Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Matthew Williams lives in Marquette, Michigan, on the southern shore of Lake Superior with his wife, Suzanne, and their son, Sam. He was an award-winning newspaper reporter, columnist, and author of the popular "Tot Tales," a weekly column about fatherhood. His fiction and nonfiction writing regularly appears in regional and national publications.

Superior Dilemma is the third book in the Lake Superior mystery series. Previous books were Superior Death and Superior Deception. Enough from me, let's hear from Matt.

What prompted you to become a writer?

I have been a storyteller since as far back as I can remember. Even in elementary school I entertained my classmates with stories, songs, poems, plays, TV scripts, etc.

What part of writing do you find most satisfying?

Completing a manuscript.

What part do you find most difficult?

The same.

What comes first for you? Characters? Story? Setting?

I usually have an idea for a story and then build the characters and setting from that idea.

Where do you find inspiration?

I read a lot and also find inspiration in real-life stories about ordinary people. I worked as a newspaper reporter for several years and enjoyed the many people I met and wrote about.

Tell us about your latest Avalon release.

The story, a mystery, revolves around a sled dog race. It is loosely based on an actual race that happens in Northern Michigan every February.

And your previous Avalon books?

My two previous Avalon books were modern day mysteries that had a historical twist. I enjoy local history and had a good time creating the history for my fictional town of Apostle Bay and weaving that history into the plot.

What other projects are in the works?

I am taking a break from writing. This last book took a lot out of me. It was in production for almost two years and I worked with three different editors during that time. The re-writing process was a major challenge (over 10,000 words were cut). In the end I just felt like I was going through the motions to get it published.

I think a lot writers can identify with that.

What other authors do you especially admire?

Right now I’m reading George R.R. Martin and I really appreciate his ability to tell so many stories within a story, with such detail and still have you forget that you’re reading. I also love reading Carlos Ruiz Zafon.

Interesting choices. I have to admit I'm not familiar with George R. R. Martin, but I just finished Shadow of the Window by Ruiz Zafon and loved it, both for the scope of the story (actually, as you said of Martin's work, stories within story) and the beauty of the language.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

I am a fulltime swim coach.

Obviously, you're a busy man. Do you have a schedule for writing or do you squeeze it in when you can?

I typically write late at night, after 10 pm.

I'm so glad to hear you say that. I'm a late-night writer too and it seems almost every other writer I know says they write first thing in the morning.

What do you know now that you wish you'd known when you first started writing?

How the book distribution system worked—getting books to the book stores is much harder than I ever expected. Even when they want the book! And also Avalon’s resistance to other publishing methods. My first book went to a second run and I wish it could have gone to paperback. And I now get many requests for my books to be in Kindle or other electronic format and you hate to lose those customers.

Anything you're glad you didn't know?

Not really. There’s been ups and downs, but I’d probably do things the same way.

Thanks, Matt. Your books sound interesting. Good luck with all of them. I hope you find your way back to writing soon. You have an appealing setting and, I suspect, many more stories to tell.


Fresh Garden said...

Great post! Great interview!

Carolyn Brown said...

Enjoyed the interview. Love your covers! I started out in the newspaper business, too, BTW!

Sandy Cody said...

Silly me - I forgot to add Matt's website. If you want to learn more about him and his books, go to: