Monday, July 27, 2020

Interview with dark fiction author Matt Carter

Dark fiction author Matt Carter joins me to chat about Bennytown.

During his virtual book tour, Matt will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit his other tour stops and enter there, too!

The book will be only sale for $0.99 during the tour

Matt Carter has used his lifelong love for writing, history and the bizarre to bring to life novels like Almost Infamous: A Supervillain Novel, Pinnacle City: A Superhero Noir, and the Prospero Chronicles young adult horror series (all co-authored with Fiona J.R. Titchenell). Bennytown,is his first solo horror novel.

He is represented by Fran Black of Literary Counsel and lives in the usually sunny town of San Gabriel, CA with his wife, their pet king snake Mica, and the myriad of strange fictional characters and worlds that live in his head.

Please share a little bit about your current release.
Bennytown is a horror novel for adult audiences, centered around a major American theme park with a dark history.

For 60 years now, Bennytown has been America’s favorite and most exciting theme park experience, bringing to life iconic cartoon characters, including the world-famous Benny the Bunny. Featuring rides, shows and other themed attractions at the cutting edge of technology, Bennytown is a place of innocence and joy for the whole family. On the surface, anyway. Behind its family-friendly fa├žade, Bennytown is a place of darkness ruled by eldritch magic, where ghosts, masked cultists and monstrous scientific experiments roam freely, and nothing is as it seems.

The story follows Noel, a 16-year-old new hire who believes he owes a lot to Bennytown. Though initially excited for his new job, he soon begins to discover that the dark forces that live within Bennytown might have designs for him…

What inspired you to write this book?
Bennytown is kind of a book I always knew I was going to write in one way, shape or form. I have always been something of a horror writer at heart, and living in Southern California and having reasonable access to a number of the greatest theme parks in the world, I’ve always been a bit of a fan. Growing up, I was fascinated and enthralled by a number of the morbid true stories and urban legends that surrounded a lot of the more popular parks, and that information never thoroughly left my mind. Then, when I was 16, I got my first ever summer job at Universal Studios Hollywood. Between my fascinations and the two years I spent working there, it feels like this story was an inevitability.

Excerpt from Bennytown:
Darkness is all I can see in any direction. I see shadowy, moving shapes I know to be buckets around me and maybe an outline of the escalators but nothing in complete detail.

I am abandoned.

No, no, no. I can NOT be abandoned. Somebody has to know I’m here. Somebody will look for me. Any second now. Any second…

I grip the railing and scream, “HEEEEEEEEEEEY! HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELP!”

My cries are pitiful against the wind and the rain. I doubt anyone can hear me from thirty feet away, let alone from the distance of the station. Despite that, I’m too scared to stop screaming.

Someone has to hear.

I scream again.

This time there’s a scream back.

Not a person. Not an animal.

I don’t know what.

It’s low, mechanical and almost organic. Only something large can make a sound like that.

Briefly, I hope that it’s the motors starting up, ready to pull me to safety.

I’m not that lucky.

And maybe it’s a good thing I’m stuck here. There’s something about that scream I don’t like, something that reaches into the furthest, most primitive recesses of my brain and tells me that whatever made that noise is hungry.

The wind picks up, and the steel cables above me creak and groan in protest.

A bolt of lightning flashes close enough to light up the sky. It’s so bright it burns my eyes, and the thunder sounds like the whole world is exploding around me. With spots and stars in my eyes, I wonder if I’m going blind, as the electricity in my bucket turns on again. The light is dull and yellow, flickering, and the speaker briefly comes to life. The voice whispers right into my ear.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’ve got a few horror projects in the pipeline at any given moment, but my current next one is a gothic haunted house tale that my wife and I are co-writing. While I can’t give a lot of details about it, we’re having a lot of fun with it.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I have always been a writer in some capacity, but it wasn’t until the later end of college that I realized it was something I wanted to focus my life on. For so long it was something I considered to be a fun hobby, one that I could dream of making a life out of someday but one that would never actually get that far. However, once I got my degree and spent a good long while soul-searching, I realized that it was my path all along. And so, I write!

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
Short answer: I try to. Life circumstances have allowed me to write full time, but with my attention span very easily distracted by anything remotely shiny, some days take more effort than others. All the same, I do love to write. Most days are a combination of a few rounds of coffee and hours spent staring at a screen trying to make words happen. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t, but I shall always try.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I am incredibly long-winded when writing fiction, and it’s only editing that makes what I say remotely readable. Anything I write is more than likely to be cut by 30-40% from first to final draft, without losing too much of the story in the process.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
For the longest time, I wanted to be a paleontologist, and yes, it was because I was obsessed with Jurassic Park. When I was a teenager, I wanted to be a teacher, and this was close to happening, actually, but as noted, after college I was in one of those soul-searching meets epiphany moments, and this is where it took me.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?Nothing that I can think of off the top of my head, but I hope you check out Bennytown for a good, fun scare. Thank you for having me on your blog today!


The book will be only sale for $0.99 during the tour

Thank you for being a guest on my blog!

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Bernie Wallace said...

Which character was hardest to write for?

James Robert said...

I appreciate getting to hear about a new book. Thanks so much for taking time to share.

Rita Wray said...

Sounds like a good book.

Peggy Hyndman said...

Many writers describe themselves as “character” or “plot” writers. Which are you?

Victoria Alexander said...

Great post, thanks for sharing!

marisela zuniga said...

very cool cover!