LWC caught up with Matt Whyman before Christmas for a quick chat:
1/What are you working on now?
Several proposals, and a novel for Walker Books in a children’s series of mystery and suspense by Lazlo Strangolov. The novel is called Tooth & Claw. It’s about zombie beagles. Lazlo is a reclusive Romanian folktale scholar. I’m his literary executor. I didn’t want to just write something under an assumed name. I wanted the author to come alive, which is why he has his own story – set out by me in the first novel, Feather & Bone, in the form of a foreword.
2/How long does it take you to plan a novel before you actually begin writing?
I use the 12 steps in The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler. It’s a case of pinning up 12 cards on my board and then filling them. It can take a few days to a week.
3/How long does it take you to write a novel?
if I’m fired up, not long at all. Boy Kills Man took me 12 weeks, but I worked 18hrs a day on it.
4/How do you know when you have a good idea?
When you can describe the story in a single sentence. I won’t start until I can do that.
5/How many drafts do you do?
I’m quite organic in my approach. I tend to rewrite what I do each day, which means once I’ve reached The End I only need a week or so for it to be delivery-ready.
6/What does it take for an author to make it?
An unflinching belief that you’re going to get there, even if the breaks keep going against you.
Matt will be one of the teachers on the four week Masterclass. Find out more here.