TTS: I would like to welcome Michael Mathias to The Top Shelf! Tell the readers a little bit about yourself and your book, The Butcher’s Boy.
Hi, I’m Michael Robb Mathias, aka M. R. Mathias to the fantasy readers. I wrote this Paranormal Horror Mystery because I intend, over my career, to write at least one Western, one Drama, and maybe even a Romantic Thriller. This was my venture into horror. I will write more thriller type books, but I doubt they will be horrific.
TTS: This book was an awesome read. As I posted on your Facebook wall, I didn’t want to go to bed because I wanted to find out what happened next. It felt like it could have been a real story if you believe in possession and ghosts. How did the idea for this story come about? Is any of it based in fact?
The fishing stuff is taken from real life, and young Michael’s natural curiosity, but that’s about it. There is a scene in the book, I cant spoil it, but in that scene something happens to the reader. They end up rooting for the person committing a terrible crime. I wrote this as a short story/novella while in jail a long time ago. Last year i dusted it off and made it my NaNoWriMo project.
TTS: Do you believe in ghosts? Have you ever had an encounter?
I grew up in a old house in Shawnee, Oklahoma. The place was built before Oklahoma was a state. You could see the ground between the floor boards if you pulled the carpet back. It was saggy and creaky, and it had a soul of its own. Many times I felt a presence when I lived there, and my grandmother had her fingers cut off when an old glass window suddenly shut on her hand. We took her to the ER, but I had to go home and get her finger tips and bring them to the doc. He sowed them back on. I believe there were spirits there.
TTS: I like to ask this question of every author I interview because I find character creation interesting. Even more so with your book that has a very real feeling to it. How did you name your characters and did you shape them after people you know in real life?
Well, my mom and dad divorced when I was 5 so the mother/son – alone in a big world dynamic – was easy to recreate. The junkie, too, might have been a figment from my past. And some of my girlfriends might say I talk as smooth as the guy that runs the half-way house… lol.
TTS: Did you have the storyline all planned out when you started the book or did the story take a life of its own after you started it? Were there ever moments where you’d get a good writing session going and then just find that it didn’t go the way you planned or personally wanted it to go? How did you deal with that?
When I wrote the original short story, “Buxley House” it just came out like a dam burst. I write in short, well thought out spurts. Too many new authors try to make a big daily word count, but I like to make daily word quality, so to speak. Somedays I only write one or two pages.
TTS: I know you have some fantasy novels and short stories out. The Royal Dragoneers are actually mentioned in The Butcher’s Boy, was it different for you straying so far from a genre you normally stick to?
Some great author wrote that the hardest part of writing a story was finishing it. I wrote “Buxley House” before I wrote any of the fantasy. Outside of school, it was my first attempt to write anything longer than a letter, or a song. Actually the simple act of being able to finish the story that would become “The Butcher’s Boy’ is what gave me the confidence to write “The Sword and the Dragon.”
TTS: Are we going to see any more thrillers from you soon? If not soon then what’s next for you?
Dragoneers II – Cold Hearted Son of a Witch just came out, and I am currently writing the last few chapters of Dragoneers III – The Confliction, which will be out before Christmas. As for Thrillers, yes, absolutely. Horror, probably not.
TTS: I’d like to thank Michael for joining us! If you haven’t read The Butcher’s Boy yet, go get it!
It’s just $1 for Kindle all October long!
Synopsis: A newly divorced nurse, her son, and their Rottweiler named Lucy-Fur just moved into the house where ‘Buxly the Butcher’ killed his family. Young Michael and the babysitter, find themselves forced to uncover the truth of what happened, because the ghosts of those victims are on the haunt, and not everyone is who they seem. Even the dead!