Today we sit down for an interview with mystery author Matt Ferraz who has penned an interesting mash-up of Pollyanna and Sherlock Holmes in his newest novel. Learn more about Matt and his books at his website.
When did you realize you wanted to write novels?
I was five years old and my mother was helping my older brother with his school homework. She gave me a sheet of paper to draw on, so I wouldn't bother them. Instead of drawing, I wrote a short story about a wizard in a quest for a magic crow that can make him the most powerful man in the kingdom. It was my first story, and I haven't stopped since.
How long did it take you to realize your dream of publication?
I was twenty-three when I released my first book. Pretty young by regular standards, but considering I'd been trying to get published since my early childhood, it felt much longer.
Are you traditionally published, indie published, or a hybrid author?
I'm a hybrid author, but I'm inclined to do a complete transition to self-publishing in the near future.
Where do you write?
After my brother got married, I turned his room into an office, with a small desk, a computer and a printer. I keep a picture of Dashiell Hammett (as played by Jason Robards in the movie Julia) staring at me all the time, for inspiration.
Is silence golden, or do you need music to write by? What kind?
Pink Floyd is the best music for me when I'm working on a new novel. I also like classical musical, especially Paganini. His music is full of energy, and gives me a boost.
How much of your plots and characters are drawn from real life? From your life in particular?
To write the character of Pollyanna in Sherlock Holmes and the Glad Game, I stayed as faithful as possible to how she was portrayed in the original novels by Eleanor H. Porter. But there are touches of a couple of people I know who talk all the time and always seen to be happy about everything. It was tricky, because she had to be funny and quirky, but not too annoying.
Describe your process for naming your character?
The main characters in Sherlock Holmes and the Glad Game are taken from the books by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Eleanor H. Porter, and so are their names. I did have to come up with a new surname for Pollyanna after she gets married, and went with Bloom. It's a good match for her personality.
Real settings or fictional towns?
I'm used to creating fictional settings for my books, but this one takes place mostly in London. Having lived in the UK for a year, I know the place well, and it was easy to set the story there.
What’s the quirkiest quirk one of your characters has?
Pollyanna is always looking at the bright side of life. This was taken from the original books in which she was featured, and it was a challenge to recreate it.
What’s your quirkiest quirk?
I drink so much water when I'm writing! There's always a bottle of water next to me when I start working, and it's always empty when I'm done.
If you could have written any book (one that someone else has already written,) which one would it be? Why?
The Glass Key, by Dashiell Hammett. I think it's one of the most perfect crime books ever written.
Everyone at some point wishes for a do-over. What’s yours?
I miss the UK very much, and wish I had stayed there after finishing my Masters Degree.
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
I hate it when a book starts with something like "A week ago, if someone told John Brown would now be standing next to the most powerful man in the world, he wouldn't have believed it."
You’re stranded on a deserted island. What are your three must-haves?
Something I could use to write, something I could read, and a good sunblock. I would say a boat, but I already mentioned three things.
What was the worst job you’ve ever held?
Ghosting a novella for 50 dollars.
What’s the best book you’ve ever read?
Anna Karenina, by Liev Tolstoy.
Ocean or mountains?
City guy or country guy?
Mostly city guy, but I enjoy the country.
What’s on the horizon for you?
I'm finishing the second volume in the Grandma Bertha Solving Murders series, and hope to release it in early 2019. After that, there are at least five different books I want to write. Let's see which one gets picked!
Sherlock Holmes and the Glad Game
British sleuth Sherlock Holmes can solve any mystery from a small clue. American traveler Pollyanna Whittier can only see the good side of every situation. The only thing they have in common is their friendship with Dr. John Watson. When Pollyanna shows up in London with a mystery for Holmes to solve, she decides to teach the detective the Glad Game: a way of remaining optimistic no matter what. A dangerous - and hilarious - clash of minds, where these two characters of classic literature need to learn how to work together in order to catch a dangerous criminal.