Author Spotlight – Matthew R. Davis

Matthew, thank you for joining us. Can you tell us about who you are and also about your writing: for example, what genres and themes do you write in and about, and is there anything that has influenced your choices?
I’m an author and musician who lives in Adelaide, South Australia, and am basically terrible at anything other than creating fiction and music. I read widely but end up writing horror for the most part – my work is often sui generis but I’ve always been interested in the morbid, obscure, and ineffable. My writing goal is to be as authentic as possible, even when I’m making up wildly implausible shit. Some of the books I’ve been reading lately: The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow, A Cathedral of Myth and Bone by Kat Howard, A Convenient Death: The Mysterious Demise of Jeffrey Epstein by Alana Goodman and Daniel Halper, Malorie by Josh Malerman, and Doctor Who – The Evil of the Daleks by John Peel. I’ve also recently discovered the pleasures of Harlan Coben, or at least his books.

Can you tell us a bit about your publications and writerly highlights, and what else we can look forward to seeing from you in the future?
The big thing is If Only Tonight We Could Sleep, my first collection of horror stories, illustrated with B&W delights from Red Wallflower Photography and released by Things in the Well in January 2020. I have nearly sixty stories published in anthologies – a notable standalone novelette is the award-winning Supermassive Black Mass, published as part of the Short Sharp Shocks! series by Demain Publishing. My first novel, Midnight in the Chapel of Love, is slated for release by JournalStone Publishing in 2021, though that may be pushed back due to our old mate COVID-19. I’ve got a few more publications coming up: “Hole to Feed” in Flashes of Hope and “Our Tragic Heroine” in Tales of the Lost Vol. 2, which should be out by the end of 2020, and next year there’s Nightmares in Yellow, a two-volume Carcosa-themed tribute to Joseph Pulver which has a Kickstarter running until October 18 and features my story “Il re giallo”, about a legendary lost 1971 giallo film and its sinister connection to the works of Joseph W Chambers.

This year has presented a lot of challenges for many of us. Instead of discussing those, what are some of your 2020 highlights?
The big one for writing/work would have to be my double 2019 Shadows Awards win: Best Short Story (“Steadfast Shadowsong”), and the Paul Haines Award for Long Fiction (“Supermassive Black Mass”). I also had two stories shortlisted in the Aurealis Awards, a step up from one the previous year and none before that. I’m stoked to have my first book out and I enjoyed playing a set of acoustic songs with friends at the launch; the reviews I’ve picked up for the collection so far have been very gratifying, and it was especially sweet to see it get a rave in Aurealis Magazine. I’m working on a batch of promising new songs at the moment and that feels good because I’d drifted away from the practice these past few years. Emotionally speaking, I’m much better off than I was last year, despite the pressures of unemployment, self-doubt, pandemics, and the increasingly apparent shittiness of people and politics the world over.

Thanks for chatting with me, Matthew, and congrats on all this success in such a relatively short time. You can find more about Matthew here:

My blog: 
Outback Horrors: An Anthology of Antipodean Terrors
A.M. Ink Publishing’s Shadowy Natures – enter code DAVIS10 to get 10% off

Matthew’s story “Tender Age in Bloom” appears in Trickster’s Treats 4: Coming, Buried or Not! a charity anthology in support of the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.