Interview with Author Matt Posner

Matt Posner is “Growing Up Magical”.
Today my guest is a fellow writer. Hi Matt, I am happy to have you here, and have a few questions for you!

When did you start writing fiction? What was the moment you realized that you were an Author?
In my youth, I made up the stories like crazy.
And now that I’m older,
I do it for cash,
And it sure doesn’t pay to be lazy.
I started doing creative writing for fun when I was in elementary school. When I was twelve, I was in a “gifted program” and had to devise my own project, and I chose to write a novel. Eighty pages later, I was officially a novelist. I went from there to a heroic fantasy novel of much greater extent, which I submitted to Del Rey Books when I was fifteen or sixteen. I didn’t tell them how old I was, and I got a full letter back explaining that it was good in a lot of ways but just missing a little something-something. Yes, I was nearly Christopher Paolini twenty years before Christopher Paolini. Missed it by that much. I thought I would be a successful novelist before I was thirty. But life has its twists, turns, ups, downs, triumphs, disappointments et al, and here I am now as an indie trying to learn how to self-market.
I’m a teacher, working with special education students, as my primary income, and I have wondered why that occupies my time rather than being a famous author, and I have decided that, speaking not from the viewpoint of any specific religion, God wants me to care for others before myself. And if that is what it is, that is what it is. I have time still, and my novels will keep getting better.

What are the subjects you are writing about, what are the subjects you will write about in the future, and what are the subjects you would never write about and why?
I write about young people and magic, which is why I am now promoting with the catch-phrase “Growing up magical.”
This means adventure, with lots of conflict, with characters who are driven, passionate, desperately happy and destructively sad, with lots of romance, plenty of fights, and mythology and beliefs from all over the globe. My first novel, School of the Ages: The Ghost in the Crystal, deals with romance, personal and religious conflict, time travel, elementals, and overall, growing up to find that the world is not as simple or as painless as it once seemed. The protagonist Simon’s personal loss runs parallel to a more significant historical act of destruction, meaning that I’m a big fan of reinforcing motifs.
The second book in the series, School of the Ages: Level Three’s Dream, which will be out pretty close to the time this interview appears, is about dealing with loss, again in multiple ways, and also takes on the topic of disability with a powerful magician who has Asperger’s Syndrome. This novel also features my attempt to write my magic student characters in Alice in Wonderland world for an extended time – with all the popular Carroll characters, and lots of original poetry and songs. I have loved the Alice books so much, since my childhood, that I can’t resist working them into my own material and showing them in new ways.
On the thematic level, in my books, magic is a metaphor for human potential, literally and spiritually. Both young people – the theoretical audience – and adult YA readers need some messages of empowerment and some stories about dealing with loss. This is what modern times confront us with – the world seems to be falling apart now in the early 2010’s in a way that it periodically seems to be falling apart, and with all this uncertainty, we benefit from knowing about magic. Magic is a universal human capability. Magic means making things happen that you want to happen. Doing hocus-pocus and saying alakazam is cool and fun, but it isn’t the point: the point is human interconnection with the universe. This is a value that has been pointed out by the mysticism of many cultures, beginning with the Hindu, and also the Jewish, and plenty of others besides, and that is now being confirmed gradually by physicists.
As for what is not for me... I would never write erotica. This isn’t because of prudishness – I know as much about sex as anyone needs to – but I don’t feel I’m a good fit for this genre. I don’t get it, somehow. Sex is part of a relationship, so my focus is on the relationship. I do write about romance – but teen romance, as part of my book’s about magic. What could be more important to young people than that?

What do you wish for yourself as a writer?
I want to be read and discussed, to have my name mentioned with the greats. I want to have people say that reading my writing has made a difference in their lives. And of course, I would like to make enough money that my life will be easier and I can reduce my workload as a teacher, although I will never quit teaching entirely.

What do you like best about publishing your books, and the things you like least?
What I like best about publishing the books is having them published. What I like least is marketing. Marketing agitates me tremendously. This is not to say that I don’t have ideas; I have new marketing ideas daily. However, I am an artist by temperament, and business is not fundamental to my nature, so I wish certainly that I had someone else doing the marketing, a person who is not so easily annoyed and frustrated with the process.

What else are you doing? Do you have any other special interests?
I’m also interviewing indie writers on my website, http://schooloftheages.webs.com. I hope to have you on there soon, of course, Revital. And I continue to read and review other indies. By nature I like to network and help people out – I’m a Leo, if you care for an astrological explanation for that. And of course, I have a musical group. The Exploration Project, founded by Scott Rifkin in the 1990s, gigs and records in New York City. We’re an avant-garde multimedia combo featuring improvised music by Scott, me, and our new member Peter Dragotta, original poetry (performed by me) and painting by the up-and-coming master of oils, Eric Henty, who finds our performances inspirational and motivational. We have albums for sale at all major online venues, including iTunes.

I would love to be interviewed by you, thanks for being my guest today.

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