Interview With Author Denon Mattison
Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I am a 25-year-old South London writer, debuting my first novella The Bloody Nation. My writing style aims to be quick to consume, but indulgent in detail and ideas. I don’t shy away from difficult concepts, instead hoping to place them at the heart of my stories, though never in your face, instead, as subconscious motivation for the characters and their actions. I believe art is political, but it doesn’t have to be propaganda.
I wrote a much shorter story in 2015. This is my first book of this length.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
The Bloody Nation.
A verse from a song by rapper M3 had the words Bloody Nation in it. I really liked the sound of it and thought it fit the theme of what I was going for. The title then informed more of the book and eventually it stuck.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I listen to music based on what scene I’m writing and use it to inspire the pace and action. If I’m writing something particularly violent I’ll listen to Zillakami. If I’m writing something introspective I’ll listen to Hans Zimmer.
I also like to be cold while being creative – which is probably why a lot of the book takes place in a snowy wasteland.
If I write something about a desert, I might place a heater beside me instead.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
H.P Lovecraft and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World were big inspirations for this story, but the writing that sat with me the most in influencing my style game from video games, manga and movies. The game Darkest Dungeon always managed a powerful, oppressive, fight or flight style tone whenever the narrator would inform you of your mistakes or triumphs. Being able to put that into a more traditional medium was a big goal of mine. I also appreciated the dialogue and world building of Dark Souls 3 and wanted to create a similarly feeling world in my Novella, only one that was alive regardless of the player/reader, even if still viewed from that first person perspective.
What are you working on now?
Currently I have three stories in my mind.
1. The sequel to The Bloody Nation and second entry into the Loss and Soul series. Working Title: The Sleeping God
2. Asterisks The Terror. A world where demons inhabit the space between dead stars, with submarine like spaceships having to navigate these terrible “waters”.
3. MCS. This one is bigger, and post-post apocalyptic. Its got Cyberpunk, Biopunk, Gnostic style religious concepts and more, but whether this will be a novel or some other medium is yet to be properly decided.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Nothing works better than meeting people wherever you can and letting them know that you have something out. People support their friends – some even support you just to convince themselves that they too can succeed. Wherever and whenever you can, go out and find a place that you can talk about your book and let people know why you love it, and why they should too.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
If you want it to be your job, treat it like a job. Dress in nice clothes. Work in a clean and organised space. Set daily goals. Be okay with throwing everything you wrote for the day away. Be okay with writing for writings sake without it having to contribute to anything, but force yourself to have days where you try to write with purpose.
Set a schedule, set goals, and see if they are realistic, if they aren’t tone it done, make it just barely out of reach each time so you have to push yourself to new limits and be happy when you’ve done a single one. Eventually you’ll finish what you’re working on.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Read. Write what you know or what you can obscure.
You don’t want to write what you think is a revolutionary idea, only for it to have already been established as a cliché.
As much as I’d like to write about the intricate details of how my swords were forged, I simply don’t know how to forge swords, so I should either read up on it to write it well, or find some way to make it so the reader simply doesn’t care about those details until such a time arrives where I have the knowledge to explain it.
What are you reading now?
Neuromancer by William Gibson. I have a desire to write Sci-fi, so I better start reading it.
What’s next for you as a writer?
My goal is to write and release at least two follow ups for The Bloody Nation and hopefully provide a satisfying conclusion to my characters stories. I have the plan – now to do the work.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
Brave New World.
Probably a bible – There’s a lot of Good story telling there, and good puns.
And something fun – 101 dad jokes, something like that.
Author Websites and Profiles
Denon Mattison’s Social Media Links