We are thrilled Matthew's bizarre tale "Interference" is included in the newly released anthology "It Calls From The Forest: Volume One"
Matthew was born, raised and still resides in Massachusetts. From a young age, he was interested in the mysterious and bizarre, reading and writing book reports on UFO’s, Sasquatch and The Bermuda Triangle, much to the dismay of his teachers. As it turns out, the Fitchburg Children’s Public Library had quite a robust collection of books that would be considered occult in nature in the late nineteen-eighties.
As a young adult he made a living bouncing between day jobs while moonlighting as a semi-professional magician, which led him to discover a dark unground of the magic community, known as the bizarre magicians and became enchanted with the art form, writing dark tales to accompany his illusions.
Later he would discover a love of film journalism, writing for an online film review blog as well as several horror film magazines including Fangoria, GoreZone, Monster and Weng’s Chop, which led to him wanting to write his own tales of terror.
He has been published in several anthologies and continues to write film reviews, working on a massive film reference book that should be published somewhere around 2079 at the rate it’s currently moving forward.
Have you always written, or was there a catalyst that prompted you to begin this journey?
I’ve always written in some capacity. When I was in high school, I took a creative writing class that really sparked an interest for me. I remember taking a historical event and rewriting it as a modern newspaper story. I chose The Beast of Gévaudan (a massive man-eating wolf that killed 113 people between 1764 and 1767 in Gévaudan (modern-day Lozère and Haute-Loire). I remember my teacher thought I made the whole thing up and I had to prove its authenticity before I could be graded. Got high marks for that piece and I was proud of it, but it was a later story that really lit a fire for me. See, while I went to high school, I worked at the local supermarket as a bagger. It was a decent job and I enjoyed it most of the time, but like with any job or social setting there are those people that you just don’t jive with. So as a way of taking out my frustrations, I wrote a story called Harry the Homicidal Bag Boy, a sort of homage to the slasher flicks of the 80’s. My teacher hated it and pulled me aside asking why I’d bother to write such “trash.” Some of my classmates, however, absolutely loved it and wanted to read more. I think I ended up writing five or six more stories in the series, giving them ever increasingly cheesy titles such as Harry the Homicidal Bagboy Part VI: Slashing Prices. After high school, there was a long period of dormancy, if you will, until I started an online film review blog called Midnight Cinephile (no defunct) which led to me writing for several horror film magazines including Fangoria, GoreZone, Monster! and Weng’s Chop (for which I still write!). That sparked my creative juices again and around 2009 or so, I started to write fiction again!
What is your favourite genre to read?
I am a huge horror hound, so I would say that the largest piece of the pie goes to horror/weird fiction. I’m also interested in real life mysteries so I read a lot of stuff about UFO’s, Ancient Aliens, Cryptids (Bigfoot, The Loch Ness Monster, Mothman, etc.) and hauntings. The third pillar of my book collection would be non-fiction books about the movie industry and Golden Age Hollywood.
Do you remember the first piece of writing shared publicly? What were people’s reactions, but more importantly how did you react getting it out there?
The first piece of fiction that was shared with the public at large was a story that I self published via Amazon called Electrical Storm. It was a story about a man who, while working late at the office, runs afoul of an entity seemingly made of sentient lightning. It got a couple of reviews, which were both in the three star range if I remember correctly. One of the reviews compared the story to a cross between the stories of H.P. Lovecraft and the films of David Cronenberg! I think it sold maybe a total of eight copies, but it was enough for me to want to pursue writing as a career. I have since taken the story down because I really want to rework it and give it a wide release someday.
What is your workspace like? What kind of atmosphere do you need to write?
I really have the most amazing workspace. We bought a new house in 2018 in western mass and it has this gorgeous four season porch on the back, which I converted to my office. Each of its three exterior walls are about 80% windows, and I have a gorgeous view of the woods on all three sides. It’s about as close to writing in a tree fort as I can get! It’s indescribable to be surrounded by so much beauty while I work. The woods can be at once magical and terrifying, which lends no shortage of inspiration.
Without giving too much away, tell us about the short story you have featured in “It calls to the Forest”. What inspired you?
Interference is one of the stranger stories I’ve written, I think. It’s about a young couple who go for an afternoon mountain hike and are plagued by a dark and sinister force...an entity of unknown origin and motive. I know that’s really vague, but to say more would be to spoil the story. As for the inspiration of the tale, I was driving home from a trip to New Hampshire (we live right near the border) and while on a deeply wooded backroad a few miles from my house, I saw a large flatscreen television on the side of the road. It was all smashed up and covered in pine needles. It was so bizarre, I actually stopped and took pictures of it! I couldn’t get it out of my head. There were no houses in any direction for miles. What on Earth was a television doing out here? And why was it all busted up? Interference was the result of my obsession over that broken, out of place TV in the woods.
Want the full interview with Matt and all our Eerie Authors? Head on over to our Patreon account and get the full scoop!
You can follow him on Twitter: @MatthewAStCyr or find him on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MatthewAStCyr
You can also read his blog here: https://matthewastcyr.blogspot.com/
Pre-order your copy of "It Calls From The Forest" for only $2.99 on Amazon
Available in hardcover - paperback - eBook