An Interview with Author Matt Cox

Originally from South Amboy NJ, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. It took a while, but he eventually decided to take writing seriously. His first published novel, Division Zero, released in 2014.

His books span adult, young-adult, and middle-grade fiction in multiple genres, predominantly science fiction, cyberpunk, post-apocalyptic, and fantasy.

Matthew is an avid gamer, a recovered WoW addict, developer of various homebrew tabletop RPG systems, and a fan of anime, British humour, and intellectual science fiction that questions the nature of humanity, reality, life, and what might happen after it.

He is also fond of cats, presently living with two: Loki and Dorian.

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Q: Can you sum up the Vampire Innocent series in 20 words or less?

It’s a mostly humorous, sometimes dramatic, story where this normal suburban teen abruptly finds herself turned into a vampire and… goes home to her parents.

Q: What inspired you to write this series?

At the time I started planning this series, most of my books were published with a small press. The writing on the wall said the press was probably failing. (It ultimately did but not for half a year after this point). Anyway, I’d recently taken a first step into self-publishing with The Forest Beyond the Earth and I decided it would probably be a good idea to write a series and self-publish it. I somewhat randomly picked the idea of vampires for a series and the first thing that came to mind was bucking the trope of the vampire (or characters like George in Dead Like Me) being forced to leave their mortal life entirely behind. So, after Sarah figures out what’s happened, she gets this intense feeling of homesickness and can’t bear the thought of allowing her family to believe she died. The guilt is too much. So, she goes home. There are some pretty heavy emotional topics here and there in the series but I try to keep it overall mostly a comedy (if a dark one) and much to my surprise, it seems to be resonating with readers.

Q: Do you have a favorite book in the series?

Hmm. It’s a pretty hard call. I think How Not to Summon Demons (book 6) is perhaps the funniest, though book 13 may give it a run for its money.

Q: Which of the characters did you find the most challenging to write?

Probably Petra. She’s evil in a way that’s challenging to visualize for me. I understand there ARE people out there who take passionate delight in completely destroying everything about another person. To me, it’s hard to think in that headspace.

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Q: Do you have a favorite character in the series?

Toss up between Sarah, her sister Sophia (I like cute) or Blix. It’s difficult for me to pin down a favorite character… I like them all 🙂

Q: What feedback do you get from readers?

The neatest thing anyone has said about this series so far is to call it a ‘reverse Buffy’ where the girl’s the vampire. I had a few people mention in their reviews of the earlier books they adored the family dynamics and wanted to see possibly some short stories from the Littles (her siblings’) perspective. I decided to experiment by adding some POV chapters from Sarah’s sisters’ and brother’s perspective. Most of the reviews seem to be quite positive. A few people grumbled about wanting ‘more Sarah’ so I may alternate books being all from her POV and then one with Littles chapters.

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Q: What inspires you to write?

I love living in worlds other than the real one. A side benefit of that is being able to tell stories set there. My inspiration comes from years of thinking up characters and settings for a roleplaying game habit I developed as a kid. Don’t really play the games anymore, but writing novels scratches a similar itch. It’s much easier to get the characters to follow the story properly in novel format than when dice (and other people) are involved. The phrase ‘herding cats’ comes to mind.

Q: Is there a message or common theme in the series you want readers to grasp?

I didn’t intentionally write this series for the purpose of sending a message like that. I suppose the ‘value of family’ is baked into the story given Sarah’s motivation. Really, this series is here to give people a chance to laugh to maybe cry a little, share in Sarah and her family’s crazy life.

Q: What is on your current reading list?

Catching up on some of JR Rain’s back catalog for a project I’m about to work on with him.

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Q: What is your next writing project?

The sixth book in my Evergreen (YA post apocalyptic realism). Present working title is “The World We Make.”

Q: Where can readers connect with you (website, social media, etc)?

Divergent Fates and other worlds

Twitter: @Mscox_Fiction / https://twitter.com/mscox_fiction

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MatthewSCoxAuthor

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/mscox

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/matthewcox10420/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7712730.Matthew_S_Cox

Instagram: DivisionZeroPress

Q: Any closing remarks?

Thank you for hosting my interview! I’m always happy to hear what readers have to say, so if anyone who happens upon this interivew decides to check out the Vampire Innocent series (or any of my other stuff), feel free to drop me a comment somewhere and let me know what you think. I’ve also got a sampler ebook out there on perma-free (A Thousand Lifetimes) that contains a bunch of chapter-ones from the majority of my books.

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