Thursday, December 12, 2013

Interview with Matthew Barron.

Full Name:
Matthew Barron

Do you have a nickname or what do your friends call you?
Matthew or Matt

Washington, Indiana

Current hometown:
Indianapolis, Indiana

Favorite city and why?
My favorite city so far is Indianapolis.  It has the feel and cost of living of a small town but the opportunities of a larger city.  We have a great art, theatre, and independent film scene here in Indianapolis.  When people complain there is nothing fun to do in Indianapolis, I hand them a Nuvo (the local arts newspaper in Indianapolis) and challenge them to do everything fun there is to do in one weekend.  There are tons of things going on in this town, and many of them are free or at a price most of us can afford.
I’ve spent a few wild weekends in Indianapolis.
I used to be a regular vendor at HorrorHound Weekend over on Shadeland.
I like it, except that large parts seem like God was playing Sim City with the real world.
It’s the only major city I’ve taken a wrong turn in because I banged a right at the wrong Burger King.

I went to HorrorHound a few years ago at that hotel.  I frequently attend the Inconjunction and Starbase Indy conventions at the same hotel.  I now know the area well enough that I turn at the correct Burger King. 

Birthday / Age:
I am 39 years old.

How would you describe yourself physically?
Slender.  Pale.  Bald.

How would someone else describe you physically?
Slender.  Pale.  Bald.

The first thing people notice about you is…
I’m bald and my eyes are blue.

Hair Color / Eye Color / Race?
I have brown hair (when it is long enough to see). I have blue eyes.   I am Caucasian.

Sexual orientation?
I am heterosexual, but I am a big supporter of gay rights.
You and me both, sir. I even accidentally ended up attending the local gay pride parade last year. It was pretty cool. Nice to feel like Marilyn Monroe for a night and it’s always comforting to know I have options if the whole heterosexual ting doesn’t work out for me.
I’ve helped table at Indianapolis Pride for the last four years.  It is the best people watching all year.  I recommend people go if they haven’t before.
Say what you want about the gays, even if you don’t eat from the same menu, you definitely can’t say that they don’t know how to party.

Religion, if any?
I am not religious.

Are you superstitious at all? Any phobias?
I am not superstitious.  I am scared of everything.  People make me especially nervous.  I’ve worked very hard to be able to speak in public and organize events, but it isn’t easy.  Being able to talk to people is an essential part of marketing your work.
That’s too true.
Most of the interaction I do with other humans in a day is through my laptop.
Interacting with people in real life gets more anxiety inducing the older I get.
I think I might be going slowly insane but I’m kind of okay with that.
As long as I can get this whole writing thing to work for me, I’d be perfectly happy not leaving the house for a week at a time.

Do you smoke/drink?  Not often. If so, what?   Any bad habits?
I live in a time warp.  I judge time by how many projects I’ve completed instead of how many years have gone by.  I get really focused on my projects and my schedule and go long periods without talking to friends or family.  I don’t realize how much time is passing me by.
You and me both.
A lot of people don’t get that. Not everyone is comfortable living inside their head.
I often forget what day it is. If it weren’t for some places having inconvenient operating hours on the weekends I probably wouldn’t care.

Current occupation / Dream job:
I write and publish fiction.  Writing doesn’t quite pay all my bills.  My day job is being a medical technologist.  That is how I keep the lights on.   Even if writing paid all my bills, I think I’d like to keep a part time job or do some volunteer work so I would still be exposed to people and situations.
If I could pay my bills with my writing, I would probably make it a point to make field trips out into the real world to make observations and gather material for my writing work. Nothing too drastic. I’ve never been one for rafting trips or camping. But going to bars and starting conversations to shake people down for their life stories and steal dialogue would probably be something I’d make it a point to make time to do.
I’d probably make much more of an effort to find time to spend with what few friends I have too. Now, with work and all of the projects I’m working on there’s never enough hours in a day and more often than not I fall asleep at the keyboard than acknowledging the need for a healthy, sane bedtime. I know that it’s not healthy and probably shortening my life by a year for each year I do what I’m doing, but I never wanted to live forever anyway.
Talking to people at bars is a great idea for getting a feel for dialogue and for getting inspiration.  I may have to try that!  I was just thinking earlier this evening that I am shortening my life by living the way I am.  I think it is worth it though.  I hope to leave something worthwhile behind after I’m gone.
I always tell people that ask me about writing… don’t.  Deciding that you want to be a writer takes all of the joy out of books and writing.  I can’t ever really read anything anymore without thinking that the time would maybe be better spent working on my own stuff.  But that’s the way it is with most things in life.  Want to hate bands and music?  Work at a venue.  Want to hate theater?   Work tech.   Doing what you love for money almost always takes the magic out of it.  The only reason you should decide to be a writer is because it’s the only thing you want to do and you want to do it more than you want to do anything else.   There are a lot easier and less competitive ways to make a living in this world.  If someone wants to be a writer, fine, but they can’t say that I didn’t try to scare them away from it.

What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
I like movies, television, live music.  I also enjoy the occasional dark or twisted play.  I love a good story in any medium!

What is your zombie outbreak survival plan?
I may look tough and stringy, but I am actually quite tasty.  I will most likely be one of the first to be eaten.

Weapon of choice:
My wit (another reason I will be eaten first).
This image brings back memories.  It’s like grade school all over again.

Did you go to college and, if so, what for?
I went to Indiana State University for Clinical Laboratory Science.

If you went to college, did you manage to pay off your student loans?
I was very fortunate to not require loans.  My relatives started a savings account for me when I was born and put money in it on my birthdays and at Christmas time.  I wanted to spend it all on He-Man and G.I. Joe figures, but my parents made me save it. I also worked at Kentucky Fried Chicken in high school and did odd jobs while in college. Most of the money I earned went toward college.  I could not have done it without financial help from my parents.

Any pets?
I don’t currently have any pets, but I was raised by a collie named Lady until I was nine years old.  My biological parents helped too.  My family also inherited a miniature dachshund named Copper from my sister. He became an adopted brother.  I am not home enough to have a pet at this time in my life.

Speaking of pets, any pet peeves?
I hate when people are judgmental and hateful without thinking about what another person is going through. People are quick to point fingers, make restrictive laws, etc. We make all sorts of excuses for our own behavior, but we tend not to extend this same consideration to others.

Favorite / Least favorite Food:
I love tacos.  I love homemade mac’n’cheese.

What is your favorite quotation / motto / saying?
“…it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.” -Thomas Jefferson

Ever had your heart broken?
Many times.

Is there a story worth telling behind your answer?
Possibly, but I probably won’t tell it.

Ever broken someone’s heart?
Probably.  Not on purpose.

Is there a story worth telling behind your answer? 
I’m very fortunate to still be friends, or at least acquaintances, with a few of the girls I’ve dated.  For one reason or another, we weren’t compatible in a long term relationship.  I’m an eccentric person and hard to date.
If you could kill one person, consequence free, who would it be and why?
Assuming there would be no consequences, I would kill someone who asked me to kill him/her because he/she was in pain and would never recover.  I might be able to kill someone to prevent other people from being hurt.

What do you do?
I write and publish fiction.

How did you get started doing what you do? 
Since I was around 9 years old, I have wanted to translate the stories in my head into a form others could enjoy.  I took some creative writing classes in college.  I attempted publishing in 2000, but didn’t know what I was doing.  I continued to improve my writing, receive feedback, and submit to magazines.  I became more confident in my writing.  I turned one of my stories into a movie script.  At the time, I was still very shy, not confident, and people scared me even more than they do today.  Up to this point, my interest in writing was almost like a dirty secret.  I didn’t talk about it.  I knew that if I didn’t make this movie, it would because of my shyness and anxiety.  I forced myself out of my box. I sat in on an acting workshop and recruited actors.  I filmed the very low budget King of Indiana in 2007. Once I edited the movie, I had to then show it to people.   It was terrifying and exhilarating.  My secret was out.  I wrote fiction.  I published the dystopian novella, Secular City Limits in 2009, and the children’s book The Lonely Princess in 2012.  I also have short stories in House of Horror, Roboterotica, and the Welcome to Indiana comic Anthology.  I’m currently finishing up a fantasy book and a graphic novel.

What is your advice to other people that want to get started doing what you do?
My number one piece of advice it to work on your writing skills.  Ask for honest feedback and submit your stories to magazines and publishers.  If you can find one, join a writing critique group.  It is very tempting in today’s world to jump into self-publishing before you are ready.  No one is a great writer the first time they sit down at the keyboard.  Before you share your story with the world, you want it to be the best it can be.

What are some of the projects you’ve worked on/finished in the past? Give us a little history if you will.
My dystopian novella, Secular City Limits was completed in 2009.  I wrote it in response to what I was seeing on the news.  Many people were (and are) trying to erode the wall between church and state.  My main character is religious and I wanted to show how all Americans depend on the protections they are eroding away. I hope I also created a compelling story with great characters, but only the reader can say if I succeeded.
My kid’s book, The Lonely Princess, was released in 2012.  It is based on a bed time story I told to a woman I was dating.  I was very fortunate that the talented Charles Gratner was available to do artwork for this book.  He is extremely talented and a great story teller as well.  I can’t imagine this book without his illustrations.

What projects are you working on now?
I am finishing up Valora, a sword sorcery book with a pulp feel.  I’m hoping to have it out in the spring of 2014.
Sword and sorcery with a pulp feel? Sounds interesting. Keep us posted.
Thanks I will!
I am currently working on an urban fantasy graphic novel called Temple of Secrets.  I wrote the script, and an artist named Joel Cotejar did the pencils.  Joel and I each did some inking, and I am now coloring the book. Once colored, I will still need to add the text.  This project has been very time consuming, but I think it will look really good when it is finally done.

What are you watching?
American Horror Story: Coven

What are you listening to?
Jukebox The Ghost

What are you reading?
An anthology called Vampires Don’t Sparkle

Favorite author / book?
H.G Wells /American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Favorite band / song?
The Beatles/”1985” by Bowling for Soup

Desert Island Music / Movies / Books: You know the deal. Five of each.
I’d definitely have some Star Trek stuff and some Beatles.

If you could do anything other than what you do now, what would you do?
Something that involved traveling to historic sites around the world.

What’s the best and worst job you’ve ever had?
I once loaded trucks for some very grumpy delivery men.  I was only there for one summer.  Having a built in end point made it tolerable. 

Thanks for letting me subject you to being interviewed!

Pitch parade:
Give me all of your links for things you want to promote.   All of them.


About the Interviewee:
Matthew Barron spends his days mixing and analyzing human blood as a medical technologist in Indianapolis Indiana.  He also writes fiction and enjoys different genres and mediums of storytelling.  He released his dystopian novella, Secular City Limits in 2009.  His stories have appeared in House of Horror and the Roboterotica anthology.  He also has two short comics in the Welcome to Indiana comic anthology.  His latest book, The Lonely Princess, is a picture book for children and adults of all ages with illustrations by local artist Charles Gratner.  He is currently working on an urban fantasy graphic novel and a sword sorcery book.  For more information, visit

About the Interviewer:
Scott Lefebvre has probably read everything you've read and can write about whatever you want him to write about.
Mostly because when he was grounded for his outlandish behavior as a hyperactive school child, the only place he was allowed to go was the public library.
His literary tastes were forged by the works of Helen Hoke, Alvin Schwartz and Stephen Gammell, Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson, Stephen King, Clive Barker, Edgar Allan Poe, and H. P. Lovecraft.
He is the author of Spooky Creepy Long Island and a contributing author to Forrest J. Ackerman’s Anthology of the Living Dead, Fracas: A Collection of Short Friction, The Call of Lovecraft, and Cashiers du Cinemart.
His reviews have been published by a variety of in print and online media including Scars Magazine, Icons of Fright, Fatally Yours and Screams of Terror, and he has appeared in Fangoria, Rue Morgue and HorrorHound Magazine.
He is the Assistant Program Director for The Arkham Film Society and produces Electronic Music under the names Master Control and LOVECRAFTWORK.
He is currently working on a novel-length expansion of a short-story titled, "The End Of The World Is Nigh", a crowd-funded, crowd-sourced, post-apocalyptic, zombie epidemic project.
Check out the blog for the book here:
Check out the Facebook Fan Page for the project here:
Check his author profile at:
Follow him at GoodReads here:
Check out his publishing imprint Burnt Offerings Books here:
And here:
Check out his electronic music here:
And here:
Check out his videos at:
Check out his IMDB profile here:
Follow his Twitter here: or @TheLefebvre
Follow his Tumblr here:
Check out his Etsy here:
Join the group for The Arkham Film Society here:
Stalk his Facebook at:
E-mail him at:

OPTIONAL: Prove you’re not a replicant.

Question 1:
A tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun beating its legs trying to turn itself over but it can't, not without your help, but you're not helping. Why is that?

Because the turtle is Gamera the super turtle and weighs much more than I can lift.  Plus, when I get too close, fire sprays out of his leg holes and burns me. 

Question 2:
Describe in single words, only the good things that come in to your mind about your mother.

Nice. Caring. Supportive.

Question 3:
It's your birthday. Someone gives you a calfskin wallet.
This isn’t technically a question, but I assume you want me to say how I would respond to this situation.  I would say thank you.  After making sure there was no money in the wallet, I would re-gift it to someone else.

Question 4:
You've got a little boy. He shows you his butterfly collection plus the killing jar.
I would talk to him about the different types of butterflies, their behavior, and their anatomy.  I would also ask what he thought the butterflies felt or thought about while in the jar.

Question 5:
You're watching television. Suddenly you realize there's a wasp crawling on your arm.
I would sit and watch the wasp crawl around on my arm for a little bit.  If it didn’t leave on its own, I would slowly stand up.  If it still didn’t leave, I would find a piece of paper and slowly scoot it off of my arm.  I’ve never known a lone wasp to sting someone who moves slowly and doesn’t attack it or shoo it away.  If you run over its nest, all bets are off!

Question 6:
You're reading a magazine. You come across a full-page nude photo of a girl. You show it to your husband. He likes it so much he hangs it on your bedroom wall.
I will probably never have a husband since I am a heterosexual man.  If a girlfriend wanted to hang up a nude photo in her personal space, I would have no problem with that.  I might even encourage her to hang it up if it made her happy. 

Question 7:
You're watching a stage play. A banquet is in progress. The guests are enjoying an appetizer of raw oysters. The entree consists of boiled dog.
This is a conundrum.  I would probably be upset about the dog meat on some levels and curious on others.  I would ask about how the dogs were treated and if they were killed humanely.  I might take a taste, but I doubt I could eat a full plate.  I eat cows and lambs and other animals.  I’d like to think they all lived good lives and were killed humanely, but I know this probably isn’t the case.

No comments:

Post a Comment