Interview with Matthew Speak
Author of Devils Glen
I have been writing short stories since I was in about 6th grade. My English teacher, Mrs. Lineback, used to let me write stories about my friends and read them at the end of class. It got to the point where kids would ask me when I was going to write a new one.
Why horror and suspense versus the other genres?
I’ve always been drawn to horror movies and books ever since I was a little kid. One Halloween when I was in 4th or 5th grade, my brother Terry and I got out pillows and blankets, made popcorn, and watched the movie Halloween on TV. That did it for me--I was hooked on horror ever since. Of course, reading Stephen King books in middle school and high school made a big impression on me too.
Who is your favorite character in Devils Glen and why?
I think my favorite characters are the wolves, Opus and Maximus, mostly because they are such mysterious creatures. How their story merged with that of the main character, Jack, was a real joy for me during the writing process. In fact, even though they were only in a small part of the story, their presence really changed the entire plot of the book, once I figured out how to use them. I’m excited for people to read more about them in upcoming books.
What are your plans for the next writing project?
I am currently in the middle of writing the sequel to Devils Glen, titled Crow Creek, which picks up immediately following the events of the first book. I am hoping to have it released by March of 2018, but we’ll see how things go. I have another book in the works, not related the Bettendorf Tales series. A short story of mine was selected for an anthology called The Edge: Infinite Darkness presented by Patrick Reuman, which will hopefully be released soon.
What is your favorite horror novel?
Though this is a tough question, I must say Stephen King’s It remains my all-time favorite. It scared me to death when I first read it, but it also had a profound influence on my love of horror as well as my own style of storytelling.
Dogs or Cats?
I like all kids of animals, but I am very much a dog person. I’ve been crazy about them since I was a kid. I just lost my dog Stella last Christmas and my heart is still broken over it. She was 14 years old and I was blessed to have her for almost 13 of those years. Thankfully, she got to be in our wedding last October.
Thank you Matthew for taking the time to allow us to get a peek into your world. I'm sorry you had to say goodbye to Stella. I am sad now. I love my dogs too and the hardest thing is having to say good-bye. Congratulations on your wedding. I'm sure Stella left you with lasting memories.
Enough mushiness from me. Check out Matthew's novel Devils Glen and follow him on Twitter.
“Seek the gates and save the boy.”
Welcome to Bettendorf. At first glance, it seems like a typical Midwestern town, but take a closer look and you might be surprised.
High schooler Jack Davies sees the darkness coming; he lives with it. Cold voices call out from the closet door; dead hands reach up from under his bed. Although he doesn't know it, Jack wields a great power.
Now, a smooth-talking preacher has come to town promising freedom and redemption for all who follow his words. But like Jack, this preacher has a secret. Those who heed his call find themselves pawns in his plan to awaken an ancient evil, long ago imprisoned in the dank caves of Devils Glen Park.
With the help of a widowed police officer, a babysitter, and a mysterious spirit called Ava, Jack must find the truth about his hidden power in time to battle the dark forces that have descended upon his town. If he fails, our world will be cast into darkness forever.
Matthew Speak grew up in Bettendorf, Iowa, within sight of the Mississippi River. He moved to Chicago after college, performing in and directing several plays around the Midwest. Eventually, he moved to California where he appeared on stage and in a few short films before seeking his teaching credential. Though he has written numerous short stories throughout his life, this is his first full-length novel and his first published work. Matthew is a special education teacher at Northpoint School in Northridge, CA. He lives in Burbank, CA, with his family.
The Daily Ten-Minute Writing Prompt
Write every day, even if it's just a little bit. Keep the creative momentum moving.
The rules are simple. Set your timer ten minutes. Begin to write and include the prompt somewhere in your mini-story.
The noun or pronoun can be changed to your requirement. The tense can also be changed. Feel free to share the results of your writing prompt in the comments below.
Today's writing prompt is:
The glacier ice was melting.
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