I wanted to start by expressing how much I enjoyed reading your books Eye for an Eye, Cut for a Cut, and Truth for a Truth. I believe my readers will also find them engaging.
Your series sets up the major players, including DI Kate and her antagonist, as well as her deceased husband. While Kate’s goal of discovering the truth about her husband’s death is clear, what else motivates her character? Who is DI Kate? If we met her in real life, what would we think?
Ah, poor Kate. I’ve never tormented a character as much as I have Kate Young.
After Kate’s mother passed away, when Kate was a child, she was brought up by her hard-working, police officer father who she adored and with whom she spent every spare moment. Their bond was close, but it also stilted her development, and she became more reclusive than most of her contemporaries, preferring to spend time at home with him than go out with friends. When he remarried, she had to deal with not only a new stepmother but a stepsister, Tilly, an extrovert who fitted in at school far better than the bookish Kate. After Tilly ran off with Kate’s fiancé and her mother split up from Kate’s father, leaving them both distraught, Kate decided to follow in his footsteps and joined the force, mentored by her father’s best friend, William Chase, a man who was like an uncle to her.
The police force became her life; her colleagues her only friends. With Tilly in Australia and her father deceased, work was her sole reason d'être until she met Chris, when she attended an accident in which he was involved. She stayed by his side while he was cut free from a car wreckage and checked up on him at hospital afterwards. It was love at first sight and Kate had finally found somebody who understood her and saw past what others might construe as an evasive and stand-offish attitude.
Kate might come across as disinterested in others, but she certainly isn’t. She is completely driven by upholding the law, maintaining the same lofty standards both her father and William held true.
Kate believes in doing the right thing. Her strong moral code is what drives her. She loves those people who are closest to her: William, her crew and even Tilly. She cares about every one of the victims that she comes across and more importantly believes firmly in justice. You or I might find her distant, shy even, but those who know her also know they can rely on her wholeheartedly and she will never let them down.
It’s interesting how you carefully plot your characters and stories and how you keep the reader engaged by addressing their questions and uncertainties at the exact moment they may be asking them. How closely do you keep the reader in mind when writing? Do you hear their voices as you create the story?
All my novels are carefully plotted in my head, way before I write them. Throughout the whole writing process, I lay awake for hours at night, running each chapter through my mind as if it were a film and, like a film critic, I question every detail, dialogue, plot and character. If I don’t like something, I’ll change it and rerun the reel then make the changes to the script. I find that way, I gain an observer’s point of view.
I have always been a bookworm and especially fond of thrillers, so it is important that I can surprise myself with a twist or red herring. Only if I feel it is gripping enough will I move onto the next reel and so on, until the process is complete. Although I deliberately muddy the waters in the first book and keep the reader guessing as to what is going on, as the series progresses, it becomes apparent that Kate is on a downwards trajectory and is suffering badly from PSTD, a fact she continues to ignore. By the time she learns the truth about Dickson and others who are involved in the syndicate she is a close to a breakdown as is possible and I have huge surprise in store for her in Book 5 - A Soul for a Soul.
The theme of truth is prominent throughout your series, and it’s introduced in the first book. How do you decide on the themes for your novels? Which came first: the plot or the theme?
The first book in this series, An Eye for an Eye, was written after a particularly gruesome nightmare (I suffer from insomnia but when I do sleep, I often have terrible dreams), and the plot grew from that. However, the entire series needed an arc theme, and for that, I focused on a theme. It was clear from the start, after deciding upon Kate’s character, that truth would be the pervading theme. Indeed, my publishers send a detailed questionnaire about each book to each author and details of recurring themes must be entered on it.
With three best-selling series, how do you keep track of each protagonist and storyline without overlapping plots?
It has been a juggle at times; however, I keep notebooks on every novel and notes on each character so that I don’t run the risk of repetition. Although all three series are set in Staffordshire, I make sure they are in different areas/towns/villages within the county and in the DI Natalie Ward series, I invented new placenames based on real towns to ensure there could be no overlapping.
All three protagonists are very different, which I feel is very important, and the same goes for the secondary characters.
A novel launched every year; how do you manage a writing schedule and still have a personal life?
To be honest, writing has encompassed my entire life and encroached upon my personal life, especially during 2018, when I wrote seven novels! That year, I didn’t take any time off, but decided afterwards to slow down. Nobody can keep up that sort of pace without serious repercussions. Since starting the Kate Young series, I’ve focused solely on it and spend more time with my other half, Mr Grumpy. I’m now only writing two novels a year which is much better for my health.
You are also a stand-up comedian and known for writing comedies. How do you balance your different writing styles? It’s actually quite easy. I have a mental switch that automatically flicks on, depending on what I’m writing. Humour has always come very naturally to me, and I began my writing career writing comedies. It was thanks to a non-fiction humorous book, Grumpy Old Menopause that I got into stand-up comedy. I find it relaxing to write a romcom or comedy and my approach to writing it is very different to a thriller or crime novel which usually requires a great deal of research and planning. Comedies seem to flow and can be written even without a plan to follow. I love making people laugh and find humour in all sorts of situations. A sense of humour has seen me through some very dark and difficult times. Having concentrated on crime novels since 2019, I haven’t had to jump from one genre to the other. There is, however, another comedy inside my head that is dying to escape. It is already planned out in a notebook, awaiting it’s turn.
Would you please share your writing schedule for a typical day and how you stay so disciplined?
My writing day begins early around 5-6 am, depending on when Mr Grumpy wakes up. (He’s an early riser.) I’ll start work immediately, sometimes that’s researching or writing but often it is editing. After breakfast, I usually do housework and prepare dinner - invariably a slow cooker meal, so I can spend the rest of the day writing. I stop at 6 pm for dinner and take 2-3 hours off to spend with Mr G. After he goes to bed, I’ll continue until I’m tired but sometimes, I’ll work through until 3 or 4 am and then grab an hour before I begin the whole process again.
I’ve always been very disciplined and won’t stop until I have completed the task. I usually work to very tight schedules so I can’t afford to slacken off, although as I mentioned earlier, I have recently eased off on the number of books I write so I get more time off.
Besides writing, what defines you as a person?
I couldn’t answer this and had to ask Mr Grumpy for help. He said it was my sunny disposition and the fact that I’m always upbeat and positive. His words made my heart swell, so I guess the real answer is Mr Grumpy. Without him I would be a shadow of the person I am. Despite his name, he and I laugh daily and appreciate every minute. Life is short and we try to ensure that we take some enjoyment from every day, however small.
What advice would you give an author who hasn’t made the best-seller list? And how do you feel about indie publishing?
All writers need enormous patience and tenacity. It’s important that an author enjoys writing and I believe, if you enjoy your craft and are prepared to keep going even when you are faced with disappointments, you will ultimately make it.
I began my career by self-publishing my debut novel. I also wrote for a website that helped Indie authors and I know many Indie writers who are excellent writers with fantastic reads out there. Having a publisher behind you is not always the way to be successful and with the ability to publish your own work, comes a freedom that those published by publishers don’t have. I know several authors who publish directly on Amazon and have tremendous sales.
If I came into a coffee shop and saw you, what is it I would immediately observe about you? Yes, I am having you look at yourself as a character.
Definitely my outfit. I tend to wear bright colours and you wouldn’t miss me J
What’s next, Carol?
Book 5 in the DI Kate Young series – A Soul for a Soul is written but is about to undergo an entire month of developmental edits where it will be passed between me and my two editors until it is knocked into shape, ready for copy edits. Once that is completed. I’ll pick up on a new standalone thriller that I began a couple of months ago and submit it along with some new pitches, including one for a new series to my publishers.
It was such a pleasure discovering your work and meeting you as a novelist. I hope we get to meet in person one day.
Thank you, James, for agreeing to do this interview for my readers. Your work is richly enjoyed, and everyone wants to know more about you.
I call Bombay Monsoon an India Noir because of the tone of its narrator throughout the novel. This is a slight change from your last book, Turn to Stone, an Ellie Stone Mystery. But, of course, Ellie isn’t in this novel. So is Bombay the start of a new series?
JWZ: Yes, Bombay Monsoon is the first in a planned series of three “Emergency” novels. The “Emergency” was the twenty-one-month period of rule-by-decree declared by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1975. My protagonist, journalist Danny Jacobs, will have plenty of adventures and danger. The Emergency was a fascinating time, with lots of momentous events taking place. Over the course of the two books, Danny will run afoul of hostile government officials, drug traffickers, gurus, and Western spiritual tourists searching for enlightenment. There’s also the question of his love interest to resolve.
If a series, how do you see yourself scheduling your writing schedule with working two series?
JWZ: For now, Ellie Stone will have to wait. I’ll definitely get back to her. I have a few ideas rattling around in my head for Ellie. I’ll try to finish the Danny books first, then we’ll see what’s next.
Having spent time in India, I enjoyed some of your commentary on life there….begging children, traffic on roads… Although, I laughed when you mentioned the buses. Knowing you spent a significant amount of time in India, was this book more than just another novel?
JWZ: Absolutely, yes. I’ve made fifty-six trips to India over the past twenty-five years and spent nearly four years there. I’ve worked, traveled, and visited with family. (My wife was born and raised in India, and her family is still there.) It’s truly a second home for me.
I put a lot of my personal experience as an expatriate into the story. The culture shock and the discovery, the food, music, the terrifying mountain roads, and—yes—the monsoon. Danny Jacobs is not me, but his experiences mirror my own. I had a blast writing about India and can’t wait to write more.
As a side note, I enjoy expatriate stories. I believe the outsider’s view can teach us a lot about other cultures, provided the writer is curious, empathetic, and fair. It can teach us different things about the people and culture. Expat stories—even though they reflect a very different experience—can complement those written by authors who live and work, thrive and struggle in those cultures. The key is open eyes and an open mind.
Your protagonist, Danny Jacobs, is an ambitious young journalist, but he also seems dim-witted at times. I was surprised he pulled events together. Why this type of character? Can a broken protagonist be funny, like the famous Fletch?
JWZ: Ha! You’re not the first to notice that Danny doesn’t always make the wisest choices. But dim-witted might be a step too far. He’s certainly naïve. And trusting when he should know better. He’s reckless, too. In many ways, he’s an innocent. All of these traits and behavior are exactly what I wanted to give him. He’s not your typical thriller hero. But I don’t think he’s funny. At least not consistently. He does make self-deprecating remarks. Tries to act sophisticated and initiated when he’s not. Very human things to do. Maybe more like Roger Thornhill in North by Northwest than Fletch. An ordinary guy thrust into extraordinary situations.
Ellie Stone is writing from a female perspective. Were you looking forward to changing your gender in this book? Did you enjoy it more…or do you still like writing a female voice best?
JWZ: Yes, I was looking forward to writing a different gender. I absolutely love writing Ellie Stone, but after seven books, I felt it was time to embrace my Y chromosome. (Just kidding.) Writing a first-
person male narrator took some getting used to at first, but I think I found the voice quickly enough. I enjoy writing both. It makes for a healthy balance. More writers should try it. It builds empathy and sharpens narrative skills.
Wow, I saw a review that equated this book to Graham Greene’s The Quiet American. How does it feel to have your work next to one of the greats, and how does this push you…or terrorize you as an author?
JWZ: It’s wonderful to be mentioned in the same sentence with a writer of Greene’s caliber, but I would never equate my work with his. I might “compare” it, unfavorably of course. I’m sure it’s the setting and the stranger-in-a-strange-land thing that prompted the comparison. Greene is one of my most favorite authors. Such powerful and entertaining novels. And while I can’t lay claim to his talent, I’ll take such a complimentary review any day of the week.
A “coup is underway in India” Was your thought to parallel what is happening in the United States?
JWZ: In truth, no. I wanted to write about the Emergency. The events of January 6, 2021, happened six months after I’d completed the first draft of Bombay Monsoon. Of course the parallels are striking. Mrs. Gandhi actually went through with her coup, while it failed here. There are also comparisons to Nixon’s final days in office. While Mrs. Gandhi declared the Emergency and retained power, Nixon resigned. I wonder what might have happened if he’d attempted a coup.
I know you are very familiar with India, having lived and worked there for several years. Since Bombay is emphasized here, do you plan on a book in other areas?
JWZ: I’m very familiar with Bombay, Pune, and Bangalore, having spent most of my time in those cities. But I’ve traveled extensively throughout the country, from the foothills of the Himalayas to the backwaters of Kerala, from Delhi to Chennai. Danny Jacobs will be visiting some of those places in the next two Emergency books. After that, I have a novel
in mind that takes place during the Raj in Simla, the summer capital for the British administration. That will be a fun one.
Give readers and other authors the best advice on what it takes to improve your craft. Do you read a great deal…in or out of your genre, attend conferences, etc?
JWZ: My best advice is never give up. And read. Read like it’s fuel. But never give up. Never stop dreaming. My first book was published when I was fifty-three. So think of it this way: The first time you sell a book—your first success, if you will—can only come after the very last failure that preceded it.
Your biggest challenge as an author?
JWZ: Frank Norris wrote, “Don’t like to write, but love having written.” That’s me. At least part of the time. When the words and ideas are flowing freely, I do love writing. But all too often, it’s a slog. A devilishly tantalizing slog
This has been fun.
I loved your book and I am sure my readers have also enjoyed it.
Looking forward to your next reveal.
Thank you for this interview. I enjoyed both Misjudged and Capital Justice, and I am sure my readers will too.
I found it interesting that you began your novel, Misjudged, with some “night court-type” cases emphasizing that people who come to court can have comical cases. Maybe because the truth of our actions and behaviors can be funny. Can you explain your decision to start this novel in this fashion?
Courtrooms can be among the saddest places you will see, but one can also see outrageously funny stuff. The adversarial nature of our criminal and civil systems of justice lend themselves well to conflict, and conflict is always a part of a good story. Good versus bad; right versus wrong, lawful versus unlawful; and even fair versus unfair are all daily struggles in a courtroom. Accordingly, judges and lawyers see people at their best and at their worst. Emotions can run from high to low in a matter of seconds. I think depicting those highs and lows gives the courtroom setting its unique color.
Courtrooms are the setting for things that will have immediate, sometimes permanent effects on people’s life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. But people are people, and subject to the same range of emotions, performance and foibles as anywhere else. It’s not always a grim, totalitarian environment.
Some would say that Misjudged is a character-driven novel. While I was pulled into the story by your broken vet/lawyer Sam Johnstone, I found that the “law” was also a type of character. I was drawn by Sam’s efforts to save truth and law. What were your motivations for showing how truth can be corrupted and how Sam fights to save truth by using the law?
Misjudged is indeed character-driven. As mentioned in #4 below, it was originally conceived as a stand-alone novel featuring Sam. And he figures prominently in all the books, but as you saw there is a healing process on-going.
Lawyers and to some degree judges have gotten bad reputations over the years. In some cases it is well-deserved. But in my dealings with most lawyers and almost all judges, I have found them to be honorable people trying to do the right thing in a line of work that isn’t always black and white, and where there are unquestioned winners and losers. It is tough stuff. In spite of that, the folks I have been fortunate enough to deal with have been almost universally of high character.
I try very hard to avoid injecting any politics or messaging into my books. I’m simply telling a story using characters who have views and opinions—views and opinions which not infrequently differ from my own. No reader cares what I think about any issue; they just want to read a good book. I try and tell a good story with interesting characters.
Your bio is stellar: A veteran—20 years retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel of Air Defense Artillery. Juris Doctor in law. You practiced for 12 years in Wyoming before sitting on the bench. How much of you is Sam Johnstone?
You are too kind.
I think there is a little of me in most of the characters, but I am not Sam, and Gillette (where I live) is not Custer. As a threshold matter, Sam is a hero; I am not. Most of my characters, including Sam, are really composites of people I have known combined with experiences I have lived—most exaggerated for dramatic effect.
What took you to writing thrillers?
I wrote Misjudged because I had previously read a lousy legal thriller. I told my wife, “I could write a better book than that.” I don’t know whether I did or not, but following hundreds of rejections I was fortunate enough to be picked up by Severn River Publishing, contingent on my using Misjudged as the first in a series of four books. I have since signed an extension to the original contract; I’m now locked in for six books in the series.
When reading Capital Justice, I felt a change in tone. While your Sam Johnstone character is still solid and steadfast, I couldn’t help wonder if your antagonist family didn’t represent a more recent political family. Am I off here? And if I am on, or was this book just a statement on the rich and famous?
There has been a change in tone over time in this series. I had a decision to make with Sam: Would I continue to have him struggle in the face of adversity, or would he begin to seek help to make change? I deal with folks with mental health and addiction issues every day, and it’s fair to say I don’t need to do any research into the operation of the Veterans Administration and its treatment of PTSD and substance abuse. So I decided that, rather than have Sam continue to suffer as a “victim,” I would depict him taking steps to evolve away from booze, drugs and active mental illness. He is in recovery in the latter books, with all the challenges that brings with it.
I didn’t have any particular family in mind when I wrote Capital Justice. I really just wanted to depict an ultra-wealthy clan beset with the same jealousies and petty differences that trouble all families.
Cryptocurrency is your subject in the Capital Justice thriller. What motivated you to kill off a crypto exchange magnate and fight over the control of digital assets?
My books are usually driven by the style of novel I’m seeking to write. I wrote Misjudged as a stand-alone novel, but had to revise it to facilitate “follow-on” novels to complete the contract. So I looked to introductory-type novels from other authors’ series. How did they start their series?
In the later books, I’m usually writing in a style that I like to read or watch. For example, One and Done was one where I wanted to see an ending that was fair to the reader but surprising. False Evidence is my ode to film noire and femmes fatale. Capital Justice is more of a who-in-the-family-dun-it like you would see in something by Agatha Christie or those of her ilk. My next novel, The Truthful Witness is my shot at something “Hitchcock-esque”. I hope I pulled it off.
I chose a cryptocurrency magnate in Capital Justice because Wyoming laws have in fact recently changed to facilitate that sort of business locating here and it could well result in a culture clash.
Give me an idea of your writing day. Do you write every day? By number of words or scene?
I am still employed full-time, so my writing is done in short spurts, for the most part. Generally, I write from 6 to 7:30 a.m., then turn to my day job. I write again at lunch if I am not overly busy at work. I usually pick one day a weekend and spend most of that writing. Where I really make money is on federal holidays, because my wife usually works those, and since I work for the government I do not. I can write all day long on Presidents’ Day, for example.
The biggest issue I have is finding a plot twist or character situation to develop a book around. Once I have that, I’ll get to outlining or plotting.
Do you plot before writing, during the process, or as a second draft?
I am a careful plotter and an extensive outliner. It serves three purposes for me. One, I never get “writer’s block”, because I’ve always got something to write. Two, it allows me to write as I feel, so for example, if I am feeling melancholy, I can write a scene needing that; alternatively, if I have a bounce in my step, I can write a scene needing a more uplifted voice. Three, I do sometimes vary or make changes to my story. By having an outline to refer to, I can shift from a known point and get back to my original storyline.
A great many authors find marketing very time consuming. Even those traditionally published. How do you market your books? And is the latest Crypto news event helping sales?
I am extremely fortunate in that my publisher handles most of the marketing. I am not social media fluent, so they handle Facebook. I prepare a monthly newsletter that I’m proud to say goes out to thousands. I personally respond to every email I get from readers. I appear live or remotely at dozens of book club meetings a year, and I do every podcast and television appearance I’m asked to do. In addition, I appear for free and donate 100% of proceeds for any library benefit, give away books for charity fund-raisers, and I have appeared at number of writer’s groups. I just kind of show up like a bad cold, I guess.
What advice would you give a new author trying to break into the thriller market?
I think the best advice I could give would be this: 1) Write what you know. It is easy for someone to tell whether the author knows what she is talking about. 2) Write your book. When I was reading articles and books about how to write a book, there were a lot of opinions out there. And there are all kinds of web sites saying, “we’re looking for X.” In my opinion, I think you need to understand your genre, and write a book that is consistent in style and format with that genre, using your characters and your story. This does two things: One, it enhances the realism of your work, and two, you’ll be better able to deal with the rejection and criticism we all deal with. 3) Write your book to tell a story, not to push an agenda or to push a particular viewpoint. At least weekly I receive an email from a reader that commends me for viewpoint neutrality. Remember: For every reader that approves of your book because of your view on an issue, there is a reader who will stop reading. Why cut your audience in half?
Super enjoyed your work and look forward to more. In fact, what is coming out new and when?
Thank you. You are very kind. My next book, The Truthful Witness, will launch July 4th.
A CONVERSATION WITH MATT COYLE
Hi Matt, I
It’s been a while since I’ve read your Rick Cahill series, and what I like best about your work is that even though there has been an absence, I am immediately taken to a character I like and know. I am sure my readers feel the same. Thanks for speaking with us:
At the beginning of this work, you warned you would skip ahead a bit in time from your other work. Is this because of not wanting to bring Covid into the story or more due to the child?
It was strictly for the birth and development of Krista. There was a scene I needed at the end of my last book, LAST REDEMPTION, where I wanted her to be a certain age.
Quote: “They don’t hand them out like face masks at a hospital during the pandemic.” Was this placed a third of the way into the novel to reinforce this timeline?
Not specifically, but it didn’t hurt. I’ve mostly avoided Covid in my books, but don’t want to pretend like it didn’t happen.
At the beginning of this book, we are given a great deal to worry about: Rick’s bout of CTE (Chronic //traumatic Encephalopathy), his fear of emotional abuse with his family, most specifically his wife and baby, his fear of possibly not living longer and thus missing his daughter’s life, and the possible rift between him and his wife. The investigation we know he will come up against is almost of secondary importance for the reader at this point. Do you feel having a solid and intriguing character (protagonist) is as important, if not more so, than the actual investigative plot?
Absolutely. For me, character always comes first. The first thing I think about when I start a Rick book is what emotional stressors is he currently dealing with in his personal life and how will getting involved in a case make them even more difficult to work through. Of course, I also try to make the investigative plot as exciting, interesting, and realistic as possible. How that plot intersects with Rick’s personal life is what I enjoy writing the most.
Being a reader of Blake Synder’s Save The Cat usage in screenplays, I got a laugh out of your character literally saving a cat. How important was that scene since your character was once suspected of murdering his wife (although proven innocent in one of the series books)?
A lot of the time, I bring Rick right up to the edge of being unlikeable. I’m sure some critics would say I’ve crossed over more a few times! He can be manic, violent, and makes mistakes other private detectives don’t usually make. But aside from being an animal lover in general, he’s a protector of the innocent. And once he gets involved in a case or a situation, he feels personally responsible for all innocents involved, human or beast.
Many writers write their novels as if seeing each chapter as a scene. Do you outline this way? Do you outline before writing, during, or after?
I don’t outline. As I mentioned earlier, I start with what is Rick battling in his private life and think of a rough idea of a main plot, being able to see the inciting incident, a hazy ending, and a plot point or two along the way and then I just get inside Rick’s head. About two thirds of the way through the first draft, I make a list of things that need to be in the story. And they may change from draft to draft.
Just before the climax of the novel, your protagonist rises in conflict both emotionally with his family and physically with the investigation with almost equal importance. This is slightly different from some structures that come to a high physical conflict and leaves the emotional conflict more for the denouement—intricately planned? Has this become the Matt Coyle style to watch for?
I don’t think about it much. Maybe I’d be a better writer if I did. However, for DOOMED LEGACY, the physical conflict had to be intertwined with the emotional climax to be able to put Rick where I wanted him to be at the end of the book.
How important is this to noir more than another type of genre, like a thriller?
I would say very important, but I think rock-ribbed noir writers and readers might not consider my books true noir. Even with a title like DOOMED LEGACY, my books may not be bleak enough for a noir purist. I just try to write the stories I want to tell, while I work out some of my own inner turmoil through Rick.
You are known for your award-winning detective fiction in a hardboiled noir style. Have you wanted to move to other genres, or do you plan to stay with this winning series? I
I’m writing Cahill #10 right now. After that, I am going to write something different. Crime, of course, but probably in third person and not completely lone wolf private eye fiction. I have an idea I could really run with, but for reasons I can’t get into and wouldn’t really be able to explain if I could, I may not write it just yet. But, I will be writing something new, whatever it is, in 2023.
Tyler Dilts in a review of Yesterday’s Echo, said in comparing your work to Chandler’s art of noir: Perhaps the way Coyle most honors Chandler’s legacy is the same way Chandler honored Hammett — by never allowing the influence of the writer he’s emulating get in the way of the story he’s telling. An author’s style is their signature. How do you work to keep to the purity of your voice and narrative?
That was a very nice critique by Tyler which will forever hang on the mantlepiece inside my head. Voice is that nebulous thing that is hard to explain (at least for me) but you know it when you hear it. Chandler and Macdonald, who I read as a teenage and in college, certainly have had a huge influence on my writing. However, voice takes a long time to develop. I think the best thing that helped me develop a voice was being rejected by literary agents for years and years. It took me ten years to get published from typing on an IBM Thinkpad with a floppy disk drive to seeing my book on the shelves in 2013. Along the way, I got over 75 rejections and ignores. I revised the book that would become YESTERDAY’S ECHO, eight or nine times. All that time and revision forced me to develop my own voice without really concentrating on it. Just working the muscle almost every day for years enabled me to develop my own uniqueness.
Not a question, more a comment. What I like most about reading this series is that your story is deep with craft and strong themes and offers an intriguing puzzle for both the protagonist and reader to figure out. What I love….is Rick Cahill’s humanity.
That is one of the most satisfying comments I’ve ever received. It great to hear that I’m accomplishing what I’m trying to. Thank you! Make room on the mantlepiece, Tyler.
Thanks or taking the time to chit-chat, Matt. I look forward to your next book.