Thursday, October 30, 2008
Author Spotlight: Matthew Cory
Tell us a little about yourself.
I live with my wife and our two "kids" (a beagle and a cat) in El Paso, Texas, where I spend my days as a software developer. I was born and raised in El Paso, though I spent quite a bit of time in southern California and Washington state, both of which I tried to portray as best as possible in Like Glass.
What is your book "Like Glass" about?
The book deals mainly with a young man's struggle to reconcile his past with his present. During college, Rob Jackson fell in love with Janet, a fellow student. The relationship was intense but brief, as she cheated on him with his brother. They (Janet and the brother) marry, and years later Rob must face Janet again as his brother dies in an accident.
There are deep undertones of regret, family, and love, and Rob finds himself battling depression as things just keep getting worse before they get better.
What was your inspiration for this book?
At one time or another we've all thought or said we wished someone were dead. Well, what would happen if that person really died? I mean, that's an awfully harsh wish to have on anyone; what if the powers-that-be decided to grant it to us? That's how it started, mainly.
Another aspect that really got it going was what happens when someone you hate, with a fiery passion, has changed without you knowing it? Through the years between the time Rob says his "final" goodbye to Janet and the time that Rob's brother dies, the brother has gone from being a stupid college kid to being a "good man", raising a family and loving them more than Rob would have imagined his brother being capable of. It changes the question: what if the person you wished were dead actually died, but they were no longer the person you'd once known?
What do you like best about writing? the least?
The creative part is the best. It's wonderful, being in the zone, where the real world just kinda fades into the background. And you have this amazing sense of power, when you're really there. It's like, "I can do anything I want to. I can make the sky purple and the oceans pink. I can make the beautiful heroine fall in love with the nerd, I can make the strongest guy cry like a little baby."
On the flip side, doing the actual "grunt" work, the actual writing, has to be the worst. I consider myself a fairly fast typer, but I can't keep up with my mind and it's frustrating. I'll type out one scene, and by the time I've finished I've had thirty ideas for other scenes that are completely gone when I'm ready to work on them. Even just jotting down quick notes to remember later doesn't help much, because you can't recapture the magic you felt when they came to you. You sit there and re-read it, and it's like "Green Dragon in the bar? What the hell? This is a kid's book..."
Is there a character in this book that you see yourself in?
Most definitely Rob. I've heard that the first novel an author writes is mostly autobiographic in nature, and that's quite true for me at least. I mean, there's only a handful of scenes that were built directly off of personal experiences, but the overall character and "sense" of Rob comes from my own personality. Or, at least, what I think I would do, wish I could do, or am afraid I'd do in situations like what he faces.
What are you working on next?
Right now I'm working on a sequel to Like Glass, tentatively titled "Shattered". I'm planning on it being darker than Like Glass was. I'm also throwing around ideas for the third book, titled (also tentatively) "Broken Peaces". If I get to that one and it goes along what I'm thinking right now, it'll be the "happy" book out of the series. (I use the term "happy" loosely, too).
Where can people find "Like Glass"?
Like Glass is available on Amazon.com, and also from my personal site, http://chocolatefordogs.com/. I've got "Buy Now!" links all over the place there -- you really can't miss it.