Welcome to The Mysterious Stranger blog, Matthew Davenport!
"Indie Author Tuesday" is all about showcasing writing talent beyond the big publishing companies. However, while my identity is clouded in mystery, Davenport has already made himself known through his stories and novels. You can read more about Davenport's novels here.
Once I got to college, I realized that there was a “market” (in quotes because nobody actually paid me) for some of my stories when I included my friends in them. I wrote all sorts of tales of college hijinks, alien abductions, and inescapable epics that parodied my life and the people in it.
It wasn’t until 2009 when I had first heard of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and thought that it sounded like an awesome thing to attempt to accomplish. I had a notebook that was filled with story ideas and basic plots I wanted to try someday, but I spent months trying to come up with an original and new idea for NaNoWriMo. I really overthought my end of it. When I finally had the idea, the rest was easy. I sat down and wrote. While I didn’t get my first book done at that NaNoWriMo, I did finish my first novel at the next one.
My first book, Random Stranger, is heavily influenced by Douglas Adams, while most of my blog posts that are meant to be funny are aimed at sounding as much like McManus as I can while still retaining my own voice. In my mind, they are the gold standard of comedic storytelling.
You’ll also see, in at least half of my works, that I’m influenced by H.P. Lovecraft. While his lifestyle choices aren’t the greatest, I’m a huge fan of his universe that he’s created and like to play in it as if it’s the neighbor’s sandbox. “Oh, don’t mind me, I’m just playing with your esoteric terrors over here…”
Why should readers buy/read your book?
Broken Nights is a story about siblings who are just like any other set of siblings, combining their collective efforts to change the world. Everything about Broken Nights is about how an everyday person would deal with these extraordinary circumstances. In the last century there have been an untold number of superhero stories and with similar origins, outlandish technologies, and incredible amounts of luck. Broken Nights doesn't have any of that. The only thing that seems on par is his motivation (the death of his mother), but outside of that our hero isn't rich (he runs a failing hobby shop), he learns everything he knows about fighting from local gyms (using Groupon memberships), and each piece of his equipment is something that exists today (special thanks to websites like instructables.com andhackaday.com). Even the villain of the story (no spoilers) uses a piece of technology that was used last year on flatworms.
On top of those reasons, the realism of this gritty action adventure, comes the exciting moments of disbelief. We wanted those moments of believability, but it's still a superhero novel. We wanted to introduce you to this world, but we didn't want you to miss out on your favorite bits of the genre. We have already began work on the sequels where, since we've done the gritty realism, we begin to bring in some more fantastical elements that you find members of the comic book world regularly confronting. Where we differ, will be in the very realistic ways that we deal with the fantastical problems. If, for example, instead of Batman fighting Superman, Joe Everyman had to fight him, how could he do it and succeed? We're tackling these hard questions, researching technologies that exist today, all to bring you a story that you can relate to everyday situations.
More importantly, we do all of this while focusing on how our hero's relationship with his sister changes. It's an organic dynamic that shifts throughout the book and future books. Relating all of the story to how average people can do extraordinary things is only a small part of the book. The big part is that relationship, because of everything I've listed here, the thing that makes our hero, Jason Night, the most believable is his relationships with his family and friends.
Every time that I finish a chapter, I go back to that magical Evernote notebook and start plotting out the next chapter. I keep doing that until I have a novel that I’m happy with. The important bits are to not ever look back at what you’ve already written, at least not until the novel’s done.
And finally, a mysterious stranger approaches and offers you one book to read, unpublished in our universe but published in another alternate universe. Which book would you choose and why?
Mike Carey’s 6th Felix Castor novel. That series was excellent, and while I understand how a writer’s career can take them away from certain projects, the books were left unfinished and I desperately need more of Felix Castor and his musical exorcisms.
Thanks once again, Matthew Davenport, for the interview! If you'd like to know more about Matthew Davenport and his novels, please visit the link below.