‘Meet the Author’: Matt Powers
“Ghosts of Manor House,” is a new suspenseful ghost story from local author Matt Powers. Chatting with Powers, we threw a few questions at him about how he became a writer and his recent book.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I am a Senior Producer at Zynga where I manage development for Tropic Escape. Computers and video games have been part of my life since I was a teenager. I love my job – working with a team of creative people making something that people enjoy. But as a producer I’m not the creative person. I’m the “worry about things and make sure it gets done person.” That is why I enjoy writing. I have found writing to be a great way to express my creativity. While I have been writing for many years, Ghosts of Manor House is the first book I have finished and published.
What brought you this area?
Family brought me here when my parents moved to the area 16 years ago and then my older brother moved near to them 10 years ago. Slowly our family has been relocating itself to Nevada County. I love the friendly people, the closeness to nature, and local shops. I do all my writing here as I find it comfortable and inspiring. I bought property near my parents 4 years ago and my goal is to build a house on that property and live out my days in Nevada County.
How did you get into writing?
Many years ago, I had an inspiration for an industry story that I felt would make a good article. I sent my idea to a video game website and asked if they thought their readers would like to hear this tale. The editor responded and told me that it was good idea for a story. I followed up and asked if he knew someone who would be a good writer; someone I could share the details with and then they could put it into words for the readers. The response from the editor changed my thinking and outlook. The editor replied with, “Why don’t you write it?”
And so I did, and I haven’t stopped writing since.
What is your favorite book or who is your favorite author?
My favorite author is Neal Stephenson and I love most of his books. Most favorite would probably be Snow Crash. Next favorite would be Neil Gaiman. Both such excellent writers with great imagination. There are so many good writers and books. Lucky me as I love to read.
What is your book about?
Quick summary: Ghosts of Manor House is a story about a man searching to reconnect with his family that he loves dearly. And about a house looking for company so it won’t be lonely.
A more detailed summary:
Mary and Edmund had a happy life, until one of their two children died in a drowning accident. The family went to Manor House to get away—for Mary it was to find her lost son. To find a way her family could be whole again. For Edmund, her husband, he looked forward to some writing, time away from work, and to hopefully see his wife happy once more.
Edmund arrives at Manor House to begin his writing; sure that Mary and their daughter will follow. But he soon discovers that Mary is missing. And he realizes that Manor House is more than just an interesting story, it is haunted.
Edmund wants to find Mary again, to be a family again. Can Manor House help him? Or will Manor House be his undoing?
A mother will sacrifice anything for her children.
A husband will risk everything to save his wife.
Manor House will take them all.
What inspired you to write this book?
I wanted to write something that was suspenseful; a bit creepy and felt like it could be real yet with an edge of surreal. I wanted to write something that would make people think, keep them guessing until the end. And finally, I wanted to write a story with a haunted house – a sentient house with needs and desires of its own.
The idea of ghosts and haunted houses has always intrigued me – are they really fiction? Could it be real? Perhaps they are….
What do you find most challenging about writing a book?
Trying to perfect the craft of writing has been the most challenging. Continually pushing myself to try and write better. Committing the time to create a story and complete it. And then having the courage to stop writing and call something done.
Writing is both an amazingly fulfilling hobby and yet terribly frustrating. You are never done and you can always write better. I have so many ideas I want to write about and I know I can continue to write better.
Then what I think about most right now, related to writing? I wonder what people will think of my first book, Ghosts of Manor House. I hope they give it a chance. And I hope they enjoy reading it.
What is your key takeaway or message you hope readers find in your book?
Most important is that I hope people like the book. I hope they find the characters as intriguing as I do. The story should keep them on edge and wondering what will happen next. In the end, it is a love story and a ghost story, but is it a happy ending? Let me know what you think.
Where can people find your book?
Best place to find it is on Amazon:
You can follow the book on FaceBook:
In your own words, how would you describe your perfect day?
Wow, perfect day, that is tricky. First thing that comes to mind is sleeping in. No alarm, waking slowly. After crawling out of bed I would wander out to the back porch. The sun is out, warm, but mild, a light breeze drifts by. I sit out on the porch and do some writing. Then go have lunch in town with a walk down Main Street. Back home do some work around the house and more writing. Then friends and family come over and we BBQ.
A peaceful relaxing day that includes friends and family.
Finally, at the end of the day, settle into bed with a good book, fall asleep with a smile. Oh, and don’t turn the alarm on.
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