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Monday, November 21, 2016

MG Antics in a Christmas Read: Author Interview with Matthew Sullivan

How did you come up with the idea of your Christmas themed book?
I've always been a big fan of Christmas themed books and movies, and I really wanted to write a book that could be for the younger generations what Home Alone was for my generation. I started with the idea of a group of cousins having their presents taken away from them and then it all flowed from there.

Could you give me a short synopsis of the story for my readers?
After his cousins get into a food fight on Thanksgiving, seventh-grader Mitch Murphy gets caught in the collateral damage and loses the Christmas present he's always dreamed of in the process. But, when he discovers where their pilfered presents are being stashed, he must corral his motley crew of cousins to steal his Christmas back.

What made you decide to do a Christmas themed book?Really just my love of the holiday.  It's my favorite time of year and the source of many of my greatest childhood memories. I also try to include a strong moral message in everything that I write and there is no better message than the true spirit of Christmas. 
What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions?We do some of the more standard traditions: hanging stockings and decorating the tree on Christmas Eve. But, my favorite tradition is just spending time with my family while watching Christmas movies and playing games together. 

What’s next? (future books, novellas, special appearances you want to mention)I have another novel that's currently out to publishers (fingers crossed). I'm also currently working on two projects: the followup to my YA spiritual fantasy, The Orphans, and a new YA science fiction set in in the future.

Any special awards or achievements you’d like to mention?I co-wrote a feature film (30 Minutes or Less). I guess that's kind of an achievement :) 

What’s the best writing tip you’ve learned or been give that you’d like to share?I think the best advice is to understand that every writer is different, so just find what works best for you and stick with that. I love to outline, a lot of writers don't. I've also discovered that I'm most productive in the morning and can't listen to music when I write. Figure out the preparation method that you like the most and the writing environment that will make you the most productive and let the words fly.

What do you know now about writing and publishing you wish you had learned sooner?

I wish that I would have known how much of an emphasis publishers put on having a social media presence. If I had known that, I wouldn't have gotten off of Facebook for two years or deleted my twitter account that had over a thousand followers. Of course, I was a much more productive writer without social media.

Any last words or tips?
Write for yourself. Writing, along with everything else in life, should be fun. If you aren't enjoying the process, you won't enjoy the end result. I think that is the best advice that I've ever received, and it can be applied to almost anything in life. 

That's it for today's interview. If you'd like to learn more about Matthew and his writing, here are some ways to do that.

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