Author Interview - RC Matthews

Posted on Friday, September 12, 2014 12:01 AM

Hello Everyone!
Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing R.C. Matthews author of Little White Lies as well as the Wish Come True series (Date Night, Fair Game, Begin Again, and The Mastermind).
Hi R.C. Matthews, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I grew up in the metro Detroit area and was raised by deaf parents along with three older sisters and a younger brother. After attending a liberal arts college and obtaining a degree in Accounting and German, I began my career as a public accountant. I’m still working full-time now as a public accountant and I write mostly on the weekends. I lived for four years in Germany and two years in Boston but most of my life has been spent in Michigan. I’m happily married to my second husband and I have two teenage boys of my own and a stepson.
What were you like at school?
I was a goody two shoes and straight A student my whole life. Most of my time was spent either studying or running cross country and track.
Were you good at English?
Yes. I loved my English classes. Writing was always a pleasure for me and grammar came easily to me.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
My ambition is to write interesting, quality books that entertain readers and hopefully make them laugh. Romance should be sexy and fun and ALWAYS include a happily ever after.
So, what have you written?
My published books by R.C. Matthews include Little White Lies, Date Night, Fair Game, Begin Again, and The Mastermind. I recently placed in the top twenty short stories for a contest held by DigiWriting and my short story will be published in their “Romancing the Story Anthology”. I’ve also written a New Year’s Eve short story that I hope will be published in a box set by Crimson Romance. However, if it isn’t picked up by the publisher, I’ll probably self-publish it near the holiday. I’m currently writing an erotica book under the pen name K.M. Matthews entitled, Make Me Whole. It’s a lot darker than my contemporary romances but I’m having a lot of fun writing it. We’ll see how it turns out. Fingers crossed. I’m also currently writing a teen fantasy book, INFINITAS, under the pen name David N. Sebastian.  Wow.  It’s been a busy year. All of this and my debut novel was published March 24, 2014.

Where can we buy or see them? 
All of my books can be purchased on Amazon where you can read an excerpt for free. You can also visit my author website at where I have the book covers, blurbs and excerpts.
What was the hardest part about writing your book?
I had to research a lot for Little White Lies because the hero is the Chief Executive Officer of a pharmaceutical company and his company is conducting clinical trials of different drugs. I knew absolutely nothing about this topic. My hero is accused of bribing an FDA agent so I needed to understand the whole clinical trial process, fees, and what would happen if someone were charged with bribing an FDA agent.
How did you come up with the title?
Little White Lies wasn’t my first choice. I actually wanted to name the book Indecent Proposal. But given the famous movie from the 80’s, the publisher wanted another title. Given the fact that the characters in my book are telling a series of white lies throughout the story, it made a lot of sense to include white lies in the title. I like “little” because even though some of the lies they tell are actually whoppers, the lies don’t really hurt anyone.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Little Whites Lies was really a journey for the heroine, Madalyn, of discovering that life does not need to be black and white. There are many shades of grey and if you allow yourself to see more than just black and white, you can lead a richer / fuller life.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
I’m going to confess that my hero, Royce, is my ultimate book boyfriend. Royce embodies everything I would ever want in a man: confidence, humor, good looks, ability to laugh at himself, a little bit of arrogance, sexy and the man can dance! Does he exist in reality? Probably not. But who cares!!!!! I don’t read books to escape to reality. Let me be swept completely off my feet for a few hours. Please! My heroine, Madalyn, plays life by the book and sees things very much so in black and white. Although he has a lot of book smarts, she’s lived a bit of a sheltered life and doesn’t have a ton of street smarts. But she has an adventurous nature and really blossoms under Royce’s care, learning to let go and enjoy life to the fullest. Little White Lies is one of those over the top, sweep you off your feet, romances like Pretty Woman.
What are you working on at the minute?
Right now I’m working on an erotica novel entitled Make Me Whole. It’s about a couple that has been together ten years (without children) and the hero becomes paralyzed through a freak accident. Their life up until now has been one of love and sexual abandonment and the hero feels like his world is crashing down around him. After eight months of deep depression, he wonders whether introducing a surrogate lover into their marriage will make him feel whole again. His wife is reluctant but agrees to try in order to restore happiness to the love of her life. 
What genre are your books?
I write contemporary romance under the pen name R.C. Matthews. I’m writing a teen fantasy book under the pen name David N. Sebastian. And I’m going to try my hand at erotica under the pen name K.M. Matthews.
What draws you to this genre?
Oh, I’m a romantic at heart. I discovered romance novels in college and I never looked back. I enjoy all romance novels at all heat levels (behind closed doors all the way to erotica) but romance has to be the end goal and there has to be a HEA. I detest this new trend of breaking a story out over three or four books with a cliffhanger at the end of each book. Huh? When did that become a good idea?
Do you write every day, 5 days a week or as and when?
No, I don’t write every day. I write most weekends and probably one or two nights during the week.
Do you write on a computer, dictate or longhand?
Longhand? Are you kidding me? Do people still do that? Definitely on a computer.
Where do your ideas come from?
The idea for Little White Lies came from my experience with going on cruises. I love cruising but I’d never read a romance where the characters were on a cruise. The basic idea for Date Night came from my own experiences with on-line dating and dating services. And my idea from the teen fantasy book I’m working on came from a board game that I play with my kids.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
Sometimes I work from a brief outline (Little White Lies), sometimes I just see where the idea takes me by sitting down and simply typing away (Fair Game) and sometimes I need a detailed plot (Infinitas – my teen fantasy book under the pen name David N. Sebastian).
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
It really depends on how much research I need to do for the book. It took me over a year to write Little White Lies. It was my first book and it required a lot of research. The story is 251 pages. However, I wrote Date Night (175 pages) in one month during National Novel Writers Month in November 2013 because it required very little research. I’m currently writing a teen fantasy book that will probably take me several months because it requires a lot of plotting time. It’s an adventure story so I have to make sure that there is enough conflict and facts are revealed slowly over the course of the adventure. There are a lot of secondary characters and potions and weapons and creatures and places. So keeping it all straight is a challenge.
What are your thoughts on writing a book series?
Writing a book series is a huge time commitment! I just completed the Wish Come True series and whew, am I glad it is now done. There is a lot of pressure that goes along with writing a series. But it is also fun to have the characters interact / overlap in the stories. Writing a series also helps develop a fan base if your series is good enough to hook the reader into wanting to learn what happens to all of the characters. I’ve recently discovered the joy of writing short stories. With a full time job as an accountant, it is tough to carve out time for a long story.
What book/s are you reading at present?
Right now I’m reading “A Promise of Province: A Novel” by Patricia Sands as well as “Emma” by Jane Austen. I usually have two books that I read at a time. Emma is being read by one of the Goodreads groups that I belong to and I won the other book on Goodreads.
Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?
I have a professional editor proofread/edit my books. I also use beta readers before I send my book to the editor.
Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?
It depends. I tend to edit my books as I write them. So I’ll write a couple of chapters and then go back and edit…and edit…and edit again. Then I’ll write a few more chapters and so on. When I’m done I usually take two more full reads through the book and edit more. If I don’t like how something came out, then I’ll set the book aside for a few days to a week and come back it to. But never a month.
Who designed your book cover/s?
All of my Wish Come True series book covers were designed by Melody Simmons of I stumbled upon her website one day and bought one of her premade covers for Little White Lies. But when that story was contracted by Crimson Romance, they used their own designer to create a new cover. But I loved the old cover so much that when I self-published my Wish Come True series, I asked Melody to custom make the covers. Her work is gorgeous.
Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
Absolutely. The cover plays a huge part in the buying process. When people search on Amazon – and let’s be clear that Amazon sells way more books than its competitors – you start off seeing a cover. I’m an avid reader. When I buy books, I won’t even click to find out more if the cover or title doesn’t appeal to me. So making sure you can read the title and clearly see the picture in the thumbnail size is critical.
What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?
Well the obvious main advantage of self-publishing is that the writer retains a larger portion of the book proceeds and retains the licensing rights to the book. And if you’re publishing with a smaller publishing company, the amount of marketing done on behalf of your book is probably negligible with an expectation from the publisher that you’ll be very active in marketing your own book. However, having a publishing company behind your book lends credibility to it. There are a lot of romance bloggers who refuse to read and review self-published books. So it can be easier sometimes to market a traditionally published book.
What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book?
Boy, marketing takes a lot more time than I ever imagined. I spend at least five to ten hours every week on marketing – whether that’s writing blogs, reaching out to romance bloggers to review my books or simply staying connected on Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads.
Do you think that giving books away free works and why?
Yes. I do think giving books away free works because it gives readers the opportunity to take a risk on a new author without a financial investment. Let’s be honest here – taking the time to read a book is a huge personal investment of time. I value my time more than money. So even if a book is free, I don’t always download it and read it. But word of mouth is still the number one advertisement for books. So if you can get a large number of people to download and read your book for free, then there is a great chance that they’ll spread the word if they love it. It’s a win / win situation.
Did you format your own book?
I formatted all of my self-published Wish Come True series books (Date Night, Fair Game, Begin Again and The Mastermind). Little White Lies was published by Crimson Romance so I didn’t have anything to do with the formatting.
In what formats is your book available?
All of my books are available in Kindle (mobi) format and most of them are also available in print on demand.
How do you relax?
Actually writing is the way that I relax. I have a full time day job as an accountant so I use writing as a way to relax. I also watch a few T.V. shows religiously – like The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones.
What is your favorite inspirational quote?
“If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it.” – William Arthur Ward
What is your favorite book and why?
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is definitely one of my favorite books because no matter how many times I read it, I fall in love with the story and the characters over and over again. This book is a true testament to the idea that a timeless love story doesn’t need sex scenes, or even a single kiss, for it to be great. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of well written sex scenes in a book where it adds to the development of the relationship, but sex isn’t always essential to the story line.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Don’t put too much stock in what others try to tell you about how you should write a book. I’m a firm believer that everyone has their own style and you’ll lose your voice and creativity if you don’t follow your own path. I rarely write outlines. The notes for one of my books consisted of a single page of bullet points. I’m simply sat down and started typing. Sometimes I even write chapters out of sequence. This works for me. It might not work for you. The point is to find what you’re comfortable with and ignore what the experts tell you. That’s my advice and I’m sticking to it.
How can readers discover more about you and you work?
Amazon Author Page:
Book Purchase Links: (* US, UK, etc.)

Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.

Loren Mathis

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