MATTHEW FITZSIMMONS: THE SHORT DROP WAS INSPIRED BY THRILLERFEST
Posted by Ognian Georgiev
Matthew FitzSimmons made a dream debut. His first ever novel The Short Drop is currently #1 at Kindle Amazon Bestselling list. The book was loved by the readers, who are giving average 4.7 Amazon stars from 280 plus reviews.
“The Short Drop is an adrenaline-fueled thriller that has it all—political intrigue, murder, and suspense. Matthew FitzSimmons weaves a clever plot and deftly leads the reader on a rapid ride to an explosive end”, said the good friend of Land of Books Robert Dugoni, author of My Sister’s Grave.
Andrew Peterson added: “Beyond exceptional. Matthew FitzSimmons is the real deal”.
So here we are with another special chat with the new star of thriller genre Mr. Matthew FitzSimmons himself. We owe special thanks to lovely Dennelle Catlett for her great assistance in doing the interview.
– Matthew, Tell us about your new book, The Short Drop. What is it about?
– The Short Drop is about Gibson Vaughn and the search for Suzanne Lombard, a childhood friend and daughter of the American vice president. Her disappearance has haunted Gibson since he was a troubled teenager. Ten years later, he’s been given the chance to solve the mystery. It’s an opportunity that he can’t pass up and of course gets him into all sorts of trouble.
– How did you come to write this story?
– A few years back, I went to Thrillerfest in New York City with my uncle – the book is dedicated to him. Before that, I had never considered writing a thriller but four days of listening to authors discuss the creative process left me feeling inspired. I began work on a story that eventually became The Short Drop although ironically after six months work, I threw out my initial concept almost entirely and kept only the hero. It was an object lesson in what Arthur Quiller-Crouch called “murdering your darlings.” One of many lessons I learned while writing the book.
– What was the biggest challenge in your writing process?
– The biggest challenge was carving out time from my responsibilities as a teacher. In truth, much of the book was written over summer and winter vacations when I could dedicate myself to writing without interruption. I find I work best when I can live with a story and find it challenging to pick back up if I’ve been away from it for any length of time.
– Tell us something more about your main character Gibson? Is he similar to someone from your real life?
– I don’t build characters from anyone I know although periodically I do steal a great name. However, Gibson’s background as a hacker is based on a good friend of mine who is incredibly knowledgeable. He advises me on all my technical aspects and makes sure that I’m not taking too much creative liberty. It was important to me that the use of computers stayed grounded in the real world.
– How long did it take you to write the book?
– It took me two and a half years to finish it with significant time off in the middle for teaching – hard to do anything on the side when school is in full swing.
– Did you expect that your book would be on the top of the Kindle bestseller list? What did that moment feel like?
– I had great faith in Thomas & Mercer so I knew that the book would get a great boost from Kindle First, but I had no idea that it would do so well, so quickly. Honestly, it is more than a little surreal to see oneself among such writing luminaries. Wonderful, but surreal.
– Tell us a little more about yourself?
– I’m 6’6” so I’ve long been suspicious that the reason I was invited to concerts was so that my friends could use me as an easy to spot meeting point. For the same reason, I hate long flights and hotel showers that come up to my chest.
– What are your writing habits?
– I work six days a week from eight to four, by which time my brain hates me a little bit. I try to take the evenings off so I can come back fresh the next day. In the mornings, I edit the previous day’s pages and in the afternoons, I press forward again. Sometimes I lie on the floor and stare at the ceiling until the solution that should have been perfectly obvious three hours ago occurs to me.
– When we will see your next novel? Will you share a preview?
– If everything continues on schedule, my next book will be released in September, ’16. It continues Gibson Vaughn’s story and picks up about six months after the end of The Short Drop.
– You taught English literature. What were some of your students’ favorite genres?
– One thing you discover teaching high school for ten years is how varied and unpredictable teenaged tastes are. I taught during the Harry Potter generation so there were always a contingent who loved science fiction/fantasy and graphic novels. Beyond that their tastes were very eclectic – I had one student who only read music biographies, another who loved Jack Kerouac and the Beats, and another who at sixteen had read every play by Harold Pinter. It was a wonderful experience for me to teach them.
– If you were interviewing yourself, what one question would you ask? And how would you answer?
– I always like to know what music people are listening to, so I’d probably ask about that. My answer is Gary Clark Jr. who is a fantastic young Texas bluesman.
Take a look at his book:
The Short Drop