Wednesday, 10 January 2018
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS WITH MATT COYLE
Blood Truth author Matt Coyle answers a few questions about his PI Rick Cahill and his writing.
Is the writing full time?
Not yet. I hope to jettison the day job sometime this year. I work for the licensing division of Rawlings Sporting Goods. I worked in the restaurant business for ten years. The gold business, the same and have been in sports licensing for the last fifteen years.
What's your writing schedule?
I work from home, which is nice as it lessens the transition time from day job to writing. I try to start writing by 5:30 pm and go until 8:30-9:00, although it varies. If my Saturday writers group is not in session, I'll write all day Saturday. I usually write a couple hours on Sunday morning.
Any characters inspired by family and friends?
I don't do this much, but, Turk Muldoon, a character in the first book, YESTERDAY'S ECHO, is a composite writ large of a best friend who passed away and a man I worked for for ten years in a restaurant. I occasionally use last names of friends, and once a full name, just for the fun of it. I like to see how long it takes to receive an email after they've bought the book.
When constructing a story, are you a plotter or a pantser?
How much time do you have? I have an idea for an inciting incident and the ending of a a book when I sit down to write a new one, not much else. The inciting incident generally stays the same, but the ending can change in the writing of the book. The most important thing in the story for me to find is the emotional connection my protagonist, private eye Rick Cahill, has with the case he takes on. Until I find that thread, I don't have a compelling story.
I let the story go where it wants in the first draft. I have a writing process that I call dropping anchors. The telling of the story will be going along okay and then a character, a sentence, a line of dialog, will come to me that might not make perfect sense, but I put it in the story anyway. I drop an anchor. This is my subconscious telling me there's more in the story than I can see right now. I don't worry if I don't know what the anchor means yet and just keep writing. Usually, somewhere along the way, I'll understand the meaning of the anchor and it will give added depth to the story, and occasionally take it in a direction that I'd never considered. Rarely, but sometimes, my unconscious is just lying to me and I have to go back and pull up anchors.
How long from start to finish did Blood Truth take?
BLOOD TRUTH took about a year to write from first ideas to submission to the publisher.
The writing process is never smooth for me and BT was no exception. It's a very personal story for Rick and myself. In some ways, it's a father/son story and I'd just lost my father a couple months before I began writing. Because of the topics explored, it's my most personally rewarding book. I think it's the best book I've written.
The editing process I put my publisher through is just about as messed up as my writing process. I'll get edits back about a month after I sent the book in. Usually nothing major. I address the edits, revise and send the book back in a few weeks. The publisher will send me back their copy edit a month or two later and I'll realize that there are some continuity issues and geographical mistake and do another edit far beyond correcting the simple copy edits they sent back. I usually send flowers to poor Emily at Oceanview. After BLOOD TRUTH, I sent chocolate.
Is there more Rick Cahill in the pipeline or something else?
I just sent in the fifth Rick book last week and am under contract for book six. I can't say I have a bunch of ideas floating around in my head for more Rick books, because I always have to go find them.
That being said, I can't imagine not writing him. There is still much I want to learn about Rick. However, to make a living as a writer, I'm probably going to have to write a new series for a different publisher. I still intend to write Rick books too for as long as people want to read them.
Thanks to Matt for his time. Catch him at his website here.
For my thoughts on each of the books - click on the title below.