Complementing my interviews, today’s Author Spotlight, the three hundred and eighty-eighth, is of science-fiction novelist Robin Matchett… and see below for details of Robin’s tour giveaway and click here to read Robin’s article ‘Science Fiction and Reality Today?’. If you would like to take part in an author spotlight, take a look at author-spotlights.
Rob (Robin) Matchett was born in Paris, France of Canadian parents, but has resided most of his life in rural Ontario. He claims to have been well-educated in the arts in mostly private schools and some university, yet finished curiously studying horticulture and agriculture. Unused to explaining his trajectory in life he said that some thought him a natural talent that had a gift for telling, or at least an imagination that subscribed to it. To others it appeared he preferred a solitary life close to the elements to contemplate the unfathomable wonder of things, whether it be history, culture or science. Well-read, he has an uncanny ability to seek out what truth and reason seem to reveal, and if wrong and evidence upends, the first to admit it. He is known to eschew social media as somewhat overwhelming which can co-opt his meditative equilibrium, though his open and friendly demeanor seems to lend itself to a natural sociability.
To begin one must understand that Rob is an old soul. It could be said that his nature may have some contradictions like any, from virtue to vanity, and ignorance to illumination, and inherent of all the strengths and weaknesses. Rob told me he has learned to live simply, almost monkishly, though with a decent culinary appetite as he grows some of his own food and enjoys certain delicacies or luxuries of habit. His place is perhaps an idealistic one, living in a country setting, studying many themes, but a moral one, and as liberal as the sun. There was a time in his youth that he felt an inner fire alighting his mind with some great idea or purpose, yet with time he saw through such feelings as illusory at best in the guise of immortal youth. Marriage and children have a way of bringing one down to earth. However, to better oneself and to bring to fruition some sense of this, he told me the poet in him had to wring blood from stone and find the discipline to set down what he deemed a creative-believable-oeuvre that encapsulated his attempt to make a difference. It would appear that there has to be some reason or proscribed method to his vision or style, and an understanding gleaned from his search for truth without the hubris. So an epic poem, novels and sonnets emerged from the primordial drive, an effort if flawed, but nonetheless true to form. As well, music and film scripts were brought forth being an extension of his creative voice. It could be said that some have a gift for truth tempered to an age, or for all time. It is a positive spirit, one based in love for humanity and justice – a love circumspect of all ages where truth brings forth light from darkness – where evil is exposed in the light. Some do indeed shine a light. Now Rob may or may not be this – he thinks everyone has that potential – but assuredly divines in a cosmos where all is possible and all is relative, and one simple soul doesn’t really amount to much unless there is some historical or literary significance. At the end of the day, we have stories and an individual who is responsible for them – just another vessel on the current of a human sea.
Big dreams have a way of rounding out in some practical adjustment. Any author would perhaps find some measure of truth in this. They all want to be read and heard. Rob is no different. Be it success or failure, man or woman, self-promotion is likely a given necessity. Obscurity may be the fearsome predator, or sweet surrender, and success today could be failure tomorrow and vice-versa. Be it as it may, living the dream of a flowing mind to text is a panacea to the pain of delirium or bust. Happiness is the creative mind. Rob embodies the true artist.
And now from the author himself…
I think the artist and his or her work are as inseparable as a blue sea and sky, both reflect each other. One writes what one knows. And if one pretends, well, provenance be damned. The commercial success of any literary enterprise precludes its essential value in a world rife with entertainment that clammers for approval. That is the rub. I subscribe to a populist notion of what touches the common chord, the quality of which makes for the best read – to be enriched by language, action, setting and character. Any great story must have a fundamentally human element that people can identify with both emphatically or otherwise. Personally, I have undertaken to emulate in my own true sense the best I have known in the literary tradition. I am who I am and must express myself accordingly. Yet I want to present something new.
There is little ‘new’ in human affairs unless we discover something perhaps supernatural, and even there how can we relate to something beyond our experience. For example, in my book Apocalypta, we meet alien people, some millions of years beyond our present level of evolution. What kind of compassion, or other, would they possess to see us as relative equals in the universal scheme of things if we behave in an open and considerate manner. Would they fear us, as we would fear cave dwellers hundreds of thousands of years ago here on earth? Likely we would presume the worst because that’s who we are and project our fear of them because we fear each other. And they would understand that and protect themselves, or remove themselves from our general view until we were emotionally adjusted, in spite of our technical advances and relative enlightenment. There are just too many considerations. So, is a literary project as such doomed to fail? I think not if the human element is given its due, and I leave the answers to the reader when presented with the reality of such a human dilemma in regard to actual aliens. Some of these alien people live for hundreds, even thousands of years – how about a little human genetic modification? We would turn it into a commercial venture! Think of the medical potential – the technical. We could develop anti-matter electro-gravitic machines that bend space and travel the galaxy…it’s real.
I think the writer must be wired to believe in themselves as messengers. If not, have we devolved to something akin to McWriters? And stories become as generic as the next? I hope not. Or perhaps writing is being displaced by multimedia venues – tabs, video and such – youtube, facebook and satellite technology. Instant communication changes society in ways we have not been prepared for – it just happens that way. Will the need to curl up with a book end? Consider a highly evolved species of humanoid: from what I gather novels and like outputs have gone the way of the dodo. They are mere expressions of an emerging species attempting to make sense out of cruel and unforgiving nature – survival of the fittest – striving for immortality and self-worth. Taking writing to the next level becomes an existential transformation where perhaps telepathy suffices to inspire and entertain. It is a long way from Queen Enheduanna the first person to put their name to their work in ancient Sumer over five thousand years ago. So five thousand years into the future, or a hundred thousand, indeed a million – what will become of the novel or poem? Would I still want to curl up with a book? Yes. The mind needs to be fed, indulged.
As a discipline, writing is my barometer for self-esteem, or rather feeling something necessary. When low pressure in my life happens it forces the writing process by a painful guilt or depressive insistence that writing will relieve. When high pressure is released, the atmosphere is open and diffuse where writing takes on a more benign whimsical devil-may-care approach. I am the host and I will make my mark! There is a higher spirit that can be tapped into. Character and plot take on lives of their own. Play God! It’s out of my hands; I’m just the messenger. This is where discipline must steady the hand. I must stay the course and weave a thread or two even when none seems to be had. To each their own. Some write mad parables on a roll of toilet paper. Others use their script stylus quill on parchment with a bottle of ink. Most with a decent word processor. Here one can edit and rewrite with a voracious turn over. The tools of the trade now make it accessible to the multitudes. As a result, millions of writers dot the constellations, immortalized. Many called, few chosen.
Thank you, Robin. It’s been great to have you back. You can find more about Robin and his writing via…
- Webpage: http://robinmatchett.com
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rob-Matchett/308245449351237
- Twitter: @RobMatchettAuth
Where to Purchase:
- Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Apocalypta-Novel-Future-Rob-Matchett-ebook/dp/B00A3RX6WE
- Amazon.ca: http://www.amazon.ca/Apocalypta-Novel-Future-Rob-Matchett-ebook/dp/B00A3RX6WE
- Indigo: http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/apocalypta-a-novel-from-the/9780991723317-item.html?ikwid=apocalypta&ikwsec=Home&ikwidx=0
- Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/apocalypta
- Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/apocalypta-rob-matchett/1119470775?ean=9780991723355
Click here for details.
- 1st Prize: $50 Amazon.com gift certificate and autographed copy of Apocalypta
- 2nd Prize: $25 Amazon.com gift certificate and autographed copy of Apocalypta
- 3rd Prize: Autographed copy of Apocalypta
Apocalpyta by Robin Matchett
Apocalypta is a novel about a post-apocalyptic world at the cusp of the 25th century. With the discovery of a synaptic memory chip holding the memories of individuals in the past, there is an attempt to avert a return to the terrible conflagrations of the past. This chip – ‘the eyes of god’ – holds salvation through the truth. The main character, implanted with the chip, bids the reader to follow history back to our present time in order to understand the future. Moreover, humanity has a chance to become members of a galactic confederation, which through various species have been instrumental in our emergence from earliest times. Many unusual characters color this story, which is ultimately about the struggle for humanity to rise to a higher place in its long quest for survival.
People of the Sky or Sky Blue by Robin Matchett
This script is set in the present time with reflections that go back a generation. This story involves a few old friends whose lives are forever altered by one of them disappearing thirty years before. The circumstances of the vanishing of an earnest young man, Raymond Ackpey, are both tragic and extraordinary, leading to hearsay of alien abduction. The two young women who knew him intimately never actually manage to get over his ‘death’ and try to lead their lives resigned to the happiness that seemed to have been bequeathed through their separate and torrid affairs with him at the outset. At the same time, they have pursued through thick and thin both career and family life from their own unique vantages, with an undying remembrance of their lost friend as a kind of demi-mythological idol. Then he returns.
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