I am pleased to introduce Matthew Drzymala.
Hello Matthew. Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hey. Me… hmmm, well I’m 34 years old and I’m originally from Manchester, UK but now live in Liverpool. I work in Payroll, which isn’t terribly exciting compared to writing. I’m not terribly good with figures, I much prefer words.
What bought you to the world of writing?
NaNoWriMo, really. Two of my friends took part in it in 2010 and I thought it sounded really interesting, so I took part in 2011 and it’s gone on from there, really. I was bitten by the bug and I haven’t stopped since. I went on to do a creative writing course in 2013-14 as I wanted to take it seriously. It was a brilliant experience, and I learn a lot because of it.
What is your first book and what do you think of it now?
Last Christmas and Bittersweet were released at the same time. Technically Bittersweet was the first book I wrote, which I think still stands up. Last Christmas was written in a week as a Christmas tie-in. That one doesn’t have loads of story and it is the one story I wish I could maybe add more meat too, but it was a nice, little story an it’s not bad. I think if I wrote it now more would happen, but you learn as you go along.
What type of books do you write and do they fulfil your reader’s needs?
I write humour, mostly and I think so, yes. They are quite gentle stories, but I try and pack a range of emotions in. I’ll always throw in a bit of pathos and not every character has a happy ending. Although they’re set in a fictional village I try and make the emotion real.
Most of the feedback I’ve had is positive. People seem to like the cosiness in the stories. They can be silly at times and some characters are completely crazy, but there are characters who are quite down to earth to, so there’s something for everybody in them.
Would you like to feature a book, if so which one? Tell us about it?
My collection, The Bumpkinton Tales: Volume One, has all of my Bumpkinton stories so far. It includes Last Christmas, Bittersweet, The Bachelor, Albert’s Christmas, and the exclusive bonus short story, The Family Jewels.
I felt I was missing out on paperback readers and the book is something I’m extremely proud of. It puts all of Bumpkinton together in one place and you can get a real sense of the stories taking place within the same 12 months and how parts of a previous story affect a later one.
How long does it take you to write your first draft?
Short stories, I would say about 4-6 weeks. However, I am writing my first novel and draft one took about 9 months. I’m now on draft 3 and it still needs a lot of work, but I’m enjoying it!
Do you plot or not, if so why?
Not massively, no. I know, I know I’m bad for not doing it. I tend to come up with an idea and always seem to know how it ends and the rest I just write as I go along. Now and again I’ll plot a little bit, knowing I need to make certain things happen at a certain point, but more often than not I just have a vague idea and an ending and just write.
Do you write in 1st or 3rd person, or have you do both?
I’ve done both, but I prefer 3rd person, definitely.
How do you edit your work? Do you leave your draft alone for a while or edit as you write?
I tend to edit once I’ve finished, unless it’s something glaringly troubling that’s changed, then I may go back and edit as I go, but I tend not to do that very much. I much prefer to get it written, then get it right.
What type of people/readers do you market your books to?
Anybody really. My books are accessible to all. They’re perfect to relax to. They’re happy or sad and if you’ve finished a heavy book, they’re just right to relax your brain before starting another heavy book.
I also want to make people laugh and I want everybody to see that humour has a big part to play in the world. We all need to laugh sometimes as life is too serious these days.
Do you self-publish or have you worked with an Agent/Publisher
I self-publish. I did find a small publisher from my short story, Brainstorm, but they went under a few weeks after, which was a bit gutting, so I self-published that story a few weeks later.
How do you promote your writing?
Any way I can. I post everywhere I can online, Facebook, Twitter, Forums and interviews such as this one J I also have fliers so I hand them in to cafes etc locally. I recently appeared on a local radio station promoting my book and I will be on a local TV station in September.
The release of my paperback has spurred me on to get my work out there wherever I can, even signing up to signing events that span over three years. I’m doing my first talk in a school in September too, so I’m putting my face everywhere and seeing where it takes me!
Where can we buy your books?
If anybody reading this lives in Liverpool in the UK, they are also available from Write Blend in Waterloo, Pritchards in Crosby and News from Nowhere in the City Centre. I’ve applied for it to go into Libraries across the country and it’s also being considered for stock in Waterstones’ stores nationwide, but I haven’t had confirmation on that yet.
Who are your favourite authors?
I would say Terry Pratchett, I just love his Discworld stories and I’m not ashamed to say I love JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series. I don’t get to read as much as I’d like as I find it difficult to read books when I’m writing and I’m writing a lot lately.
I read Thrillers more than anything, so Jo Nesbo is up there for me, especially his Harry Hole series.
What other hobbies do you have?
I wish I had other hobbies. I like to watch TV shows and movies, but I don’t do a lot of things outside. I really should shouldn’t I? That’s terrible!
I run a writing group once a month at the local Library called The Laid-back Writers Group, which has been fun to do. I’ve met so many talented writers. I’ve been slack with the homework the last few months, but that’s mostly due to me writing my novel and getting my new paperback released and promoted. It’s cut into a lot of my time and I haven’t been able to do as much as I’d like.
Do you have any more information you’d like to share?