I sat down with local author Matt Galeone. We discussed his book trilogies, and his love for Baltimore
Q: Where were you born, and how did you end up in Highlandtown?
I was born in Seekonk, Massachusetts. It’s about a half hour from Boston, sort of where “The Perfect Storm” took place. I went to college down in Virgina and kind of made my way back northeast through school and jobs. My day job took me from DC to the Baltimore area about eight years ago. I’ve been in the Highlandtown/Patterson Park area ever since.
Q: Did you always want to be a writer?
I think as a kid, and most of my life, I’ve gone back and forth between a variety of things. When I first sat down to write my first book, I didn’t sit down to write a sci-fi trilogy. I was working to submit a column as a comic book writer. Being a comic book writer is something I’ve always wanted to, and still want to do. Whether it be writing books, comic books, whatever; writings always been something I’ve come back to at every stage of my life so far.
Q: What was your first piece of work?
The first thing I remember, I was in third grade. It was a short story of the life perspective of being a doorknob. It was written by a nine year old, so no big deal. But something clicked and I said “well, I might be good at this!”
The first thing I think I wrote and felt like a writer was my first book. When I was a little kid playing with my friends, I was always the one making up the games. As a nerdy teen, I was always the dungeon master looking over here to get the guides and information I’d need before creating the story.
Q: Do you have any favorite authors?
Orson Scott Card, who wrote “Ender’s Game.” Also, Justin Cronin who wrote “The 12” and “The Passage.” He’s been a big influence to me lately. Going back to my comic book roots, Chris Claremont. The whole team behind the “Y: The Last Man” series have also had a big influence on me.
Q: Why did you donate royalty percentages to the Patterson Park Community Association?
Throughout my books, in any given period of time, I try to work with a charity..whether it be a family trying to pay medical bills, or Patterson Park, it’s something I like to do to give back a little bit. I chose Patterson Park because it’s where I live. My son was born in 2013, when I was doing the charity campaign with the park, my son and I were there everyday. Now he’s two..when it’s too cold or too rainy to go out, I don’t know what I’m going to do. The park to me..it’s the largest neighborhood square in the City. It’s what makes our neighborhood so special. It was something I was very happy to give back to.
Q: Is the sci-fi genre your favorite?
Yes! I agree when people say as a writer you should read everything, but I gravitate toward sci-fi or space opera. For me it’s escapism. I admire people who read historical biography for pleasure, but I need a Jedi knight, a superhero, or a vampire !
Q: What is your favorite book?
“Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card. No question about it.
Q: What is your favorite book of yours?
If I had to pick one, it would have to be the most recent one, “The 15th Chair.” Every time I write, I go through the process of getting reviewed, edited; having readers tell me what they thought. That makes me better with every book. As I’m writing, I hear my editors voice in my head. She says that she’s doing less and less work with every book, but she’s doing it without being in the room. There’s a vulnerability in my first books that I find endearing as a writer. The third book has some heartbreaking moments. There are reasons I could pick my first, third, or fourth book..but I think my latest book is my favorite work.
Q: You wrote your first children’s book. What is it about and who inspired it?
My first children’s book is about my two cats, Obs and Valentine. Creating a family with them, rescuing them from shelters..the first thing I brought them home. The story itself strikes a tone sort of like The Muppets, where it’s fun for kids, but there are a few winks to the adults as well. I’ve wanted to do a kids book for a very long time. This felt like the perfect time to do it with a year and a half year old. “The 15th Chair” was so complicated, I felt like I needed a break. Not a break from writing, but I just needed to cleanse my palate so to speak.
Q: What is your favorite part of living in Baltimore?
That’s a tough one. When I first moved here, I was young, carefree, and didn’t have any responsibilities. What I loved most about it is that you could take a cab, and drive to any different neighborhood you wanted, and almost be in a completely different world. You could go down to Fells Point for one experience, and then go to Mt. Vernon for another. Station North for another, Canton for another, and I loved it. The question wasn’t “what was are we going to?”, the question was “what neighborhood are we going to tonight?”
As I’ve gotten older, and had a kid, I’ve come to realize it’s a great place to raise a child in. We’ve got the park, we have Port Discovery. I love taking my son to the Baltimore Museum of Art. Another great part of living in Baltimore is that there are so many great state parks 20 minutes away in so many different directions. It gives you the benefit of living in a great city, and having so much right outside its borders.
You can purchase Matt’ books right here: http://amzn.to/1CAGHAV