IndieView with Matt Walker, author of Shark Bait

Did you hire a professional editor? Sutton Coldfield, near Birmingham. No plan, per se. Get a good editor and a good cover. So, my characters are probably an amalgamation of all kinds of people, both real and imagined, all squashed together in my head. In 2015 Shark Bait was taken on by the wonderful Sarah Manning, now of The Bent Agency. Do you outline? The drug Ecstasy, guns, the army, conflict in Bosnia, espionage. Let’s not pretend that self-publishing is better than being published by a big traditional publisher (it’s not). If so can you please describe it? John Steele is a government hitman, and has just completed his contract – the assassination of two drug kingpins. About a year. Publishers seem to be looking at psychological thrillers for debuts. He’s picked on the wrong guy.  
 
Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) If so, do you do so extensively or just chapter headings and a couple of sentences? Where do you live now? I started planning the novel back in 2014. That’s when he meets a vicious criminal loan shark called Gary Brooker. Get your copy of   Shark Bait from Amazon US or Amazon UK. Are there any particular authors that have influenced how you write and, if so, how have they influenced you? Everything extensively. But I think they were fully formed in my head when I started writing so I felt able to achieve that. And I thought, what if a loan shark happened to pick on someone who was actually more dangerous than him? Shark Bait is actually my sixth novel. I’m actually part of this demographic. Yes. He’s picked on the wrong guy. Afterwards, leave the manuscript a few weeks and go back to it again with fresh eyes. Shark Bait is written from the first person point of the view of both Steele and Brooker – which is fairly unusual – so it’s important that they both have a unique voice. I find it distracts me! About You
Where did you grow up? Any advice that you would like to give to other newbies considering becoming Indie authors? But then I read Lee Child. Do you have a marketing plan for the book or are you just winging it? Ernest Hemingway pointed out: “The first draft of everything is shit”. In 2014 Booktrust surveyed 1500 adults and found that 36% give up on books because they get bored. Do you have a target reader? But Brooker has his own problems. Explosive action. I was submitting it by the end of 2015. I think we need more high-octane, gripping, blistering-paced reads to reach this demographic. No. What would you like readers to know about you? There are enough print-on-demand companies now, like Lulu and Amazon KDP, that don’t charge any setup fees. I want to write books that no one could ever say are boring. Shark Bait is an all-action thriller for adults. I give up on loads of books because I get bored. I love J.K. Anyone who likes a good thriller! Where did you get the idea from? As above. But Brooker has got his own problems. And his style influenced Shark Bait the most. I want to write books that no one could ever say are boring. Don’t pay a vanity publisher. He then inadvertently gets embroiled with a violent loan shark called Gary Brooker. What came easily? Everything is written in my head before I write it on paper. When did you start writing the book? For readers who don’t like reading. End of Interview:
For more from Matt, visit his website and follow him on Twitter. I remember seeing a storyline on Coronation Street about one of the characters being threatened by a loan shark. Was it a particular event or a gradual process? The prevailing advice is to get the first draft down as quickly as possible then go back to it. I love pace. Shark Bait was put forward to the board of acquisitions at both Orion and Harlequin Harper Collins, but despite high praise from them and lots of other publishers, it was never picked up. The characters. I imagine every scene like in a movie. Were there any parts of the book where you struggled? I wrote and rewrote certain scenes a few times, unsure whether this should happen, or that should happen. Did you get your book cover professionally done or did you do it yourself? That’s why I don’t suffer from writer’s block; I know what I’m writing because I’ve planned everything out before hand. Gripping plots. About Writing
Do you have a writing process? In 2014 Booktrust surveyed 1500 adults and found that 36% give up on books because they get bored. Even though I do like Dan Brown, Dean Koontz, Harlan Coben, Simon Kernick, Peter James etc. Do you edit as you go or wait until you’ve finished? Are your characters entirely fictitious or have you borrowed from real world people you know? I think we need more high-octane, gripping, blistering-paced reads to reach this demographic. About the book
What is the book about? If yes, what gets the fingers tapping? Shark Bait is an all-action thriller that will leave you breathless, and the first novel introducing Licensed Vigilante John Steele. Mine is an all-action, plot-driven novel. I wanted my novel to be totally gripping. It took a lot of research. We all know how important it is for writers to read. About Publishing
Did you submit your work to Agents? But I had a fantastic editor, which helped a lot! Do you listen to music while you write? I would recommend every indie author gets a professional editor. But I did a lot of research and spent a lot of time working on it, and took on the advice of a lot of people. Yes, and accepted representation by Sarah Manning, as mentioned above. I give up on loads of books because I get bored. How long did it take you to write it? My agent and I both worked on a new high-concept thriller, Memories Unspeakable… but that didn’t get picked up either! That’s how the character of Gary Brooker was born. It will be published on Amazon Winter 2018. I’m a Licensed Vigilante. Matt Walker – 8 July 2018
The Back Flap
“I’m no hero. I don’t think any other thriller writer gets anywhere close to Child’s control of prose and pace. John Steele is a Licensed Vigilante, fulfilling that role. I’m actually part of this demographic. I would never have used anything I considered unprofessional. But I also target people who don’t necessarily like reading. What made you decide to go Indie, whether self-publishing or with an indie publisher? Rowling, Stephen King, Philip Pullman, Patrick Ness… and for a long time all I wrote was YA fiction. I designed it myself. Walsall, also near Birmingham. But try literary agents before doing any of that. First a few ideas, key scenes, characters etc. Blistering pace. I started off with the usual posts on Facebook and Twitter, and now have started contacting book bloggers and the local press. She proved just how valuable an editor is, and the manuscript is much better for her input. I plan extensively. I know that Dean Koontz edited as he went, but few of us have that kind of skill! I’m a piano teacher by trade, but I love composing and writing. before creating a plot overview and then fleshing it out. And I kill people for a living.”
Government hitman John Steele has just completed his current contract, and has the bullet wound to show for it. I would say they are entirely fictitious, but I guess everyone we meet rubs off on us in some way. What are you working on now? And I’ve always enjoyed lone wolf stories where the hero is a kind of vigilante, acting just within the law (or perhaps just outside it). A risk, I admit, because the one thing that shows an indie author up straight away is a poor cover.