Today Matt Doyle takes a spin!
- What’s one thing that inspired your latest book?
You know, it was more of a conglomerate of things than a single thing. The earliest inkling that I had that I was going to write Addict actually just came out of the blue. I was playing BlazBlue Central Fiction online – and by playing, I mean getting whupped by complete strangers for the most part – when the thought popped into my head that my next book was going to be a sci-fi mystery novel. After that, I left the idea alone while I was sorting out some other stuff, but once I was ready to begin work, I kinda thought that it would be interesting concept to work with. Most of my work fits broadly into the science fiction category, but it always takes some cues from other genres too, and mystery was something that I hadn’t really approached before.
So, I decided to get some inspiration by binge watching a couple of films: Blade Runner, The Maltese Falcon, and L.A. Confidential. The reason I picked those three is because I wanted a very specific feeling for the book; I wanted to take an old school hard boiled PI, and place them in a cyberpunk-y setting (albeit one that is more near future than far future) that had a ton of corruption running in the background.
And so, the basis for Addict was born. From there, I really just started sucking in different things as I went along. The tech that I touch on for example, is noticeably close to what we have now. Like I said, we’re looking at near future stuff here, so I basically took what we have and gave some thought to where it could end up if we didn’t take care to avoid some pitfalls. I mean, let’s be honest here: is the idea of VR addiction really that unrealistic? Of course not. With how immersive things are now in games like Resident Evil 7, it’s easy to see how people could get hooked. Add that in with the reliance of an online environment when it comes to business, and you have a bit of a volatile mix if both of those sides of the electronic world were to intermingle. And as for metallic animal suites used in Tech Shifting? That’s really just a tech-heavy extension for both the furry fandom and the pup play community.
- When you read, is there a trope you just can’t resist?
Hmm … now, I had to look up the actual term for this – thanks TV Tropes dot org! – but I do seem to be quite partial to the ‘Action Girl’ trope. The thing is, I never really enjoyed the whole ‘damsel in distress’ storyline. I grew up in a household with a Mum that held her own when she had to, and a little sister who remains one of the toughest women I’ve known. As a result, the idea of sitting around and waiting to be rescued just seemed really odd to me.
So, when I was enjoying fiction, what female leads did I enjoy? Well, I was reading Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series from the age of about nine, and I always did love werewolf cop Angua von Uberwald. Then, when it came to live action stuff, Ellen Ripley in the Alien franchise always stood out to me. Cartoons were the same too. Growing up, I always enjoyed anime, and my favourites as a kid tended to be those like Rika (Digimon Tamers) and Sakura (Cardcaptor Sakura), neither of whom were the sort to sit back and wait for a prince.
As I’ve grown, the same thing still holds true in my reading (and other fiction based) habits. I still love Angua in Discworld. Urban Fantasy works well for me in a similar way – characters like Kelley Armstrong’s Elena Michaels or Cherie Priest’s Raylene Pendle for example. Oh, and don’t forget the comics! Give me an Alopex (IDW’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), or a Revy (Black Lagoon) as a lead any day!
- Write a haiku poem about your favorite beverage.
Milk dashed, a true brew,
Strong in flavor and colour.
Ah, dear friend! Such warmth!
- What’s one event in your life or on your travels that you wish you’d caught on film?
I’ve been lucky insofar as I did catch a lot of the fun moments on film. For example, when my youngest gave her first smile, my camera just happened to be on. I spent ten years as a professional wrestler too, and while we didn’t film too much at training, pretty much every show I’ve been on has been filmed by someone. Like I said, I’ve been lucky with catching stuff. As to something that we didn’t catch though …
Okay, so when I was younger, I used to love tormenting my Dad. There was one prank that my brother and I pulled that I would have loved to have caught on film, but we were too busy having fun to even consider doing so. You see, my Dad used to fall asleep in front of the TV a lot. Of course, if you turned it off, he’d immediately wake up with a cry of, “I was watching that!” As long as you left it running in the background though, he’d remain asleep through most things. So, this particular day, we decided to take advantage of his sleep routine by grabbing a few rolls of masking tape and attempting to mummify him while he slept. It sounds ridiculous, and truth be told, it was. We got a fair way up his body before we accidentally woke him though! The look of slow realisation dawning on his face, and the mix of bemusement and annoyance that crept in afterwards were priceless. That I would have loved to have captured on film.
- One of your characters has a guilty favorite TV show. Tell us about it.
Heh. Our heroine in Addict, PI Cassie Tam, is a big fan of horror films. Most of the time, she’s happy to stick something spooky on, and huddle up on her couch with her robot gargoyle Bert. The funny thing is though, it’s really bad for her. Horror movies are virtually guaranteed to give Cassie terrible nightmares, but she just can’t get enough of them. Despite this though, we learn in the upcoming second book, that she does have a soft spot for slightly hammy stuff too. You see, she goes to a variety show at the local theatre that sees a Tech Shifter – someone who uses a metal exoskeleton to roleplay as an animal – performing a mix of stories and songs in the guise of a family of Japanese Kitsune spirits. By the end of the show, she’s actually considering looking for download purchases of previous shows! So, despite her tough exterior and love of scares, if Cassie were to stumble across anything a little fantasy based with a touch of cheesy romance, she’d no doubt get hooked within minutes. In that regard, and in keeping with her coming from a Chinese-Canadian family, I would say that he guilty pleasure TV show would like be the 2016 drama series ‘Legend of Nine Tails Fox’ (or 青丘狐传说).
- What food would you only consider eating if you were stranded on a desert isle with nothing else to consume?
Grapes. It’s a simple answer, but seedless grapes are one of my favourite foods ever. Seriously, you give me a few packets of them, and they’ll be gone far quicker than is probably healthy!
New Hopeland was built to be the centre of the technological age, but like everywhere else, it has its dark side. Assassins, drug dealers and crooked businessmen form a vital part of the city’s make-up, and sometimes, the police are in too deep themselves to be effective. But hey, there are always other options …
For P.I. Cassie Tam, business has been slow. So, when she’s hired to investigate the death of a local VR addict named Eddie Redwood, she thinks it’ll be easy money. All she has to do is prove to the deceased’s sister Lori that the local P.D. were right to call it an accidental overdose. The more she digs though, the more things don’t seem to sit right, and soon, Cassie finds herself knee deep in a murder investigation. But that’s just the start of her problems.
When the case forces Cassie to make contact with her drug dealing ex-girlfriend, Charlie Goldman, she’s left with a whole lot of long buried personal issues to deal with. Then there’s her client. Lori Redwood is a Tech Shifter, someone who uses a metal exoskeleton to roleplay as an animal. Cassie isn’t one to judge, but the Tech Shifting community has always left her a bit nervous. That wouldn’t be a problem if Lori wasn’t fast becoming the first person that she’s been genuinely attracted to since splitting with Charlie. Oh, and then there’s the small matter of the police wanting her to back off the case.
Easy money, huh? Yeah, right.
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Matt Doyle lives in the South East of England and shares his home with a wide variety of people and animals, as well as a fine selection of teas. He has spent his life chasing dreams, a habit which has seen him gain success in a great number of fields. To date, this has included spending ten years as a professional wrestler, completing a range of cosplay projects, and publishing multiple works of fiction.
These days, Matt can be found working on far too many novels at once, blogging about anime, comics, and games, and plotting and planning what other things he’ll be doing to take up what little free time he has.
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