Matthew Iden is a self-published, independent writer of crime fiction, fantasy, psychological suspense, science fiction, and literary fiction. Heís probably best known for his series character, Marty Singeróa surprisingly upbeat detective series about a retired Washington DC Homicide cop who rights wrongs and tries to keep his life in order while battling cancer. The series began with A Reason to Live (April 2012), followed by Blueblood (September 2012), One Right Thing (May 2013), and The Spike (December 2013). He has also written short stories for anthologies in various genres, and is working on his debut Western, The Orphans.
Matt has been self-publishing since the fall of 2011, after years of attempting to break through the doors of traditional publishing. He has devoted much time and effort toward understanding self-publishing, and has been constructing his career using the strategies he has learned.
I met Matt at the Creatures, Crimes, & Creativity conference near Baltimore last September, and found him highly approachable, knowledgeable, and witty. He kindly agreed to the following interview.
Weldon Burge (WB): Well, letís start with your serial character, Marty Singer. Heís a retired cop who seems destined to help people in bad situations. How much (and what) research was required to bring Marty to life?
Matthew Iden (MI): Constructing Martyís life has involved two challenges. First, although I have several friends who are cops, Iíve never worked in law enforcement. That means even the most basic procedures and terms in Martyís life wereóand areómysteries to me. I ask tons of questions that Iím sure even the greenest academy rookie could answer. Even then, I still get some of it wrong. My law enforcement friends are generous, patient, and donít (usually) make fun of me.
The second issue involves the overriding concern in Martyís life, which is that he is diagnosed with cancer in the debut, A Reason to Live. Iíve had family and friends who have had the disease, but each experience is different and getting this wrong was not an option. I reached out to oncology nurses and patient advocates early on and they were incredibly helpful. Library and online research filled in the rest. Iím proud to say Iíve been contacted by many victims of the disease who have thanked me for accurately portraying what theyíre going through without going overboard or sinking into melodrama.
WB: Will there be more Marty Singer mysteries?(more…)