Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Guest Interview: Matt Myklusch

I'm so excited to have one of my friends and agency-mate Matt Myklusch joining us here on the blog today. Here's a little bit about Matt and his fabulous books:

Matt MykluschMatt has been drawing ever since he could first hold a pencil, and super heroes have always filled up the majority of the pages in his sketchbooks. That lifelong love of comic books spurred him to write the Jack Blank Adventure series, published by Simon & Schuster's Aladdin imprint. Books I & II, THE ACCIDENTAL HERO (2010) and THE SECRET WAR (2011) are in stores now.

Prior to that, Matt worked at MTV Networks for nearly ten years. During that time, he was involved in everything from booking and producing celebrity interviews, to helping launch mtvU (MTV's 24-hour college network), to managing Spring Break events in Panama City Beach, Cancun, and Acapulco. He also worked on several less exciting projects as well, but never mind that now. Matt's true passion has always lied in his writing and artwork, which is why he has recently left his job at MTV to write full time.

Matt lives in New Jersey with his wife and family, where he is hard at work on the next book in the JACK BLANK series.
P&P: It’s stretching your boundaries time. Is there a food you’d love to learn how to cook or a different genre or type of book you’d love to try to write?

Matt: I would really love to write a good hard boiled crime story. This goes back to when I was in high school / college. I saw RESERVOIR DOGS, PULP FICTION, and THE USUAL SUSPECTS (my first date with the woman who is now my wife, by the way) and was just blown away by them. I wanted to do what Quentin Tarantino and Bryan Singer/Christopher McQuarrie were doing with those flicks. I had a cool idea for a story called HONOR AMONG THIEVES, but having a cool idea and writing a story are two different things. Not sure if I have the tools for this one yet, but maybe one day…
When it comes to cooking, I’d love to know all about wine, but I promise I would use this power for good, and not be a jerk about it.

P&P: That reminds me of the time my friends and I (who had just turned 21) walked into a fancy smancy wine store and asked for their finest boxed wine. They were not amused. But I digress...
What’s your favorite kitchen accessory or appliance? How about a favorite writing accessory or reference?

Matt: It is without question the coffee machine. I am hopelessly addicted to coffee and make sure to set the machine every night before I go to bed. Every night. The 3 minutes it takes to do that are ALWAYS worth it in the morning. A cup of coffee is probably my favorite writing accessory too. I often find myself getting a cup of coffee even though I don’t need one, just because I like to have it handy while I am writing (or driving, or taking the kids for a walk, or reading, etc…).
I should probably slow down my coffee intake now that I think about it. I am building up a pretty strong tolerance to caffeine. This has happened before. I need to take a week or two off of coffee, and then come back to it so that it’s rejuvenating powers will return in full force. Hard to find the right time to do this though… especially with a five month old in the house.

P&P: I completely understand what you mean. I am know the proud owner of an espresso machine--Lord help me. Anyway, please share one cheesy “writing is like cooking” thought.

Matt: Wow. SO many places to go here... I won’t even get into how quality ingredients (characters, plot, action, big moments) will make or break any dish, or how a nice easy-to-follow recipe (outline) can make all the difference in the world. I’ll look at it from the reader/dinner guest angle. When you make something out of nothing, be it a book or a fancy dinner, you want people to like it. When someone takes a bite out of something you worked hard to create, you watch them eat. You study their expressions intently as they chew. You do this without trying to be too obvious. You don’t want to come off needy or make the other person self-conscious. When my wife is reading something I wrote for the first time, every little noise she makes registers on my radar. I notice every smile, laugh, and furrowed brow. It’s all I can do not to ask, “What part are you at? What’s going on now?” every five seconds.
The bottom line is all artists* love praise and even the bravest artists fear rejection.
*I didn’t always believe food could qualify as an art form, but after eating at Per Se, I changed my tune. For those of you who know Per Se, I’m not trying to be big time here… I definitely didn’t go there on my dime. I was lucky enough to be invited along on a business dinner back before I wrote for a living.

P&P: Crunch time: What’s your go-to meal when you need to serve something quick and easy?

Matt: My son eats a grand total of six things: Chicken Fingers, Mac ‘n Cheese, Pizza, Pasta, Grilled Cheese, and Peanut Butter & Jelly (which he refers to as “jellybutter”). Sometimes he will eat meatballs, but that is hardly a guarantee. Really, anything I make for him has a 50-50 chance of being refused, even if yesterday it was his absolute favorite. As a result, everything I make for him has to be quick and easy. One time, we bought Jerry Seinfield’s wife’s cookbook and spent 3 hours making turkey chili with all kinds of good veggies pureed and hidden inside. My son wouldn’t even try it. I thought I was going to lose my mind. It will be a long time before I do that again.

P&P: OMG--I own that cookbook and went through the same ordeal! Today, lunchables are a hit. As for tomorrow? Time will tell...
Pots or Pens? If you were stuck on an island with either bland food and a great library or mouthwatering food and boring books, which would you choose? Why?

Matt: I’d take the bad food and the good books.
Here’s the thing: I expect bad food when stuck on an island like that. In fact, in that scenario, I expect no food! I’m happy just to have any food at all. I just want to survive until I can get myself home. I need to feed my mind and kill time until a ship floats by or some other means of rescue appears. Otherwise, I’m going to go crazy and start talking to volleyballs.

To learn more about Matt, you can check out his website here or follow him on Twitter here.

1 comment:

  1. I'm definitely adding your Jack Blank books to my shopping list for my (almost) middle-grade grandson. Looks like something he'd love! Now, if only we could find a way to make the Big Six foods nutritious--we'd make a fortune because that's what ALL kids eat ALL the time.