Stitch Says is branching out today for a Horror interview!!! Check out Matthew Ashcraft author of Dead:

dead kindle cover

When did you decide to become an author and what impact has this had on your life?
I was encouraged to write by an English teacher I had in Junior High. Everyone in the class had to write a short story based on a prompt because she was interested in putting together a team for Power of the Pen. The prompt was ‘Someone hurt your feelings’ and my story was about a young boy who has a cat named feelings and the cat is hurt by a bully. The teacher called me up to the desk later that period and said basically “This is weird and dark, but fantastic, want to be on the team?” I said heck yeah, and haven’t looked back!

Tell us about your latest work and what motivated you to write it:
DEAD is a collection of short stories. Most of them are pretty horrific with a few little pleasant surprises thrown in. Short stories are absolutely my bread and butter so to speak but a collection of them from an unknown author is a hard sell with publishers, so I decided to go the self publishing route with it.

What are your future aspirations as an author?
To make a living at it. I certainly don’t need to be rich, (but would gladly accept that fate!) but to take care of my beautiful family by writing is the main goal and dream.

Where do your ideas come from? What experiences or aspects of your life influence your writing?
I think most writers are hurting inside, especially those of us who write mainly horror. It’s funny, I don’t read too much horror outside of Stephen King (and my fellow indie authors whose work has been seen alongside mine in a couple of anthologies) but I always seem to take my stories down that genre road. As a teenager and young adult I struggled very much with depression and even thoughts of suicide. My work reflects that clearly, but to me while it’s dark I think it can also help people. A story like Heart String, which leads off DEAD, is very grotesque and depressing, but also has a message of hope and is pretty romantic, deep down. It’s about loss of all kinds, and the main character is drowning in a sea of sadness, but there are things in life that you can hold on to, if only to just stay afloat. If anything I write can ever make one kid, just one depressed young person think, ‘hey this guy made it, and he’s using the very thing that’s keeping me down to express himself and he’s conquered it’, then I’m proud of that and it’s worth more than any other accolade I could get from writing.

What do you do to improve yourself as a writer?
Write. Write. Write. I’ll put it in all caps. WRITE. And READ. Those two things, over and over. I personally like to write what I’m feeling that day. It leaves me with a bunch of unfinished things on my computer, but sure enough you see that you end up going back to the good ideas and getting excited and finishing them. I’ve been really excited about this novella I’m working on, but if I wake up tomorrow and I’m excited about some new idea, I’ll work on the new idea. The novella is great and I’ll finish it eventually, but if I work on it when I’m dying to get to something else, the work will suffer. Of course, when you find that amazing idea, you’re probably going to be in love with it until it’s done, so I’m not worried about starting something else right now.

Some great advice there Matthew and isn’t it great when we get teachers who inspire us. Stitch Says wishes you all the best.

If you would like to check out DEAD go to:

Thanks for stopping by Matthew. Until next time keep reading, keep writing!!!