I’m pleased to have author Matt Ferraz from Contagem in Southeastern Brazil here to speak about his writing and new release, Sherlock Holmes and the Glad Game.
I self published my first book, Teorema de Mabel (Mabel’s Theorem) in 2013. It’s my only literary book written in my mother language, Portuguese. Since then, most of my works have been in English, and a few in Italian. My second novel was Killing Dr. Watson, a murder mystery which was released in the UK by MX Publishing. Then, I started my series Grandma Bertha Solving Murders, with the first volume, The Convenient Cadaver, being self published in 2015. It’s a cozy mystery series with a character I did inspired by my own grandmother. The second book in that series is coming out in early 2018.
My new book is called Sherlock Holmes and the Glad Game, and it’s a crossover between the world’s greatest detective and Pollyanna Whittier, from the Glad Game books written by Eleanor H. Porter. The synopsis is as follows:
British sleuth Sherlock Holmes can solve any mystery from a small clue. American traveler Pollyanna Whittier can only see the good side of every situation. The only thing they have in common is their friendship with Dr. John Watson. When Pollyanna shows up in London with a mystery for Holmes to solve, she decides to teach the detective the Glad Game: a way of remaining optimistic no matter what. A dangerous – and hilarious – clash of minds, where these two characters of classic literature need to learn how to work together in order to catch a dangerous criminal.
Sounds like you’ve written some nice mysteries.
Describe your goals as a writer. What do you hope to achieve in the next few years? What are you planning to do to reach these goals?
My dream, which I share with most writers, is to make a full living out of my books. It’s not easy, and takes a lot of hard work, but I’m determined to pursue it. My country is going through an economic crisis right now, so I have just as many chances of making money with my books as I would with a regular job.
Sorry about your country’s economic situation, but best of luck with your book selling.
What type of reader are you hoping to attract? Who do you believe would be most interested in reading your books?
With Sherlock Holmes and the Glad Game I intend to reach sherlockians, who love everything related to the character created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; cozy readers, who love a clean mystery read; and also people who like classic literature and want to see how characters as different as Holmes and Pollyanna will interact.
A nice audience.
What advice would you give other authors or those still trying to get published?
Learn everything you can about the publishing market. It’s not enough just being a good storyteller and putting the business work in the hands of an agent or publisher. You need to know the ground you’re stepping in.
I agree completely.
What particular challenges and struggles did you face before first becoming published?
I had problems with word count, and everything I wrote was far too short to be released by a regular publisher. It took some time to fix that.
I think most publishers are now accepting shorter-length books.
Have you taken any writing or publishing classes? If so, please provide information about them and if you feel they helped you further your professional skills.
I attended to a wonderful workshop with Joanna Penn and Orna Ross in London, which taught me lots about how to make a living out of books. Besides that, I took some courses about publishing, but never about the writing itself. I agree with Stephen King, who says that writing can be learned but not taught.
What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?
I’m a trained barista, and can make some pretty tasty coffee drinks. I also love cinema, and go the movies as often as I can.
What do you like most and least about being an author? What is your toughest challenge?
Being a writer makes me feel like I can be in the same club where many people I look up to are. The worst part is that people don’t see it as a career, only as a hobby, and I have a tough time convincing them that this is what I want to do for a living.
I understand that issue.