Interview With Author Matthew Oelkers
Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I love fantasy, from Lord of the Rings to Discworld. Wild worlds are the best to get lost in. My time at university was spent studying fantastical works and the mythologies they are based on. I find our oldest stories to be just as enjoyable as the shiny new tales from my peers. I only have one work published so far, but I hope to share many more as the years go by.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My first novel, Spellseeker, was recently published. The story’s setting takes inspiration from the westward expansion of 1800s America. As for the story itself, it pulls from my personal struggles with imposter syndrome. Those intrusive thoughts that tell you do not belong, or that you do not deserve the things you have achieved or earned. These feelings drive the protagonist to search for a sense of self-worth in a place where he is most unwelcome.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
My brain has the unfortunate habit of tearing through thoughts faster than my poor fingers can follow. Great for getting ideas onto the page. Absolute nightmare when it comes time to edit.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
On a grand scale, Terry Pratchett’s approach to the Discworld setting has informed how I create my worlds. A new story approaches a fresh slice of the world. That can take the form of the post service, the town guard, or the root of holidays. It gives the sense that the world does not revolve around a single protagonist.
What are you working on now?
I am currently working on sequels for my novel Spellseeker. Soft sequels that follow new characters in the same setting. It gives me a chance to breathe more life into the setting without having to stretch a protagonist too thin.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
My personal efforts come from the various social media sites you might expect. Goodreads, Instagram, Twitter, all the old favorites. I’m easy to find.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Write every day. Fill a page and make it a habit. Find that place where it feels strange to go a day without writing.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
At some point, you have to let a story go. It will never see the light of day if you continue to make change after change in search of absolute perfection.
What are you reading now?
I am currently at the tail-end of Terry Pratchett’s ‘Hogfather’. Not sure what comes next, but I am feeling a dive into Irish folklore.
What’s next for you as a writer?
My plan is to continue the promotion of Spellseeker, and then find a home for its sequel. It’s about time to draw the dreaded fine-toothed comb.
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?
Something of Terry Pratchett’s to lift my spirits. ‘House of Leaves’ to keep me up at night. An anthology of myths and legends from around the world to get a bit of variety. ‘Shogun’, because I keep telling myself I’ll get back to it someday.
Author Websites and Profiles
Matthew Oelkers’s Social Media Links