I would like to start with a disclaimer. Mainely Wicked was hi-jacked by the baddies.
My books always start with an idea. The inspiration for Mainely Wicked was the notion of the scariness of dating sites. Two people getting together based upon online conversation and pictures to get to know each other better, possibly intimately. That, coupled with the fact that there are some scary individuals out there creates a connection that could easily lead to terror. Or something WICKED.
The first four of my Mainely Mystery series have a bit of the three Fs. Fighting, foul language, and fornication. But just a hint, enough to be real but not overwhelm. Langdon, Chabal, and crew, meander their way through the pages trying to unravel the mysteries involving nuclear power plants, vandalism during ice storms, rich lobbyists, private mercenaries, and find abducted children.
But the baddies in Mainely Wicked led us down a much darker path. Through no fault of mine, it turned out they were the descendants of a missionary group, or grotto, of the Church of Satan. A cavern of evil so filthy that they were expelled from the Church of Satan. And what could cause that to happen? Well, you see, they eat people. Or the leader, the self-proclaimed wendigo does, anyway. The Wendigo has an insatiable appetite for human flesh.
You see how this was not my fault?
A study done at the Edinburg Literary Festival by John Foxwell in the English Department of Durham University in the U.K. shows that many authors hear the voices of their characters. According to his survey, 63% of authors hear voices of their characters and 42% can enter into dialogue with them. Further, 65% of author’s characters can act on their own accord. Some authors even claim that characters give them unsolicited advice on their own lives.
This is my problem.
I have become close enough friends with Langdon, Chabal, 4 by Four, Bart, Richam, and Jewell so that they rarely surprise me anymore. But when you introduce baddies who are using dating sites for nefarious purposes, they might, and did, take you down a dark and WICKED road.
My mysteries are most certainly character driven AND led. I come up with an idea and turn it over to Goff Langdon, Clay Wolfe, or 8 Ballo and let them take it wherever it goes. I am often surprised, but never in such an abominable way as the baddies took me in Mainely Wicked.
How about your, readers and writers? Do the characters speak to you? Do you talk back, either internally or externally? Do they surprise you? Do you consider them friends and enemies? Let me know.
About the Author
Matt Cost was a history major at Trinity College. He owned a mystery bookstore, a video store, and a gym, before serving a ten-year sentence as a junior high school teacher. In 2014 he was released and began writing. And that’s what he does. He writes histories and mysteries.
Cost has published five books in the Mainely Mystery series, with the fifth, Mainely Wicked, just released in August of 2023. He has also published four books in the Clay Wolfe Trap series, with the fifth, Pirate Trap, due out in December of 2023.
For historical novels, Cost has published At Every Hazard and its sequel, Love in a Time of Hate, as well as I am Cuba. In April of 2023, Cost combined his love of histories and mysteries into a historical PI mystery set in 1923 Brooklyn, Velma Gone Awry. City Gone Askew will follow in April of 2024.
Cost now lives in Brunswick, Maine, with his wife, Harper. There are four grown children: Brittany, Pearson, Miranda, and Ryan. A chocolate Lab and a basset hound round out the mix. He now spends his days at the computer, writing.