Matthew C. Plourde Interview

Written By: Kellie - Sep• 13•11

Today, we have a special treat. Author of For Duty has answered a few questions for ReaWrite about himself, the book and writing.

ReaWrite– Thank you so much for agreeing to this interview. First off, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Matt-First off – thank you for taking the time to read For Duty and posting your thoughts on my novel. I do like to hear when someone was entertained by one of my worlds.

 Okay – I’m a native New Englander who grew up in the suburbs during the 70s/80s. As such, I’m very much a product of the emerging computer age. As a kid, I built computers, enjoyed sports, watched the best cartoons ever made and played a whole bunch of board games. As an adult, I am a consultant by day and father/husband all other times. I do manage to sneak some alone time in there as well, usually spent playing games with my friends or writing.
Reawrite– When did you first start writing? Did you always know it was something you wanted to do?
Matt– Actually, we just moved houses and I found some old cards and such I made for my parents when I was very young. Many of them are actually mini-stories. So, I guess I’ve always been writing. I’m not sure I knew I wanted to to make it my career until cancer almost got me at age 23. Before cancer, I was content to go through the motions of my surburban life – college, “real” career, save for retirement, retire. After cancer, I’m more open to living life by my own rules. I just wish I had discovered this freedom at a much earlier age…
ReaWrite– What kind of novels do you usually read? Do you have any favorite books?
Matt– I tend to gravitate towards fantasy and sci-fi. For me, reading is an escape and chance to enjoy a fantastic story. While there are certainly some great real-life stories, I’m just more interested in fiction. As far as favs, that’s tough. As a kid/young adult I read much fiction. However, as my life took hold of my time, I just haven’t read as much (and I know there’s some great stuff out there). Stephen Baxter’s Evolution ranks pretty high, as I’m a huge geek when it comes to speculative fiction about our world/universe. From a pure enjoyment perspective, I enjoyed the Dune books as a kid and also much of Philip Jose Farmer’s work.
ReaWrite– Tell me about Eden, your first book. Are there any similarities between Eden and For Duty?
Matt– Well, if I could include my own books as my favs without sounding completely self-absorbed, they would certainly be there! I’ve always been fascinated with religion (though I’m agnostic) and the mythology we humans build around anything spiritual. A few of the stories in the Bible really stuck in my mind through the years and I’ve watched many movies with Biblical themes, hoping for something to ring true. Nothing has. So, Eden was my attempt to offer my own take on some things Biblical. While not preachy in the slightest (us agnostics don’t “preach”), Eden sure does explore the Bible in a way I’ve always wanted to see. Think of it as Lord of the Rings meets The DaVinci Code meets Mad Max. Pure awesomeness, if I’m allowed to say.

For Duty is similar to Eden only in my approach – which is always “character first.” Truly, For Duty could have taken place anywhere, in any time frame. The mere fact that it’s science fiction shouldn’t gate any one’s enjoyment of this novel. The characters drive the story and their decisions (sometimes tragic) shape their world. Both stories are also written from a female point of view, which may seem odd from a male author. I’m not even sure that was a conscious decision on my part – the stories were just natural with a strong, dynamic leading lady.
ReaWrite– Can you tell us a bit about your writing process?
Matt– Process… yeah. I always get this question and I’m not sure my answer is ever satisfying! While I work to sustain my life and family, writing is unfortunately on one of the back burners. As such, I try to fit it into my schedule as best I can. There really isn’t a schedule or set process. I guess my one procedural quirk is I don’t write with an outline. I have a few notes, but that’s all. For a story to flow organically, I believe it must come from the characters, free from any rigid plot outline. Plot is evil. I can spot a plotted novel from chapter 1. I believe (in my warped, radiation-saturated brain) that the best stories aren’t manufactured. Each of our lives typically don’t follow blueprints, why should our stories? Make it natural, make it remarkable.

Sorry for the tangent – perhaps it’s time for my meds.
Stay tuned for the rest of the interview later today :)

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  1. […] Read the first part of the interview here. […]

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