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Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Interview with Indie House Books

Being an Indie author takes guts.  Why?  Well because you are pretty much out there on your own fighting to fight and trying to be a good author.

So I love guys like Indie House Books www.indiehousebooks.com whose mission to to help us Indie authors.  I was honored to be interviewed by them recently.  It was a fun thing to do and frankly made me think about many aspects of my writing career.  Here is the link to the interview and the text below.


A CHAT WITH MATT BELCHER

Posted on: February 18th, 2013 by David M.
Assigned categories: IHB Contributor WritesInterviews

Image of Matt Belcher

Indie House Books is please to present an interview with Matt Belcher. Matt is the author of Mr Personal Development and he graciously agreed to let us ask a few questions that we are sharing with you today. We hope you enjoy what Matt has to say.



IHB: Briefly describe your journey in writing your book.

Matt: I really fell into it rather than using any planned, intelligent process.  I had a bit of an ‘ah ha’ moment having a beer with a friend in a pub when I realized in all the professions I had worked in, writing was a part of them all.  And a part I loved.  When I had that moment deciding to write my first book was a given.

IHB: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Matt: I don’t think I ever realized I wanted to be a ‘writer’ as such. I just wanted to write a book.  I wanted to get a story out there, get my many crazy thoughts down on paper.  I was excited at the thought that someone might actually find them interesting!

IHB: Why did you decide to become a writer?

Matt: Like I said above.  I don’t think I decided.  It just felt natural and then right thing to do.

IHB: What inspired you to write your first book?

Matt: I probably used all the wrong reasons to write that first story.  It was all about righting   wrongs, exposing a terrible industry.  That’s not bad but it shouldn’t be the whole purpose of a fiction book.  I had to re write that book so many times once I knew I had to!

IHB: What do you hope readers will take from your writing?

Matt: I hope they find my writing interesting, engaging and worthwhile.  Perhaps challenging at times.  As well as writing suspense I also write Romance under a pen name.  I touch on very challenging topics in that genre and I hope my readers feel that way.

IHB: What is your writing schedule like?

Matt: Crazy!  I have so many projects going on right now.  I probably need to look at that!  The main projects are a new book, The Believing Tree and two screenplays.  I tend to work on all of them at the same time.

IHB: Do you have any writing quirks? (Favorite shirt, pen, time of day?)

Matt: I like to write in the morning.  I tend to do better in coffee shops where there is some interaction with people but I can also hide under my cap and write.  I ALWAYS have a target.  Such as one thousand words before I can have another coffee.  I find that works best for me.

IHB: Where do you get your ideas for your books?

Matt: Where don’t I?  I have so many ideas I have to write them down and then work on the ones that I think could be something.  Actually I tend to come up with things just when I am falling asleep and have my iphone close to make a note.  It’s the moment where your subconscious can come through as you stop thinking about day to day items.  I would highly suggest having a notebook next to your bed to write down ideas.

IHB: How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite?

Matt: As my real name, Matt Belcher, I have written three books.  A non fiction called “The Little Book of Big Change”, “Mr Personal Development” and a kid’s book “Monkey Dog and Friends”.  I also have a book in edit called “The Believing Tree” As my pen name I have written over twenty romance novels.

IHB: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

Matt: How to write! Seriously.  I didn’t have a clue when I started.  So that has certainly been a journey.

IHB: Are you a full-time writer or part time?

Matt: Part time….all the time!  I write as much as I can.  I still work as a Management Consultant.

IHB: What genre do you write in? Is there more than one?

Matt: Suspense/Thriller. Children’s and Romance.

IHB: Do you hear from your readers? What is their most asked question?

Matt: I do yes.  They tend not to ask questions but just let me know they like this character or that scene etc.

IHB: What do you think makes a good story?

Matt: Pace, plot, twists and all the other standards.  But I think it has to be real.  Realism is key.  It doesn’t matter if you are writing about a dragon that has telepathic powers and falls in love with a blonde who is the sister of a dragon slayer.  It still has to be believable.

IHB: What motivates you to write?

Matt: Simply to tell stories.  I love telling stories.  And frankly nothing gives me that satisfied feeling that writing does.  I sit down and write and immediately feel like I am doing the right thing.  It’s the same feeling after a hard days manual work.  Chopping wood in a forest type feeling.

IHB: Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? What do you do to overcome it?

Matt: No never.  Only writer’s distraction!  If I am feeling like I don’t know where a story is going I will write something else.  Maybe an outline for another story or a screenplay scene.

IHB: Do you use outlines?

Matt: Yes but not as much as I should.

IHB: What is the toughest part about being a writer and how do you get past it?

Matt: Fear of failure.  Or more pertinent to writing, fear my stories are crap and no one will like them.  How do I get past that?  Write.

IHB: Is there anything in your story based upon a real life event? If so, tell us about it.

Matt: Yes.  Most of my stories are based on something in life.  Mr Personal Development for example, was born out of my experience in the Self Help industry.

IHB: Where can people find out more about you and your writing?


IHB: What is your marketing plan?

Matt: I tend to try and limit myself to a few things rather than spreading myself too thin.  Twitter has been excellent for me.  I don’t tend to use facebook but know I probably should!  The paradigm of Amazon now means that if you write something people like it will get purchased more.  That said good writing won’t get you millions!  You do have to market yourself.  Great resources such as your website are the place to be.

IHB: Is your book self-published? What are your thoughts on traditional versus self-publishing?

Matt: Yes self published.  I think the self publishing phenomenon is great.  It has allowed someone like me write a book, publish it and make money.  Do I think there are challenges?  Yes. Quality control is now different.  The publishing industry was a way to make sure only a good level of writing was published.  Now anything can be.  But the rules have changed.  If your book is crap it won’t get purchased.  I certainly have a couple that are ranked 1000000 in the Kindle store.  Do you think anyone purchased them?  No.  So in a way the ability for people to leave reviews creates a sort of quasi publishing process. Even though I am self published I am currently looking for a publisher for my children’s series of books.  Why?  Because I think that is the right thing to do for that series.  I am not against the publishing industry at all.  They still pull a lot of the strings I just think now you don’t have to go to them to get started.  In fact J A Konrath is now pretty much self published.

IHB: What are your feelings about eBooks (for Kindle or Nook)?

Matt: They are great!

IHB: What do you do when you’re not writing?

Matt: Reading, working out, working, walking my dog, riding my bike, thinking about the next story or character.

IHB: What is the most important thing you’ve learned during your journey as an author?

Matt: That writing a book isn’t just about having a good story.

IHB: Do you have any advice for new authors?

Matt: Like NIKE says….just do it.  Don’t worry about the details.  Get your words down and start then don’t stop.

IHB: What’s next for you?

Matt: I am writing my first screenplay which is a fun process.  Very different from writing a book. Actually I have two screenplays.  One is called “Backyard Buffalo” and the other is going to be the screenplay for “My Personal Development” Although I think it will be called something different.

 IHB: What kinds of books do you like to read?

Matt: I love to read so many different things.  I am a reading butterfly.  I go from book, to book to book and sometimes have six on the go at once.  I really enjoy JA Konrath, Raymond Feist, Michael Connelly, Dean Koontz, Jayne Ann Krentz, Bob Mayer.  But I also love self help type books by Deepak Chopra, Napoleon Hill, Anthony Robbins, Dale Carnegie.

IHB: Please give us a brief synopsis about your current book and when and where it is available.

Matt: The world’s largest company with a problem.
A vicious London Gangster with money to collect.
A brilliant world renowned CEO with a passion for murder and corruption.
A mysterious and secretive organization simply called ‘Signpost” out to change the world.
A beautiful but dangerous spy.
An ex SAS solider with a serious anger problem.

Book description:

Silken Tech is one of the world’s most successful businesses.  They aggressively take over companies, strip them of the ‘fat’ and roll out the assets into their huge conglomerate.

One of the hottest areas of business for them right now is Palm Oil but the Borneo government is getting cold feet about giving Silken the license to flatten more forest to make way for the largest Palm crop ever.  This is a problem Silken’s CEO Red Victor is well aware of.

He hires ‘Mr Personal Development’ – James Skye to go and sweet talk the Borneo government.  For James it’s just a well paid consulting gig.  But as soon as he accepts the job his life spirals out of control and he soon realizes things are not what they seem with Red Victor.

Victor knows things about James that could ruin his life and get people killed.

It’s a mad race against time with huge moral decisions for James.  Can he stop Silken Tech before they devastate the Borneo forest before his friends and family are killed?

IHB: If there was one thing you could tell your readers, what would it be?

Matt: Please tell me what you like about my stories!  Ha ha.  I hope you enjoy reading them.

Mr Personal Development [Kindle Edition]
Mr Personal Development