Brad Mathews

Brad Mathews

He’s written 14 novels, mostly in the mystery and thriller genres. He’s also published two fantasy novels and is working on a third. Meet Brad Mathews.

Do you have a writing routine? Where and when do you write?

I’m a morning person. If I have a specific plan for what happens next in the story, I build up to that and then immediately reread the pages to get a feel for overall flow. I do all my writing on my desktop computer.

Do you have any patterns or rituals associated with your writing time?

I need a room with no distractions. Typically, I eat a light breakfast and sit down with a drink to get started for the day.

What do you do when you hit a wall with your writing?

All writers hit walls either as writer’s block or lack of motivation. I like to prepare myself a day or two in advance for when I plan to write. If I don’t feel the story, I usually have some other ideas for blog commentary to keep my mind working.

Do you plan your book in advance (plotting and outlining) or are you a “discovery writer” (AKA “writing into the dark”)? Or are you somewhere in between?

It changes with every book. Sometimes I will do either a loose overall plot outline and sometimes I let the story lead me. Being surprised by the characters and where the story goes is always invigorating, but starting with a general idea, even for sections of the story, helps keep the plot moving.

What’s the last book you read that made you go “wow!”?

The Steven Kinder trilogy by fellow Idaho author Bernard K. Finnigan blew me away. Finnigan manages to write about interdimensional aliens in a way that obeys established laws of physics while perfectly illustrating the abilities of his characters and aliens. He uses lots of pop culture references, which always elicit grins.

What book or author do you find yourself recommending and why?

I am a huge Star Wars nerd and constantly recommend many of the novels to fellow fans. Timothy Zhan is a prominent name in the Star Wars universe.

What’s on your To Be Read pile?

There’s always another Star Wars novel or whatever I find interesting at the library.

What advice do you have for readers?

Read everything you find interesting and expand your reach, especially if you don’t particularly agree with the author or characters’ viewpoints. 

What author, past or present, would you wish to have a long conversation with? Why?

Mark Twain. Everyone already knows his most famous of quotes, but the way he states his views sparks creativity in me. Engaging with that kind of vibrant personality in a one-on-one setting would be a blast.

Do you have early memories of reading or writing you’d like to share?

I started at about age 13, when I wrote a story for an assignment. I easily tripled the word count quota and found the exercise enjoyable. I remember late nights reading my stories to friends when I was still trying to find my voice.

What books and/or authors have most influenced you as an author?

I used to read a lot of Stephen King, Tony Hillerman, and James Patterson. Hillerman’s description of setting is exceptional, and King’s mastery of technical style has always been something I’ve aspired to.

What do you most enjoy about being a writer? What do least enjoy about being a writer?

I think the most common maxim applies. I most enjoy writing and I least enjoy promotion. Many authors hate talking about themselves, and I don’t ever want to come across as a salesman in social interactions.

What would you tell a new writer?

Write. Read. Develop your voice. And don’t let anyone, including yourself, tell you that you can’t.

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