About R.C. Matthews:
R.C. Matthews was raised in the Metro-Detroit area by deaf parents along with four siblings. She graduated from a liberal arts college with a B.A. in Accounting and German and continues to work as a certified public accountant. She enjoys traveling with her loving husband and children, reading, down-hill skiing, and playing board games. Talisman and LIFE are high on the list of favorites at her home.
What inspires you to write?
Writing is a way of relaxing for me. I have a full time job in the business world so writing is a way for me to escape the reality of life and create whatever fantasy I’m in the mood for. Being able to take a simple concept and developing it into a full story that makes people laugh and enjoy their free time is a such a natural high for me.
Tell us about your writing process.
Outline or seat of the pants? It depends on the story. My romance novels are definitely written by the seat of my pants. I usually have a high level idea of what I want to accomplish in the story, I write chapter headlines that represent the main gist of what I plan to get across in that chapter, and then I start typing. It’s amazing how often the end product is far from what I originally envisioned. My characters tend to high-jack the storyline and go in a direction I never could have anticipated when I started typing. I LOVE IT! But I’m also trying to write a teen fantasy series for my twelve year old son. Because the storyline takes place in a fantasy world and it is intended to be a three book series, I find myself writing a fairly detailed outline – at least it is detailed per my standards. There are just too many characters and plot twists to fly by the seat of my pants on that project.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I’m not sure I would say that I talk to my characters, but I definitely listen to them and let them behave the way they want to behave, even if that means straying from my original storyline. And I feel deeply for my characters. I recently wrote a book in which one of my characters had to die. Let me tell you, I didn’t want to do it, but given the storyline and the progression of events, it had to happen. I WAS DEVASTATED. I balled my eyes out while I was writing the chapter. And I was depressed for days afterward. Most of my stories are “feel good”, so this one really hit me hard.
What advice would you give other writers?
Write for yourself! Not for some ‘call for submission’. Or what you think the readers want. Because I’m telling you right now that you will never to be able to make everyone happy. Some people absolutely love my books and other are like, eh – it was okay. My take away is that you have to write what you love to make yourself happy and then hope you find the readers that enjoy your voice and writing style.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I have one traditionally published book – Little White Lies – but the rest are self-published. Here is the thing…my books tend to cross genre lines. I’m not a purist and a lot of the romance publishers out there want your story to fit into a neat little package. That’s just not me. I also write for fun and really don’t want to deal with finding an agent to try and submit my manuscripts to the top publishing houses. Amazon has made it easy to self-publish. So I have found an editor I enjoy working with and I self-publish.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
In my humble opinion there will always be traditional publishing houses and indie / self-publishing. There is something reassuring about buying a book from a traditional publishing house. Somehow we equate that with quality. But my experience is that there are a ton of excellent self-published books out there. Just as there are traditionally published books that I think are horrible. What readers like is so subjective. And features like “Look Inside” on Amazon make it easy for readers to try a sample of a book to see if they like it or not – whether traditionally published or self-published. So I think there is a place in the future for both to continue.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Romance, Erotica and Teen Fantasy
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print