The Fourth Gwenevere will be hitting shelves soon and in preparation we sat down with John Matthews to ask him a few questions. The first half of the interview can be found here, and part two is below.
11. How did you first get published?
By accident. A friend heard that his publisher was looking for a book about the Grail legends and told them I knew more about it than anyone else. The rest is history . . . And that first book is still in print from 1981
12. How do you like to write: in silence, or with music? Do your books have a soundtrack (and if so, what’s the soundtrack for this one)?
I always play music. Generally film soundtracks, which I try to fit to what I’m writing. For this one, almost anything by Hans Zimmer or Howard Shore
13. Do you have an ‘ideal’ reader in your mind when you write?
Not really. Just someone who gets excited by what they read.
14. What was the most difficult part of writing this novel, and how did you overcome it?
I was very scared at the idea of trying to finish off a book by an author I idolised.
15. What do you do when you are not writing?
Huh? Read. Sleep occasionally. That’s it
16. Do you let your parents read your books?
Both mine are dead. But my mother was very proud of my books and used to go into bookshops to engage assistants in conversation in order to tell them I was a writer! My dad, alas, died before I wrote my first.
17. Who is your favourite fictional hero/heroine? And what about your favourite villain?
Gandalf and Lyra Balaqua.
18. Do you ever put people you know in your books?
Bits of people. I like to put places in though, especially if it’s somewhere my friends will recognise.
19. Here’s the question everyone’s always desperate for the answer: what advice would you give to an aspiring writer?
Show up. Sit in front of a blank screen or sheet of paper. Write whatever comes. Tear it up if necessary and start again. Don’t be too in love with your words.
20. Here’s the Desert Island question: if you’re going to be stuck on a desert island for the rest of your life and you could only take three books, what would they be?
Le Morte D’Arthur
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell
The Lord of the Rings
(Yes, I know, obvious, right? But they are the ones I go back to again and again.)
21. Finally: what’s the one question you wish I’d asked – and why?
Do you think you’ll ever stop writing? Answer: not as long as I’m breathing. Maybe obvious but I’ve been asked it a few times by fans.