Thursday, August 29, 2013

WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY: Fantasy Author Mathew Bridle

Mathew Bridle, Author

Mathew Bridle has enjoyed reading fantasy since he was a child, so it is not surprising that he writes fantasy. His new book YOUNG WARLOCK—with more to come—is for young adults and, according to its author is “quite dark, some humorous—mostly though, a romp through my imagination.”  As important, “It’s a story about learning to stand on your own two feet in a world filled with danger and adventure.”

Bridle is from the UK, has a wife and three children who occasionally allow him to play xbox, and likes to make people laugh. His 3-word description of himself is: balding, fat, and 50!

To really understand him, however, don’t miss the excerpt from his newest novel following this interview.

Q: Why do you write fantasy? Why do you find this genre appealing? What first attracted you to it?

Mathew Bridle: I have always been drawn to fantasy, even as child. I was always reading the latest copy of 2000 A.D. or my brother’s Marvel comics. I just love the freedom of imagination that fantasy has. My mind just runs riot, I see the worlds in my head as though I was there, like walking through a prophet’s vision. I’m then compelled to site and tell everyone about the wondrous things I’ve seen.

Q:  Tell us about your most recent release, YOUNG WARLOCK.  Who are your intended readers?

Mathew Bridle: YOUNG WARLOCK is for young adults. Some of the content is quite dark, some humorous—mostly though, a romp through my imagination. It has taken a few years to get it into shape and focus the story down to a few characters. Dekor, the young warlock in question, causes an awful lot of problems for himself, not all deliberately. He has to flee for his life and on that journey he begins to question himself about who he is and what he will become. It’s a story about learning to stand on your own two feet in a world filled with danger and adventure.

Q:  When you write fantasy, how important is believability? How do you create a world that readers will embrace?

Mathew Bridle: Believability is crucial to me, even when I’m reading—if I cannot picture myself walking in the world which someone has created then I think how can anyone else do it. I like my characters to experience the good and the bad things in life. I want the world to exist around them and I want a lot to be going on in the world at large. I struggle with tightly focused stories where only a single character gets to experience it all.

Q: Why do your readers care about your characters?

Mathew Bridle: That’s tough to say. I do not create friendly, flawless people. Sure, there are good ones which I want you to like but I also want them to be real, so some part of their make-up must be flawed, but not always in an obvious manner. YOUNG WARLOCK is the beginning of a saga, so a lot of the content has to introduce future players together with the workings of the world in which they all exist.

Q:  What makes a good villain? How relevant is the concept of hero vs villain in your books?

Mathew Bridle: A good villain, to me, is one who loves what he does, is what is, and does not necessarily need a reason. My bad guy, a half-troll-half-human warlock is doing what he’s doing for a very simple reason which I’m not revealing here. He is a cruel tyrant trapped in his own beliefs. He is however, not the only bad guy in this part of the saga. I have a few devious characters who play a larger part than first appears.

As in real life, people change sides or allegiances, or just get bored and fancy a change. Even good guys can be turned for a price.

Q:  Do you write your books to deliver a message to your readers? Or are you writing purely for entertainment?

Mathew Bridle: I suppose there is message. Some early commentators thought there was one which is pro-religion, but most just read it for the purpose which I wrote it for—to entertain, to suspend reality.

Q:  What made you want to be a writer?

Mathew Bridle: As a child, in primary school, I was always writing. I am blessed with an overactive imagination. I see stories in most everything I see and read. A tiny statement or line in a song can become a novel or a story.

Q:  What is your greatest strength as a writer?

Mathew Bridle: I never run out of ideas, just time.

Q:  What’s next?

Mathew Bridle: Next, is the sequel ‘Fire and Thorn’ I’m about 10 thousand words into it, though I have written 300 thousand words of future story line, so I have plenty more to come.

Q:  Tell us about Mathew Bridle.  What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Mathew Bridle: I was recently asked to describe myself in 3 words: balding, fat and 50! I’m a bit on the crazy side always trying to get a laugh out of everything. I work at a day centre for adults with learning disabilities. I have three children and have been married for 18 years. I like to read; I’m currently reading The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan; plenty of action in that one. I play xbox with my kids (when they let me) and watch as many movies as I can fit in, the last one being the new Wolverine movie.

About Mathew Bridle

Mathew Bridle was born in Horsham, West Sussex in 1963 where he spent the first 35 years of his life. Educated in state school, he barely scraped an ‘O’ level in English. He has tried his hand at many things even running his own graphic and web design company for 15 years until he had enough of not being paid. Now he works with adults with learning disabilities near his home in Crawley, just a few miles from his birthplace.

Over the years Mathew has written a handful novels, The Rising, Lagoon, 3 Phaze and Emun of Mor all of which are available free in ebook from most major book sites. Over the past three years there have been over 20 thousand downloads of his books. He is pleased with the general response to his early work acknowledging the fact that they are generally quite poorly written to which he responds ‘I left in their original state because it shows how I have developed as a writer. I am not at all worried how they are perceived so long as people enjoy reading them. I will leave them as they are’

He is currently working on the direct sequel to YOUNG WARLOCK, Fire and Thorn which follows the progress of Dekor as he embarks on a quest in the unchartered territory of Salzear and the lost troll tribes.

Compelled by his lust for the flame the young warlock is driven on a trail of destruction. Running from those he once trusted, he befriends a tattlejack, Icthus, whose gift of extracting the truth could become his greatest strength. Now all he needs to do is defeat his lust and prove his worth to all those who doubt him, including the young girl who is carrying his child. Only the old priest believes the boy, Dekor, to be something more than just another warlock.

The dogs of war are gathering. The undead seek allies among the enemy horde in the north in their bid to rout the mages, break the control of the Council of Twelve and take the land for themselves. Together the goblins and the undead set out to scourge the lands of Alzear of all who stand in their way.

The pieces of the prophecy are slowly cohering. The gods have chosen their warriors and the people have chosen their gods. War is coming, a war whose like we have never seen. The fate of an entire people may rest in the hands of a headstrong young man and his unborn child.


"Very dangerous," chirped a voice, startling Dekor who jumped to his feet. "Most dangerous indeed. Ice works best in water, not fire."
"Who are you?" Dekor asked the green-skinned creature hunched in front of him. Its claws dug into the soft earth as it leaned closer to sniff him.
"Icthus. Who are you?" The creature shuffled nearer, water dripping from his smooth skin, reaching out to poke at Dekor's torn cloak.
"I am Dekor, from Mor."
"More what?" Icthus brushed his skin with his long, spindly fingers. Blinking twice, his thick eyelids left a fresh coating of mucus over his bulbous eyes. His long pink, forked tongue flicked in and out of his broad mouth tasting the air.
"Mor is a place, a country." Dekor paused, twisting the toe of his boot into the soft earth, "My home."
"On the run, are we?" Icthus padded around Dekor, surveying his island.
"Wh... what makes you suggest that?" Dekor's words tumbled over his tongue. Icthus picked up a stick and began poking about in the soft soil. The spines on his back rose and fell with his breathing.
Pulling a worm from the ground, Icthus responded, "You have no bags, no food, no weapons." He walked around Dekor checking his pockets and clothing.
Dekor shrugged. "Yes, I am on the run." I have done some wrong things, some by accident, others not."  
Screwing up his face as Icthus flicked out his tongue snatching the fat worm from his own hand, Dekor shuddered.
"No one will find you here. No one comes here." Icthus walked back to his small hut made of sticks whose walls were splattered with handfuls of thick black mud. "Come in if you like, nothing will harm you here."  
They walked over to the small hut which stood on the shore of a large open expanse of water.
"Does the marsh end here? As far as I can see there is more marshland to the east while a dark shadow obscures the horizon to the north. Everywhere else, there are swamps.”
"Wall that way, cliffs that way," Icthus replied nonchalantly hopping up onto the veranda of his home.  
Dekor followed him inside.
"What?" he asked, looking at Dekor's puzzled face.
"Nothing, your house is much larger than I expected it to be." Dekor's eyes roamed around the hut taking in the neatness of everything.
Icthus responded, "I might be small, but my home does not have to be." Tipping his head to one side, he looked Dekor over from head to toe.
"Where are you going in such a fine robe?" queried Icthus, reaching out to feel the fabric, "Exquisite is it not?"
"Yes, but not originally mine." Dekor wished he could stop blurting out the truth. It was becoming an irritating habit. Icthus looked at him, smiling.
"Problem with your tongue?" Icthus' smile broadened until his mouth had consumed the larger part of his face. 
Dekor's mouth became a thin line. "You know what is happening? How do you know?"

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Author Links

Twitter: @mathewbridle

1 comment:

  1. Many thanks for the interview Joyce, anytime you want to stretch your legs and guest feel free to come on over to my site.

    All the best.