Author Matthew Kirby grew up in various locales across the United States because of his Navy dad’s career, but the common thread of his life has been the love of a good story. Matthew’s books include the fantastical “The Clockwork Three” and the mysterious “Icefall,” and he is also the author of the fifth book in the Infinity Ring series, due out this fall. Enjoy this interview with Matthew and find out about his latest projects.
Q: In your recent interview with DearEditor.com, you mentioned that you revise as you go. Because of this, approximately how long does it take you to finish a book?
Matthew: Both “The Clockwork Three” and “Icefall” took about a year to write for each. But that was when I was working full-time as a school psychologist. Now that I’m writing full-time, my productivity has gone up significantly. I finished three books in the last eight months. I do have to say I don’t plan to keep up that pace, and I really don’t think I could if I wanted to. It was pretty brutal at times. But it was also rewarding to see what I can accomplish when I have the time to devote to my books.
Q: Your book “The Lost Kingdom,” which will be coming out this fall, was the first novel you wrote and which you later completely revamped. What was your favorite part of revisiting the project and giving it new life?
Matthew: It was really rewarding to see how I’ve changed and grown as a writer. In rewriting that book, I saw mistakes that I’d made in the first draft—some pretty big ones, actually—but I also saw myself seeing those mistakes. I now recognize mistakes I couldn’t even see back then, and that tells me that maybe I’ve learned a few things. I think it took the contrast between the two books to demonstrate that, and I hope I keep having those realizations. I know I have a lot more to learn.
Q: One of the things which caused your book “Icefall” to be suspenseful was that you made it difficult for the reader to guess who the traitor was until the end. What is your best advice for writers who struggle to bring suspense into their writing?
Matthew: For me, I try to keep myself in suspense. If I’m on the edge of my seat as I write, then I hope that means the reader will be, too. To accomplish that, I try not to figure everything out ahead of time. I have a concrete sense of where the story is going in a general way, but I try to let the specifics and details surprise me along the way. That keeps me looking forward to what happens next.
Q: Can you share what other projects we have to look forward to seeing from you in the future?
Matthew: I’ve just finished the first book in a trilogy called “The Quantum League.” It’s a magical crime saga, with heists and cons, a criminal underworld, and an agency out to stop them. That’ll come out next year. I’ve also begun work on a different series, which is a science fiction story about the unexplained return of an ice age that reshapes the planet. Also, there are aliens involved.
Subscribe by clicking on the button at the top of the page so you don’t miss part two of this interview with Matthew. Learn more about his books, “Icefall” and “The Clockwork Three,” online or check them out at our local libraries: Gail Borden, Schaumburg, Batavia, Bartlett, or Poplar Creek.