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Matt Cox Interview!

Got your coffee? Good, because it’s time for another Monday Morning Author Interview!

Today we’re visited by Matt Cox. I recently had the opportunity to spend an hour chatting with him in a groupcast (the link is here: Hardcore: Truths of Writing { Raw and uncut/ Scourges } #12 – YouTube). He’s published over 100 books, including the Division Zero series, and I’m thrilled to have him here!

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

Far too late in the game, lol. I’ve been developing characters and stories since about age twelve or thirteen… for roleplaying games. While I did do some dabble type writing throughout the years, I didn’t do anything approaching serious until around the year 2000 when I wrote the initial draft of my first novel. I didn’t pursue it at all, so it sat idle. In 2012, I finally decided to take writing seriously. My first published book (Division Zero) got picked up by a small press in 2013. Eighteen years and over 80 books later, I revisited that first manuscript I wrote in 2000 and poured a ton of work into it.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

Well, depends really on how deep in me the muse gets her hooks. It can vary from 12-14 hour benders at the computer on weekends writing plus every waking moment of a weekday not obligated to the day job to working in two-to-six hour sprints. Generally, I will write in the evening on a work day and throw most of my weekend time at a writing project if I’m in the midst of one.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I like to start everything I write with a word that’s particular to the main character. The first word of anything I write is reflective of either the character’s inner nature, their current mood (as of the start of the story) or their situation in life. E.g. the first word of Division Zero is ‘adrift,’ and it’s how Kirsten feels when the story starts.

What does your family think of your writing?

I have no idea.

Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

I do. Usually via facebook and sometimes in reviews. The comments that come up the most are shock that a male author writes female characters so realistically, comparisons of my writing to being ‘cinematic’ and feeling like someone is ‘reading a movie’ and of course, (with some series) the inevitable groaning at puns.


As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

No idea. I’m one of those people who never quite figured out what they wanted to do. I still don’t know. Writing feels like the best fit, though. However, I’m still not sure I’ve grown up.

What is the first book that made you cry?

Fundamentals of Algebra.

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

While I have, on occasion, factored reader comments and asks into a story, I write the stories that come to me. I don’t really consider genre, intended audience, what’s trendy, or what I think will sell the most. If a story hits me, I write it.

What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

I’m online friends with a whole bunch of indie authors, most of whom were affiliated with the same small press (now defunct) I got my start with. We all help each other out with various things like being a sounding board for ideas, beta-reading, editing, proofreading, formatting e-books and so on.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Start writing sooner. Don’t wait until you’re forty.


What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

Getting a copy of Vellum. (and I suppose a MAC to run it on). When I got my rights back from the small press, I had 36 novels to reformat. Thanks to Vellum, I managed to get it all done in four days.

What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

The Whirlwind in the Thorn Tree by S.A. Hunt.

What are you working on now?

The third short story in my Diary of a Teenage Fey series. After that, I’ll most likely be working on the next Vampire Innocent book.

What do you have coming soon?

The second book in my Prophet of the Badlands series, Prophet’s Mercy.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I’d like to implore readers, especially readers of indie authors to leave reviews. Even if it’s only one sentence long, reviews help tremendously. To other writers out there: take feedback with a grain of salt. Don’t rush to change something the instant one person makes a suggestion. Everyone has opinions. If you hear the same thing from a number of people, consider it. If you hear it from everyone who reads your work, then it’s probably a good idea to follow the suggestion. Scrambling to change something the instant someone makes a suggestion for the first time leads to never-ending revisions. It’s impossible to make everyone happy.

Thanks for your time! Anything else you’d like to add?

Yes; I have a sort of ‘sample book’ – it’s first chapters from a bunch of my books, so if your readers would like to download it they can. It’s called A Thousand Lifetimes

That’s fantastic! Where should they go?

There’s a link they can go to…

Oh, hold on. Let me make a button for that.

Matt’s links are below; drop him a line on social media!

Instagram: DivisionZeroPress

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