I’ve been working with the final part of McLean Twins series and look what happens! Doctors in Hell are taking over my blog! Luckily they promised to give it back if I’ll ask nicely 🙂 So, while I keep creating my spells for teens, these writers will be sharing secrets about themselves with you. Please, welcome, Doctors in Hell, and my first guest, Matthew Kirshenblatt!
Matthew Kirshenblatt is a writer living in Thornhill, Ontario. When he isn’t making critical and creative content for his Blog Mythic Bios, or writing twisted stories for Janet Morris’ Heroes in Hell, he can be found tormenting his pet budgie … or finding that it is he who is being tormented by his feathered friend instead.
Matthew, why did you choose to write in this genre?
I really like mythology and how it has various concepts and archetypes that both contradict and complement each other: kind of like how human beings actually are. Janet Morris’ HEROES IN HELL, for instance, is a shared universe allows me to take other stories and build my own off of them: adding to the mythos and telling Hell stories from the lens of my own perspective. I have to honour what came before and what the overall shape of the world is like, while at the same time I need to tell my own stories and fit it into that world. But it’s like playing in a sandbox of ashes made into clay. It can be diabolically fun.
Do you do a lot of researching before starting to write or do you go with the flow and check the details (if doing so) later?
It all depends on the story that I want to write. Sometimes all I need is a concept to work from and some preliminary research to expand my knowledge of the details. There are other times where I draw from personal experience and attempt to tap into universal human experiences and emotions. But then I’ve worked on other projects where I have to keep my facts straight and do a lot of research beforehand while also writing notes and quotes that I have to be mindful about and come back to later. There is also the matter of balancing out fact with pacing myself: with actually telling a story. Yet throughout any process that happens — through my own written prompts or carefully planned story structure — I always need to have that sense of spontaneity and creativity to keep me going and allow me to take what I’ve gathered and play with them as the building blocks that they really are.
Could you give us a one sentence synopsis of your story?
In my DOCTORS IN HELL story LET US KILL THE SPIRIT OF GRAVITY the fallen angel Samyaza awaits to be free again and the apocalyptic Beast of the Earth awakens as Lilith, the first wife of Adam, and the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche come to an unlikely accord.
If you could meet one ‘celebrity’ author who would it be and why?
I would definitely love to meet Neil Gaiman. When it comes down to it, his writing was the impetus that allowed me to improve my own craft up to this point. The reason for this is that he is able to weave together myth and reality while telling some very relatable and even human stories. The fact of the matter is that he makes me want to be a better writer.
Good choice. Favorite quote?
One of my favourite quotes comes from a short story in Clive Barker’s Books of Blood called “Babel’s Children.” It embodies how I write and think sometimes. It reads: “Farce, she had told herself once before, had to be played with a straight face, as though you believed every outrageous word. Only tragedy demanded laughter …”
Your favorite recipe?
Ms. Fields’ blue ribbon chocolate chip cookies. Sometimes I like to make these. It’s one of the few things I can bake. More often, though, I love to eat them.
Sounds yummy! Thank you for stopping by on my blog today. I wish all the best for your writing career! Please, stop by another time as well. I’d be happy to chat more with you and maybe have a cup of coffee. I’ll do the coffee, if you’ll bring the cookies!
Doctors in Hell is now available on Amazon! Purchase a copy here!