I live in Queens, New York and work in Brooklyn.
I’m a teacher with an academic background. I decided to be a writer when I was twelve, after plenty of indications in early childhood that I was suited to storytelling and wordsmithing. My parents are musicians, and I love to be involved in that, also, but writing is my primary art.
What have you written?
My main effort is the School of the Ages series of novels about a magic school in New York City and the adventure of Simon Magus, who starts at age 13 and grows up alongside many other magical kids. It’s a character-driven, ensemble series. There’s no dark lord, no ultimate evil — just watching young people grow up and learn how to function in the world while they increase in power and take on tougher and tougher foes and challenges. I have equal parts adventure and romance, and the books are written for ages 12 to adult.
School of the Ages books are self-published in the United States, all at Amazon and some at Barnes & Noble. In India, they are now gradually being published by Vitasta Publishing and distributed by Times Group Books in bookstores and at sites like flipkart.com.
I have also co-written, with Jess C. Scott, a nonfiction advice book called Teen Guide to Sex and Relationships. Not only is it the best quality book in its category, but it also has the best price! Jess and I give heartfelt and common-sense responses in Q&A format to all the questions teens want to ask about love and sexuality. We don’t preach abstinence or talk about God’s plan; we discuss many lifestyles and possible decisions; and we are gay-friendly.
What are you working on now?
I am writing a nonfiction book, How to Write Dialogue, featuring samples provided by many indie writer friends. My plans after that are to finish School of the Ages 4, to make a zombie story collection for October, and then to co-write a mystery with Jess C. Scott.
Where do you do most of your writing and when?
I write primarily in notebooks, wherever I am, ranging from the subway to the bathtub to the classroom. I do compose sometimes on my computer or iPad, but usually the notebook is the first step. My writing is squeezed into odd moments when I’m not tied up with my other jobs. Writing full-time must be an amazing feeling. I don’t know what that feels like.
Describe your writing space…
The centerpiece of the picture is a large IKEA desk with significant clutter of office supplies, CDs, daily pills, and personal effects, including travel souvenirs from Europe. The boxed clock, the glass turtles, and the small crystal skull are all from Prague; the large postcard of Jesus is one of a stack of various images from Budapest’s art museum, and the key chains shaped like nesting dolls are also from that city of great goulash. To the right of the souvenirs are some books that are mostly research-oriented, including the two great Indian epics Mahabharata and Ramayana (the orange books, which I bought in India), a variety of art books (Magritte, O’Keefe, Arcimboldo, R. Crumb, Japanese artists) and some history and miscellaneous. The Bell & Howell binoculars (only box showing) were given to me in the 70s by my paternal grandfather.
To the left, off camera, is a large window. Next to the keyboard are some of my notebooks containing material from various School of the Ages novels. The document showing on the monitor is the interview you are presently reading.
Influences as a writer:
Here’s a partial list: Shakespeare; J.R.R.Tolkien; Jane Austen; Neil Gaiman; Lewis Carroll; Monty Python; George R.R. Martin; Colin Wilson; David Eddings; Ezra Pound; Langston Hughes; Peter David; Kurt Busiek; Allen Ginsberg; Stephen King; Evan S. Connell; Amar Chitra Katha comics.
The one book you wish you’d written:
Tuf Voyaging by George R.R. Martin
The 5 Matt Posner Writing Tips:
1. Stories are driven by character, not concept. A cool idea isn’t enough. We need people to care about.
2. Get a day job. Only the most lucky get to write full-time. I’m a full-time teacher. I wish I had studied marketing…
3. You can get in the mood to write by copying out a passage of good writing by someone else. I took this one from Eudora Welty.
4. The publishing business is full of thieves, liars, and jackals. Learn how to recognize them.
5. Absolutely master grammar, punctuation and spelling. Just know them perfectly.
Links to your work:
My website: http://schooloftheages.webs.com
My facebook: “School of the Ages Series”
My twitter feed (general interest retweets): @schooloftheages
The School of the Ages series will contain five novels and an unspecified number of short story books. The primary novels so far are:
“This is no school exercise. It is a fight for your life.” @Schooloftheages book 3 The War Against Love Amazon UShttp://tinyurl.com/8wk3sjr
“This is no school exercise. It is a fight for your life.” @Schooloftheages book 3 The War Against Love Amazon UKhttp://tinyurl.com/9raqmlm
Short story collections so far are:
All these books, except the short story collections which I have enrolled in KDP, are also available for Nook.