Meet Matt Betts, author of the poetry collections Underwater Fistfight and See No Evil, Say No Evil, as well as the novels Odd Men Out and Indelible Ink.
If you had a time machine, where and when would you be right now?
I would love to have a time machine, but it would be tough to decide where and when I would want it to take me. As a scifi writer, I think I’d like to see the future, say two hundred years? It fascinates me that we don’t know where we’ll end up and what technology we’d be using. Technology is developing at such a rapid pace that I have no idea where it will lead. Where would I like to be? I think it would be amazing to be on Mars, if we’re really going to colonize that planet. Of course, if I take my time machine a couple hundred years in the future, and we’re NOT living on Mars, I guess I’d be in trouble when I showed up.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Not everyone is going to love what you write, and that’s okay. Keep writing.
What is your favorite resource for writers?
Writer’s Digest and their websites have always been terrific, especially when I was starting out. They have excellent blogs on topics important for just about any writer.
What has been the most satisfying aspect of your literary career?
The most satisfying event of my literary career was holding that first book in my hands and getting to see the culmination of all that hard work finally realized. I think the most satisfying aspect is getting to write what I want—really feeling free to follow a story wherever it leads. Eventually, edits and notes come into play, but sitting at a keyboard, day-to-day and going where a story takes me, is really fulfilling and super exciting every time.
What is your favorite tip for writers?
Read. Read everything you can, even if it’s not in your genre. Figure out why a book is popular, or how the plot works. Read to get a feel for storytelling.
What is the most challenging aspect of your work?
Finding or making the time to write is a huge challenge. Life gets out of hand and it’s easy to get out of good writing habits. It’s also easy for me to get distracted by shiny objects, like new story ideas and the internet. So discipline is always a challenge.
If you were stranded on a desert island, what three items would you take with you?
I guess everyone would take a volleyball to talk to, that’s a given. A knife would come in handy. A fishing pole.
Can I take a rescue boat? No?
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