Author Interview: Matti McLean

November 22, 2011

Hello, my lovely readers. A while back I read/reviewed Catalyst by Matti McLean, which is a sci-fi/dystopian middle grade book that will also entertain young adult readers. It’s also a great read for boys who are reluctant readers. 🙂 Anyway, today I’m happy to share an interview with Mr. McLean and I hope you all enjoy getting to know him a bit better!

Who or what inspired you to be a writer?

Truth is I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t a writer. I’ve been writing plays and stories since at least middle school and probably earlier than that. I remember setting out to write my first major story in grade seven. It was a combination of every video game plot I’d ever played to that point so it was a mess of “bosses”, and a mythic dragon who just happened to be living in a junkyard waiting for someone to come along and collect magic gems to do… something… I was never good at finishing stories, but I always loved writing.
My mom also helped. She always knew I would be a writer. I would always argue her telling her everything else I wanted to do that would be better… but I found that it all lead back to writing.

Where did the idea for Catalyst come from?

I first started the idea from Catalyst with a story I wanted to write called “5teps” which was short for five steps to overthrow a government. I’ve always had a bit of a rebellious streak which has served my books well I find… But anyway, I revisited the story completely randomly after coming home from a conference and the story developed from there. I loved dystopian novels, and actually there was a video game that inspired me to write out the rough copy. I self-published the book as “The Invisible War” which was essentially a rough copy of the novel that is now Catalyst. It was a good first attempt but it was hideously undone. So much work and money was wasted on vanity publishing when what I really needed was a good editor and proof reader to help mold the story into something workable and realistic. I wasn’t a huge fan of realism… Now I feel my novel is a lot better. More grounded in the reality I created. A lot of hard work has gone into it, and I feel it’s reflected in the piece.

What was the writing process like?

Hard. I love writing… but you hate writing. Catalyst was easy to write, hard to edit, and even harder to try to finish. Reading the same chapter 20+ times is exhausting, but it needs to be done. It’s funny, I read the book now and there are still minor tweaks here and there that I wish I could tweak further. I will one day, but for now I just need to be satisfied that my book is a high quality product from a great publisher.

How has working with Brighter Books been?

Wonderful! Angela has done an amazing job seeing my vision and crafting it into a perfect gleam. She was very open and communicative on every step of the process and I couldn’t be more happy to have found them. It was actually such a fluke that I even found them in the first place! They hadn’t put up their website, so I took a complete shot in the dark with my contact message, and ever since then, I think it’s been the perfect choice. The novel is exactly what I wanted from the fantastic art, to Angela and her editing team helping me to develop the characters, the setting and allowing me to explore a darker element with it. It’s been a match made in heaven. (I just hope the feeling is mutual…)

What has been your favorite part about being a published author?

The money. Oh yeah, and the book too. It’s cool having a product to show people and say that’s mine. But yeah, the money.

What are you working on now?

Well I’m working on the rest of the Saga of the Radicals series that follows Micah and the rest of the Catalyst crew on their adventures in uncovering the mysteries of the world they live in. I’m also working on two musical shows I’m hoping to produce in Toronto in March or so, and hoping to submit some shows into the Fringe Festival here in Toronto.

If you could spend the day with any person, who would it be and why?

Walt Disney. Enough said.

Do you have any writing quirks?

No? I don’t know really. I’m kind of quirky in general so I don’t really know of any specific quirks I have. I do get sidetracked a LOT but I think that’s more of the fact that I’m a completely random person and not so much into… What?

What are three to five things your readers may not know about you?

1-I love the ocean and am an avid supporter of banning shark fin soup. I believe the practice is horrible and frankly am shocked that it’s even being fought. Finally got my PADI diving certification last year and am hoping to go scuba diving in Yap one year to swim with the manta rays.

2- I am a huge geek. My prize possession is my 3DS and I love Zelda, Mario and most of the Nintendo franchises to be among my favorite games of all time. At the same time I do not currently own a tv so the portable device has to suffice. (one day Zelda: Skyward Sword… one day…) That being said, I hate first person shooters and find them the bane of the video game world…

3- I paint! I have a collection of paintings that I’m hoping to sell soon to raise money for a trip to Comicon to promote Catalyst abroad! Exciting!


For more information on Matti McLean and his writing:

Official Website | Twitter | Facebook | GoodReads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

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