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Wednesday 21 September 2016

ℚ♫ Nine Candles of Deepest Black - Matthew S. Cox

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Nine Candles of Deepest Black (, Curiosity Quills Press, 415 pages), a Young Adult Occult Horror novel.

Synopsis | Teaser | Author Q&A | About the Author | Giveaways & Tour Stops

A very warm welcome to Matthew S. Cox; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

As you all know, we love music, so Matthew S. Cox has shared with us his music playlist for Nine Candles of Deepest Black - enjoy

What was the inspiration for Nine Candles of Deepest Black?
"The title came to me out of nowhere, which is a first. I was in a Barnes and Noble, doing a signing for The Summer the World Ended, and something in the surroundings triggered my brain to come up with this title. Having recently read Malus Domestica by SA Hunt (awesome book btw), I had a bit of a witchcraft vibe in my head. While I had never “written horror” on purpose before, I’ve had some people comment that scenes in the Division Zero series could’ve been from a horror story, so I decided to try “writing horror on purpose.”"
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"Hmm. On an overt intentional level, I didn’t attempt to insert myself in the story. Some of the aspects of Paige’s school bear similarities to the high school I went to. A few inside jokes about some of the teachers (Geometry, History) are references to teachers I had."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for Nine Candles of Deepest Black - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"Eugene Teplitsky (of Curiosity Quills) did the cover. I didn’t have much of a concept for a cover going into this project. He had done a draft of a ‘witchy’ cover for another author, who thought it was too creepy for her story, so he offered it to me. It was quite different from the final cover when first presented to me. I made some suggestions/requests/comments, and after a few revisions, Eugene came up with the current cover."
Why should we read Nine Candles of Deepest Black and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?
"I always try to keep a strong focus on the characters and what’s going on with their lives, thoughts, and motivations. Horror, Sci Fi, Fantasy, whatever else is going on in the story is like the backdrop upon which the characters’ stories unfold. Hopefully, I’ve managed to blend an emotional story of a family broken by tragedy with the “oh, crap what the hell did I just do” horror story."
Can you tell us something quirky about Nine Candles of Deepest Black, its story and characters?
"The Gym teacher, Mrs. McDonnell is based on the mother of my second cousin. (Forgive me, I have no idea what the heck that relation would be called). The female police officer who shows up in the scene where the car goes off the road is a nod to Denise Keef (a reader of mine, and retired cop who helped out keeping the police scenes realistic), and Officer Baker is based on Tony Baker (another author I chat with from time to time) who also happens to be a retired cop. The physics teacher, Mr. Lane, is named for Brian Lane, someone who has read several of my books and has been kind enough to share his thoughts and support."
Who would you recommend Nine Candles of Deepest Black to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"I think Nine Candles of Deepest Black would appeal to fans of suspenseful horror stories, or family dramas. It’s relatively clean, so it should be okay for ~14 and up depending on the individual. Paige deals with having some thoughts of suicide, but doesn’t follow through with them. Toward the end, there’s a little blood but I wouldn’t call the gore level excessive. This is a “mood horror” story, not a gore-shocker."
If you could / wished to turn Nine Candles of Deepest Black into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"Oh geez. I can’t really claim to be any knowledgeable authority on directors. There are parts of the book that almost feel like a Spielberg film, but other sections aren’t even close. Since most of the major characters are teenagers, picking actors now wouldn’t work as they’d be too old for the parts if this ever got made into a movie. I didn’t really have anyone in mind for any specific roles in this one… though odd story: in December 2015, I went to a hibachi restaurant for dinner and there was a girl at the next table over in a high school varsity jacket with dark black hair. I couldn’t help but think “holy crap, that is Paige!” when I saw her."
What do you like to write and read about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"Most of my books are scifi/cyberpunk. I like to write about characters more than genres, so my novels have varied a bit. The majority are set in a cyberpunk science fiction setting, but I’ve done some middle grade fantasy (Emma and the Banderwigh), a vampire novel (Chiaroscuro – The Mouse and the Candle), contemporary YA (The Summer the World Ended), contemp-paranormal YA (Caller 107), non-fiction memoir (The Dysfunctional Conspiracy, with Christopher Veltmann) and spacey Sci Fi (Operation Chimera, with Tony Healey). And yes, generally I write in the genres I like reading. I am a writer who needs to be into the story in order to write it. I don’t think I could ever grind out a story I couldn’t stand for the mere sake of producing a novel to sell."
What is your writing process?
"For the majority of my novels, I’ll come up with either a character idea and build a story around that character, or come up with a story idea and create a character to live that story. (Nine Candles was the exception where I got a title first, and made both story and character to go with the title.) I’ll start by writing down notes about the characters, as well as little “scene notes” of things that I want to happen during the story. I’ll spend a couple days or a week sometimes jotting down a sentence or two about various events that need to happen or scenes that I think would be interesting. Once I have enough of them, I’ll arrange them in a particular order and make sure the primary story arc makes sense. When that’s done, I’ll expand a little here and there as side stories and background items call out to me. Then, I transfer the whole outline to Microsoft Word, and start drafting."
What is in store next?
"I’m currently writing The Harmony Paradox, which is a sequel to Virtual Immortality. After that, my next project is Emma and the Silverbell Faeries (book 3 of the Tales of Widowswood series). I’ve got about twelve finished novels scheduled for release out to 2018 ( ) as well. I intended Nine Candles as a standalone, and wasn’t planning to do a series. I could do a follow up if a good enough idea comes to me. ( I said the same thing about stopping the Division Zero series at book three, and there’s a four coming out next June, so who knows.)"
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"I have two cats, Loki and Dorian. I’ve also seemed to have gotten in the habit of craving Tazo wild orange tea while writing or editing."

Hello Loki and Dorian! What gorgeous boys! Treats and cuddles to you! (Dorian is so similar to my little Pernod - RIP - but she had been dipped in white paint ;-))

Thank you so much for sharing them with us, Matthew! I saw some pics you shared of them when they were kittens :-D Too cute! And I saw just how much Dorian loves being photographed...;-) And of course the pictures of little Tweak - she was beautiful x

Playlists, horror, cats and tea — we really did have it all today :-D

Thanks for interviewing me : ) I hope you enjoyed reading Nine Candles.

Nine Candles of Deepest Black
Available NOW!

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1 comment:

Unknown said...

Hi :) thanks so much for hosting the interview! Sorry about your cat :( I can sympathize with losing them... A cat passes away in one of my other novels (old age/natural causes) and the scene was hard to write as it took me back to when my cat Patch died.