Welcome — or welcome back — to another Author Spotlight! If you’re new and want to know more about how the series got started, go check out the introduction post.
Today the spotlight is on author of the Hell Gate saga, Josh Matthews. Be sure to check out his video interview at the end of this post.
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Let’s start with the most important. What’s your most recent/next book, and where can we go to learn more about it and you?
My most recent novel is Hell Gate, my young adult post-apocalypse novel. It tells the story of Jason McCreary and a small group of adventurers who travel to Paris to close a portal between Hell and Earth that was formed during his mother’s failed anti-matter experiment. I purposefully kept the language and gore to a minimum so the novel has a PG-13 rating, but there’s more than enough suspense and action to keep you up late into the night. You can pick up a copy on Amazon.
The sequel is coming out this October. I kick up the plot several notches by sending Jason and his team around the world to close off five other Hell Gates that opened along with the one in Paris. This book introduces new characters and a whole new set of demons, and provides more kick-ass battle scenes then in the first novel.
Would you rather your book(s) be filmed for a movie, or a TV series?
The Hell Gate saga needs to be filmed as a series of movies. The emphasis in the books is on the epic battle scenes between humans and demons, and they wouldn’t translate well onto the small screen. When writing the action scenes, I always imagine how it would play out in 70mm IMAX.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in researching your book(s)?
I was surprised at how many variations there are of Hell as a realm, and the back stories behind Lucifer/Satan. From descriptions of Hell in the Bible to Dante and the paintings of Bosch, everyone has their own idea of what the Underworld is like. It’s a benefit for me, though. I’m developing my own unique, terrifying concept of Hell, and the various interpretations are feeding into that.
Can you read other things when you’re working on a book, or do you have to stick with writing?
My reading scans the gambit from horror novels to histories, some of which I read as research for other projects and some I read for pleasure. What I’m reading never distracts from my writing. Sometimes I work on multiple projects at the same time, which can be a problem. I’m currently reading the proofs for the second Hell Gate novel, am preparing the third novel for submission, and am working on the first draft of the fourth book.
How long do you honestly think you’d survive in a zombie apocalypse?
I’d survive for a few months, maybe more. I’m not a hardcore survivalist/prepper who is ready to hunker down for years and fight off hordes of the living dead. I live in the country outside of Concord, not on a fortified compound in Montana. I have enough supplies to last four weeks, which I figure is the normal amount of time we’d have to fend for ourselves during a natural disaster or social unrest. If it’s a full-fledged apocalypse, no amount of preparation is going to be sufficient. Once the supplies are exhausted and we need to forage for food or hit the road, then all bets are off. Depending on how my family handles the situation, I think I could survive for quite a while.
Would you rather be invisible, or able to read minds?
Of the two, I’d rather have the ability to read minds. If you know what the other person is thinking, it gives you the upper hand. However, if I could choose my super power, it would be the ability to control people’s minds. I admit, though, I’d use my powers for nefarious purposes. “You want to buy ten copies of all my books and give them to your friends as gifts.” “You want to sign me on to your publishing house and give me a million-dollar cash advance.”
What’s the first thing you’d do if you won the lottery?
I’m one of those responsible people, so the first thing I would do is pay off my bills, set money aside to buy a house, invest a huge portion of it – the boring adult things. Once I was done adulting, the first things I would do would be to buy more toys for my study and book a two-month-long trip of Europe.
What is one question you’ve always wanted to be asked in an interview?
I can’t think of a question I’ve always wanted to be asked. Over the years, I’ve been asked bizarre question, embarrassing ones, and a few I’ve refused to answer. But there are no questions I wished someone had asked.
Josh took some extra time out of his busy schedule to answer a few follow questions via Skype. Check out his video interview for some very interesting additional information about him.
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Have you read Hell Gate? Do you think you’ll read Wasteland in Red Square when it comes out on the 21st? Leave me a comment below with your thoughts.
I hope you all have a great day!