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Nine Questions with… Matt Schiariti

Today I have the utmost pleasure of sharing an interview with new(ish) author Matt Schiariti. Matt has just released his first novel – Ghosts of Demons Past. Welcome Matt, why don’t you take a moment and introduce yourself to the captive audience that you now have before you. (Great place to inset your bio and expand on it)

MattSchiariti_pictureHi! I’m Matt Schiariti and I’m an Engineer by profession, guitar legend in my own mind, and would-be author, time permitting.  When I’m not writing, I’m reading.  When I’m not reading, I’m enjoying a beer sporting a fancy name on the label.  When I’m not enjoying a fancy-named beer, I’m most likely reading some more.  Sometimes I do all three at once, to disastrous effect.

I live in southern New Jersey, with my wife, two children, insane dog, curious guinea pig, and three reclusive hermit crabs.

I’m currently working on another novel (first one I’d ever written as a matter of fact—cleaning it up and getting it ready for beta readers as we speak) as well as several short stories.  Ghosts of Demons Past is my first full-length book, but not my last.

You have been warned

Tell us what is your writing process?

Prodigious outlining isn’t my bag.  To date, everything I’ve written has been by the seat of my pants.  A few of my short stories were written around bare-bone outlines, but for the most part I’m a ‘pantser’.  That being said, I always have a good idea of where the story starts, ends, and what happens in between in mind before I begin any story, no matter the length.  Not sure how long I’ll be able to get away with that because once I get into more complex stories, I’m going to need something to work from, something with more detail.  Will I be a pantser forever?  Time will tell!

Is there a genre, other than the one you currently write in, that you wish you could break into?

  1. What?  Don’t look at me like that!  I’m not kidding.  Mostly.  Sorta kinda.  Hey, I need some way to pay for my editorial fees, right?  😉  Seriously, though.  I’m very much a ‘write what I feel like’ type of person.  If I think I have a good story to tell, whether it be contemporary, horror, sci fi, paranormal, urban fantasy, I’ll write it.

What are the 5 books that have influenced you the most, and why?

This is a difficult question to answer.  I read in just about every genre so nailing down specific influences would be next to impossible.  Funny thing is, some of my favorite books/authors aren’t even in the genres I’ve been writing up to this point!

If you could cast one of your works, who would you choose to play your main characters?

I suck at this!  But, for Ghosts of Demons Past, my cast would consist of the following people:

Seth Gabriel: Hugh Jackman

Jamie: Tatiana Maslany

Sim Peters: Todd Lasance

Rene Gabriel: Joelle Carter

Mitch Gabriel: Dylan Minnette

Amanda Gallagher: Rachel McAdams

Evan Gallagher: David Tennant

Tom McKinty: I have no idea!

Great choice in cast, Matt! What is the first thing you would do if you woke up one morning to find one of your books on the NY Times Bestsellers List?

Ask my wife to pinch me.  Then, after determining I hadn’t been dreaming, I’d call my mommy!

Do you have any vices that you turn to while you are writing?

  1. I smoke entirely too much when I come to a sticking point or a part that needs some serious thought.  (Pssst…don’t try this at home, kiddies!  Smoking is bad for you, the surgeon general says so.)

What do you do when you’re not writing?

I work a 9 to 5, but when I’m home and not in the midst of family stuff (changing poopy diapers, or badgering my 6 year old, etc) I read.  A LOT.  If I’m not reading I’ll be playing my guitar, watching TV, or hanging out with friends on the weekends.  I’m not very adventurous.  No skydiving or mountain climbing for this guy!  I’m happy relaxing with friends at each other’s houses, seeing movies, keeping it simple!

Please share with us the first nine lines of your current work-in-progress.

The following is from a book I’d written BEFORE Ghosts of Demons Past.  I’ve recently revisited and am about 60% through the cleaning up process, getting it ready for beta readers.  It’s not horror, it’s not urban fantasy, and it’s not a thriller.  This WIP is a complete and total departure from anything else I’ve released to date.  It’s a bit of a life story with a slight paranormal twist—a VERY slight paranormal twist:

Funerals.

Nobody likes a funeral.

Funerals are a necessary evil of life, kind of like paying taxes or waiting in the line at the DMV or going to a Chuck E. Cheese’s kid’s party.  For most people in the civilized world, they’re damn near unavoidable.

When you get to thinking about it they’re really a brutal ritual.  The bereaved, whether they are husband or wife, mother or father, son or daughter, are on display more than the deceased.  On the worst day of their life they’re forced to endure a barrage of sympathy from family and friends, coworkers and acquaintances, their naked grief and sorrow front and center.  Perhaps the last thing anybody wants to do when they lose a loved one is to shake dozens of hands, hear the words ‘I’m so sorry’ over and over again.

Fantastic Matt! Thank you! Now let’s take a quick look into Ghosts of Demons Past

MattSchiariti_Cover“Well, Mr. Gabriel. What do you know about…demons?”

For most people, that’s a question that never comes up. Medium Seth Gabriel isn’t most people and for him, it’s another normal day in an abnormal life.

It’s bad enough that his love life has seen better days but his personal problems are only the half of it. Seth’s ghost hunting business, SG Cleaning Services hasn’t seen a client in weeks and he’s desperate for a paycheck. Things look up when two potential clients seek him out.

Courtney Reeves hires Seth to investigate a paranormal disturbance in her home. On the surface it’s a run of the mill cleaning job but when you deal with the dead for a living, there’s no such thing as routine. The close of the case is the start of even bigger problems and Seth will find that, while there’s nothing to fear from the dead, the living are another story.

When the nervous and persistent Evan Gallagher enters his life, Seth sees the promise of a big payday. There’s only one catch. The wealthy lawyer thinks his wife is possessed by a demon. Seth doesn’t believe in demons…not anymore, but the money is too good to turn down. Is Evan crazy or is he one hundred percent sane? As Seth digs deeper, he’ll ask the same question of himself.

For a guy who’s coasted through life on not much more than Greek takeout, tequila, and attitude, Seth’s going to have to dig deep to survive what will turn out to be a very bad week.

Don’t forget to click on the cover to be whisked away to Amazon!

Thanks Matt for taking the time to answer my questions. If you’d like to connect with Matt, you can find him on his blog, Twitter, and Facebook.

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