For today’s interview, we are joined by Matthew Head, author of The Box of Infernos. Welcome to Books and Bindings!
Books and Bindings: Hi Matthew, thank you again for joining us here for an interview. Tell us something about yourself and your background.
Matthew: Hiya! Thank you for having me! Well what can I tell you…….I’m 24 years old and I live just outside of London at the moment. I grew up in the countryside of Kent and since I was about 15 or so I’ve had this story sort of growing in my mind. It’s changed beyond recognition from those early days but now here we are and it’s published!
Books and Bindings: Do you read much and if so, who are your favorite authors?
Matthew: I try to read as much as I can but with working my day job, writing my own work and all the other fiddley day to day jobs of life I don’t always manage to squeeze that much in! I do love C.J Sansom though, the author of the Shardlake series. I also enjoy Dan Brown’s thrillers – “The Da Vinci Code” is almost cliché now but it’s a terrific read.
Books and Bindings: Do you recall how your interest in writing started?
Matthew: I used to enjoy creative writing at school. Then when I had these stories staring to form in my mind I was originally going to write them as scripts for a television series but I decided to write them as novels instead. Haven’t looked back since!
Books and Bindings: When and where do you prefer to do your writing?
Matthew: Well I used to have a desk that I loved to write at, but our flat is too small for such a luxury now so it’s a case of sitting up in bed on my laptop! It works for me though. I prefer to write in the evenings – there seems to be a magic few hours where I feel quite inspired before tiredness sets in at about 10pm!
Books and Bindings: What inspired you to write your first book?
Matthew: I read the Da Vinci Code and that was the catalyst to throw me into writing my story as a series of novels rather than as a television script. I remember thinking it seemed like an awfully long road ahead of me but that if I stuck at it the reward would be worth it! Boy was I right!
Books and Bindings: Tell us something about The Box of Infernos and The Chronicles of Darkness Series.
Matthew: It’s a supernatural thriller/mystery about a group of university friends who get involved in something deeply unsettling with horrific consequences for the whole of creation. Book one, “The Box of Infernos” serves as a cracking introduction to the series – our heroes investigate a series of people going missing, and via a road of terrifying ghosts, monsters and demons they arrive at the terrifying conclusion: the opening of the titular Box of Infernos.
Books and Bindings: How did you come up with the title for your book and the series?
Matthew: Well I can’t actually explain the title of the series without ruining the story! But the title of the book, I wanted something that reflected fire and fury. Infernos did the trick quite nicely!
Books and Bindings: Who is your favorite character from the series? Why?
Matthew: That would be Gabbi. She’s kind, caring and loving – but feisty and sharp, not afraid to speak her mind. You’ve got to love that in a person.
Books and Bindings: How about your least favorite and what makes them less appealing to you?
Matthew: Now that’s a difficult question – they’re all my babies! I suppose the demon Skarl is my least favourite (although I love writing him!) as he’s basically a cannibalistic nightmare. You wouldn’t want him paying you a night time visit, that’s for sure!
Books and Bindings: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing your book and bringing it to life?
Matthew: Every now and then you reach a point where whatever you write just seems like rubbish. You can write an entire chapter and look back in complete disgust. That can be frustrating as you want to get it right and make it work like magic. The best thing in that situation is to shelve it for a month and come back. Painful to do, but it works.
Books and Bindings: Could you share with us something you’ve learned from writing your book?
Matthew: Trust your gut. The amount of “experts” out there telling you how to write your story, and they all want your money in one way or another. No, no, no. Trust yourself. Read about, hear people’s opinions but realise that they are just that: opinions. You’re the author of your book, nobody else.
Books and Bindings: What are your thoughts on receiving book reviews (both the good and the bad)?
Matthew: I crave them! Give me reviews! Obviously bad ones are painful but you have to take the rough with the smooth. And when you hear someone say they loved it – it’s all worth it!
Books and Bindings: What can we except from you in the future?
Matthew: Well I’ve got the rest of “The Chronicles of Darkness” series to write, that’ll take a couple of years as yet. And I’ve also got a few short story/novella ideas I want to get out there in the meantime to help keep my presence up. Definitely stay tuned!
Books and Bindings: Do you have any tips or advice for aspiring writers out there trying?
Matthew: Same as before really: trust yourself. Don’t accept that something’s impossible – very few things in life are impossible and being published certainly isn’t one of them. Write for yourself first and foremost – you’ll end up with much better work!
Books and Bindings: And before you go, is there anything else you’d like to say to your readers?
Matthew: Read carefully. I’ve seeded things in book one which will give a massive payoff in book five if you’ve paid attention! Everything happens for a reason – that’s all I’ll say! And thank you of course, thank you for reading. You’re the ones that make it all worthwhile!
Thank you so much for taking the time from your busy schedule to do this interview with us, it was fun!
About the Author:
My name is Matthew Head and I’m a writer from Surrey. Well, I say from Surrey – I was born in Kent, moved to London for a bit and then moved out to Surrey to live with my partner Andrew. I was born in the eighties, raised in the nineties and then I was inspired in the noughties during my time at university where I studied Theology.
Theology is quite possibly the most fascinating subject in the world. Sounds boring I know, sounds like church and everyone knows that church is boring. But it’s not like that at all. It’s packed full of myths and monsters, gods and goddesses – mad, bad, sad ones alive in stories which rival many blockbuster movies in terms of how epic they are. It doesn’t matter whether it’s all real or not – it’s the story that counts. Stories are beautiful because absolutely anything is possible within them. That’s why I love writing because I love the idea of contributing to that and creating stories. Stories that will make you cry, make you laugh, make you scared. Because I think there is some magic in writing – that simple words have the power to make us feel and react so strongly to them.
A few more random facts about me – my favourite pet is the humble goldfish, my favourite dinner is macaroni cheese, I love banana flavoured things but I strongly dislike bananas and the only real phobia I have is a phobia of frogs. Yeuch.When I’m not writing or doing my day job then I really enjoy going out and exploring new places. I love going somewhere I’ve never been before, especially if there’s some history linked to the place. Old places are the best – the older the better. You just get this sense that so much has happened there, so many different people have come and gone and yet the place remains.
Title: The Box of Inferno
Series: The Chronicles of Darkness
Author: Matthew Head
Genre: Supernatural Mystery
In the south of England, in the city of Monks-Lantern, events are starting to unfold which have the potential to threaten all of creation. Isaac Jacobs is a young university student with a haunted past who has long been fighting the supernatural monsters of this world and now he fights them alongside his four friends; Gabbi Gurtpasha, Billie Stamford, Laura Henley and Ben Pokeley.
What starts off as a disturbing but relatively low key investigation soon explodes into something much larger, darker and more fearsome than any of them could have imagined. Just what is behind the slow but steady disappearance of people from the city? Who is the much feared Imperator? What is the worst thing you can hope to see beneath a door in an empty building? How do you define a good man from a bad one? And what terror lies within the Box of Infernos?
A plan which has been in motion for millenia is now coming to fruition and Isaac had better be ready as his life will never be the same again from now on.
Something is coming.