I have had the privilege of reading The Brothers’ Keepers written by Matthew Peters and I have shared my thoughts on the book.
The book will be released on 1st October 2014. In the meantime I got to have a chat with the author and would like to share some of the things he said in response to my questions!
1) What/who inspired you to start writing?
I’ve always loved to write, but what really turned me on to fiction was the work of Dostoevsky, and Herman Hesse, both of whom I read relatively late in life.
2) Tell us a little about yourself.
It all started in a little log cabin, back in the … Oops, sorry, that’s Abe Lincoln. Let’s see. Well, I dropped out of high school largely because, among other things, I had to do an author’s report on William Faulkner. I ended up getting a Ph.D., but my early years were quite turbulent. I taught college for a while, and my students were my life. Now, I write fiction full-time, or at least try to, with the loving support of my fabulous girlfriend.
3) What is your favourite genre?
I have to say my first love is literary fiction. People like Dostoevsky, Hesse, Eliot, Camus, Baldwin Cheever, Capote, and McCullers, to name just a few. I don’t really read much genre fiction, but I used to read a lot of horror by Stephen King.
4) Which is your favourite book?
Other than The Brothers’ Keepers? That was a joke. I’d have to say Crime and Punishment, followed closely by Demian, and Native Son.
5) Who is your favourite author?
Definitely NOT Faulkner, but anywho. I’m fond of saying that I wish I could write with the philosophical insight of Dostoevsky, the spirit of Hesse, and the soul of James Baldwin. So I’ll say those three.
6) What are your hobbies?
My hobbies include reading, researching, and listening to music. I have eclectic taste in music, and can easily go from listening to AC/DC to 18th century lute music in no time flat. But I have to say classical music is my favorite. I listen to it all day as I read and write.
7) Perfect holiday destination?
At this point, I’d say ANY holiday destination. Because I really need a break. I’m serious. (I hope my girlfriend reads this.)
8) Describe a perfect writing day.
A perfect writing day. I get up about 4:00 a.m., make myself strong coffee laced with espresso, and while I’m still only half-awake I start writing. I do this because my internal editor is usually asleep during this time, and so I write with freedom and abandon. I only write about three hours a day, tops, because I feel I start losing quality after that. The rest of the day I spend researching. I research a lot for my books.
9) Which is the best part of writing a story?
The best part of writing a story for me is seeing it take shape. To go from an inchoate, half-formed idea into a rough draft and from there into subsequent, more polished drafts. I love that process. I also love the research part. That probably comes from me being a recovering academic.
10) How much inspiration do you draw on from real life experiences, with respect to plot, characters etc?
For The Brother Keepers, I drew on some of my real-life experiences to flesh out the male lead. He, like myself, is a recovering alcoholic. The plot, however, is a product of my (some might argue overwrought) imagination.
For Conversations Among Ruins, another book I did that will be available in the not too distant future from All Things That Matter Press, I drew more from life experiences, with respect to characters, and the certain elements of plot.
11) Who among the characters you created do you like the most and why?
I like Nicholas Branson a lot. He is like me in some ways, as I’ve already mentioned, and in some ways I haven’t. He lives a lot in his head, and has a difficult time trusting his emotions. I also like Jessica Jones. In addition to her intelligence, I love her snarkiness, and her ability to say whatever is on her mind. In some ways I wish I could be more like that.
12) How much do you relate to the characters or incidents in your story?
I do relate to Branson’s struggle concerning his faith. I also relate to Daniel Stavros, the main character in Conversations Among Ruins. In many ways, his struggle is my struggle.
13) What kind of impact do your stories have on you?
I got very swept up in writing The Brothers’ Keepers and Conversations Among Ruins. TBK made me question some things about myself that I hadn’t questioned in a long time, mostly pertaining to issues of faith. CAR has had a huge impact on me largely because it is so personal. I feel like I grew as a person and a writer from both stories.