though they themselves never touched horror fiction or horror. But I like their content, and I try to carry the torch (in my own way), talking about issues I feel are important but putting them into a horror setting. I like the pulpy b-rates when it comes to movies and that impacts my writing a lot. So yeah, social commentary mashed into a slab of b-rate gore.

How do you approach the writing process? 

Richard Laymon called it 'BIC' in his novel A Writer's Tale. Butt In Chair. I do one-thousand words a day, and edit on weekends. That's about it for me, no acts of voodoo or strange prayers, just four or five pages a day and leave the work at work as much as possible. I found Joe Lansdale and Joe Hill's tips on writing to help a lot.

Not content to conquer the rock music world via Lace Weeper and his own phenomenal solo work, Matt Hayward has now turned his attention to dark fiction, and how much richer we all are as a result. Brain Dead Blues is everything you’d expect from a rock star turned horror writer, documenting not only facets of the music world but also the darkness that can result from obsessions both creative and violent. I have long been a fan of both the music and the man behind it. Now I’m a fan of his writing too. - Kealan Patrick Burke, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of THE TURTLE BOY, KIN, and SOUR CANDY

Follow Matt on Twitter.

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