I really enjoy working with emerging authors, and here's a new one for you. B.R. Matson has just released his first novel called Phoenix Rises published by DeeBee Books. It's currently available on Amazon and will be distributed globally over the coming weeks.
Here's my interview with B.R. Matson
First of all, where did the idea for Phoenix Rises come from?
The story of how I came up with the idea for the book Phoenix Rises is an interesting one. In 2012, When I was in grade 7, I met one of my all-time favourite teachers named Laura Blake. One morning Laura and I started talking and she asked me if I had any hobbies. My immediate response was that I loved writing stories. I shared with her that one day that I wanted to realize my dream of becoming a published author. Laura encouraged me to pursue my passion for writing and somehow that led to me writing Phoenix Rises.
Although it is true that the story has changed significantly since Laura typed the first draft all those years ago, I could say for certain having Laura’s love and support changed my life and allowed me to become a better writer. If I could talk to Laura today I would say thank you for changing my life and believing in me. I will carry the lessons you taught me forever.
Teachers really can make a huge difference in our lives. What were some of the biggest challenges you faced writing Phoenix Rises?
I loved writing Phoenix Rises; however, it was not without its challenges. Of course I knew writing it that I was breaking new ground In several different ways: my two main characters are female, one of which has a disability. However, I also discuss such topics as LGBTQ relationships, medical assistance in dying, and perhaps above all witchcraft and wizardry.
In my heart I knew that I had to add these elements into the book. For example people with disabilities are the largest minority in the world; however, we are the most underrepresented in entertainment and literature. As an author, I knew I needed to do what I could to change that.
In my view it is completely fine for a parent of a child to say we need to talk about what you’re reading or we need to read that together. In fact, it would be wonderful if a parent read my book with their child; however, this concept that you can’t read something because it talks about a specific topic that you don’t agree with that to me is nonsensical. We should be embracing our diversity not running from it. With all that being said, however, as an author it is difficult to know that my book may not be read by someone purely because of what my book is about and who I’m trying to represent throughout the story.
Are you a pantser or a plotter, that is, do you map out your story before writing, or just start writing and see where things go?
As a writer, the ideas come to my head and I write them as they come to me. I do not plan most of my writing as I prefer to see where the ideas take me. I will often say that I write the way my life is: I think I’m going in one direction and then things change completely and I am somewhere that I never imagined.
Where do you find your inspiration?
A lot of the inspiration for my writing comes from the injustices that I see in the world around me. Writing provides me with a fantastic outlet to make sense of what’s happening. My writing provides me with a safe way to express all of my emotions. My body may be limited by my disability, but when I’m writing my mind can go where my legs cannot take me.
Now that Phoenix Rises is done, do you have another writing project in the works?
Now that Phoenix Rises is done and published, I'm excited and ready to continue the story that was started. The story is not over yet my friends!
Great! Do you have any tips for writers who want to write their novel?
My advice to any new writer is there is no such thing as writers block. If you have writers block, you are afraid of something. Also, never get too attached to the first version of a story. Let go and just let the writing take you where it wants to go. I promise you it is an amazing journey.
Be sure to check out B.R. Matson's new book Phoenix Rises and support an emerging writer.