Welcome to my blog!

Welcome to my blog! This is my journey, my first steps into the world of fictional writing. This blog is an online journal of sorts, where I share the progress of my work as well as what I have learned along the way. I hope you enjoy your time with me and that my experience may be of some use to you.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Interview - Matthew Travagline

Welcome back,


This month we have an interview with writer and fellow gamer, Matthew Travagline. I met Mister Travagline via Facebook, and he gladly volunteered to answer some of my questions.


He was happy for the opportunity to share his knowledge, which you will find in the following interview.


Short Bio: A fantasy writer who hails from New York but resides in North Carolina. Matt attends
class at North Carolina State University working towards his bachelor’s degree in Language,
Writing and Rhetoric. When not writing or working, he enjoys a stroll through epic role-playing-
Games.






Published Works: Matthew has written a post-apocalyptic fantasy duology about an Earth so
far removed from her apocalypse that only a select few (including our bard-protagonist Gnochi)
have a working knowledge of everyday life pre-apocalypse. Matt is currently in the process of
querying for an agent’s representation. The first novel in his duology, Gleeman’s Tales is freely
available to read on Wattpad at:


Current Projects: A robot science fiction novel detailing, among other things, an experiment to
simulate the human experience in robots.


When did you begin writing?


I started writing before I was a teenager. I even got a solid fifty pages into a novel that
has not seen the light of day since *cringes*. For a while I had put aside any writing. It
was in my freshman English class that I realized I had a modicum of skill in crafting
the written word, and that others might-possibly- potentially-maybe enjoy reading what
I wrote. I can point to a single assignment. Write an additional chapter to Lois Lowry’s
The Giver.


Did you receive any special training or attend a school?


I actually had no formal training in grammar (aside from standard usage and
correction) until I took a linguistics class in the fall of 2016. I’m a native English
speaker, and grammar came easily enough to me, but try explaining why the adjective
before the noun (in a list of adjectives) is the most imperative, and I get nervous.


Where do you get your inspiration from?


Everywhere: from life happening around me; from the people I know; from the people I
don’t know; from books I’ve read, and stories I’ve heard; from dreams I’ve dreamt, and
those I have still; from the seemingly insignificant, and the seemingly immeasurable.


Do you use any special resources when writing? (other books, computer programs,
etc)


I have hand-written both of my novels in (fancy) journals and plan to continue doing so
for every book I write. I find the process more engaging than simply typing on a
keyboard. Writing takes time; it takes *more* thought, for me, than typing. I also write
with a fountain pen (with cartridges, not a well; I’m not out of my mind yet), though that
is for aesthetic value more than practical value.


What is (in your opinion) the most important thing to remember when writing, and why
is it so important?


I think that when writing one’s first draft, it’s imperative to let the writing happen
without over-thinking. Don’t go back and edit after you’ve written a page. Continue on
the same train. Don’t let your creative juices stagger. Obviously there are successful
writers who might be able to write and edit in the same breath, but for a writer trying to
make their mark in the sand and learn their own style, this could save some
frustration.
Sometimes when I’m writing a particularly challenging section, I’ll sit back and write a
note to my future self. Something along the lines of: Future Matt…deal with this. It’s
not worth wrecking your mojo.


What is (in your opinion) the most challenging part of writing, and how do you
overcome it?


Dedicating consistent time each day to writing is probably my biggest challenge.
Between work, school, and schoolwork, most nights I rarely have time to think about
my writing. But in order to keep chugging along, you have to make a schedule and
stick with it. Doesn’t have to be a huge amount. Even if it’s just a few hundred words a
day, it’s better than nothing.


Did you use an agent? (why or why not?)


I am attempting to query an agent now because ideally, I’d have my work published
traditionally through a publishing house.


Did you use an Editor? If not, what process did you use to edit your work?


I have not paid for an editor, but rather relied on the skills and eyes of my dozen plus
beta-readers, and the hundreds of readers on Wattpad who have perused my work. If
I am published traditionally, the house will have their own editors on staff. Should I
choose to self-publish down the road (which I am considering), I may splurge for an
editor, but by then, it will likely be as smooth as it can be.


Do you handle your own marketing?


I have a website (matthewtravagline.com) where I write about books and videogames.
When I do publish, it will become my primary marketing tool. I also write witty things
and share interesting articles on my author’s Facebook page. Though I have not
seriously marketed Gleeman’s Tales because it is still not published.


Do you have any advice for other writers?


Have realistic expectations. A vast majority of books published each year will not gain
fame or notoriety. Don’t come in expecting to make big money, as it will not likely
happen. It’s a hobby, first and foremost. If you sell a few (tens/hundreds/thousand)
copies, then it becomes a hobby that might be able to pay for your coffee, or lunch
here or there. And by having realistic expectations, when you did make it big, it’ll be an
amazing surprise.


In closing, I would like to thank Matthew for doing this interview. As someone who is still in the process of finding himself as a writer, I found this information to be quite useful. I look forward to hearing more about him in the future.


Until Next time,


Cheers,

            Patrick Osborne